January 17, 2015
HOW TO GROW YOUR ALLIANCE AFTER THE COLLAPSE
If society has collapsed and you've bugged out to the wilderness, it is a good idea to try to build an alliance of people who can positively work with you for trade, security, and the betterment of society. There are two main reasons you may want to do this: 1) Powerful gangs will rise up. You can either hide from them, fight them, or pay the extortion. If you build an alliance, you can establish a militia powerful enough to take on the gangs. 2) When you grow an alliance, you will pave the way for a civil society to rise from the ashes once again. You'll establish security, law and order, education, social interactions, and a trade network that will lead to an advanced economy.
The best way to grow your alliance is to start with people close to your bug out location and work outward. In my last article, I discussed how to grow your survival community after the shtf. You will start with those steps to gather neighbors and refugees to join your alliance.
Then, you can continue to establish relationships with people outside of a 5 mile radius. Anytime you go on a hunt or a trip to gather more supplies, you should be on the lookout for other friendly people. It is always good to observe them from a distance at first. If they appear friendly, you can exchange letters with them and then meet them in person later.
As your acquaintances and friends grow, begin to trade with them. Perhaps the people in an area can have a market day, where everyone brings their goods to a central location. Trust will be established. The friendlier you are, the more people will like you and trust you. I'm not saying to be someone you're not, but remember that a lot of the survivors will have been through a lot, so meeting a friendly, loving person will cheer them up and give them hope.
Give gifts to survivors whenever you can. If you have extra items or a surplus of something, it might greatly help them improve their lives, so they will be thankful and they can be stronger, which in turn, will make your alliance strong. For example, rather than selling rabbits all the time, a person might consider giving rabbits as gifts to increase everyone's quality of life. (A method I discussed in "How to Get Rich After the SHTF")
Teach everyone in your alliance how to survive and thrive. If you are reading this, you are probably one of the more prepared people for survival. Spend time teaching others how to not just survive, but kick butt at it. The healthier and more well fed your alliance will be, the better it is for you.
Work together for a common goal of security. Establish a militia. Have a rule, where if you hear the distress call of 3 shots, the militia needs to come running to help. Build a stronghold of some sort in case people are attacked. You could build a refuge fort where people can go if there is an attack, or you can live together in a fortified position, like a gord, castra, hill fort, or stockade.
Establish a constitution, laws, a judicial system, etc. for anyone who wants to join the alliance. You might have two sets of rules to follow: one set for anyone who wants to live in your camp and another set for anyone who wants to join the larger alliance, but live separately. At some point in time, you'll need to have a full democracy, but at first, the decisions should be made by the wisest in the community.
Engage in branding yourself and your alliance. Hang a flag or give your alliance a name. It will give the impression of a legitimate group of survivors who know what they're doing (but only if you really do know what you're doing.) You can have an official seal that is placed in wax on your correspondences. You can put your seal on goods you sell. You can carve it into soap you make and send that soap far and wide throughout the trade networks. You can announce who you are via radio as long as it's done in a safe way, without enticing raiders.
Once your alliance is doing well, you can put your professionals to use. Engineers, mechanics, and electricians might not have many tasks related to their field in the first year or two, but once things are stable with enough food and security, they can begin to work on bigger projects like irrigation, electrification, and biofuel vehicles, which will boost your alliance to prominence.
If you do all these things, you'll be a group that is powerful enough to repel any attack from the gangs and furthermore, all who hear of your proto-neokingdom will want to join. At some point, if your alliance grows large enough and you have a growing town, you might want to consider moving everyone to a better location with more water and arable land or you could send a group from your alliance to establish a new settlement and have people migrate when they're ready. If you are sure that you have the strongest militia in the region, you can even repopulate a town that is visible with many roads leading to it.
But it all starts with the small step of bugging out to the wilderness with your initial tiny group :)