ad banner

Should You Plan to Outfit Your Community In A Disaster?

Avatar for James Walton James Walton  |  Updated: April 25, 2019
Should You Plan to Outfit Your Community In A Disaster?

This site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Full Disclosure Here.

What do you want from your community?

The word community is bandied about all the time. Just to be clear, we are talking about neighbors in this article. What do you want from your neighbors in disaster?

Have you thought about this?

It’s easy to assume that your neighbor is a fool. Jin Shengtan a 17th century Chinese editor summed it up well in one of his Thirty Three Moments of Happiness:

“I wake up in the morning and seem to hear someone in the house sighing and saying that last night someone died. I immediately ask to find out who it is, and learn that it is the sharpest, most calculating fellow in town. Ah, is this not happiness?”

We have this strange love/hate relationship with our neighbors but who comes to help when things get bad.

It is not FEMA.

We saw it in Texas, neighbors helping neighbors. So, to what level do you prepare to help them and how much do you expect they help you?

Figuring out what you want from a neighbor is the first step in concerning yourself with this idea of outfitting a community for disaster.

MAG VS Neighborhood

In 2013 I was hit with this idea that prepping must expand beyond the four walls of the home. I wasn’t thinking bugout location; I was thinking extended group. Prepping seemed like it could not only be an answer to a family of 4 in disaster but maybe to a community on a whole?

It wasn’t long before I was doing research on prepper groups and MAGs or mutual assistance groups. It was the idea that you could assemble your own doomsday Avengers squad, basically. Creating this type of group meant that you would seek out highly skilled individuals that would be effective in a collapse.

The most valued were:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Combat Veterans
  • Engineers
  • Farmers
  • Hunters
  • Tradesman

On the face of it the idea was exciting. However, it only took me a few weeks to find some massive flaws in this type of team.

Perhaps the biggest and most overlooked is the idea of a joint meeting place or home base. Each of your community members will probably have a family and a home. Leaving that home and community will put people at risk in an SHTF scenario.

Who’s leaving their home and family to come help the group?

Another big issue for me was the idea of managing resources. Things like hunted food could be easily spread out among the members and maybe some form of barter could further legitimize the effort.

Other skills, however, are not as easy to spread around. If your engineer wants to build some form of renewable power, where does it get installed? If you all come from different communities where do the solar panels go up?

To me, it seemed like turning to your community was the best answer in a suburban sprawl. Of course, my situation and yours cannot mirror one another but for me this idea of the MAG seemed like something that would be cool until I really needed them in a collapse.

In fact, I would prefer them to be home with their family using their skills to help their neighbors.

Making friends with people like doctors, before a collapse, can be a big help during the collapse but unless your plan is to relocate and build a new town from scratch, it seems like a lot of wheels spinning.

My vote was for affecting my personal neighborhood the best I could to get people thinking about disaster. I know that is tough and you will have a very low percentage of people that follow you. Still, all the resources could stay in the community and things like security and food would be isolated, as well.

Should you Prepare for your Neighbors?

Every plan has flaws. I am a risk taker and that is just in my nature. However, even in my wildest dreams I know we won’t have a neighborhood of hardened survivors who all have their own weapons and extensive training as well as stockpiled food and medical.

That would be silly to assume.

About 2 years after I started broadcasting the I AM Liberty Show on the Prepper Broadcasting Network I started wondering about preps for the community. How much food, ammo, resources, etc. should you put up for neighbors?

We know that people without resources will be desperate. We have all read, thought or watched the nightmare of neighbors becoming enemies over food and necessities. The desperate hordes mentality comes to mind.

However, imagine having just enough that could keep people alive and maybe even make them effective. I thought about small arms and long term food storage in the form of grains and beans. I knew we didn’t have to spend a ton of money to make something like this happen.

To me, it was worth outfitting my allies rather than have them fall into the hands of those who would do them harm or have them become my enemies.

Power and Civility Lies in Security, Numbers and Food

No one really knows what a serious collapse of civility would look like in a nation that is armed to the teeth. Something tells me it will be a state-by-state story. However, we can look to history and current events to understand the basis of human behavior in these situations.

In Venezuela, things got bad when the food went away. It seems that isolation, hunger and bad guys force people into the worst possible situations. It has been that way all throughout history.

The idea behind outfitting a community or preparing for neighbors is to create solutions in three areas

  • FOOD

If you want a running start in an SHTF scenario, you want a lot of people with a common goal who are fed and armed and know there is hope for tomorrow. With a community you have some of that already. The common goal is to defend the community and to sustain it.

What on earth would it look like to have community provisions set aside?

Well, you would have to understand your limits. If we are talking food storage basics, we know that 2000 calories, per person per day, for everyone in your home is what you after. You should store 2000 for everyone even if some are 5 years old. They will grow up.

So, a family of 4 is going to need nearly 1 million and a half calories for 6 months of food: 1,440,000

Let’s say you are preparing for 100 households. That’s easy math: 144,000,000 calories

1lb of dry rice is about 1600 calories so it would take you 90,000lbs to feed that many people, just rice, for 6 months.

Those are big numbers but that is looking only at one food source and its preparing for 6 months. You could cut it in half and cover the community for 3 months while seeking out alternate solutions.

Per family you would only need 9/50lb bags of rice to meet caloric needs, using rice only which is hardly ideal but makes for a simple example, for 3 months. That might seem like a lot but at Sam’s Club you can make that happen for $180, the cost of buckets, O2 absorbers and mylar bags.

You Cannot Do It All Yourself

I am sure many people have stopped reading at this point because they feel that people should be responsible for themselves. There is truth to that sentiment. I wouldn’t deny that. But we are talking about survival here. Take every advantage afforded to you.

In a perfect world you would seek out a handful of compadres that are willing to shoulder some of this burden, as well.

With a team of 5 in your neighborhood you could make a huge difference on food, firearms, ammo and other resources. It’s not to say that this will be a walk in the park but if the nightmare ever comes to reality, it would be great to have some resources to spread around as you create new leadership and start down a path through the chaos.

Neighbor Survival Pack

Putting together a small survival pack for neighbors who are going to help in times of disaster is another idea. Maybe you don’t have the money or time to devote to storing massive amounts of food and arms. I get that.

Could you create some small pouches or cheap bags that could be used to sustain people on perimeter watch or in leadership roles in the community? A simple but effective survival pack might include the following.

Food & Water

A small ration of long term calories would work best in these sustainment packs. Things like high calorie bars and jerky might be perfect.

You might even consider a small straw style water filter to assure they can get a drink when necessary.

First Aid

This is very personal. To me, it makes sense to go with a full blow IFAK with an emphasis on stopping the bleed. Tourniquet, quikclot gauze and compression bandages should be included. You may want to consider a chest seal. Bad stuff could happen.


We are not making warfighters out of our neighborhoods, but it will be important that some people know how to use firearms to defend the community. Lots of .22 ammunition can do a lot to deter a small group of people with greater firepower on their side.

.22 rifles are cheap and can double as a method for sourcing food.


I see a lot of hate focused on two-way radios because they don’t live up to reception claims. These radios are perfect for community communications. These short range conversations of very important information are tailored to these two-way radios.

It would pay to have each pack have a radio and a frequency written on paper for the user to tune into. Maybe even consider a few frequencies to create a PACE protocol

Pen and Pad

I want ideas. I want my community to start spilling out ideas to survive this thing. There is so much untapped potential in your community it is unreal.


We are surrounded by potential. Everyone on your block wants to survive. Their goals likely mirror your own. They want to eat and be safe through the tumultuous time and maybe even affect the outcome of the disaster.

As preppers, we do a massive disservice to ourselves if we brush all that off and just assume, we can assemble a better group of 10 people to call on.

Look at your community as the valuable resource it is and start getting to know people. My book Come Unity; Community is a blueprint for how to overcome social issues and get the ball rolling so that you can start seeking out your allies in the neighborhood and truly prepare for tomorrow.

Aff | Tactical Pen

[DEAL] Ultimate Concealed Weapon

Tactical Pen / Multi-Tool (Flashlight, knife, etc)

Stay Protected
Aff | Emergency Survival Blanket
[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket Get Cheap Security

6 Responses to “Should You Plan to Outfit Your Community In A Disaster?”

  1. I, too, do not think I can depend upon my neighbors. I live near a small town in a rural area of minimum 5-acre parcels where half my neighbors are retired and the other half are still working. Here is how my neighborhood stacks up: one close-by neighbor is in his mid-eighties and is in failing health, one is late fifties and an ex-con, two are in their mid-fifties whose husbands have recently died, three are absentee landowners (except for summertime), another is high seventies and poor health, one is early forties and former military but not yet on site, one is early sixties with an elderly parent, one is early seventies and basically ‘clueless’, and one is early sixties and VERY safety conscious (possibly even a prepper as well).

    I do not know how to broach the subject of preparedness to my neighbors. I am on friendly terms with all of them. I’m thinking that perhaps proposing a community class on disaster preparedness might be the way for me to go. (There’s plenty of government-sponsored information on that subject). Then I could invite them to detect their level of interest.
    Yet, I hesitate because I don’t want to put my own family at risk by having people think that I’m the one they should visit in case of a ‘long-term event’.

    While MY biggest concern is for my neighborhood, there are also plenty of school-age kids in the overall community who ‘should’ be informed about possible disaster scenarios as well. Where I live, the two biggest threats are 1) volcanic eruptions and 2) earthquakes…and (of course) there is always the potential for collapse of the economy due to endless deficit spending–and NOT just in the USA, but virtually all major world economies. It seems that not only average consumers, but sovereign nations have bought into the spending/borrowing/debt cycle.

    I am retired and former military. I’ve also been reading up on edible bugs, edible weeds, and foraging. I’ve been gardening for years. I first heard the concept of ‘prepping’ while at work when a colleague presented a half-hour lunch-time program on disaster preparedness. I never really got into it until after retirement and I started reading a lot about our economic state of affairs (extremely bad because of unsustainable debt) and then I started visiting various preparedness sites.

    Interesting books on our current economic situation are: End Game, The End of the Debt Supercycle and How it Changes Everything; The Debt Bomb; and The Ultimate Money Guide for Bubbles, Busts, Recession, and Depression. I’ll have to read your book, as well.

  2. I live in a small HOA on a mountainside in western NC. My neighbors don’t even show up for our yearly meeting. Most of them are older. Only two families with children. I know at least six households are really well armed. The rest are clueless. How do you talk to people without giving away what you have stored personally? We are retired and can’t afford to feed others. Do we just start with the ones we think are like minded?

    • Thanks for the comments, first off.

      If you really want a deep dive on the topic of community you should check out my book Come Unity;Community.

      On the topic of bad neighbors and neighborhoods, its a lot of work to cultivate people and bring them out of their shell. If you truly feel like there is no hope it might be time to leave. Move away. I know that’s a lot of work and hardship and money but we are talking about surviving a serious disaster, right?

      You might think moving is insurmountable. I encourage you to start looking and considering all options. If we are willing to bugout to an unknown location in unknown conditions, moving shouldn’t seem like that much of an adventure.

      Just keep pushing guys and thanks for reading the article.

  3. My neighbors in eastern NC are not the working type. Lots of drugs etc. There are of course a smattering of people between 60-80 that don’t fall into that category who have canned all of their lives. I have learned a lot from them. Unfortunately gardens are on the wain because they are being killed off by the spraying of agricultural roundup for everything that’s grown here on all the fields that are planted with Monsanto (now Bayer) seed. The wind blows it everywhere. Many fields have been planted in the last 3-4 years that back up to yards. My granddaughter knows to run for the house when she hears the plane coming. Really sad. Also, when I’ve spoken to my older neighbors about prepping not one of them believes that there is any need to do what I do and although they like me they definitely think I’m out there!

  4. reminds me of the 2006/7 television show ‘Jericho’ when Hawkins told Jake, “… guns, guns are easy…”, for when it comes time to fight – kill or die – the biggest obstacles were experience, willingness and perserverance. It was in the ‘Coalition of the Williing’ episode when the town was finally armed.

  5. if you want to con raiders into thinking your group is defenseless >>> start firing away with your .22 cal pea shooters ,,,,

    don’t get yourself and others killed using hunting weapons and ammo for defense ….

Leave a Reply