This weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in a small community preparedness fair. It included a good number of booths all specializing in some given topic related to personal and family emergency preparedness. The topics ranged from financial preparedness to animal husbandry to emergency communications. All had worthwhile and vital information. The most important thing that I learned from this event, though, was this: the value of community.
It is too difficult…in fact, impossible…to be a top expert in all things. Sure, you can become proficient in many different prepping skills. You may even become very good at several of them, and perhaps even an authority in some. However, because of the time it takes to learn, master, and then to maintain certain skills, you can never be an expert at all of them. There is just simply too much to learn and to retain. Thankfully, a good prepper library could help us in some occasions, but the some of the best resources are often found in the form of other people.
One of the greatest values of community is that you can have many different people who are skilled at different things. Ideally pooled together, everyone can have the benefits of a wide range of skills while not having to be an expert at all of them. I may be good at communications, but someone with medical training and EMT experience would be much better at handling a complicated injury than I would. I may be able to garden, but I know there are some out there with far superior growing skills than mine. As for blacksmithing or soapmaking skills which I do not have yet? Hopefully, others would be willing to share those skills and to hopefully teach me about them as well. In addition to this, being able to draw on the experience and knowledge of others for some skills gives me the time and ability to able to place more focus on mine.
Another value of community is pooled resources. Prepping would be financially out of reach for most people if it all depended on having the latest and greatest equipment in every area of preparedness. Combining together the resources of several makes having access to such equipment an easier goal to reach.
In addition to the benefits of others’ skills and resources, another very important value of community is security. In an extended grid-down scenario, it could very well be vital. Face it…very few individuals have the skill set to survive long-term on their own in a situation if there was no rule of law. Most, if not all, would benefit from being in a small, trustworthy group rather than trying to do it all on their own. Being in a group would spread the responsibilities of security which would make it possible to take security shifts at some times and to rest at others. More eyes and ears are the reasons for this, and not to mention, more hands to fight and protect with are helpful as well. True, managing more people than just your self would add other variables and risks when it comes to security, but in many instances, those risks are far out-weighed by the other values of community. All in all, however, one must, of course, be very selective in choosing those whom you trust to be in any such community.
If one surrounds themselves now with a trustworthy set of individuals with different skill sets, it gives that person far more advantage in an emergency than if that person were to try to master every possible preparedness skill on their own. Not only would access to different skills and resources be easier, but personal security would be easier as well. The value of community is great.