by Shane White
Saving supplies and learning skills is very important, but in reality, you can't do everything yourself. You exhaust yourself, and lose your mind due to sleep deprivation from simply protecting your home. What you need is a plan for the bigger picture. You need to connect with other people and work out a plan for your new community.
Food - If you are prepping as a community, you will have a more of a variety of food that you can get if you are sharing or trading with some family, friends or neighbors. This means that you don't have to eat carrots, tomatoes, and chickens every single day. If everyone focuses on growing something different, and are raising different animals, you can have a nice variety of food. Redundancy is a good idea as well. If something happens to your neighbors field then they can still eat. Remember that next time it may be your field.
Water - Everyone should have their own source of water. It is that important. Working with your community, you can also collect, clean, and store together. The same as food, if something happens to your water supply, you can hopefully rely on these people to help out with the understanding that it might be them the next time.
Security - Working together as a community means that you don't have to stay awake all night every night to make sure nobody is stealing your supplies. Establish a system where you can rotate your security watches. Also, consider events like fire. If there is not a fire department, you should develop a system for helping each other when it comes to these kinds of events.
Skills - Nobody knows everything. If you establish in advance what skills you want to perfect, you will be much better off. One can be an expert canner, another can be an expert and building, or whatever you consider important. Just divide and conquer. These skills should then be shared throughout the community. After the event, the others should try to learn the skills that they do not know from the experts and not just let them do everything as well. Transferring of knowledge is very important.
Books - You and your community should already be stocking up and reading books that relate to everything you can think of that you will need to know. If there is not other source of information, it will have to be the books you have purchased. If you have a group of people buying books instead of just one, you have just improved the diversity of your library by a lot. On top of the how to books, don't forget some books to read, or some comic books for the kids or overgrown kids.
Entertainment - If you are in a position where you don't know who you can trust, who will you play cards with? Also you might get bored playing the game boardgame all the time. Just like everything else, consider diversity here. If you have friends who play music, this is a huge bonus in my book.
Bunker Building - If you are building a bunker, build a big one instead of a bunch of smaller ones. Another thought would be to create a network with interconnecting tunnels. How convenient would that be? I know this might seem like a lot of work, but if you have people working with you on your bunker, you will have enough manpower to put something like that together.
These people should all live fairly close to each other to make things less complicated. If your community is in the next state, you will be wasting a lot of time and energy to exchange goods and such. Best practice is to have your community be your immediate neighbors. It would be a good idea to start moving closer to your friends and family if you do not live close already.
Good luck and happy prepping!