There is a lot of debate in the preparedness community about how people will react in any sort of SHTF scenario or crisis. This week we talked about how decisions you make will be made because of the people around you, and how people can either make a bad situation even worse, or a little better.
You have no doubt heard the scenario where a woman and her children come to the door asking for food, while her husband is hiding around the corner waiting in ambush. While this situation is certainly possible, we need to take into consideration other situations that aren’t so obvious.
People as a whole are pretty predictable, and these disaster scenarios are also fairly predictable. Things get a little more complicated when you start to look at these events and how people will react on a smaller scale, or an individual level.
How People Will Become the X Factor in a Crisis
In the video below we went over some things to look for and expect with people in any sort of disaster situation, and even events that are not large scale “Mad Max” type situations. As we see on Black Friday every year, it doesn’t take much for people to lose their minds…especially when there is a group of them.
We also wanted to make the point this week that it’s not always about people reacting badly. People will create communities and look for support because people need people. It is our responsibility to figure out who might be an asset to our situation, and who might be a threat to our survival.
Leaders, Followers & Turds
People can be boiled down to 3 categories. Some are leaders, some are followers and some are just plain turds. While all of us probably have a little of each of these quality’s is us, the majority of our character is made up of one of these.
Leaders: We all have the ability to be a leader in us, it’s just that some of us are more reluctant than others. It’s also important to remember that being a leader doesn’t mean being a good guy, a turd can be a leader as well. But as the saying goes “A polished turd is still a turd”
A good leader is usually someone with a high moral compass, and someone who is looking out for everyone in the group. A good leader is also a good listener and makes decisions based on what’s good for the group, not personal gain.
Followers: Being a follower can be either good or bad. On the bad side are the sheeple, and there are far more sheeple than there are leaders and turds. Sheeple will follow blindly based on what a leader says and not question anything they do.
As a prepper it’s ok to be more of a follower than a leader, as long as we don’t become one of the sheep. Some people would rather be part of the team, than lead the team. A team member might be a better term for this type of person because there will be a greater need for team members than leaders.
Turds: These are the people we need to look out for. These are the people with no moral structure whatsoever, and who will make decisions based on their needs, regardless who gets caught in the crossfire.
Turds are the criminals, the looters during riots and anyone looking for an opportunity to take advantage of the weak. Unfortunately, most of these people believe they are “leaders” because when the rules don’t apply, you can do or say anything. This type of leader preys on the follower.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The rules will change in any sort of disaster or survival situation. Decisions we make today while everything is “normal” will be far different than decisions made your life is on the line.
Here are a few of the other topics we covered in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast this week…
– People might be forced to make decisions they wouldn’t make today. When a situation is life or death, a person will easily rationalize stealing and even killing if it means their survival.
– The rules for ethics and morality will change. In general, people are followers and will do what society deems correct. In a disaster situation, people (including us) will have to live by a different set of rules. As preppers we wouldn’t need to lie, cheat and steal, but some people would…most people would.
– We always think about how others will react, but what about us and our family? We will have to make decisions and live with the consequences. Whether we choose to turn someone away, or let them in, there will be consequences.
– People need people, and people will seek support groups. These support groups could be good or bad depending on how and why they were formed. If a bad group of people are able to provide what someone needs to survive, some people might join them. The same holds true for the good guys. A community of people is safer and more productive than the lone wolf.
– One of the most dangerous parts of any disaster (large or small) is the mob mentality. It seems like the more people you put together, the less brain cells there are. This is yet another example of how people are followers, and will follow the herd rather than make their own decisions.
– One thing we tend to overlook is teens and young adults. People in their late teens and early 20’s are very impressionable, and need proper guidance. This is why terrorists, gangs and cults prey on these people. It is much easier to convince someone at this age that your way is the right way than it is if someone is older and “wiser”.
Learning to Read People
A while back I wrote this article about how to read people and peel back the onion. We need to be careful how much information we give out to people, but sometimes we might not have a choice. As we get to know someone more we start to feel more comfortable about giving out information. We need to be careful about how much information we give out, and to who.
In that article, I also talked about how to read someone you know very little about, or nothing at all. We need to look for “tells.” Tells are what someone does that can give them away. If someone is not making eye contact, if someone is being fidgety or if someone is stuttering can all be tells.
In Closing, as preppers we have a tendency to focus on the disasters themselves and not the events that will follow. It’s important to understand how people might react in a crisis, and how they can become the X factor that makes a bad situation worse, or a bad situation better.
Gray Man Tactics
Another way to deal with people in some sort of disaster or SHTF scenario is to avoid them all together, or avoid getting on their radar. We hare about being “the gray man prepper” all the time, but it’s a little more complicated than one might think. In the video below Brian and I talked about what goes into being the gray man, and being as unremarkable as possible.