Networking After TSHTF

Many people think their most important asset after TSHTF is their weapons and ammo, or their food stores, or their ability to Top Survival Blogacquire clean drinking water, but I would argue that the most important asset will be the relationships you form or have formed.  I’m currently working on forming a BIBO (Bug In Bug Out) team and it’s been an interesting process so far.  The five or six friends who I’ve picked for the inner circle don’t know each other, so I’m going to have a meeting at my house so they can meet and have a chance to hang out for awhile.

By Jarhead Survivor, a contributing author SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

I used different criteria for picking them, but basically first and foremost they are either preppers, or at least believe something bad is coming our way.  Luckily they have a good mixture of skills.  One has great mechanical and problem solving skills, another has excellent organizational skills, another is a hunter and outdoorsman, there’s two of us with military backgrounds and differing sets of skills and another who is a weapons expert.  I don’t have a medic yet, but I’m keeping my eyes open.


There are multiple reasons for having this team in place.

1.  It’s a good idea to get your thinking done and a team in place before the balloon goes up.  This way you’re at least organized and two steps ahead of anybody else out there.

2.  As a team we can decide what the main mission is.  At this point I see it like this:  if forced to bug-out we can meet at a predetermined location and provide security for each other as well as the synergy that a combined presence will give us.  Never underestimate the division of labor.

3.  If we decide to bug-in (most likely scenario) I see us as a loose coalition of families who can take care of each other if need be.  A couple of us live a fair distance away, but I’m not letting this stop me from inviting them into the group.  It might pay to have an asset away from where you are just in case, just as it might prove beneficial to them to have us there for them.

This is not an army or a fire team or anything like that, it’s a group of like minded individuals not afraid to protect their families by whatever means necessary.

The Law

It’s important to remember that during a crisis you can’t take the law into your own hands.  Why not?  Because eventually order gets restored and then the authorities will go looking for those who broke the law to punish them.  I don’t now about you, but I don’t want to survive a massive dollar collapse with relative ease only to wind up in prison later because I broke the law during the crisis.  Think before you act.  Protect yourself if necessary, but don’t go looking for trouble.  My experience is that those who look for trouble usually find it.

Relationships & Networking

The guys in my group are my friends and I trust them.  That’s going to be important during a crisis because I want to know that Top Survival Blogif I have to leave my family behind they’ll be looked after by the others in the group, just as I’d be looking out for their family.  I may ask each of them if they have any friends that would make good team members if needed.  If I asked each of my friends on the team – let’s say five guys – if they have three friends that’s another 15 guys that we can now take into the fold if necessary.

Also Read: SHTF Firearm Selection

Another reason to network is for family protection.  I alluded to this earlier, but all of us have wives, kids, parents, etc, that will need looking after if the situation goes south.  The wives will be able to help with many of the same duties as the men.  For example:  Mrs. Jarhead is a hell of a good hunter.  She’s probably bagged fifteen or more deer in her life and is not afraid to shoot something.  I’d hate to be the bad guy trying to get to one of our kids if she had the drop on him.  She’s a frightfully good shot and would likely drop him in such a way that he’d never even hear the bang.  The last thing he’d hear is a splat as the bullet hits him in the head… then he’d wake up in a much hotter place than he just departed.

Networking will help anybody out in this situation though, not just a bug-out team.  If you live in an apartment building you might not like the noisy neighbor that lives upstairs, but I’d be willing to bet he or she beats the drug dealer on the street or the rapist looking to get into your building.  If you network with a bunch of people in your building you can have a door guard and maybe someone on the roof looking out for potential threats.  You might have to haul water from the ground floor up ten stories.  If you set up a relay team to help divide the labor you might have one person bring 10 gallons up to the first floor, then the next person carries it up another flight of stairs and so forth.

Also Read: Bug In or To Bug Out?

In a suburban neighborhood you probably already know many of your neighbors and this would be a good time to set up a neighborhood watch.  I’ve been a part of these a couple of times and it’s interesting to see who will actually show up.  This is a great way to see who you will be able to consider trustworthy when it gets real.  There is strength in numbers and having a small community – or tribe – around you in a SHTF situation would not only make life easier with the division of labor, but it’s also a comfort to have others to talk, laugh, and hang out with.


Like most people I have a lot of people I am friendly with.  Acquaintances for the most part.  Then there is a small but much Top Survival Blogtighter group of people we hang out with.  They have similar core values, similar socioeconomic backgrounds, and are trustworthy.  These are the folks we can leave our kids with.  These are the people that when we all get together all the parents look after all the kids.

Also Read: Assimilate The Ideal Bug Out Team

Let’s say we all meet at the campground for a day of fun.  If I go swimming probably three of the kids will go with me, my kids might go with another parent to the skate park, and the others might go to the playground with a couple of other moms and dads.  Each parent will look after the kids in their group as if they were their own and trust that their kids will be looked after and safe.  That kind of trust is not given freely by anybody.  It must be earned.  If you decide to start a group of your own you might want to talk to those within your own inner circle first.  Those you would trust with your kids, because ultimately you may find yourself in that situation in a TEOTWAWKI event.

I’ll be writing more on this topic as I go through the process of trying to form a team.  If you have any ideas around this subject please leave them in the comments below.

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor

Photos by:
Old Onliner
Texas Parks


22 comments… add one
  • Static-Mitch May 15, 2015, 8:56 am

    I’m all for networking with trustworthy people, however, after a shitstorm event, how is one group meant to approach another? What if your group encounters another group just like your own, you don’t mean for any instability, how do you know if they’re going to blow you away.
    It’s one of the things I worry about most, my group has firearms, how can we carry them at the ready without being perceived as a threat by another group?

    Great post, thank you Jarhead.

    • Jarhead Survivor May 15, 2015, 9:57 am

      That’s a really good question, Static-Mitch. You can’t ever really tell who is going to be friendly and who isn’t. This means someone is going to have to make the first move. Just don’t forget that your group is liable to be as threatening-looking to them as they are to you.

      I’d suggest a slow approach with hands off weapons with cover nearby just in case. Don’t act threatening and wait for someone to come out to talk. If they don’t attempt to communicate back up slowly and try to find a way around. I suspect that people will be willing to talk though. At the very least to tell you to move on if that’s their intent. I don’t think there’s a lot of cold hearted killers out there today who’ll blow you away for no reason. There are some certainly, but I think those who have taken time to form a community will be willing to talk.

      • Whitewolf September 2, 2015, 11:55 am

        I would be a lot more inclined to talk , if the group stayed back ,took one knee with any weapons made safe( pointed down ) and had one to come speak. If it was me, I would start by saying, we are just finding info we don’t have to help our group. And offer any help, medical, or labor help if needed. Introduce yourself , ( first name or call sign only ) and never put all your group in one basket !!

  • Don Ruane May 15, 2015, 9:45 am

    If you know your destination try to make friends with people along the way,
    paricularly if you can see that this location, may be a choke point defended by locals that will be off-limits during a crsis.
    Friends along the way can help you get safe passage into or aroung towns or stong points.
    Try to get maps of high tension power line routes, you may have to resort to HOOFING it.
    Great article.

    • Jarhead Survivor May 15, 2015, 9:58 am

      Great point, Don! I actually hadn’t thought of that aspect.

    • Tom May 15, 2015, 1:15 pm

      Railroad tracks offer a path of least resistance as well as power line ROW also.

  • Leon Pantenburg May 15, 2015, 9:49 am

    Good post! Anyone who thinks they can go it alone will soon regret their lack of networking.

  • Rockmanr May 15, 2015, 10:14 pm

    If you look at national collapse and civil war events in history people tend to group on the some common ground that can be race, religion, tribe, politics etc WWII Yugoslavia would a good example of this. If you aint one of them you are fair game and an enemy IN the Philipines in WWII men who took to the buck wheat at times had the locals turn on them for their weapons and ammo In a SHTF event the same thing will happen here. Anyone bugging out will be fair game for locals to raid Your not a good old boy, General Stilwell walked out of Burma with a hand picked group of 500 including nurses and a mule train. Besides the jungle mtns the local tribes were proJapanese but he made it to India. Smaller groups fell victim to the terrain and the locals.

  • Roger May 16, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Good article, I agree with most of what you said. I would like to add that in case of WROL (without rule of law) your group will need a code of rules (laws) of it’s own. Even though I’m not personally a very religious person, I think the Ten Commandments would be a very good start, as they are mostly common sense! In a TEOTWAWKI situation, society as we now know it may not return, social boundaries will be necessary to avoid total anarchy! If you steal food from my garden, proper rules need to be already in place, to give me proper and just reinbursement, to avoid vendettas. Small tight-knit communities are much more likely to survive and thrive in hard times. Good Luck!

    • JD MAK June 2, 2015, 11:41 pm

      “…I think the Ten Commandments would be a very good start, as they are mostly common sense! ”

      Really? Which commandments would those be? Do you even KNOW the 10 commandmentsWhy there were no commandments against slavery, rape or genocide? Oh, wait, maybe that’s because the “god” of the bible actually condones those things. It’s in your Bible…read the damn thing. Then of course there’s the fact that the first few commandments are all about not worshipping other gods, etc. Common sense? I think not.

      • stuntdeacons September 2, 2015, 8:41 am

        I understand your frustration.
        I have read the whole “thing” several times and studied it.
        I appoligize for all the self proclaimed christians that have given Christians a bad name.
        But let me assure you, if you were to read it front to back you’d find out that the Book is about Jesus, love and forgiveness, and how we should do the same. It takes reading the whole thing to get that. reading a few pages here and there definently will give someone the wrong impression of what its all about. Which is why we have so many mreligions and different interpretations of it. Because so many have read a little and make something out of that.
        The 10 commandments are rules to live by for chrsitians. Yes the first are about choosing God alone as your God, but the rest are common sense “love your neighbor” rules. things that all people would benefit from if they loved and respected eachother.
        I say again, sorry for all of us chrsitians who have ruined your view of what were supposed to be. Were supposed to be like christ, a terribly hard thing to do. I hope you can forgive us for being human.

  • Ever Vigilant May 16, 2015, 11:30 pm

    Circle of five….

  • Pineslayer May 17, 2015, 9:37 pm

    My struggle in assembling a team is that most people just don’t take the threat seriously. I can count on one hand those who do. I have many friends with skills, but getting them to prepare for a future they don’t ‘want’ is futile at this point.

    I have a plan and they can follow it when the time comes or not. I believe that a lot of people will come around quickly when the time comes. I plan on providing for about a dozen people, after that I have to tap out due to lack of funds for more.

    There are too many people in my neighborhood who will be desperate in a week. I hope my crew will be here by then to help keep ‘the peace’.

    So here is a question for all here, do you help in the short term knowing you will have to cut people off in a week or two, to provide for your family, or be a hard-ass right off the bat? I want to help, but those in need now will be in need later and so will their friends.

    • late2theParty May 18, 2015, 5:07 pm

      Pineslayer, my plan and process is not to provide goods/supplies (or even have it be known that I have any supplies), but to be known for being the one with hands-on know-how. I’m presently working on my garden, who here isn’t, but my plan is to give away most of it. Goodwill, getting to know my neighbors and establishing that even though I might have small amounts of grown food, it’s rare and small amounts. I’ve already worked out some small pamphlets on the basics (growing simple beans, boiling/catching/sterilizing water and hygiene with low or no water) to give out as needed.

      I’m also working on being the gadget person by testing a passive solar heating and power, building a custom water catchment system, and making reduced water food growing (this side of hydroponics.) By people seeing me do this, and not being seen as buying it but making it, I am trying to get it into their heads that I might be a good resource for them come bad times; and not a person with ‘wealth’ but one that can make ‘wealth’. Here wealth being able to eat, drink, wash…

      • irishdutchuncle May 19, 2015, 3:07 am

        good ideas there, “late”.

        may I suggest pressure and water bath canning skills be included in your tool kit?
        fresh vegetables are great, but consecutive year crop failures are not unknown. you may want to preserve what you didn’t give away.
        In your opinion, how many years worth of seed should someone “bank” ahead of the event?

        • late2theParty August 3, 2015, 12:59 pm

          Sorry took so long to reply :). It really depends. It seems most seeds are unusable after 2 years in a dry cool place, so that’s what I am doing. I’ve started rotating seeds – saving seeds from each successive crop to use when their period is approaching an end. I am testing with fresh seed (two tomato plants from this years sears etc.) so I can be sure what I am putting away is likely to work.

          You are right, that the next thing I need to do is canning, the broccoli was a bust and we shared all the green beans (and ate some) we grew. I usually dry my tomatoes and peppers, BUT we live in 50+” rain area so water is less of a problem than food (thus dried foods are not as bad a problem as other places.) We’ve got some turnips and carrots and a few potato plants. I guess I really have to set my mind to putting the fresh stuff for the future rather than rely on store canned. Thanks!

  • irishdutchuncle May 18, 2015, 10:37 am

    gotta hand it to ya, slayer. that is one difficult question.

    you obviously have a strong conscience. you don’t want to bug-out,
    and just run away from the problem. When your posse shows up,
    will they bring enough with them to supply the neighbors?
    Probably they can’t.
    Rice and Beans, with Raccoon, Squirrel or ‘Possum on the side…
    it’s what’s for breakfast. (and lunch, and dinner)

    • Pineslayer May 18, 2015, 12:41 pm

      Well Irish, it is a question that haunts me daily. My standard train of thought is to give them direction, what their priorities should be. Put up more firewood, get to the stream and get fishing, water, water, water. Unfortunately most people don’t have the strength, equipment, or mindset to do for themselves, IMO. I hope that I’m wrong, very wrong.

      I have a few hundred pounds of rice and beans to barter away, but once again most people have nothing I need. I will probably put them to work digging holes.

      • irishdutchuncle May 18, 2015, 4:43 pm

        I need to come up with a plan “Q”, since plan “P”
        (potatoes) failed my family in the historic past.
        cash is a little tight right now, but will be worth even less in the future, if I don’t turn it into food, and stuff now.
        I do need to add fishing nets to my gear list.
        angling uses up lots of time, especially if the fish aren’t biting…
        trot line might work. I’m afraid we’ll over fish the local streams, if we’re not careful. the fish commission may not be around in the future to restock. Maybe they could dig you a fish/aquaponics pond, in exchange for their beans and rice.

        • irishdutchuncle May 19, 2015, 3:35 am

          … I also need a few very large kettles. the recipe I have for ‘Posum suggests that you should boil the critter before roasting. it’s also the first step in preparing a snapper soup…
          gotta dump the whole turtle into boiling water. I don’t want to use the same kettle to boil the drinking water. (probably should have another set for making beer also…)

  • Mike September 1, 2015, 3:57 pm

    i believe the most important survival object a person can have is the grey matter between the ears. If one has the proper mind set and the common sense God gave a piss ant if you survive the initial event then you have a strong likelihood of survival. There in lies the problem. A lot of deaths occur because the majority of the people do not take the warnings seriously. Several disasters that have occurred in history have proven this to be true. Sadly with the entitlement mentality a lot of Americans have these days is going to ultimately lead to their demise. They will wait until it is too late and they finally realize that their apathy and trust in the governing bodies in this country has lead to their ultimate untimely demise. This is okay though because there will be fewer people then on the guvment handouts. Is is humanely possible to prep for every survival scenario there is? No. The problem is people need to realize the difference between a “want and a need”. A need is food, water, shelter, clothing and oxygen. A want is a new house, new car things like that. From meeting those needs a person can then build from there obtaining items that will help them procure their needs easier.


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