You've drawn the short straw on neighbors. You can't trust them during a time of peace. How do you handle them during a time of war?
The golden rule when it comes to wartime tactics is numbers. You can't fight tyranny, oppression, genocide or an invading army if you're working by yourself. You are looking to unite your community so that you can work together during a time of war. How do you do that when your neighbors are - how can I put this lightly? ... Assholes.
Video - Dealing with Difficult Neighbors
Times of Peace - Dealing with Difficult Neighbors
The calm before the Storm
During a time of peace, I would advocate that you continue to work with your neighbors in as peaceable manner as you can. This free video series may help: https://tackleberrysolutions.com/civil-defense-free-video-series/
"They need to know (especially before things get hard) that you won't tolerate disrespect"
Don't start fights and don't let them push your buttons. However, do NOT put up with their BS either. They need to know (especially before things get hard) that you won't tolerate disrespect and that you will defend yourself. This is important because when things do get bad, they will think twice before targeting you right out the gate.
Standing Your Ground
Fencing in your yard and posting signs is a good way to discourage trespassing. There are also several other ways you can deal with their drama during a time of "peace" without breaking the law.
- Ditches- Deep and large ditches make it difficult to maneuver across. Anyone trying to travel onto your property will have to cross a bridge, this becomes a choke point. A position that you can easily booby trap later during a wartime event.
- Roaming Dogs- I have three big dogs that patrol right around my house. I can't even begin to count the number to times they have stopped someone or something from coming onto my property or breaking into my house.
- Cameras- Even if they aren't working, they still are a deterrent. So make them very visible, or better yet, make a sign that says there are cameras visible, even if there are no cameras. It plays tricks on their minds. (Or you can pull some defective cameras from the dump and post them around your property as fakes)
- Electric Fencing- I have already mentioned a good fence, but hook some juice to it and now you're cooking with gas. Not only will it slow or stop an advance, but if they touch it, you will hear their shout. This tells you not only that someone is trying to cross onto your property, but where they are.
- Slumber Guarding - This is the best way to deter trespassers. Camp out near where you suspect trouble. No one is going to suspect you're sleeping in a barn or behind a bush, especially during a time of peace. Nothing sends a clearer message like bird shot from the shadows. This is also a good wartime tactic as it gives you the ability to flank and engage your enemy or escape. You can learn more about slumber guarding here: The Neighborhood Guardian Archives
- Call the Police - Even if all you do is ask them to drive by your property now and then, this helps discourage trespassers. This only works if you live in an area that has real law enforcement officers.
Times of War - Dealing with Difficult Neighbors
"This is why it's better to have your alliance formed now, rather than later."
During a time of war, you're going to have to see how your neighbors react before you'll know what you have to do. Sometimes people get a wake up call and can suddenly work with others when they realize that they will die if they don't.
Most times they will just get worse and decide that they can now either side with the enemy or just start doing whatever they want. Still others will pretend to work with you, then betray you to your enemy the first time they get a chance. This is why it's better to have your alliance formed now, rather than later - to find people you can trust.
Now remember their lives just came crashing down on their little head. They, unlike you, didn't see this even coming and are at the mercy of others. This doesn't excuse them of past or future actions. That being said, you could use them to assist in the hard physical labor of mending fences, gardening, canning, feeding animals, etc.
Basically, offer the exchange of labor for food. They can enter onto your property to weed the garden and can the produce in exchange for a quart jar of mustard greens. Side note: Be careful not to allow them to see your security layout or devices. There is a chance that they may have a moment of real stupidity and attempt to steal food from you during the night. For this reason, I would be very clear that you don't trust them, and they are only allowed to work on your property under a very strict set of rules. Any violations, and they will be permanently removed.
Remember this is WAR
And again this is war, if they do anything stupid (attack, steal, etc.) don't waste your time or resources being the nice guy. Just shoot them in the freaking face and move on.
You can also place Claymores at choke points, landmine fields around the outer perimeter, random punji traps on trails, large holes hidden in your yard as to slow advancing enemies. Or my personal favorite, perimeter charges around your house and outbuildings. All of these are things that will work great to slow or stop any advancing force, even asshole neighbors. Click here to learn more on how to repel a large force.
The Warning Signs
When working in a community, you will need to be able to pick out that black sheep in the crowd. The one that will hand you all over to the enemy the second they get a chance.
Things to look out for are:
- 1Curiousness- Be weary of the guy (or girl) that asks a lot of questions or is always snooping around. If they appear to be casing your property or assessing your defense system, you can rest assured that you will have issues because of them later. Even if they are just feeding the intel to others. It might be easier to get rid of them sooner than later.
- 2Non-Prepper- I'm positive you have several of these types of people right next door to you. Their the people that are, "Nothing is going to happen, you're just paranoid." Yeah, those will be among the first to feel the pinch of their stupidity. With no food, weapons, or real way of gaining either of those, they will quickly turn to either violent criminal acts or prostitution. (Giving information to the enemy in exchange for food is prostitution.) Personally I feel that a capitalizing hooker has more dignity than a traitorous Benedict Arnold does.
- 3Peace Time Criminals- If they are criminals now, they will definitely be after SHTF. Make mental or recorded notes of every criminal in the immediate area. If SHTF starts tomorrow, you might give strong consideration to a first strike attack on their location. You need to narrow the amount of enemies you do have. You can't wage war on 3 different battlefields.
The Meat and Potatoes: Kill or Be Killed
This is war. You may have to shoot a few people before they get the chance to hurt anyone. You'll never really know if they really are going to be a danger, because you're simply not going to give them the chance. This is war. There is no such thing as a fair fight. It is better to jump the gun and kill a few people before they get the chance to kill others.
The bare minimum you need to do with these people is keep them under lock and key or with a constant guard until you can trust them. But this costs you food, guards, water, etc. You may just find it more feasible to just shoot them in the head than risk their escape.
How to Grow Your Community with People You Can Trust
Ok - so none of your neighbors are trustworthy and you can't move somewhere else. So you're just going to have to look a little bit farther to create your own community. You can search online for like minded individuals. However, this is flawed in that it exposes you and it will be difficult to find people like you nearby.
"The best communities with the closest knit people start with one individual at a time."
The best way to grow a community that will work together is to get out there and simply meet new people. Find local places to volunteer at. Go where the good guys are. What is it that people like you generally have in common? Are they hunters? Then join hunting clubs. Are they Christians? Then talk to local pastors. Offer to do a free class teaching something useful like trauma care, wilderness survival or even how to grow a garden.
The best communities with the closest knit people start with one individual at a time. If you can establish yourself as a person who others can lean on during hard times, they will naturally flock to you when things get rough.
"Neighbors" Outside of Walking Distance
Now you've got several people who want to work with you when things get hard. Some can provide their medical skills while others are good with radio communication. However, they don't live close to you and would take several days to get to you if they had to walk. This is where thinking ahead becomes really important.
"This is where thinking ahead becomes really important."
Find places between your place and theirs that you can use to keep caches. These store hidden supplies such as food, medical kits and ammunition to keep you going until you can reach your destination.
Create a plan for those you hope to work with. They need to be able to get to you should things go South. The picture below offers an example. Keep in mind that this scenario was based off of a mission hide that has been compromised. If your friends aren't worried about being tracked, they can take a more direct route. However, I would encourage them to be wary of ambushes from gangs and looters while traveling during wartime.
Thinking of a specific scenario?
Leave your thoughts in a comment below. We'll talk tactics.