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By Kellene Bishop
Even hardened military personnel are taxed to their maximum ability when functioning as sentries for a structure round the clock. Regardless of how much military or emergency training one has, it’s simply unrealistic to think that anything less than 6 able-bodied adults can manage and protect a home in times of peril. Thus at some point it’s very likely that you will need to accept others into your home after a disaster that debilitates society as you now know it. Think about it. Let’s say that a home is “fully furnished” with a dad and a mom. In addition to the necessity of keeping watch on your home, there’s cooking, repairs, fuel acquisition (wood or otherwise) and ensuring that some semblance of comfort and normalcy are maintained. I dare say that most adults already feel strung out to their maximum capacity. So adding a 24 hour watch to your home with just the two of you either won’t happen or it will occur poorly. Either way that compromises your safety, so you will definitely need help. But who you trust and rely on to be a part of your home/community could be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. As such, this decision could be one of life or death proportions.
The circumstances in which you take individuals in will be a primary consideration for your decisions. For example, if the disaster is related to a pandemic illness, then taking ANYONE in could spread death to your home. If the scenario is one of a nuclear nature, then ensuring that they are clean from fallout would be an important consideration as well so as not to bring any radioactive material into your dwelling or spread to the occupants. Most other scenarios that I can think of at this moment are going to require considerations of a different nature yet it is those that I want to lay out what are the two most important considerations today.
Trust. Although we usually see these types of scenarios portrayed through Hollywood, there is still merit in appreciating how cowards and incompetents compromise the safety of all others around them. Remember the business executive character in Die Hard who thought he would make a move with the terrorists and benefit his own life? Instead he compromised the lives of at least two other people. How many times have we seen a movie in which the person who was told to “stay put” ends up not following directions and costs others their lives? While these examples have only been seen in the movies, they are realistic portrayals nonetheless. Thus those persons you bring into your home and community must be trustworthy. You must be able to rely on them to have a spine, follow directions, and that they will not compromise your safety and survival. In most instances, the cowardly and bullheaded persons around us are just as dangerous as the “bad guys.”
Contribution. Anyone who comes into your community should be capable and willing to make a contribution to the survival of the group as a whole. This can be in the form of vital skills, the ability to help with meals and chores, and also in the form of supplies when possible. They also have to be willing to learn to do things in the way that you’ve created as you’ve pre-planned for your scenario. In other words, you don’t want someone to come in, use up your supplies and then move along. They need to be an asset to you and your community. In a disaster recovery scenario, everyone except the sick and wounded must participate in the safety, well-being and functionality of the community.
If it were me, I would recommend you making a list now while you’re calm and comfortable as to what you would expect from everyone in your community. Then plan on enforcing it as much as is realistic in your scenario.
Obviously, being competent enough to judge and enforce what folks to bring into your community will require that YOU are properly prepared to defend and fortify your own. If you’re scared of your own shadow, you won’t exactly be in the best shape to play gatekeeper to your world.
Well, that’s my two cents for now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this community matter as well.
Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.