Preparedness 202: Join the Guard!

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Preparedness 202: Join the Guard!

Alright, so you’ve built your bunker.

You’ve stored enough canned goods to last through the next zombie apocalypse (was there ever a first one?!?).

You’ve met up with “those guys* and you’ve done some tactical field exercises (mostly paintball).

You’ve prepared yourself in many ways for a variety of disaster scenarios (fortunately the general preps are the same for general catastrophes), but you haven’t taken the next step.

So…

…”What is the next step?” you ask.

Glad you asked!

The next level of prepper-ology is to join the guard.

The State Guard, that is!

Camp-Grayling-MIVDF
The Michigan Volunteer Defense Force prepares for several contingencies, including traversing rugged terrain during search and rescue (SAR) missions.

Why should you join your state’s defense force? (State guards go by several names: state guard, state defense force, state military reserve, state militia, etc.)

There are several things to consider:

  • You will be trained in disaster management (https://training.fema.gov/is/)
  • You will be trained in accordance with military rules and etiquette
  • You will be trained to work alongside emergency management teams that may consist of other military units, police, first responders, etc.
  • You will be trained to become more physically fit
  • You will be trained to become CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) certified
  • You will become knowledgeable about best practices for personal preparedness and community preparedness

This list is not exhaustive, and it is possible that your state guard unit will add some training or omit some training that has been listed above.

In addition to the benefit of being properly trained, you will be able to connect with, and be encouraged by like-minded people–who doesn’t want to network with people with similar interests?

Granted, there may be times when it feels like you may experience “death by powerpoint'” (quote courtesy of James Wesley Rawles), but this is the case when training for any future contingencies–train, train, train. Then train some more!

What if your state does not have an active, organized guard?

It seems like you have a few options:

1.) Petition your state legislature to establish a legally authorized and organized state guard/militia.

2.) Join a local CERT team.

3.) Join a local emergency preparedness team.

4.) Become a reserve police officer.

5.) Join an unorganized state militia–do your homework, not all militias are the same!

 

Which states have active comunity based guard units?

Alabama

Alaska: http://dmva.alaska.gov/asdf/

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia: the Georgia State Defense Force

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Michigan: the Michigan Volunteer Defense Force (MIVDF)

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina: the South Carolina State Guard

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

 

 

(*NOTE: By “those guys” I mean the unorganized militia–I’m poking a little fun at them, but they really don’t deserve it.  Of course you have your assorted fruitcakes, nut jobs, and downright wackos (or is it whackos?) that join those groups, but what group doesn’t have its own cast misfits?  Militias in the United States are legal and constitutional.  As long as a local militia unit is abiding by the law and performing its sanctioned public duties, I say “Go for it!”)

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