Out Front with Mike Shelby: How to Build Social Bases

In this video Mike Shelby, aka Sam Culper of Forward Observer and Grey Zone Activity, talks about building social bases, which are areas which are capable of resisting tyrannical rule, but such community mobilization and structure can also provide relief post disasters or catastrophes.

American Partisan: Building Mutual Assistance Groups

Crusoe at American Partisan has several articles about building mutual assistance groups (MAGs) which may be worth your time to read. Crusoe mentions this, but know that the examples of standards and equipment which he mentions are what his specific group decided. Your MAG may have different goals which will dictate more or less stringent standards or entirely different standards and/or equipment.

Mutual Assistance…So You Want to Build a MAG

Excerpt:

I believe it is important to build a mutual assistance group (MAG) based upon sound principles and shared values.  Using history as a guide, it was bands of people who gathered that ensured survival.  Quite frankly, hiding in a bunker by yourself is one of the quickest ways to get rolled up, all your stuff taken, and ultimately killed.  Humans are tribal by nature and require community to function optimally.  We were not made to exist within a digital world, and it is human-to-human interaction that brings out the best in us.   I commonly say, “practice analog leadership in a digital world.” For a great (and fun) book to read that illustrates the need for community defense check out Warwolf by Hermann Lons.

Building a MAG takes a lot of work, but in the end will be worth every minute you spend building it.  Whether you are creating a new one or trying to gain purpose with your existing group there are key steps to take.  For the purpose of this article, I will talk about the initial steps of building a charter and why this is important.

A charter is nothing more than the guidelines on how your group is structured and expectations of each member.  It really is not rocket science; it just takes a lot of thinking to get it right.  If building a new group, I would recommend you start with only a couple founding members that share your values and basic expectations.  When trying to do anything with numbers greater than that it quickly devolves into ‘group think’ and bickering over minor details.  Remember…this is your group, and the end results will be influenced by these first steps.  The ultimate goal is to build professionalism which spurs deliberate actions.  Professionalism is also how you will recruit worthwhile members as they will see you are not a bunch of old fat men who only shoot guns and talk about the impending apocalypse.  Instead, they will see you as squared away and thinking about the bigger picture.

When starting to write your charter I recommend you buy a big white board and brainstorm your purpose.  If you have read any of my other articles you will know I am a proponent of defining requirements before doing anything. Ask the questions: Why are we building this MAG?  What is our overall purpose?  What does the end result look like? and What do we value?  From this mental exercise the next steps are to build mission and vision statements.  This is important because it will define what it is you are trying to accomplish.

Mutual Assistance Groups: Defining Values

Mutual Assistant Groups: Decision Making

Mutual Assistance Groups: Vetting New Members

Mutual Assistance Groups: Standards

Mutual Assistance Groups: Removing the Dead Wood

Mutual Assistance Groups: Team Building

Citylab: How Portland’s Earthquake Preppers Are Planning for the Worst

While the decision to survive is a personal one, your ability to survive is exponentially enhanced by having a community which has decided to survive. In this article from Citylab, one neighborhood in Portland discusses how and why they formed and what they are doing to be prepared. Have you met your neighbors and mapped your neighborhood? Meet people, build trust, and grow community. It will help you survive – not just in disasters.

…“One of the main elements of disaster preparedness is knowing your neighbors,” Michael Hall says as the meeting begins. He’s the bell-ringer and leader of Alameda’s self-titled “Council of Blockheads,” which represents a two-block, 25-household area. For the last four years, the residents of this leafy neighborhood have convened twice annually over a lofty goal: ensuring the survival of everyone on the block in case of a disaster.

For the next 30 minutes, the group talks about whether to order more stackable emergency water containers and how much extra food to stock up on (the new advice: enough for two weeks). They listen to earthquake survival tips from a guest speaker, Marilyn Bishop, who sells pre-made emergency prep kits full of freeze-dried rations. Four years ago, these neighbors hardly knew each other. But after seven meetings and counting, they now see each other as their lifelines.
Hall is one of the many residents of the Pacific Northwest reckoning with the terrifying potential of the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that many experts believe will strike in the next 50 years. The overdue super-quake could trigger devastating coastal tsunamis—waves up to 85 feet high—and deliver potentially massive damage to homes, highways, and water and power infrastructure. Galvanized by Kathryn Schulz’s 2015 New Yorker story “The Really Big One,” Hall was eager to do something. So he gathered a few neighbors at his house over beers to brainstorm. The result was their first disaster-awareness block party, where nearly every household had a representative. The block parties became the way to make catastrophe preparation less overwhelming.

They started holding twice-yearly informational meetups with guest speakers and workshops that covered how to create a family emergency plan, human waste storage systems, and water and food storage. They made a bulk order of water bricks. And they created and continue to update a comprehensive inventory of neighborhood contact information, emergency supplies (such as generators, tools, and camping equipment), and skills (e.g., first-aid, carpentry, childcare). Some neighbors even gained additional training as Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) volunteers—city-trained residents who deploy in a large-scale emergency…

Click here to read the entire article at Citylab.

Forward Observer: SHTF Intelligence Q&A Part I

In this video, Sam Culper of Forward Observer answers questions on intelligence, security and defense.

In this video, intelligence analyst and Iraq/Afghanistan answers some of your questions on intelligence, security, and defense for our challenging future.

Q1: How do I start setting up an intelligence effort for a Mutual Assistance Group?
Q2: How can I explain the need for intelligence to my preparedness group?
Q3: How can we determine our SHTF intelligence gaps?
Q4: What are your thoughts on a “Golden Horde” scenario?

How an Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF Scenarios: