Urban Survival – Know Thy Neighbor

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How many of you that live in a town, city or subdivision really know your neighbors? I mean really know them? Where do they like to eat, what do they do for entertainment, where do they vacation, do they own guns, what is their political affiliation, their religious beliefs, have they been in the Military or Law Enforcement? These are just a few of the questions you should know the answers to concerning the people you live around.

Take my neighborhood for example. There are eleven homes on the street. I’ve talked with the homeowners of all except 3. I know the answers to the questions above on all of these neighbors. Even from the 3 I haven’t got to talk to. (thanks to the other neighbors who were ‘willing to share’ this information about them.

In an emergency, knowing this information could mean the difference between life and death.

By getting to know, really know, your neighbors, you can start to sort out the ones that might cause a problem during an emergency, those who are more likely to think the way you think or perhaps those who have skills that may helpful to you should the need arise. For example, one of my neighbors is a retired nurse. When visiting their home recently, I noticed she had more certificates on the wall than you could shake a stick at. This told me two things right off.

  1. That she had the drive to obtain additional education to achieve some nursig goal she had. People who do this generally are not slackers.
  2. That she was probably a pretty darn good Nurse.

My Wife confirmed most of that later on in follow up conversations with her. So if someone around my home gets hurt bad, I know who I’m calling right after I dial 911.

Now if you have no social skills, then trying to find this information out isn’t going to be easy. If you can’t hold a conversation with someone then don’t even think about digging a little deeper into their personal life.

How to go about collecting information on your neighbors

I’ve actually started files on each house in my neighborhood. I also have maps of the subdivision plus Google Earth pictures I printed off of the area.

But the real meat of the files comes from talking with my neighbors. Like I said above, you have to have some socials skills or you’ll come off as a nosy sociopath! You don’t walk up to them and start firing questions at them. You should honestly be trying to make friends with them at first. You can get the info you need a little bit later.

If you ring their doorbell and start off by saying “Hey, I’m Sam down the street. Do you have any guns? How much food do you have stored? If the SHTF, are you bugging out or staying behind?, don’t be surprised if the slam the door in your face.

Through general conversation, I’ve been able to collect all the data I need for the immediate households in my area.

I get my foot in the door by taking them some vegetables from my Garden, just waving and saying “HI” if I’m out in the yard while I am, being helpful when I can or at neighborhood get-together. In fact, throwing a party at your house is one of the best ways to get to know the people who live around you. It will cost you a little bit of money, but the information you can obtain from an informal backyard BBQ can be invaluable.

People like to talk about their self. All you have to do is be a good listener and guide the conversation with your questions without being obvious.

As mentioned above, a neighborhood BBQ is another way of meeting and greeting your neighbors. Everyone loves free food and I can’t think of a way to get people talking faster than giving them some good ole ribs and a cold beer. Heck, after a couple beers some people will give you their SS number, CC number along with the PIN!!!

Your goal should be to constantly keep in touch with your neighbors. If a new family moves in, take them a cake, cookies, fresh Garden produce – anything to welcome them into the neighborhood. Make them feel welcomed and they’ll soon be trusting you with information you need for your new file.

STFU = Shut The F&%k Up

If you’re the type that likes to blow and go about everything you have or you have that know-it-all mentality, you’re best off staying to yourself. The goal here is to find out all you can about your neighbors, not go blabbing about what all you have or what you’re planning. There are a lot of things that you should not want some of your neighbors to know about yourself but if you can’t keep your mouth shut, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by staying home and counting your ammo again.

This also goes for your Wife and/or Kids. Recently, the head of MI 5 of Britan ended up with a lot of personal information about his personal and professional life on Facebook. All thanks to his Wife who posted this information on her Facebook page. Things like his job title, their address, photo’s of the couple and their family and other stuff that could have been used against him or his family had it got into the wrong hands.

Remember, loose lips sinks ships! You and your family should practice STFU when you’re around others. Sure, you can give them some vague or non important informaton, but keep the important stuff to yourelf.

Blend In, Don’t Stand Out

This is a pet peeve of mine. Depending on who you listen too, there is a Japanese (some say Chinese) saying that goes “The nail that sticks out the furthest gets hammered down”.

Part of your urban survival plan should be to blend in.  You want everyone to think you’re just like them. That you think like them, that you live like them.

If you run off at the mouth telling everyone in the neighborhood that you’re a “Survivalist” (or you write on a survivalist blog) and that you have weapons and food cached, who do you think will get the finger pointed at them when the SHTF? Or when there’s any trouble in the neighborhood? If you can’t help but show off your M1a, M16 or your Custom Sniper Rifle, do it at the range, not in your neighborhood.

This also goes for what you wear. Whenever I see some wanabe badass wearing a SOF or “Kill ‘Em All Let God Sort Them Out” T-shirt, I immediately think what a easy target they’ll be. You’re telling people that at the very least, you may have guns and ammo at your place should they need it.

If you also drive a lifted 4×4 with all kinds of bumber stickers or other graphics on it portraying guns or anti-Government sayings, consider yourself as sticking out.

It’s my goal to blend in to my surroundings. ‘Hide in plain site’ as they say. I want to look, act and be thought of as the average Joe Taxpayer.

I’m nothing special Uncle Sam, go get the guy wearing the SOF T-Shirt and driving the Hummer with the picture of a M16 with the catch phrase of “Come and Get It” below. Yeah, he’s the badass you want to take down Uncle Sam…not me, I’m just your average Joe…

I hope this has given you people living in the Cities or towns some food for thought. Sure, we don’t live in the ideal area to survive, so we have to make the most of it!

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