As you preparedness journey continues from a mere interest to a significant hobby and, eventually, to an outright obsession (yeah, I’m there!), you’re going to realize that you simply cannot do it all. Not just because of manpower concerns but because of a lack of skill-sets as well. No matter the number of “how to” books you have on your bookshelf there’s just no substitute for real experience.
The question, therefore, is who should you choose to include in your survival group? You do have one, don’t you? If not, start thinking about it. Ponder friends, family, and co-workers as possible candidates. Neighbors would be a good resource too.
Anyway, let’s first consider who you should not include. The unfortunately (or not) choices to exclude from your group include dear family and friends that have no interest in a preparedness lifestyle and–more importantly–expect that you will care for them if/when the time comes. These are definitely the worst of people to include but are also the most difficult people to exclude for obvious reasons. You either need to make it perfectly clear to them that they are NOT welcome if they continue to choose not to prepare themselves or accept that fact and include them anyway. It’s a tough choice.
Now, who should you include?
First and foremost, I would include your neighbors. Maybe you were expecting someone else? The thing is that if you really found yourselves in dire circumstances, it’s going to be the community that pulls together and survives. Your nearest community members are your neighbors. It goes without saying that many of these people will choose not to prepare themselves, so you may very well find yourself in the same situation with needing to care for your neighbors as you would with family and friends that choose to do nothing as well.
As for a list of skill-sets, here are the top 5 I would consider (in no particular order):
- Doctor/Nurse/EMT/Herbalist/Alternative Therapist - Medical issues are going to be a big issue. While doctors would be the best bet, there are a number of alternatives that could prove quite useful as well, including nurses and EMTs. You’ll want someone that can deal with significant traumas and life-threatening illness as well as someone who can treat more chronic conditions. You might find that this requires more than one person / modality.
- Military/Police/Security Personnel – Your home and personal defense are also going to be critical. Including someone that has significant experience with military/police tactics would be high beneficial, even necessary. And, hopefully, they’ll bring a lot of guns!
- Cook/Chef – This may seem to be a strange addition but you may find that someone who has the ability to make delicious meals out of seemingly nothing is the most valuable member of your group. Of course, you don’t need an actual chef for this but somebody that just loves to cook and experiment with food in general is a good choice.
- Hunter/Fisherman/Trapper – Stored food is nice and growing food is good to do, but it’s highly likely that you’ll need to supplement these food sources with animals. Someone that is skilled at hunting, fishing, and trapping will prove quite useful in dire times.
- Mechanic/Engineer/Inventor/Tinkerer – You’ll also need someone that has the ability to fix and repair just about anything. People with a good knowledge of how things operate (mechanics/engineers) as well as those who have the ability to see a multitude of uses from nearly any object (inventors/tinkerers) may be another invaluable addition to your group.