Why OPSEC Should be in Your Survival Plans

Preppers account for one to two percent of the population. Meaning that when a disaster does strike, the majority of people won’t be prepared. There will be people begging for food and water within days. After a few days, the grocery stores will be empty. After that, people will be going door-to-door to find someone who was prepared. More importantly, anyone who knows about your preparations will be coming straight to you. Turning away strangers in need would be hard, but turning away the people you care about would be even harder. This is why it’s important to keep your preparations a secret. Keeping a secret like this is called OPSEC. OPSEC is a military acronym for “operational security.” Within the military, OPSEC is used for keeping the enemy from knowing of their plans and their capabilities. You’ll be wanting to keep your prepping secret from nosy friends and neighbors though, not “enemies.” OPSEC can be broken down into two areas: things we do to hide our preparation, and things we do in the wake of a disaster to hide the fact that we’re ready. Let’s talk about both.

OPSEC While Prepping

Many activities/duties of prepping are interesting to non-preppers. Many things you’ll do will arouse the curiosity of others. So not letting people see what you’re doing is key.

  • When you purchase large quantities of food or supplies, unload them in the garage or the backyard.

  • If you are getting a delivery of supplies, you are better off receiving a bunch of small deliveries rather than a large one.

  • Place your stockpile where it can’t be seen. Maybe a bedroom or a basement would be ideal.

  • Water can be more difficult to hide, especially the large quantity you could need in order to survive. Try installing an above-ground swimming pool in your yard. That way you’re hiding it in plain site.

  • When it comes to making your home more defendable, make things decorative. You can also use a hedge instead of a large fence.

  • Don’t be too obvious about your guns.


Many times it gets tough to hide what you’re doing. In cases like that, it’s best to make your friends and neighbors think you’re doing things for a different reason. Like the swimming pool I mentioned, that is the kind of deception you should go for. For example, do you have a large water tank just in case of a disaster? Tell them it’s for your garden.

OPSEC During a Disaster

During a disaster, people will be constantly looking for people who are better off than they are so they can try to “mooch” off of them. You’ll need to blend in and hide the fact that you ARE better off.

  • Be careful when it comes to the scent of your food. While cooking, most foods are sure to give off a scent and you do not want anyone noticing it.

  • One definite giveaway that you’re better off is light. Make sure you don’t use it much at night, and get blackout curtains for over the windows.

  • People will be dirty, so you need to be somewhat dirty too. Try putting dirt on your face and clothing, also a hat can hide your clean hair.

  • Most people will be losing weight, due to the lack of food. So putting yourself on a strict diet would be helpful to blend in. You can not appear chubby.

  • Due to lack of activity and lack of electronics, the world will be pretty quiet. So keep your radio, television, and any other electronics quiet.

OPSEC and Children

The majority of children can not keep a secret. So yes, you’ll need to hide what you’re doing from your own children. Don’t talk about prepping, your stockpile, or a possible disaster with them around. They’re very likely to repeat that information to someone else. Deception can work well with children, like the swimming pool idea. You can also teach them some survival skills and refer to them as “camping skills.”

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