The Importance of OPSEC

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One of the sad realities we face is that only one to two percent of our population takes prepping seriously. What that means is that you’d probably have to knock on the doors of 50 other homes, before you stood any chance of finding another prepper. All those other families doors who you knocked on are probably expecting the government to bail them out if a disaster strikes.

With today’s entitlement mentality and the constant liberal complaints about “inequality”, you can be sure that those same liberals will be calling for “wealth distribution” in the wake of a disaster. They’ll claim that it’s not fair for you to have food when so many others are starving. As part of the new one-percent, you could find your front door mobbed by starving people, demanding that you feed them.

The only way to protect yourself from this is to make sure that they don’t know what you have stored away in your basement or another storage area. What others don’t know, can’t come back to hurt you.

The military term for this is OPSEC, which stands for OPerational SECurity. It’s the various efforts that military organizations put forth, to make sure that enemies and even potential enemies don’t find out our war plans. Secrecy is an important element of surprise and surprise always works to any military’s advantage.

In some ways, OPSEC will be harder for you to achieve, then it is for the military. Most of the time, military units don’t have their potential enemies living right next door; sharing an occasional barbecue, talking over the back fence and asking to borrow the lawnmower.

These innocent actions can make it extremely easy for your friends and neighbors to discover what you are doing. While that might give you the opportunity to evangelize them to the idea of prepping, it also means that someone outside your family will know that you are prepared for a disaster. When the brown stuff meets the rotary air movement device and gets splattered all over, you can be sure that they will remember that you’re the one with all the food.

Don’t Talk About Your Plans

The first thing to avoid is talking about being a prepper and your plans as a prepper. The idea of prepping is common enough today, that people will instantly know what you are talking about and peg you as a prepper. Some may be won over to your ideas, but most will simply file away the fact that you are the guy with a stockpile of food. When the time comes, they’ll come knocking on your door.

Also read: Home Invasion Prevention – Hardening Your Home Against Attack

This makes it hard to convince others to join forces and become preppers too. About the only thing I can recommend is that you pick the people who you share information with very carefully. Only talk to those who you feel is likely to go along with you and become preppers themselves.

While it doesn’t help with security, I’ve put in a large stock of rice and beans, well over what I plan on using myself. The reason for this is that I can use that it gives me something to give to friends and neighbors when the time comes. While I might not have any trouble refusing to share with a total stranger, it will be difficult when a friend knocks on my door. Rice and beans may not be an exciting diet, but it will keep them alive.

Develop Cover Stories

If you have things around your home that may indicate that you’re a prepper, find some way of explaining them to your neighbors for OPSEC. It’s hard to keep secrets from neighbors, simply because they can see what you are doing. So, explain it to them; or at least explain something to them, to assuage their curiosity.

I have a large, very obvious water tank (over 200 gallons) sitting on my back patio, which can clearly incite curiosity. So I’ve told my neighbors that I use it for mixing chemical fertilizers into the water for my garden. I even have a hose running to a pump (an old one I have that doesn’t work) and from there off in the direction of my garden to prove it.

I also dabble in off-grid power, as well as making a wide variety of other things which are useful for survival. But they all know I’m a retired engineer, whose garage is his workshop. They’re used to seeing me make all sorts of stuff and don’t think anything about it.

Don’t Tell Your Kids

In case you haven’t heard, kids can’t keep a secret; any secret. So the last thing you want to do is to is tell them that you’re prepping. You especially don’t want to tell them that it’s a secret. So, just like your neighbors, tell them something else. Come up with a cover story for everything you do, which your kids will buy. That’s easier than coming up with one for your neighbors.

The good thing about this is that kids are likely to accept anything at home as being normal. If you’re raising goats, that’s normal. If you’ve got a swimming pool as a water tank, that’s normal too. If you’re gardening and dig a root cellar for storing your produce, it’s just as normal. So they aren’t likely to question things like your stockpile or the fact that you go shooting.

Training your kids survival techniques, without them thinking of them as survival techniques is just as easy. Take them camping and teach those skills while living in a tent. Then they are camping skills.

Be Careful About Receiving Supplies

One of the biggest giveaways for most preppers is when they receive massive orders of supplies, whether they are shipped in or they come back from Costco with the back of their pickup loaded with food. You really want to avoid this visual cue.

The easiest way to avoid it is to receive many smaller shipments. That way, they won’t stand out and attract attention. If you have to bring home a pickup truck filled with rice and beans, close your garage door and unload it inside, where nobody can see. What people don’t see won’t result in question.

Store Things Carefully

Keep in mind that you will have friends and family in your home from time to time. So a stack of 12 cases of canned chicken might just be a bit too obvious. Better to cover that stack up with a blanket or tablecloth, so nobody knows what it is. Better yet, hide it in the basement, where nobody can see it.

If you have to store things in the open, disguise them as something else. I already told you about what I did with my water tank. Another great stealth water tank is a swimming pool. Treating the water keeps it safe to drink and you can have several thousand gallons of water, that nobody recognizes as a stockpile.

Another similar example is sand. If you live in a hurricane zone, you might want a stock of sand and sandbags, just in case. But a ton of sand is just a little obvious. That is, unless you build a sandbox for the kiddies and hide the sand in it.

Look Like Everyone Else

When things go bad, there will be a lot of people who are dirty, unshaven and hungry. If you are obviously fat and happy, you’ll stand out like a sore thumb. So your OPSEC can’t stop when a disaster hits. You’re going to need to go on a diet, lose some weight like everyone else and keep yourself looking like you’re having problems too. If everyone else is starving, well-fed people will be a clear sign that you have food.

Likewise, light coming out of your windows at night will be able to be seen from long ways away. So if you have solar power and are lighting up your home, make sure you have blackout curtains over your windows. Anything that looks like you’re better off than everyone else will put you in danger. In everything you do as a prepper, think OPSEC!

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