Organizing community response to SHTF

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Littlesister 3 months ago.

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  • #20104

    John Park

    Community organization post SHTF

    I am trying to come up with a list of what must be done on a communal level, immediately post SHTF. In other words, a lot of us already know what we and our family would do, but the question is how to handle/help the community.

    I imagine that within a day, there would be some sort of meeting at the town hall, church, or city hall – where the local govt would inform people as to what has happened, discuss “shelter in place” and curfew orders if necessary, and then say come back tomorrow and we’ll let you know what else we have learned.

    I live in a small rural community and suddenly asked, what would I do to educate and organize my community.

    1) Talk about EMP (if that was the scenario) and that it may be very long time before power comes back – I might not say ‘up to 2 years’ to prevent immediate panic, but rather say ‘at least a month, we won’t know until we get information from outside the state on how bad the scenario is’.
    I’m not a nuclear expert, but I do have some paper files and could provide some info on that as well.

    2) Set up communications – ask the townsfolk if anyone has a working radio, etc.

    3) Set up water – provide info on boiling, etc. If the plumbing goes down, AND generators don’t work, people will be in trouble.

    4) Food – immediately talk with local food shelf. Talk with selectboard about the potential need to buy all remaining food in the tiny local mom & pop store. Bigger towns with chain supermarkets might want to consider confiscation for use by food pantry to keep the community alive – or at least armed guards.

    5) Medical – ask the assembled townsfolk for a list of all medical personnel: MD’s, Nurses, Veterinarians (who also have meds), EMTs, Dentists… perhaps even athletic trainers and the like.
    Do we staff one clinic in the center of town, or do we plan 3 or 4 sites scattered around town so no one has to carry an injured person for 2 miles? I suppose that depends upon the amount of personnel available, and the solution might change over time.

    6) Security – meet with local LEO, discuss immediate security need to avoid riots/looting. After dealing with that, we will need to discuss militia/neighborhood watch – get a list of all former police and military, and at some point we will need to plan training and organization, as well as setting up checkpoints and eventually a rapid response team. That scarey second part is probably best saved for day 2 or 3 so that people don’t freak out further on day 1. You could discuss it just with LEO, but I wouldn’t talk to the full community about militia, hordes, armed security teams and such on the first day.

    7) Set up any means of communication within town. Bulletin board on town/city hall, meetings held daily at noon? What watches and clocks are working? If none, is a better time to be roughly 1-2 hrs after dawn? Additional relay bulletin boards on prominent street corners?? Or use newspaper distribution boxes for that purpose, stop at the box you used to buy the Globe at, and read the latest town report?

    8) Additional community meetings to distribute post SHTF info like how to process firewood, how to clean your chimney, how to turn your now dead refrigerator into a makeshift root cellar, how to can, how to prep for eventual plague that will result.

    9) Set up burial committe – people will start dying without meds, water, food…. bodies need to be disposed of so that disease doesn’t spread or contaminate water.

    This is just a bunch of thoughts off the top of my head. I would love to hear what you would add or change.

  • #20105

    John Park

    10) Establish a Gardening/food growth committee – can we obtain seed, can we use community rec field to create community food garden? Are there any farms in the area, how can the community help them increase production?

    11) If it is cold out, is there a community building with operational heat, that can serve as a shelter for those who live without woodstoves or fireplaces?

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by  John Park.
  • #20145

    John Park

    I keep thinking of more issues that would need to be addressed when the community gathers for its first or second meeting post SHTF:

    12) List of all nearby springs with safe water.

    13) Delegate someone to travel to the nearest city for more info.

    14) Discuss any ways to reboot a vehicle post SHTF.

    15) List of any nearby smoke-houses and buildings that could be used as community root cellars. Yes, users may have to donate a leg of the animal to the owner, for use… but better that than letting meat spoil. ANY IDEAS ON HOW TO DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR COMMUNITY POST SHTF???

    16) A request that people not go hunting like mad and kill off all the local fauna until preservation options have been set up.

  • #20146

    Crow Bar

    Great post John!

    Let me get my thoughts together and write up a better response then tossing out randomness.

  • #20159

    OldMt Woman



  • #20160


    sanitation latrine digging

    Fishing for food

    Scavenging home of the dead.

    One place to boil water and eat anything else wastes effort and fuel.


    A place for those who can’t do everthing and keep warm expecially in winter. Bunk house with security food and recharge dock for small electronics  and a few lights. In exchange they help keep it running.


    Try to buy the fuel source so it is a community resource. It should only be used for basically farming tractor geneaters that power public things. Cops on bikes


    Get to bike store…. they are best transport for around for near zero fuel.


    Go to pools look at chlorine… if just calcium hypochlorite you can use for bleach. But if it has algecide don’t use it.

    Dig mass grave out of sight and smell of town…. shft emp alot of dead no time to bury everyone single.


    Lime for outhouse get everyone to stop  using toilets (they wont) health nightmare.


    If stream fairly close using piping to make aqua duct saves alot of labour.


    Learn ram pump design.


    Don’t call it militia call it posse or deputization how people mentally see  it  makes all the difference.


    Have a market day people.will need to trade items by first wèek.


    If town small enough do the castle and build a wall around it….. feral animals and others funneled to points of your choosing.


    If you have a church bell make an alarm list and get people to know what to do…. biggest is fire and injury..


    Don’t forget to use kids as labor source. No more free rides.


    So much more but that’s enough for now


  • #20169

    Crow Bar

    Here is my initial response to John Parks points (followed his numbering/points scheme):

    1)I think I would mention the possibility of an EMP, IF the evidence supported that event (e.g. electronic devices that were exposed suddenly dead like cell phones, or if vehicles that were running suddenly shut down and cannot be started again, not one offs but more than a few), but I would not add to the chaos. Tell everyone to hope for the best, the power returns shortly, but plan for the worst of a prolonged outage, possibility of being longer than a few months or even year. Try not to add to the anxiety.

    2) I know of one guy with a HAM radio (cannot miss that antenna). Does he have back up power? Dunno. What information will be out there? How accurate will that information be? Does anyone know? Is the government transmitting? Or even jamming?

    3) Like to think there would be enough spare parts, plumbing to help teach people to build some kind of hand pump. I have seen articles on them online.

    4) Good question. Thing is, how long do you wait to enact something like that? Supermarkets have insurance policies that will cover perishable foods over a certain hour (12hrs is the default). So will the managers allow anyone near the food? Unless it is LE? After 12hrs (assuming they dont have back up generators, that is what the insurance is for)? How long before people start to run out of what they have in their homes and start making demands for the supermarket to open? 24, 48, 72hrs? At the 72 mark, I think you can say good bye to the perishable stuff.

    5) Another good question. No fuel, yeah, carrying someone for any real distance is an issue. Do the LE get the remaining fuel (IF there is a vehicle still running) to maybe go and get the wounded/injured/ill and bring them to a centralized facility, or take the medical professional to the person, so they can rest in their own home. And if the fuel is gone?

    6) We dont have any LE in the vicinity. We are on our own and know it. Maybe elect a dedicated “local” sheriff and he/she has the power to deputize anyone if the situation arises? Under the circumstances, do laws change? I would imagine a all volunteer security force, militia if you will, maybe necessary. But they are not just for security but the new local fire department too.

    7) The bulletin board at a central location is a great idea! Question, how much paper, pens/pencils does everyone have? Used to be common place, before computers, smartphones etc. I could see a once a week town/city hall meetings. I could also see the pop up of impromptu markets where people gather to trade and barter but talk and pass news too. I think then a persons word will be that much more important. Like to think people keep the gossip to a min, but that would not be realistic.

    8) Good idea.

    9) That one I would go with the compost or cremation route.

    That is all I got for now.
    More later!
    Great Convo!

  • #20197

    Crow Bar

    To continue . . .
    10) I agree with this idea! I was thinking of a gardening program where the local gardeners help out those non-green thumb types to get them set, and pass on the knowledge. Maybe stop by once a week to see how their gardens are coming, offer suggestions, tips etc. A seed exchange/saving program. Farming, how to farm without modern petrol based inputs. How to hay using a scythe. How to properly hay. A breeding program of the local livestock.

    11) That is a tough one. I was thinking those areas large enough for a formal hospital that is where the community would concentrate fuel and generators, maybe heat adjacent buildings.

    12) That would probably require a pre-SHTF census with some kind of water testing kit (IIRC Daisy posted an article about water testing kits). Then, a water management program and make sure everyone understands NOT to contaminate water supplies.

    13) I dunno about that one. Could be a one way trip.

    14) I would only say if it does not take away materials, labor from other life saving items that are needed immediately.

    15) Not sure on that one. But I can say I buy salt for curing meats in bulk. I would be ok with curing/smoking meats for people in exchange for helping me bring in hay, firewood, etc.

    16) Game management program. If someone takes a deer, cannot not use it all before it goes bad, maybe give part to the neighbors with the expectation they will do the same.

  • #20202

    Dan the Old Guy

    You can not accomplish anything good once SHTF.  You should join your county’s emergency response team and help your county plan before things go bad.  Once things go bad, it is too late to strategize and plan.

    Once SHTF, your best bet is to lay low.  Don’t volunteer, don’t leave your home/family.  Don’t let LEO’s onto your land.  If it is a regional event, the US can handle it, help will start trickling in the next day, live on your preps, everything will be fine.  If it is an EMP, nuclear strike, pandemic, etc that takes out most of the country, you are pretty much screwed, prepper or not.

    Let me tell you what your community and your leaders are going to do:

    Unless your sheriff and county board of supervisors are preppers, and they most likely are not, they are going to gather all resources somewhere central, like the county fairgrounds.  “For the good of everyone” of course.  This means they will come to your home and search for items they are told to search for, like food, guns, etc.  If you turn the polite LEOs away, the SWAT team will be there the next morning at 4 am to request your preps.

    Once some kind of command center is set up at the county fairgrounds, people are going to be given food and water, at least until it gets scarce.  Priority people, like LEOs and the board of supervisor members will obviously fair best in this situation.  Same with their families.  They will have the guns and the trained officers.

    If you really think your county officials and LEOs who are not preppers are going to let their families starve because they didn’t prepare, while you have food because you did prepare, you are truly stupid.  They will do whatever is necessary to save their families, even if that means stealing your private property under martial law, for the common good.  It will happen.

    Sorry, but continent-wide SHTF is going to be ugly.  Every little government with a PD or sheriff is going to declare martial law, your rights won’t matter unless you can convince them that it isn’t worth what you got to come and steal it.  God help you if you mistake a regional SHTF for the big one, once law is restored it probably won’t go well for you.

    I am not saying don’t prep, but be smart, the local government is not going to be your friend, you are going to be their “resource”, and your preps are going to go to the “common good” under martial law.  The only way you will keep your preps is if you are somehow able to hide them.  And cops know how to find contraband, that is basically all they do these days.

  • #20209


    Thst depends if your locals leo in small town 3 of them none are more than barely proficient to keep side arms. That’s why living in high density  urban  situation would be dangerous. Everyone here is nearly prepper by nrssesicty as village is 600 people over 200 miles more live stock  than people. If cops tried that here might get first few farms then ….. well surprise would not be on their side…. there are a lot of Mennonite here who do not have any interaction with government unless absolutely nessisary, that scenario would be looked upon as stealing and not be given a pass.


    When try put new cops in town and they started fining everyone, they got shunned no one would buy sell or trade with them …  next nearest town is 3 hours one way… that stopped right quick. There is a large cash or barter network here in town already. Hard on thier families when they can’t buy food gas or have anyone talk to them. Their area did not get plowed till last. Doc has no appointments. … ways to tame the unruly without violence.

  • #20210


    We started a community outreach including Mennonite on all the older and outlaying farms. Group goes with food and man power once a month to check on those who need it bringing fresh produce and company along with some help with chores. Amazing what can be done in few hours with many willing hands. On the given day groups of 10 per farm and 3 farms per group almost 80 percent town turn out.


    For the highschooler they sell firewood local community forest donates the trees and the kids under super vision cut, split deliver and stack it. If over 70 you get 2 chords free if over 80 4 chords. Alot bought by rest of us, at farm we buy 10 chords. We are thinking of doing a chimney cleaning for the older folks this year will see how it pans out…. someone already donated time in a lift to get people up to chimney with no climbing just worried about liability if chimney is damaged or needs repair before  use,.

  • #20212

    Crow Bar

    Good on you Namelus! That is the way to do it! Make connections, establish relationships now.

  • #21244

    Ron Lastname

    Check out CERT. Community Emergency Action Response Teams. Lots of good info about community level emergency education. Worth dealing with the formal group which is usually connected to your local EMA group.  Preppers seem to want to keep their heads down, but sometimes community involvement is very helpful.

    Even if all you do is download articles from their web site. Learn how to stabilize a collapsed building or setup a community sanitation system.

  • #25196


    Not sure where to put this. So I will put it here.

    In VA and I don’t know about other states. But in order to fly or to take a train trip we have to have what they call real ID.  Seems we have to go to DMV with proof of who we are and our drivers licence don’t count. Must have birth cert. marrage lic. etc. You get a drivers lic. with a star on it showing you are real. We have until Oct. to do it. I don’t think it is mandatory, but just wondering what you all thought about this.

    I know Daisy lives in VA. So wondering if we should do this. They say after Oct 2020 it will be to late. Meaning I guess that we will not be able to fly or board a train.

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