Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Teamwork In Prepping

March 18, 2013 by  

Teamwork In Prepping
Every member of the team needs to lend a hand.

There is a great fallacy in some circles that the lone wolf is the person who will have the greatest chance of survival if things ever go downhill. Being prepared for any level of disaster or emergency is definitely something that should be a family, group or team effort. One way to look at this is to equate the survival of a group versus individual survival as a baseball game in which one team is complete and the other team has a pitcher that has to cover the outfield, too. This is not only impractical but would completely exhaust the pitcher in a short amount of time. So what does this mean from a preparedness perspective for you?

Get Your Team On Board

In many families or groups, a small percentage of the group can be considered dedicated preppers. There may be only one person who fits the bill. Others could be either half-hearted in their efforts or even all-out resistant to the idea of preparing for disaster. As it was once relayed to me, “If everyone else is unprepared, too, we will fit right in.” It seems that it has become clearer in recent years that if individuals do not prepare themselves, no one else is going to come take care of them, at least for a period of time. So what can be done about this? How do you get others on board with preparedness planning?

There is certainly no single answer to this question; but from my experience, the best approach to take is to be open and honest and help those who are important to you see how preparedness matters so much to you, your family and your inner circle. If you are truly important to your family, friends and community members, they will seriously consider what you have to say.

If you are a lone wolf type, take into consideration finding some like-minded people who are in close proximity to you so that if there is an emergency or disaster situation, you are not forced to go at it alone.

Select A Group Of Skills Everyone Will Master

In almost any organization there are core skills that every member of the team must know. In an office it might be how to use the copier. Every mechanic knows how to change the oil in a car. There are also universal skills that every member of a team that is preparing for survival should know. The only exception would be those who are not of an appropriate age, lack the capability or do not possess the maturity for certain tasks. Examples of these mandatory skills could be:

  • Marksmanship: How to properly fire, clean and maintain a gun.
  • Cooking: How to prepare a meal for an individual or the group.
  • Communication: Using a CB or walkabout radio to communicate.
  • Animal husbandry: How to milk a cow or collect the eggs from the hens every day.
  • First aid: How to care for an injured or sick person.
  • Gardening: How to properly water and harvest fruits and vegetables.
  • Firefighting: How to properly use a fire extinguisher.

While this concept may seem far-fetched to some, there are many things that can reasonably be expected from almost anyone. Even a 3-year-old can be taught to throw sawdust on top of the pile in the composting toilet, for example.

Determine Roles And Responsibilities

Each person in the group should have a primary and secondary responsibility or specialized skill when possible. If your group has two people, the situation may dictate otherwise. But in a normal family-size unit of two adults and at least two children, this should be feasible. And if you are part of a larger group of families, this is definitely doable. In fact, once primary and secondary roles have been mastered in a larger group, then the group should work on cross-training in each other’s roles as well as taking on the responsibility of learning new skills.

Examples of potential individual roles/responsibilities include:

  • Security.
  • Power.
  • Water.
  • Food.
  • Medical.
  • Communications.
  • Maintenance.
  • Logistics.
  • Sanitation.
  • Gardening.

Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list. It does cover some of the major areas and systems of support that are an area of concern in a survival situation. The roles that must be assumed will depend on the capabilities and systems that are available to your group. To avoid burnout among the group in performing routine chores and tasks, a “duty roster” or rotational schedule of these tasks could be established to assign different ongoing responsibilities to team members.

In addition to determining who will do what, it is valuable to select a leader to oversee the command and control of a group. For a family this leader will likely be the dominant parent. A group that is not a family should likely look to who the most natural leader is, who is the most experienced in managing tasks and people, or perhaps even who is the most liked person in the group.

Discuss What To Do If Something Does Go Wrong

If one person’s role within the group is to be in charge of the generator and emergency power systems and that person is ill, then what will the group do? These types of situations need to be discussed and alternate plans need to be made to address such problems. This is where secondary responsibilities and cross-training come into play. The subject matter expert in each area will assist the group by teaching his craft to an apprentice.

If the size of your family or group dictates one person taking on every responsibility, this is where strategic partnerships and community building comes into play.  No one person can do everything. Sometimes, it is better to rely on a trustworthy member of your community or inner circle than to try to be the jack-of-all-trades. A prime example where networking is invaluable would be dealing with a downed tree. It is great to know how to cut up a tree with a chain saw. This is a valuable skill to have, but it is not on the same level as trying to remove a tree that has fallen on top of your garage. Taking on this task without the specialized skill necessary could easily wind up getting someone seriously injured or even killed.

Document, Document, Document

As roles are determined, individuals should update the group documentation or create this collection of documentation. This is a great way to get your survival documentation updated and not put the burden all on one person. Each person takes a folder, binder, journal, etc. and compiles all the information he can about his responsibilities and how they fit into the group. This binder should include manuals/operator guides for any pertinent equipment, standard operating procedures, decision points for bugging out or other key events, expansion plans and ways to deal with changes in group size or locations, etc.

There is certainly much more that goes into making sure that your family or group is prepared to appropriately react to an emergency or disaster, but hopefully this serves as grease to help get the wheels turning. The team approach is necessary, and it certainly eases the burden of preparing that is on the group leader or head of household. Lastly, keep in mind that in order to remain effective, a team should always play to its strengths, maintain balance, operate under common goals or a vision, and communicate openly and honestly.

–Tom Miller

Thomas Miller

lives with his wife and three sons in the Northeastern quadrant of the United States. He has completed countless hours of advanced training in both clinical and trauma medicine and is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician. Tom has also completed several courses in disaster and emergency planning/management as well as hazardous materials handler and transport certification. He graduated with honors from American Military University with an Associate of Arts in Real Estate Studies. Tom is a U.S. Army combat veteran who served with honor as a combat medic on his multiple overseas tours during the Global War on Terror. During his time in the Army, Tom became an expert in the use of several weapons (including long guns, sidearms and improvised weaponry) and obtained competence with many other weapon systems, including foreign firearms. The Army also afforded Tom the opportunity to become proficienct in the driving and operation of several different vehicles from Humvees to heavy trucks and tracked vehicles. If there happens to be any free time available, Tom can be found sharing his passion for fishing with his sons, working on a project in the wood shop, tending to the garden or trying to maintain some resemblance of physical fitness. Tom's other writings can be viewed on his blog, The Prepared Ninja, at If you are on Twitter, Tom can be followed on the handle @preparedninja.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Teamwork In Prepping”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • ibcamn

    well i’m the only one here!there is something to be said for team work,but,that’s only as good as your team!if you have a family that loves to go hunting camping etc…family prepping will be a breeze.but then you have a member in the family who could give a s#*t less,if you can’t get that one(s) to come over to your thinking,it’s up to you to tow that line till they come your way!
    try being out in the wilderness and feed a team!feed a family!if you have a group,sure,more the marrier,right?!wrong!way too many problems accure when pressure is the reason your all together.your chances of survivel go up on your own,but,you may find people along the way that may be helpfull but never trust someone you don’t totally know!get some help or friendship and move on!keep moving!you sit you create problems and only ask for trouble!try being on the move constantly with a big group!tempers flare and problems pop up you don’t want!if it was a matter of just packing up and have to move to “a sfe zone”and then pitch a home and live,maybe it would work out!but when SHTF,it’s not going to be!be smart and think about what your family circomstances are and prepare acordinly.if you don’t,a family will not stay a whole for long under any stessfull situations!kids and spouses have a differant look on things nowadays,so unless your a family of survivalists,your gonna have problems,work them out now!otherwise your on your own!

  • David

    What you have laid out is excellent “grease “as you put it. But it is a bit different if you have to act as a tactical unit in a war torn America. There will be refugees (some that can help or fill in gaps in your group. But you have to be real that you only have so much resources (water, food…etc) and you have to be willing to setup some boundaries and limits to what you can and cannot take on. If this all turns ugly and I pray it does not. There will still be people that think they are owed everything. You don’t want to a wolf in sheep’s clothing amongst you. They will destroy from within. And rules have to be written and agreed upon of what happens when you fall asleep on watch. Or you don’t do the chopping of the wood you were suppose to do. It all comes back to personal responsibility and the cause and effect. You have to have a system of rules and laws. And wise people to administration of same. People laugh when I talk about these things but what do you do when someone in the group has been stealing from the group. Are you prepared to have a prison or do you just send them packing. These are not easy questions but ones that need to be talked about before anything happens. This way you have all discussed what can and will happen. And the guilty party is not surprised by what is happening, they knew what there actions would bring if caught.
    Great article.

  • FreedomFighter

    Excellent artical,

    Even the most skeptical are now opening up to the idea we as Americans are in for some type of event either natural or man made that will make it madatory to “prep”.

    Government is, so should you prep, time is short.

    Laus Deo
    Semper FI

  • KJQ

    Some great points here. My problem is I live in Canada, a land of passive, compliant sheeple who look to the government as though it was God, and do almost nothing for themselves. All firearms owners are licensed and decent firearms registered for quick confiscation if TSHTF).

    I have tried to encourage friends to start preparing, but all I have managed so far is to be the butt of jokes and bemusement, if not outright fear (i.e. “you’re paranoid/crazy”). I can’t even get one single person to prepare even a 72-hour bag! Sadly, I’ve let the cat out of the bag and so the few who will even discuss the topic of preparing with me just joke: “My disaster plan is to head over to your house”. I haven’t the heart to tell them either we won’t be there, or they won’t be welcome empty-handed.

    I seriously considered moving to the US, but while the average citizen there is much more like minded with me, your government has already surpassed ours in terms of socialist, totalitarian thinking and governing, and are clearly preparing for war against their your own citizens (e.g. billions of rounds of ammo, FEMA ‘refugee camps’ with inward facing barbed wire, APC’s for local police, lethal-force ‘crowd control exercises’ by National Guard units, Executive Orders giving Obama total control of all communications, food, utilities etc. in the event of an ‘emergency’ [defined by him], and on and on).

    South America (e.g. Chile) is looking better all the time.

    • mark

      KLQ, yes you will love it in Chile where a right-wing, non-democratic military government (1973-1990) seized power and overthrew an admittedly left-leaning,though democratically-elected civilian government. General Pinochet’s uniformed goons then proceeded to murder 7,000 of their own citizens due to their perceived political beliefs and threw tens of thousands more into prison, torture, and exile. Yes, you’ll be perfectly safe in Latin America with its terrific history of hundreds of military coups and extra-constitutional seizures of political power. You will be much more secure there than in Canada and the United States, given those 2 countries’ horrific records of military coups and armed, extra-constitutional takeovers of civilian governments – zero for both nations. Welcome to this site, you will feel right at home here where every paranoid delusion is granted instant gratification and legitimacy. Thanks God, no one here lets the facts get in their way. If you feel the government is tyrranical, it is. You don’t need any proof. Leave that to the Chileans!

    • FreedomFighter

      KJQ stay in Canada and make sure you prep for your hand of 5, if the SHTF and you can take care of 5 good friends that hit your door you will have the team you need, even though they are empty handed and ignorant. You will need the team and they will certainly need your prep supplies and forthought.

      Explain to them it is just life insurance, you buy car, home and other insurance and any prep you do is just comman sense insurance for the world of today. Let them know if SHTF they are welcome (as one of your chosen) and what will be expected of them. Then slowly work them into getting an extra can of soup to put on a shelf, extra shells for a hunting trip, paracord, or other items to have on hand.

      Laus Deo
      Semper Fi

  • Mike Carpenter

    depends if you are hunkering down in the city and things are really out of control, have you looked around your little stick house and think you can really defend that. They can burn you out shoot you through the walls, stationary in the city in a complete meltdown isnt my idea of fun. But neither is running to the woods with out a plan if thats what half the city is going to do

  • Charlie

    The Team that Prays together will stay together and survive any thing the Devil can test them with… Meanwhile… Praise King Jesus for Salvation and Healing… Acts 2:38 is salvation, because Peter said so at 1 Peter 3:21… To give orders ,,,one must be able to take orders… A good team mate knows all the above… See ya in “”The Battle”” under Commander King Jesus Christ………………..

    Charlie Freedom

  • Chuck Smith
  • feelnyankee

    Reblogged this on feelnyankee and commented:
    I’m finally seeing people wake up in the Denver metro area! I think Gov. Hickenlooper ramrodding gun control down our throats may turn out to be a blessing in disguise to the “Awake” in Colorado. Sorry for your luck Hick, your toast whether SHTF or 2014, which ever comes first, your done!

  • Pingback: personal copier machine Canon PC 170 Personal Copier ReviewsReviews And News Blog | Reviews And News Blog


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.