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What does Mutual Aid have to do with S&EP? To me it's obvious, but it seems a few here might be missing it's complete relevance, so just in case some haven't "grokked" it, I'll explain.

I know that all of us have a frame of reference that colors our posts. Some here may know that I've been a long time fireman, others may not. I well know that over the years being so has changed the way I think and act. For one thing, I understand the power of leadership and teamwork far better; the necessity of knowing the major attributes, attitudes, skills, weaknesses and limits of my fellow emergency service providers. The ones in our department become a loose extended family (of sorts), and the 'guys' (and gals) a political jurisdiction over, are our 'good neighbors'. We all have a written agreement through the county (though probably most of the members of the 40 some departments around here don't know it - to them it's an ol' boy handshake deal) to help each other as need arises in our districts, because in the overall scheme of things, we all benefit, especially when 'the big one' hits.

WE. US. OUR. Key words. In the emergency service business, there are no lone wolves - they usually don't last long, because their actions risk not only their hides, but those they are supposed to be working for and with. Of necessity, it's a Mutual dependence of varying degrees with 'the guys' (and gals) in our department for the "usual stuff", and Mutual Aid from the neighbors for situations that get 'bigger than we are', all in prep for the once-in-a-lifetime "big one".

Most S&EP regulars have in the back of their minds some version of "the big one" (or ones) to prep for. Most don't seem to realize that any truly BIG bad situation always (without exception), will work out far better with as many individuals with similar and complementary training and goals as possible at hand, working under a designated leader as a coordinated team effort - something that must be set up and practiced (and practiced, and practiced...) beforehand on smaller stuff.

Until you have seen first hand what it's like when a candle flame escapes it's container on a bedroom bureau, you don't realize the huge sacrifice of precious time in trying to "do it all" alone: the exponentially expanding loss of whatever is burning, perhaps the loss life and of additional property if the insatiable beast called fire can choke it with smoke, touch it with an ember or ignite it within it's passionate glow. If you are not right there when a fire is still no bigger than you are, fully ready and equipped to put it out, you've already lost that battle and need to retreat until the fire has claimed all it can, and is reduced to scattered pieces no bigger than you can put out on your own, or that go out on their own - at that point, there is virtually no difference.

Emergent situations don't wait for you to be 'better prepared' before they proceed in a downward spiral claiming all they can reach out and grab. You either have the resources to stop the damage, know when to step back and how best to cut losses, or get sucked down with them; and acting alone, the last happens more often than not. Economic and social collapse are little different than any other 'disaster'. They can not be faced alone without quick and austere retreat and likely great loss.

Most people know firefighters don't train up to trash can fires sitting on the curb. We plan and train for the worst of the ordinary - structure fires that evolve from one room, to a building, to a whole block; and sometimes consider the worst possible conflagration in the worst possible situation, yet we know that even then we may come across something bigger and worse. By training for the worst we can imagine with all the worst possible details, anything smaller becomes manageable with fewer resources needed, and anything really big isn't unmanageable in the type of details, just scope, whereupon we work a bit harder and as needed call on the long standing and fairly well rehearsed "mutual aid" of our neighboring fire departments, or possibly others in the agreement who can bring other specialized assets and training as the situation demands, such as the county highway dept for heavy equipment. As emergency responders, we know there will be times when we can't handle the prevailing situation alone without great or unacceptable losses, regardless of how prepared we may be. We, as a team know each others strengths and weaknesses. We who have practiced together, laughed together, sweat together and been scared witless together; who have in some cases hauled each back from the maw of death, make possible what for you or I as any number of individuals is not possible. I know no-one who ever bought a fire truck, keeps it in good shape, drives it to a scene, sets up the pump, pulls the hose, keeps thousands of gallons of water coming indefinitely, and puts out a fire, alone; or even worse, pulling strangers off the street to help. It just doesn't work. The only disputable result for a situation like this is whether the losses could have possibly been any greater for all involved.


Will there be losses in a 'disaster'? Yes. There is no way to keep such things from happening. Unrecoverable 'things' are the first items to be 'written off'; regrettably, people who can not conceivably survive their injuries or immediate situation are second; assets involved in containment and salvage efforts are third. Hopefully, it never goes further than that. Risking lives to save property, regardless of how "precious" to someone, isn't acceptable. Sacrificing additional lives to recover someone "already dead" (regrettable beyond belief, even though still screaming for help) isn't acceptable either. Sacrificing the means to limit or reduce further damage isn't in the plan either, but it can happen. The rule at the firehall, is "when the call is over, we all go home alive". The way we do that is by coming together when there is need, working together as we have trained, doing all we can within acceptable risk (not making the probable losses worse) to save life and property, covering each other's backside when everything seems to be coming apart, and making sure we are as ready as we can be for the next one before we become individuals again.

It's all well and good to be as self reliant as possible, and I would hope that every one of your 'alarm of fire' situations is nothing but 'burned toast', but when a situation bigger than you are is about to consume you, you either have mutual aid already set up to fall back on, or you will in all probability go down alone. :flame:

As in Alan's story, when (not if) a situation grows to the point that it puts a problem bigger than you are in your or your good neighbor's yard, a functional "mutual aid" plan will be necessary, not optional.

[/ :soap: ]

How y'all doing with one? Practicing with your neighbors on the small stuff like there may be no tomorrow?
_________________

"Come, Pinky, we must prepare for tomorrow night."
"Why, Brain? What are we going to do tomorrow night?"
"Same thing we do every night, Pinky: try to take over the world!"
 

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i agree, lone wolves are usually dead wolves in short order. literally and figuratively.

more bodies might mean more mouths but will also mean more hands, eyes, backs and guns if that is something you envision.

i learned that teams make things work, loners usually cannot accomplish as much as a team. that is why early man grouped together for mutual aid and to accomplish common goals.


just my opinion

dean
 

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longshot38 said:
i agree, lone wolves are usually dead wolves in short order. literally and figuratively.

more bodies might mean more mouths but will also mean more hands, eyes, backs and guns if that is something you envision.

i learned that teams make things work, loners usually cannot accomplish as much as a team. that is why early man grouped together for mutual aid and to accomplish common goals.


just my opinion

dean
That is one way to look at it but there is another opinion also.

Man gathers together more from fear than any other reason. Most are afraid of being alone. They will find a group even though their chances of survival may be better alone than with the group they are in but most will choose the group rather than make it on their own. If a person is not experienced and knowledgable in the art of self preservation their only way is to join a group.
If a person needs others to protect and provide for them a group is their best bet. Some people can protect themselves and provide very well for themselves. One good man can accompolish more than an entire group of people who are not knowledgable and experienced.

More bodies mean more mouths to feed, that is for sure. It doesn't mean those extra mouths will be good for anything other than taking up room. Many will not be physically able to do much, some will be inclined to sit back and let others do for them, and many more will be more of a hinder if they are ever called on to protect anyone.

If you feel the desire or need to join a group it would be a very good idea to observe the group you are thinking about joining. Remember if you decide to join it will be mostly mob rule. If you are comfortable in a mob then a group may be the place for you.

I think I would rather bet my life on a person I know and trust, not some strangers I know little about.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Exactly, Dean. Everyone has to sleep some time, bathe some time, will have their pants around their ankles at times... and one person, or even a small family group isn't likely to "do it all" efficiently, especially when a problem shows up which is 'bigger' than the resources on hand to deal with it. This is the primary reason families became tribes, which became villages, which became cities, which bonded together to becomes states. Devastating problems for a family (a father with a broken leg) can be no problem for a village (others come by to do the heavy work with no great sacrifice of time). A huge problem for a village (a water system gone bad) can be a simple matter for a state, simply because of the resources available. The key is to have as many hands available by prior understanding and agreement to 'your side' as possible.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and by coming together in a purposeful (and practiced) 'mutual aid', bigger problems can be faced and overcome, it is far more likely losses will be minimized and that EVERYONE involved benefits. All too often the posters here leave me with the impression that "it's me and my immediate family against the world". That sort of thinking (and acting) severely limits the options when (not if) a 'bigger' problem comes around.

Thanks for taking the time to read it all. :D
 

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Pancho, this isn't about 'joining a group of strangers' out of desperate need, but of making alliances with people of like mind (and work ethic) and complementary strengths and resources well ahead of the time of need. Anything else is akin to getting a pig in a poke.
 

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If a person needs others to protect and provide for them a group is their best bet. Some people can protect themselves and provide very well for themselves. One good man can accompolish more than an entire group of people who are not knowledgable and experienced.

More bodies mean more mouths to feed, that is for sure. It doesn't mean those extra mouths will be good for anything other than taking up room. Many will not be physically able to do much, some will be inclined to sit back and let others do for them, and many more will be more of a hinder if they are ever called on to protect anyone.
those who can do more than an entire group are called "leaders".

if you choose to run and fend for yourself when you are this skilled, then you are not only (not you, I mean a 'you" in general....speaking to everyone and not just one person) selfish and immoral, but useless, and your skills and knowledge are wasted.

Consider the high value you could be and the resources you could bring to a group, not only to educate others but to lead and coordinate the entire group.

I agree.... lone wolves are of no value to the group, unless they can adapt their mindset to be of some use.
lone wolves have a warped value scale.
 

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comfortablynumb said:
those who can do more than an entire group are called "leaders".

if you choose to run and fend for yourself when you are this skilled, then you are not only (not you, I mean a 'you" in general....speaking to everyone and not just one person) selfish and immoral, but useless, and your skills and knowledge are wasted.

Consider the high value you could be and the resources you could bring to a group, not only to educate others but to lead and coordinate the entire group.

I agree.... lone wolves are of no value to the group, unless they can adapt their mindset to be of some use.
lone wolves have a warped value scale.
A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. In every group there will be many weak links. Some have physical problems that make them weaker than normal, some have absolutely no experience in survival, some are just looking for others to take care of them, and some just like to boss weaker people around.
I don't really want to be part of a group that has these type people. If times get bad enough there is a need for people to gather together for protection there will be people who band together to prey on these people. That is another group I do not want to join. For me it will be better that I depend on myself for survival, it has worked so far.
What is a surprise, on a forum that is all about survival and where most of the members complain about govt. programs being forced on them, the first thing they plan on doing is starting the same things they complain so much about.
 

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Most S&EP regulars have in the back of their minds some version of "the big one" (or ones) to prep for. Most don't seem to realize that any truly BIG bad situation always (without exception), will work out far better with as many individuals with similar and complementary training and goals as possible at hand, working under a designated leader as a coordinated team effort - something that must be set up and practiced (and practiced, and practiced...) beforehand on smaller stuff."

Folks need to listen to this man.

There isn't going to be a lot of individuals surviving on there own after TEOTWAWKI. The ones that do make it will be just "surviving" and not living. By "surviving" I mean they will have to be in constant full hide mode, fearful everytime they put there head down to rest (no one there to cover there butts while they rest). And if you get sick by yourself? Game over. Do not pass go, do not collect any more oxygen.

Some of the BS that you hear on the net-

"I'll group together with people in my subdivision"- won't work

"I have sixteen extra firearms to "handout" to neighbors"- gonna get shot with there own weapons.

If folks didn't bring there weapons to the dance and I don't know them like I know my spouse, I'm not arming them.

"But they'll be more folks helping you." Yeah right.

For the "have extra firearms to "handout" people" I say this- better have a six month supply of food to HANDOUT to each of those people as well.

Good thread.
Lowdown3
 

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We'll miss ya Pancho. :)
 

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tinknal said:
We'll miss ya Pancho. :)
I will be around, just out of sight until things settle down a bit. Don't want to be part of the group that has to cull some of its members or destroy the neighboring group. I will let time and others do that part.
After a few weeks it might be a lot safer to go around other people. The first few weeks will be dangerous as people begin to get a little hungry.
See you in a few weeks, good luck.
 

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pancho said:
That is one way to look at it but there is another opinion also.

Man gathers together more from fear than any other reason. Most are afraid of being alone. They will find a group even though their chances of survival may be better alone than with the group they are in but most will choose the group rather than make it on their own. If a person is not experienced and knowledgable in the art of self preservation their only way is to join a group.
If a person needs others to protect and provide for them a group is their best bet. Some people can protect themselves and provide very well for themselves. One good man can accompolish more than an entire group of people who are not knowledgable and experienced.

More bodies mean more mouths to feed, that is for sure. It doesn't mean those extra mouths will be good for anything other than taking up room. Many will not be physically able to do much, some will be inclined to sit back and let others do for them, and many more will be more of a hinder if they are ever called on to protect anyone.

If you feel the desire or need to join a group it would be a very good idea to observe the group you are thinking about joining. Remember if you decide to join it will be mostly mob rule. If you are comfortable in a mob then a group may be the place for you.

I think I would rather bet my life on a person I know and trust, not some strangers I know little about.
Fear is not the ONLY reason for people to band together. Another valid reason would be what they call in philosophy "enlightened self interest". It's to everybody's benefit to band together, what they call a win-win situation.
Also, mob rule isn't the ONLY way to run a group. If you do get in a group that's run that way, you can always get out of it. :shrug: At least you'll have somebody watching your back while you're part of the group. :hobbyhors
 

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FourDeuce said:
Fear is not the ONLY reason for people to band together. Another valid reason would be what they call in philosophy "enlightened self interest". It's to everybody's benefit to band together, what they call a win-win situation.
Also, mob rule isn't the ONLY way to run a group. If you do get in a group that's run that way, you can always get out of it. :shrug: At least you'll have somebody watching your back while you're part of the group. :hobbyhors
Not many people nowdays has any experience surviving. That was shown during Katrina. Even with help all around and plenty more coming people began mob rule. When a man will kill his sister over a bag of ice after 3 days without electricity you can imagine what it would be after 2 weeks with no help coming. Wasn't many people thinking about "enlightened self interest".
If you will remember the people of NO banded together. There was quite a few shots on TV of them banded together there.

People who have never went longer than 6 hours without eating will not be very agreeable after several days without.
You do realize that if you have a group together that some of them are going to advise all of their families and friends that there is food available. Then those will have to let others know. Pretty soon the tight knit group planned is now a mob. Some of those invited in may not be quite as willing to share and not as civic minded as the original group.
 

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when you get people together there will be problems...period.becasue people dont get along...sorta....lol...loose lips sink ships aslo.and yes most people dont know how to go without food or electric for long.

as for the lonewolf talk...well lets jsut say that most of of the earliest exploreres were loners.the opening up of the west was done by lonewolfs...mtn men...trappers by gosh...they had to hold the hands of the general public in the form of wagon trains to cross the u.s.they crossed it alone.....and done well.so where is the lone wolf theory now???guess it really takes all types to make up society.the good,the bad and the ugly.

pancho...see you in the bush....roflmao
 

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lonewolf here is in RE to a SHTF problem where people need each other, it is not in RE to peacetime exploration or homesteaders aor mountian men or whatever.

if people end up really being as stupid as they are now when the shHiThFan, I might go loane wolf too rather than deal with them all.

I cant handle them in peacetime for very long, so.... pancho might have a good point.
 

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elkhound said:
as for the lonewolf talk...well lets jsut say that most of of the earliest exploreres were loners.the opening up of the west was done by lonewolfs...mtn men...trappers by gosh..
And for every one you have heard of 100 died a grizzly death in a buffalo wallow, or a dry gulch, or a box canyon, just wishing they had a buddy looking backwards while they were looking forwards.
 

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pancho said:
.
See you in a few weeks, good luck.
Not if you are smart. If you weren't by my side when times were tough I sure don't want you now.
 

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comfortablynumb said:
lonewolf here is in RE to a SHTF problem where people need each other, it is not in RE to peacetime exploration or homesteaders aor mountian men or whatever.

if people end up really being as stupid as they are now when the shHiThFan, I might go loane wolf too rather than deal with them all.

I cant handle them in peacetime for very long, so.... pancho might have a good point.
think of it like this...mtn men in the time frame we are talking about truely were in shtf situation alot of the times....due to the fact they were mostly traveling without maps,flintlock rifles,alone or at most one or 2 others,into hostile territory.they had no bridges to cross rivers so had to find crossings.also there were all the real wildlife...lots of grizz to deal with and other stuff.they basiclly were doing the recon work for westward advancement.recon work in the militaryis done by one ot 2 individuals..why to be more stealthy.to slip in and get out undetected.these men were the hardiest of us all.most people cant walk 100 yards with out getting lost.these guys traveled for 100's and 1000's of miles into the unknown.to me they are the ultimate in survivalists.if nothing else they were tough enough to walk out of the wilderness on nothing but their guts.

you ever walk into a new and strange place??(like a bar)there are people there and somebody is bound to get in a uproar over you.cause you dont know the boundrys of the people that are there.people are the trouble you want to avoid.i would just as soon stay clear of the masses for the most part.but would like to have a freind or 2 around...you can come share mine and panchos place...but leave the hammer at home or at the door...roflmao...i dont want to wake-up dead with a estwing in my skull....roflmao
 

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elkhound said:
think of it like this...mtn men in the time frame we are talking about truely were in shtf situation alot of the times....due to the fact they were mostly traveling without maps,flintlock rifles,alone or at most one or 2 others,into hostile territory.they had no bridges to cross rivers so had to find crossings.also there were all the real wildlife...lots of grizz to deal with and other stuff.they basiclly were doing the recon work for westward advancement.recon work in the militaryis done by one ot 2 individuals..why to be more stealthy.to slip in and get out undetected.these men were the hardiest of us all.most people cant walk 100 yards with out getting lost.these guys traveled for 100's and 1000's of miles into the unknown.to me they are the ultimate in survivalists.if nothing else they were tough enough to walk out of the wilderness on nothing but their guts.

you ever walk into a new and strange place??(like a bar)there are people there and somebody is bound to get in a uproar over you.cause you dont know the boundrys of the people that are there.people are the trouble you want to avoid.i would just as soon stay clear of the masses for the most part.but would like to have a freind or 2 around...you can come share mine and panchos place...but leave the hammer at home or at the door...roflmao...i dont want to wake-up dead with a estwing in my skull....roflmao
I already know who I will band with (and who I will not).

really poorly thought out scenario there.
 

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tinknal said:
I already know who I will band with (and who I will not).

really poorly thought out scenario there.
You may know who you will band with but you can not be sure they feel the same way and you cannot be sure they will not choose some to band with that you would not choose.
You are putting your life in the hands of people who may not believe the same way you do.
Then you also have to worry about the neighboring group, remember the ones you would not band with, they might get the idea to take over your band and send you packing.
Like I said in an earlier post, just look at the reports of what happened during Katrina. You saw people banding together, especially one big sports arena full of them. It worked out great for them.

Guess I won't see you in a few weeks. You will probably be in the group that does not make it that long. Take a real good look around at your group. If there are over 2 in that group there is someone who will decide they care more for some one else than you. You may not have a choice about being a lone wolf. They may kick you out of the group. Always a problem with mob rule, they may turn on you next.

Being a lone wolf is not for everyone. You have to know what you are doing. People who cannot take care of themselves must depend on a mob to take care of them. It is just real hard to control a mob. Hope your mob does alright.
 

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I honestly don't agree with most of what either side says, except that both sides have legitimate arguments for banding together, or NOT wishing to band with a group. Not that I necessarily support Pancho's, nor Andy's point of view, but this part below that pancho posted is probably better said than I could say it:

Man gathers together more from fear than any other reason. Most are afraid of being alone. They will find a group even though their chances of survival may be better alone than with the group they are in but most will choose the group rather than make it on their own. If a person is not experienced and knowledgable in the art of self preservation their only way is to join a group.
 
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