Today’s fortune cookie from the local China Buffet was indeed prophetic. “Give assistance not advice during a crisis,” stated the white paper slip from the Chinese cookie. We know now that a lot of assistance came forth from complete strangers during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. However, a natural disaster such as a hurricane or other natural event is different from other types of SHTF survival situations. Do you hold tight or do you share?
During a hurricane everybody is literally in the same boat such as during the flooding in Houston and other areas hit by that storm. But, there may be other SHTF circumstances when a prepper survivalist has to decide just how much if any assistance to offer outside of their own household, Bug In or Bug Out option. These are hard decisions to make which may sound quite benevolent on the surface, but could jeopardize your own safety and survival well-being.
Do Unto Others?
When SHTF does indeed hit the fan, then it impacts everyone in that immediate area. It seems only natural to want to reach out to help others, but is this always a wise decision? Despite the severity of the situation there are always going to be some people in need. That need may vary widely from an immediate need to be extracted from a collapsed structure to simply feeding others or providing medical assistance. You may want to stock up extra supplies just in case you opt to help out others, but not hurt yourself.
As demonstrated by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina several years ago now, it became evident that thousands of people simply waited on Uncle Sam to bail them out. Many died waiting for that assistance that never came or arrived way too late. If you know people are in need in an emergency do you simply wait it out, too, or let them fend for themselves?
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Remember despite however much prepper preparation you may have done yourself, it may turn out to be you that needs the assistance. What will your thought patterns be then when you need help, but it is not forthcoming? That shoe may not always fit the other foot so well, huh?
So, these are tough questions that every prepper survivalist must contend with when facing any serious disaster event. Just like the rest of your prepper groundwork, it may also be advisable to discuss these questions with your own family or prepper team well in advance. That way if it comes, there should be no debate about what to do.
Selfish or Protective
It is quite realistic to assume that as a prepper you and others may have spent considerable time, effort, sweat equity and indeed a monetary investment in preparing ahead of time for a SHTF happening. Many others will never attempt to prepare in advance, and still others simply intend to do nothing just to rely on the government to bail them out instead. Do you give up your hard earned efforts at stocking up, training and practicing for a societal breakdown only to find your unprepared neighbor knocking on your door for a handout?
What is your first priority? To be clear, your first concern should be your own well-being and that of immediate family and or members of a survival team assembled well in advance. You are not likely to be in much of a position to help others if your own safety status is not confirmed and taken care of first.
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When a SHTF does hit, assess your own immediate condition and that of those in your care. Is everybody OK, having survived whatever initially caused the emergency? Is medical care needed immediately? Is your primary Bug In or Bug Out domicile in need of locked down security and protection from outside threats? Are you able to assess outside damages and the status of your own area, neighborhood, town, city or region? Are there any lines of communication with the outside world open?
Under SHTF conditions have you initiated your prepper plan? Are your highest priority supplies and gear assembled and secured? Are immediate needs and cares for every person under your care fulfilled at least in the short term? Take care of yourself and others under your responsibility first, then perhaps you can reach out to others in need.
A Measured Response
Ideally within at least 72 hours, or perhaps sooner, there can be a reasonable assessment of the local, regional, and or national damage, status of the SHTF event as well as your own relative security and survivability. You should be able to get outside to observe and catalog area damages and make decisions about what course(s) to take next.
If you have not been approached thus far by anybody outside in need of help or care, you can decide now if you want to make inquiries, investigate your own immediate area to determine outside needs or whether your priority is to lock down and care for yourself.
If you determine that neighbors or others in the area are in need of some basic assistance then you can elect to give up help and or supplies in a measured response. It would be wise to be guarded about your own stocks of supplies, food, water, medical supplies, and modes of armed protection. Remain elusive about what you have or how much. Disasters have a way of turning otherwise good people into not so good. Don’t become a victim.
If someone down the street needs a chainsaw to remove debris from their driveway so they can get out, then that may be appropriate. If they have a medical concern you can address, then that may be a kind gesture. Same with some help with food and water if they have none. Take offered supplies to them. Avoid inviting them inside to your Bug In. It needs to remain secure until things get back to a more normal situation. Always be on your guard.
Nobody ever said that any type of a SHTF or disaster was going to be a joy ride even for the best prepared. If you decide to reach out to help others, then just give that assistance, but avoid telling others what to do or what they should have done. They may need a shoulder to cry on, but be careful to give up your couch or extra bedroom. Attend to your own first priorities first. And never, ever, second guess a fortune cookie.
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