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Prepping is often seen as a solitary activity. It is stereotypically depicted as overly skittish individuals hoarding everything they can so that they can survive the inevitable end of the world.
But the truth is, prepping is an activity everyone should participate in — and not just for themselves, either. Along with making sure that you’re ready for the next emergency, here are a few suggestions for ways that you can show that brotherly love by helping to prepare your neighborhood for any potential problems, too.
Choose Your Neighborhood Carefully
Before we get into the nitty-gritty aspects of orchestrating neighborhood-wide prepping activities, it’s worth taking a minute to talk about the place that you choose to live. From the setting to your particular house, you want to choose your living space carefully.
This starts with your home. Prepping influences your choice of living space in multiple ways. For instance, here are a few questions to ask when you’re looking for a home:
- Are you choosing a home that is in an open, clear location where you can defend yourself and maintain your self-sufficiency and autonomy if necessary?
- Is your new home going to undercut your financial preparedness or are you tackling monthly costs and future budgeting?
- Is the local neighborhood overcrowded or difficult to protect?
- Are the neighbors engaged or do they avoid interacting with one another?
You may not be able to answer all of these questions upfront. Nevertheless, it’s worth asking them beforehand to help make as informed a decision as possible.
Of course, if you’re already in a house and aren’t planning on moving any time soon, you can still work with what you have. However, if and when you do choose to move, do so with a long-term prepping mindset — both in regards to your personal living space as well as your local community.
When you set out to prep for your entire neighborhood, the first thing to do is consider how you’ll approach the task. There is a stigma around prepping that you want to avoid.
Instead of reinforcing the paranoid stereotype already mentioned, emphasize the sense of control that being prepared offers. Prepping isn’t about being scared or fearful. It’s about safeguarding yourself against potential future issues.
This doesn’t have to be a full-blown apocalypse. Instead, focus on things like the possibility of going through another pandemic, a serious electric outage, a flood, or some other event that is more likely in the short term. This will make your propositions more relatable.
Start a Neighborhood Watch
When it comes to first steps, consider starting a neighborhood watch. This is a common, practical activity that many will see useful even if they aren’t sold out to the prepper mindset yet.
You can start a neighborhood watch by:
- Setting things up with local law enforcement;
- Meeting with neighbors to discuss the task;
- Electing officers and coordinators to oversee the effort;
- Creating a schedule and setting up an online group for community communication.
A neighborhood watch is a great way to get your local community comfortable with the idea of prepping as a unit.
Once you have your neighborhood involved in the prepping efforts, you can begin to work toward expanding them beyond basic safety concerns. Start having meetings for those who want to take basic prepping more seriously.
Again, be diplomatic with this. Focus on things like ensuring that everyone has basic supplies and properly stocked go bags in the event of a minor emergency like a power outage or storm.
From there, you can begin to introduce more complex and important resources for a larger disaster. For example, gather transportation, terrain, and Google image maps of the local area.
Then go over them with your neighbors. Look for things like nearby water sources and designate gathering points if things go wrong.
Over time, you may even be able to start discussing things like defensive strategies and tactics. Outline an area of the neighborhood that will be the easiest to defend if things really go south. Talk through things like weapons, lock systems, and so on.
Easing Your Neighborhood Into a Prepping Mindset
Prepping takes a lot of work. This is just as true on a neighborhood scale as it is for an individual or a household. It requires coordination, communication, and the right mindset.
Community prepping also takes time and patience. You can’t create a defensively sound, self-dependent community in a week.
Instead, start to lay the groundwork in reasonable ways. Launch a neighborhood watch program. Set up a community Facebook Group or text feed. Have collective prepping days to ensure that everyone is ready for basic emergencies.
As you identify those who are more sold out to the prepping lifestyle, you can create a team of individuals that can help spearhead the prepping efforts across your community. If you can do that, you’ll find that your neighborhood is as prepared as possible before long.