We all know there is a lot of different kinds of preppers and varying levels of preparedness. When it comes to OPSEC (operational security), I find there are three groups of preppers. There is nothing wrong with these three groups, although, among preppers, there are some disagreements about how deep your OPSEC should go. However, you will find yourself falling into one of the three following groups.
The first group is all about OPSEC - they want no one to know they are a prepper and will certainly not talk about their preps in any way, shape, or form. No way, no how. Nuh-uh. They will likely die and people will find their supplies in an underground bunker under their house. Top security and only on an "as a need to know" basis for anyone in their lives except for possibly their immediate family. Their immediate family is not allowed to talk about their preps either.
The second group likes to talk about prepping, but they don't talk about what they have or don't have. They love a good prepper discussion, but they like to talk in generals. They will steer the conversation away from specifics about their plans and supplies. They are very concerned about their OPSEC if you try to push them or want to see their stockpile. Other than that, they are pretty chill about talking prepping.
The third group lets their prepping flag fly. They will talk about prepping, show you everything they have, talk about their plans and future purchases. They will talk about it on television if they feel like it. They feel they have nothing to hide and want to encourage others to prep. They could talk prepping all day long, in specifics, and with great detail.
Of course, these are generalizations about the three groups, but fairly accurate. Most preppers fall into one of these groups or identify with being in between groups depending on the subject. For example, some preppers will talk about guns all day and show you what they have while keeping very quiet about their food stockpiles. Vice versa, they may want to show you their food supplies and whatnot, but keep their security on the down-low.
While I think it is good for us preppers to educate people who want to prep and people who should be prepping, there is always a question in my mind about this. Do I really want to tell people I am a prepper? The answer would be yes and no.
Since I write this blog, you would assume that I want the whole world to know I am a prepper. However, that has not always been the case and, in some situations, I still don't want people to know I am a prepper. I dread thinking about who may come to my home in an SHTF. I am sometimes embarrassed by what I purchase for my stockpiles knowing I don't want to be without it either. I am a little afraid of being mocked about not having enough or not having the right stuff.
I fall firmly into the second group. I may talk about what I buy from time to time, but I don't really want people to know exactly what I have. To me, that is my OPSEC. I could talk about prepping and self-reliance all day long. I love learning from others and telling others what I have learned. I love talking about what-if situations. I love learning new skills and learning from other people. However, I just don't want to talk about what I have because I am not comfortable.
Your Operational Security is everything. You have to be comfortable with your level of security. Sometimes, it will be in your best interest to tell and show everyone you are a prepper. If you live in a neighborhood, you want to get your neighbors on board with prepping. The more people you have prepping and the closer you become as neighbors, the better your security will be in the case of an SHTF. You all can watch each other's back, provide for those that lost, and generally take care of each other while taking care of yourself. You can set up your own neighborhood watch and patrols. You can seal off the perimeter if you need to and set up your own prepping community.
However, you may live in a high crime area or the inner city. You may have moved away from family and friends. You may not know who you can trust or only have a handful of people to trust. In these situations, you may want to keep your prepping to yourself in the interest of OPSEC. People can't rob or loot you if they don't know what you have. You may need to hide your preps and keep your purchases on the down-low. You may need to look unassuming and quiet while being friendly. I would still establish a network with those you trust completely, but understanding you will be prepping on your own.
Talking about prepping to others and telling them you are a prepper is a leap of faith. You don't want to be mocked so have a quick defense and answer why you are a prepper. You want to clear up any misconceptions about prepping because you want others to be prepping. The only two ways I know to motivate people to prep is by talking to them or letting them go through a crisis all on their own. Most people will have an eye-opening experience that will make them think about prepping and want to start. However, as preppers, we have a responsibility to plant the prepping seed and help others become preppers.
Whether or not you want to tell people you are a prepper is your business. You have the right to decide how much you want to tell people you prep or not. However, as preppers, I think we must educate new preppers and encourage people to prep. You can do this by teaching new skills or encourage people to follow FEMA's guidelines for emergency preparedness. Again, the choice to divulge your prepping is your decision, but we should do all we can in the prepping community to encourage prepping.
Thanks for reading,