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Old 04-16-2011, 12:21 PM
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Eventually after SHTF communities will form out of necessity. I am curious what skills and knowledge people think are a must have for a successful community to survive!
Old 04-16-2011, 02:33 PM
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There was an article i think on www.re-nest.com that had an article on some guys that were putting together a list and instructions on how to make basic machines (making labor more productive) for post SHTF rebuilding. There were some cosessions to be made like if there were no power/gas and such to get things going. But it was a good piece on how to rebuild society.
Old 04-16-2011, 03:01 PM
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I have personally thought about this a lot. I have a list of the skills I'm working on and the kind of people I would want if the shtf big time.

The big two:

Agriculture - You need farmers, gardeners, agronomists, people who know how to build green houses, irrigations systems, harvest and preserve crops. Without food, society cannot and will not exist. If your community is big enough then agricultural engineers, crop dusters, and mechanics will also be very helpful.

Security - If you have a boat load of food and lots of people with advanced craftsmanship in many areas, you're going to have competition, and most likely if the shtf and society has to rebuild itself, competition is not going to be Capitalist competition, it's going to be Roman Empire competition. So security is a MUST. Ideally, you would want former military or SWAT. Law enforcement officers would work very well too. However, you might not need a big group of military, SWAT, or law enforcement officers to defend your town. Say you have 100 families. If you have 5 to 10 people with training in these areas, then it needs to be there permanent responsibility. Then you form a group of 20 or so "minutemen." These men don't need to be ex-military, but they need to be trained close to that level by your permanent security officers. They have to be ready to drop what they're doing at any time to go fight for the community. Then you have a larger group, your town militia. This would be made up of all the able bodied men (and women if your community chose to include them). They would need some level of training, i.e. familiar with cleaning and shooting a gun, military maneuvers, lines of fire, etc. This is another field where if you have the resources, engineers will be very helpful. They can design weapons, make security alert systems, remote control weapons systems, etc.

Other important fields:

Construction - This includes carpenters, welders, plumbers, machinists, and, yes, engineers. Most people have some basic construction knowledge, and many people have advanced knowledge and skills. They will be building homes, storehouses, shops, barricades, fences. You name it, they build it.

Mechanics - Eventually, you're going to need someone to work on all those cars, tractors, planes, and machines you've got. While lots of people know how to work on some of the mechanical equipment they personally own, it's going to take a skilled mechanic to be able to fix almost any machine.

Medical - Doctors and nurses, paramedics, emts, combat medics AND veterinarians. Their value post-shtf will be even greater than it is now, and that's saying a lot. I don't think i really need to go into detail on why they're necessary.

Hunters and fishers - While you probably won't have any person in your community who's job is to be a full time hunter, you're going to need a lot of people who know how to. The gardens and fields and livestock will be the source of most of your food, but it will be necessary to supplement that with squirrels, birds, deer, turkey, fish, etc.

Engineers - To do everything engineers do which I haven't already brought up. A good engineer can design and construct something to meet just about all of your needs. A bad engineer is worthless.

Administrative/Government - Even though it will probably be the government who gets us in whatever mess we're in, we're going to need a new one post shtf. While true democracy will be the ultimate government, you're going to need an executive. Think of it this way, a band of refugees show up at your town's doorstep. A few of them have guns. They're demanding food and water, but they haven't proven themselves to be violent yet. Half your town will want to summon up the militia, the other half will want to give them a place to spend the night. Are you going to call the whole town to town center and take a vote that could last hours while these people are roaming around? No, that's just stupid. You need someone with the authority to make a split second decision when it's necessary.

Shopkeepers/Traders/Caravans - Obviously your town won't have every single thing they need in every situation. If you have people going around trading and making deals, you can get rid of the stuff you don't need and get the stuff you do need.

Scouts - There will be a fine line between scouts and looters/raiders. The scouts job is to go to abandoned houses and villages and take what could be used by your community. Scouts should only be used a year or more after shtf. It is completely immoral to take something that another person needs to survive and leave them to die. Scouts will only look for and acquire things that have been abandoned and only when they are sure the original owners are not ever coming back.

Education - While some people don't think educators will be necessary post shtf, I respectfully disagree. While it may not do you any good to know the social implications of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, or to know how to find the area under a sine curve using trapezoidal Reimann sum, someday your children are going to take over and they need to have very wide areas of knowledge. Reading and learning and writing and math solving opens the mind to so many new levels and the children need to be able to do this if they take over.

Chemists - While they may not be necessary, they will be EXTREMELY helpful. They will be able to make medicines, explosives, synthetics, and preservatives. They will know a lot about metallurgy as well. A very smart chemist will go a lot further than you may think.

The list goes on and on and on. But these are the ones that I believe are the most necessary to bring back a functioning society.
Old 04-16-2011, 03:09 PM
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Depends on how bad the SHTF. Medical personnel will almost always be needed.If its just a local emergency it will be totally different than a national or global disaster. If it's the BIG one you may be all alone to do every thing by your self.Including gathering food and water,defense,doctor and if need be grave digger. The more skills you have the better off you will be.
Old 04-16-2011, 03:12 PM
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Wow!!! This is totaly my lane right here. I am by nature a Fixer/Tinkerer/Geek/Mechanically inclined whatever you call it. If its broken I can probably figure out a way to fix it. I surf a site called www.makezine.com which contains a community that tinkers/fixes things. There was an article there once that referenced this site(Sorry the above post was kinda off but still a good site for this kind of stuff) openfarmtech.org . The site is down right now for some reason, but when I read it for the first time it totally blew my mind. Albiet it comes from the premis that the materials would be able to be safely procured and you had a way to transport it to the build site. I am also going to post the link in the garden/farming forum to see if anybody thinks the same way I do.
Old 04-16-2011, 03:28 PM
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as a christian, I would also add to the important skill and vocation list ; clergy...men capable of ministering the word of God,consoling the downcast and providing moral guidance during a time of stress and turmoil....
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Old 04-16-2011, 03:38 PM
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You'd want at least two of everything. 2 doctors and/or 2 nurses, 2 mechanics, 2 electricians, 2 gunsmiths however, the mechanics could probably fill this role as well. You'd need all of them to be fit to be builders/marksmen/hunter/gatherers. I like to use a special forces A-team as the framework, you'd want everyone to be cross trained in eachothers skills and abilities, but you'd have people assigned to specific tasks. (lazy office workers and arm chair commandos need not apply). This would be a perfect ideal team/community. Without any religious preference. If this was religious guided you'd want a pastor/priest/ or whatever your religion calls them. Morale goes a long way, as does having a clear concious(sp?).


My community starts with my family. My wife, a nurse, me, I'm mechanically inclined and now weapons like the back of my hand, my wife has taken auto mechanics cause wanted to know what she was doing and not be taken advantage of at the auto place simply because she's a woman. I have taken paramedic courses as well, it's alot more in depth than I thought. My daughter well she's a teenager and she's still in school, however she goes shooting with us and knows basic first aide. We know a few like minded individuals and we'd go from there. However you need a common value, something that would bind you all together. Something similar to a rotary club, people with different skills and abilities that work for a betterment of society. If your of all different backrounds I really don't think that's going to matter after the SHTF. If you can join together under a specific bond or motto or common value your that much better off, prepared or not.
Old 04-16-2011, 03:54 PM
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Ok most of the normal things have been mentioned now how about the things we over look in our everyday modern lives? Like this for example: eventually medicines will run out, doctors and nurses will still serve an important role but I would now like some one who is well educated in herbal medicines like maybe a Wiccan. A real one not the wicked witch of the local jr. High!
Old 04-16-2011, 04:06 PM
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I think of course having a full wish list of skills/trades people would be great, but I think that is a type of a secondary skillset that would likely fall in the hands of the nurse. I think that having that knowledge beforehand and having your BOL setup/planted for many of the common herbalistic medicines would be of the greatest asset. I mean unless you have a vast supply of common drugs you are going to run out eventually.
Old 04-16-2011, 09:56 PM
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If you don't have your health you don't have anything - get medically trained people.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:08 AM
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You need a "librarian" ....... someone that has preserved all the knowledge - old & new - that is necessary to rebuild society ......

So many of the skills you mention are dependent on using modern materials and techniques ....... why rely on a chemist to "re invent" the wheel" when Fenner's Formulary (1880s) or Mausert's Formulas (1930s) could be utilized ....... it goes for all the other occupations to some extent .......
Old 04-17-2011, 07:14 AM
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Security is number one. Military and police for protection. Medical second.
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