Want to be part of a unique network of preppers helping other preppers? If you’d like to help a fellow prepper, be an “ant.”
A.N.T.S stands for Americans Networking To Survive. It’s a survival network of individual preppers called “ants.”
They work together to provide other members basic supplies during disasters. In a nutshell, they do that by relaying buckets of supplies, called supply pods, to any member that needs them.
The network founder is Timothy French, and he’s this week’s guest on DestinySurvival Radio. Listen in and find out how you can make a difference in the lives of other preppers and how other preppers can help you.
In late 2010 I learned of Tim French and his organization from Donna Miller of Miller’s Grain House. I did an interview with him for DestinySurvival Radio, but that was in 2011. If you’re curious, view what I wrote about that first chat here.
Not long before the time of this writing I heard Tim interviewed by Joe Alton, M.D., a.k.a. Dr. Bones, from Prepper Camp in North Carolina. I was glad to hear A.N.T.S. is still around, and I thought it was high time to get an update.
Doing the Show
The A.N.T.S. site is loaded with so much information, I began to wonder why I should talk to Tim French at all. You’ll find general information there, of course; but there’s also a thorough historical timeline as well as an informative FAQ page, to name a couple of the site’s great features.
On the other hand, I realize you may not have heard of this unusual network. Or you may just need to hear our conversation so you know how Tim himself explains things in a way that clarifies what A.N.T.S. is all about.
Thus, this week’s DestinySurvival Radio show.
Daring to Do Something Different
As a firefighter, Tim became involved in relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He saw deficiencies in how things were handled, and believed there had to be a better way.
Some of the same problems arose in the aftermath of the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010. That’s when he decided it was time to put A.N.T.S. together.
There’s an organized way of carrying out the network’s tasks, spelled out in guidelines and job descriptions. A clever set of terms and definitions centers around ants, the insects. Icons on maps indicate general locations of members or drop points for supplies.
While all of that may give the appearance of complexity, Tim says A.N.T.S. is a simple network of preppers helping preppers. There’s no corporate structure or office.
The mission is simple: To provide members with basic supplies during a disaster.
All members are volunteers who provide help at the local level. The goal of A.N.T.S. is to have at least one member in every city and town.
Doing the Work
A.N.T.S. isn’t a mere theoretical construct. They helped fellow members during Hurricane Sandy and the big tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area. It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear ants have helped other ants after flooding in the Carolinas about the time this is being written.
When a disaster happens, as quickly as possible, members supply one another with supplies requested by members in need. If a member hasn’t been heard from, other members will check to see how they’re doing.
That sounds encouraging, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you like to be helped by people in your area who know the lay of the land and what’s happening in the immediate situation?
A.N.T.S. strives to help members before other relief agencies arrive on the scene. However, members may not be able to provide help until after rescue teams have made the way safe. For example, roads may need to be cleared in the aftermath of a storm.
Two levels of guidelines describe how A.N.T.S. should work. Level One guidelines are used for disasters where people still have communication capabilities outside of a disaster area. Level Two would be used in an extreme scenario, such as after an EMP, when all communications have been lost, except for shortwave radio.
Tim described the functions volunteers can perform. They include…
- Camp Ants
- Trail Ants
- Com Ants
- Donor Ants
Deciding on the Goodies
Supplies given out in a time of disaster can include clothing, food, shelter supplies, and medical and hygiene items–enough to get a person or family through two weeks. The supply pods are 5-gallon buckets containing such items.
All supplies are provided by A.N.T.S members. The best way to be sure adequate supplies are available to meet a given need is to recruit other ants.
A.N.T.S. won’t bring the goods into a disaster area until they know exactly what’s needed and who needs it. That way supplies aren’t misdirected and won’t go to waste.
By the way, you’ll be glad to know A.N.T.S will never ask for your money. It’s the ants themselves who make the system work.
Digging Into the Ant Hill
No demographic information is kept on members. Your OP SEC won’t be compromised.
A.N.T.S. is all about helping fellow Americans in a time of need. It hasn’t quite taken hold abroad.
People with disabilities are encouraged to join A.N.T.S. as well. As with any other ant, it’s up to the individual to choose what they can do.
The number of member ants around the country fluctuates, but Tim says it’s roughly a thousand. Interest was greatest in 2012 when people thought certain catastrophe loomed.
Don’t Count on Group Think
As I was looking over the info about A.N.T.S. before my visit with Tim, it occurred to me that churches would be ideal forgetting involved with the network. While that may indeed be the case, Tim emphasized the point that A.N.T.S. deals with individuals, one to one.
In other words, if your church decided to become involved with the network, A.N.T.S. would help individuals within the church. They wouldn’t bring supplies to the church as a whole.
In a disaster, you might get help from an ant who is a fellow church member, or the ant may be someone else in the local area. As an ant yourself, you might be called on to help a fellow church member or another ant who is not part of your church.
The same principle applies to prepper groups, too. Individuals in your prepper group may become part of the network, but the group itself can’t be defined as an ant.
There’s more on groups and colonies in my conversation with Tim.
Do It Because…
Below are six reasons to join A.N.T.S, taken from AmericansNetworkingToSurvive.org.
- It cost nothing and you do not have to disclose your location.
- Having one member in every city and town will allow us to transport supplies without traveling far from home.
- When disaster strikes, relief agencies will bring supplies, but they will be supplying everyone. A.N.T.S will be looking for you.
- If you are traveling away from home when a disaster strikes, you will have a member close by to bring supplies to you or your family.
- Supplies are not wasted and will only go to members if requested.
In an interview with Amanda Ripley, the author of The Unthinkable: WhoSurvives When Disaster Strikes – And Why, Craig Fugate, the head of the Federal Emergency Management stated:
“To avoid “system collapse,” the government must draft the public. “We tend to look at the public as a liability. [But] who is going to be the fastest responder when your house falls on your head? Your neighbor.”
Don’t Miss This
I encourage you to hear my visit with Tim French by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for October 8, 2015. (Right click to download.) Between what I’ve written here and what Tim and I talked about, you should have a decent picture concerning A.N.T.S. But you can always get more info or contact Tim by going to AmericansNetworkingToSurvive.org.