With what we have done now we have assured our future although life should be hard and uncertain. It isn’t going to be easy. One thing that most of us have just skipped over though in the previous few articles is security. We just ignored it really.
For many of us, and I consider myself in with this, we will not simply be left on our own to scrape together a living, we will have to handle our neighbours, refugees from other areas and even our relatives visiting and wanting food and shelter. Food and Shelter which we are unlikely to have in sufficient quantities to keep all these extra mouths and have enough to survive ourselves. After all we are putting aside our stores from our own money and few of us have enough to put aside what we want for ourselves never mind others.
That is why one of the processes that we must follow is Operational Security, or OPSEC as we commonly call it. The rest of the population knows it as Keeping Mum. This means quite simply that we just don’t talk to third parties about our prepping and we take care when we are buying preps and equipment. After all if you tell your next door neighbour that you have food and water for a year when his children are crying with hunger what do you think his thoughts will be? If may start of nice and polite but unless it ends up with you feeding all these extra mouths it won’t end that way. Think what you will do to protect your children. Of course the other neighbours will be interested too and all your preps will be consumed a few short weeks.
My idea is to keep my head down right at the start and keep out of peoples way. Keep in communication but sharing nothing. Don’t be mistaken, it will be heart rending to see people you know starving whilst you have food but simple logic dictates that if you share your chances of survival are reduced. Sure, the infrastructure may be restored before your stores run out but what if it is not. You have sacrificed much to put these stores aside whilst your neighbours watch the soaps on a nice plasma TV, have a PS3 and the latest games you cannot afford those but your pantries are always full and you are never hungry. They made their choice that nothing was going to happen and put nothing aside. You put resources aside just in case. You never know, they could be right and nothing will happen. Prepping has been around for 50 years and nothing has happened in the UK but imo odds are that something will happen sometime.
So you kept your head down and your neighbours have left or died. It won’t be easy but you have to do it. With a bit of luck things may start to come together and society starts to rebuild. That would be good but we are working on the worst case assumption that things will not return to normal, albeit with much less people, but instead will continue with no infrastructure or control.
Over the time since the event there have been refugees looking for food. Some were entering homes and searching, using violence to take what they wanted, and then moving on. You have been careful though, your home has been searched but there is nothing to find because you have prepared and buried your caches and have hidden your supplies. You keep out of the way yourself as much as you can and now the few refugees you see give your home a miss because the whole area looks as devastated as everywhere else. Just as you have planned.
OPSEC starts now. Explain to everyone in your family. They must not talk about your hobby. They must not mention the extra food you have. It is best to try and build your supplies with just you and your other half. Keep the kids in the dark until they are old enough to understand. Make storage spaces in your home, false walls and burying caches where you can. Consider carefully any livestock you want because keeping some of them quiet will be an issue. Plan for black out curtains and keeping a low profile for a while. My estimate is 15 months. Even after that though there will be an occasional visitor so you need to plan how you will handle those. It may even require you abandoning your retreat to ensure your survival. Think about different situations, the loner, the sneak thief, a gang, a family, your family. How are you going to handle them? Depending on the timing and your current situation your will handle them differently.
Some people will never see another soul after an event. Some will not survive meeting refugees and some will survive. Make sure you are among the latter by considering, where appropriate, being the grey man.