Archive for February, 2015

Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club says:opsec

The #1 Rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about fight club.

The #2 Rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about fight club.

This is a common idea in prepping.  Some would say,

The #1 rule of prepping is: You do not talk about prepping.

Let’s examine this from both angles.  Why should you not talk about prepping?  Well if you had a handful of gold coins in your pocket and went around telling every person you met about it… How long until someone robbed you?  The point is you are asking for trouble.  This would be magnified in a WROL (without rule of law) scenario where people are desparate.

“I am starving! Do you remember Bob?”

“That kookie guy that was always “prepping” for Armageddon?”

“Ya, him.  Man, I sure am hungry…”

“We should go see if that guy has any food!”

You can see why it is risky to share information about your preparations.

OPSEC – the military uses this abbreviation for operational security.  The DoD describes OPSEC as

  • Operations Security, or OPSEC, is the process by which we protect unclassified information that can be used against us. OPSEC challenges us to look at ourselves through the eyes of an adversary (individuals, groups, countries, organizations).

Your operation is the survival and success of your family.  The security of that operation is paramount.  One way to improve your OPSEC is to limit the people that know about your preparations.  This does make sense.  The government uses the phrase “Need to know basis.”  The more people that know the details of an operation, the more you risk information leaking out.

In short, I would be cautious about showing or talking about your preparations.  Who needs to know?

On the flip side, why might you want to share about your preps?  The bottom line is that you are going to need help.  You will not survive alone.  Community and networks are essential.  If we just examine this idea from a skills standpoint you’ll see what I mean.  I am a doctor, a useful skill.  What if something happens to me and I am incapacitated?  I may need a doctor too.  What happens if my car breaks down?  I am going to need a mechanic.  There are a lot of really useful, even essential, skills out there.  You won’t have them all.  You may need to call a friend.  You’d better have some friends with skills that you can call (or walk over and talk to since cell phones won’t work anymore…) (Oh the horror, we are going to have to walk… and talk to people… this sounds terrible…)

This is where people get into forming prepping groups.  Some are very elaborate and selective about who they let in.  You can imagine why, see above.  You would have to trust these people with your OPSEC and likely your life.

One of my readers, Ryno asked “Are you a proponent of assembling a prepper “team” for protection/survival in an WROL situation? If so, how do you approach it’s assembly. How do you get the word out so to speak? It seems like you have to ride a fine line between making yourself safer/more prepared or making yourself a target to everyone that you share this with…”

I guess the simple answer is that I am a proponent of having a team.  I am also a proponent of good OPSEC and keeping the need to know list short.  Honestly, I had some serious inner conflict about starting this blog for this exact reason.  Ultimately, I came to this conclusion.  If I can help other people get more prepared that makes the whole system a little stronger.  If my friends, family and neighbors are stronger then I am stronger.

So how do you go about forming a team?  This is an ongoing project for me.  I don’t have a formal list of people who are “in”.  I started by looking at my family and close friends first.  This blog has actually been a great “coming out” resource for me personally.  We just started talking about preparedness.  We started with identifying what skills people have.  What do we need?  Can someone learn that skill?  We then assigned certain people to acquire new skills (and needed equipment).  For example my dad is newly in charge of ammunition reloading and supplies (we were lacking in this area).

Next we discussed plans for assembling after a disaster.  My parents live in large metro area (sketchy in the best of times…) and we decided to have them get to me.  Plan A is by car.  Car kits and BOBs need to be packed and ready.  They need at least 10 gallons of extra gas on hand.  That means they need fuel stabilizer to store the extra gas.  What is plan B?  Bicycles, backpacks, etc?  You can see how once the problems/questions come up the answers leave you with a lot to do!

My simple answer to Ryno about assembling a team was to start with people you already trust with your life.  Family and close friends for most of us.  Start with a skills assessment.  Assign people to acquire some needed skills.  I am working on gardening (mostly a lot of failing at gardening – Japanese Beetles can rot in the lowest levels of hell as far as I am concerned… and deer for that matter too – well I digress).  My wife is learning canning.  My mom is learning HAM radio.  My  dad is working on reloading.  Then look at what gear and supplies you need.  Make sure to have redundancy.  Two is one and one is none!  My food storage plan accounts for extra people like my parents.

Lastly, I think spreading the good word of prepping is important.  Help your neighbors!  Start by feeling them out a bit.  “How about that economy, Ron?  What a mess we are in!”  If he looks at you like you are crazy you might want to try a different approach.  (Or go to your other neighbors!)  If he responds, “ya man we live in a false economy.  Things are probably going to get pretty rough in the next few years!”  Your in!  I wouldn’t immediately take them into your secret underground bunker and show them your 3 year supply of food and water; but I might say “So true Ron, I have been trying to set aside a little extra food for emergencies (or similar).”

Remeber OPSEC and Need-to-know!  You do not talk about prepping to just anyone, but you should talk about it to someone!  Good luck.  You are welcome to show up on my door with the SHTF, but I will put your butt to work!  No freebies here!

(If you offend easily don’t look at the last picture and stop reading here.  It is just so perfect for this blog post!)

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