Questions and Answers with The Wolf Pack : Attempting to Begin a SHTF Work Group

Question from HiPlains

I know of a few of us who have been preparing for our individual family units and am also aware of their willingness to work with others but no one has actually pulled us together.

I do not desire to be the leader – that is not my strength (shouldn’t that person be chosen by group consensus?). I want to facilitate an organizational meeting to begin getting us together to:


  1. see if it could be a viable group
  2. analyze our strengths and weaknesses
  3. assign responsibilities
  4. create overall group plan


Does the Pack have suggestions as to what should be on the agenda for initial meeting as well as short term follow-ups?

Also, how to deal with those who prove to be “weak links”.

Maintaining OPSEC for myself and a couple of others I do trust is a concern – at least until we see how it goes.

This is tough thing for me to think through since I normally function independantly – but do see how valuable a working group could be.


  1. Tactical G-Ma says:

    I, too, wonder how a leader would surface or if one would even be needed. By exploiting peoples’ skills, departmental responsibilities can be established with a director in each department. Then prehaps someone who is respected by all can be a moderator.
    Bylaws or rules must be established and a judicial and enforcement procedure put in writing. The house rules.
    Departments might be
    1. Security
    2. Law enforcement and judicial
    3. Berthing and housekeeping.
    4. Food storage, acquisitions, meals.
    5. Medical and Dental
    6. Farming and ranching
    7. Education and childcare.
    Some may wear multiple hats but I don’t believe security and LE should overlap. That seems too much power if those groups are combined. I believe in an open forum discussion but a true democratic society where majority rules I think would be counterproductive in a survival situation.

    • Jersey Drifter says:

      Tactical G-Ma
      I think that concept / structure would work just fine. As long as everyone is willing to pull their own weight and work towards a common goal, the security and survival of the group.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Jersey Drifter
        Once the needs of survival are met, I think the dynamics of the Society changes. As it evolves so must the structure. You know the saying that idle hands is the devil’s workshop? When people have an opportunity to begin establishing a new normal, a hierarchy must immerge. On down the thread, Midnight 1st says the leaders will rise to the occasion. I agree. I also believe that there is no utopia and for every goodguy that surfaces, a badguy does too.

    • T-Gma, I had to laugh out loud – the thought of writing bylaws instantly turned to: I’d rather muck out the barn! Anybody’s barn! Yes, maintaining a balance of perceived power can be difficult. The common goals, JD talked about are vital.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        They don’t have to be anything convoluted. Just stuff like the seat must always be left in the down position. No cleaning fish indoors. And women control all the money, PMs, and assets! 😉

    • Redfeather says:

      There has to be someone in charge in case of a tactical situation arising. Preferably someone with Tac training.

      • midnight1st says:

        To get anything done and to prevent discussions and life after shft from descending into chaos, there must be a leader. That leader really does not need to be from any group. He/she should be a person with great organizational skills, people skills, and possess a level fair-minded head. A person with just tactical skills who is all about guns and gear might tend to neglect things like sanitation and cooking. The leader should be able to pick out leaders of each separate group who would have the skills to handle any problems concerning each particular area and should be confident enough in the group leaders to trust them to lead when there is a problem in their own areas. The main leader is there to maintain a balance and to make decisions about where effort and resources would be best used at particular times.

  2. Donna in MN says:

    I would think the group would have common interests to help others in emergencies. A group made up of firefighters, rescue and ems, even x military at the legion could bring people together and coordinate meetings, topics of importance, plans of survival because they have experience in similar organizations.

    A group can organize under Civil Defense, practice drills, educate the public on emergency preparedness and offer workshops for survival tactics at meetings. Library resources can be obtained for films, demonstrations, and you group could offer guest speakers. To support your group expenses you can offer fund raisers that bring people together in the community.

    Dealing with weak links? You mean those with no skills, small children or disabled people? A good organized group will make the very least feel important by giving them a task they can handle or be taught to do. What most think as meanial jobs can be the most important if you make them feel important.

    • Donna, by weak links, I mean those who end up proving themselves to be undermotivated…not willing to carry their fair share of responsibility.

      • Donna in MN says:

        A survival group when established, has to put down by-laws or rules before letting members in and that will determine who stays and who goes. Without rules and without who makes decisions, a group will attract slackers and wannabes.

  3. Tomthetinker says:

    HiPlains: I’m not clear on weather you have a ‘group’ now or would like to do the start up to form one.

    I am in my second attempt at simply finding those that even consider meeting. Should I succeed, I do not plan to do any organization.. auditions. I hope to just let those that show up simply sit and take the measure of the others. To discuss the topics that crop up. To break the ice around the prepper culture and decide how or what they / we / I may want to follow up on. With who we may decide to continue contact with. No lists or phone trees, just let those that care to.. to engage as they see fit.

    As for myself, I have been making a short list of leading questions in hope of gently leading a conversation toward strengths and weaknesses. Politics and faith. Bias, opinion vs. bigotries. I expect those that attend to have the same goals. I would want to know what possible conflicts there may be. I would want to let everyone know how ‘I’ may fit in with their.. plans. I am getting redundant so….

    Meet up on the Maumee River
    July 12th. (Sat) breakfast > …..?
    Farnsworth Metro Park at Roush DeBoeu.
    On the Anthony Wayne Trail just South of the town of Waterville, Ohio. See
    Grills, hike & bike, dogs and bunnage and bean pot. BYO chair.
    Leave your Iron in the car… NO.. Camo.
    RSVP: [email protected]

    • TTT, Sorry, I didn’t express very well. I am talking about starting a new group. Some people already know each other, some do not.

  4. Petticoat Prepper says:

    My guess is that most of us are independent folks but acknowledge that a group working together could be of benefit. I suppose ‘rules’ would depend on how long a time frame we’re looking at.

    In a short term SHTF of a few months one person leading by mutual consent could work for me. However, in a long term maybe not so much. No matter how you come at it the ‘leader’ would be found either by strength/force or by majority vote (again strength/force). Even if there were a ‘counsel of elders’ or some such, it would still be by the majority and if you’re the one outside the majority it could prove very difficult.

    My vision of the ‘weak link’ isn’t those who are young or disabled. Small children can pull weeds and those unable to physically do labor can watch said small children and in a long term situation could learn helpful skills. My ‘weak link’ would be those not willing to work to the good of the group (lazy) or perhaps the one that always challenges the leader. Do you give them rations and tell them to head out?

    Given the vastness of this country, the diversity of this group and the many locations each of us are in, it would be nice if we had some ‘hobo mark’ should a migratory need arise. Of course, this would then destroy OPSEC and big brother would finds us.

    Thanks HiPlains, interesting question and good food for thought.

    • Thanks Petticoat. You hit the nail on the head with your question: Do you give them rations and tell them to head out? Very tough choices. I guess the bottom line is how much should one be willing to risk for those that refuse to give up 100% of the sheeple mentality?

      • Redfeather says:

        The decision as to giving them rations and letting them go depends on the overall situation in the US. They may be a greater threat away from you IE (they know your preps and storage facilities and could tell those interested in taking them).

        • Petticoat Prepper says:

          Yes, Redfeather; I was going to address that too but didn’t. They could come back with ‘friends’. Issues from ‘Walking Dead’ come to mind. 😉

          It would be extremely difficult in a true time of SHTF.

    • Petticoat, I agree that everyone has to help w/ the work, & realize that’s important to minimize or eliminate those who just feed off the group’s resources.

      In 1 of the “299 Days” series, Grant’s father-in-law, who is in his late 70s, or about age 80, gives $200 (I think) to each of 5-6 individuals who go in a couple groups to buy much-needed supplies. Grant’s elderly fr-in-law maintains a list of the people in the small survival community, who gives what resources to the community, who rec’s resources, etc. BUT he cannot do anything physical, & although he as a pistol, can’t shoot much. Would this elderly man be a “weak link” in ur opinion?

      Also, in another fictional prepper book, there was a man in his late 50s, w/ chronic spinal & back pain, sleep apnea, & diabetes. He can’t do much physically to help, b/c it hurts his back everytime he bends over. He’s able to help in the kitchen & w/ the planning, & occasionally shares a few of his silver dollars w/ individuals.. Some think he’s lazy b/c it takes him an extra hr or 2 to get going in the morning b/c of his pain, & he tires easily. Would such a person be a “weak link.”

      • Petticoat Prepper says:


        Funny you should ask…I was thinking this evening about a dear friend of mine and the weak link question. He’s 86, has heart problems, diabetes and while we target practice he’s not on the line long. However, he would not be a weak link in my opinion. The man served as a Marine in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and knows more than I ever will about weapons and tactics. Plus, in a push to shove defense would stand the line. At his age he might not hold the line for long but hold it he would. His knowledge would be a great asset and he’d be sure to pass it to the younger ones.

        Even at his age and with his health problems, he’d be a better addition than a young adult who is used to sitting and waiting on a hand-out. For me it’s not always what you can do but what you know how to do.

        Muscles come with youth, wisdom comes with age; I’d want both in my group.

  5. I like the idea of a group of people with common self interests.

    I would start with Training and Group Buys.

    But rules are going to be important in some areas, but the goal would be to find LMI’s with common interests, have someone “specialize” in an area, then teach others.

    I would start with the training (based upon OPSEC) then more on to group buys, them maybe group shared purchases, where a group goes together to purchase an item that is unaffordable/unnecessary at the individual level (understanding that you need to “buy-in” to use it).

    • My typing is great this morning…

      “move on” not “more on”.

      then maybe vs. “them maybe”

      • JP, Ok, so begin with some training events (if they are really not in, they will quit showing up) BUT the part about being based in OPSEC is what troubles me. Thanks for helping me see just how reluctant I am to trust others. My issue to think about.

  6. Let me talk a bit about the group I am In. We don’t have a common bug out location . Most of us will bugin rather than bug out . We come together as JP stated to train and do bulk buys. We have no real leader though 3 or 4 of use get together to set meeting dates and agendas . This year we have already had classes on grain storage ,wild food foraging ,candle making, Aquaponics . Still to come is classes on orienteering ,cheese making ,herbal medicines just to name a few. Bulk buys have included grains ,coconut oil, grain rollers , DE, salt, kelp, epson salt, canning jars( last fall), barrels and different fruits and veggies .
    Our meeting keep getting larger . At any meeting depending on the topic and what’s else is going on there can be 30 to 80 people in attendance . Most of us are in one of to counties but some come from as far away as an 1 1/2 away saying they learn something every time they come down. Basically you may have to start it then step back if you don’t want a leadership roll . The interest is out there and if you build it they will come. Just make sure that you start with good info and help build skills. This is my experience here in southern middle Tn.

    • Fixit, how long has your group been functioning? I’m guessing it has been a good while?

      • At this level about 2 years another 3 years when it was just 3 families with mutual concerns. Personally I’ve been prepping since the 80’s . It just wasn’t called that back then.

  7. The problem with groups like this is that there will be wildly varying levels of commitment. Probably at least half will be real concerned, but not concerned enough to do much more than attend meetings and buy some stuff.

    The one group I have seen that lasted was an informational group. Training and discussions are conducted on various topics, but the preparations were left up to the individuals to address. You may want to create such a group, then cherry pick the individuals that actually demonstrate commitment for your group, as well as sharing similar values.

  8. My question is how do you find the others to start your group?

    • Drop a comment in a crowd about food prices or lack of something during the last winter or local storm or about how the power was out for 3 hours or days and how that made you think about getting a generator and keeping some gas on hand . Then stop an hear the replies . Watch their faces also . Sooner or later someone will drop a comment that will let you know that you have a prospect that you need to talk to more.

    • Who just said ” if you build it, they will come”? it has been amazing to me how people have come into my awareness (they have no idea i prep) just in the course of life. Fixit has it – don’t talk much, but listen a whole lot.

    • Mary in GA says:

      I think by joining groups or attending classes that would most likely include like minded people. A few that come to my mind would be the volunteer fire department, a range shooting club, attending extension agency classes on canning or gardening. That sort of thing. Here in my area there is a Hobby Farmers Group with members from all over GA, SC and some of NC. I have been thinking about attending some of their meetings/classes/socials, but we all worry about OPSEC. I think you just get involved initially as is it is a hobby and slowly get to know the other members. At some point I think you will start getting vibes if they are preppers and can take it from there, slowly.

      • I’m in that general area of NC, SC, GA,,, do you have anymore info on the hobby farn group? I’ve never heard of them and we get an Ag paper called Market Bulliten and I haven’t seen it advertised there either.

        • Mary in GA says:

          R-Me it’s called Hobby Farmers of the CSRA. They used to have a regular website but closed it and use their Facebook page now. I don’t know if you do FB or not, I do. It is a closed group that you’re supposed to be invited to, I would gladly invite you but we don’t know each other’s names 🙂 I would still recommend that you look at the page because it may have a way that you can request to join. I subscribe to the Market Bulletin online, that’s where I’ve bought and sold livestock, but they don’t advertise in it. Also you may be interested in this group, I’m not a member but some of these people are in Hobby Farmers of the CSRA too.

  9. I have had many jobs over the years and least desirable would be a property manager for condos. Articles of confederation, bylaws, rules and regulations, 25+ years and they still haunt me!
    I would say that a good thing might be a CO OP, like a buying group, it could be set up as a LLC, the immediate benefits would be buying power, being able to purchase at discounts and quantity that you may not be able to do alone. Down the road the co op could share responsibilities, such as security, fuel/power distribution, etc. other benefits could be later on after TEOTWAWKI, as barter and trade group, you raise chickens, I raise rabbits, “Joe” has a great garden, etc., we then can work as a CO OP to trade with others for parts, meds, etc.
    Any way that’s my 2 cents…..

  10. Survivor says:

    I started with family. Then invited their friends to join. I watched them for months before saying anything. I looked for people who were disgruntled with the government, liked guns, hunting and fishing, and could keep their trap shut. That was a short list!!
    First off, there has to be a leader. One who directs every day efforts. That person can be male or female and elected to the post, maybe on an annual basis. The group efforts are not so much of what the leader wants to do that day. Rather, it would be such things dominated by weather and conditions..when to plant, when to hunt, when to fish…You would basically have an annual checklist. The leader implements that checklist.
    Secondly, you already have ten little rules. Start with those and work your way up…
    Lastly, every person in the group would be the rule enforcers. You’re already like minded. Breaking the rules affects everyone in the group so it behooves them to check bad takes a village to raise a child. It would be better to concentrate on what punishments you would hand down. Too draconian and you build resentment. Too liberal and you build disrespect, so everyone in the group would have to agree on the punishments to fit the crime and follow through. People have to know you mean business.

    If you are going to organize this group they will initially believe you’re the leader. So I would say the first thing is to elect a leader. Then, let the leader take over at the next meeting. Use the information on this vast blog of MD’s to the groups’ advantage and let the leader set the agenda from that point on and cover the bullets you already made..LE, judicial…all that stuff would be unique to your group.

    If you punish someone by banishment your OPSEC is gonna be shot, so I think it’s best to choose wisely and then deal with the problems that bubble up. Pushing them off to someone else is very counter productive.

    My two cents and worth every penny!!

    • Don’t remember what site, but one person shared how she & DH had shared a list of their preps w/ a neighbor couple who also were preppers & friends, w/ other couple agreeing to also share a list of their preps. After a # of mths of delays & excuses & not rec’ing the others’ list, they suspected that they’d never get a list, & w/ their opsec being shot, they decided to move most of their preps to a storage unit nearby.

      The pt is to be VERY CAREFUL who/how much u share about ur preps. But if a mistake is made, it may be possible to move most of them to a new secret location. But of course, u don’t know if such a person or couple will/have told others that u have preps & how much.

      • Yes RedC that is a big nono. I don’t want or need to know what others have or are getting. If they tell me then that is their decision and it goes no farther than that. There are 2 families that I personally know where their cachets are placed (probably not all of them) so that if something happened to them I could see that the stuff didn’t go to waste. I didn’t ask I was told . That in itself is a responsibility not to be taken on easily.

    • S – I’ll give you a nickle!

    • Backwoods Prepper says:

      Survivor you sound like you going in the right direction but one thing I have to call BS on. It’s my child I raise it a village don’t. That called a commune. # 2 everyone needs a leader. But anything other than day to day activities needs to be voted on until an event happens and decisions needs to be made quickly. I would think a council would be more important than a leader starting out. Lord knows I believe in those 10 commandments. So I know you are headed in the right direction.

  11. I work partly w/ volunteers & have started a # of non-prepper groups of volunteers & trained a few individuals to lead or co-lead small groups.
    1st, Critieria for who to invite to such a mtg: I’d only invite people who have been prepping for at least 2 yrs, to weed out those who’ve heard about prepping but weren’t motivated interested enough to actually start prepping. If someone is not motivated enough to prep for themselves & loved ones, would they have much to offer in skills or experiences? I might make a couple exceptions to this after the group starts, if the person has needed skill(s) that are hard to find. Another criteria is: Does s/he show discretion in what they say to other people (this is a test to see who’s going to keep OPSEC.) I don’t want to invite someone who can’t keep confidences. Also, is the person generally honest & ethical?

  12. I’d start w/ very small # of people, maybe 3-4. A group of volunteers doesn’t need designated officers or a leader until it gets to 5 or more people. As for the initial agenda:
    a. Each person shares why they’re interested in prepping (economic collapse, natural disaster, etc.). This gives u an idea of their motivation for prepping, which will affect what kind of group they want.
    b. Each person shares what skills &/or experiences they have, that would contribute to such a group. If needed, ask how s/he used their skills, what projects, when, w/ who, etc. It may be helpful to have a list of survivalist skills, to trigger people’s minds, as far as what u’re looking for. As each person shares, have someone make a list of who has what skills & experiences; this list will help u analyze what ur small group has in skills & experiences.
    c. Each person shares what s/he wants in a group. Maybe they want to learn new skills. Maybe they want guidance on how to handle/plan their own prepping. Persons may be interested in learning more about gardening, cooking w/ alternative fuels, setting up rain-barrel system, get home bag, bug out or 72-hr bag, etc. Again, have someone write these down, & who wants what.
    When more than one wants the same/similar things, those would seem like natural topics to start on.
    Depending on how many things u get on this list, u may want prioritize &/or start making plans based on what y’all want.

    d. Divide up responsibilities based on who offers to do what, & everyone needs to do or bring or help somehow. If someone doesn’t offer, tell him/her u expect everyone to help somehow. Then decide on how often u want to meet & ur next meeting date & place.

  13. OPSEC expectations: At this stage, go around the circle, & everyone must verbally agree to opsec & not tell anyone about what the group is doing or that u’re forming a group. But if u’re going to share resources & buy or building things as a group, with the idea of maybe bugging out together, or building a retreat together, then strict opsec is needed & should be required. In such a case, I’d say, everyone needs to get group permission to tell another person about ur group to invite her/him.

    However, If ur group is going to be for teaching & info only, then it’d seem OK to me to tell others in a limited way.

  14. As to how to find people:
    If u know someone or a couple/family who are already prepping, ask if they’d be interested in being part of a sm prepping group.

    Ways to tell if someone is interested in prepping: Have u observed any steps toward becoming self-sufficient?
    Ask if they’ve ever thot about the consequences of such high US nat’l debt level? Then, if our nation continues to spend more than the govt rec’s, what will eventually happen? If not, what happens when a company or family keeps overspending?
    If there’s been a recent natural disaster such a hurricane, tornado, or flood, ask if they’ve thot about how they’d handle a similar natural disaster if it hit their home?

    When ur neighbors are outside, go over & spend time getting to know them & their families if they live w/ the neighbor. Not on the 1st (& maybe not even 2nd or 3rd) conversation, but ask them 1-2 of the above questions/topics. If they ask what u think about it, tell them, but don’t mention any of ur preps or that u’re a prepper or survivalist.

    • Survivor says:

      The problem is not that the government spends more than it receives. The problem is that the government has has built this huge house of cards.

      The US dollar is the reserve currency of the world. Every country uses the dollar to buy stuff, especially oil. You see what happened to saddamn hussien when he decided to start taking euros instead of dollars for his oil. In 2010, China and Russia decided to take each others currency. The obamanation did nothing.

      Russia and China are working together to devalue the dollar and the more the west pushes them the quicker it’s gonna happen. For the latest round of sanctions 58 countries abstained and 11 voted against. Still a minority but that’s sixty nine countries that might support taking a different currency than our dollar out of 169 countries, give or take. If they all shifted our house of cards would collapse.
      The big problem right now is there isn’t another currency as stable as ours. The euro is a mess, China keeps their currency value strictly controlled and the ruble has lost almost 20% of it’s value since last December.
      When two of the big three gang up, the third should expect some fairly rough treatment, especially when that one has not played nice.

  15. HiPlains,
    From the way you phrased the question, saying you want to “get us together”, I’m interpreting it to mean you are thinking of some way to get all of us participating on this site organized. If that is correct, I think that would be difficult to do logistically because we’re all scattered.

    I would love to meet others of our group to socialize over beer & brats (and bacon for BC ;-). I could be wrong but I think it would take some considerable work on someone’s part to organize bulk buying, training weekends on things related to what we’re doing for this entire group.

    If you meant you wanted to start a group in your area, Fixit had some great ideas. I am working on a plan myself to try to get some of my family involved and thought he had some great suggestions.

    To me, it seems that MD has already brought this group together with his website. There are a ton of informative articles, and I not only find a lot of my newbie questions answered here, I get a view into what others across the country, and the ocean (Penrod) are doing to prepare, hear a little about what is going on in their lives, and get the benefit of their own experience at this from the region of the country where they live.

    My concern has been after SHTF, will I lose access and communication with this site/group? It would mean a lot to me after SHTF to hear what the situation is in different parts of the country from members of the Pack.

    I have read several times that after SHTF, those that survive will need to be part of a community, so I think you’ve asked a great question. I just think it would not be practical if you’re talking about the entire Pack. I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on it though and hear how it could be done if that is what you intended. 🙂

    • Textgal
      It is a lot of work to setup meetings and bulk buys on a local level . So yes doing so on a national ,regional or even state wide could almost turn into a part time job.

    • Texgal, I didn’t mean the Pack, just my locality. Although, I have a hunch that casual comments made in conversation (after shtf) could be recognizable to other Pack members. Call me crazy. I would sure like to think that if there was a Pack member seeking refuge near me, I could be sharp enough to hear their words and “get it”. There are things that happen here that are naturally exclusive to the Pack. Besides, I believe in Divine appointments – not coincidence.
      You are right – would be just so cool to do a meetup!

  16. HiPlains,
    At the beginning of this thread, u used the term shtf WORK group. By using the word “WORK’, what did u have in mind? a group that works on projects together? a group that works to plan a retreat or bug out strategy?

    • HiPlains says:

      RedC – first of all, thank you for all of your great information posted!!
      I call it a work group because although there is a certain amount of personal pleasure in prepping, it really is work and when it hits the fan, the group is a way to process what will be an increase in work (making the most of human and physical resources). So yes on projects & probably share resources; none of these people have the where-with-all to obtain a bug out location now so most likely bugin in but all are in the same town -so a functional plan to “work together” when shtf.
      I really like your ideas on OPSEC maintenance – helps a lot.

  17. George in Minnesota says:

    I’ve noticed that there always seem to be those that frequent places like this blog who have a high need for association seeming to want and need an organized group with some kind of structure to join. I don’t object to that in the slightest though my need for association is rather low I admit to enjoy posting and the give and take that accompanies it.
    The groups that I have seen attempt to form have all fizzled out shortly after the first couple of meetings if meetings occur at all. I think (beware as this is an opinion) that there are several factors that contribute to this phenomenon.

    First I have observed that those of us inclined to Prepping are rather ornery and independent folks and hard to get into looking out towards a group other than Kin or close long term friends.

    Second most all of the groups I seen have had a very poorly designed and stated mission. They tend to be either vague and confused or overly organized by what seems sometimes as an obsessive compulsive. People tend to bail on both of these.

    Third as has been noted there are the problems of geography and OPSEC. We tend to be a slightly paranoid lot and to be scattered all over the place making it difficult to get together on both counts.

    Fourth I believe that the original post was talking about something less than a MAG and something more than a social group. This seems to be something kind of suspended in the mid-air and dangling in the wind which is at best a pleasant social indulgence and at worst a forum for disturbed personalities to form a cult. (Not that the original poster is of this ilk and I suspect the furthest thing from their thoughts)

    Thus when I see posts like this I tend to be a bit “standoffish” Though I will say that from what I’ve seen posted here I’d be more inclined than usual to associate with you folks (all in general) even the occasional troll we see could be interesting and the source of a couple of chucles.

    • George, personally, I too am satisfied doing things independantly however: i do realize that when it does happen, being part of a group of solid people will be of mutual benefit. I agree that to function, there must be realism and organization – definately not a cult nor a social indulgence. I want to partner with folks who know their capabilities AND their limits and, to use an old west axiom- got some sand.
      Besides, I’m only onrey on Wednesdays! 😉

      • George in Minnesota says:

        Snap judgment
        Yep I believe we could and would help each other out HiPlains. Point being that each relationship is determined by the personalities, the situation and the terrain.
        Example would be a group making serious rules about orneriness and condemning us to a flogging on Wednesdays. I’d have yer back eh HiPlains and come to your rescue when needed. The DOOM (Defence of Orneriness Militia) would be activated but no durn hugs or nothing.

        I tend to distrust the organizers who make the lists of human and material resources well intentioned as they may be I cringe. My opinion is that relationships among people should grow like a garden instead of being constructed like a factory. In a grid down or even just an ordinary tough situation you don’t have to like your neighbors but you darn well better step up to the plate and help out. You might be next. Enlightened self interest is not hypocritical just practical. Rule: (Per SM Sterling) “Never turn your back on a neighbor’s need or back down from a bully”

  18. Like a lot of folks here, I’m an isolationist. DH and I live in the country with no close neighbors. There are times I’d like to get a group together,,, safety in numbers and all that,, but then OPSEC pops into my head and I clam up.
    I’d like to get together with LMI from this site, but even the BBQ TTT is planning is 10 hours away. And even if I got there and met some great people the chances of them living anywhere near me is slim,, since I don’t plan to bug out there is no way we could ever become a community when SHTF.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      We are in the same boat.

    • Mary in GA says:

      R-Me I remember way back some of us on here opened up a little to the fact that we’re were close to each other (probably 30 minutes or so?) and discussed meeting at Shealy’s. It never was discussed further, so I pretty much assumed it was an OPSEC concern for everyone. I met a fellow prepper from a local site, not a prepper site, but a local news forum. We realized from each other’s comments regarding politics, country’s financial mess, etc. that we were like minded. We exchanged email addresses and emailed for a good long while, not using our names at first, then progressed to first names only before finally meeting for lunch. She is now one of my closest friends, but we took awhile of just emailing before meeting.

  19. I recently read articles on The Farm, a 1971 created group of people living on 4000 acres in rural Southern Middle Tenn.

    Reviewing the website, offers answer to many of the questions we have concerning organizing a group. Considering the farm is over 40 years old, self sufficient, started with no govt funds, growing, may offer readers ideas.

    Note the qualifications for membership or residence on the farm.

  20. Chuck Findlay says:

    I do not desire to be the leader – that is not my strength (shouldn’t that person be chosen by group consensus?)

    Without question the answer is NO. I was a member of a hobby group and we voted leaders on a group consensus vote. In every case it was a disaster to the group.I finally left it behind, this was not an easy choice as many friends were there. But majority rule is very bad. I’m not sure what the answer is to finding the right person is. I just know group consensus is not how to do it.


    • midnight1st says:

      I think that getting together and voting is the wrong thing to do at the outset. In most groups that I have ever belonged to the leaders rise to the top after awhile. Immediate voting tends to go to those people who are the loudest or the funniest, and those people are not necessarily the best leaders – they are just the most “popular” at the moment. The best leaders are often those who sit back and think for awhile. They rise when there is a problem, and they are the ones who just jump into solving that problem. People just naturally follow a real leader. A period of time must pass with people working together before that becomes obvious. Many real leaders are those who do not seek it, but their talents are not ones that they can hide long.

      • Mary in GA says:

        midnight1st, I agree with you and was even thinking about MD saying he doesn’t want to be the leader. In 3 different novels that most on here are familiar with, the eventual leader did not want to be. The retired Colonel in One Second After, the guy in Lights Out (Karate Man, as the old marine called him) and Grant in the 299 Days series. They became the leader because the group they were in recognized that they were a leader and had respect for them. They were actually told that the fact that they didn’t want to be the leader was a plus as it indicated good character. I think MD would find himself being the leader and would be a good one, especially since he wouldn’t be seeking the position.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Mary in GA
          I worry about people going crazy under stress or without their meds. So, who I trust now may change. Just about everyone I thought would never do something, did do it.
          So not only may leaders need to demoted, some may need to be removed permanently.
          The group I’m in now is more of a network. No more than 3 or 4 families are in the same county but dispersed throughout the state. We have a more intimate neighborhood group but only a few of us have shared many details. But certain things are obvious like who has live stock, who gardens, who hunts, who has what kind of heavy equipment, etc. We all can and buy food in bulk. We all do traditional country hobbies like, mechanics, woodwork, quilting, sewing, needle work,etc., etc. We share, respectfully, now…pretty much quid pro quo. Keeps neighbors, good neighbors. Again, there are those who may crack-up when the SHTF!

          • Mary in GA says:

            Tactical G-Ma, I agree, I have known people that I held in high regard do things that I would never have thought. You are right about someone who may be stable now folding under stress or without meds. I know a fair amount of preppers and they are some of the best folks I’ve ever met. I think prepping is something that (for the most part) is practiced by smart, sensible and realistic people. I am mindful of OPSEC certainly, but again, of the preppers I know I would trust them and their integrity more than most of the other people I meet! We live in a subdivision with our rural farm about 45 minutes away, I have met as many people in the rural area as I can, never discussed prepping with any of them, just getting to know them and trying to be a good part of the community. We have had the place for several years, we attend and donate to the Volunteer Fire Dept. auction and make sure we frequent the restaurants, shops and feed and seed. I’m just wanting to have good relations with the people around me.

  21. Assuming you already have some people in mind who are interested, how about:
    1. Resumes from each listing skills and perhaps a general list of materials available.
    2. Some work in the field weekends to actually practice and teach skills to make sure folks are the real deal.
    3. An open discussion with the adults about who would like what role, and why.

  22. OhioP, I agree w/ & think ur # 2 and 3 would be very good for a new or relatively new group. But ur #1 seems a bit vague.
    “1. Resumes from each listing skills and perhaps a general list of materials available.”
    Can u think of somethings that would be put on such a resume?
    & can u give an ex of “a general list of materials available?”

    • RedC,
      As an example I’ll give s short list of my “qualifications”.

      • EE Degree
      • Extra Class Amateur radio license
      • NRA Certified firearms instructor (all disciplines)
      • Hunter Education instructor (Ohio)
      • Gardener (more than 30 years)
      • Beekeeper (5 years)
      • Chicken rancher (newbie)
      • Have been involved in wilderness survival skills for more than 30 years, and have been prepping in general for about 40 years.
      • More to follow in a one on one discussion.

      General list of materials:
      • Currently live in a rural setting on 8 acres with plentiful water resources available.
      • Numerous firearms including reloading capability
      • Preservation equipment (and skills) for both hot water and pressure canning and dehydrating.
      • Numerous additional pieces of equipment for maintaining a homestead, along with skill to use the equipment.

      This is no doubt an incomplete and perhaps poorly worded list; but, should give a flavor for what I was talking about, and more importantly, give the potential group a starting point for further discussion.

  23. Chuck Findlay says:

    Write up a list of all my prepper skills, tools, supplies, guns? and other things and then give it (a hard copy) to others to study, keep, and maybe share with others I may or more likely, may not want to have information about me. Being a new group it’s likely I would not really know these people too well.

    Sounds like a really bad idea…

  24. Northernwolf says:

    On this topic I had also thought of starting a meet up group in my area,I listen to pod casts of USA prepares and the host Vince has a meet every Monday,so I tried to find an email contact but he only has Facebook and Twitter which I don’t have but I plan to try and call to find out how he got started.
    Anyways to just have those of like minds in your area if you can find people in your area meet to just start the conversation would be a start to planning.just want to try at least.

    • Survivor says:

      Well, how about this…I live in NW Arkansas. Anyone within two or three hours away is welcome to my email address and we can maybe set up a meet and greet…. Camping is great here in the fall!

  25. well folks not sure if this is going to mean anything but here goes .
    my wife and I use to belong to a group on the west coast ,it didn’t exactly work ,with out getting into to much detail .it all seemed above board then it took a bad turn I was in the top five ppl in the group then the head leader decided to make it a dictator ship ,( now first of all im not a trusting person since( viet-nam ) but my wife says u have to trust ppl some times . well he ended up with a bunch of supplies that wasn’t his some of what he acquired was some of mine . even after that I still think a group is better than the lone wolf thing since then ive found a small group of lmi all though we are nam vets and marines we have certain skill sets but the best is trust and opsec but in order for me and mine to find that we had to move have way across this nation . I GUESS WHAT IM SAYING IS U NEED TO SURE WHO U GET WITH . for what its worth . the reason I don’t mention names and exact location is because of opsec.

  26. HiPlains says:

    Thanks everyone! Sorry so slow getting back….internet problem. I am a lot farther along with your thoughtful insight & suggestions.

  27. hawkeyes says:

    Bob, I understand where you’re coming from, and have been. I remember Tet ’68 like it was yesterday. Violating OPSEC and COMSEC is beyond a no-no. It is not acceptable. That is why I stay away from most ‘organized’ groups. The average ‘civilian’ today has no concept of security. Most think it’s a waste of time and effort. If I don’t know everyone in a group, you can get your Crayolas out and color me gone.

    But, how does one know the intentions of others? Are they serious about building a group to make it through a collapse of society? Or are they shopping around to find out who has the stuff they’ll need for them to make to tomorrow? Difficult at best.

    Somewhere I read an article where the person was suggesting that those that are prepared have a sticker on them and their vehicle that has a “P” one it. Personally…..I think not. It won’t take long for the ‘not prepared’ to figure that out and start looking for those stickers. So, I have an alternative. Am using it today. On my packs there is a Morse Code ‘P’ sewn on the left strap. i.e., “. – – .” . Very unobtrusive. Doesn’t jump out and say “I got my act together”, or I have food, or I have supplies. A Braille “P” could work also. Go to to see an example of both.

    Not that this would solve the problem of defining another persons intentions, it would help in discriminating between some of those that are looking for a free meal and those that one would probably prefer staying away from.

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