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OPSEC issues

One of the biggest issues that we all have is OPSEC. All our other issues are outside our control in many respects, financial, storage, time, etc. it is just we just can’t really do anything about them. OPSEC though is something that we can do but we don’t really exercise the control to do it properly. It isn’t actually us that is the threat here, it is the others in our family. They just don’t see a reason for not talking about the things we do. It is a source of conversation to them. In fact for most of us our OPSEC is already compromised we just don’t know it.

OPSEC is going to be the issue that haunts us after an event, who knows what we have, have we hidden the stuff well, who will notice that we don’t seem to be as hungry as they are, who will notice our kids laughing while their kids cry and remember that time five years ago their kid came home and said he had seen the largest pile of beans he had seen in his life.

It’s not our fault, we are just not geared up for lying and our kids like to show off and talk about things they think others will like to help their relationships. Thus the fact you have some bows is known among the kids but the parents are not aware of it. When TSHTF and a hungry parent starts asking questions then they can quickly come to the conclusion that something is not right with you. Then they start to do something about it and before you know it someone is knocking at your door asking questions.

For those bugging out it is much less of an issue. You won’t have shared so much background information with the new neighbours, if you have any, but bugging in means the existing neighbours have several years worth of knowledge to call on.

For those with no kids and just themselves interacting with the neighbours then it is an easy thing just to keep things to yourselves, that is provided of course that your better half is bought in and doesn’t tell all her mates about your insane craving for storing food for emergencies. I suspect that the women in most streets know a lot more about all the blokes than we could imagine.

What can you do about it? Well, to be honest I don’t know. It is probably already too late for the knowledge and you are bugging in for a reason, you can’t change that but you could consider doing two things.

First of all spend some time explaining what could happen after an event to your family, show them examples from the TV. Let them know that there is real danger here to the rest of the family, you never know they may get it and every little helps.

The second, and the only one you can do something about is to look at hiding your stuff better. That conflicts with the space requirement though but you could try burying food in caches around the place. Unless you make it obvious you are burying things then it will soon get forgotten. Having bows and tools in the house may be the way you got noticed and raised their suspicions but they are going to be ignored in the hunt for food. Just don’t empty your caches and fill the pantry. Being suspicious and not finding food means their suspicions will be allayed and that means you can carry on being careful. Hopefully, by the time they realise that you are not suffering as they are they will be too weak to do anything. Strength though will be in numbers and you may have to consider a pre emptive strike before they can build a team up if you are detected. Just try and keep in with them as long as you can so you can hear the rumours.

Having just to hide food should make things a little easier but don’t forget chickens, rabbits, fish, etc. are food and you want to keep them as part of your long term plans. Bringing them indoors is a good step, it has been done that way for centuries but it is practically impossible to hide them in a search. They may have to be sacrificed for OPSEC and that will be a problem for the future.

18 comments to OPSEC issues

  • Lightspeed

    Opsec compromise by family members is one of my biggest concerns.

    Even grown up kids are a problem. Some people’s need to discuss everything with the whole world through facebook, twitter and the like in order to gain social acceptance is particularly damaging in this respect.

    Thanks for posting this article SD. It has forced me to review a problem in my own Opsec about which I’ve previously been in denial.

  • bigpaul

    there used to be a saying in WW2:”Walls have ears”, if you don’t want your neighbours to know you have stuff, then don’t tell them! we say a polite good morning and maybe talk about the weather with the neighbours but that’s it, what we do is none of their business!!! as for feeding folks POST SHTF, no way, post event the front door wont be opened to anyone no matter how hard they knock!(if you feed folk after an event they’ll only come back for more and probably with a mob next time!)

  • MaddMac

    Definately a problem with the kids. Even the ones who grown and left home cant help but share info with a “close” friend. I find it hard to share with my kids but I want them to know they have a safe place post shtf. But, what keeps them from dragging every “friend” they ever blabbered with? Its a tough one.

  • kiddsy

    Well it looks like I am very lucky, as far as my other half is concerned she is as much into ‘prepping’ as I am, in fact some times more so, we don’t have any kids so she is quite happy to come up with ideas for items we need and can put away, we just got a nice little tickle from ppi returns and she has allocated a few hundred to start the food stores, which will grow and grow as we decide on new items to put into our newly built ‘store room’ that has just been acquired.

  • midnitemo

    I have 3 teenage kids 15/16 and 17 sadly only one lives permanently with me(16 year old) he has endured the lecture about keeping schtum and I think he is good with it…his mother is far to embarrassed to mention my “obsession” to any of her friends and I’ve always made a point of not socialising at home(that’s what pub’s are for)the preps are not visible to casual visitors and nobody holds a spare key to the house…I feel as secure as I can possibly be…no guarantee’s though!

  • Charles Harrris

    Think about OPSEC concerns when using your own radios, if OPFOR would have its own parallel technology. Use minimum transmit power, keep transmissions short. Limit transmissions to operational essentials. No idle chat!

    ……Terrorists like to use these cheap (under $100 each for the most capable) “push to talk” walkie talkies. The cheapest ones have a range in the open of five kilometers, and a hundred meters or so in built up areas. The top of the line ones have a maximum (in the open) range of eight kilometers, and up to 15 floors (or, more practically, over two-hundred meters) in urban terrain.

    In detection mode Wolfhound is a computer-driven RDF (Radio Direction Finder) device….which shows the direction a radio transmission is coming from. Using two of these, and with a little basic trigonometry, you can quickly locate the precise location of the transmitter…..During the World Wars high frequency direction finding, or HF/DF, or huff-duff was crucial in naval and air war operations, but less so on the ground. U.S. Army Special Forces teams operating out in the Afghan countryside who exploited the Taliban use of handheld radios….and that led to the portable Wolfhound device…..which can be used on the move ….to locate Taliban radio users….since the Wolfhound was first deployed, Taliban losses have dramatically increased because of portable RDF and the enemy has been forced be more careful with their electronic communications.

  • fred


    White man speak strange language. No understand.

  • prepper1

    ANY interaction you have with ANYBODY is a potential danger.
    For example all those of you going on about neighbours being friends and allies and telling them stuff.

    Have you thought about post shtf when they get raided by a gang say and in an attempt to save their own lives thy tell them who’s a prepper and what they have…

    You all seriously need to think how much a pair of pliers on tongues or pulling out your neighbour whoops sorry allys finger nails will make them talk about you and your preps.

    Why do you think torture was invented?

    Nobody likes to be tortured…

    You best be prepared for whomever you tell that your a prepper, and no they dont need to know exactly how much you’ve got because its common knowledge prepper equals food and other goodies to defend it to the death.

    Unless your going to sit the gang down ans sing cum by ya of course…

    I’m sure you’ll all be jolly good friends and nothing will happen to you and your family….

  • prepper1

    I cannot understand for the life of me some preppers needs to talk about stuff to their damn neighbours…
    keep schtum.
    tell no-one.
    If nobody knows anything, nobody’s going to come looking for stores and goodies because as far as their concerned you dont have anything interesting.

    Now if they’ve just gang raped mabel next door and you previously discussed prepping in ANY way with them THEY WILL TELL ON YOU.

    Its human nature its survival instinct to sacrifice another to save yourself.

    You really think those lovely neighbours are that altruistic that they’ll keep quiet about you and what you MAY have to keep you safe?

    I’m not a doom and gloomer, I’m a realist, loose tongues sink opsec.

  • prepper1

    The last thing I’ll say on the matter is that dont be afraid if your on your own or you have just you and your partner.

    You can and will survive if you have the determination and keep your opsec.

    Yes sure groups of people find things easier, so what.

    The more of you there is the more there is to tell.

    So what if as a couple or on your own you have to work harder.

    Survival is and will be hard.

    Dont give up you on your own, you pensioner preppers, you single ladies.

    And for god sake dont tell ANYBODY your a prepper, they will remember, they will give you up in a heartbeat to save their life, magage how you can being on your own or a couple is preferable to half you street knowing your a prepper…

  • Prepper leigh

    Agreed, you wouldn’t let your neighbours know your bank account details would you?
    Your preps are worth much more than your money post shtf.
    As per the sterling advice above, I keep my interractions with the neighbours to “good morning and “how you doing”.
    I have caches buried away from the house (stored very covertly) and weapons practice away from where I live. We have a bug-out plan but would opt for a bug in where possible.
    Survival will be hard, people will notice that you are not suffering as much as everyone else. You WILL face a challenge for this as non- preppers will have the same need to prosper and protect thier family unit as you have done, in advance. The difference is that they pretended that nothing would happen and buried thier heads in the sand…
    Another type of prepping is to out-gun a well prep’d prepper. The more people who know your plans, the more threats you face…

  • Prepper leigh

    Leading on from my last statement, I too will be keeping an eye on other people in the area that are giving tell-tale signs of prepping. This is what I’ve seen but only based on educated hunches:

    1. Vehicle
    On the next road, there’s a Landrover Discovery that looks like it will survive a nuke attack. It’s never muddy but fitted out for an african trek…
    2. Clothing
    Why would you daily dress like you are an extra from duck dynasty shopping at Tesco?
    3. Shopping habits
    Don’t go to your local store buying a whole trolley of bottled water and another trolley of canned food!
    Only to load it into your B.O.V dressed like Bear Grills.

    Just from this, I know they are prepping near me but,they do not know I am.

    From my observations, I believe there are two preppers local to me.

    Shop at night non-locally.
    Save the gear for when the shtf
    Get the B.O.V muddy and obtain some off- road club stickers for the back window.
    Stealth is the most important issue pre shtf
    I’ll decide if we attempt a team-up post event or, if absolutely nessasary, attempt to use his preps as a foeced back-up for my own family unit.

  • midnitemo

    I like to think i’m pretty switched on but Leigh you might just be mistaking BOV bear gryll’s man for a prepper when he may just be an image/fashion wannabe….i ride a BMW like ewan and charlie and believe me an awful lot of these “Adventurers” go about fully kitted like a ParisDakar refugee and never leave the suburbs…bike all kitted out with extra oil/water/tools…three seperate gps systems sat phone 2k worth of twat suit and boots….just posers.

  • midnitemo

    another thing to consider leading on from what Leigh says, specialist survival shops , evaq8 , emergency food storage , conserva de and all the many others of there ilk will have a really good database of preppers.

  • MaddMac

    In our situation with the neighbors, I’m sure 1 is sure we prep (I’m comfortable with them as an ally), another may think somethings up but I’m sure they really don’t know enough to be dangerous, and our last neighbor is in deep !!!! because they are totally clueless. My danger will be neighbors who are within a 10 mile radius who will be foraging

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