As Preppers, we tend to have Tunnel Vision. I include myself in this statement. We tend to concentrate so hard on preparing for the immediate results and impacts of the SHTF that we lose sight of other important things for the longer term. Our planning takes us out from right after the SHTF event, whatever it turns out to be, to 6-months to 1-year past it. This is a good thing and we definitely need to have a plan in place for it. We are so intent and active in looking at that particular time period, that we put thoughts of the time beyond it out of our thinking. We need to at least acknowledge that if our initial Prep’s are effective, we will be on this earth beyond that time.
I am not advocating that we NOT do that Immediate Need planning. I AM however, suggesting that we give at least a modicum of thought to what happens after that first phase has ended. Assuming that our personal world settles into a new “normal” existence and that organizations and communities have stabilized, where do we go from there? What happens when we run out of fuel, machined parts, spare electronic parts, etc.? What happens when the available scraps and left-overs are gone, dishes are broken, eating utensils are worn out, batteries are unusable, or oil for lamps is exhausted? Can you fabricate more? Can you make the tools that make the tools that are needed for making the everyday items needed for long-term survival? Can you make medicines and antibiotics to maintain health? Can you make the glass bottles, covers, and seals used for canning?
I am suggesting that as groups continue to network and then get together in the aftermath of SHTF, a concerted effort will be necessary to gather and centralize hard copies of reference books. It will require many pages of printed material, gathered by many sources. This is the origin and purpose of libraries. If we are fortunate enough to be in a location which has an existing library, or abandoned library building, we will need to safeguard it, and any remaining reference material. If there is no existing library available, it will be worthwhile to make one and protect it. This is the way to preserve the hard won technical knowledge of our civilization.
There exist many places online where technology books may be found. Some sites have free PDF files, which will require our printers to turn them into hard copies and bind them. Online libraries may not be available for long after the SHTF. There are other sites which will, for a small cost, send printed soft-cover books through the mail. One of these sites belongs to Lindsay Publications (http://www.lindsaybks.com) who carries a large selection of how-to and reference manuals (no …. I don’t get royalties from them). It well behooves us to consider what technical information we need to preserve.
The bottom line is: we need to add knowledge preservation to our preps. As we continue to network with other Preppers, let’s remember to compare the reference texts and the knowledge to use them that we will have available for future use. This is as important as finding fellow Preppers that have the basic skillsets that you, or your network, lack. For any group to survive over the longer term, this information is necessary. Let’s break out of our tunnel vision long enough to add this knowledge to our preparations and planning. Let’s attempt to prevent a second Dark Age where knowledge must be rediscovered and relearned the hard way by our children and their children.