Mutual Assistance Groups: Bringing in New Members

Mutual Assistance Groups: Bringing in New Members


One of the most important processes a mutual assistance group will ever undertake is granting membership.

So how do you build your survival dream team? First read up on how to meet mutual assistance group members. Then check out the following process.

Mutual Assistance Group Memberships: The Individual Perspective

Begin with looking inward as an individual to answer these questions:

  • What is it you are looking for from a group?
  • Do you have any medical issues or disabilities that could limit your participation?
  • Where do you want to end up?
  • Are you willing and prepared to relocate?
  • What are you not willing to compromise on?
  • What do you have to offer a group by way of skills or materials?
  • Have you truly considered what to do about family and friends?

Mutual Assistance Group Memberships: The Group Perspective

The existing mutual assistance group members will have their own set of questions to answer before meeting with a potential new candidate:

  • What is the group’s overall goals?
  • Is this an open group or a closed group?
  • Will all family members need to be vetted or just vouched for by candidate?
  • What is the process for ejecting members?
  • Is the group open to distantly located members?
  • Has the group determined a desired list of skills?
  • Which skills are missing in the group and how bad do you need to acquire them? Can they be learned or must they be found in a candidate?
  • What will the group not tolerate?
  • What, if any, financial arrangement will the group work under for group projects?
  • What image does the group wish to portray? (families helping each other, community assistance, religious based, militia styled, etc.)

Mutual Assistance Groups: Vetting Potential Candidates

A staple of any mutual assistance group is a weather radio, such as this Eton American Red Cross FRX 2 Emergency Radio. Get it at the Living Ready Store.
A staple of any mutual assistance group is a weather radio, such as this Eton American Red Cross FRX 2 Emergency Radio. 

When it comes to considering new members the group will want to attempt to get a complete picture of the potential candidate. Of course if this is a “come as you are” situation you may need to make some judgment calls. When time is on your side, try to have a comfortable sit down interview/conversation in a comfortable, neutral location.

Here are some additional primer questions to ask of potential members after the pleasantries:

  • What are you looking for in a group?
  • Is there anything specific you are preparing for?
  • How many people would you want to bring into the group? Family, friends?
  • How is your preparedness going? Are you moving forward in collecting supplies? Skills?
  • How long do you think you might be able to survive with your current stores?
  • What kind of skills do you have and how long has it been since he or she actually tried to use them?
  • Do you have reliable transportation and time to participate?
  • Is there any concern or any disabilities that may become a problem in an active environment? What is the health of the candidate or family?
  • Has the candidate been in a group previously? Why did they leave?

While chatting with the candidate look for personality cues that may offer insight into his or her personality:

  • What is the person’s temperament? Do they seem overbearing or timid?
  • Do they have extremist views or views that contrast with the group’s stated goals?
  • Do they appear to truly be interested or are they just along for the ride (for example, a spouse dragged to the interview)?

Outstanding Gear and Resources


Special Forces Survival Guide

Survival Straps Survival Bracelet

SAS Survival Handbook


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