Before rebuild comes …

Posted on April 1, 2012


(This post assumes that the world I live in now will disappear and the new world is very different.)

Those of us planning to ‘bug in’ in the city really have a nice conundrum in our hands (and heads.) Because we know that single people don’t love long (in the wild or the city) those of us who believe that sometime soon, in the next 1 to 5 years, our economy will start the faster portion of it’s downward spiral, have to make decisions about what we are going to do when basic government resources and services shut down due to a lack of funding. These include (but are not limited to) basic road repair and upkeep, water delivery, and the prices of gasoline gone so high the average person can’t afford to drive their car beyond one or two miles.

I presently have a mountain bike that I can add a cart to if I need, but am working on building a transportation (cargo carrying) tricycle. There are plans on the internet and I plan to use parts that are easy to find and replace (generic bikes.) I plan the trike/trailer to carry up to 500lbs plus rider/engine. There are some commercial ones available that do this now and it will have between 3 and 10 speeds, heavy duty brakes and mirrors all around. My justification for this is the gas situation- even though it’s up to 5x slower than gas car or truck, it’s inexpensive to use and very dependable.

The crux of the problem is this: there is a large river not 3 miles from my house, uphill both ways but still it’s easily reached with a little work. If things get bad, really bad and even clean water isn’t piped to homes nearby, how do I make sure I keep what is mine? I already calculate that I can pull between 10 and 60 gallons of water per trip up and down the hill (at about 8 lbs per gallon, 500/8 = 62 gal), since my family will use 4 – 8 gallons per day, if I dragged 60 gallons up the hill, then we have between 2 and 52 gallons of water in ‘excess.’ When both food and water are scarce, are people going to be polite enough to:
1) Not rob me of my bike to get their own water?
2) Not rob me of the water I gather with my bike?
3) Be willing to trade work in my garden for water and trade to my family a portion of what they grow?
4) Are people going to be willing to not steal my family’s food while they are working in my garden where I planted seeds and compost and.. that I paid for?
5) Trade something (most likely work) for seeds to grow their own garden and thereby increase their ‘earning potential’?
6) Be willing to trade security times (Ride their bikes with me as I get water) or neighborhood security in exchange for us watching their back?

Right now, the ability to build home built bikes means nothing to them, they can buy one, but when they need water and maybe food and realize my home built bikes represent the best value in transportation for their survival, are they going to be willing to gather the supplies to build one and trade work for the home built bike or are they going to think they can take it? I’m willing to defend what is needed for my family, so I’m not going to lose it.

Should the neighborhood get together for ‘water trips’ to gather water at the river, some being security detail, others haulers? That seems very logical to me, the community becomes richer by helping each household become richer. I really wish I could be sure I get some economic help for having the skill to build the bikes/trailers (and forethought to already have one ready) and the process of everyone helping everyone until each house is self-sufficient (rain catches, low powered solar, evaporation coolers.) Each block could have 2 haulers, and 2+ security details and in turn help the next block to get on their feet. Everyone takes turns being a hauler and security, on a rotating basis.

I also have some skills and knowledge that will allow them to have some electrical comforts – do I offer to trade their labor for power and help building their own? Do I sell my skills to them, say for bullets and shells to have long term electricity? Am I threatening my family more by being highly visible – is OPSEC more important than group security?

I have some plant seeds as preps and am growing my own food, do I trade excess seeds for a portion of their crop? Do I trade excess hybrid seeds for a portion of the crop? How do you enforce the delivery – only ‘sell’ hybrid seeds until after 2 seasons, till they have proven they will pay it back?

I’m guessing that the best time for me to tell people I can haul water is before they need it but after gas goes high and the electricity is about to fail, or has already failed for a short time. This way I’ve got them trained to think “I can get it from him delivering it” not “I might be able to take his..” The time to introduce solar is after a short blackout before ‘the blackout.’ Once again the idea is to get them thinking of my family/tribe as a benevolent, giving group that is to be husbanded not to be ripped apart for what you can take right now.

I’m thinking that my tribe (and any others who join and work together) make any support require an agreement to ‘pass it on’ – to help someone else do the same. If they don’t pass it on after the trade, they get left out in the cold on
1) security
2) future help and technology
3) help gathering materials for more items
4) any spare foods
5) any repairs, upgrades or related items
6) no voting rights (in fact no voice, if you don’t help neighbor, you go totally on your own…baby or not, dying family member or not.)

Why –
1) If we can’t trust you to honor your agreement, we can’t trust you to watch our back
2) If you are being greedy and not sharing what was ours in the first place, you don’t deserve to squander any more of our time.
3) This one’s pretty clear – you don’t do for others, others don’t do for you
4) spare food is either for church, the sick who can’t help or for trading, by not sharing with others, you have wasted our time
5) repairs etc: If you can’t share, we can’t afford to support it..
6) If you turn your back on your neighbor, then you do not belong to the group

People will be helped in relation to how much they help others and become independent – able to produce enough to help others

Or do I say “screw them all, my tribe’s got what they need!”