Anyone had group of 100+ for more than 10 years?

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wheresclair

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I think that in the USA you have many freedom and resource we in the EU do not have access to. 12 years ago our group of about 40 started work on a sinkhole (spelling?) that we have on one of our properties. It is almost 21 m deep and almost as wide. Concrete has gotten expensive but we are the nearly complete. We are proud of our work and the friendship we have created with this team effort. Even though we are the very close as friends, we have a big problem with leadership. It seems like everyone wants to be the one to make the decision! If we have a bio problem much worst than the covid-19 and we are all living together, I think we would have the big problem with who is in charge. My question to you - are there groups bigger that mines - say 100 or more that have made it as long as we have? I feel the need to create a better structure so we do not kill ourselfs if we had to be under for months or more time!
 

Dave_V

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I will 2nd that Amish Heart, but the most important thing is frequent communication.

Well, darn you wheresclair, you're making me go from a lurker to registered...I hate registering for anything. I gotta ask more about your sinkhole (yes, spelled correctly, your English is very good!) Although, please don't tell me anything that would help someone locate it by drone or from satellite/Google Earth. I am most interested in how you handled the scaffolding and forms for such a deep structure? And how are you handling the storm drainage and sewage and gray water you will produce??

FYI, our group organized in 1989 with 3 members. 31 years later, membership is around 120 with a capacity of about 340 for a 5 year "cruise." So yeah, it can be done. We grew slowly and chose members and their families very carefully. We scale with pre-calculated supplies for each member. Leadership and member stewardship is critical. We develop SOPs for everything and thoroughly discuss everything. Teams meet weekly and everyone monthly. We run a "Summer Camp" every year and one weekend a year is a full scale exercise. We do have an advantage you don't (not because we're in the US.) Our facility has a level adjacent to the (food) storage basement of the grocery store we own and run. (My day job!) So logistically, we have a huge issue taken off our plates. We use LP gas powered forklifts to keep our food stores rotated on pallets every three months. Customers don't notice a little less time on their canned food's expiration dates, but it keeps us from having massive spoilage after a few years! In case of the "big one," the basement stairs are collapsible and the freight elevator is locked on the bottom floor which gives us unfettered access to move the entire contents of the basement into our secondary storage areas. But about you...tell me how you built without a serious accident?!
 

wheresclair

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I am most interested in how you handled the scaffolding and forms for such a deep structure? And how are you handling the storm drainage and sewage and gray water you will produce??

But about you...tell me how you built without a serious accident?!
That is AMAZING!
When can I come to visit you? Seriousness, after Covid, may I come see how you have set up this location?

To answer your questions I can say we made many mistakes and had a few injuries, but we have many very good engineers in our group and they made it all to work well. We used the pump to fill our forms and we have many of the water pumps that turn on automatic if wet. One problem is the solar. We can not have enough of the electricity for much light and other things if it rains much because pumps use very much of the electricity.
Sewage is OK we have big tank. Grey water we pump out but we would like someday to recycle.
 

wheresclair

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We have built a many level bunker for about 50 people. The stairs are a lot ! We can not have the elevator because the electricity is not very much yet but that is a project we are working on.
 

jontte

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that my friends are some seriously big groups and thus there must be good leaders or a leader,
would imagine all those biker boys and cartells are "successful" 'cause there is a command structure, you
can't run a big group in a disaster scenario like an early communist red guard in the Sovjet revolution, where a leader was "elected" in a shouting election..

I truly 2nd the importance of communication!
 

BillMasen

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Wow 100 people, I'm assuming many are neighbours affected by the sink holes rather than all preppers but its a lot non the less, well done. Historically I think that the now defunct or broken up Rocky Mountain Survival Group had a few hundred members, but spread far and wide.

The issue at hand is that many preppers live remotely and as OPSEC and PERSEC do not want to interact with others.

The Kansas super bunker has about 60 residents I think but they dont all live their permenantly, same as the Xpoint in south Dakota .

There is of course the Mormon communities of hamlets, villages and towns in Utah where 90% of the cities are members of the LDS (CLS) and as part of their faith each household keeps at least a years supply of foods and materials, these people cooperate fully in large numbers.

An indepth review of current mormon prepping is discussed in one chapter in the newly published book BUNKER by Bradley Garrett.
 

ban1985

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Groups have an advantage, that's the way it is, but many groups fail because either everyone wants to be the boss, or the normal people in the group don't agree with the boss's decision. The biggest problem is always when in a crisis where really bad conditions arise, a dispute breaks out in the group or a renegade with important material makes the dust, if one of the two scenarios happens and the group is broken up, then you are unlucky Cannon fodder because you don't have any more.
Life as a lone fighter also has its risks that cannot always be resolved quickly, but you have prepared yourself for yourself and the big problem with being unable to act due to a group crash does not exist, but the problem if you crash somewhere, for example.
In my region there are certainly preppers, but most of them remain loners, there is no major movement here, you have to rely on the fact that you will find people in the ultimate crisis who are going the same way.
But the current time with Corona has one advantage, the people who are now expressing themselves publicly against the sometimes nonsensical state measures, these people are for the most part prepared for something, which is why it is good to get to know one or the other of them somewhere .
Everyone has their goals, they are not always the same, and not everyone is made a leader, because people also need people for the normal job, the worst is a leader who does not have it under control and who is lacking in people and knowing people is missing. If you are the leader of a prepper group then your job will be partly different from being a leader in the army, because you have a limited number of people and partly a limited number of materials, and you should be concerned about both because these people should be a team and not for the forced role of a normal soldier who has the superior's gun in his back.
 

Mountain Dragon

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Wow... an group with 100 people? Would be to much for me. Our group is approximatly 10 people and i think it's almost enough. The line of communications is short, we know each other since over 10 or 15 years and i'm trust in everyone. If your group is to large you'll more in the situation of false informations and you're having the higher risk of traitors. But if it works with the whole village then you're an lucky one. For myself, i stay with my small, easy going and easy hiding group.
 

Amish Heart

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There is a large group that works in the fictional stories in the Stonemont Series by Steven Smith. That many people were necessary for security while the others did the daily normal stuff, like grow food. So, it's been done in prepper fiction. We just put in a 25 ft squared under a room basement. Not sure I would want to load a bunch of people in there. All the houses around us already have a basement under the house, and our original one is larger than the new one.
What did you guys build on top of the sinkhole? is it a house, or is it just covered with dirt?
 

Dave_V

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WC,
Yeah, your group of 40 could be hard to manage depending on each person’s rational to be in the group. While you were building your facility, the intense difficulties probably gave your group strong incentive to problem solve and work together, but now without as much focus, you may need to reorganize. Reorganization after the fact may be really hard as people are set in their perceived roles and may resist change. You may lose a few in the process.
 

Dave_V

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If nothing bad ever happens, and life goes on like normal, you may have SS and Medicare to help make ends meet in your old age. Regardless whether Democrats or Republicans are in power, most of the things important to you and your family will remain intact after any political shift.

If SHTF, it could be a meteor or Yellowstone could erupt, but more likely it will be a pandemic or Russia nuking us – we’ve already had a minor taste of it with Covid-19, but nothing that sent us headed for the hills on a long term basis. When it REALLY happens, the government and constitution along with common decency will go out the window…maybe to return someday, but maybe not. We all know that our communities are not going to run as mini constitutional democratic republics. There will be rules and consequences and if you haven’t already thought this all through, your community is likely to quickly self destruct…whether it’s the bleeding heart liberals that lull you into giving them more power in the guise of democracy or some authoritarian too-far-right-winger who thinks he can run things better and takes you and anyone who opposes him out permanently!
PLANNING GOVERNANCE is NOT an optional consideration!

There are so many in between scenarios possible, but for sure, peace of mind is expensive!
If you do the minimum to prep and SHTF, you’ll lament that you didn’t better prepare, but if you blow all your cash and free time on being prepared, have you enjoyed your life to the fullest (?) and then there’s always that chance that preparation made no difference because the meteor or nuke makes a direct hit or horribly, you’re out of position and can’t make it back to safety.

I have tried to “have it all” living in the "real world" but also seriously prepping. By making our retreat essentially in town, close to everything, by involving and sharing the financial load with like minded people, by not isolating and having everyone keep a foot in the real world, we have so far for the last 31 years kept our jobs, had normal families, lived in normal communities, taken family vacations, and still had the option to bug out in serious style if things get bad. I don't have a feel for governance in other communities, but I would say our focus on organization has made us successful and self sustaining. It all started with a grocery store with a basement and a few guys musing the possibilities.

Our facility build wasn’t easy, but we had the advantage of a benefactor (shopping center owner) who made building the parking deck next to my grocery possible. We have two entire subterranean levels, access to my grocery storage, and direct connection to the solar grid spread across the entire shopping center.
GTG
 

wheresclair

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Sorry I am so late my friends. I have enjoyed all the answers! So my next question is how can you make the plan for many people and make the logistics if you have job and if you only meet one time a week or month or in the summer time? All of the people in my group have the jobs or would like to have the jobs so we can only meet on the holiday when we do the best building. We can only do the email or talk on the phone at the rest of the times. I would like to have the Internet at our place so that we could have one person who stay there most of the time and maybe we would have not as many problems with the water leaks and other problems.
 

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