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Episode 141 S4-17

Families Helping Families


Special Guest:

Battle for the South Ch 17

James E. Hart

Dexter finds himself in the home of his longtime friends as the Battle for the South adventure continues. These families have shared many years of experiences together and formed a new extended family in a post collapse society. In a post collapse society families may rely heavily upon other families for help. It was already common place in the United States before the advancement of technology. Here to discuss these intricate relationships is James Hart author of Urban & Wilderness Emergency Preparedness.

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In the past it was essential for local families to come together to help one another. They could get more done faster. For example, a barn could be raised in a week with family groups providing assistance to their neighbors. Alone it would have taken one family over a year. Many mechanisms would have to be constructed to allow one person to do a job that many people helping one another could easily do together. Another key time for families to come together was at harvest time. One piece of equipment could be rotated to multiple farms decreasing cost. The crop needed to be harvested in a timely manner and many people assisting one another allowed the harvest to be done quickly so no one lost their crops. Food preservation was just as important as collection. A daunting job for one person to do was made into an enjoyable task with many people working together to get it done.


"Self knowledge is great but extra hands always help."


The extended family also had a huge role to play in a family's dynamic. Older people were respected and honored for the knowledge and experiences the had accumulated and could pass on. They knew how to fix and build things. The older folks also cared for the young children who would be a hindrance in a work environment. The grandparents provided care for these young children and passed on important values, ethics, and religious beliefs. If a family did not have elderly to care for the young and they were helping with a community event, the other elders would care for the children of these families while their parents assisted. 


In today's technology crazy society, making friends with other families can seem like a daunting task. However, it is really quite easy. It's as simple as looking out for one another. When someone needs a hand, pitch in, rather than walking away. Get out of your house. Just being outside, introduces you to other folks in the community. Meet new people and stay in touch. Value they friendship they are offering. Learn who lives around you and the patterns their family has so you can help alert them if something is amiss. Each time you meet and interact with someone you will get to know them a little bit better.


It is important to make sure your family has a strong foundation before you start to reach out to others. Solid communication between all family members is key and will extend to others. Be willing to listen and bend, instead of always going against them. Allow other people to have different opinions as long as it does not create a major rift. Try to understand why they have that point of view and meet in the middle. Spend quality time together. It is of the upmost importance to spend time with your family, participate in community gatherings. Set aside time to enjoy one another in a relaxed environment and thank them for their contributions. Working together creates really strong bonds but playing together can make them even stronger. Now-a-days communities are lacking in participants because of individual entertainment involving our electronics. People are not interacting anymore. We are not teaching our children to interact and that could be a huge hindrance to a very social species.


Cultural differences in between families would be insurmountable for some folks. Many people will try different foods but when it comes to welcoming a culturally diverse family into their home, they may hesitate. Others could bridge this gap easily. Hands and knowledge is hands and knowledge no matter what cultural heritage a family stems from. Also, some families may ostracize themselves because of their cultural differences. Survivors must try and bridge these gaps for the sake of the community.

In a post collapse society a family that is doing well will probably not have a problem lending a helping hand to another. However, the helping family must be shown that the family that needs help is willing to pitch in and be a useful part of the community.

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Battle for the South Ch 17

James E. Hart

A veteran of 2 tours of duty in Viet Nam, James began his survival training at the age of 7 when he was stranded in the Mojave Desert for 7 hours without food or water during a family move in 1954. Since then he has been through the scouting program where he attained Life scout, served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Venture Advisor, and earned the Badden Powell Award. An avid outdoorsman, he has winter camped in Utah and northern Quebec, Canada, snowshoed in upstate New York, Utah and Quebec, and camped in the Mojave Desert of California, the Uintah Mountains of Utah, and the Piney Woods of East Texas, among numerous other locations. James has traveled and been through 42 of the 50 states of the US. Three provinces of Canada, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the Equator and 35 countries from jungles of South America to the Himalayas of Nepal. Having earned an Associates of Photography Degree from Houston Community College, he has beautifully captured many of his travels with his camera.


Now retired from a career with the Trinity River Authority of Texas, James resides in Dallas, TX, where he lectures on Wilderness and Survival Training. He is the author of SWET Survival & Wilderness Experience Training, Urban & Wilderness Emergency Planning, 35 other booklets on wilderness training, monthly articles for Survival Life Magazine, and a column and articles for The Garland Messenger Newspaper. James also does workshops and speaking engagements.

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