The Preparedness Network: Start One Now

Feb 26, 2022

BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT: Upgrading situational awareness (what's happening now) to situational understanding (what could happen next) is dependent on your access to information. You will need a local intelligence network this decade to keep you informed. Let's talk about what that looks like.

 This past weekend, I taught a 3-day Tactical Intelligence Course, which included a day of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) training.

 I don't teach this class to get students through a tornado or ice storm.

I teach because I believe this knowledge will be required to get you through the next decade-plus of political, social, and economic/monetary instability. Or something worse.

Right now, there are millions of Americans preparing for an EMP (or solar CME), nuclear war, economic collapse, hyperinflation, low intensity conflict, food scarcity, cyber attacks, etc.

All these things have a greater-than-zero chance of happening.

But these people aren't actually preparing for these events. They're preparing for the FOLLOW-ON effects. An economic collapse or hyperinflation is not going to kill you. Resulting local violence, criminality, and dysentery from dirty water could. That's what you're really preparing for and that's why you need local intelligence.

I encourage my students to also think about this from a different angle:

Instead of thinking about preparing as an individual or family, think about how you can build a network and develop intelligence to improve local security and stability.


First Order Thinking: Accumulating stuff to help you survive


Second Order Thinking: Using your preparedness network's collective political, social, and economic power to improve local security and stability


Every time I think about this, I'm reminded of the Christian villages in Darfur who built an early warning system to warn others about the presence of the Janjaweed militia. The Janjaweed has raped, pillaged, and murdered their way through Darfur, killing something like 400,000 people.

These villages started using radios to report the location and direction of travel of Janjaweed fighters. This real-time intelligence network gives villagers extra time to prepare for future attacks.

This is a real world, albeit extreme, example of what I'm talking about.

Here are some tips to help you get started building a county or regional preparedness network.

  1. You can start by asking friends and family to join. If you're comfortable with it, PrepperNet and Viking Preparedness both have opportunities to meet up with other people. (I've used both to link up with link-minded folks.)


  1. A neighborhood watch is a de facto information-sharing network. Start or join one. You don't need 100% participation. Even passive support should be counted as a win. (Even getting just one person onboard is a net win.) Check out the National Neighborhood Watch website for details.


  1. Look up local training facilities and stores that may be interested in helping you spread the word. See if these places would be interested in hosting a monthly meeting or having some survival and preparedness trainers come in. (Or have me come teach a Tac Intel Course and we'll work on your network and a lot more.) These could become great places to find others who share your concerns.


  1. Sometimes country and talk radio stations will have a "community calendar" feature where they share information on non-profit events. At the point you become "Whatever County Preparedness" and are holding monthly meetings, see if local radio will help you advertise.


  1. My preparedness network holds monthly meetings, which include an S2 brief (from me) and typically some training. In January, we had a local paramedic teach about cold weather injuries. This month, we had our ham radio guy give a class on establishing area VHF/UHF communications. Find a few topics that you or someone else could teach, and just start inviting people who may be interested.


Throughout history, intelligence has been a deciding factor in victory or defeat. An information-sharing network gives you a strategic advantage. If you don't have one, then building one should be your top priority.

In the next post, I'll talk about how we've organized our preparedness network and outline some considerations for you.


In the meantime, if you want to get a Tactical Intelligence Course set up for your area, then fill out a Course Request form here:

I'll teach these classes for as long as I'm able, but eventually we're going to run out of time.


Until next time, be well and stay out front.


Always Out Front,

Mike Shelby

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