Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Over the years, I have been in many discussions with people about how things may or will go after society collapses. There are a lot of things that people and beginner preppers do not think about. From the conversations that I have had, I can venture a guess and say that many people will store their water, food, supplies, and think they are good to go.
But there is more to it than that. A lot more.
When the world around you begins to deteriorate and collapse, all the supplies you have stored will eventually run out. Some people do have extensive plans for renewing their resources, but if you want your life to be more than just surviving day to day, your plan should include having one or more essential skillsets.
What do we do when something collapses? While some things are better left to lay where they fell, something as important as a society will need to be rebuilt. As I mentioned above, there will be people that have extensive plans and resources for living on their own.
However, the majority of the population will congregate into small manageable communities where they can begin the rebuilding process. The foundation of these communities will be the people and the skillsets that they bring to the table.
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I know we all have our opinions about people in leadership roles, but having a leader is often an overlooked and important job in a post collapse world. Communities will need someone or a group of people who can see the whole picture and the needs of the people and can then set a course in that direction. Without good leadership, a group can easily fall apart.
When it comes to leadership roles, I am not talking about someone wearing a suit or fancy dress sitting behind a desk barking out orders all day long. They will lead by example, get their hands dirty, and will be a part of the community rather than living above it. Many characteristics make a person a good leader, but at the end of the day, they are someone that can hold everything together while inspiring people to work together even in the toughest of situations.
2. Medical Staff
Visiting your family physician or local hospital will be off the table, so I think it’s pretty obvious that having doctors, nurses, or anyone with medical training or knowledge in your community is going to be critical.
Until a community starts doing well for itself, people’s health is going to be quite poor. This will be due to stress, poor nutrition, lack of sanitation, and a host of other factors. Having a medical officer on site will help to ensure injuries are properly treated, health risks identified, and that people are taken care of as well as possible.
A veterinarian is another often overlooked job. Animals will become more prominent in our daily lives as they themselves take on important jobs. They will be used as laborers, for transportation, and will of course be a source of food.
They too will need to be properly looked after and treated for illness or injury if they are expected to maintain and build a community back up. Also, in the absence of any other medical staff, a veterinarian can help treat some human conditions.
The trucks and trains have stopped rolling in and your local grocery store now offers nothing but dust on the shelves. So, where is the food going to come from? Same place it always did: farmers.
Farmers have an intimate knowledge of the land and what it takes to grow food. They also do not just think in terms of this season’s crops but also what it will take to sustain future crops down the road. This applies to raising livestock as well. Home gardeners will also be a valuable resource to have around.
Anyone with general outdoor skills, knowledge, survival skills, and the know-how to hunt, fish, or forage for food will be highly sought after. These people will be especially important at the beginning when a community is first being established because resources will be limited and unorganized.
One thing to consider with hunting, fishing, and foraging is that in modern times, it is relatively easy to transport a person to a location and transport food home before it spoils. That will not be the case post-collapse. Hunter-gatherers may need to travel quite a distance to find what they are searching for, and they will need to be able to preserve it for the journey back.
If the hunter-gatherers in the community are traveling over long distances, two additional roles could be incorporated into their job description. They could act as scouts for the security team back home and they could also take on the role of establishing trade among other travelers or communities.
6. Radio Operators
Information has and will always be a key part of human survival. After a collapse, there will be no television, smartphones, or internet (I can hear some people cheering and clapping in the background already) from which we get our news and information.
It will be highly likely that other forms of communications, like HAM radios, will still be fully functional.
Radios like these can be compact, do not require huge energy requirements, and can allow for communication to take place over several miles. People do not invest in radio technology like this much anymore, let alone know how to properly use it. Having a radio operator in your group will give a community the ability to communicate within its borders as well as pick up information from the outside.
7. Food Preserver
I am sure that I do not have to tell you that a lot of food does not last long on its own. After crops are grown, animals butchered, and fish are caught, it would be a shame and wasteful to allow any of it to spoil.
For this reason, a community will need someone that knows the best practices for preserving food. Some methods include canning, smoking, salting, and dehydration. Methods like these allow food to last much longer without the need for refrigeration and can provide a source of food throughout the year, especially during tough times.
Modern power and energy sources will most likely be non-existent or extremely limited, which means a lot of work will be completed with hand tools and other manual means.
Depending on the area that the community is in, hand tools and other devices could be scavenged for, but sometimes you will not be able to find exactly what you need. An experienced blacksmith will be able to fabricate and produce basic or advanced items that a community needs to get work accomplished.
Other than being a blacksmith, other trade skills can greatly help to fix and rebuild a community, such as a carpenter, electrician, plumber, engineer, and bricklayers.
Carpenters and bricklayers will certainly be needed to help repair existing structures or to plan out and build new ones. Plumbers and electricians may not be highly sought after at first, but they too can provide valuable information and services for restoring community standards.
If you look around the world today, there is almost no society that doesn’t have some form of security to protect its population and property. After a civilization falls, security will become even more important as masses of people will be fighting for necessities in the absence of law and order.
People with backgrounds in the military, law enforcement, and general security, will be desirable to help address a community’s security issues and to provide twenty-four-hour watches.
11. General Laborers
I know, at first, it doesn’t seem like this job title should be on the list, but if you stop to think about it, this is an essential position. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to have someone that has a specific skill set such as a doctor, farmer, or carpenter.
However, without laborers to back up those skilled positions, tasks will become extremely difficult and will require much more time to complete. Any able-bodied person that is willing to work and contribute will be an asset to have around.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that I have had this conversation with many people over the years, generally with people that were looking for advice on how to prepare. The conversation usually starts with what you would expect, storing water, storing food, and gathering supplies. However, I always tell people that it is imperative to learn a valuable skill as well.
Preparing for a post-collapse scenario is not just about stocking up on beans, bandages, and bullets. It’s about people and what they can offer to help build a better life together.
The above list is by no means a complete one. I am sure that there are more than a few important jobs that didn’t make it on there, but in my opinion, the ones that did are among the most essential. Let us know which jobs you think would be essential in a post-collapse community by leaving a comment below.
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