Some time ago, there was some buzz about the need or lack of operational security in the world of preppers. It did not take long for the issue to die down because keeping your prepping activities secret does not really make a lot of sense. First of all, you get immediate disapproval from fellow preppers once they find out you are getting ready without their knowledge. Second, your actions become more noticeable to everyone in the community because they are basically odd. Third, you can be mistaken for a loon which does not make you feel any better. Possibly the worst is when you are arrested for suspected terrorist activities and get some time behind the slammer.
The Myth of the Undercover Prepper
There is really nothing wrong with being a prepper. Without having to say outright that getting ready should not be kept hidden like a dangerous secret, there seems to be a general, unspoken consensus that it is better to tell your family and other loved ones that you are a prepper. In fact in some circles, being open about it is a good thing because you are trying affect everyone around and hopefully be able to show them the advantages of being ready for the EOTW.
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Prepping on the Sly
Two years ago, my husband thought I was nuts to imagine a life without electricity, gas, or grocery stores. He didn’t want to discuss it, much less have hand tools and tactical gear cluttering up every inch of unused space and reminding him just how far I’d “gone off the deep end.”
Regardless, I felt I had a responsibility to plan for our children — with or without his cooperation. His attitude was basically, “Do what you want, as long as I don’t have to deal with it.” Talk about a head-in-the-sand approach!
Now, I would never advocate lying to your spouse. That said, you have a responsibility to plan for your family’s future, no matter what that future holds. When your kids look to you with vacant eyes and rumbling tummies, “I was waiting for Daddy‘s approval” will not fill those bellies! I’ll bet you’d resort to much worse than prepping on the sly / covert shopping to provide for them, if you had to.
I started small, with what I could personally control without interference: my purse and daily driver. If you’re overwhelmed but feel an urgency to prep without causing conflict, consider these common-sense approaches.
Have resources on hand
Keep a 1/2 tank or more of gas at all times. Electricity, delivery, and credit card issues happen every day. You don’t want you and your children to be stranded away from home.
Keep $100 in small bills in your purse. Be disciplined enough not to touch it for lunch money. The idea is to be able to make exact change in a real emergency situation.
Your purse is your Every Day Carry bag. Lists abound for what to include, but think of it like this: If you and your kids were trapped somewhere for an extended period, what would you have to have? My purse weighs seven pounds. I’m not getting rid of ANY of it.
It is also comforting to know that boy scouts have been exposed to the idea since the beginning of their training in childhood. You are only reminding and helping them as adults to be able to cope when TSHTF.
However, OPSEC can still be useful for the survivalist and prepper. Before the apocalypse, it is not an appropriate strategy because it only gets you into trouble. In the aftermath, though operations security can come in handy as law and order may be thrown out the window because of the pandemonium that the devastation has caused. That is the time to be wary of your actions; a way of protecting and defending yourself and your family.
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