Got A.N.T.S?

A.N.T.S – Americans Networking to Survive, have any of you East Coast folks looked into them?

A.N.T.S is a survival network of individual preppers called (ants) working together to provide other members basic supplies during disasters. This is done by relaying supply pods to any member that needs them.When disaster strikes, Wouldn’t it be nice to know neighbors were coming to your street with supplies for you and your family.

Basic supplies is the key word there, not search and rescue or prepper‘s “Craigslist.”  The main idea with this group is the Pod, which is intended to be relay-style transported to ants in need. They have a food pod, a water pod, a shelter pod, plus a half dozen more; all based around 5 gallon buckets.  The ant in need would then be expected to return said pods? Or maybe just return the bucket and a token of appreciation? I don’ t know, that part’s not really well spelled out.

Pluses –  They have some really cool information, organized decently.  They have a lot of ways to stay in contact.  There’s a blog, the website, a google map, some forum boards and even a Facebook page.  (Oh, and coffee mugs)  If you live in a well populated area, you’ll have Ants on your doorstep in 20 minutes after a disaster. (Give or take some…it is a disaster.)  They seem really well organized, with well thought out plans and guidelines and communication of  all of that to individual Ants.

Negatives –  Lots of way to stay in contact means a lot of ways to let too much information out.  The facebook page would be “friends” with you.  The Google map is a locater map, you put your (approximate) location on the map so that other Ants can coordinate Pod relays with you. ( Or so Ants can try to locate you after a disaster, whichever end you end up on.)  Because of the wide open nature of Google maps, it is a bit of a Catch-22.

The laws of averages plays out in Ant placement. Only a certain amount of the population is interested or aware of such communities.  If you don’t live in a well populated area, it can be hundreds of miles between Ants.

Relatively untested.  I’m not aware of any large mobilization. Some areas do meet and greets and seem more active than others.  Most seem to creak along, with members barely checking in on a regular  basis.

I think it’s an interesting concept. I’ll be watching carefully when they finally get tested.  What about y’all? Got a colony near you? Had any formicidae thoughts lately?

– Calamity Jane

11 comments… add one
  • Prepared N.D. October 11, 2011, 9:47 am

    I think it’s a pretty good idea. The alternative would be to leave buckets with someone you know who lives out of your immediate area and construct a mutual aid agreement. I believe A.N.T.S outshines the latter example because it remains voluntary and has better OPSEC than forging your own agreements. Once your contact (someone you know and trust) has buckets in hand and knows where you live, you’re at risk of them showing up at your doorstep in need of more than a few buckets.

    The OPSEC side doesn’t look too bad. The ants that are around me (30mi+) have intersections and general areas listed on Google maps. I can’t see who all is a friend of the network unless they’re in my friends list. The forum in my area is inactive and the people who did post used aliases. From the outside looking in, I don’t have a clue where these preppers are.

    Overall, I think this would be a plausible supplement to onsite preps and area caches.

  • carl October 11, 2011, 9:56 am

    I think this is a pollyannic concept based on the “no bad Boy” or “I am my brothers Keeper” theory. It violates every OPSEC rule I can think of.

  • millenniumfly October 11, 2011, 11:40 am

    That is an interesting idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • Matt October 11, 2011, 1:12 pm

      Really BAD Opsec. Don’t advertise your locations, people!

  • Presager Buddy October 11, 2011, 3:45 pm

    It’s a naive idea. The whole notion of being a prepper is to be self-sufficient! We don’t need another FEMA – especially one that destroys your operational security. I wouldn’t touch it with a proverbial ten foot pole.

  • Anonymous October 11, 2011, 8:50 pm

    “When disaster strikes, Wouldn’t it be nice to know neighbors were coming to your street with supplies for you and your family.”


    When disaster strikes our local emergency management people turn a couple churches, and if it’s bad enough part of a Jr. High, into a relief center. Lots of sack lunches and a place to stay if you need it. When get an extended power outage in cold weather (every 3 years or so), as soon as the library (the library is in a part of town where the lights tend to come on first. Outlying areas can be out of power for a few days) opens early and stays open late so people have a warm place to go.

    Every single person involved in this is a local volunteer! Rather than be involved in this, I’d check in with your local emergency management folks.

  • Michael October 11, 2011, 9:08 pm

    “When disaster strikes, Wouldn’t it be nice to know neighbors were coming to your street with supplies for you and your family.”


    When disaster strikes or at least when we get a big snow or a prolonged power outage (that’d all we’ve had to deal with so far) my real brick and mortar neighbors and I all go around making sure everyone’s OK.

    We also have this thing called Emergency Management which is run through the county and staffed mostly by volunteers (AKA your neighbors) that can provide medical help, hot meals and places to stay if you need one. ours does a great job. Take a look at the response to the tornado on Joplin MO, that’s their local emergency management folks in action.

    We get an extended power outage about once every three years or so and when that happens our library opens up a soon as it gets it power back on so that people in outlying areas can have a warm place to go and check their email and such and stays open late. That’s your neighbors in action.

    A.N.T.S. just seems silly to me.

    I’d love it if every prepper signed up with their local emergency management folks.

    • Calamity Jane October 12, 2011, 9:39 am

      I agree with you to an extent. I think ANTS could be used to bolster local emergency volunteers, in places where the ant population was high. But yea, out here in the flyover states, local is the only way to go, there just aren’t that many ants.

  • Michael October 11, 2011, 9:09 pm

    O’ hey, didn’t mean to post twice. I thought the “Anonymous” post got lost and retyped it.

    • Calamity Jane October 12, 2011, 9:30 am

      :-D We value your opinions Michael, even if we do have to read them twice. :-D

  • JohnDoe1999 October 12, 2011, 6:22 am

    I had heard about this a bit back and had considered joining, but when the FBI labels preppers as potential terrorists and homeland security throws the “don’t tread on me” flag in with white supremacist materiel, the last thing I want to do is register with google. Oh yeah, the Gov’t uses google to track people to. The irony is that I’m bundled in with white supremacist T-words and I’m hispanic. Go figure.


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