Community Preparedness: Six Considerations When Bringing Your Neighbors Along in Preparedness

More and more preppers realize that surviving a real emergency situation could mean depending on your neighbors. As a result, community preparedness needs to be on your radar! The old adage, “there is safety in numbers” is still very true. Not to mention, your neighbors more than likely have knowledge and skills that would be valuable. At the very least, they are eyes and ears that can help watch the perimeter.

But what happens when ALL the neighbors around you are problems and you are considering taking on the zombies on your own rather than linking up with “Crazy Sue” and “Nut Job Sam” living next to you? This was the question I was asked in a recent email. As I started to write back a response, I realized that I was writing more than just a few ideas and that other people out there might be in the same situation.

This article also was the topic for Episode 667 of The Prepper Website Podcast. Listen to it below. I go into some more detail about some of the points that are here.

Community Preparedness and the Crazy Neighbor Question

“Sorry to say this and I really enjoy your website but how do you prepare and start a group when your neighbors are absolute a**holes? I won’t get into the particulars but this is what I deal with all the time. I really am more worried about them than what chaos that might come down the road. Any help or advice would really be appreciated. – R.”

Just like in college, before I could take one of those “interesting” upper-level courses, there is a prerequisite to answering this question. Here it is.

Prerequisite: You’re not trying to convince your neighbors about preparedness or survival or zombies or the coming collapse of America. The purpose of getting to know them is to build trust in a real relationship. So, when the poop hits the fan, you are able to come together as people who have something in common: your neighborhood, families and desire to be safe.

Bringing Your Neighbors to “the Party”

  1. Create a beachhead. Find one neighbor that you can get along with.  Be open about it, meaning do it in  your front yard where others can see.  Pull out the grill, do some hotdogs on your driveway.  Bring out the folding chairs and have a few beers while just chatting.
  1. Reach beyond your next door neighbors. Unless you live in a real rural setting, you will have neighbors all around you.  You might not get along with the next door neighbors, but you might get along with the neighbors a few doors down or even on the next block. Community preparedness should include your whole community.
  1. Create opportunities to connect. James Walton of Prepper Broadcasting Network and I Am Liberty wrote a book called Come Unity, a clever title for the basis of community preparedness.  In his book he discusses creating opportunities for neighbors to connect along like passions, like building a community garden or starting a neighborhood watch. To listen to James discuss his ideas, check out Ep.559 of The Prepper Website Podcast.

What About Looking Inside?

  1. Consider if you are the problem. Is there something that you need to change about yourself and what you expect from your community.  You might be ready to gear-up because you’ve been prepping for a while, but others don’t have a clue about what is happening or what is coming.  They need time to adjust and see for themselves that coming together is valuable.
  1. Are you starting with the right attitude? – You more than likely will be stuck with these people.  You can work with them or be completely on your own.  Is there any redeeming value in getting to know them or having them on your side?
  1. You might just need to move! If your neighborhood is a total loss and you don’t think you can ever work with the people around you, then you might need to move.  The problem with this is that you might walk into another situation exactly the same.  You will need to do some research about where you would be moving to and even talk to some of the neighbors around where you might move.

What Are You Doing About Your Neighbors?

Being safe in an SHTF situation is something that eventually comes up in every prepper’s mind. You can bugout, but what if you don’t have that option? You will be stuck with your neighbors. Some look at that as a good thing, others as a bad thing. But you don’t have to wait to find out how things are going to go if you are purposeful about building relationships. Community preparedness is a real thing and should be part of your overall strategy when you think about preparedness. But more than that, being a good neighbor is just a good thing to do!

I would like to invite you to take part in my 5 Day Build Your Own Prepper Group Challenge! It is free to sign-up. Every day you will get an email with a video with ideas that will challenge you to build your own Prepper Group. If you are interested, click this link to join!

community preparedness


8 thoughts on “Community Preparedness: Six Considerations When Bringing Your Neighbors Along in Preparedness”

  1. Rich P

    I hate to admit it, but I’m probably more the problem than my neighbors. 36 years in the military shaped my views of preparedness and action; my neighbors are civilians and don’t meet my standards. Time to lower the bar in the interest of security.

    1. Rich,

      You have a lot of info. that they would help a community with all those years in. In a true SHTF situation, they will be looking for leadership and what to do. 😉


  2. Aileen

    I think this is a good topic to consider. Getting to know your neighbours could be as simple as saying hi when you walk the dog. And exchanging simple pleasantries like how are you today… You don’t need to be friends and hang out but start with a smile and a hello. We have several senior neighbours and loneliness is a real thing. No idea how to build a proper group but we can all take a lesson from our older neighbours who in their day did casually talk with each other in a way lost today…

  3. Don’t depend on your neighbors. Your plan should be totally independent of relying on others that will always disappoint you. Put your faith and trust in God. If it’s His will for you to pull through any SHTF event, you will.

    1. DM,

      I’ll be the first person to tell everyone to have faith and trust in God. But I believe that “love your neighbor” is already a given. You don’t have to ask God if it is His will to help others. And I agree with you on the fact that relying on anyone else but the Lord is a fool’s game.


  4. There is a HUGE difference between “Bringing Your Neighbors Along in Preparedness” and developing a group. Bringing your neighbors along, sounds more like “I AM IN CHARGE!” and you are not! I am prepared and you are not. I have skills and you do not. Developing a group, however, might in some respects sound much the same. The difference is that developing a group is more like teaching/sharing/learning.

    I am not going to bring my neighbors along for the ride. IF, and it is a big IF, I choose to work with my neighbors in developing a group to survive with, we, the group, will have to not only teach each other skills, learn from each other and share big and little ideas – in other words, work together; develop a team.

  5. Illini Warrior

    you’re going to need the neighborhood/subdivision/town mutual cooperation in the initial phase of the serious SHTF – prepare defenses and assist in keeping out the eventual trash coming your way ….

    doesn’t mean you have to break OPSEC or share your preps >>> just the opposite – your OPSEC becomes even more severe with purposeful deception, disguise and creative cunning …

    sounds bad in the light of day – but you’ll be using your fellow residents until that outside threat diminishes along with everyone else that isn’t prepping for the long term ….

  6. Romeo Charlie

    If you live in the city, suburbs or a neighborhood when the SHTF you are screwed. Community groups will eat each other up as there will always be the haves and have nots and those that bring nothing to the table will demand the most. Unless you are ready to immediately recognize and eliminate the mouths that feed but provide nothing in return you won’t last very long.

    And if you are thinking if you make it to the rural areas we will welcome you with open arms you are in for a rude and deadly awakening. You offer nothing we want or need and are nothing but a drain on resources and compromise of security.

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