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Most people, when they think of a survivalist group, think of the Doomsdayers in their barbed wire survivalist compounds.

That's certainly one type of survivalist group, but it's far from the only kind.

A survivalist group is essentially a group of people who are dedicated to helping one another survive and thrive.  

A support group is one type of survivalist group, dedicated to helping its members survive one particular situation and often spilling into other areas of life.  

A mom-to-mom group is a survivalist group, helping new mothers survive all the vagaries of being a new mom.  

A "Welcome Wagon" is a kind of survivalist group, helping new residents to survive their move to a new neighborhood and providing them with maps, coupons, and introductions to the neighborhood.

The CERT is definitely a survivalist group.

The very best thing that a survival minded person can do, after preparing their home, and developing their own survival skills, is to associate themselves with other skilled survivalists. No one person can know everything or do everything, and almost everyone can contribute something.

Mind you - survivalism isn't just the doomsday variety.  As the samples I gave above indicate, survival can be broken down into different categories and it's possible, even desirable in my opinion, to belong to multiple survival groups depending upon your own personal needs.  Maybe it's called a support group, or a club, or a clique, or a gang, but if the goal is to help the people in the group to get through one or more situations, then it's a survivalist group. Even dating clubs can be seen as a survivalist group - trying to survive being lonely and single.  Food co-ops are also a type of survivalist group - what's more basic than knowing and securing your food base?

I belong to several such groups.  Some are mostly on-line, and some are a mix of on and off-line, but the strongest ones are the ones where we put in personal time together, where we meet and get to know one another well.  I belong to a food co-op, a service dog group, a hearing impaired group, a steampunk group, a Numenist House, a crafts group, WoodSpirits (kind of like Camp Fire or Scouts for adults, with beads and awards and patches and projects and all), a search and rescue group, and a foodie group.  

The best general survival and emergency preparedness group will almost always be composed of family, friends, and neighbors - people you see often and whose strengths and weakness you know well. Don't worry about apocalyptic doomsday type survivalism - that will pretty much take care of itself if you concentrate on your normal, everyday survival needs and bolster that with the information and skills you'll need for dealing with disasters and emergencies in your area:  floods, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, neighborhood crime, vandalism, and so on.  Band together to deal with those issues with a focus on helping one another thrive, and you'll have a group of people you can trust in case of major emergencies and disasters - even long term ones like the apocryphal apocalypse (I had to type that, isn't it fun to say?).

Survival in groups, even if the group is as small as two or three people, is much better and easier than trying to go it alone.

Survivalist groups don't have to be huge.  As few as three people can be an effective survival group.  The largest number of people I've encountered who can get together regularly to ensure familiarity and comfort and a good mix of skills and experience is about 15. Any larger than 15 and the group tends to split naturally into smaller groups and to specialize.  If you want an all-purpose survival group where everyone knows everyone else and everyone works together, then around 15 is a good size to aim for.

You can specialize your group, or leave it generalized. You don't have to call it a survivalist group.  You can call it a support group or a "Got Your Back" club. It should be composed of people who not only share your interests and your goals, but are people on whom you can depend.

Some of the specialties (and this is by no means all of them!):

Safety preparedness (dog attacks, house fires, break-ins, muggings, car break-downs, power outages...)

Self Defense (surviving brief encounters of violence, usually martial arts oriented)

Natural Disasters (brief, intermediate or prolonged or a combination of all lengths)

Economic Collapse (barter, cookery, victory gardening, handyman skills, investment in precious metals, other investment skills)

Medical Crises Oriented (has full field medical kit and the skills to go with, concerned with assisting in accidents and other medical emergencies, has CERT, EMT, Red Cross, CPR certifications and donates blood regularly)

Bio-Chem (swine flu, bird flu, botulism, e-coli outbreaks, SARS, hanta virus, anthrax, sarin, and more - has full bio-hazard suit and decontamination equipment and drills on safety and quarantine procedures)

Rawlesian (prepare for a variety of survival scenarios, has a fortified rural survival compound, well-armed, and with a deep larder - differs from Doomsdayers in that they are also preparing to dispense charity in the event of a disaster or apocalypse)

Doomsdayer (prepares for The End Of The World As We Know It, has fortified rural survivalist compound, stockpiles of arms and ammunition, deep larder, tends to be deeply conservative, and isolationist)

Peak Oil (prepares for a world without oil - often with a rural retreat and practices homesteading skills without the benefit of any oil products)

Wilderness Survival (practices a variety of self-sufficient deep wilderness skills, from hunting and trapping to water distillation/purification, camp cookery, in all terrains and all weathers)

EMPers (Electromagnetic pulse - believes an EMP will destroy computer microchips, disrupt electrical services, leaving the world with computers, cars with computers, computer driven household devices, communications, cell phone service, internet services, and more and prep for that.  These EMP can be caused by a large solar flare or nuclear attack, so they prepare for both)

Welcome Wagon (collects neighborhood maps, local business coupons, local phone books, local government information, neighborhood watch information, and community information to share with new arrivals in the neighborhood, organizes block parties and community events)

Support Groups (focused on helping members survive a specific event or situation, such as addictions, phobias, kidnappings, deaths...)

Back-to-the-Land (interested in homesteading, buying a farm, family survival, ecology, environmental issues)

Clubs (varies according to focus - a canning club, gardening clubs, baking club, etc. whereby you learn and share techniques, skills, and results with one another)

Neighborhood Watch (localized to protect neighbors from crime, vandalism, etc, and can also be directed to improve the neighborhood and provide civic pride and community survival skills)

Tips on forming a group:
1. Decide the type of survival you are interested in - finances, personal safety, handyman skills, cookery, single parent, single in a big city, etc. and use that as your base.

2. Start with the people you know best:  family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. Talk to them about your interests and see if they are also interested.

3. If you don't have family, friends, co-workers, or neighbors who share your interests, search farther abroad - fitness centers, churches, martial arts centers, food co-ops, wilderness training classes, the internet for survival forums and groups, and other places of a similar nature may bring you together with people who share the same interests.

4. Remember, you don't need a horde, just 2 or 3 others.  Start small and let the group grow naturally.

5. State the goal of the group - form a "mission statement" and keep it simple: "We are dedicated to learning how to can our own food". "We will learn how to protect ourselves from random acts of violence", "We will learn and share handyman skills", "We will prepare for natural disasters". You can always expand it later, and having a statement helps keep you on target.

6. Deal with procrastinators, excuse-makers, and bullies gently but firmly - exclude them if you must.  

7. Get together at least once a month to practice and implement your goals.

8.  Add more members if desired.

9. If this is a general survival group, try to get a group that has a mix of skills.

10.  Create rules - I know, some people hate rules, but honestly, if you have rules written down, you'll have a whole lot less trouble down the road, although you may have to deal with people who do rules lawyering.  They are easier to deal with than people who come in and ignore everything the group is for and try to high jack it to their ends. Include rules for joining and leaving the group, electing a leader (even in a  group of 3 you'd need a leader - someone who makes the decisions and motivates everyone and keeps things on track), managing group equipment, and dealing with difficult people.

11. Have a leader, and a way to change leaders. Good leaders help the group stay on track.

Tips on Joining a Group:
1. Visit the group and get to know the people in a social setting - a picnic or ice cream social, for example.

2. If you like what you see and the people you meet, attend a meeting.

3. If you still like it, ask about their rules for joining, and ask if you could have a trial membership.  Some groups require an investment fee or a buy-in fee. If you don't want to buy-in, find a different group.

4.  Spend time getting to know the people in the group, attend all the meetings and events, work on the projects, and see how you fit in. If your skills are vastly different from the bulk of the members, or your skill levels are much higher or lower than theirs, you may not be as comfortable in the group

5. Familiarize yourself with their rules. If they don't have any - leave.

Some common terms, a very abbreviated list of terms you might encounter if you meet or read the blogs of survivalists I have avoided name-calling acronyms, of which there seem to be a distressingly large number.  If you want to know what they are, you can search for them yourself:
ABAO:  All Bets Are Off
ABCD:  Airways, Breathing, Circulation, Disability
ALICE: All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment.
Alpha Strategy: The practice of storing extra consumable items, as a hedge against inflation, and for use in barter and charity. Coined by John Pugsley.
ARES: Amateur Radio Emergency Service
ATV:  All terrain Vehicle, also called a 'quad"
Ballistic Wampum: Ammunition stored for barter purposes. Coined by Jeff Cooper.
BBQ:  Barbecue
BDU:  Battle Dress Uniform, camoflauge clothing
BFO:  Blinding Flash of the Obvious. Coined by J. Rawles
BG:  Bad Guy
BIB:  Bug In Bag
Bivvie: Bivouac
Black Swan:  An extreme, unexpected event.  Coined by N. N. Taleb
BOB: Bug-out bag.
BOGO:  originally "Buy One, Give One" whereby you bought one and the company would then donate one to a needy family.  Marketers stole to and turned it into another way to say half-off sale or 50% off sale (Buy One, Get One)
BOL: Bug-out location.
BOLO: Be On the Look Out
BOV: Bug-out vehicle.
CONUS:  Continental United States
Cred:  Credentials
Crunch: A general term for a major, long-term disaster.
C-Store:  Convenience Store
Deep Larder:  Storing enough food for a group for 2+ years
DIY:  Do it yourself - often instructions on how to make it or do it yourself
Doomer: A Peak Oil adherent who believes in a Malthusian-scale societal collapse.
Doomstead:  a survivalist retreat or fortified camp
DUG: Doom and Gloom, a riff on the German Sturm und Drang, coined by J. Rawles.
EDC: Every Day Carry. What one carries at all times in case the end of the world strikes while one is out and about.
ELE:  Extinction Level Event
ETA:  Estimated Time of Arrival
EOTW: End of the world
Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) - an extreme level of electromagnetic energy sufficient to burn out computer chips that may be caused by solar flares or by atmospheric nuclear explosions. Such an event would disable the Internet, telephones, computers, and devices that rely on computer controls, including automobiles, the electrical grid, and household appliances.
FAK:  First Aid Kit
FEMA:  Federal Emergency Management Agency
FFTAGFFR: Food For Thought And Grounds For Further Research
GMHB:  Get Me Home Bag.
G.O.O.D.: Get Out of Dodge (City). Fleeing urban areas in the event of a disaster. Coined by James Wesley Rawles.
G.O.O.D. Kit: Get Out of Dodge Kit. Synonymous with Bug-Out Bag (BOB).
GWOT: Global War on Terror
Heller:  DC vs Heller court decision, June 2008, that determined the right to bear arms is an individual right of all citizens
HIPS:  Hide In Plain Sight. Claimed to be coined by J. Rawles, but usage predates his birth.
Hubbert's Peak:  The presumed peak in oilfield production that is supposed to occur approximately in 2015.
IAW: In Accordance With
INCH Bag: "I'm never coming home bag". Designed to support the life of its owner indefinitely, as opposed to other BOBs which are oriented toward gaining short term advantage and sustaining life for a fixed length of time.
In Town Retreat:  A survival retreat located inside or adjacent to city limits and depends on some city infrastructure
JASBORR:  Jim's Amazing Secret Bunker of Redundant Redundancy.  Coined by Richard Daughty
JIC: Just In Case
JIT: Just In Time
MGTEOTWAWKI:  Multi-Generational The End OF The World AS We Know It
NINJA:  No Income No Job or Assets
Off grid:  a home not connected to commercial power supplies or city utilities
One Trip BOB:  same as INCH
PIK:  Payment In Kind
Potable:  Drinkable or safe to drink
Prepper: Someone who is preparing for survival situations - usually apocalyptic or doomsday ones. 70's they were called "retreaters" and in the 90's "Y2Kers". Regardless of era, they are also called "survivalists"
Shelf Stable:  preserved foods that can be stored for long times at room temperatures
SHTF: Shit Hits the Fan.
SIP:  Shelter In Place
TANSTAAFL:  There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Coined by R. Heinlein
TARFU: Things Are Really Fucked Up
TEOTWAWKI: The End of the World as We Know It. Coined by Mike Medintz.
TPTB: The Powers That Be
WTSHTF: When the Shit Hits the Fan.
WROL: Without Rule of Law. Used by preppers anticipating a total collapse of government/society and the presumed ensuing lawlessness.
YAMA: You Are Much Appreciated
YOYO: You're On Your Own
Remember, a survival group doesn't have to be a fortified compound type of survivalist group.  It can be any of a variety of support and learning and helping groups.  You decide what you need and then join with others wanting the same goals. It's like the Chess Club or the Glee Club, except you're looking for people who'll have your back as much as you have theirs.

I will give you a caveat - those fortified compound groups?  Aren't as common as the media would have you believe.  There aren't many organized survivalist groups out there, and many of them fall apart within 2 years.  I believe it's because they are all focused on TEOTWAWKI scenarios and they can't maintain that level of stress and preparedness. Practical survival groups tend to last longer, and are much, much harder to find because they tend to be composed of family and a few friends and rarely talk about what they do or how they're doing it.  Your best bet is to start your own, and then use the resources of the internet to gather information and plan your own drills and outings and social events and such.

Some resources:

How To Form a Successful Preparedness Survival Group

Daily Survival

Suburb Homestead

Suburban Prepper

Possum Living

Modern Survival Blog

Adventures in Survival

Apartment Prepper

Advanced Survival Guide

Survivalist Blog

Survival Topics

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Comment Preferences

  •  Umm (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, Noddy, duckhunter, Toon

    noun -və-list\
    Definition of SURVIVALIST
    : a person who advocates or practices survivalism; especially : one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society

    noun sər-ˈvī-və-ˌli-zəm\
    Definition of SURVIVALISM
    : an attitude, policy, or practice based on the primacy of survival as a value

    A mom-to-mom group is a survivalist group, helping new mothers survive all the vagaries of being a new mom.  
    It's just an infant, it's not the end of civilization. The kid is very unlikely to kill you.

    You seem to be using the word "survivalist" in a way that conflicts with it's definition-

    Perhaps " Co-operative Group" would be a better term?

    •  I'm sorry you have such a narrow defintion. (6+ / 0-)

      This is a group on practical survivalism and sustainable living, and we have a much more encompassing view of survival.


          The state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.


          The policy of trying to ensure one's own survival or that of one's social or national group.

      survivalist (sər-vī'və-lĭst) pronunciation
      One who has personal or group survival as a primary goal in the face of difficulty, opposition, and especially the threat of natural catastrophe, nuclear war, or societal collapse

      All knowledge is worth having.

      by Noddy on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:32:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not the label that matters, its understanding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theatre goon

      the need and how any group in which you participate might help you to get along and even to survive in a variety of circumstances.

      The other point is that no matter what the name or primary purpose of a group to which you belong, you can still inject into it some sharing of the wisdom of greater preparedness and share the methods of preparing with those who are interested.

      (And in doing so, it might work out better to focus on function more than dictonarial disputes.)

      The time has come to put the "Occ" in "DemOCCracy". Support (or create) the "Occupy" movement near you. Ordinary Citizens Count in this extraordinary Democcracy.

      by Into The Woods on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 06:12:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know several people who are nervous (3+ / 0-)

    They're storing dried food, water, paper products, and so forth.  I haven't ordered any dried food yet but I'm thinking about it.  The kind of collapse I think might be coming is economic.  The news on the global financial front is not getting better.

    I have to agree with Remembering Jello that when one hears the word "survivalist" one immediately thinks of guys in camouflage clothes in Idaho or somewhere, preparing to fend off the Fedrul Gummint with guns.  I don't immediately think of mom-to-mom groups or similar groups.

    "Cooperative Groups" sounds good and doesn't carry the baggage that "survivalist" does.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:28:17 PM PST

    •  Did you read the diary at all? (6+ / 0-)

      If so, then you would have read this:

      Maybe it's called a support group, or a club, or a clique, or a gang,
      or this:
      You don't have to call it a survivalist group.  You can call it a support group or a "Got Your Back" club.
      If it chaps you to call a duck a duck, you can call it a bird instead.

      All knowledge is worth having.

      by Noddy on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:40:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's almost always a good idea to buy (6+ / 0-)

      in bulk, things that can be stored for long periods, as long as you eat out of such a cache to make sure you don't simply end up discarding expired foods unused.  It's a real money saver.

    •  Cooperative Survival Groups? (0+ / 0-)

      because the goal is not to cooperate, it's to survive and even be comfortable when things go awry.

      The method may be to cooperate, but that's not the goal.

      But as Noddy says, call it whatever gets you to do it.

      Camo:  Is it the required uniform of those who want to be prepared for a hazard list that contains more than one particular minimum severity short-duration risk?  Nah.

      What you'll find is that outside the rightwing para-military types, rambo clothing is generally not only not the "in" style, it is considered not conducive to the goal because of the high profile it lends and the assumptions that go with it for both law enforcement and the public.

      Also, there is a sort of a pyrimid of food types that have less weight, less space, greater shelf-life but often greater cost starting with canned goods in your normal diet that would not require cooking to eat.  What suits your needs and capacity is a very personal analysis.

      You can see a decent set of examples of emergency foods and survival foods here, but I encourage you to do some research and individual assessment before spending much money.

      The time has come to put the "Occ" in "DemOCCracy". Support (or create) the "Occupy" movement near you. Ordinary Citizens Count in this extraordinary Democcracy.

      by Into The Woods on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 06:07:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A bit perplexing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That you claim that your particular group is "not" of the "Oh my God society has collapsed just as we told you it would!" variety of group, yet you give a ton of credence to their ideals, their nomenclature, etc.

    I think being prepared for some sort of natural disaster or whatever? That's probably smart, and everyone should probably do it.

    But the whole "shit hits the fan" movement, people who are hoarding food and/or ammo in the event of the utter dissolution of society and/or the "end of the world"; These people are paranoid lunatics who deserve to occupy the fringes while the rest of normal society passes them by.

    Civilization as we know it now will not just fall apart; The government will not dissolve the way these people hope/dream it will, we're not going to enter a Mad Max style of Neo-Wild-Wild-West where the guy with the biggest gun and most bullets will rule the day, and if by some chance, some sort of actual Biblical end of times occurs, no amount of food/guns/bullets/camo is going to save your ass from it ANYWAY.

    If I could HR this diary for fearmongering, I would. But I won't.

    •  Did you read (7+ / 0-)

      the first three paragraphs of this diary? The first eight paragraphs?  The first block quote?

      All knowledge is worth having.

      by Noddy on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:36:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Compared to Us, Our Parents and Grandparents (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theatre goon, Lilith

      were all hoarding supplies.

      While it would be superficially comforting to accept your assurances that civilization will always maintain its current standards in protecting safety and health and basic needs, evidence to the contrary already has been seen here in the US.

      While those situations were localized and temporary, they were of sufficient geographic spread and duration to kill people.

      Each threat that any given area might face in terms of natural disaster, intentional act or systemic disruption might be very long odds, but when you start adding them up and then start looking at how dependent we are on the systems that might go away for periods ranging from days to weeks or months, the odds become a worthy of considering.

      What are the odds that your house will burn down?  Does it happen to more than 1% of American households in their lifetime?  

      That, in its way, is an end of your life as you know it event.

      How much does a homeowner pay each year to protect themselves against such a low probability - high impact event?

      Given our high level of dependence on our technology-reliant infrastructure and increasingly global delivery system for essential goods and services, it would take a much shorter time of 'dislocation' than most people imagine to negatively impact millions of American citizens.

      A few examples from non-crazy sources might do more than anything we could say here:

       When Trucks Stop, America StopsAmerican Trucking Association

      Space storm alert: 90 seconds from catastrophe

      That article is based on the NASA report that can be found here:

      Severe Space Weather Events--Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts:A Workshop Report

      In recent years, widespread electrical outages lasting a week or two weeks are becoming increasingly common and do not need a solar storm or emp attack but rather just an ordinary winter or summer storm.

      In Septeber of 2008, the threat of widespread civil unrest was one of the potential consequences that was used to convince the US Government to intercede as drastically as it did to avert the level of global financial collapse that otherwise would have occurred.

      In the last 6-8 months we have heard such warnings issued publically from leaders of both major governments and financial world in numbers we did not have in 2008 and before.  We can believe they are doing so for ulterior motives, but the fact is there is a level of truth in their warnings.

      Your area would have its own list of various risks (natural or intentional).   And study after study has shown that most people are not prepared for even the most basic and frequent of such risks in part because over the years they have been told that a 3-day supply is what they should have set aside.

      That standard is inadequate because most people think they have that on any given day (many are incorrect), they could survive for that time on nothing (many could not) and experience in recent years has shown that dislocations from a variety of sources frequently last longer than that.

      The risks we face, in their way, are no less than the more primal, physical risks faced by our ancestors.

      That we no longer face them on a daily basis is not proof that the risk has gone out of life, but rather that our greater insulation from it fools us into believing it has gone completely and lulls us into a blindness of our dependencies and over-reliance on both governmental resources and societal infrastructure.

      The list of potential causes for local, regional or widespread dislocation that could last for weeks or months before those resources and that system was re-imposed is fairly impressive these days and is not becoming smaller, but rather bigger.

      Fear of fear is one of the other concequences of our insulation from risk.  

      Fear is a gift if not misused and we do not over-react to it in ways that are not rationally related to danger it points out.

      And given the propensity of the American public to not prepare for anything longer than a day of inconvenience, false assurances that lead to a lack of basic preparedness are far worse than any 'fear-mongering' that you could claim is going on here.

      Before you talk about giving this diary an HR, please go cancel your house and car insurance.   At least then you would be consistent.

      The time has come to put the "Occ" in "DemOCCracy". Support (or create) the "Occupy" movement near you. Ordinary Citizens Count in this extraordinary Democcracy.

      by Into The Woods on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 05:35:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I will be starting CERT traing soon. The training (5+ / 0-)

    is offered by my employer, a university so you can see the reason, and it's free.  There is an impressive number of people in the university community who have already taken the course.

    I also just met a neighbor that shares my same outlook on survival.  He has begun hiking the abandoned RR tracks, there are three close by, to determine viable routes out of the city in the event roads are impassable and evacuation is required.  This is a possibility since the city is adjacent to a major though in great part inactive fault line and the majority of the buildings are freestanding masonry buildings of brick and stone.

    I'll need some room for this...

    by duckhunter on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:38:45 PM PST

    •  Keep in mind the lessons we learned from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      duckhunter, theatre goon

      the Viet Nam war.

      Bicycles can carry a lot more a lot faster a lot farther than folks carrying things on their backs - even if the person is just walking beside the fully loaded bike.

      Carts of various styles also come in handy.

      (Look at any stream of refugees even today and you will find carts.)

      The time has come to put the "Occ" in "DemOCCracy". Support (or create) the "Occupy" movement near you. Ordinary Citizens Count in this extraordinary Democcracy.

      by Into The Woods on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 06:20:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm 50 years old... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaraBeth, Toon

    and I can't think of a better way to squander the the rest of my years then to have this sort of survivalist mindset.

    Obama 2012

    by jiffypop on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:41:48 PM PST

    •  Good for you! (6+ / 0-)

      I think it's important to be prepared, like the old Scout Motto, for anything that could happen - tornadoes, quakes, power outages.  It will make your life a lot more comfortable if you don't have to struggle to figure out what to do when something bad happens.

      All knowledge is worth having.

      by Noddy on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:51:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  in any emergency I am probably dead (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alexandra Lynch

      since I have several meds I have to have each day and my ability to ambulate is very limited.  OTOH it does relieve me of having to worry about this

      •  Not necessarily. (4+ / 0-)

        That's the idea behind groups.

        I've got two neighbors (that term being relative, of course) with pretty significant medical needs.  I'm certainly not planning on just leaving them on their own in any sort of emergency situation.

        Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

        by theatre goon on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 02:45:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Aaaaw! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon, SaraBeth

        I'm sure it's not quite so desperate.  While I don't rely on meds, I am disabled (hearing and dexterity).  If some way could be found for the meds, survival with limited ambulatory ability would be much better with a survivalist (support) group.  I'm sure there are things you could offer that transcend your disabilities. After all, you aren't your disability, you're so much more.

        All knowledge is worth having.

        by Noddy on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 02:46:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  just having grown up in the era when mules (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon, RainyDay, nikilibrarian

          were still in use for agriculture and when people raised and slaughtered their own animals and grew their own veggies along with a fair knowledge of hunting, fishing and firearms but hey, I have no idea of how to defeat a zombie invasion so I am of limited value though I can make lye soap

          •  Oh, that's easy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theatre goon, Toon

            just suspend some brain scented air fresheners over treadmills connected to generators and use the zombies for free power. Periodically send someone out to replace the air fresheners.

            All knowledge is worth having.

            by Noddy on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 05:30:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  OK, seriously, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theatre goon

            you have knowledge - and that's as important as skills. I never worked with mules, and my knowledge of firearms is dated. There are bound to be people that need what you know and would be happy to barter that knowledge for the things you might need.

            Not sure about the medicinals, but certainly other things.

            Gotta figure out the medicinals part....

            All knowledge is worth having.

            by Noddy on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 05:35:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would think any survivalist would have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theatre goon

              a working knowledge of black powder weapons and be able to formulate his  own black powder; after all no arsenal lasts forever and ammunition has a definite shelf life.  We will be back to crossbows or long bows very quickly unless there is some black powder enthusiasts around

              •  Ammo lasts a long, long time... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ...if you take any care whatsoever in storage.  You're much more likely to run out of it well before age gets it.

                Currently, I've got what some might term a "stockpile" of ammo -- but it's only because I found some military-surplus ammo at a really good price and bought a fair amount.

                That said, I do happen to have black powder and such -- but that's just one of those things that I enjoy that would also happen to come in very handy in certain circumstances.

                Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                by theatre goon on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 04:07:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  dunno I have some paper shotgun shells (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  theatre goon

                  and I hesitate to use them as the casings are swelled and the brass has turned green.
                  Remember that ammo is critter specific so you will not get many squirrels with a 30-06 (unless you are really really good at "barking" them) and you can burn through a lot of ammo really quick.  (ask any dove hunter)
                  Actually trapping and netting is a better way to find game than hunting and if there is human/human conflict, remember in Afghanistan I think the round/kill ratio was like 1M (1,000,000) rounds per kill so many that we had to buy ammo from China because our usual suppliers could not keep up with the demand

                  •  You are absolutely correct. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I was thinking of brass ammo, didn't think of paper shotgun shells.  I have a couple of shotguns which are mostly currently just taking up space in the safe -- I haven't hunted birds in a long, long time.

                    Back when I did any squirrel-hunting, I mostly used a .22, either long or short.

                    I'll take your word on it about the million rounds per kill -- but that, in my opinion, is one of the drawbacks to fully automatic fire.  Well, an advantage, also, when discussing suppression fire.  Even in a worst-case scenario, I don't see needing to do that.  Or surviving a need to do that, more likely.  Pretty much a different mindset all 'round, between an active war and survival needs for the individual or small group.

                    Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                    by theatre goon on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 07:57:19 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I don't know - guns are not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theatre goon

                part of my specific plans for survival.  That's because I'm not particularly interested in post-apocalyptic survival and more focused on practical every day survival, and because there are people in my core "take care of each other" group who are passionate gun enthusiasts. Both are professional gunsmiths.

                I do happen to know a lot about guns, and can make gunpowder as easily as I make mustache wax, and I can cast shot or reload as easily as I can make throat lozenges, and I can field strip a rifle and put it back together again, but that's just because I was once in the military and they make you learn that sort of stuff. It's not anything I do on anything like a regular basis.  I don't think guns are as essential to survival as a lot of people do, but I'm not averse to sharing what I do know and I accept that some people just feel more comfortable with guns as part of their survival plan.

                All knowledge is worth having.

                by Noddy on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 08:13:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They are definitely part of mine. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Heck, they're part of my daily survival kit as it is.

                  Primarily, they are used to protect stock from predators or graze from nuisance animals (we're over-run with wild hogs in my area), and have been (though not in quite some time) used for hunting.  To be able to do any of that effectively requires practice.  Luckily, for me, I actively enjoy target-shooting.  Much more so, as it happens, than on those occasions that I actually have to shoot something other than a target.

                  Additionally, living in a rural area, if I need more active protection, I am, at best, at least twenty minutes from police protection.  Likely longer.  That being the case, if I don't contribute to my own self-defense, there may well be no defense at all.

                  That said, the only times I've actually needed a firearm for self-defense was when I lived in the city, supposedly much closer to police protection.  

                  There have been a few local break-ins recently -- though extremely rarely a "hot" burglary or home invasion.  Everybody out here has a gun -- criminals know that.

                  I know, very well, that discussion of firearms on DKos can often lead to pie-fights -- but I'm also fairly convinced that a lot of that stems from the urban/rural divide.  The needs and mind-sets of people differ in each environment -- I've lived both, so I can at least see both sides.  A lot of people can't -- that's not a dig at anyone, just an observation.

                  Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                  by theatre goon on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 08:30:41 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I live in a small town (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theatre goon

                    nestled up to a large city - not quite a suburb but close enough.  Also, I have lost the use of one hand, making using firearms difficult and I'm not willing to relearn.  My choice and I'm glad I get to have one.

                    My daughter lives in the big city - and she has a concealed carry permit and several decent guns. We go out to the range often, I gather herbs and blackberries and such while she sights in, practices, and keeps her guns in good condition.

                    I don't have a problem with other people having and using guns however they choose - or not.  

                    I do get rather perplexed at people who want to take the choice away.

                    All knowledge is worth having.

                    by Noddy on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 09:04:05 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I am unable to use pump weapons (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Noddy, theatre goon

                      and semi-auto pistols due to the loss of 70% of the use of my left arm but side wheelers and double barrels and a number of other configurations are available.  Heck I can use a crossbow legally during bow season if I ever can save up for one

      •  Have you built up a reserve? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon

        Almost every prescription (and coverage of same) can be renewed a number of days early.

        By renewing at the earliest possible date, using the oldest medicine first, and accumulating the remainder, you can build a reserve.

        If your medications require refrigeration, you might want to look into low cost methods of keeping them as cool as possible even without electricity.  (Not the best, but also not the worst.)

        The folks at biggest risk are those requiring high-tech in-house treatments at hospitals or Dr offices that under a variety of circumstances could become unavailable for a period of time.

        But even those people could likely increase their odds of getting over the bridge if they knew what to do both to prepare and to maximize their chances in the event of a widespread dislocation.

        If you've seen (or imagined) one TEOTWAWKI event, you've seen (or imagined) one TEOTWAWKI event.

        Deciding now that you are going to fight to survive under any circumstances where that is possible is the first, most important step.  

        So I encourage you to not start with the assumption that you are done for in all events.

        The time has come to put the "Occ" in "DemOCCracy". Support (or create) the "Occupy" movement near you. Ordinary Citizens Count in this extraordinary Democcracy.

        by Into The Woods on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 05:44:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It never hurts to be prepared. (6+ / 0-)

    I live in a rural area, so you never know when you may have to sustain yourself for some amount of time without outside support.

    Granted, that's usually weather-related and short-term, but longer-term events are always possible.  I'm far from the "SHTF" folks, but I try to keep enough basic supplies and equipment on-hand for the off-chance something bad does occur.

    Being prepared is in no way synonymous with being paranoid -- and is applicable to many different situations, as pointed out in the diary.

    Nice work -- "survivalist" is another of those words that has gotten an undeserved negative connotation based on only some people who use it.

    And someone who "hoards" something may well just be buying in bulk to save a few bucks.

    Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

    by theatre goon on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 02:06:25 PM PST

  •  I'm surprised to read this on DKos. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, Into The Woods, Lilith

    But it's pretty interesting. Good to see that some progressives will be around after the SHTF.


    This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

    by Words In Action on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 04:08:47 PM PST

  •  Here in Ontario we have CERV (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, Into The Woods, Lilith

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

    by SaraBeth on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 04:18:42 PM PST

  •  Great diary and great resources (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon, Noddy, Lilith


    The time has come to put the "Occ" in "DemOCCracy". Support (or create) the "Occupy" movement near you. Ordinary Citizens Count in this extraordinary Democcracy.

    by Into The Woods on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 06:34:41 PM PST

  •  I am on my church's DERT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon, Noddy, Lilith

    committee. We have a plan and are hooked in to local gov't and regional and national church plans as well. Now we are working on helping our members prepare emergency kits/plans for their family.  I don't know why anyone who saw 9/11 or Katrina or Fukishima would not realize the importance of being prepared to help yourselves for a period of time in a disaster.

  •  I am not into planning for TEOTWAWKI but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon, Lilith, Noddy

    Here I can expect interruptions of the normal flow of existence, shall we say, caused by floods, ice storms, blizzards, tornadoes, heat waves, and we are within the zone that would be affected if New Madrid went off at 5.0 or better.  There is also the undeniable fact that we don't exactly have economic stability.

    So my focus is on having the means to cope with the water needing boiled (stockpots, canners....done, plus buying a filter), the water being gone due to a break (stored water: Will be happening), normal sewer function being impeded (two buckets, peat moss, and a functioning compost heap), losing heat (both electrical heaters and a kerosene heater, with fuel) losing light (oil lamps and candles abound) and I keep a month's worth of food around at all times.  

    Once I have been on my meds again long enough I'll build up a pill stash, but that takes time for a scheduled med.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 10:45:02 PM PST

  •  I'm not sure why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wide eyed lib, theatre goon, Noddy

    there is so much pushback on Noddy's diaries.

    I personally don't believe that the world is going to end anytime soon.  But I can always read her diaries and find at least a few new ideas to apply to my everyday living.  I recently moved to Florida and live less than a mile from the Gulf, as a result I have no practical experience of what it would be like to live through a hurricane.  But I have taken the knowledge she's given us and I will always keep it in the back of my mind, should the worst occur.  

    In addition I think we should stop thinking of these types of survivalist groups (I'm not talking the armed compound types) as strange.  I have worked for several major companies in my life and every single one of them had some type of catastrophic continuation of business plan.  I realize that corporations aren't people.  (See what I did there?) But if they're willing to put that much time and effort into the what-if situations shouldn't we all at least take a little bit of time to consider our own safety in the same what-if situation?  

    Thank you so much for your diaries Noddy, there are many of us who appreciate and enjoy them.  

    not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

    by Lilith on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 05:24:58 AM PST

    •  I think it's knee-jerk (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lilith, theatre goon

      and possibly fear - most of the people who are negative about them don't seem to have read the diary at all, or they took out one singe word to focus their angst on,usually "guns".  Our media has made such a bugbear of guns that otherwise rational people become irrational when they hear or see the word "guns" and it derails everything else in their heads.

      HamptonRoadsProgressive, who threatened to HR this diary, didn't read it at all or s/he would have known it had nothing to do with fearmongering and everything to do with allaying fears and building confidence.

      All knowledge is worth having.

      by Noddy on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 08:23:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe you should precede (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noddy, theatre goon

        these diaries with a short template intro about how they are a series of diaries with the intent to educate and should be taken as such. Kind of like what Tric does with all of the pootie diaries.  

        Perhaps that will stop some of the endless pearl clutching.  :)

        not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

        by Lilith on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 08:39:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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