Neighbor : Friend : Threat
Neighbor. Friend. Threat?
So you’re into personal preparedness, you may even call yourself a prepper. You recognize that there are very real threats in this world in which we live and you have taken and are taking the steps that you deem necessary to help your family survive and make it through any disaster or emergency situation, short or long term. That’s fantastic. Keep up the good work.
What I want to discuss today is the potential threat that you may not have yet considered…your neighbors. The people you live next to every day for years, some of which you may know quite well, a few you may even count among your close friends.
You may think I’m totally off base for even bringing this up, but you might want to think again. Starting at the beginning, do you even know your neighbors? In today’s world, it seems that we don’t more often than not. If you do know them, do you consider them friends or are they more like acquaintances? If you do count them as friends, have you ever discussed your preparedness lifestyle with them? Do you know their level of preparedness? In a time of upheaval, this could prove to be a gaping hole in your security preparedness, a glaring weakness in your plan and it could quite possibly lead to failure of your primary mission: to keep you and your family safe.
Just because you’re squared away with your preps, that does not mean that all is well in your world, in your neighborhood or on your street. If your neighbors are not likewise squared away in their preparedness, you could very well end up becoming the target of the people that you have known for years and probably would never have suspected to act in a threatening way towards you or your family. Even if you have practiced air tight operational security (OPSEC) about your family’s preparedness plans, it won’t take more than a few days of your neighbors being in a stressful situation where they begin to run low on food and water for them to realize that you aren’t in the sinking boat with them and they will want to know why and expect you to help them out. Come on, I mean it is the neighborly thing to do, right?
There is a middle ground on this topic. You can pursue the level of preparedness that you feel is appropriate for your family and help your friends and neighbors become more educated about preparedness without compromising all your details and putting you and your family at risk (at least at any more risk than if you do nothing). Talk to your neighbors about local and national current events and figure out who is interested in learning more about how to prepare in case some threat comes closer to home. At the very least, this will you help you further detail your own preparedness plan because you will find out potential future threats should a disaster scenario unfold.
We like to think we know and understand our fellow man, but the truth is most of the general public do not. I would venture to say that most people do not even have a full understanding of how they will react should they find themselves in an emergency situation. The veneer of our polite society is very thin. We are polite because, as a nation, we are fat and happy. When we are not fat and happy anymore, we will not be so polite.
To drive the point home with a visual example I wanted to share this classic episode from the Twilight Zone, The Shelter. It is a cautionary tale that you may find a bit shocking, but it is in no way beyond the realm of possibility. Enjoy.