I wanted to get your opinion on charity. I plan in the next year to buy an additional one hundred pounds of flour and 1 hundred pounds of sugar. and put away all those plastic grocery bags to put a pound at a time in. We have a little country church about 5 miles in the next holler over about four ridges over from our cabin. I plan to carry 5 pounds at a time of each over the mountain and give it to the part time preacher. I do this not so much for charity but when the SHTF is over and I go back into the town the preacher can vouch for my family contributing to help their neighbors. Then I won't be an outsider who hoarded everything but a neighbor who shared what he had. Of course it helps that my family settled this part of Kentucky and is well known. But I fear when some of these survivalists who come out of their shelters are going to find a very different and closed community. You have the Amish and the relations that your kindly spouse has established so you are fixed. But I think it is going to be important to maintain some contact with the outside world when we retreat.
What do you think about my idea of charity and its reasoning?
Michael sez: Personally, I think it is well reasoned and intelligent. The locals can hurt you if they wish. Or they can be a big help. And your actions will decide what you receive. The sharing of food is a major thing in time of stress. And a guy who has been dropping off packets of food will be remembered in a positive manner. Don't for get to stick some Bay Leaves in the bags of flour. Keeps the damn bugs out. People won't forget that either.
The Bible says to never let mercy be exhausted from your heart. So first you apply your mercy to those who stayed with you through the hard times and maybe the national bloodbath. Don't ever forget THOSE people. Never ever! Your alms will strengthen your clan as a group and that will enforce continuity. And in this case continuity is another word for survival.
The people living outside the jurisdiction of your clan are another matter. I have stressed before and I will stress again, you must have a good line of questioning well scattered among your clan as to what you wish to know about possible joiners. This is of major import. We have already talked of possible Freebooter infiltration into the family area. They will send a decoy into your midst to scout you out and find your weaknesses. Question, question, and then question some more. But if you already know the people and have made them friends then your job is a lot easier. Be leery of women with young kids who wonder in unannounced. If you don't know them it might be prudent to have them checked out thoroughly.
What is to keep you from making a file on everyone you know in your area? Ain't illegal! And keep the file along with a topographical map that shows where these people live. You know the old saying, "Knowledge is Power" and it is true. But if the knowledge gets out to everyone than you have lost the initiative. Talk to men who have been in battle and they will let you know how things can get down right horrible if you lose the initiative. Never lose the ability to ACT as opposed to REACT. Keep the initiative.
As an aside, if there is among you those who can drink a few beers or a couple shots of whiskey, the local establishment for accomplishing this will make you a very good source of information. Especially after the SHTF. Very productive method of staying abreast of the local situation. Just be very cautious. You can lose as much as you gain if you mess up.
Your charity will get you in the door of some folks who can help you gather information. Nothing wrong with this. What you learn may save them also. And your charity may lead you to some fine joiners and God knows you will need some joiners. People of strength and ability. People to help grow food and help with security. Your people will go out among them all day and when you have your little private pow-wow later on you can exchange info. You keep track of everything all the time. Survival is serious business. That is the job of leadership.
I feel you are right about the folks who hide and then come out after the calamity. No one knows them and they have not interacted with anyone. Suspicion will be the mildest form of attention they will receive. Folks will be on pins and needles as it is, don't give them reason to doubt you in this time of stress. That can get you classified as dangerous real quick. Knowing the locals is a fair practice and can be beneficial to all concerned. You never know who will save your life. Local news can tell you where there is sickness and disease. Stay away from it! Let the die- off proceed at it's own pace. It is going to happen and that is that. And I know that is a harsh attitude but it is something you can LIVE with. If you have a medical professional who can run triadge then have at it. But make damn sure THEY are protected. You will find them very difficult to replace, if not impossible. The medical professionals will be running for their lives around major population centers, if they live. Don't go around population centers either.