What is a Mutual Assistance Group?

Mutual Assistance Groups

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series from Charley Hogwood of P.R.E.P. on mutual assistance groups (MAG). See all posts in the MAG series here.

Mutual Assistance Groups: Are They Right for You?

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A Mutual Assistance Group is a group of like-minded individuals who pledge to assist each other in times of crisis. The idea is that many hands make light work.

It may or may not be in your best interest to be aligned with one. There are several important things to consider before joining/starting a Mutual Assistance Group.

  • Do I work well with others under austere conditions?
  • What might I have to offer a Mutual Assistance Group by way of specialized skills and equipment?
  • Will I participate regularly with others to build the group before the SHTF?
  • Is everyone in my family on board with teaming up with others?
  • Will I stay with the group or evacuate under differing scenarios?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, you may not be ready to join a Mutual Assistance Group.

Mutual Assistance Groups: It Must be a Team Effort

Keep in mind that the other members are going to depend on you if the time comes. You will need to participate and contribute regularly to build teamwork and confidence among the members.

Mutual Assistance Groups often fall apart under their own weight. The thrill diminishes, conflicts of personality arise and people just get busy with other things in life. The last thing anyone needs in the face of crisis is more drama. Choose carefully.

Mutual Assistance Groups: Considerations Before Joining

Too often people are so eager to join a Mutual Assistance Group that they ignore their gut instincts. They think that any obvious conflicts of interest will fade away as everyone pulls together when times are tough.

Here is what actually happens. Mr. or Mrs. Prepper feels outnumbered by the unprepared population and worried that they won’t be able to fend off the ill-prepared masses when the SHTF. So they start to search for like-minded people in their neighborhood, at work and online.

They find someone who has a similar interest and they eagerly hitch their wagons together. As with all new relationships, or even new employment for that matter, about a month on they start to notice the quirks.

At first Mr. or Mrs. Prepper tries to justify and ignore the problems as growing pains, hoping everything will work itself out in time. Trust me that time rarely comes.

Things don’t get better in a stressful situation, they get worse. So if you aren’t able to find some synergy in everyday pre-collapse life with your Mutual Assistance Group, it won’t be better when everyone is in the psychological abyss of a systemic collapse. You get about three days of Kumbaya around the campfire before the unstable people begin to unravel.

Mutual Assistance Groups: Pulling the Trigger

If you’ve still decided that a Mutual Assistance Group is something that you’re interested in, you’ll then have to determine whether you’d like to start one on your own, or whether you’d like to join an already established group. More to come on this topic in next week’s post.

2 thoughts on “What is a Mutual Assistance Group?

  1. noobers

    … i have a problem of not trusting anyone.

    i am well hidden and that is my best defense because i am one of the two people in my household that would make a life saving decision by making a life ending decision.

    so my biggest worry is i bring someone in to help . and they stab me in the back .

    i don’t think this option is right for me ><

    1. PREPCharley

      noobers,
      You may be right. A group is not for everyone. With that being said, there are ways to safely meet and develop relationships with others for survival. The time to do this is now rather than after something happens and your choices are fewer. First of all, be a good candidate in the eyes of others who may feel the same as you. Take your time and try to regularly participate with others to see how they act in austere conditions. Develop good communication with each other which includes listening to others.
      We understand how difficult this topic is. In our research we identified what we call “The Independence Conflict.” This just means that since preppers are essentially independent people, we need to learn how to trust others for the overall benefit of survival. If you try to go it alone or with just one other person, who will carry the daily load of survival and take care of you at the same time if you become incapacitated?
      You are not alone in this, there are many other good people in the same boat. You just need to find them.
      All the best,
      Charley

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