Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
If we are deep into some kind cataclysmic event and desperate people arrive at your door, what do you do? Your hard work, money, and family are all at play when people come a knockin! So, what is your gameplan?
The simple answer is to say, “NO!” and not let anyone into your home. The truth is that things are a little more complicated than that. Also, there might be some value in the people you bring on board. You are going to need some help to get through tough times.
Just look at any natural disaster to see proof of that.
In this article, we are going to look at what you should do when neighbors keep knocking. There are some things you should already have done if you are going to deal with people at your front door.
Know Their Value
Its easy to look at even family members as a burden on your supplies. The idea of taking more people in is often frowned upon by preppers. However, there is immense value in having people. People are eyes and ears, they are hearts and minds, and if they are family or friends, they could even have your best interest in mind!
When I say “know their value,” I am not just talking about their survival skills. Instead, I am talking about their innate human value.
If you plan on conducting any kind of security, then you are gonna need a bunch of people. It is unreasonable to assume that you can secure anything with yourself, your spouse, and two kids. Its just not possible. Now, if you have eight people, then you could make a difference.
More hands for work is also another huge benefit. We will talk more about this later in the article.
Can You Support Them?
I know you are prepper. I understand that you think yourself prepared for many things, and you assume that people will come to you for help. However, it is important to be honest with yourself about whether or not you can support anyone other than your family.
Taking people in that you cannot support can be just as dangerous as telling people to leave. If they settle in and feel safe, then have the rug pulled out from under them again, they are going to get hostile.
So, understand where you are, truly, with your resources. Can you handle more people? How many calories do you have in total? How many resources do you have to spare? Know these things like the back of your hand and taking people, or not, will become much easier.
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Example: “We have 4 months’ worth of dry food for all of us. So, we need to start producing / hunting / trapping / trading for food NOW to be prepared in 4 months and to stretch our current stores.”
Work Starts That Day
Preparation is everything when it comes to taking in neighbors and family. I want you to develop a daily to-do list or work schedule for your home. You can develop that schedule today, even though many of the tasks could change in a grid down or TEOTWAWKI situation.
Things like daily cooking, weeding, security, and waste management, and water collection may not be on your schedule now, but they will be if we have reached a point where essential services are all gone and the world around you has collapsed.
Write these jobs out or create a simple schedule on Excel and leave the names empty. Get as many things on that schedule as you can think of, and leave some blank spaces to add tasks if you need to. Print out at least 52 of these for a years’ worth of schedules.
When people show up for help or a place to live, one of the first things you should hand them is this list of duties. Assure them there is work to be done. Get them started on something right away and get their names on the schedule next certain tasks.
I like the idea of letting them choose some tasks based on their skills. You could learn about them that way. There will be plenty to do and they should start DOING immediately upon arrival.
Be CRYSTAL Clear About Rules
What happens at your place when someone doesn’t get their daily work done? What happens if someone steals?
I don’t know the answer to this because only you and yours can establish that. You need to sit down and develop that rule set. It would be helpful to post these rules or put them on work schedules. This way there is no argument later.
If someone has a job to do and decides they would rather walk the woods or sleep late, then it shouldn’t be up to you to explain the punishment. Instead, they should already know.
Miss Work, Miss Dinner
Something as simple as that would suffice, or it could be more severe. You make the rules. Its your home. However, you must explain them very well and you also must be able to enforce those rules. Most people forget about enforcement when it comes to people who want to help.
You can always say NO, but can you make them go away? This doesn’t have to be a lethal approach, but your rule must have teeth.
Who NEVER Comes In
The reason I focused so much on why you should bring people into your home is because we often forget about the value of humans in a collapse. We go to UBER isolation and that can be serious problem. We are weak when we are isolated. It just feels like we are safe because we are so far from the problems. But problems will come.
That said, there are some people that you better never let into your home. There are people who have no business joining the ranks and will only cause you trouble.
Addiction is always going to be the number one concern of the addicted. That means their family, your family, safety, food, water, security—all of it plays second fiddle to the addiction. Addicts are not people you want in your corner. If you love them, then you must come to terms with the fact that they will likely meet a dark end.
You cannot afford to let addicts into your group, help them, tell them all about your system, storage and so on. They will sell you out.
People with a criminal record or people with a questionable past might have their use in the SHTF world. However, that doesn’t mean their place should be in your home. These are not people that you want around you on a daily basis. Do not let them into your world.
Most people will not outright tell you they have a criminal past. However, if you are privy to that information then you should use it.
Remember, violent criminals might not go away just because you tell them to. They might decide violence is a better option and go after you. So be prepared.
Strangers With Kids
What happens if a total stranger happens upon your home, begging for help, and they have kids? We build something called refuge buckets. Into these we throw different grains and foods in small packages. These are going to be handed out to people with kids should they show up. Give them some food and a gallon of water and send them on their way.
While it might feel good to bring in a mom and her children, there is no way of knowing their true intentions. What if they already belong to a much larger community and they are simply reconning you to go back home and tell the others what you have? You could be inviting trouble.
We are living in a very divisive time. The people of this nation disagree on things, and we let it get between us. We let it shade our actions and how we build our society. It’s very dangerous. This is why so many people are talking about civil war.
Depending on where you fall on the spectrum, you might have to consider the ideologies, religions, and beliefs of the people you bring into your home. Some of the issues of the day have gotten so extreme that people may struggle getting along together.
Even if you do not like the idea of taking others in, you need to understand that YOU NEED OTHERS. You need to have some people around you. These people are going to be a key to the safety and longevity of your surviving party.
Remember, it’s not as cut and dry as random people coming to the door. What if it is a good neighbor and their kids, cousins, siblings, or parents? Its not as simple as a resounding “NO” to all.
Get your plan in place. Create your work schedule and make sure that everyone is pitching in. Having extra people around might prove to be the best thing that ever happened to you!