Charity or Self Preservation After a Disaster

by David Morris on June 9, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored by the Fastest Way To Prepare Urban Survival Course.

Because of things that I’ve written in the past on the importance of operational security, sometimes it’s assumed that I think that people should stockpile supplies, keep them secret, and NEVER share them in a survival situation.

As I wrote that, I couldn’t help but think about the game, “Two truths and a lie” where you make 3 comments and the other people playing have to guess which of the 3 comments isn’t true.

In this case, the idea that I don’t believe in sharing in a time of need isn’t true…I simply believe in being strategic about it.

Specifically, in studying urban survival situations and talking with people who’ve lived through them and who have lived through other instances where supply chains have broken down and shortages have occurred, current human nature in the US seems to be that people who haven’t prepared feel that they DESERVE to be given supplies by people who have prepared.

Anyone who’s gone on a multi-day backpacking trip has experience with how this plays out. If you pull out a bag of M&Ms after 6 days in the back country when most of the goodies have already been eaten, there is a general expectation that you didn’t buy, pack, and carry those M&Ms for yourself…you MUST have brought them to share with everyone else. You end up with a few options. Among them, eat your M&Ms in secret, begrudgingly share them, happily share them, or eat them in front of others without sharing and develop bad feelings.

This is part of why I believe it is wise to not give food and water that you can’t easily replace to people in a shortage situation simply because they ask…unless you have thought out a plan ahead of time.

Why? Because by doing so, there’s a good chance that they’ll come back to you the next time they need something, and the next time, and the next time. And possibly with friends.

And what this can mean is that if you’ve got a month’s worth of supplies for a family of 4 and end up supporting 4 of your neighbors as well, now your supplies are only going to last one month. It’s not that people asking for your help are necessarily bad people. They might be relatives or good friends.

The issue is that you’ll be in a situation that may be one of the most stressful of your life and watching your stockpile of supplies go down quicker than expected won’t help your stress level.

This is a dilemma for many. I’m a Christian and this particular issue is a stumbling point for many Christians. Here are some of the common thoughts, “God tells us to share. Jesus tells us not to simply wish someone well and tell them we’ll pray for them when we have the ability to actually help them. We’re supposed to be like the good Samaritan. What kind of a witness or what kind of a human being am I if I don’t help someone in need?”

Many of my readers are not Christian and the internal struggle is just as strong and just as confusing.

I’m definitely of the mindset that I need to be the protector of my family and part of that is protecting the emergency supplies that we have so that I can provide for them during a disaster. At the same time, I’m teaching them with my words and actions how I think they should treat other people. Do I want to teach them that it’s OK to ignore people in need? Do I want to teach them that friendships don’t matter?

If we have a one month supply of food that we refuse to share when others ask for help and a shortage goes past one month, how can we expect to be treated differently by others who prepared better than we did?

If I have plenty of food that I’m not willing to share, but no water, can I really be surprised if my neighbor who has a working well refuses to share water with me?

(This actually brings up something important…sharing something that can be replaced is very different than sharing something that you have a limited supply of. Someone with a high flow rate well can share their water much easier than they can share their canned food supply. Likewise, a chicken farmer can donate all of their eggs for a community dinner but wouldn’t think of donating all of their chickens.)

So, you may be wondering if there is a path through this moral and ethical minefield, and I believe there is.

Our decision is one that I consider to be pragmatic. It works for us and it has resonated with many people who I’ve talked with about it.

Basically, we prepare with as little fanfare as possible. We try to make it so that if we have surprise guests, they aren’t going to see anything that will make them think of us as their best option if they find themselves in need after a disaster. We talk about preparedness positively and encourage others to do the same, but we don’t talk about our preparations much. We don’t advertise our preparations much. Our neighbors don’t know and even some of our family doesn’t know that we are a prepared family.

In the event of a disaster, our plan is to still keep our preparedness quiet. I was reminded of the importance of this after the Japan earthquake and tsunami threat. We were staying in a condo on a beach in Hawaii that faced northwest and we were told that the tsunami might be 30 feet high when it reached us.

This was a case where we had to relocate and the friends that we were visiting had a place set up in advance for us to go to. We packed up our food and water for a for a few days and we started loading our cars.

As we did, friends of our friends came up to them in a panic asking if they had “anywhere” to go.

In an instant, the theory of operational security and finite resources in a disaster met the reality of human friendship and compassion. Human friendship and compassion won…it was no contest, but our friends did make it clear to her that she had minimal time and she couldn’t invite others.

Our minimal supplies that would have lasted us a few days would now last a little less. Our buffer until we had to find sustainable sources for water and food was now a little smaller. But we were able to look at ourselves in the mirror and each other.

Just as important in this case, after the threat of the disaster passed, we hadn’t alienated a friend and there was still a solid friendship.

On the other hand, if we and our friends would have started calling around after the tsunami warning was announced and told everyone we knew that we had supplies and a place to go, we would have been inundated and the logistics would have quickly gotten out of control. As it was, since we were quiet, we were able to relocate with our small group and we were able to help a couple of extra people.

Back to our overall thought process…we’re quiet about our preparedness, both before and after disasters. As I’ve mentioned before, this protects us from thieves before and looters after a disaster.

That being said, we aren’t heartless and are willing…even excited to be able to help others with food, water, and other supplies. We can help others in secret by placing food on their front steps. If there is limited assistance from outside, we might be able to accept that assistance and turn around and give it to someone who needs it more than we do.

We’re also prepared to listen to God’s will and/or our consciences and give away as much as we feel called to give away. We have no idea how this will play out, but we’re prepared to “double up” and take people into our home, give resources, and/or give time and skills. At the same time, we want to have as much available as possible for when we receive that “tugging” to give stuff away.

If we advertise that we have supplies, we put the control of when/how our supplies get distributed into other people’s hands. If we keep quiet about it, we get to control when/how our supplies get distributed, if ever.

This understanding that we may feel a strong tug to give our time and resources to others is one of the driving factors that has led us to prepare to what many would consider an “excessive” level. We would rather have “too many” supplies and “too many” skill-sets and be able to help create stable micro-environments on our block, in our neighborhood, and in our community after a disaster than to simply be another refugee family or half-prepared victim.

I go into this topic in the Fastest Way To Prepare course.  From the basics of building up food storage to keeping your preparations secret to making a planned response to visitors after a disaster.  These are vital topics for anyone who is aware of just how close we are to a situation where the shelves are empty and there’s no trucks coming to restock them.  To learn more, go to http://fastestwaytoprepare.com/.

Where do you sit on this? Are you stockpiling for yourself, for yourself and a specific number of other people, or with the understanding that you’ll stockpile until it hurts so you can give until it hurts? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

This week, I also want to direct you over to two new reviews at GI Jeff’s blog on the forum.

One is a review of the Ranger Rick pocket size survival kits: http://secretsofurbansurvival.com/entry.php?42-REVIEW-Army-Ranger-RIck-s-Pocket-Size-Survival-Kits-REVIEW

and the other is a review of the Becker BK-2 companion knife:  http://secretsofurbansurvival.com/entry.php?41-REVIEW-Becker-BK-2-Campanion-knife-REVIEW

So head on over, check out Jeff’s reviews and add in your comments.  I’m always looking for good writers and if you’ve got any survival or preparedness articles that you’d like to have published, let me know.

Until next week, God bless and stay safe.
David Morris.

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1K West
June 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Your approach makes alot of sense for long-term survival. We must always care for our families first, but compassion for others will help us form a better society once things settle down again. I believe OPSEC is critical to remain in control. Thank you for your very valuable website/newsletter/course. You have started me and my wife on a pathway to preparedness.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Carolyn Camoriano (A Former Mother Hubbard)
June 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Reminds me of the story of
“The Little Red Hen.” Check it out! Everyone wants a piece of the pie, but no one wants to help in preparations. A dilemma!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Lisa B
June 13, 2011 at 5:32 am

aha you said it best Carolyn

maybe I should get a few copies of this book to hand out to truly aggressive people later.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Lori
June 10, 2011 at 8:55 am

You want to see reality and a wake up call..watch the movie “The Road”. You will do whatever you need to to be prepared after seeing that movie. It was a realistic depiction of what may occur. Horrible!!

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1dans-in-co
June 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm

The Road was the ‘darkest’ movie I’ve ever watched. You definitely want to be
better prepared after watching that movie.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Lisa B
June 13, 2011 at 5:34 am

I have not watched the road yet, I will have to see if it is available on net flicks

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+4 Vote -1 Vote +11minuteman
June 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

i try to prepare supplies for my wife and i and in case my 3 grown kids dont prepare which they probably wont i try and add enough for them too. beyond that it gets very expensive when you cover not just food but protection,medical,water, etc. if i can i would like to get in contact with like minded people in my area but most people i meet seem oblivious to the dangers out there. if i could possibly do it i would help neighbors because thats the america i remember but ultimatley your family comes first.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1dans-in-co
June 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm

See if there is a 9-12 Project group in your area. Our group has a preparedness
committee that I belong to and we help each other with ideas, shopping tips, Sam’s
Club memberships, gardening, Satellite dish solar cookers, sun-ovens, weapons,
and any other info that we think is valuable.

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Vote -1 Vote +1drumrgrrrl
June 14, 2011 at 8:34 am

Wow! I had never heard of 9-12. I just checked out the website. This is so cool! Thanks dans-in-co!

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Nancy Kosling
June 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm

1minuteman: I’m a Corpus Christi, Texas citizen. It’s taken two years of dropping hints to outright dropping off 25 pound bags of rice and beans to each of my five adult children. During the summer school resess I keep three grandchildren from three households. The boys see the shelf stable foods come in from UPS and FedEx. They help me inventory and check-off to see if everything on the shipping invoice was in the box(es). They ask why I am doing it. I tell them with hurricanes, the possibility of money going bad, to social collapse, it is always a good thing to prepare for emergencies even if you never have to use them.

One of my eleven year old grandsons said, “I think we need more rice at home Grandma”. He got it. Three of my four sons get it. My daughter lives in Houston is on the paycheck treadmill. I took her 18 bags of shelf stable food and we drove to Lowe’s and bought a big chrome rack to set up just at the garage door. All the food she placed just where she wanted it. I was able to give her teen and college son home for the summer the same casual reasons. Although they didn’t say they bought in to a survival pantry, we opened the cornmeal and made cornbread with a big pot of pinto beans and ham. It was there to finish off a meal when the college childed tried to cook a meal but added too much salt to his creation. The buy-in was at a gut survival level. They will have summer jobs and because of my visit will make a balanced decision of where they spend their money to help the whole household prepare for a much bigger emergency. I’ve had to keep dropping hints on my family to the point they begin to worry themselves about the full range of emergencies or they will be sure that I have the beginnings of dementia and just placate me. Either way, they will survive if we are all slammed with multiple crisis. As for neighbor’s, churchmen and women, keep singing the same song of “prepare so you do not fear”. Widow-ladies and disabled still have fears too. Help them prepare if you know them. During this aid, your own family stragglers will come on board. During the time of our pioneers, everyone made a survival pantry or cellar or they would not survive the winter. Some things never change. I’ve had to come to terms with the household look of “Better Homes & Gardens Home” or the more useful, “Early American Warehouse”. Having full shelves gives me more pleasure.

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-7 Vote -1 Vote +1Fenwick Taylor
June 10, 2011 at 9:05 am

There is a Russian saying; “pray if you must but don’t stop bailing, if your life boat is sinking”. Don’t wait for God to suggest bailing. I am very uncomfortable with God “talking” to the President of the USA about decisions. If God talks to me, I consider it a hallucination.

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+6 Vote -1 Vote +1JB
June 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm

How sad for you.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1BriM
June 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Well, I guess the question would be; How accurate are your hallucinations?
Please realize that just because God is “talking” doesn’t mean someone is “listening”.

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+7 Vote -1 Vote +1james
June 10, 2011 at 9:12 am

this whole ‘sharing’ thing is a product of an entitlement society where ‘the world owes me a living’ seems to be the predominant meme. anyone who can fog a mirror can see there are bad times ahead and they have the option of at least making minimal preparations to protect themselves and their families. should they fail to do so they have two options; die or ‘share’ what you have thoughtfully stored to protect your family. and make no mistake they will be quite willing to ‘share’ at gunpoint if need be. ‘sharing’ what you have with people who have made no preparations is as stupid as making no preparations – and the outcome will be the same. keep it quiet and be prepared to protect what you have.

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Bob Morton
June 10, 2011 at 9:52 am

I am sorry to say that i agree with you. I have tried to be a prepared person for many years. I have also shared what I had with some of my neighbors. In every occasion, the neighbors I didn’t share with (they didn’t ask) felt that I had “left them out” because I didn’t tell them I had resources. I certainly wasn’t going to walk up and down the street, hawking what I had and offering to all and sundry. As you say, an entitlement society. And believe me, the people in my neighborhood have a LOT of disposable income.

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+4 Vote -1 Vote +1Martin
June 10, 2011 at 9:22 am

This is probably the hardest scenerio for me to deal with. We know we will have to bring in relatives (if they can get here). We have talked until we are blue in the face about stocking up an emergency supply of good storage food, to no avail. They feel they will always get food from somewhere. For this reason, we continue to increase our supply knowing we will have to help others, but know it has to end somewhere. Where does it end. My food storage room is full, my workshop (walkout basement) is looking more like a 5 gallon bucket store and my wife thinks I’m crazy but realizes two of the four relatives are her sister and brother in law, so she goes along with me.
Part of the reason I prepare like this is I know my brother in law would be a huge benifit for our own security. We are both retired law enforcement, advid hunters, fishermen and firearm enthusists. The few neighbors we have, know we will always assist all we can, both in labor and supplies, we always have and hopefully will always be able to, but where will it end? As you say, the family must always come first.

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+6 Vote -1 Vote +1MITCH M.
June 10, 2011 at 9:24 am

I HAVE ENOUGH SUPPLIES FOR MY FAMILY FOR 6 YEARS, AT NORMAL CALORIC INTAKES. I HAVE A SMALL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS WHO HAVE LISTENED TO ME AND HAVE MADE AN EFFORT TO PROVISION THEMSELVES. IF THE BALOON GOES UP WE WILL CONSOLIDATE AT MY PLACE WITH WHAT THEY HAVE STORED. THEIR MINIMUM EFFORT IS THEIR PASSPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY. THEY KNOW WHAT THEY NEED. THIS IS THE MOST DEFENDABLE PLACE. ANY WHO HAVE SCOFFED AT US OR THOUGHT US ABSTRACT ARE NOT INVITED AND WILL BE EXCLUDED WITH FORCE IF NESSESARY IF THEY ATTEMPT TO FORAGE OFF OF US. I HAVE BOUGHT THESE SUPPLIES WITH MONIES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN SPENT ON FANCY TRUCKS, VACATIONS, NIGHTCLUBS ECT LIKE OTHERS HAVE DONE. SOUNDS UN-CHRISTIAN LIKE, BUT LIKE TRIMMING THE LAMPS THERE CONSEQUENCES FOR YOU ACTS.

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Vote -1 Vote +1S. Acker
June 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

I think the greater good is what you’re doing now – serving as a voice encouraging others to prepare, serving as a resource of instruction and information. It goes back to the old saying, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”. Perhaps with a little forethought we can anticipate who those friends / relatives / neighbors might be who would come to us for assistance, spend time educating them now and assisting them with their own preparations, and develop a small, close network of prepared people who could band together in time of need for the good of the group.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Ann
June 10, 2011 at 9:55 am

This subject encapsulated one of the biggest dilemmas I walk around with in my head. I do have friends who know my passion about preparedness and they very well come knocking at my door. We happen to be without many practical skills, so we will rely on others for many things, hopefully with a fairness factor of trading for other things. I know I won’t be able to prepare for everything, but I pray for the grace of God to sustain us and cover my mistakes (including my big mouth) in the hard times. I so appreciate your wisdom and balance on this issue, David. One of my big concerns is how to care for my in-laws when the time comes. They live 45 minutes away and are very unprepared for anything, trusting in luck or whatever government structure can help (I assume). We have broached the subject and got definite feedback of people being fanatics who prepare for the worst. I want to know they would be okay until we could find a way to get them to our house, but it’s tricky–any advice?

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Pat Hughes
June 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

I share the thoughts of many who have posted here…it is a fine line. As a Christian, I believe you give till it hurts, however, this also means there will come a time when you reach the point in your supplies, where you must stop. Your families need for survival and ability to prosper will become a priority (hence us being preppers). Face it…anyone out there with the proper mind set and very little training can survive for a while…but I think for the majority of us, it becomes and issue of not only surviving but ‘prospering’. To do that takes time, money, knowledge, and a group of like minded individuals with specific skill sets (You CANNOT go it alone). Unfortunately for many…they have drank the grape Kool-aid far too long believe big ‘daddy’ government will come bail them out or that they are entitled (have many family members who believe this)…sad, and will be a heck of a wake-up call for them, but by then…too late. May we as ‘old soldiers’ continue to pray for peace and that this type of situation, never comes to pass…but as the ‘old soldier’ be prepared for battle.

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+5 Vote -1 Vote +1Rita Paige
June 10, 2011 at 10:29 am

I have long struggled with this issue. To share or not to share? I and my family have sacrificed for many years so that we could purchase what we need in a survival situation, while we see friends and family buy new cars, fun toys, and take nice vacations, knowing that they will be the first to knock on our door when SHTF.

Being Christian teaches us to share, but when you look at the Parable of the Ten Virgins, the five that prepared could not share their oil with the others or they would not have had enough for themselves. So there’s one on the not share side. But then there is the account of Elijah and he goes to the widow and tells her (as she and her son are eating their last meal and preparing to die) that if she will feed him, then her oil and flour would never run out. That famine lasted quite a long time and she and her son never wanted for food. There’s one on the share side. Another one that comes to mind is the story of the loaves and fishes. Jesus fed a crowd of thousands with just a few fish and a couple loaves of bread. He then sent his disciples out and they gathered many baskets of “left-overs”. Another tick mark under share. So the count is now 2 in the share column and one in the not share column. I am sure that there are many more parable and biblical stories to support either side but those are the ones that came readily to mind.

The scriptures say that if we are prepared, we shall not fear. I have come to the conclusion that we need to do all we can to prepare and then trust in the Lord. After all, do we just believe in the Lord or do we believe Him? Ultimately, He is in charge.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Eir
June 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Look in Proverbs, 6:6-8 and 30:25. Also, remember the fable of the grasshopper and the ants. Those who prepare for themselves are under no obligation to help those that did not prepare. Hosea 4:6; being destroyed for a lack of knowledge. When you share your knowledge of being prepared with others and they ignore you, that is to their detriment. As sad as it is, unfortunately, there will be many (and I agree, it is much wiser to spend money and time in providing for the future of your families vs buying “toys” and spending/debting for the now) that I will be grieving for as they chose to be ignorant. I also grieve for my family members that have spouted far and wide the extent of their preps. You have to draw a line for yourself, become reconciled to God for your actions, and set yourself like a flint. I know that it will be extremely hard for me to watch others suffering, but you have to ask yourself too: if the circumstances were reversed, what would the outcome be? Reality vs fantasy, here. And for the most part, reality isn’t the
“fun” answer, but the necessary one. Thanks for the forum.
Eir

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+5 Vote -1 Vote +1Andy
June 10, 2011 at 10:35 am

Having grown up with a Father who experienced the “great depression”, I have always been a survivalist and relatively self sufficient. As our country has changed over the years and I’ve seen the generations turn from being responsible for themselves, I’ve become more secretive in my preparations. The fact that you must care for yourself first is fundamental. We will share what we can with those who need assistance, but we will care for ourselves first. The real secret to survival in the future will require long term solutions above and beyond storage of necessities. This is our reason for installing solar before it was popular, and for a large solar greenhouse that assists in our “secret” preparations, in that it is not as visable and more productive year around than having a large garden. We have a relatively close small neighborhood and we have always shared our excesses amoung those who can put them to use. In my effort to educate those of my friends who fail to see the future as many of us do, I’ve heard all the hype about how expensive the conversion to solar presently is, and how unreliable it is. We are the living proof that neither is true. Our small shop is completely off grid and has been for about two years. We manufacture automotive parts that we sell on the internet. With the investment of slightly over three thousand dollars we continue to be grid free while we work on a daily basis. Again the “secret” is to be a self sufficient survivalist and devise a plan to make small, but frequent and necessary steps as finances and time allow. Educating ones self is more of a mind set since there is so much now available on the net and that cost is small.
Our next project, now in the planning stage, will be to drive a well. Again we will do it ourselves without advertising what we do, but will share when and if that becomes necessary. Thank you again for your effort in educating those of us who will survive.
For God, family, and country, Andy

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+4 Vote -1 Vote +1kenblacks
June 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

REally good article David. You hit the nail on the head with this one. I dont understand why most everybody I know is dong nothing to prepair. Even the ones who at least act like they think that something bad is or might be coming. my family comes 1st and foremost. but I dont see how a guy with a caring kind heart could turn freinds and family away even though they were warned many times. I would hope that I will have the courage to put my wife & kids 1st & then help as minimul as possible with food ect.. to help keep them from starving while feeding my wife,children & my self a proper meal if it can be done. god help us if this happends , but as as time goes by I am fearing the worst.I hope the good lord will show me whats the right thing to do on this subject wehen ever that time comes. Take care & god bless.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Dan
June 10, 2011 at 10:41 am

Before sharing you have to consider the cost/benefit. When sharing you are revealing you have a food supply that is ample enough to share with others. The cost of revealing you are prepared my alert nefarious individuals who would take by force. Of course you would not want to share with thugs and criminals but does sharing with your neighbors help you and your family in some way. Are they individuals who would reciprocate if the situation was reversed? If the situation is long term would they be willing to assist in the collective effort of survival, be it assisting in gardening, defense and so on?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Ron G
June 10, 2011 at 10:57 am

Thanks David for this great article about charity in a survival situation. I have been soft hearted most of my life and I easily fall for someone’s line of bull and give away the store. I liked the idea of keeping quite what preparedness are going on. In addition, I liked the idea of leaving some goods anomalously.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Pat Yates
June 10, 2011 at 11:02 am

I agree with you, David, and that we must take care of our own first. These entitlement programs have degraded most of the people who use them and let them think that someone will always take care of them and that they do not have to do so themselves. Any catastrophe of any size will be a rude awakening for them. Hopefully, it will not be too late for them to learn to take care of themselves.
Pots

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Vote -1 Vote +1Auntie Karen
June 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

I have urged & warned friends & fellow church members
to no avail. Only a couple of neighbors are also aware of
the world situation & preparing to any degree. A single
mother I hired, to help me pack up a portable kitchen in
a footlocker (in case an earthquake destroyed my home)
& “barter supplies” in another footlocker, sees my
limited supply (I’m a single woman & senior citizen with
limited eyesight & mobility) as her own storehouse. I was
told by a mutual friend she had said she’d bring all 30 of
her relatives to my place. After I explained that my store
was for my neighbors who already help me on a regular
basis as well as myself, she still says she can walk here
in 2 days if necessary. Would I turn her away? No. But I
would hope she would make herself useful (she is a hard
worker when focused). I still urge her & others to at least
have some extra beans, peanut butter & water “just in case”
the New Madrid fault goes or we’re hit with a tornado as
we’ve had happen recently (she even was hit by a F1).
Can we always pick & choose those whom we help? I
had planned to help my neighbors but, as the Pharisee
asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Since I have no
family to worry about, my “family” & “neighbor” is
anyone who is near. I trust the Lord to give me wisdom
& discernment. Some years ago the Lord did miraculously
multiply food for me – but only once & only to care for 2
strangers who had not eaten in 4 days – I don’t expect
that to happen on a daily basis but it’s good to know He
still will when He chooses.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
July 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

If she brings 30 of her relatives, your preparations will be for nothing.

Can you move? Perhaps the rest of us can learn from your mistake.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Paula
June 10, 2011 at 11:22 am

I started by planning for 2 adults and added more as I am able. I now probably have enough for 10 adults for 6 months. Im a firm believer in you get what you give. But I will give smartly on the sly. My goal is a one year supply for 10. That is besides what I am putting aside for others.

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1D. Logan
June 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

David:

Your charity issue has been a subject of discussion for me and many of the groups (well into the early morning hours) that I have spoke to in past 20 years. I just wanted to add my insights to this issue. After searching many of the scriptures and looking deep into the soul of our family, we have decided to SHARE with those who have not prepared for the days that lie ahead in this order. First, all of our efforts have been for our family first, we have sacrificed for and used most of our disposable income to prepare for the days that lie ahead, that our children will not know the words “Dad, I’m HUNGRY”. Second, our extended family who would humble themselves enough to ask for help, knowing full well that many will go to their graves before they would admit that we were right. Third, the widowed and orphaned. Fourth, those driven from their stores thur no fault of their own. Fifth, and finally my nightbors who know what is coming and have opened their hearts to me and my family by allowing us to use their boats, their cabins by the lake, their trips twice a years, their new trucks and cars, and their cruises, sharing their new and designer clothers, and finally, they who have endowed my family with wonderful christmas’s, birthdays and of course anniversarys which I and my wife have jokenly (but with foresight) given each other necessary survival equipment as gifts. As of today, my family and I have not enjoyed the blessing of the fifth group, and so we will save that portion for the widowed and orphaned, and those driven from their stores, and of course for my extended family who will by necessity show up.

As I have often been asked, my final words are these. Could or should have NOAH opened the doors to the cries of his family and friends on the day when the ARK began to rise up. Or was he commanded to enter in where the LORD SEALED THE DOORS against them who would not listen. I believe that Noah’s story gave us the insights to this question and that is “prepare and then let the LORD seal the doors.”
Remember the active word here is PREPARE, we have prepared a list of those we will share with. Now we have done all we can and will let the LORD decide who comes to our door and to whom we will open it for.

May the Dear Lord bless you in your efforts in behalf of others who are just starting their journey into the world of family preparedness, and to those of us who have now closing the doors to our arks.
iamdlogan

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Vote -1 Vote +1Michael
June 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I concur with many of the comments. I plan to give away some of what I have prepared. But my thoughts are to give it to the Church and let them distribute it. If someone asks, you can then point them towards the Church (of your faith). I have some family that have put in a years supply, others have done nothing, a few have put together extra can goods. For a few (family) I have purchased (10 lbs of each) dried bean, rice and containers and just put it in their pantries. Sams’ club has reasonable prices for beans and rice and containers for storage. I believe we have only at most a year or two before the crisis explodes. My thoughts are after my year supply of dried food, is to start going after solar panel energy systems. I already have some ammo and firearms on hand. 22 cal are cheap and effective. keep up the good work. JMH

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Vote -1 Vote +1Right Turn Only
June 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm

This is a good article. I have been alittle boastfull about my preppiness.luckly only with close friends and relatives.
In a genuine emergency this can be a problem.Now we are in hurricane season again, its time to replenish water supplies and non parishables.
Going to add a good 3 day ice chest to my supply list.

Not related to this article. I have been thinking if I were to make a secondary fallout refuge.I think I should find a location that can be reached within half a tank of gas for my leasts fuel effiecient vehicle.

What do you think?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
June 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm

After wagging your tongue you ought to consider moving — a thousand miles or so.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jack
June 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm

You have to have compassion, but continue to live under the free market system. Don’t give them stuff when they show up in need. Barter with them. Trade them for something of value. Have them help plant gardens, mend clothing, wash clothes and keep an accounting of what is bartered and establish value (1 lb of wheat is worth 1 hour of labor?). Everyone will show up for a free lunch, but asking for something in exchange will weed out the loafers and freeloaders. The mormon’s have their own welfare system that works well because people are asked to work when they need food or other assistance. They also keep their self respect and don’t feel like it is an entitlement.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Valerie Bate
June 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Well here’s what I learned about myself and my prep. I automatically share…I don’t even think about it. I live in Joplin, MO and some of you may know that we were hit with an F5 tornado. My house was in the path but on the edge just 1 block over is gone. My roof, fence, shed and most trees were destroyed so we were extremely lucky! The neighbors on my street all helped each other immediately. That night after was a nightmare…we had no utilities at all. I have oil lamps, coleman stove with lots of propane and lots of canned food. I got lamps lit and gave 2 away to neighbors to use. They made comments about me having the stuff and all I said was I had learned a little from all the ice storms. I have a stainless stove top percolator and made coffee all morning the next day and it really lifted everyone’s spirits. One of my neighbors has bought me a couple of cans to replenish what I used. The outpouring of support and help from total strangers was amazing! Any and all help that I rec’d was from private people and churches…..now I know that if TSHTF this will be a different scenario but I really feel way more comfortable with my neighbors now and think we will be helping each other. I only knew a couple of them to wave at and their first names but we have all become close and know it’s others names. I could go on and on….I also learned that I had become lax. I did not have a working flashlight except for my windup. Can you believe that crap?? I had let my grandkids play with them and didn’t bother following up! I also want way, way more candles. We liked having a small candle in each room so when we walked in we could see where we were going. I was a little nervous the second night because of looters (who should be shot!!) but nothing happened in our neighborhood mostly because most of us were in our houses. I also kept a great attitude during the first 10 days or so because we were still in the “crisis” mode but this week has been kinda weepy for me. It is absolutely heartwrenching around here and everyone is trying to bring some sort of normalcy to their lives and it’s tough. I am watching myself through this and I didn’t think that it would affect me because I’m so “strong and prepared” so the emotional part is a little surprising but good to know plus I”ve been told by many that it’s normal……big ups to Dave for all his good advice as much of it came into play in the last few weeks….

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Vote -1 Vote +1acorn ecclesia
June 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm

i agree with most of the postings here, but one point hasnot been discussed yet–what if the beast (federal/state) government comes and seizes your stores due to an emergency (such as katrina)??? to distribute as they will. any suggestions as to how to handle that scenario? thanks n advance for all your help! keep up the good work!

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill in Colorado
June 11, 2011 at 7:56 am

Not questioning your facts, but I followed the Katrina debacle religiously and didn’t hear of the gov’t seizing the storage food of private citizens. I did hear of them taking firearms, which is why it’s a good idea to have a cheap old .22 and a box of ammo to “give” them while your good stuff is hidden. Do you have links to news stories about the gov seizing food, etc., from private citizens?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
June 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm

What others do not know will not hurt you. Did you:
1. Register your purchaces with the government? or
2. Forget to take down and bring in the ‘Food storage here’ sign BEFORE the crisis?
If so then you have got a problem — otherwise probably not. *;>

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jon
June 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm

on op sec i was at an auction days ago and got a few cases of MRE’S and a couple of people here and there asked me “do you know something I don’t know” and my fast op sec responce “oh no these things are great for camping” then the prep was unnoticed in the fog of a half truth, its repackaged relabled and hideing in plan out of sight.

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Vote -1 Vote +1anna
June 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm

The post about what if the government during a crises came and confiscated your supplies? I have also asked this question. I do know of a family in Texas who saw trouble coming and prepared. They had a farm in country..fruit tree’s garden stored food’s. They put up their own produce ..stored it all away. One day they got a knock on the door from the government who had heard they were ;hording’ and it was all carted away. This is what my concern is. As many have pointed out..they went without fancy car’s..expensive vacation’s as well as other thing’s to prepare for bad times ahead. My question is during a food shortage would the government confiscate our supplies. Remember Obama wishes to take from the wealthy and give to the poor..same concept.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bill in Colorado
June 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

I’d be interested in seeing more on this. Do you have a link to a news story, etc.?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Teresa M.
June 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Fema executive orders. EO 10998 is the one relevant to this discussion. I included the others just because I found them interesting if not a little frightening especially 11921.Executive order number 12148 created the Federal Emergency Management Agency that is to interface with the Department of Defense for civil defense planning and funding. An “emergency czar” was appointed. FEMA has only spent about 6 percent of its budget on national emergencies. The bulk of their funding has been used for the construction of secret underground facilities to assure continuity of government in case of a major emergency, foreign or domestic.

Executive Order Number 12656 appointed the National Security Council as the principal body that should consider emergency powers. This allows the government to increase domestic intelligence and surveillance of U.S. citizens and would restrict the freedom of movement within the United States and grant the government the right to isolate large groups of civilians. The National Guard could be federalized to seal all borders and take control of U.S. air space and all ports of entry. Here are just a few Executive Orders associated with FEMA that would suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These Executive Orders have been on record for nearly 30 years and could be enacted by the stroke of a Presidential pen:

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has broad powers in every aspect of the nation.

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