The Rebuilding Survivors

The rebuilding of society after a catastrophic event is something that we have not explored @ SurvivalCache until now.  Regulator5 takes a hard look at the worst case scenario and what it will take to rebuild for the future.  Please join in on the discussion. 

We have all discussed the need to establish stockpiles of food, water, fuel, ammunition, along with Survival Ammoother items and equipment to ensure our personal (and family) survival in the event of a natural disaster, or worse, a TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) event.  I have even written a few articles to bring some of my thoughts and ideas to the table for discussion and hopefully, even some learning.  I am going to direct this article as more of an editorial and opinion to bring to light some thoughts I see “under discussed” by most of the preppers I have spoken to.

While preparing your stockpiles and learning the skills needed to survive a long term event, plan for the reestablishment of society.  I may use terms that some will find confusing or even rail against due to their personal beliefs; I only ask you think about the idea and look past my personal vocabulary.

Our personal survival is only the immediate reaction to the event at hand.  During a regional or local disaster, like a tornado, flash flood, hurricane, earthquake, or even a small scale terrorist attack; these are the skill sets and items needed to survive.  In the rare case of an actual TEOTWAWKI, our preparations must be much more in depth and far reaching.  I had touched on this briefly in a previous article but wanted to expand on this to generate more comments and ideas based on this subject.

While serving in the military, I knew the chances were at least even that I could be killed.  I was not alone in this knowledge; most who serve do so with a greater purpose than themselves in mind.  We know that survival is more than just “coming home”.  Most volunteer for the survival of their families, neighbors, communities, nation and civility; this last part may seem odd with the violence of war, but when the fighting ends, we hope to return to our normal life.  In recent times, the threat of war has not deterred people and nations from becoming or acting uncivilized to their fellow man. Soldiers “know” that even if they “fall”, their nation will survive; which is what makes it possible to do the things they do.  None want to feel their death will be in vain by knowing their sacrifice went unrewarded by the “death” of their nation.  I feel this is the root of the bond that forms among the members of military units, some more than others.

The Reestablishment of Society

I suspect that after such a catastrophic event and societal collapse; there will be 6 months to a year before we can rebuild.  I base this on a few theories and ideas:

1) We should be able to maintain some semblance of order, even if only on a local scale.
2) Our infrastructure should remain relatively intact, barring an outright military invasion/war
3) The gangs and “warlords” should be routed and only the people wanting to bring society back will be left (my hopes).

We will still have renegades and outlaws, as we do now, but I have faith in the people to withstand MZB'sthe onslaught of the cowards in gangs and the bullies who plan on preying upon the others because they lacked the foresight, courage and competence to prepare themselves.  Many small towns and communities may be unaffected by the event, other than losing power due to national power grid failure.  They will also be spared the burden of most of the gangs initially but only in the beginning, as the unprepared have to move on to find an area they have not already plundered.  The time free of this cancer on society will allow for the implementation of defenses and maintaining some semblance of civilized society.  The People must use these “safe zones” as the foundation blocks to rebuild the nation.

By utilizing our existing infrastructure, we will not have the 200 years of building a nation from the ground up.  We should be able to rebuild within a decade of the event.  I know the government has plans in place and supposedly the “experts” for rebuilding, but we all remember the fiasco of even such a regional disaster as Hurricane Katrina.  We also have history from Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, and countless other examples from the past to demonstrate that the current power players are incapable at producing any positive results in rebuilding a society.

Something to think about would be having textbooks on hand for teaching our children after the event.  We only think the education system is broken, but at least they are able to teach most children the basics, such as the alphabet, basic math, and reading.  Some may be lucky enough to have textbooks on hand from their children if the event occurs, but I like the older textbooks personally.  They are more complete, more honest (in my opinion), and seem to use a simpler approach to educating.

Libraries will be another asset that will be looted and their books burnt by ill prepared people TEOTWAWKI SHTFlooking for heat and cooking fuel.  Depending on the event, we must preserve our literature for future generations, as these will contain the knowledge and experiences of our Founding Fathers and those that built the nation with their hard work and courage.

Council of Elders

I feel that the Elders of your group will bring a vast knowledge and experience base to the table. WeSurvivor Elder Meeting all have family or close friends that may or may not be able to perform full duties on the security team, but may offer other skills and experiences to the group.  My granddad passed away during my tour to Iraq in 2008, but he was a superb gardener even in his 80’s.  He was a combat vet from WW2 and even though physically would have been challenged to perform defensive combat duties, his experience could have been used for training for a TEOTWAWKI type event.  My other Granddad was a mechanic and passed along that skill to all of us who would listen.  These Elders also have such a vast well of knowledge about what has worked and has not worked in the past, whether by personal trial or the government exacting laws and regulations that were eventually dismissed or repealed. We must tap that knowledge when we reestablish our government and return to “normal life”. We should not repeat past mistakes and with several thousand years of “learning” by past societies; we should be able to rebuild into the “more perfect union” envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

Elders have been looked to since the beginning of time by villages and tribes to make decisions for the entire population or at least give their insight to the chief to aid in his making the decisions.  Our current government model follows this idea loosely; advisers are picked more on connections, favors or group affiliations instead of knowledge, ability and intelligence.

Elders are not necessarily the oldest person, but anyone who can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table and the ability to share this with the group.  Remember, after the event is over and mankind can rebuild, these will be our individual representatives to the “Constitutional Convention”.  We will need thinkers and doers and people not easily pushed aside to stop our ideas from being heard.   They will need to be diplomats and “parents” (being firm but fair and capable of educating others).

Community Emergency Response Teams

These teams are already established in some cities and/or counties.  The CERT program offers Community Emergency Response Teamstraining, usually for free, and helps people prepare for disasters and be prepared to help their families, friends and neighbors if such an event happens.  If you do not live in a locale that has an established team, check with your state’s Emergency Planning department to help set one up for your small town.  The teams can be organized through your town, neighborhood, church, etc.  This will help create a foundation for people to link together for the common good and common defense if a TEOTWAWKI event takes place or a major SHTF event at a local or regional level.

These teams can be very loosely organized or very organized (preferred).  Everyone in the teams would bring valuable skills, knowledge, and ideas to the group, as well as adding to the Search and Rescue ability of the community.  If no major disaster strikes and the worst scenario the team is used for is locating a lost hiker; we as a society are still better off.

If everyone on the teams feels the same about prepping, they will offer a stronger and well rounded group for a major calamity. If not everyone feels like prepping, some probably will and this will give you contacts that may have been missed if not given this avenue of discussion and acquaintance.

This is by no means an exact theory, just my opinion.  I hope to open the dialogue and hear what others add to this discussion. We are currently working on starting a CERT team via our Church.  I know some preppers avoid religion and I will not push my beliefs.  The bible says to do charitable works and I see this as being able to accomplish this item and get others involved in prepping.  As for being prepared for defense at the same time, “They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon” Nehemiah 4:17 KJV.

Please share your ideas on rebuilding society below.

Stay Alert, Stay Alive


Joel Jefferson
Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here. Read more of Joel's articles.

114 thoughts on “The Rebuilding Survivors”

  1. I agree that it is important to have textbooks or informational books of whatever you can put your hands on.You never know what might occur that you may need to know.Also, though I may be prepared, what if I'm the first one dead and all my knowledge is gone with me? One of those books may save my husband and kids, of even a future looter may get use of them if we are gone. Nice to have all that on hand.

    • April, I agree. Have you read the Survival Binder article on Survival Cache? It is also a good resource of how to create your own "how-to" book.

  2. Very well thought out article Regulator! To expand on your education idea, a cadre of skilled trades people (electricians, plumbers, HVAC, Well drillers, mechanics, etc) will be critical for a post apocolypse recovery. These persons can train others how to do their jobs.

    • Dave, Hopefully we can bring about the apprenticeship style of training without it "devolving" into an indentured servitude after an event. I agree that tradespeople will be one of the greatest assets of any group/community. These people will be needed to get the infrastructure back up and running or it can be another 200 years of relearning crucial skills to bring us back to where an event took us from.
      This is why I promote getting local communities involved to act as foundation blocks for the rebuilding. When speaking to people I know, I use Colonial America as an example how small communities can build a nation. It is a negative side (sort of) but individual homesteads were lost but communities in the wilderness (Boonesborough) survived and allowed expansion to become what we know as the US today.

  3. I have an odd hobby, Im a medieval re creationist. In it we acquire an ecclectic assortment of skills from metalsmithing, tanning, weaving and felting, as well as learning to survive and cook in a non industrial society. Also the fun part, fighting in armor with archaic weapons. I can shoot a long bow as well as make one, and tan hides. its a fun hobby and a useful one.

    • I agree and have encouraged this hobby as well as buckskinning, (reliving Colonial America and Mountainmen). It's a great way to teach the kids skills that most in our modern society would question if not connected in a "historical" context, being the gray man. I am more familiar with this area than the medieval and what I referred to in the Looking to Our Past article(s).

      • Regulator,
        Since my concept of TEOTWAWKI leaves us back in the late 1800's , I think those Mountain man skills will serve us well. The trick is to look at what the mountain men actually did (mostly 'companies' of men working together to survive) not what the screen portrays (single person out on their own – those guys rarely survived even one trip). They may have trapped individually but they worked as a group on what they did to live. Check out their history on the internet.

        • Capt, I agree. I posted several links in the forum on the sites I visit frequently, under general Discussions, Living History. I am an avid "front stuffer" and I am one who won't even look at an inline for personal use. I've used my muzzleloader for squirrel and other small game, but do admit I prefer a 32 cal for this, but usually have my 45 cal for more uses and pistols in the same caliber.

          • guy at the range had a .32 that he was getting loading data for … that was a NICE little rifle. Out at 100 yards it seemed to do quite well. My BP stuff is all cartridge at the moment but I COULD be "convinced" – Do you use cap and ball or flint lock?

          • I'm using percussion caps, but am wanting another flinter. I think flint lock will be a more practical long term tool if an event happens. Plus they are lots of fun…lol.
            I tried posting my comment from the forum but it won't go. I listed several links for Buckskinning there.

          • Yes, sir. Well, at least the first 6. There is quite a few of them and I judged the first in the series to have most of what I was interested in learning. I could be wrong of course but time and finances dictated that I limit the number of the books.

  4. My biggest concern is when and if preppers would allow order to return….what if it is a big event that our existing system attempts to recover…"most" preppers I meet are anti-establishment and always talk of going rogue with all the prepper community as if others would not be fit to survive and re-organize. I sometimes worry that many of the preppers I have talked to would resist and then become the outlaw to the majority but would feel that they are the ones that deserve to be in power and control…as I have said before once power is achieved and power is survival in many instances these people would refuse to co-operate and re-build. Great article btw.

    I personally have researched most TEOTWAWKI scenerios that are not extinction events such as the earth exploding or sun going black hole that with current knowledge the furthest back we would realistically fall back to would be just about 1920-1950's but that would then catch back up quickly if our new leaders organize and form economic trades to help re-establish lines and communications. As well if the society works together we would have a huge resurgent in industrial and trade work.

    • Scott,
      I tend to think more along the lines of late 1800's. I suspect the power grid and septic systems won't last so that moves us earlier than 1920's although my mom remembered when the grid came to northeast Texas. Still, I suspect that there will be more than one or two failed attempts to restart before we get it right. We have many examples from history of the wrong way, including many of our states during the period before statehood.
      I agree the "combat mentality" may be a large impediment to restoring order. The timing may depend in large part on what TSHTF event was and how deep it went. A full blown pandemic with a very high mortality rate will scare folks into isolation. An economic collapse may well lead to a type of feudal holdings where one town may go to war with another town. A breakdown of the power grid might leave the state (maybe even national) authority intact and functioning.
      I think your concerns are valid but I suspect that once the immediate fear is past, we will begin to try to form societies again. Man is a social animal and always seems to form groups. Individuals don't last long; they either form groups or die out.
      Just my not so humble opinion.

    • 20s maybe in some areas but look at places that have lost power (both electricity and in the political sense) long term in the world and you'll see that for every area that has a 50s stlye level of comfort there are 2 or 3 almost medieval areas. Libya, African coastal ares etc.

      But Yur point about preppers is well taken – but remember that online bravado is not reality. Many of these "anti-establishment" types are on welfare of some kind now, they won't be as much of a problem later.

    • Scott, I think "preppers" would be the first to help rebuild. On the other hand, the ones you refer to (correctly IMHO) are not really prepping to survive but hoping for an event so they can become a "warlord" (think Somalia). These will have to be dealt with at some point, but I do not think of them as "preppers"; they are just trying to hide their "Napoleon complex" and recruit others to help them in their self-serving lust for power.
      The biggest issue is they give those of us who truly wish to be prepared to rebuild and survive an event a bad name. They also tend to be the ones focused on to form public perception by those who wish to subdue the self reliance movement. Thanks for bringing this "negative" perception to light for commentary.

      • I would hope that groups would band together to start the recovery process…but somehow read a lot of the "Rambo" type "preppers" talk about lone wolf mentalities…I mean they have good info but get very hostile when asked questions and they think were going to cast doubt on them…so I guess your Napolean theory is correct. I would always offer a helping hand to those who need it, but some act like they would kill a passerby who might be looking for help or looking to join a community to rebuild. It seems like as a "prepper" I have a slippery slope and want to make sure my intentions consist of personal/family/friend survival, then quickly get to restructuring to see how things are going.

        • As the Capt has said, charity for those trying is one thing but after an event, the entitlement programs will be null and void. I for one do not get hostile over questions, but do avoid anything that may compromise my family's security.
          I will not fault anyone who helps their neighbors out but the neighbor who thinks it's a requirement is on his own. I personally feel that the government giving so many freebies to undeserving people are so they have a pool of blind followers who want what they do not earn nor deserve, but that's a debate in and of itself.

    • I just posted a comment regarding the rebuilders that will emerge from the preppers on a sight where the main author says that storing food and surviing in place is stupid basically. They suggest you run away to your very remote bug out location and then build what you just left at your previous location. Very odd. I suggested that there will be rebuilders who prepared not just for themselves, but for starting large community gardens to stave off hunger for more than just them, for being a catalyst for rebuilding. I also said that the prepper that's bugged out and in hiding up in the hills won't be among them. Sorry, but we need a new acronym among us "WCA": What Comes After.

    • I'd have to agree with the first paragraph. After having been criticized and ridiculed for years, then being proven "right all along" and making it through the worst of it, while realistically becoming even more loathed by those who refused to prepare, why shouldn't any prepper be more than a little cautious in returning to "normality" especially if the government is a direct cause of the disaster in the first place?

  5. I'm a young guy with friends I trained in "security" as part of our prepping. I like the council system, it's how my group of families operate. There are plenty of men in my area, some ex LE/MIL, and even a city councilman with experience as an Infantry Officer. I figure he'd be looked to for security leadership (based on attitudes of neighbors) and the other vets could act as NCO's for organizing and OJT (on the job training) of the inexperienced guys. Obviously most guys around here, while capable of manning defense and security duties, are hardly fit and capable. I've got my people trained and would offer up services as a "outside the wire" team due to our young age, team training, and equipment. For example,a book retrieval mission or guarding a trip to the river, would be something my team would be good for. Other than that, I'm not of much use, considering my narrow skill set and young age.

      • John, Thank you and thanks for commenting. You are one who helps give me solace in the latest generation. You are learning and looking at ways to serve your family/group/community if an event takes place and that is commendable. You already have the most needed skill sets to be a valuable and necassary asset to your group when the chips are down… the willingness to learn and the will to survive. Your group is fortunate.

    • Honesty is a wonderfull thing! Being able to admit your lack of training and experience is great, but you need the word "yet" at the end of your comment. Help with your friends repair projects. Watch professionals do their work anytime you can, even if you do nothing more than hand them tools. Listen to an experienced person when they give you little pointers or gems of advice. Everything I have ever learned to do has started with these little steps. Just a tip.

    • Johndoe, don't underestimate your ability and the importance to PROPERLY provide security for a group trip to the river or scavenging/gathering patrol!! These types of trips are very likely gonna be Life saving MISSIONS, not just trips!

    • JohnDoe, I to am one of those with few mechanical/military skill sets to bring to any group, but I have one skill set I can use, an open mind. Take in the information you can gather, be that jack of all trades, master of none. You will still be a value to your group or another. And since you are young, you have plenty of time to learn new skills, knowledge is KING.

    • one thing you might want to think on is even though you are young and inexperienced as you say you do have something us as older people don't have. The ability to learn fast and true the older you get the harder it is to stop bad habits and listen to the younger generation. Just remember that all of your team is not alone there are many preppers/survivalist groups and listen to the old timers talk you can learn a lot from them. Never sell yourself short.

  6. This may seem a little harsh, gut in my opinion your estimates for the future of a teotwawki event seem overly-optimistic. I think that things will fall much harder and faster then you predict. You have to remember that although it may seem as though America has the potential people and resources and they are simply not the ones making the decisions, it does not mean that they will be able to step up and assume control before things have the opportunity to degrade further. Ex. in any SHTF event fuel will become extremely tight and in some places nearly unobtainable. In teotwawki gasoline will be gone for a long time. If every farm in america lost it's gasoline but magically assembled every piece of necessary (pre-industrial revolution) farming equipment and labor animal we would be able to provide for roughly 25% of or 360 MILLION population. Account for shortages of equipment, lost manpower, and lack of nitrates (artificially created substances used to give nutrients to the soil since we no longer use crop rotation) and we kind provide for about 5% of our population. Ex. you feel that criminal activity will not be a major threat. Unfortunately these groups are far from cowardly, morally bankrupt I will concede but far from afraid of using lethal force to obtain what they want. Whereas the average joe does not own a weapon or does not train regularly with one a criminal uses a wide range of weapons for destruction, murder, and theft. Not only this bu theirs are superior. It is illegal for most people to posses a fully-automatic weapon, it is also very expensive to own a weapon such as an assault rifle. It is more socially and financially acceptable to own a handgun or manual action long gun (ex. bolt action rifle/ pump action shotgun) criminal organizations do not have this problem. They will have full-auto assault rifles and submachine guns. some will even have dangerous ordinance such as fragmentation grenades or home made pipe bombs. And unlike normal people they will be on the offensive. They will kill anyone in their way and destroy everything they can't take with them.
    Maybe I'm being a little pessimistic but It's always better to err on the side of caution. For all we know it could take a lot more than 10 years to get back to where we are today.

    • Yes well supplied groups to fear would be:
      Mexican Cartels
      Larger Gang Factions
      Disbanded ex-military
      Militia Madness
      Larger Biker Clubs
      Hell any group or organization could become a bad apple post shtf so anyone with a supply of firepower including private corporations would potentially destroy groups to try and form new leadership as a country. However two to four of the above mentioned have shown positive movements in small disaster situations. Also it would be largely an issue of what sort of SHTF scenerio.

      • Richard and Scott,
        Remember that many gang type groups think "spray and pray" is a viable military strategy. As long as there is infinite ammo resupply that will work; very inefficient of course but it can work. As long as you can afford a 1000 rounds per kill it works but post TEOTWAWKI, their guns become clubs very quickly.
        To my mind, a slow TEOTWAWKI may be tougher to survive that a catastrophic event. If the government is still there; law enforcement is still there; the grid is still there then where are we. Of course the law enforcement may be hit or miss or even for sale if you have the right status/money, food distribution may be erratic, power and water may be spotty ,the black market will rule and security may be entirely up to you. Think failed state; law is still being enforced to the benefit of some but the average person is on their own. You still go to work if you have a job and you buy what you can find but it isn't life as we know it. In this scenario the gangs get ammo resupply and things are tough.
        Catastrophic failure may well lead to immobility for days – think NOLA and Katrina. By the time the bad guys got ready to move, it was too late. The outlying areas were ready. Large scale chaos may happen but more likely it will be localized – the armed subdivisions were not looted in NOLA.
        I have no pre-knowledge of course but I think a failed state (Greece?) is at least as likely as a Carrington event.
        Just my not so humble opinion.

    • Richard, I will agree that the time frame may be off and I am opptimistic that I will be right. I also concede your time frame has definite value for planning. I refer to the gangs as cowards for several reasons; 1) being willing to commit violence does not make one brave, 2) I have not found one yet who has the intestinal fortitude to "fight" their own battles and will only fight when they are against unarmed, outnumbered, or undefendable people. They think they show "guts" because they do a drive-by or beat up some defenseless person they outnumbered. I think our thoughts about them are the same, only the use of the word is splitting hairs for definition. Gangs are the same as the punks of the insurgency; they like to attack undefended women and children and count on fear and terror to control the population which doesn't sink to their level but rely on law enforcement to keep them "safe".

      • After an event, with the rule of law gone; people will actually fight back and gangs will be targets for more than the other "cowards" from the next neighborhood. Thanks for the comment and adding your thoughts on time tables. It shows we must prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

    • Possibilities are one thing, but even for this thread that's a little far fetched. We've all seen the odd episode of Gangland, still running into that kind of threat on a "regular basis" is unlikely. The criminal element is not to be underestimated, but those gigantic munitions stockpiles pulled from the crawlspaces of Crip clubhouses, etc. are the exception, not the rule. On these TV shockumentaries stuff like that is referred to as "highlights" The most common armament of any modern criminal organization is still your average, run-of-the-mill Baby 9mm. Their organization is more of a threat than their firepower…

  7. Very good article regulator and lots to take into consideration. One area that I fear people don't think about much is keeping textbooks on hand. This is one reason I have kept all my college textbooks as well as gathering new ones. If the grid is down it will be neccessary to have some sort of referance for rebuildig as well as teaching others.

    • I have old textbooks in my collection. A 1900's Physics book might be more helpful than a study of solid state devices. Water driven power generation instead of solar cells. That kind of thing might be very useful in a TEOTWAWKI. Hopefully it won't be so far down that we lose all modern technology but the newer the tech, the easier it is to kill it off.

      • @ CaptBart

        i was hoping that you could help me out im not new to the prepping life style but far from it i have a ranch were we can sustain ourselves already as is. My problem is my friends who see my property (and alot of extended family also) all tell me that when the SHTF thier coming over. its not my nature to turn down friends and family, but i simply do not have the resources or skills to keep all of us sustained. i do not know what to tel them i have tryed opening their eyes so they could start prepping but most of them do not listen yet alone try.
        do you have any advice to offer

        • That is not an easy question. I'll think about this some but off the top of my head … When someone says that, ask them what they are bringing to the survival site. Your land is your livelihood; they have NO rights to what is your source of living. IF you want to allow them to come, tell them what they are expected to contribute. IE, sure, you can come IF you bring along 2 weeks worth of food. You can come IF you have a skill I need. Don't have one? Then learn. If they buy their food then you've helped them prep. If they give you the money then you can use it to prep and welcome them when they come. On the other hand, they MUST know that while they might be allowed in, the rest of their friends and neighbors are NOT welcome. Bring them along and you are on your own.
          The cost of this may well be a lost friendship. Still, if they see that you are serious, perhaps they will begin to understand what is at stake. The obligation that we have to charity is not the same thing as allowing reckless living cost us our survival. The problems in Europe (in my opinion) are in large measure caused by allowing the US to provide for security and safety while Europe spent their money on not having to do honest work.
          If they come, they must know they've just become hired hands. It has always been that way. Even in the New Testament, the problem exists. In 2 Thessalonians Chapter 3 we find that those who were expecting the end of the world to happen soon were showing up eating everybody's food but not contributing. St Paul had the solution and St. Paul is correct. Those that do not work should not eat.
          Grasshopper and ant is the same proverb. The workers eat, the lazy parasites have no right to be fed by those who work. Hard times for someone who is trying is one thing. That calls for charity. The "entitled" who don't try, they are something else entirely and are on their own.
          Does this help?

          • Your insight has helped me alot! thankyou! it makes me feel good that there is a place were we can all go and answer each others questions. keep up the good work! Alot of peolpe (including my self) really value your input!! thanks again!

        • I'm not the Capt, nor probably can offer the sage advice he does, but I have an idea for you to possibly try. If the subject comes up again (even if you direct it there), invite them over for a weekend and put them to work. You can explain that this is what it will be like, only easier than if a true event takes place, and in order for you to have the property ready for their arrival and survival if an event takes place, you need their help one weekend a month.
          I'd be alot more blunt than this personally, as if you can't help prepare, then do not show up after, but understand the situation, especially with family. A true friend will give up a weekend or a day to help, but a freeloader now will be one later (IMHO).
          — continued—.

          • For example, I no longer am close (or single for free time) to do as much help on the family farms, but I find time to help any time I am in the area. My employment keeps me gone for long stretches, so I usually buy the seeds and other items for the garden and they supply more of the labor. I buy the calves and they place them out to free range and keep them watered and hay put out for them and we all get together for the butchering and divide evenly. It's not a perfect partnership but it is what I can do and they understand (family is very important to us). I also bring skill sets to the table for a post event situation most do not have or at least not as much as I do. We have friends that share in the labor and reward also, so they know what it takes and are welcome additions. The question you posed is at best a slippery slope and will need a light tread

          • @ Regulator5

            Your help was very insightful also and i too am not to emotional and tend to blunt some times to get my point across so your perspective helped me see how i would have to deal with it. thank you for the advice

          • Good luck with everything and thanks for sharing. We all learn frm each other, as nobody thinks of everything…. nor even a majority of things probably.

  8. My wife, a retired grade school teaching assistant, has always felt we should keep such materials on hand so that we could teach our children & grandchildren in the event of a catastrophe that made getting to school impossible. Smart lady, that's one of the many reasons I married her. Our house groans under the weight of all those books but the possibility of needing them is never far from our minds. I agree that gangs may be short on cowardice. Unless, of course, they meet a determined neighborhood that has banded together for the common good. It's important to get to know your neighbors so that there is a base established from which to work when SHTF, etc. Following a hurricane several years ago, some neighborhods in our town did just that. They patrolled their streets to keep out looters and to keep residents safe. You have to admire that kind of civic spirit. Unfortunately for most of the country, people have been "KATRINA-IZED" by the media and government and few are prepared or will lift a hand in their own defense.

    • Grunt Doc,
      My grand kids are home schooled so that they get a solid education instead of government formation. The books are there when needed and they know how to use them. Something I think we miss in this age of calculators is the old CRC tables. Logarithms and trig functions are not "sexy" but if you need to build, navigate, or survey you need them.

  9. I like the idea of CERT and curently am organizing:
    A neighborhood watch
    A neighborhood safety team
    A CERT Program

    I guess I just love to see differences being made at a local level that would add to a total change in attitude.

  10. First I would like to say good article, very thought provoking. One thing that troubles me that people often over look is foreign countries. In an event of a disaster(Katrina) things wouldnt get to the point of needing to rebuild society but on the other hand if something were to be so large as to wip out foreign aid then it must be a disaster on a global scale. Something our country would not be able to withstand and any real preps you do wont be very effective. The way I prep is to work up from local problems all the way to global distasters, on each tier you determine the problem, how to prep for it, and if prepping is necessary, because lets face it, if its something so large as to destroy our society theres no real way in hell youre going to wait it out. Best prepare for whats likely and survivable.

    • Thomas,
      there are things that are not survivable. Extinction Level Events (ELE) are by definition not survivable. That said, the collapse of society is not necessarily an ELE. When the Roman empire collapsed, MOST people did actually live through the event. Amazingly enough, much was saved by individuals and small groups. A Carrington event would destroy all modern civilization on the planet. Interestingly enough, the third world would be less effected than the US and Europe. The growth of agribusiness has made us less able to deal with the total loss of the power grid. Would there be a mess? Absolutely, but if you are prepared to survive until you can reliably feed yourself (I figure 3 to 5 years depending on your location) you and your community should be able to survive. The loss of ALL communications would make confusion the biggest killer. City folks would be waiting for directions from the government. Those directions would not be forth coming. Local authorities might say to hunker down in place until things return to 'normal' but they aren't going to return. By the time folks figure that out, it may be too late for many city folks. Those who've prepped, who live in more rural areas and/or have maintained some form of communications ability have a shot at making it.
      Just my not so humble opinion.

    • Thomas, Thanks for the comment. I agree with Capt Bart that unless it's an extinction level event, people will survive. I for one won't go quietly into the night and feel that if our ancestors survived and prospered to build what we know today, we should be able to rebuild. If not, regardless of advances, we have "reversed darwined" and any collapse will be an extinction level event but I refuse to believe that.

  11. Great article Regulater5. I would add some required reading to your book collection though. Army Field Manuals would be a great asset to help train younger people in the group. They are fairly inexpensive to acquire and until you pick up the Improvised Munitions Handbook and Booby Traps, nobody will really raise an eyebrow. Not just kids either, adults could greatly benefit from the ones on First Aid and Map Reading. I would also suggest some How-to books. I have several on How-to build Log Cabins, Frame a house, Plumbing, etc. I would also suggest some recreational reading. I could reread Tolkien for the rest of my life and still enjoy them. Maybe having some of these recreational books could help keep a persons spirits up. Of course, you need to have a stable home base for the storage of all these books. However, alot of these could be held on a Nook or Kindle along with a small solar charger for less than 2 pounds. If you plans call for Bugging out or migrating to less populated areas to begin again.

    • ED,
      Some of the more "questionable" titles are on my Kindle. If I want to read the Marine Corps small conflicts manual at the car wash, no body knows because my Kindle doesn't have a military cover on it. Just a thought (they are also cheaper and some of them I "borrow" not buy).

    • I agree. My personal library is around 1000 books and that doesn't include the wife's or kids'. I would venture a guess 98% of mine are non fiction, with alot of how-to and reference books in the mix. As most would surmise, alot of mine are historical reads, covering a wide range of topics but a majority centered on Colonial America and medieval time periods. The History Book Club is a great source even for old history text books. I got a 1920 History Companion Textbook there. They reprint many of the older texts. I also deal with paladin Press and the Military Book Club alot.
      I am looking at getting a printer for large business applications to do my own printing of digital copy books available online,probably most military manuals are available in digital format now, and then I can laminate the pages and use binders for the "books". I'll probably have to dedicate one of the barns for the library then…lol.

  12. Two thoughts–in a worst case senario much of the infrastructure will be shot (I am thinking EMP or a biological event). It really only takes a large enough die off and no matter the numbers of books you have you won’t have the skilled workers to make that infrastructure function.

    However possibly more damage will be trust. Society exists today on a lot of trust. Trust in money, credit, individuals, police, etc… Depending on how bad the collapse is this trust will be absolutely gone. It will be gone because you Government failed you, and because your greenbacks are worthless, because you bank closed it’s doors when you needed you cash (and it still had some value), and because local businesses price gouged or hoarded or simply failed to provide services you depended on. And most especially it will be gone because neighbor turned on neighbor when their family started to starve.

    Lots of trust will be gone, lots of people will be gone, and I’m their place will be bad memories…. I think this will be the hardest hurdle to overcome, and if local Government was a part of the problem it may proove almost impossible in some areas of the us for decades to come, because without trust, and the willingness to sacrifice for others that comes with it you won’t have the security and cooperation it takes to rebuild.

    • Padre,
      A solid analysis of the problem. It gets worse if a pandemic comes on the heels of whatever TSHTF event was. Then there is the fear that the person you see may be a carrier of the bugs. The FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) level will be through the roof (if you still have one).
      With that as a given, humans are social critters. When the good Lord made us (or the way we evolved if one prefers) He put into us a basic need for community. Even the desert hermits of the first century got together periodically for prayer. We have a basic, it's a part of being human, need for society. Loneliness can and does kill. I think that will drive the formation of groups, depending on how bad things get small at first but constantly growing, merging. We start as families, grow to tribes, then towns and so on.
      The first connections will be hardest but once we are part of a group, allowing others to join becomes easier because we have less FUD with our "tribe" around us. I agree with you but I think you stopped too soon. Yes, it will be difficult but some things we don't have to wonder about. We do know that the internal combustion engine is possible for example. The technology may not be there yet, but it is possible. We may decide that we don't like large cities (too much risk) and go for a less industrialized civilization but that is a choice for the survivors and their groups.

      • Agree with that CaptBart. I would also suggest that as a major part of rebuild there is a statutory quarantine procedure in place for all new arrivals after the immediate first stage of rebuild. I'm not talking about rebuilding for 3 months and then imposing a quarantine procedure on new arrivals. I'm thinking more like a week after the SHTF event. After that time people will be thirsty and if they have no idea of how dangerous water is when its not purified they can pick up all manner of bugs. They will also have eaten food that will not necessarily be safe. They will be dangerous to the community as health risks and will need to be cleared first. Hence herbal remedies and quarantine. A good practical system would be essential. One that is easy to run and not intimidating to the arrivals. They must be made aware they are welcome but only on the communities terms. Sound okay?

        • Excellent point. Not one dog gone thing wrong with saying you'll be welcome, BUT first you spend a week in the quarantine camp next door. Getting set up so the folks that are first in are also safe from the last in will take some thought but worth doing now.
          Thank you.

        • Quarantine doesn't mean prison. They can be made comfortable and be well fed and taken care of. I think it's a sound approach and idea.

  13. I would like to pose a scenario, of course this my opinion only, I think it far more likely that there is an economic crash, that destroys the US dollar and the Euro, the complete collapse of the US dollar alone is ( will be ! not if but when ! ) the single greatest event in 10,000 years of recorded history, think of it, no more petro dollars, no more fiat currency !, hundreds of millions world wide thrust into poverty and chaos.

    Is that a large scale event ? certainly ! religion aside, the powers that be wont need the vast majority of the sheep, aside from deliberate genocide, chaos will rule and people just wont go back to trusting a govt official, lets face it, I wouldnt, I am a prepper because I actually like to learn to be independent of some bozo telling me what to do.

    so to answer the question …… long before a order is restored ? I answer that another way, the new phoenix to arise from the ashes of the past, must not be based upon the govt official re starting the " old" fiat system of banking and money or we will go through the same chaos further down the road again, difference being, next time there will be less of us.

  14. Also the collapse of currencies worldwide, would basically mean the large nation states would cease to exist, I would make a fair guess, in that scenario, mainland USA would just break up into several " countries" same for Europe and other places like Australia and China.

    So local communities will exist and things will be done locally albeit those who live being a lot thinner !

    • Chris,
      Maybe … but in other places (Argentina, several African countries, Germany just before WW2) the government stepped in and established 'ORDER'. When chaos reigns humanity has a really nasty habit of giving up freedom and responsibility for security. After all , WHO would not give up freedom so that we can be safe from airline hijackers? It is only a little inconvenience that will go away after everything is settled. FUD (see definition above) is a TERRIBLE club to be used by those willing to wield it.

  15. Richard H–I believe you're right about the issue of fuel hampering the ability of a society—on a large scale—to return to any semblance of what we today consider normalcy. On a smaller scale, though, I think in some ways, it may be more helpful that harmful in that the criminal predators rely on motor vehicles to travel from place to place to plunder. When they run out of fuel, they’ll be trapped wherever they are and either hunted down and killed by locals, or sufficiently isolated, that they’ll have to wander too far afoot to be as much of a threat. As far as automatic weapons go, one can only hope that these are EXACTLY the weapons that the bad guys are carrying. Unlike those machine guns on television, REAL machine guns (due to recoil and rate of fire which affects recoil-recovery time) are not only difficult to accurately hit anything without a lot of range time, but go through ammunition at the rate of anywhere from 600 rounds per minute to 1000. Priced ammo lately? Consider this: soldiers aren’t issued more than 200 rounds of ammo at a time, because the added weight to the rest of their load would be too great to allow them to move effectively in combat. How many rounds do you think a bad guy will have on his person, before HE’S too burdened to move quickly? Remember, unlike machine guns on television, where our hero always picks up his Kalasnikov rifle with it’s 30 round magazine, aims at the bad guys, squeezes the trigger and his rifle fires continuously for 30-40 seconds, killing all the bad guys, REAL machine guns’ magazines are empty within 2-3 seconds. Then, the machine gun man has to stop and reload. This will give the average prepper enough time to aim a single action Ruger (if that’s all you’ve got) at the machine gun man’s head and make it disappear (more or less). Semi-autos are NOT that expensive, I see AK-47’s in local gun shops for about $400 each. This family of rifles, not known for their tack-driving accuracy, ARE known for their reliability. They’ll normally shoot 3-4” groups right out of the box, and a shooter armed with one of these will be in better stead than a drug-damaged mutant with a cobbled-together, home made full auto version. Fear not…

  16. DO NOT FROGET BEAR BELLS.They are brass bells you hook up to a early warning trip line for all types of dangerous things,tie the bells up with 15 lb. test fishing line and to a tree or bushes ect. this will be loud and will give you needed time to protect yourself.GOOD LUCK AND WATCH YOUR STEP. CTR.

  17. One thing to bear in mind with books is that the lion's share of the books that are available these days arguably won't last more than 40 to 50 years if that due to the quality of paper they are printed on. If you're looking to get good books that you can salt away such that your grandchildren will be able to pass them down to their grandchildren you need to try to find books printed on acid free paper IIRC. Then depending on which exact societal breakdown scenario you are dealing with and how the aftermath shapes up you may want to consider devoting some of your resources to producing rag paper as opposed to wood pulp paper and attempting to maintain/operate a small moveable type printing press.

    I know that there are some people who would argue that those sorts of things (paper and ink production as well as printing presses) are luxury items and within limits they would be right. However, once you have gotten your group/area to the point that you are reasonably self sufficient and are trying to rebuild then those things could become invaluable over the long haul.

    • Your right. Books are important and so is the ability to write and publish stuff. Another item for the must have list. As it provides a means to keep everyone informed it also provides a means to record the emerging history of the reborn community. Continuity is not going to be the easiest thing to maintain but at least by having some form of histroical record of all manner of things regarding the community from births and deaths to what crops were produced and how much etc are all important. How else will you know what food to grow if you can't remember if you tried it before and it failed or not as the case may be?

    • Minarchist and Its, I agree. The records kept will be of historical importance to future preppers in the event of another event. We learned from writings from our forefathers and so our future generations will learn from us. We plan for what we "know" today but this may not work after an event and if we do not record it, then the future generations can be saved from wasted time and resources by our learning curve. A bad time, mistake or failure is only complete if you do not learn from it.
      Thanks for keeping the dialogue going and hopefully we'll be able to put in place a plan before it's needed.

  18. Good Article.

    Anything you can do will help. The fact that preppers talk to each other via this forum is proof we are willing to help each other.

    I’m curious to learn how CERT deals with communications. Do you have a working relationship with the local Radio Stations? Do they have emergency backup power options?

    It seems to me, that communications and accurate information will be the most important commodity. If the wrong people can control communications, they can give out information that benefits them, but not necessarily you.

    I neither have the money or inclination to become a ham radio operator. What I do have, is a couple of solar/crank/battery radios. Other than that, if you come to my gate offering information I will be very skeptical of your knowledge and intent. If I hear it on the Radio, I might still be skeptical. I am not above a little misdirection myself under dire circumstances. I might, for example, post signs indicating that a refugee center is X number of miles past my location, in order to get people to keep walking, so I don’t need to fight them over my food and water supply.

    So, how then, do I know you are from Cert, and not the Crazy Diablo’s biker gang? I want to trust people, but I don’t think I will do so for a long while. Your intentions are good, and I applaud them. Unless, however, someone can come up with a way to assure me that the information I am getting is accurate- please keep moving.

    • Water, Good point. I only know of CERTs using handheld or base radios like the emergency repsonders use. Public broadcasts will be on the EBS (Emergency Broadcasting System) as far as I know. It's a valid concern and one I will have to ask about in future dealings with the officials.
      I guess this helps cement the idea of knowing the local team members and/or officials who would be giving directions.

  19. Sorry for my absence of late but work calls (Glad I have a job in this economy). I went with the 6 months and 1 year thought as " an optimistic estimate". I can see the "pessimists" being right as well, but I always try to keep a positive outlook on things ( a future article in the competent hands of SC will detail this more). I appreciate the comments and I can only hope that it helps any of the readership with ideas and possibly a place to begin. I know I have learned much from the comments and articles myself and truly appreciate the dialogue and honesty all of you bring to the table.
    Our experiences and skill sets are varied by our past deeds and/or lifestyles and together, we form a very well rounded and balanced cadre of "educators".

  20. One last point is the need for the preppers to have people skills. Not everyone is cool under fire. Not everyone is going to know what to do. Not everyone is likely to be fit and able bodied. So in the worst case scenario the preppers need to be organised to both defend their immediate family and the next tier (neighbours and friends) and get them motivated and organised after the event. You don't want to let on to too many people that you are prepped as a previous article comment clearly pointed out that is like a lamp to moths when the SHTF. Your the one they all come running to. Even the crimms! They will take what they want as you rightly point out. __

    • So if the folks around you are not prepped they will be totally clueless as to what to do. They will need to be collected when the situation is stable enough to allow for that activity. No good trying when there are crimms roaming the streets looking for food, water and whatever else they want.__Safe places to group are essentil. Safe habits like what to say, do and not say and do. People will need to be organised according to their skills. A list of everyones abilities is essential for organising purposes. No good putting a farmer in charge of surgery. I know its a silly example. 🙂 You get my drift I know.__Anyway I enjoyed the article not because it was perfect or rubbish but because it finally broaches the subject that has so far never been discussed.

      • A list of stuff I think is important!
        Books!__Medical equipment!__Tools (non power)__Power generation systems (solar PV, generators using diesel or other fuel, portable Wind trubines)__Transport that is efficient and robust!__Clothing and emergency equipment!__Water purification tools! (I have seen a few good ones on the market. Get plenty of filters too!).__Medical books and old herbalists books.__Gardening books.__Get hold of time pieces that don't need batteries. __Calendars! Yes I mean that. Celebrate birthdays, wedding anniversaries, festivals. It gels the community and gives it structure.__I could go on but won't. Time for others to add a few ideas.____Maybe a good idea would be a book or guide to 'Life after the Apocalypse. What every community needs to know about surviving and starting all over again.' Or something like that.

        Sorry about the multiple postings. I wrote too much! 🙂

        • Its, Thanks for the comments and very viable and needed items. I personally use herbs now for my only medicines. There is an article submitted dealing with this subject, although minimally, now at SC. I do not think any article on this subject could be "great", as not everyone's locale and "people pool" will allow every field and skill set to be included. As a "whole", every small community/group will be a foundation to rebuild and bring back society.
          Keep the comments coming, that was the biggest reason behind this article… get reader's comments to add even more ideas and a well rounded theory on what it will take post event.

  21. Rather new here, and prepping in general. Lots of great points here. 1 I saw that was missed but sticks to the topic, with the keeping of paper documents of any kind buy something fire proof to store them in. A whole warehouse of books is great until 1 match hits it.

  22. My ideas on this subject are that we will have to rebuild but in the case of TEOTWAWKI, the elders are the last group of people that would truly survive due to their age, weakness, and older ways. I don't mean to be offensive but the age groups of people that will provide the most to rebuild a new world will be 16 and 46. In the case of TEOTWAWKI a lot of the older skill set like knowing how to work on a car would not be vital, while gardener, carpenter, doctor/nurse are all skill that we real need. Things that are being practiced now by people in a current job profession.

    I too am a strong believer in the strong survive, and if there are food, water, shelter, and tool shortages then should not be used on the old, they should be used on the young because they are the future growing up in that type of a world the young will learn to adapt, the body can change to suit the situation. With that said Knowledge is the greatest tool and that should be the main focus toward the young.

    I personal have all basic world wide history books on a E-reader and it also has a elect static bag around it and underground. the E-reader also has basic reading, math, science, and logic teaching books.

    The thing we must remember in the case of TEOTWAWKI is that we must survive to pass on life to the young generation they are our future.

    • Trinity, thanks for the comment. I for one do not advocate euthanasia of the elderly, nor keeping them from supplies solely to give to the "reproductive" age. The Elders spoken of in the article refers to the advisors or leaders of the group, not necessarily the oldest people.
      Also, that car mechanic who may not be needed for working on a vehicle brings a much needed skill to the group, mechanical apptitude and ability. This will be needed to restart engines and machinery if they are salvagable or even building a water or wind powered grain mill.
      I will agree that your ideas on the most survivable age groups are accurate, in that the younger ones are more susceptible to disease or malnutrition and the elderly have already sustained injuries, are more apt to be battling disease or health problems and are more susceptible to injury (osteoporosis) to name a few. I will admit I would go on half rations to ensure my kids (or any kids) were fed more, but I prep so I hopefully never have to make the decision to go hungry or without, or keep others from going without to allow the desired bracket of people to be better off. Just my 2 cents.

    • Reading my comment, it sounds a little harsh and that is not my intention. I just wanted to verify that. I appreciate your comments and getting others ideas and opinions expressed is one of my biggest goals. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  23. Hello all,
    My bug out plan begins with myself and four of my buddies, and we have considered the rebuilding situation and with all of us being in college, we have taken it upon ourselves to dedicate spare time to a specific academic discipline which can later be conveyed to the up and comers of the next generation. I personally have taken on English and the duties of instructing reading and writing. Another has taken on arithmetic, another history, and so on. We all also have a working knowledge of mechanics, firearms, bushcraft, and metallurgy – all skills we deemed pertinent to a survival situation. So, my advice, is if you have the people, divide the knowledge, everyone obtain an understanding of the basic concepts of everything, and then specialize in one thing. Best of luck, and remember keep one on the trigger, one in the pipe, and one up your sleeve.

    • Swamp, you have a valid point. Group members, if you choose that path, would need people to "specialize" in different areas and the others to "cross-train" in all areas. Think of a Army Special Forces A-Team and adjust to the size of your group and add the "survival" skills, metal working, agriculture, etc for a complete profile and not just the combat fields the military uses.
      Preppers must be a SF team and Civil Affairs team rolled into one (to use military jargon). Thanks for the comment and sharing your ideas.

  24. "I too am a strong believer in the strong survive, and if there are food, water, shelter, and tool shortages then should not be used on the old, they should be used on the young because they are the future growing up in that type of a world the young will learn to adapt, the body can change to suit the situation. With that said Knowledge is the greatest tool and that should be the main focus toward the young." – Trinityfire678

    Trinity, I understand your opinion, and it has some basic logic that I agree with. However, being one of "the old," I have asked myself why I should prep, and why I deserved to live rather than sacrafice myself to the group.

    "The old" are actually a group who may be more physically, mentally and emotionally strong than you have any concept of. They have seen, done, and learnt more than you can yet know. Many men in their seventies are stronger than I was in my thirties. And, many can still father children. So, what could I offer, as a woman, over the age of 46, non-childbearing? If society has to rebuild, someone with a knowledge of simple daily basics like cooking, sewing, candle-making, canning, cleaning, tending the ill, signs and symptoms of various illnesses, animal husbandry, child-birth, basic emergency treatment, herbs, medicinal herbs, gardening and more will be needed to teach the young parents and their offspring.

    It is likely the grid would be down for as much as 5-20 years. Nothing on the computer is going to be there for you. No kindle, no nook, no e-how website. I ask you to collect up 20 of your friends parents or grandparents, and ask them about basic skills they know. Have them each make a list. Come back in a week and discover the wealth that is an "old person." Slower? Maybe. Weaker? Never. What we have to teach is more than you imagine. That is why almost every successful tribe has a group of elders, to help and to guide.

    Not to mention that each contributes what they can, be it babysitting, or planting and winnowing grain. Feeding chickens, Milking cows, even birthing babies at home. I'm not letting anyone tell me I have to give up my share of food and water. I plan to earn it. If I have the good luck to survive such, I would be helping my group find food and water, build shelter, and set up a continuance plan. Let it be me that decides my own fate. In fact, let it be each that reaps what he or she sows. Hopefully, no one would have to go hungry.

    • I agree Survival. If the young men are out patrolling for defense or hunting, then who will garden, sew, cook, teach, etc? I think everyone has an equal chance to live and share in the resources as long as they work for it. Welfare will be non existant, but "an honest days work will get an honest day's pay(share)".
      Plus some the older farmers around my area will work the current generation under the table and still be able to keep going. Some have lived without modern conveniences, running water and electricity, around here for portions of their lives (know someone who is 60 and actually lived without running water in the house during a portion of their youth). They are also the same generation who could repair a tractor/car, water pump, etc without the need to just buy new or hire it done. Self reliance wasn't in their vocabulary because it was just normal everyday life to them.

  25. I would agree that we'll eventually rebuild, but I would think the new structure will look more like middle-age Europe where land owners rule. Think about it, the cities empty and people head to rural farms. Farm owners will be the ones who understand how to cultivate the land, and they'll have a massive supply of labor to replace the work that machines had done.

    • While this may be true in some areas, you'll find that not many people who have taken the necessary steps to survive to the rebuilding phase will be willing to submit to a single man's rule. The landowner may have the final say in matters concerning his land, but lordship will only exist where sheeple abound.

    • I agree with JohnBoy that the ones who survive an event are not likely to take a completely subservient role after rebuilding. There will be people who fancy themselves "warlords" and attempt to create a "dictatorship", but I do not expect this to be widespread after order is restored. JMHO.

  26. As a prepper on the younger side, I recognize the immense value in the wealth of knowledge and experience attained by those towards the opposite end of the spectrum. Both knowledge and experience are assets that will be unattainable in TEOTWAWKI situation. While it may be unwise to waste resources on sustaining those whose days are clearly numbered, the minds of those who have come before us know the road ahead better than we do and it is only logical to value them as prize sources of not only survival, but the ability to thrive. No one will be able to master all the skills necessary to survive when the SHTF , and so we must look to others, especially those with crowns of silver and gray, to guide us through the tough times ahead.

    • Thanks for the comment. We prepare so hopefully we never have to make those type of decisions and nobody must go without. If someone cannot act as a forager/hunter/defense, they can still teach, help garden or process the harvest, can, etc to be productive. My wife's Grandma is 94 and still active in the garden and canning. She can't carry heavy objects but her knowledge can be passed down to the younger generation as they work together.

  27. one of our(my wife and i) prepping goals is to have educational materials available to be used to help educate local children post-shtf… we have included many things on our Founding Fathers such as biographies and speech collections as well as materials covering our early history and our Constitution… we have purchased one new double screen dvd player to assist us with the educational efforts when it becomes necessary… our children need to know the truth…

  28. This is indeed a very good article and commentary. I believe that after any collapse the first order of business after surviving is to begin reconstruction or rebuilding. This goes back over the vast expanse of time as even after the falls of pre-Classical Greek and Western Roman civilization the people left behind to fend for themselves had to maintain some semblence of order and build a working society even if it was to have a single dominate leader (the local noble/ land lord) lead the effort. I think that after our many generations of living in a republic that is founded on democratic principles that a council of elders chosen for their expertise would be the best leadership for a post collapse situation. Now there should be a spokesperson for this council and he or she should not be rejected for their gender, but instead be elected for his or her abilities to lead, coordinate, inspire and manage.

    • Kansas, I agree. The Counsel can help direct efforts towards stability even while in the initial phases of an event. I have talked and have support from several local officials at the county level (a few counties). Groups that can be of assistance in that they already are known in the community are Lion's Club, Churches, and/or other local charity organizations. I even talk to the local "farm bureaus"; in my area they are very "connected" and the membership has exactly what a community will need after an event, FARMS.
      Look at every group/organization in your local area and create a list of what they bring to the table and any negatives that might arise. Then start asking about emergency preparations if something happens in the community.

  29. Cures, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm not sure I understand you on the "going to a well known blogger" statement? I only have posted articles online for Survival Cache and comment here or on their forums and a couple other survival site forums. My only other writing (besides school or military reports) has been for print magazines a few years back but they were military related.

  30. I have a few points to make so I’ll break them up into different posts. By the way, great article Regulator5.

    I have put together the following categories of preparation for SHTF and TEOTWAWKI: Awareness, Shoot (defense), Move, Communicate, Survive, and Thrive. Now anyone who has been around the military or military like organizations or people have heard of at least three of those if not five. The last one is the linchpin IMHO. It has to do with the reason why we prepare.

    Anyone for the most part can stock food, supplies and means of defending themselves. People can cultivate the land, keep themselves fed, sheltered and clothed, make babies and perpetuate their existence. That is physically being alive, but not the whole of our existence.

    The last time western civilization collapsed in any large way is the fall of Rome. The empire had been in decline for hundreds of years before the capital was sacked in the fifth century AD. It would be nearly a thousand years before anything like the grandeur, scale, ingenuity, or as technologically advanced as the Romans would be attempted. This said, something of Rome was saved.

    Martianus Capella, canonized in the fifth century a collection of knowledge that has come to be known as the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. It was called “Liberal” because it was the knowledge necessary to participate in free society, as opposed to JUST having a tradecraft, which was hallmark of being a slave. These seven subjects are grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. They contributed to expanding the mind, achieving greater things and were the cornerstone of education until only recently.

    Tradecraft is necessary to the physical building and rebuilding of that which we need to survive. I in no way want to trivialize those skills that all of us are going to need. To build and rebuild society, and give broader meaning to life we will need more.

    • Thanks Doc for reading and commenting on the article. You offer some very valid points and things to consider and implement. I too agree that there is more to "living" than just "existing" and that is the reason for not only preparing to survive the initial phase of an event, but planning and setting in place preparations to rebuild as soon as possible after the event.
      I look at history as my foundation for prepping. It shows me that societies collapse or have been deeply scarred or "injured" from disasters but also the human spirit can overcome the adversity. I look at the skills and tools used to forge the nations and bring mankind out of the caves and into our modern era (for good or bad) and I then look for modern materials to adapt to the old tools to make them better.

    • We have the ability to see what worked (hindsight should be 20/20, even if it seems to escape most 'sheople") so I do not need to experiment, only acquire and practice the skills already proven to work. My personal library consists of books on the Celts, Rome, Egypt, Ancient Greece and even Persia (plus many more), along with Native Americans, the Mountainmen, Colonial America, the "wild west", etc. These allow me to explore options if I no longer have metalsmithing abilities and look at different skill sets and tactics used even during an era where firearms were a major tool for survival and living. We must become as complete in skills as possible and look at each "Great Empire/Nation" to learn not only what made them "Great" but also what caused them to become "History".

  31. Sir,
    All groups of Motorcycle riders are not gangs. All groups are also not clubs and all groups are also not perfectly legitimate law abiding individuals. I saw no intent to stigmatize all bike riders as punks, hoods, gang bangers or what ever you wish to call them. On the other hand, Hollywood went to great lengths to establish the MZB (Mutant Zombie Biker) genre with movies like Mad Max. As annoying as it may be, it is a reality of our society that a large group of Bike riders with gang colors, NAZI paraphernalia and questionable grooming habits invoke the Hollywood image and generate a sense of caution in most people; at least those with a well developed survival instinct.

    To say there are no 'Motorcycle Gangs' is to ignore the common usage of the term. That there is a difference between clubs and gangs I'll cheerfully grant. Referring to me as a "mundane individual" simply because I no longer ride or disagree with your particular point of view seems to be somewhat prejudicial to an open discussion. I did not miss the insult to the intelligence of those you disagree with but I'll let it pass since it will result in nothing but non-productive name calling.

    While you may personally resent the use of the term 'motorcycle gang', it is the term in common usage for organized criminal activity based on the use of motorcycles to facilitate that activity. Frequently includes drugs and violence. For a fuller explanation of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) go to
    for more. I know some local clubs who do great charity work. I'm proud of them but it does not mean that if they turn to crime they get a pass on selling drugs to kids or committing violent acts.

    Since you never defined what a "real" Motorcycle Club is I don't know exactly where you're coming from but I assure you, groups like the Mongols or the Pagans would not be welcome around my campfire. They are, in general, violent criminal gangs. If you mean something else by your terms, please spell them out for us. Again, we all realize not all clubs are gangs but to deny the very existence of violent, organized motorcycle gangs is to ignore reality and above all else, a successful prepper must face reality.

  32. First, I am not as tactful as the great Capt is, so I apologize to the readership. The second is this will probably be in a multi post facet, as what I have to say, won't fit in one block.

    turf-4. Slang
    a. The range of the authority or influence of a person, group, or thing; a bailiwick: "a bureaucracy … concerned with turf, promotions, the budget, and protecting the retirement system" (Harper's).
    b. A geographical area; a territory.
    c. The area claimed by a gang, as of youths, as its personal territory


    • —cont—
      Main article: Outlaw motorcycle club
      The abbreviations MC and MCC are both used to mean "motorcycle club" but have a special social meaning from the point of view of the outlaw or one percenter motorcycling subculture. MC is generally reserved for those clubs that are mutually recognized by other MC or outlaw motorcycle clubs.[6] This is indicated by a motorcyclist wearing an MC patch, or a three piece patch called colors, on the back of their jacket or riding vest. Outlaw or one percenter can mean merely that the club is not chartered under the auspices of the American Motorcyclist Association,[7] implying a radical rejection of authority and embracing of the "biker" lifestyle as defined and popularized since the 1950s and represented by such media as Easyriders magazine, the work of painter David Mann and others. In many contexts the terms overlap with the usual meaning of "outlaw" because some of these clubs, or some of their members, are recognized by law enforcement agencies as taking part in organized crime.

      • –cont—
        “3 piece club"- The 3-Piece patch normally identifies the club as a traditional motorcycle club(MC). A three-piece patch signifies that the club is not sanctioned by the AMA, but not necessarily a 1% club. With very few exceptions, the club has been approved by the dominant club in the state or area
        The three- piece patch is awarded in three parts as a prospective member earns the privilege to wear the full patch. A "hangaround" is someone who is eligible for membership and has been invited to attend club events and runs, but wears no part of the patch. If he is sponsored by a full member and approved by the club members he may wear the bottom rocker and is considered a "prospect". If he successfully completes the training period and is approved by 100% of the members, he is allowed to have the top rocker and the "center patch" or club insignia. His colors are then complete and he is considered to be a full member or "patch holder."

        • –cont—

          The traditional, or "old school," three-piece patch MC is one that adheres to established protocols, traditions and a code of conduct. Motorcycle clubs differ from riding clubs or other types of motorcycle organizations as they traditionally have "prospecting" time required before an individual is allowed to wear or "fly" the colors of the group. Most club colors will also have MC printed on the rocker or as an additional small, rectangular patch

          • gang-A gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in a community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent or other forms of illegal behavior

            Now we have some definitions to base your ramblings on.

          • Now I will post my personal opinion and theories:
            I find it almost humorous that with the mention of "gangs" and marauders, you automatically assumed that I (or we as a community) meant motorcycle Clubs/gangs".
            I'll admit freely, I hold gang members, regardless if they ride a "hooptee" (sic), a low-rider, limos, motorcycles, or "LPCs" as a threat to society and the bottom of the genetic barrel. My personal opinion is that you must have your numbers so you can actually come up with enough intestinal fortitude and bone matter to form a full backbone of 33 vertabrae.

          • I do NOT lump everyone who rides a motorcycle or even rides with a group as "gang(s)". There are several, Patriot Guard for one, who actually ride for pleasure and do charity work for the sake of doing charity work. I see the hell's angels, outlaws, chosen few, etc as only trying to enhance their public image, while they deal drugs to our kids and just make a full fledged nuisance of themselves and PROVE why we think of them as a cancer on society. They are friends and partners with such "humanitarians" as the mexican cartel, ms-13, the zetas, etc. I find these groups as malignant and undeserving of the air, food and fuel they waste just by being.
            I also find it ironic and maybe self describing, that you chose a poisonous entity to use as a username; it is rather fitting for the poison ("whatever business is occuring within the club…") these 1%er cancers distribute.
            Regardless of you willfully bowing and being on your knees to these 15ers, rest assured, the true People, will NOT. I do not need to beg for scraps and protection from criminals, nor will I be concerned with their belief of being anything worth respecting.

          • I find it funny that such "clubs" have been run out of town by a collection of farmers because they were tired of the refuse being on their small town streets; now multiply that by EVERYONE with a conscience and respect for life and living if an event occurs. I will choose to live on my feet and not "ANSWER" to anyone from my knees

  33. I apologize to the readers of this site for posting so many comments concerning whether criminals who group together but ride motorcycles is a gang. I also want readers to realize that while a majority, we'll just say 99% for arguements sake, are here to learn and offer advice to their fellow People; we must be leary of the 1%ers who are here strictly as part of the 5th column and hope to find ways to defeat our preps and see what is being planned.
    I will post my plans, theories, opinions and ideas, to not only possibly help someone, but to get the opinions of others whom I consider thoughtful and insightful. I will NOT allow the idea of someone who will probably not be a Rebuilder, terrorize me into silence. I will also live by the code that as long as they do not pose a threat to me and my family, the Rebuilding or normal functioning of the American People (since I am in the US only), I will not bother them.
    Again, I apologize for my aggravated posting.

    • in my experience it will typically suffice to refer to motorcycle enthusiasts who are part of an organization as a Motorcycle Club and those nomadic few who roam together around the countryside engaged in various criminal activities as a Motorcycle Gang, but then again they're all based out of somewhere so that's where things get hazy:

      The vast majority of members in these huge, international MC's are not part of "the gang"
      But, basically everyone in "the gang" is affiliated with their base MC

  34. HMMMMM…..
    "because there's no such thing as Motorcycle Gangs, "
    one micro second search on the Internet and i found 1,630,000 results on biker gang violence.
    just to list two sites.
    Granted most motorcycle clubs have charitable goals. The fact remains that there is violent motorcycle gangs. You might as well argue that the world is flat. Even the motorcycle clubs that i have belonged to would tell Blackwidow he is incorrect.

  35. I think we would all be wise to accept the knowledge and skill sets left available in any SHTF or TEOTWAWKI event that happens. After all we are not going to get a say in who survives the immediate aftermath. Let's not worry about age, but instead effectiveness. Joan of Arc was a teenager and General Grant was considered an old and washed up at his time, yet both proved to be effective at what they did best. Adapt and overcome!

  36. Something to keep in-mind while discussing the prospect of roving gangs and such. Depending upon your metropolitan area, they may well be there from the very beginning. A potential SHTF situation is the ideal breeding ground for the criminal element and those who are already organized (Bloods, Crips, the Mexican Mafia, biker gangs, etc.) aren't going to waste any time wreaking havoc and their success is no blind luck; they're armed and dangerous, cunning and looking for trouble, plus being cowards or not they still outnumber you and your people, if you even have any – it's also safe to assume that any gang you may come across is at least partly comprised of comprised of ex-cons who are more comfortable with violence than the average, non-LEO or Mil-Vet citizenry.

  37. Into the nearest national forest will me and mine go. Never to re-emerge (at least for 5 years). I grew up dirt poor in Eastern Kentucky. If we didn't hunt, we barely had meat to eat. So we poached out of season. If we didn't grow a garden, the few vegetables we could buy wouldn't help us. So we dug our furrows with hoes and e-tools. Some money went to seeds and seed storage.


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