A quick perusal of crime prevention safety tips reveals something interesting. One item almost all of them have in common (aside from “don’t broadcast your vacation on Facebook) is to get to know your neighbors. While it might feel counter-intuitive in a worst-case prepping scenario–the more people you know the less far your stash will go–it really does makes good sense. It is, after all, the premise Neighborhood Watch was founded on.
For preppers, though, it can be even better to take it beyond the standard “you look out for me, I look out for you.” The best case scenario, is to turn your neighborhood into a community.
Being part of a community goes way beyond knowing someone’s name, phone number, and general work schedule. Community is about building connections, relationships, bonds. It’s about becoming invested in each other’s well-being, about knowing that we are stronger together than we are apart, about having someone to bring you soup when you’re sick, or pick up your kids if you have to work late, or even just go to a movie with. It can also mean an increased ability to lay-in supplies, grow a food garden, share expenses of big ticket items like generators.
In the town of Totnes, England, it goes even further than that. It means creating a community independent of reliance on fossil fuels through a movement called Transition. Originally a response to Peak Oil, Transition is a viable response to many catastrophic possibilities. Power failures of any kind. Loss of transportation or communication between towns. Breakdown of mechanized farming. Skynet.
How? “By engaging…communities in home-grown, citizen-led education, action, and multi-stakeholder planning to increase local self reliance and resilience.” Those actions can include community gardens, re-skilling, creating a local clean power co-op, training and education, and more.
Rob Hoskins, the father of Transition, explains more about Peak Oil and the Transition movement in this 2009 TED Talk.
It’s true that the lone wolf surviving on his strength and wits can be an appealing path. But what happens when you get your leg caught in a trap? With community, there’s someone to get you out.