A lot of individuals that wanting to prepare for the worst case scenarios do not have a group to support and teach them when they begin. Online resources are great to help you become proficient at basic skills such as fire-making if you put in the practice time. On the other hand, skills that I mentioned in a past post titled Barter Skills are much harder to work out than the basic ones. Some advanced ones may actually require you to attend college type classes if you really want to be an expert.
Some of the skills that lean more towards trade skills such as blacksmithing, leather craft, woodworking, and even food canning seem harder to find. Sometimes you can find individuals that are willing to teach you, but due to the “stay under the radar” mentality of many, it can be hard. The upswing in desire to study these has caused a surge in places teaching these though. This has created some valuable resources for those restricted by location or accommodations. Lots of these places are refereed to as “Maker Shops” and many of them began as purely electronic hobby groups. These places have grown and expanded into spaces such as old warehouses. With this growth they have also expanded their subject matter and many now teach everything from computer programming to stained glass making. The teaching is not the only benefit though. Almost all of them offer paid memberships. This membership allows you access to the space and its communal tools and materials. This opens up a whole spectrum of possibilities for those who may be limited by space, such as in an apartment. It also allowed access to tools that may be prohibitively expensive for a novice. Normally the membership price is reasonably affordable and some spaces are even 24 hours. In addition to the workspace, this can also be a great place to meet with people that may share the same mindset.
In your planning you will find that having access to other individuals to share information with, trade with, and learn from will be a great help. There is the normal need to screen those you share with, but that should be done for anything you do. After you establish a group of family and friends that you can trust you will find that it allows you to make more reasonable and solid plans for every situation. Whether it be a couch to crash on when a flood blocks your house, additional help with guard shifts during social upheaval, or strength in numbers in a complete TEOTWAWKI situation, it is always easier with help.
If you have trouble finding a local maker space, consult the directory link below. Most listings link to the space’s website where you can see their offered services. Some of these spaces will be heavily electronics based, but their site should reflect that.