The Preparedness Papers
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This subject was originally prepared by Mr. Cable in 1986. This paper is intended to replace Mr. Cable's original paper and contains many new items that have been updated to better fit our situations today.
First of all, what do we mean by disguising our survival preparations? How are we going to do this? Will our efforts be successful? Our meaning in the context of this paper is to divert attention from survival preparations that we make, so we will not be the object of attention by our neighbors or the butt of their jokes. This paper replaces previous version SP86-10.
We are going to do this in a number of ways. The first is to offer a socially acceptable excuse for our actions.
A good example of this might be something like this... one person says "Mr. Smith has a lot of camping gear "and the other person says, "well of course he does; he is a scoutmaster or an assistant with the local Boy Scout troop". One might say, "Mr. Smith sure has a lot of firearms." Another person answers "Well of course he does; he is an auxiliary policeman". Another way to divert or disguise attention away from our survival preparations is using your job or a side job type of excuse. An example of this might go something like this...One person says "Mr. Smith sure has a lot of tools" and another person answers "Well of course he does; he is an Auto Mechanic in his spare time" (or a handyman, repairman, etc.). The last way to divert attention away from our survival preparations is to use personal improvement as an excuse for your actions. An example of this ..."Mr. Smith sure has a funny hobby mixing up mud." and another person answers "He is using that mud to make pottery; Mr. Smith is an artist!"
What is the one socially acceptable preparation that lots of people never equate with survivalism? Gardening, of course!
Lots of people have gardens; fresh vegetables taste better, lower your food bill and can be canned or frozen for use later on. Gardening increases your survival preparedness, but your neighbors don't need to know that. With Gardening, comes other accepted practices like canning and smoking food.
Canning: Canning food is a very important skill you need to learn now!
Smoking meat: Smoking meat is another skill that might be useful. I have a cousin who smokes his own meat right on the balcony of his efficiency apartment. His Thanksgiving Turkey's are great and his hams, smoked beef and smoked chickens, are all equally good. No one criticizes his skills and it is very cost effective for him to smoke meat that he has hunted or bought for this purpose. Now my cousin does not think his skills are useful in survival situations but smoked meat lasts longer than regular cooked meat and tastes better to me also.
SOCIAL OR OTHER CLUBS THAT MIGHT OFFER SURVIVAL TRAINING
Most survivalists that I know are very actively, involved individuals who do a lot of things. At first, I did not understand why they might waste their time engaging in these activities. You might wonder too, so let us list some clubs or activities that you might consider and why you might consider them.
Boy Scouts of America: The Boy Scouts of America are always looking for adult committee members and leaders to help in their troop activities. Hikes, camping out and outdoor skills are only a minor part of why an adult might want to be involved in the Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scouts are big on Training Adult Leaders-Fast Start, Basic Leader Training, Scoutmaster fundamentals, Wood badge and instruction in merit badge leadership, are just a few of the outstanding leadership and outdoor instructional courses offered by the Boy Scouts of America. There are negative sides of course; the politics that many adult leaders engage in. Regrettably they forget that Boy Scouting is for the boys first, not for their egos. Secondly, are the professional scouting executives; many of them are very good and caring leaders, but sometimes you get professional leaders who want their egos stroked rather than do the jobs they should be doing. Lastly are the young men in the Scouting program as many of them are difficult to work with. If you do not have children, your volunteering to help, will be looked upon as suspect and you might be set up as a possible dumping grounds for those scouts that other leaders do not want to work with.
Boys and Girls Clubs of America: This organization is always looking for volunteers to help provide programs and teach young boys and girls the proper lessons that are sadly often not available to them elsewhere. This organization does provide training and uses sports to teach moral lessons. This is a good chance for a work out and for working with young boys and girls.
Hiking/Climbing/Repelling Clubs: Most of the time these clubs are located in large cities and they take trips 4 to 5 times a year. Dues are paid and classes offered for the novice. Do not go into these clubs as a "know it all" or a retired "Rambo"; no one wants to hear how you did it in the Army or how you were taught by your Swiss climbing instructor, Greta. Go in as a novice and let people get to know you. You can demonstrate your knowledge by doing and gain their approval by being helpful.
Martial Arts Studios: Regardless of the form you study, learn as much as you can. Remember, just because you can break a board with your hands does not make you the greatest fighter in the world. A fight where you get a beer bottle shoved in your face or a knife stabbed in your back, will hurt you as badly as if you had no training at all. The object to martial arts is not only learning unarmed fighting skills, but learning to master your body and get some exercise and improve your coordination.
Gun, Black Powder or Archery Clubs: These may be unavailable or out of your price range for your membership dues, but if you can and there is one in your area; join it. These clubs provide contacts and help to you in the event of an emergency. One Gun Club in Florida banded together to help defend their homes after the terrible hurricane that devastated many communities in Florida.
Health Clubs: Being in shape is important and if you have enough disposable income to belong to a health club; get a membership. These clubs provide good contacts with health conscious people who often can send business your way or help you in your career.
Theater Clubs: Usually these clubs are in larger cities or around college towns that have decent theater departments. They often offer bit parts to patrons or members who can or will help with sets, clean up or lighting. Stage hands are also in great demand. These clubs can offer great experience in acting and can give you experience building sets (great carpentry experience). Being around actors can also give you a surprising knowledge of disguises which might someday come in handy. You will also learn some electrical work and other things like art, etc., against your will if you are not careful.
Nature Center/Herb Clubs: Most cities have nature centers that offer great courses in plant identification, food preparation and/or medicinal uses of herbs and/or plants, in every day areas or your local yards. These courses are usually reasonably priced, but unless you know the people in the club or the nature center, you might not ever hear of the courses offered.
Native American Indian Clubs: There are many areas that offer clubs open to all to study the native America or Indian of their areas. Many bring in, or have as members; ancestors of the early Indian in the area and a lot of knowledge can be gained as members of this type of club.
Fishing/Hunting Clubs: Often these clubs are set up exclusively for the purpose of giving the members an excuse to drink and eat. If your club does not do this, then you might be OK to join it and learn the hunting and fishing in the area. Good clubs will take 4 or 5 trips a year and will offer new members at least a chance to go to half the trips.
Golf Clubs: The purpose of these clubs is to learn to play golf better. They are also great places to meet people and a good chance to get some exercise. Walk! Do not ride the carts! The Fees are usually just enough to cover the playing fees that the golf courses charge, so this might not be too bad a deal for you if you are a golf fanatic.
Investment Clubs: These are usually just in the larger cities or at the universities. Many non-credit college courses are taught this way. At first you might want to just sit in on some of the meetings, especially if the club expects you to invest money right away. After seeing how the club does over the period of 3 to 6 months, you might want to make cautious investments with them. If everything goes well, you can increase your investments or just invest in those areas that you feel comfortable with.DO NOT LET THE GROUP PUSH YOU INTO MAKING A DECISION YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH! DO NOT EXPECT TO MAKE MONEY ON EVERY INVESTMENT YOU MAKE WITH THE CLUB! If the club does not make enough profit, then find another one or make a group of your own and start over. You should at least break even.
This could be termed self-improvement, extra job training or training for a moonlighting job. Whatever you want to term it, vocational schooling is a very good place to get some advanced training not available elsewhere. Some examples and the reasons for these examples are below.
Metal Working/Welding: This skill can pay off handsomely if you ever have to fix your car or make security bars for your doors or windows. If nothing else, you can make some useful gadgets for your other ventures.
Auto Mechanics: If you want to break away from your dependency on mechanics and do it yourself, then an auto mechanics course is for you. I have seen bankers and presidents of corporations take these courses because they wanted to work on their old collector vehicles. You might want to do it to just keep your old clunker running forever.
Plumber/Carpenter/Electrician/Mason/Roofing: These building skills are very important to anyone interested in building, maintaining or adding to their homes. No matter what you learn, it will pay off sometime in your life.
Computer: This is a class that is becoming increasingly popular as computers are becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives. If you are not computer literate, then it is time for you to take a course of this type.
Arts and Crafts: These skills are what I term "personal improvement" skills. They provide useful objects and let you produce useful objects instead of just going out and buying them.
Sewing/ Spin Weaving: These are the cloth and clothing skills. Nothing feels as good as a knitted sweater you made yourself, nor fits or lasts as long as the cloth you have spun, woven or sewed yourself. Being able to make, alter or improve clothing is a useful tool to have available for the survivalist.
Pottery Making: This includes throwing as well as curing the the clay in your own kiln. There is nothing as nice as having your own dishes, mugs and bowls you made yourself and that you decorated yourself.
Candle Making: Working in wax is very easy. Making good candles is a little harder. Give it a shot; who knows, you might be a natural at it.
Wood Working: Wood working can be fun; making chests, footlockers and other containers to store or carry things in, is very inexpensive and challenging. Making these items with hand tools is the challenge to meet, but I do not think it is cheating to use power tools do you?
Photography/Film Developing: This can be a fun and useful hobby. Making pictures can aid in your training and help to get your message across to people who might not understand what you are talking about.
Many opportunities are available for training and work in your community. Some of the following might give you some ideas as to what is available and why you might want to take or do these activities:
Paramedic/EMT: This could be a good second job or even a primary job. The training is intense and deals with a lot of pain, blood and misery, but if you make it, you will have an exhaustive knowledge and experience in working in the health care industry. Many positions are available for evening and graveyard shifts in areas where ambulance drivers, firemen or rescue personnel are needed.
Firefighter: Being a fireman is a difficult job. Many people volunteer for it as a service to their community. Training is crucial to prevent injury or mistakes, which could kill, injure your fellow firefighters or those you are trying to help. Many volunteer organizations have paid positions for fire truck drivers, EMT's or paramedics. Some Volunteer workers advance into firefighting as a full time job.
Auxiliary Policeman: Also known as reserve officers, in some areas or other name. Some police training is given. Depending on your area, you may learn a lot or you may just be used as substitute babysitters for the jailers over the holidays. Often, you do not receive any pay, but you get other benefits to purchase police uniforms, ballistic vests, guns and ammo.
First-Aid Instruction: At a minimum, everyone should know and be able to provide to their citizens and community in a time of need.
As you can see, disguising survival preparations is simply a matter of having another reason for doing something. You do not discuss the survival situation, except with those you know and who know you.
What you need to do is to build a cover story for your activity and make sure you tell everyone in boring detail about your hobby/personal improvement class, vocational project, club or Boy Scout activities. What you are not telling them is that in addition, you are doing these activities to increase your preparations. Remember, you are not telling a lie; you are just not telling everything you know!
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SURVIVAL PREPARATIONS!