We all have worries about people that will show up at our doorstep when SHTF.
I am thinking here about family members or friends that we know will be problematic when they show up. Either they are complete burdens without any real values in a truly hard situation or they might even possibly be a danger for us.
So what do we do with those folks?
What do they mean to us?
If they are friends, and they are not worth taking in when they show up then they are probably not real friends to you. If they are family then the situation is a bit different, because, for family, it is often worth the effort to try to make something “useful” from them. SHTF makes bonds stronger and more important, and usually there, is no stronger bond than your own blood.
But again, it is the thing of mentality and it may be different in a different part of the world.
What does reality look like?
When it comes to SHTF and what we expect, it almost always looks a bit different than we imagined it.
It is like that with the kind of people we are gonna cooperate and maybe live with when SHTF.
During our physical courses, we have different types of people as students, and often on a course, we have at least one student who is completely different from the majority.
Let’s say we have 5 students who are in good shape, physically in good condition, or skilled.
And then we have at least one who is out of shape or a bit less skilled. Or a student who is stubborn, or wants to play on his own.
And then, since we play a lot with group dynamics, we have students in situations where they are saying to us things like: “We can not finish the task, or be brilliant at the task because of that guy, his poor perfomance (or bad shape, or skills or no will to learn or whatever).”
We as a instructors say to the students, “Then imagine that person is a your father, mother, or that when SHTF your girlfriend shows up at your door with her old aunt. Are you are going to shoot them or learn to operate with them?”.
Almost always, they as a group find a solution to operate as a group, and what is even more important is that person too learns their own value just like their own imperfections.
It is reality.
You will cooperate with people who you love or hate, or people who slow you down, but you will have to manage that somehow.
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Why are they going to show up?
The first and easiest step in solving this problem of not wanting people on your doorstep is to start from this: “Why will they want to show up?”
- Do you pose yourself over the years as a secure place to them if something serious happens?
- Do you “paint” yourself as a person who definitely knows what to do if the world as we know it were to suddenly collapse?
- Or do you drag that person along by helping to him all his life, even if you clearly know that person does not deserve it, so you know if something really bad happens that person going to look for you immediately?
- Is it simply a matter of good old lack of OPSEC, because over the years you keep talking to that person that he (or she) needs to get it together and start to prepare because bad things are coming, and you show him how well prepared you are as an example?
Whichever answer might be, if you do not want this person to show up. it is probably best to solve that now, and not when SHTF. If you do not want that person with you now it is time to cut all connections and to make that clear to him.
Keep in mind this simple advice through an example of myself:
I also have some worries about people showing up on my doorstep, but very small worries.
Because as far as they know, I am not prepared, I am scared too, I do not know anything about survival, I follow media, I am brainwashed. When the SHTF, I will be scared, confused, and I will look in all directions for help.
At least all this is the picture that I paint about myself. This is part of being the gray man.
Those who are important to me know my capabilities. Everybody else is probably worried that I might show up on THEIR doorstep, because that’s me, just an ordinary sheep.
“But they WILL show up.”
Yes, I know. This is the real world we are talking about here and of course, some people might still show up.
Friends you like but who are useless, members of the family that are awful but they are family and you are their only help, etc.
By the mere fact that they showing up at your doorstep you are in a situation where you need to decide:
- Are you going to refuse him and make a possible enemy of him, especially if he knows your survival preparations?
- Will you accept him and put yourself at risk of possible problems because that person is not reliable, not skilled, dangerous, or because of whatever reason?
Refusing the person might be the solution, but you need to factor in things like how bad situation is around you and how much your personal preparations that person knows about. For example, if there is a complete absence of law and that person knows you are a prepper and have good stuff with you and you refuse him, guess what happens?
That person become your enemy at a time where there is no law, and you have cool stuff with you.
That person becomes your enemy with information about where some good stuff is.
In a drastic situation (complete SHTF), refusing the person who has a lot of info about you may be a situation where you need to “terminate” that person.
During drastic situations, be ready for drastic measures.
In most of the other less drastic situations (collapses, SHTFs) mostly feelings are only things that are going to be hurt, and you should not worry about it if you have kids to feed or more important and closer people then that person who shows up.
On the other hand, accepting the person that you do not really want to have with you wh SHTF, because of whatever reason, may work in your favor if you cover two things in the correct way: group and leadership.
This is another example where you can see how important is to have an organized group when the SHTF, or in other words, you can not be alone.
By accepting a not-so-wanted person inside an already organized group where each member has and knows his duties and responsibilities, you are by default pushing that person to meld into the organization.
If you are alone it is hard to control that person.
And it does not need to be ultra hardcore survivalist group of 15 armed men, that is not necessary.
Just a group of people with already-known skills, duties, and responsibilities…
Do not be alone.
Correct leadership is other thing that will help you a lot when undesirable persons are staying with you.
I am not talking here about democracy. Sorry folks, but real democracy does not work very well in situations like this.
If you are a strong leader of your group, you have the skills to set the rules and to make the people obey the rules. If you do not have those skills, someone else will.
With correct leadership within a group, the person who shows up suddenly and does not want to contribute in the right way can be “pushed” to contribute.
Strength in numbers
With all the combined things above, you need to keep in mind that when SHTF strength is usually in numbers.
So, even if you think there is no use of some person who shows up on your doorstep, think hard. Is there actually a use for them, and do you have skills and force to implement that use of the person?
I would like to have skilled persons with me when SHTF, but often it is more important to have people that can be trusted (even if they have no skills) so you need to think about it on that way too.
Also, there are many uses of people besides hardcore survival stuff. I survived some of the hardest situations with people whose only skill was to talk, and I appreciated that skill a lot.
Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. He is currently accepting students for his next physical course here.
In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.
He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless of what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.
- Read more of Selco’s articles here.
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Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.