Are you better off alone?

When it comes to being prepared for a major disruption are you better off keeping your efforts to just you and your closest family or should you have a wider network of people you can depend on?

Of course there are advantages to solo self-reliance…

You don’t have to worry about someone telling a government bureaucrat or a would-be looter about your stash.

You don’t have to worry about leadership power struggles when things are at their worst.

And you don’t have to worry about you being the one who pulls everyone else’s weight.

But despite all that, I come down firmly on the side of being part of a wider community.

The advantages are simply too great to ignore. They overwhelm the risks and the headaches that come with working as part of a group.

In fact, if you’re part of a group, you quadruple your odds of surviving.

Quadruple Your Odds of Surviving

In survival situations, groups of individuals survive about 80 percent of the time. Individuals forced to go it alone fare much worse. They run about a 20 percent survival rate.

That by itself is a strong argument for having a network of people you can work with and depend on in any sort of disaster or societal breakdown, whether it’s short-term or something much more serious.

The reasons groups do better are many:

– Security: In a group, you have more options for securing your area and your supplies. You can defend your resources and each other… and still get some sleep.

– Skills: More people means a greater variety of skills that the group can draw from. A good cook, someone with some medical knowledge, a hunter, a mechanic, someone with some military background… you’re unlikely to have all these skills yourself. And any one of these skills could be a lifesaver in a disaster scenario.

– Companionship: This might seem like a warm and fuzzy idea, but having a social group that you connect with, that you trust, and that you can talk to will go a long way toward keeping morale high. And, again, good morale can be a lifesaver.

– Gear: If you’re sheltering in place, you alone or just your family, can have access to all the gear you might need. But if you have to evacuate, having a group means you can all transport a greater cross section of gear—especially if you’re forced to travel on foot.

– Divide and Conquer: In disaster situations, there’s a lot to attend to. You have to gather food, filter water, maintain security, go on supply runs, make repairs, preserve food, and more. With a group, you can divide these tasks up and handle them, which means you have the possibility of steadily improving your situation over time. As an individual, you’ll be hard pressed to do more than just get by.

Having a group is definitely the way to go. But it only works if you have a group that is like-minded, shares your values and your outlook on life, and that you can trust to keep quiet about your preparedness efforts and pull their weight if things get real.

So, how do you go about finding these kinds of likeminded individuals? I have some thoughts on that, that I’ll be sharing soon.