City dwellers have been “exposed” and have lived in close proximity of each other for so long, that many have forgotten the concept of what privacy really is. Because of people living in such close quarters to their neighbors, OPSEC (operations security) is a forgotten or unknown concept. This forgotten concept carries though into the community as well.
People talk to strangers about unnecessary things, relay secrets to strangers more, and for some, gossip to exchange bits and pieces of information they have obtained to “one up” each other. Neighbors observe other neighbors who behave differently, or seem different based upon their own social definitions of what and how a person should behave. This information is stored until it can be used at a later time.
What is OPSEC?
From a prepping standpoint, OPSEC, or operations security is a term based upon a systemic process used to identify if critical information or inventory is properly concealed so that exploitation is not possible. OPSEC maintains essential secrecy for effective operations. Therefore, if a person wants to secure their preps they use OPSEC:
- To keep their prepping inventory secure.
- To secure the perimeter of their home in order to make sure their inventory cannot be taken.
- Use OPSEC in a social environment so that others will not know that there is an inventory at all.
Anything Can Be Used Against You
A person should think twice about telling others about any prepping investments they have made. If a SHTF scenario occurred, anything said previously can be used against that prepper. For example, if you tell your neighbor you have silver coins stashed away, if times were desperate enough, that neighbor could turn on you. Keeping quiet about what one does is second nature to some, but for others that are new to the idea of prepping, they do not see the whole SHTF picture. If one person tells another about their preps, one person could tell another person about what preps their neighbor has. Then, the word spreads throughout the neighborhood; especially when a severe situation occurs. People will remember what you have told them, and come to you for help  (if they are unprepared). Helping a neighbor or family member in need is a noble deed; however, those preparedness items are an investment for you and your family; and therefore, no one outside of the family should know what you have (unless you want that person to know).
You Endanger Yourself When OPSEC is Breached
Many of us live out in the open for everyone in our neighborhood to see. Our neighbors know more about us than we give them credit for. They know our schedules, they know our habits, they know what kinds of food we eat based upon what is in our trash cans, they know when we do yard work, they know what is inside our garage. If you do tell a person about your prep items, make sure you trust that person explicitly. But to be on the safe side, keep your preps on the down low. It is better for you, your family and your well being.
Do not place prep items in a area that can be easily seen. In dire situations, neighbors will lose their “neighborly way” if their family is in jeopardy, and will do just about anything to keep their family safe. Therefore, store food in an area not easily seen. If a person stores their prepping items in a garage, if they raises their garage door regularly, people walking by, neighbors across the street or adjacent to you can see what is inside your garage. They will see the bottles of water, the super pails of food and because it is out of the ordinary, will keep a mental note of it. When a disaster occurs, they will remember what they saw, and they will come to you for help or get what they need by force.
It is important to keep in mind that a person should store food and water in an area where temperatures do not fluctuate. Therefore, a closet or unused room would be a better choice compared to a garage. Additionally, the preps should not be exposed to large amounts of light. If a person has to store their preps in a garage, try and buy storage shelves with doors to hide what is inside, and use some sort of mobile AC/heater unit to regulate temperature. And the best bet, is to not open the garage door to expose what is inside. Not to mention, a garage is a easily accessible area to rob if the parameters are not adequately secured.
Secure the parameter of your home so that it cannot be breached. Let’s face it, crime is increasing and home invasions are more common, even in the so called “safer neighborhoods.” Many invaders know that a majority of people do not have guns in the home, and home owners rely on their expensive home alarm systems. That said, there are ways to make a home less of a target to burglaries. Additionally, many law enforcement agencies will “walk through” a home to make suggestions on trouble spots. This is usually done free of charge. If there is a long waiting list due to the lack of police in the area, an “off duty” officer could do this as well for a nominal fee. Or, you could put yourself in a burglars shoes and walk around your property. Take a friend around the property who is not as familiar with it as you. He may find some things you overlooked.
Your Preps are Your Life Line
Prepping is not the newest fad that people should talk casually about. The items stored are necessary items to carry you and your family when times become difficult. Those preps are your life line when a natural or man made disaster is imminent. You must keep them as safe, secure and out of sight as possible. Use OPSEC to keep those items, your home and your self secure.