I recently received an email from one of our regular comnentors about “what if” others show up at your door following a true societal collapse. She said this:
“I’m the one with the farm, the river, the perceived endless cornucopia of abundance, and this is where they’ll head.”
“Have I invited anyone, and what are the conditions?”
“What resources do I have, and which am I willing to share?”
“What arrangements am I making/have I made, and for whom?”
(Might be an interesting discussion.)
Another ‘regular’ said this regarding SHTF rules and others showing up at his door:
Like many here I invite my relatives.
1. You get here, I’m not picking you up.
2. Bring your own stuff, I have not prepared for you.
3. DONT knock on the door at night.
4. Be ready to actually work for a living/food.
5. This is my place, my rules.
I’ve touched upon this topic before. It’s time to do it again.
Why? Because if you think about “what if” now, BEFORE anything like this happens, you will already have established a thought-process and hopefully a plan.
How will you handle this situation (others showing up at your door)?
Having posted on this several times over the years, I already know the variety of responses that we’ll have. However there are always newcomers and new opinions. It is a good topic to consider and discuss again.
One predictable response (which I really do not like at all) will be this one:
“I will $hoot them before they even get close!”
If that’s you, please hold your fire (literally and figuratively).
Unless you are in battle and are certain that it’s the enemy, are you really going to do that to anyone? (It might simply be NRP walking down the road with a bottle of Gin in one hand and a roll of TP trailing behind his left shoe, for example.)
Okay, let’s get to it.
First, I realize that everyone’s situation is mostly unique. We each have our own pros ≈ cons of where we live, what we have, our natural resources, what we can do, etc.. which may influence the decisions that we would make.
That said, lets try to be logical with our generalizations or specifics.
I am looking at two sets of established rules.
1. The initial “go, no-go” rule (guideline) of allowing in to your ‘tribe’.
2. The general set of rules for everyone in your ‘tribe’.
From there you can drill down further with more specifics.
Okay, some of you will never let anyone else in. I get that. Your choice. You may have very good reasons (would love to hear them).
My current thinking and mindset is that it would take significant attributes – benefits – (pros) to let someone in.
Societal collapse will result in a number of dangers put upon you and I. The primary one being the 2-legged predator.
Some will be obvious while others will be wolf in sheep’s clothing. Some are very good at disguising their true colors.
Unless you have an exceptional ability to ‘read’ others, it is difficult for me to imagine a scenario of letting in someone who is not known.
The thing is, depending on where you live, the dangers around you may be great (requiring exceptional security) or they may be small. Good security requires a number of things including bodies. Problem is, bodies need to be fed and need to get along with others.
This gets into ‘how many’ people will it take to reasonably maintain safety and security at your given location (or bug-out location). That’s your decision.
Some believe that by remaining totally ‘gray’ you will not have any issue and will not need additional numbers to be ‘safe’. Remaining ‘gray’ is important for sure in my estimation – even if you do have a group! Again, lots depend on where you are and what’s around you.
As most of you know, it takes a significant amount of food (don’t forget water!) per person.
I haven’t defined the hypothetical societal collapse. Will it mean that there will be no food to be had (extreme SHTF?) or something in-between? I would plan on the extreme and hope for something in-between.
Have you estimated how much food you have in your long term storage? How long will it last? What if you take in another person? Do you have enough extra? Might you consider picking up enough extra bulk storage to accommodate extra mouths to feed, just in case?
Go, No-Go. Food. It’s important!
PERSONALITY & CHARACTER
Unless you already know the person, you don’t know their “true” personality and character traits. Even those who you do know, if they are suddenly living in your environment (even if in the barn) it WILL create issues. If people cannot get along, they will not get along.
When there are a lot of “A-type” personalities in a group, there WILL be even more issues. While it may present some good for security considerations (though not always), the rest of the time will prove ‘interesting’…
CONTRIBUTION TO THE GROUP
Unless you are doing it out of total charity, a new member will need to adequately contribute.
What does ‘adequately’ mean in this case? Someone who just consumes your food and resources without providing an adequate benefit or return on those resources will be nothing but a sludge, a drain.
A time of societal breakdown will bring everyone down to fairly primitive basics of life. Survival. That means the procurement, production, maintenance of water, food, shelter, security.
How will the person contribute towards those basics?
General Rules For Everyone
For those who are in your group, there absolutely will be rules needed to maintain cohesion and to see to it that needs are met.
Some people do better than others abiding by rules. Some have a natural instinct to break the rules. Some will want to be the one making the rules. There will be some who don’t agree with a rule or two or three…
KEEP IT SIMPLE
A simple set of common sense rules should be enough. No one wants to live under a tyrant or tyranny, so keep it simple, clear, and understandable.
CONSENSUS ON PRIORITIES
Your primary concerns will be water, food, shelter, & security. Everyone needs to agree on the priorities (you need consensus – not just 3 out of 4 people agreeing). If your priorities are different than the basics that I’ve mentioned, just be sure that they are understood by everyone.
Operational Security will be VERY important during a time of survival after societal collapse. You and your group do not want to stick out like a sore thumb. Loose lips sink ships. Be quiet about it. Be ‘gray’. Blend in. Be sure that everyone understands this. Some people love to talk (you know who they are), so be careful.
It’s going to be a lot of work. Period. Everyone will have to work. It will be physical. You will need to work out schedules and make routines that work for everyone. Focus on each person’s attributes and assign ‘jobs’ and schedules that fit towards water, food, shelter, and security.
For certain, there will be some turmoil at times. That’s life. But how will it be handled? Who’s in charge? Some are better than others at handling these types of situations. I’ve seen some really good mediator personalities (and those horrible at it). Not all disputes may benefit from mediation, but many or most will. Blatant abuse of the rules or goals may require more serious measures to consider.
Wow, I’ve gone on for 1300 words already.
Time to catch a breath and let you voice your thoughts and opinions!