What You Need In A Community To Survive

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Do you ever think about what you need in a community to survive? I sure do. I have written a few articles about getting to know your neighbors. I recently saw something on TV where a community called DayBreak in South Jordan, Utah got together as a neighborhood to divert some “robbers” from stealing boxes off their porches.

I wrote this post several years ago, but I’m updating it today because I believe it’s critical for all of us to read.

They communicated with each other to try and stop whoever was stealing the boxes delivered on their front porches. They decided to fill some boxes and “trick” the thieves with containers filled with rocks and trash. So, just imagine this scenario, a thief is driving by or walking and sees a large cardboard box on someone’s porch.

He or she grabs it and then takes it somewhere to open it only to find its rubbish. Here’s the deal, they communicated as a community or neighborhood to put their heads together to protect their community, or in this case, their delivered packages.

I hope by now you know I’m not a doomsday prepper. I am nervous about where I live because I’m not sure how many people in my neighborhood are really prepared for the unexpected. If you are one of the lucky ones who has monthly meetings with your neighbors I applaud you for being prepared for whatever disaster may come to your neighborhood.

I would love even quarterly meetings. If you are living in a neighborhood of like-minded people you are very blessed. Do not take that for granted because it will be critical in a survival situation. It’s crazy because I’m asked to speak in cities all around my area because the people realize the need to be prepared.

It’s very discouraging for me to live in my neighborhood. I know the need to live in a like-minded neighborhood, but it’s not economically feasible for me to move. Yes, I have been asked to teach in my community, but it doesn’t go anywhere, in most cases. You either get it and do something about being prepared or it goes in one ear and out the other. It’s life. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox, for now anyway.

Here’s the deal, please picture your city’s power is suddenly disrupted for 24 hours. Now, let’s add 24 more hours. Again, another 24 hours. You have now been without electricity for three days and you’re unable to run lights, appliances, running water, or power to run your natural gas or electric furnace to heat your home.

The first 24 hours you may be upset because you have zero light, except in the daytime. Your TV, heat, and air conditioning don’t work. The running water we are all used to does not work because the city pumps are out. Whew, you think, glad I did that last batch of laundry.

Or luckily, I picked up some cases of bottled water. You call the local utility companies if you kept your cell phone charged, and the phone line is busy. You wait. Then you call back and wait on hold if the phone line even works.

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The next 24 hours, people are going outside on your street and asking each other if they have heard anything. We have all checked our phones to see what’s going on. This may be an isolated situation in a 30-mile radius, or as large as a 500-mile radius or more.

We want to know, and we want to know right now. People are racing to the supermarkets to get water, diapers, food, batteries, and lanterns and they are SOLD OUT. It’s been 72 hours and the shelves at the stores are 90% empty.

Now, you may be one of the prepared ones and you stay inside your home, you keep your doors locked and your window blinds closed. Hopefully, your gas tank is at least half-full because the gas stations may not work because the pumps need power, not only to pump the fuel but also to process your debit or credit card.

Small Bills

Hopefully, you have some small bills and some coins available to purchase some products you wished you had stored before this unforeseen emergency. Please start an envelope stored safely in a secure place with a few one, five, ten, and 20 dollar bills. Some coins would be appropriate as well.

Now, in the next 24 hours people are getting hungry and so are their children. Several people go to the supermarket daily and are totally unprepared for the empty grocery shelves. I would now be thinking about some of the elderly people on my street. I know a few would survive a few days, but others would not.

Now the people in your neighborhood are getting more aggressive. They need to feed their family. Maybe some have been on government assistance and their EBT card does not work because the power is out, now what? The stress level may become intolerable for some people.

Are we prepared to handle this situation? When your stress level is high for a long period of time your immune system may become compromised. Are we prepared to help with this? These are just a few items I think we all need to be thinking about.

Tips For Your Community To Survive:

  1. We need to know our neighbors.
  2. We need to have monthly meetings with our neighbors to check in with preparedness ideas and skills.
  3. Teach one another skills they can use if the power goes out.
  4. Teach one another how to make bread or crackers.
  5. Learn about food storage and start storing it.
  6. Learn how to store water and start doing it.
  7. Stock first aid supplies.
  8. Learn how to cook without power.
  9. Learn how to store fuel.
  10. Start acquiring cooking devices, as your budget allows.
  11. Teach people that the government will not be able to take care of them, we’re responsible for ourselves.
  12. Teach people to cook from scratch.
  13. We need to know some first aid skills.
  14. Take a C.E.R.T. class together.
  15. Get walkie-talkies and keep them charged, and choose a channel for neighbors to share. Here are the ones a search and rescue group suggested to a class I had them come and speak with. Walkie-Talkies
  16. Get your ham radio license (this is to nudge me to get mine).
  17. Break bread together often. This is very important, you talk to one another, and you learn to love one another.
  18. Learn CPR and practice it from time to time to stay sharp on these skills.
  19. Talk together about scenarios after a disaster, share skills, etc.
  20. Talk about protection in the neighborhood, what will you do to protect what you have in your home?
  21. Put together a list of who lives nearby and what resources each family has, like tools, ham radios, food storage, first aid supplies, skills that can be put to use, who lives in the home, and a general idea of schedules, any special medical needs, do they have pets and much more as people are willing to share.
  22. Make a plan A and B, C if needed.
  23. Buy my book at Amazon Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation
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Contact Information Of Your Community

Here’s the deal, if your neighborhood had an unexpected disaster, how well do you know your neighbors? If someone is hurt badly do you know someone related to them that you could contact? Do they have some close friends you could contact? This is assuming someone has a cellphone that is fully charged. Here is my Contact Information Sheet that may come in handy, if your neighbors feel comfortable sharing the information.

Critical Skills For Your Community

C.E.R.T. Training

Have you heard about C.E.R.T., better known as the Community Emergency Response Team? Mark and I took the classes in order to be certified as a C.E.R.T. member. Please note, it does not make us an expert by any means, but it does teach you some basic skills every neighborhood can use. Here are some things you will learn if you attend all the classes:

1. Disaster Preparedness

2. Fire Safety

3. Disaster Medical Operations

4. Light Search and Rescue Operations

5. CERT Overview

6. Disaster Psychology

7. Terrorism and CERT

8. Disaster Simulation

C.E.R.T. Training

Point of Distribution

I was asked in my neighborhood to be trained for this program designed by our local health department. The health department works with local churches of every denomination to train people to be ready for a pandemic or other major disaster in our neighborhoods.

Here is the post I wrote several years ago below. Just so you know, these are available all over the country, in the US anyway. Are they broadcast? No, they are not. They typically ask people by word of mouth who they know are prepared for emergencies.

POD or Point of Distribution

Final Word

Please tell me some things you are doing in your neighborhood, I would love to add your tips or ideas to my list. Hopefully, you have a community in your neighborhood where you can work together to survive a disaster.

How to treat a cold or the flu by Linda

C.E.R.T. Website Community Emergency Response Team

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  1. We didn’t lose power during our winter storm but with the amount of snow, very few could get out of our apartment complex parking lot. One woman asked me how we were supposed to get to the store. I know she has health issues and is unable to clear off her car but I told her we have choices: 1) clean off the car, shovel snow behind the car and try to drive to the store; 2) walk to the store; 3) find someone who is able to get out and ask them if they could drive; 4) call the store and ask for home delivery. Well, she told me that she was physically unable to do numbers 1 or 2. She said she had asked around and no one knew of anyone who could drive her and she had called the store and they had suspended home delivery.

    Linda, we had 2-3 days forewarning us of the heavy snow coming. I have decided that, while I won’t let anyone go hungry, I cannot feel sorry for people any longer. When I saw people, I told them to keep their phones charged and to draw as much water as they could in the event of frozen pipes. I also asked if they had fresh batteries for their flashlights and most said no.

    Now the rain has started and the roads are, perhaps, in worse shape than with just the snow. And the snow we have on top of our cars is just getting heavier and less manageable. I am OK to stay put for the rest of the week. Most are not and will be wanting to get to the store as soon as is possible.

    I realize that in my area, we don’t often have snow like we just experienced but to have 2-3 days notice and not get to the store in time to get what they needed, well, I have no sympathy. I am prepared and have had plenty to eat (perhaps too much!!) and plenty to drink.

    1. Hi Leanne, oh my gosh, I can only imagine how awful this has been for your neighbors. I do not understand why they didn’t get the necessary items if they had 2-3 days forewarning. Hopefully, they learn from this experience. It’s crazy that some people do not have enough food and water for 7 days minimum to take care of their families. Let’s hope people read the paper or watch TV and realize we must be able to take care of ourselves. I’m so glad you are prepared! Linda

  2. Being in the Seattle area, and hearing that we were getting one of the worst storms in 50 years, I wrote a series of FB posts about “now is the time to prepare”. One very sweet lady wrote that “not everyone can prepare, and you are not a bad person if you can’t.” Did she think that because you are a good person you won’t run out of food? We received 20 inches of snow and broke all records. We are a hilly area, second only to San Francisco, we do not have many snow plows, and the snow is slick and wet. You better prepare! Mother Nature does not care if you are a good person. You will be affected just like everyone else. I’m still shaking my head that this good Christian woman, tells herself this lie. I can’t seem to shake any sense any to people who believe like this. So, I hear you on your frustration! Thankfully she doesn’t live in our region.

    1. Hi Gayle, oh my goodness, I LOVE your comment! I have the giggles reading your comment. I’m shaking my head too! Just because you are a Christian or a good person isn’t going to cut it in my book!! I must say you have been hit with snow that is unbelievable!! Worse snow in 50 years, this is crazy!! Mother Nature does not care if you are a good person is so true! I’m so glad you are okay Gayle!! Hugs, Linda

    2. Gayle, I am in Olympia and we got, by my measurements, a good 22+ inches in 3 days! Now the rain begins and it is getting sloppy out there. My daughter lives in Seattle and fortunately, they prepare as well but it took a LOT of talking and explaining and pointing out Biblical scripture that explains preparing! So, they, with 4 children are prepared for food, water, and activities! My 4 1/2 year old grandson got himself stuck in their apple tree – not used to having all that snow gear on!

      Today, our apartment complex finally was plowed out! Yay, I will probably be able to get out and about a little (not far) to get some fresh fruits and veggies. Other than that, I still have a lot of food and water filtration.

      I have so many neighbors who have run out of their favorite things: milk/creamer for their coffee. I noticed one gal who made coffee and gave some to another neighbor so she could have a cup. How does one run out of a staple like coffee? if they drink it they will need to keep it stocked! Anyway, it is frustrating here as well. Some of my neighbors “think” everyone else should take care of them! Those of us who did prepare can only do so much for the others. I really pity the ones who say they don’t or cannot prepare. That is pure bunck(sp)!

    1. Hi Matt, I totally understand, I do not live by like-minded people either. I do not understand why so many people do not feel the need to be prepared. It’s very sad. Linda

  3. My little neighborhood just got informed we will not have water between 9 AM and 1 PM tomorrow. The well owner will be doing some more pipe repairs due to the cold weather. For myself and the neighbor across the road this is not a problem . But I belong to a neighborhood share page and a lot of them are complaining about how much trouble it’s going to be. Questions are what will we do for 4 hours without water ? I responded with, this isn’t the first time we have not had water,nor will it be the last time. Everyone out here has been here for at least 2 years. They know the well goes down periodically. Go get some water to stock up on. I hope I don’t sound callous. I just don’t understand why they never have water stored when they have been told so many times. I pray they will eventually get it together. You can only warn them and hope they listen. Love and God bless.

    1. Hi Judy, wow, this is so interesting. I was thinking the neighborhood has been given notice. One of these days we will have zero notice for who knows what may happen. If you think about it it’s only 4 hours, really that’s not that long. I may sound callous but maybe that’s what we have to be to get others to start thinking about being ready for the unexpected. I also pray that others will get it together. May God bless this world. Linda

      1. on our neighborhood share site, we actually had one neighbor state she was very upset she doesn’t have water again. And asked if anyone knew when it would be back on . I am amazed at some people. We were told yesterday all the details.I have not actually met her other than on our page, but I think She is one that does not believe the world is going down the tubes. You just can’t make some people understand why they need to prep. I pray for these people. May God help us all. Judy

  4. I am assuming that the reason you list learning how to make bread and crackers is due to the fact that these foods are made of mostly from foods that last for many years and what constitute the basic list for long term food storage. That struck me as logical, plus one can eat bread and crackers with meats, jellies, soups, or just by themselves sometimes. In addition to this, I guess that we would agree that people need to add canned food, dehydrated fruits and veggies either commercially sold or made at home. I keep coming around to the idea of getting a good dehydrator which you demonstrate serves you well in everyday life.

    Your story and article really drive home the point that being self reliant and willing to help and work with others makes a big difference in how we come through a crisis. Yet sadly, some people don’t even keep a month’s worth of food, fuel, batteries, or anything else. My family has always managed without too much, but I’m glad we have always had some food, water, batteries, a generator and a way to cook so we never became desperate or suffered terribly.

    1. Hi Frank, Yes, I believe if people can make bread, biscuits or crackers we can survive by filling the belly. Of course, if you have gluten issues you will eat only fruits and vegetables with meat if desired. My mom made bread and taught her daughters to make bread. We grew up poor but at the time we didn’t realize we were poor. We never went hungry if we had a slice of bread and some canned peaches we were good until the next meal.I’m with you we can spread meats, jellies, jams, and peanut butter on any bread or crackers. Frank, I love having a dehydrator because I can dehydrate my excess food and throw it in soups and not use any freezer space. Life is good with no waste. You and I grew up learning skills and we are truly self-reliant. Great comment! Linda

  5. Dear Linda, how do we deal with friends who think food storage is “too expensive” yet they spend a LOT of money having their hair & nails done every couple weeks? I am the only ant among grasshoppers; so thankful for you!

    1. Hi Roxanne, you are so cute! We have to let it go because we will be stressed out thinking about all those who “don’t get it”. If anyone watches TV or hears the news they must see what’s going on, right? No money is no excuse for me. I do not have a lot of excess money but I know what I need to do. It’s called being self-reliant. The government will not be there to help everyone, they can’t be expected to feed everyone with our tax dollars. Life is good for those of us who prepare and we will be blessed. Linda

      1. Linda, you are so very correct that money is no excuse not to prep. I live on a disability check which is $897 a month. I buy what I can when things are on sale. I save for things I need to help me be more self reliant. I garden ,can foods,dehydrate and bake from scratch. I share canned foods and home baked goods with the neighbors across the road for fresh eggs and sometimes wild hog or beef. We help each other. She and her husband are the only neighbors I know I can depend on.Although I would not expect her to ‘carry’ me through any major event. Growing up we had very little, but we had a roof over our heads clothes on our backs and my mom made sure we had food to eat. I learned a a young age to live within my means. And to always keep what I need on hand. Thank you for all you do for us. May God Bless you ,Judy

  6. Thank you Linda for another great article. I live in a small HOA about 15 miles from the nearest town. Unfortunately, most of the people who live hear are terribly unprepared. Our retirement income is minimal but we have six months of food and water on hand. I buy a little extra every month. We garden, can, hunt, and are able to do most things ourselves. We came from a more self reliant generation. I am amazed at the number of people who run the 15 miles to shop everyday. We are on a community well (15 families) with a backup generator, but how long will that tank of propane that runs it last if we have a disaster. Most people keep a couple of bottles of water if they keep any. Keep up the great work.

    1. Hi Liz, it sounds like we have similar neighbors that are unprepared. The good thing is that you and I grew up in a generation that was more self-reliant for sure. I have to laugh because I complain about ten miles to go to the grocery store. I would be shopping once a month if I had to drive 15 miles. I’m expanding my garden this year, a little at a time. I feel strongly that we will be living off our land sooner than later. May God bless you, Linda

  7. We actually tried the once a month grocery shopping this month and it went quite well. We will definitely be going to twice a month instead of weekly. I missed my fresh fruit. I will can more fruit this year. We are expanding our garden also.

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