Most “preppers” don’t dress in camouflage and live in underground bunkers, waiting for zombies. Nor do they sit in front of a conspiracy board plotting a government overthrow.
Today’s preppers come in all flavors. They’re Prius-driving data analysts who convert their homes to solar energy. They’re soccer moms who keep the spare room stocked with canned produce from last year’s garden. They’re outdoorsmen who know how to filter water in the backcountry.
Simply put, a “prepper” is someone who takes common-sense measures to prepare for future disasters. They do sensible things like storing food and water for potential supply chain interruptions, or having a generator to provide electricity in the wake of a devastating natural disaster. They shoulder the responsibility for their own wellbeing in the face of potential misfortunes.
Yet more and more, people taking common-sense steps to incorporate resiliency into their lives are being labeled “insurrectionists” and incriminated in the latest right-wing witch hunt. As the grip of fear tightens, the mainstream-media-consuming majority is quick to accuse people who have done no wrong.
Being Understood Is for Your Therapist
In reality, many preppers spend as much time, if not more, reading homesteading sites and basic DIY building sites as they do on tactical or Second Amendment sites. To a majority of preppers, buying the most “tacticool” firearm isn’t as important as knowing how to keep our chickens healthy or keep aphids off the peach trees!
The nature of preparedness, self-reliance, and independence is such that it puts you in direct opposition with much of what government often represents. Plenty that happened under Donald Trump made the prepper community bristle. But right now, lots of people with lots of power really don’t care about nuance, and they have a lot of snitchy helpers all over the country.
Because of this, it behooves every preparedness-minded individual to take a few careful precautions. Rather than struggle to be accepted and understood, you should focus more on operational security, also called “OPSEC” by people who love acronyms. The idea behind OPSEC principles is simple: your preps are your business.
If you have a “survival garden“ and some hens clucking in the background, that doesn’t tell the whole story. If you have a room in the house that is stacked to the roof with five-gallon buckets of long-term food storage, well, keep that room to yourself. Your bug-out plan is your business. While it might be alluring to tell people about your “new thing,” there is a time and place, but it’s not right now.
You Are Being Tracked and Generalized All the Time
Big tech and big brother are always watching. Your data is constantly being collected, and your internet footprints are always being followed. There is great value in knowing the things you like and the types of places you like to visit.
Billions of dollars are being made by understanding which advertising to push into people’s faces. Of course, this sort of destruction of privacy also lends itself to even more nefarious uses. With all that data stored up on sites you visit and purchases you make, it’s extremely easy for someone surveiling to hammer down just who and what you are.
Whether the online community knows you are a prepper or the local community does, this knowledge may present challenges. So take reasonable precautions.
4 Ways to Maximize Operational Security
OPSEC is simply a matter of understanding what other people perceive when they see you and yours. If you had a visitor, right now, what would he see in your home, in plain sight, that might clue him in that you’re a prepper?
Here are four ways that you can upgrade your operation security.
Hide preps. If you consider it a prep or you think visitors may ask questions, then simply hide it. It doesn’t have to be hidden in a vault, and some things can be hidden in plain sight. However, you have to be aware of what people see when they walk by your home or enter it.
Be Aware of Your Kids. Children, although precious, are great at spilling the beans! “My daddy has lots of guns in his big safe.” They aren’t trying to out you—they probably think you are cool and want to tell their friends and their friend’s parents or even teachers. But public school is a field of landmines lately and the less teachers know about your personal life the better.
Modify Your Online Presence. One of the most important steps you can take is to modify your online presence by jumping out of Google, Facebook, and iChat and into technologies that are less intrusive. Here are a few to use:
These are all examples of ways that you can search and communicate on the internet without having intrusive data collectors follow you around the whole time!
Know Your Suppliers: It’s easy to realize you need something and buy it off Amazon. You get it the next day and that prep is handled. However, that means you have left a data trail, and that could affect your operational security.
Now, you would really have to work hard to buy all of your preps with cash from different and smaller suppliers. It can be done, but will it? Most likely no. So, instead, just break up your buying patterns. Use trustworthy suppliers online, buy some from Amazon, and then buy some preps in person using cash (your credit card often knows what you’ve bought at a retailer).
It’s easy to tap that online buying vein over and over, but you just create a massive blueprint of your preparedness actions and purchases. Mix things up a bit.
Through censorship and pressure, we are going to see many voices silenced in 2021, and many other people harassed. If you can execute on operational security, you will have much less to worry about.