Sunday, July 15, 2018

Building Community in Your Neighborhood

Want community? Many preppers do. Here are some tips to find and build community right where you live:

You have to play the hand your dealt. It is not a perfect world, and no neighborhood is perfect - mine included (and don't I know it!). But your neighborhood is where you live, for better or worse, so you might as well make the best of it. Sitting around wishing for things to be different is counterproductive.

You don't need everyone.  Not every neighbor is going to be like-minded, or even friendly towards your efforts. That's okay. You don't need to get every single person in your neighborhood on-board with your plans. Its not all or nothing. There will always be a few malcontents you will never be able to reach. Ignore them and build community with those you can. Some community with some folks is better than no community at all. 

Knock on doors. Or at least wave at mailboxes. In other words, you have to take the first step. Waiting around for your neighbors to come to you won't work. Go. Introduce yourself to them. 


Avoid religion and politics, especially in the early stages. Basic preparedness doesn't depend on religion or politics. You don't need to be of a certain religion to store food and water. You don't need to have a certain political viewpoint to learn first aid. You don't need to have the exact same religious or political views to encourage and help your neighbors. 

Don't talk prepping, at least at first.  The preparedness talk can come later, for now simply get to know your neighbors. Find out what you might have in common. As things progress, you can start dropping prepper lines and see how they respond.  

Form a Neighborhood Watch. It can official (working with your local police, posting signs, etc.) or informal (exchanging phone numbers and agreeing to keep an eye out for strangers or anything else suspicious in the neighborhood). The point is you and your neighbors will begin getting to know one another and watching out for each other. You can build from there.

Have a community yard sale. We have been doing this in our neighborhood for a few years now. About twice a year we'll get together and advertise a community yard sale on a Saturday. Not every household participates, but many do. Even many of those that don't participate in the selling walk around looking at what others are selling. Curiosity gets them out of their house. I've actually met several neighbors this way that I otherwise never would have met.

One by one. Two by two. Everyone doesn't have to get together at the same time. A neighborhood-wide barbecue may be too much to put together, but you can host a barbecue maybe once a month and invite one or two neighborhood families over. Invite different families each month. Barbecuing not your thing? Try a Game Night instead. Or a movie night.

Advance slowly but surely.  Turning your neighborhood into a community is a one-step-at-a-time activity. Get to know each other. Then work on building friendships with those who seem willing. Then start talking preparedness with those that seem receptive. 

Building community is about more than just preparedness. Preparedness for some future crisis might be your ultimate goal, but it cannot be your only goal, otherwise you'll scare people off. Community is about building friendships and relationships of trust. Community is about watching out for each other, encouraging each other, and helping each other. The cold fact is that you are extremely unlikely to get your neighborhood converted into a 100% prepared for doomsday survivalist community. But the more of a community that you're neighborhood is, the better off you'll all be if and when the SHTF.
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