Editor’s Note: This is part of a series from Charley Hogwood of P.R.E.P. on mutual assistance groups (MAG).
Mutual Assistance Groups: Are They Right for You?
A Mutual Assistance Group is a group of like-minded individuals who pledge to assist each other in times of crisis. The idea is that many hands make light work.
It may or may not be in your best interest to be aligned with one. There are several important things to consider before joining/starting a Mutual Assistance Group.
- Do I work well with others under austere conditions?
- What might I have to offer a Mutual Assistance Group by way of specialized skills and equipment?
- Will I participate regularly with others to build the group before the SHTF?
- Is everyone in my family on board with teaming up with others?
- Will I stay with the group or evacuate under differing scenarios?
If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, you may not be ready to join a Mutual Assistance Group.
Mutual Assistance Groups: It Must be a Team Effort
Keep in mind that the other members are going to depend on you if the time comes. You will need to participate and contribute regularly to build teamwork and confidence among the members.
Mutual Assistance Groups often fall apart under their own weight. The thrill diminishes, conflicts of personality arise and people just get busy with other things in life. The last thing anyone needs in the face of crisis is more drama. Choose carefully.
Mutual Assistance Groups: Considerations Before Joining
Too often people are so eager to join a Mutual Assistance Group that they ignore their gut instincts. They think that any obvious conflicts of interest will fade away as everyone pulls together when times are tough.
Here is what actually happens. Mr. or Mrs. Prepper feels outnumbered by the unprepared population and worried that they won’t be able to fend off the ill-prepared masses when the SHTF. So they start to search for like-minded people in their neighborhood, at work and online.
They find someone who has a similar interest and they eagerly hitch their wagons together. As with all new relationships, or even new employment for that matter, about a month on they start to notice the quirks.
At first Mr. or Mrs. Prepper tries to justify and ignore the problems as growing pains, hoping everything will work itself out in time. Trust me that time rarely comes.
Things don’t get better in a stressful situation, they get worse. So if you aren’t able to find some synergy in everyday pre-collapse life with your Mutual Assistance Group, it won’t be better when everyone is in the psychological abyss of a systemic collapse. You get about three days of Kumbaya around the campfire before the unstable people begin to unravel.
Mutual Assistance Groups: Pulling the Trigger
If you’ve still decided that a Mutual Assistance Group is something that you’re interested in, you’ll then have to determine whether you’d like to start one on your own, or whether you’d like to join an already established group. More to come on this topic in next week’s post.