Have you heard the comment that some people keep a submachine gun on top of their food storage to protect their emergency supplies from their neighbors? I don't personally know anyone like that, but I've heard a lot of people talk about their fears that not enough people around them will be prepared for a crisis. Though they want to help their neighbors, they're afraid they won't have enough food and supplies to go around.
Just how much food and supplies would you have to store so that you would have enough to share with the neighborhood and still have enough for your family? Let's see, the basic food storage lists say that a man needs 300 pounds of wheat for a year's supply. If you only worry about the 10 families who live right around you, including your own family, and each home averages 4.3 people per family, that's 43 times 300. You'll only need to keep 12,900 pounds of wheat on hand. You'll need three five-gallon buckets per 100 pounds of wheat, so that's a mere 387 buckets. Along these same lines, you'll need 13,000 pounds of rice, 2,600 pounds of honey, 215 pounds of salt, 1,000 pounds of powdered milk, 43 sleeping bags, 10 tents, 129 cords of wood, 1,100 gallons of water (for two weeks of water), and 690 more buckets. I tried going this route for a while--until my house sank through the earth's crust from sheer weight--and then I was forced to give it up.
People ask me questions every day about individual family preparedness. It's thrilling that more and more people are wanting to get prepared. Emergency preparedness is something I've believed in all my life. Gratefully now, I notice with increasing frequency that people are realizing no individual family can be prepared enough if their neighborhood isn't prepared. In my mind, this leaves four options:
1) throw up your hands and don't get prepared
Five years ago, my friend and I started NEIGHBORHOOD emergency preparedness projects in our two consecutive neighborhoods. We had the idea that if we worked together as neighborhoods to get prepared, we could help each other, thus making it lots easier for all of us to overcome inertia, and make friends and build community at the same time. It came down to doing three simple things:
1) organizing each neighborhood into groups of 10 families
each with captains over each group and with a pre-determined meeting location
for everyone to meet at in times of crisis
The idea was so successful for us that
Uniting Provo decided to sponsor this plan as a grassroots movement
throughout Provo and Utah Valley. It's now called the 3 Stepsplan: