Howdy, neighbor

Started by piggybankcowboy, September 30, 2012, 02:21:40 pm

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I saw a comment made in another post about how people in suburbs are surrounded by strangers they never talk to. Well, this got me thinking.

To be sure, I'm super new to prepping compared to most of you folks. So, I'm still getting my bearings with all of this and putting together whatever equipment I can muster up without running myself broke. In that light, I'm pretty much doing this solo.

Now, the comment hit me like a brick in the ear; I live in a gigantic subdivision, and I think I can count the number of words I've said to my neighbors on two hands. That is just absurd, so I'm going to make an effort to get to know them. I'm a nice guy, and definitely not anti-social, so this is actually strange to me, how folks tend to not talk to each other when they literally live 20 feet from the next house.

I think in the sense of being prepared, knowing your neighbors is important. Being able to organize and work together as a community is a huge plus in a survival situation. However, I'm not about to go door to door and jump right into prepping talk, as I imagine most people are going to be turned off by that and peg me as a nutcase, which is unfortunate to say the least.

Which brings me to a question; is anyone here from Michigan? I honestly feel like the only people I can talk to about subjects like this are online only. Even my friends poke fun at me a bit. I know it's in jest, as they will all agree that being prepared is important, even if nothing ends up happening, but I still don't see any effort on their part. It would be nice to know that some folks of the same mind are at least relatively close, since, as I mentioned, I feel like I'm going it alone here in my area.


I'm not from Michigan, but I have a number of prepper friends in the UP. Beautiful part of the country up there.

Conventional wisdom is to prep with a "core group," but I'm going to play contrarian on this and say that it might NOT be a good idea to communicate too much with your neighbors, especially in a large subdivision. I'm out in corn-and-hills-and-trees country, and most of the neighbors are either people I've known for years or the adult children of those people. In a huge McVillage, where you know nothing about your neighbors at all, any kind of prepping talk might be a bad idea.

Consider this. You get to know the neighbors a little and it turns out that your next door neighbor, we'll call him Joe, is interested in both radio and prepping. The two of you hit it off fairly well and after a while, start doing a bit of joint planning. Great. But maybe Joe likes to talk, or maybe Joe's wife wants to know what he's doing over in your basement all the time, so he casually mentions what he's been doing. Remember, you've gotten to know Joe fairly well, you believe, but how well do you know the others he spends time with? Maybe he has a less-than-honest cousin Lester who now knows which house contains valuable firearms and radio equipment, so he suddenly decides to spend a couple weeks visiting cousin Joe. Maybe his other cousin Moon Unit is a hippie-dippie type who now thinks that you're a menace to society and a danger to the children, so she calls the ATF or HS and claims that her cousin's neighbor is a domestic terrorist. Or maybe Joe's wife Jane is a nice and neighborly lady who tells ALL her friends what Joe's been doing and with whom. So now, it's not just you and Joe anymore. And worst of all, even if nothing bad comes of it, if the S ever does HTF, guess whose house all those people will be headed for. You'd better have a snack tray ready.  ;)

Granted, maybe I'm a bit overly cautious (paranoid), or a bit spoiled from living in a rural area, but I'd be awfully hesitant to mention anything to anybody about prepping. My neighbors I've known for years, family members, etc... very, VERY few of them know anything about what I do. It would be one thing to wait until after a minor blackout or a storm that knocked down some trees, and then talk to some neighbors about "being ready in case something like this happened again." It would be another thing entirely to approach them about any kind of more intensive prepping. Exercise caution.


You do you raise some interesting points.

I'm actually semi-new to the suburban lifestyle, having just recently moved here from an area that was more remote and our neighbors consisted of soy farmers and sod fields. I miss it, to be honest. The nights were quiet, and the skies (when clear) had less light pollution, so sitting out back with the stars and my pipe were a great way to unwind. Plus, the farms would give us free veggies now and again, which was awesome, and they were always friendly.

In a subdivision, you kinda get this sense that everyone is keeping one eye on each other at all times, regardless of the exchanged hellos when grabbing the mail, and such, and I don't mean that in a "we're looking out for each other" way.

Side note, I lived in Marquette from 1999 to about 2002 I REALLY miss it up there. I'll never forget seeing the Aurora while on a cliff over-looking Lake Superior. Still stands as the most beautiful display of nature I've seen in my entire life.