Safety in Numbers — How to Build a Survival Network

I have a friend who has twelve children (he delivered seven of them himself at home). Last time I counted, there were twenty-some residents on the farm, including grandparents and grandchildren. Four of his sons work with him in his construction business. His hands are meaty and rough, he’s a big as a barn, and I’ve never seen him without a smile on his wrinkled red face. Why? Because he has nothing to worry about.

  • They never need to hire a babysitter because there are brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents galore. He probably spends more quality time with his wife than you do. Maybe that’s why they have twelve children.
  • By the time their kids have kids of their own, they’re already experienced parents because they’ve been caring for younger ones their whole lives. Result: no black sheep.
  • They’re resilient in sticky social situations. No “single-child” syndrome in this family; you can’t be a diva when you have eleven brothers and sisters.
  • They have an astounding work ethic. I’d feel safe betting that more than half of you are lazy whiners by comparison. I was, until they put me to shame. Grand Theft Auto (it’s a computer game) addicts don’t stand a chance against them in the workplace.
  • The parents will never have a depressing empty nest, and when social security goes belly-up they won’t even notice. They’re the kind of people who live long and die happy.
  • Try starting trouble with these people. Go ahead. Try it and see what happens.

The cause of all these advantages (also known as “blessings”) is simply the numbers. Think of it: this family has its own economy. Hard times are bound to come, but these people have a built-in safety net that is far more effective than government programs run by corrupt politicians and clueless bureaucrats (two redundancies in a row, I think).

You know what happens when they run into catastrophic losses like a house fire or $100k in cancer treatment? Yes, I think you do; they all come together. One cousin sells the old Buick; the aunt with 7 children has a bake sale at her church, which church then takes up a special collection; the brother-in-law is friends with one of the Mennonites in the area who runs a sawmill and donates all the lumber to rebuild the house; a great-uncle saved the life of the oncologist’s father in Vietnam, paving the way for a 50% discount for the cancer treatments……. you get the idea?

It’s all about the community that builds up naturally around a large family, which is simply the fundamental unit in the fabric of that community. I know you’ve heard that having large families is expensive, but you’ve been lied to. It’s actually the best way to stay out of debt, which is an essential element of self-sufficiency. In fact it returns mind-boggling dividends.

Now, I realize that for a lot of you it’s too late to correct your mistake. You now wish you could go back in time and have a big family, but your time travel machine is broken and with the coming tax hikes you can’t afford to fix it. Don’t lose hope, though; there is still much you can do.

How to build a survival network

  • Join a group of people interested in the same things you are. Check out Meetup.com and search “survivalism,” “outdoor adventure,” or “camping” for a group near you. Also check the American Preppers.
  • Take a first aid or emergency first responders course. You’ll make valuable contacts.
  • Invite your family, friends, and neighbors to go on a day-hike or weekend camping trip with you. Show them your everyday carry bag.
  • Share some of your tasty pemmican with them.
  • Offer to help them stock up on firewood for the winter.
  • Show them your emergency water supply and offer to help them get theirs organized.

Think of all of this as an investment; what goes around comes around. All my experience, plus what I’ve been told by people I trust going back several generations, tells me that this kind of selfless generosity eventually pays back. But even if you never benefit directly by your generosity, you will have helped them.

And that’s worth doing all by itself.

~SnoMan

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