And with a fresh new week comes a fresh new post.
If you have not yet read the first few installments, I suggest you do so as it will be of help in understanding just where this is coming from.
This week’s post here will be talking about good neighbors and bad neighbors.
When this series was originally written, our good man Rivrdog had started up his preparedness blog, Paratus. Just before this installment had originally been posted, he had written the first installment of his Who Will We Fight? posts and sent Part Two up the flagpole on the same day.
When you’re done here, stop by Paratus and read his essay about the questions arising from the process of getting yourself mentally prepared for situations such as those we’re discussing. While we disagree on the “Should I Stay or Should I Go” factor, they are still a pair of good reads.
And now, if you’d please follow me below the fold
We are sticking with the scenario from the previous essays of being hunkered down in your home with your family, awaiting the restoration of order.
You need to figure out who is and isn’t on your side. Who in your neighborhood is going to help you defend your shelter if you help them defend theirs, and who may try to take it from you.
Sadly, a good number of neighborhoods these days are just a bunch of people living next to and barely tolerating each other. This usually does not make for good neighbors without good fences (which we discussed last time), though I have made conact with my neighbors and have come away (mostly) successfully.
So this may also be a chance for you to get out and meet some of your neighbors, hopefully to good ends, if you have not already done so already.
Part of the reason for the length of time between the last By Ourselves post and this one is, once again, I’ve moved since writing the series. I went from Renton, Wa to Tacoma, Wa and am so deep in burbs now that it is a bit scary how different it is growing up rurally, then living in the city for seven years, next moving back semi-rurally and now deep suburbia. Each type of living space is different and writing it in a readable format is a bitch.
So thank you for your patience, and here we go.
You should probably start with the people living on either side of you, since they are the closest and then move to the people living across the street and then move onto the people in back of you.
This is not just a question of “Do you trust this person with your tools and/or lawn equipment?” It more follows the line of “Do you trust this person with your wife?” or, possibly more appropriately, “Do you trust them to be alone with your kids?”
The reason for these questions is that, in the event of a disaster or attack, your life and those of your family’s will be put at risk. You may need to depend on this person to cover your respective backs. Not only that, but if you are taken out of commission by an attack, you may need this person or persons to look after your family.
In the event of an attack on your shelter, such as the one we’ve been using, you may need to be able to depend on your neighbor/neighbors to come to your aid in fighting off trespassers. A good, accurate shot is just one of the things your neighbor might need to be, but just getting them to just show up for the fight is usually daunting.
These folks surely don’t want to alert the bandits assaulting your domicile that they are occupying a place of shelter, food and water as well. And getting people to realize that once the bad guys get done with your house they will most likely move on to others in the neighborhood isn’t easy.
Of course, while scoping out a neighbor for this duty, not scaring the piss out of your neighbor is essential. You might also want to make sure that they don’t think of you as a loony or some sort of uber-survivalist.
I am not very much of a social butterfly. Nor am I any kind of social scientist, so I won’t be able to give you many hints as to breaking the ice. You will have to just feel your way through these people and figure out if they are good candidates for help. Once you find a neighbor who is like minded, you can make up sort of a mutual agreement to come to each others aid.
Someone, I do believe it was David, suggested in the original post that talking about recent disasters is a good ice breaker for the subject. But first you have to get into a conversation longer than “How you doin’?”.
I’ve had neighbors over for BBQ’s, talked to them about lawn care, gone to their Garage Sales and even walked tools over to help with one guy’s 66 Mustang. People really do ruin everything. But persons, one-on-one, really aren’t that bad. I can handle that much.
As the next to last sentence gives away, I really do suck at interpersonal relationships. I have to try very hard when out in public not to fuck things up and dealing with strangers is one of my worst nightmares. I can get in trouble pumping gas.
Having to remember that I will be living next to these folks for at least another year makes it even more difficult for me in some ways, and a little easier in others. I just play it cool as a cucumber (and let the wife introduce us to the reigning woman of the other household) and things just seem to go.
When attempting to form an alliance, I just deal with the guy at first and let him talk to his wife if he deems it necessary. I don’t let on that I even own firearms and just talk about food, water and electricity and let him start the “Gun Talk”. Then you can whip out the stories about neighbors in Louisiana and Mississippi banding together to stop looters and the guys I’ve dealt with have been the ones to broach the subject about defending each others homes.
I got lucky (after doing a little reasearch) and made first contact with the guy in the neighborhood who has spoken to or knows everyone (retired Army Medic) and found that he the guy next door to him already had an agreement. he introduced me to that guy (retired Army O-3 from the Philippines) and we have a nice little aggreement now.
Once you have reached an agreement, you can discuss preparedness plans including, but not limited to the things we have discussed in the previous posts. You can then move onto fires zones that with be both effective and also safe for you both so as to lessen the chance of friendly fire.
Hopefully, your agreement can be made with a number of your neighbors who will make these agreements with other neighbors, and so on and so forth until you have an entire unified neighborhood that will be a good, strong defense for any gang of trespassers who decide to venture into your area looking for easy pickings.
This type of coalition of neighbors will definitely lessen the ability of potential trespassers getting very far into your neighborhood, thereby lessening the chance that you will have to defend your home with arms.
Now, go make some friends.
If there are any social butterflies out there who have tips of this sort of neighborly interaction, feel free to share them.
Also feel free to leave your questions in the comments and we’ll see if any can lend a hand.