In normal times, one or two people can get along pretty well by themselves. You have electronic devices to help you keep tabs on what's going on around your place. Law and Order, such as it is these days, is in effect. Unless you live too far out, like me, you can call the police if you have a problem.
The general consensus among people who give it a lot of thought, though, is that it takes a group of people to make things function when all is not as it should be. Katrina is a good example. I spent a lot of money on books, trying to learn about Katrina without relying on the notoriously inaccurate and sensational news media. I drew some useful conclusions from that research, and one of them was that mom and pop holding up in their second floor apartment and hoping the trouble will just pass them by does not work as a survival strategy.
For my brothers in the West, forming a group to work together in extraordinary times poses no problem. First, my brother has a purpose built compound out in the Sierras, where he prepositions supplies and equipment. He has a group of friends who come up there for a week at a time, twice a year, for hunting and fishing get togethers.
My brothers are both linked to country people in the region through family marriages. I think my brothers would have more people to cooperate with than they could really use, but planning is my middle brothers strong point. He ran a business in California for many years and he understands operational estimates and logistics.
Neither of them would have any trouble at all mentally throwing a switch and trading today's world for whatever might come along. I think they've solved any problems that are foreseeable , long ago.
I have most things under control, but the issue of additional people up here is a tough one. I don't want to surrender any of my autonomy, and I don't want to give up any control. But the groups I have communicated with , if I affiliated with them , would cause me to do just that. In any group there has to be a strong leader, and I wouldn't join one that didn't have that because under stress, they wouldn't make it. At the same time, I'm not interested in being told what to do. I call the shots on my own place and I always will.
The reasonable thing to do is to invite people I know very well, have known for years, to come in an emergency. There are very few people that meet that bill. For thirty years I've deliberately avoided close contact with people to the extent possible. Building up a group of trusted associates who might be able to make it here, under those restraints , is not easy.
I have been talking with some other individuals who have been "in the business" for many years, to see what they thought. Recently I got a very insightful communication from an individual who is well known in the community. He gave me the ok to publish extracts of his letter , and I am doing so here for anyone else struggling with the issue.
That thing about one dynamic individual...to me, thats a problem. It means that either he's the most motivated and everyone else just goes along, or he's the only thing holding the group together, or he's in a position to ramrod ideas and plans over the objections of others. Either way, he's a lot of eggs in one basket....if something happens to him or he just quits or goes nuts.....the whole group can fall apart.
I always say that if a person is going to join a group like this, it should be a group that you've 'organically' developed....shooting buddies and casual acquaintances who it turns out have the same concerns and interests. Kinda like dating the girls next door before you go hitting the internet dating sites. But you're so isolated, and you don't seem to really do much socializing, so I'm not sure how you'd even go about meeting like-minded individuals without this sort of event.
Back in the '90s we had all sortsa groups rise and fall in these parts of the woods. It seemed like 90% were guys who thought that survivalism was guns, ammo, BDU's and calling each other by made-up ranks and planning for a UN invasion. Lots of ammo, little food. Of course, its entirely possible that there are some truly well-done groups here and they are simply below the radar. I've no doubt about that...I'm pretty sure I've run into them a time or two in my travels. And I've seem some very interesting homes built up in the hills.
Just looking at history shows that 'tribes' form on a common denominator. Family, religion, politics, shared experience, etc. Throw a handful strangers together and I'd put their chances below that of an equally geared/equipped group comprised of family members, or church members, or that sort of thing. You're part of a tribe already...a Marine. I would guess, although I might be wrong, that you'd feel more comfortable in a group comprised of former servicemen (esp. Marines) than you would of total strangers. I've encountered two or three people like you, that is to say, people who have what is essentially a 'family stronghold' prepared and who are expecting their extended family to draw in and populate it in a crisis. To me, thats the most optimal situation since that brings a level of trust and familiarity that is very hard to come by outside of family relationships. Its a shame you and your brother(s) don't get along better, it would seem you guys have an ideal setup... one of you sets up the homestead and the others pre-position gear there 'just in case'. World comes to an end, you all meet at the brothers home.
I had a tight little circle of friends here that I'd known for many years before we discovered that we were all on the same wavelength. We never made anything 'official' but we all wound up with the same guns (AR, 870,P35,10/22,etc) and we'd let each other know when we came across deals on food and supplies. We all knew that we could count on the other ones in a crisis if we needed a place to stay or ran short on something.
At this point I redacted part of the letter to preserve the writers anonymity. It refers to an incident he was involved in that many of us are aware of.
Sadly, life isn't static and those friends had to move to find jobs, or their families required them to move elsewhere, etc, and now its just me and one or two other buddies. But I keep my eyes open for opportunities to make new allies.
Don't for a minute think that I'm trying to tell you what to do, I wouldn't presume that....BUT, if I had invested as much as you have into your location, I'd be unbelievably reluctant to share that information with any group no matter how well vetted and professional they seem. But thats ME. I know you're no fool and you wouldn't take risks if you didnt think they were to your benefit.
Good luck with the group thing. I hope it works out...I think you'd like having some folks you could 'be yourself' around without worrying that they think youre nuts. Thats what I love most about the relationships I have with other survivalists....I get to fly my freak flag and no one thinks I'm crazy. But be careful, man....
If anyone recognizes who wrote that, please don't say so on the blog. His operational security is very good and it was a favor for him to allow me to print his thoughts. I'd be very embarrassed if he was in any way compromised as a result.
I've about given up on preexisting groups. The down side aspects are far more numerous than the plus side. I may discuss this issue with my kids and see if they have some good candidates they could bring from the city with them. Perhaps they know some twenty somethings who have no place to go in a disaster or collapse. I'm still working on it.