Balancing OPSEC and Resilient Communities

by David Morris on February 17, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the Preparedness Course…designed to help you create a plan to survive wherever you spend the majority of your time, even if that happens to be a non-ideal location.

Many people who have been watching “Doomsday Preppers” on National Geographic are wondering why in the heck these people are willing to go on TV and show what their preparations are. What they’re doing flies in the face of maintaining operational security and staying under the radar. It makes them more of a target…both now for thieves, and for looters after a disaster.

In case you’re not familiar with Doomsday Preppers, it is a one-hour per episode TV series that highlights the lives and preparations of 3-4 families per episode. Families are told at the beginning of filming what disaster to say that they were preparing for, but the show is filmed in such a way as to make the audience think that everything the families say is un-coached. After being told what disaster they’re supposed to say they’re preparing for, the narrator ends each segment by saying how miniscule the chances of that particular disaster are.

I reviewed the first 3 episodes here:  Doomsday Preppers Episode 1 ReviewDoomsday Preppers Episode 2 ReviewDoomsday Preppers Episode 3 Review.

That being said, it’s still a good show. It’s exposing current preppers to alternative ways of preparing and it’s stretching the minds of new and non-preppers to the extents that they can go to if they decide they really want to. The format also makes it easy to identify common mistakes and fine tune preparedness goals.

So, why would these people even consider sharing their preparedness “secrets” with the world and, more importantly, their neighbors?

In talking with people who’ve been on the show so far, there are a hand full of answers, but the one I want to focus on today is building resilient communities. And I need to take a slight detour to get there…

There is a traveling expo going around the country called the Preparedness Expo. Frankly, it’s a great event. It’s a medium sized convention filled with local and national preparedness vendors. There are lots of booths where you can check out items and there are presentations going on on multiple stages for most of the weekend.

The odd thing for me, having made great efforts to stay invisible to my neighbors, is how out in the open the vendors are about the fact that they’re preppers. On one hand, I see both these vendors and the participants on prepper TV shows as putting big bulls-eyes on their backs. On the other hand, I completely get a few reasons of what they’re doing and why they’re willing to be visible.

The three main reasons that I see are economic, resilience, and a burning desire.

The economic reason is the simplest and will take the least amount of time to cover. Simply put, I can tell you from experience that it’s difficult to promote a product or service while, at the same time, trying to keep a low profile.

Second is a burning desire to help others get prepared. This is some people’s natural mode of operation. If they see a movie they like, read a book they like, or eat at a restaurant they like, they have a burning desire to share these resources with everyone they care about and won’t quit until everyone in their sphere of influence has had the same positive experience. I’ve had friends like this who have become missionaries, salesmen, and public speakers.

The third reason is the one that I want to focus on…resilience. I’ve written often about how households, neighborhoods, communities, towns, cities, regions, states, and countries that have the highest percentage of self-reliant people respond and recover the best after a disaster. There is also the reality that 100 preppers in a neighborhood who know and have spent time with each other to one degree or another will be several multiples more effective than if the same 100 preppers are complete strangers when disaster strikes.

Couple all of these facts together and it starts to make sense why some preppers have decided that it makes sense for them to let others know what they’re doing. I still don’t do it, but I DO understand it and, in fact, appreciate the efforts of those who have decided to be more visible.

The fact is, an incredibly small number of people can survive for any length of time as an island…it takes a team or a community. Many preppers that I know balance two lives…having a network of non-preppers that they do things with on a daily basis and prep behind the scene. But even these people who appear on the surface like they’re lone wolves are quietly identifying other preppers and are thinking about how they’d form a mutual aid team in the event of a disaster.

Others are quietly building their mutual aid teams and prepping together, even if it’s mostly under the radar. This is the approach that I cover in more detail in the course.

And still others are out trying to teach as many people as is humanly possible in their local area how to get prepared for disasters…with the thought that they can help build a community that is resilient and bounces back quickly from disasters.

Which approach is best? Frankly, I think it depends on your particular situation. A single, 30 year old male wilderness survival instructor has a completely different set of criteria for “best” than a couple with a brood of young kids or people with physical/health limitations or who are taking care of people with physical/health limitations. Also, a couple might keep a low profile as their kids are growing up and decide to go public once the kids have left the nest. This is a decision that every person/family has to make on their own.

What are your thoughts on these different approaches to preparing? Are you very visible and see security in getting as many people as possible around you to also prepare? Are you prepping behind the scenes and trying to stay invisible? Or are you just prepping and don’t have the bandwidth to teach others OR make efforts to be invisible? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Also, next week I’m going to write on retreat locations and “ideal” places to live. While the majority of my readers won’t be moving this coming year, roughly 1 out of 7 will be moving…so it’s a topic worth looking into. Let me know if you think you know an ideal place to live…both now and after a disaster. For some people that will mean having a 10 mile buffer between them and their neighbor, for others it will mean a major metropolitan area, and others will be everywhere in between. Let me know your thoughts on this by commenting below.

God bless & stay safe,


David Morris

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Melohawk
February 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

I am a single 60+ female who is going it alone. I live in and manage an RV park. I chose to move from the west coast to the middle of the country where I hoped I could get away from chemtrails, military presence and crazies. WRONG. . I’m closer to a military base than I care to be, the chemtrails are worse here than where I used to live and the bible belt is the craziest place yet! I chose the area but actual location was a last resort and a very pretty spot which opened up at the right moment, so I’m not griping at all!

I choose to prepare alone. I stock what I can. When it comes time to get a gun and ammo it will be done without registration (that’s just putting yourself on a list so that FEMA can come and take the gun away). I make a ton of stuff to use for bartering and I teach. I also have a lot to learn and am open to whatever info or strategy others have to offer. I listen to the ideas of the people around me and approach those whom I feel comfortable with about forming a small community of survival oriented families. My goal is to have all manner of skill sets and levels in the community so that it could be independent. Where I’m at has land area, a river (totally polluted from a local electric company) and a decent well. With hard work it could produce everything we need, however, the owners aren’t actively doing anything and aren’t saving the funds necessary to do what needs to be done. I am beginning to scout around for other areas like the Ozark Mtns and another place up in Washington state that seems promising, etc. No one should feel like they are pinned down until the TSA finally close the state borders to through traffic . . . don’t think that’s coming? Just you wait.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Big Red
February 18, 2012 at 10:43 am

Great posts all. To Craig and Sharon Bradford. First of all thank you for your exceptional service to America. If the ‘chosen one’ is reelected we will all be living off of our preparations.
Park County, Colorado might be a good place to start. It is one of the biggest if not the biggest county in Colorado. If I remember right I think there are only a Iittle over 8,000 people in the whole county. I travel thru it quite often. It is totally in the mountains. If you have a computer, use ixquick, much safer and private than google and check it out.
Good luck and God Bless


Vote -1 Vote +1Stacy
March 6, 2012 at 7:34 am

Thank you for sharing this information about ixquick.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Keith
February 18, 2012 at 11:41 am

My wife thinks I am insane trying to prepare for a disaster of any kind! We have literaally had arguments over what I am trying to do and what I am buying! She is making it extremely difficult if not impossible to let me store disater preparedness items in the home such as MREs or even canned goods. How can I overcome this very significant obstacle? I don’t wnat to go behind her back and rent a storage facility because in the event of a disater it may be difficult if not impossible to get to it. Any advice would be appreciated.


+7 Vote -1 Vote +1Phyllisofical
February 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Tell her that it is a husband’s priority to enable provision for the family and she should actually be grateful that you are taking leadership in this realm. Help her to learn to trust your instincts more and, above all, be patient.


Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
February 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I think my partner is Insane going on about WTSHTF but to please her I booked onto Davids course and I must say it is very good and has taught me much. Still not convinced about this 20 Dec 2012 thing though.


+6 Vote -1 Vote +1Shirley
February 20, 2012 at 4:59 am

Adam, forget 12/21/2012….. What about job loss or natural disaster such as all the ones that have happened around the country such as tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, fires, etc.
I have been through the job loss for 2 years and lived on our Y2K supplies so I can tell you how much it helped us and my son’s family when they were out of work for months.
I guess we should have just gone and gotten food stamps but I can tell you that it is a whole different ball game to be able to depend on yourself. It gives you a sense of dignity, self sufficiency and calm to be able to open your pantry and pull the foods out and cook them without having to go begging to the government whether local, or state, or federal for help. My husband had a Navy retirement coming in to pay the rent and utilities and we lived frugally but we survived with our pride intact and never went without a meal. Prepare for the ordinary problems that may come in life and don’t worry about the “Disasters” that you don’t believe in and you will at least be better off than 95% of the country when a little “d” disaster comes your way. And do it because you love your wife


+8 Vote -1 Vote +1KJQ
February 20, 2012 at 7:44 am

This is a delicate subject. We men need to remember that in their heart of hearts women need and want to feel secure, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Discussions of preparedness need to be done carefully and gently as they can trigger the opposite reaction to why we want to prepare in the first place (i.e. you don’t want to trade future physical security by reducing your wife’s current emotional security). I found out the hard way about this with my wife. What I recommend is that you only discuss preparations as though they are for short-to-medium term events that are the most likely to happen. I spoke at length with my wife about what happened in New Orleans (i.e. civil to chaos/anarchy in a few days). The reality is that if you’re prepared for a few days to a few months, you’re well on the way to longer term things. Once I had my wife convinced of ‘short term’ preparedness (and we did it), it was easier to later expand a bit to things like seed banks. We’re now looking at purchasing land in a nearby fertile valley, and we are reading books on subsistence farming (inconceivable just a year ago). We also have firearms now which she was afraid of at first. In fact, she is taking firearms training herself this very week. Once she saw how much fun our sons and I were having target shooting, she now wants her own license too. So, in short – be gentle and start with the small things.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1matrix
February 22, 2012 at 1:17 am

From a womans point of view. Tell your wife that anything can happen. I am not sure what part of the country you live in, but here are a few examples of things you can tell her you are preparing for.
1) what if you lost your job and having extra food on hand would help spread out unemployment check as you would not have to use that money to buy food.
2)what if you were to get hurt and could not work for several months. Having extra supplies in now would help in the event you had no money coming in.
3)what if you were to be with out electric for a while due to ice storms or heavy snows and not able to get to the store? again the extra food now would be an expense you would not have to worry about.
4) unexpected car repairs or other expenses would limit how much you could afford to buy at the store as you now have to get car parts or a newer car. If the food was on hand you would have the extra money for the unexpected.
5) unseen medical bills or hospital stays can wipe a family out money wise. if the food was in the house at least you could eat.
6)food prices are going up all the time. It would be cheaper to get extra now while you can still afford the things you like to eat.
It is like buying car insurance or homeowners insurance but instead it is food insurance. Hope you never need it but nice to know you have it and can live off what you have stored until you are back on your feet againl


+4 Vote -1 Vote +1Phyllisofical
February 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm

At first, two or three years ago, we shared DVDs, information and preparation strategies with like-minded individuals. Now, we’re quiet. The warnings were given, the teaching was put forth but now it is time to see who took these things seriously. We are continuing to go into more depth with water purification, medical supplies and hardening our home, but with nary a word. Shhhhh…


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave W.
February 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm

David I gave everyone your web sight.I hope you don’t mind?You are going to get alot more trafic.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1GWC
February 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I’m one of the lucky ones, I guess. My brother and myself, along with our families, are all preppers. When we first started we shared info with others to try to awaken their sense of self-preservation. It worked with some, but not most. When we had saved enough to do what we wanted to do, we moved to a different area altogether, in the middle of nowhere. We share an extremely large house on a sizable property, work online, and talk to no one.


+7 Vote -1 Vote +1Deborah
February 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm

After reading the other posts, I will devulge some of my “secrets”. I have been preparing for a couple of years (since this administration took office). I have a full basement of bins, filled with food, clothing of all sizes, and gear. We purchased property in a secluded area and will start moving our bins to a storage facility nearby (about 25 miles) until adequate accomodations can be built. I live this stuff day and night. My husband thinks I’m crazy for being so fearful of things that might not ever happen. I say, “It’s better to be prepared for whatever”. If it doesn’t happen, GREAT! If it does, well, then maybe the family will have a chance.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Firehawk
February 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Buy a dog or two and divorce the lady.


Vote -1 Vote +1Dr. Prepper
February 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Hahahaha, that’s some funny stuff, I don’t care who you are!
Problem is she will want half the prep stuff too…can’t win…haha


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Firehawk
February 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm

If you have to go behind her back, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Most guys on here will admit they have purchased firearms without their spouses knowing. Don’t talk about it just do it. Find a way to bring in the goods when she isn’t around. When she comes across them just tell her , “Oh I bought that stuff a while ago…!” Then If the hollering starts, just walk away, don’t argue.


Vote -1 Vote +1schillie
February 26, 2012 at 7:08 am

not a good idea if you have kids. kids need to be taught not to play with guns hard to do if your hiding stuft from your wife. also if your wife finds a gun and dont know its yours she might freakout thinking one of the kids put it there leagal stores dont sell to kids without a parant being there. it would be a sign of gang involment most likely drugs.


Vote -1 Vote +1BSAleaser
February 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

a technique a sales man at cabelas. You have one gun case. When you go to pickup your your additions you take that one case. your significant other will just think you are going to range or buddy’s house to clean or show your weapon


Vote -1 Vote +1Carol Foster
February 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm

I’ve been watching the Nat Geo show too. My first thought was “They’ve GOT to be crazy telling people where to find them & what they have!” I have shared info with very few people (99% are family). I would love to hook up with others locally, but (as you stated) how to find them safely has been a problem. My second thought was “What kind of money do these people have that they can AFFORD to prep like that???”
I do think they show some things I didn’t know, and I am grateful for the information. Seeing the stocked shelves of some, though, made me feel totally inadequate… and I thought I was doing pretty well!!! We haven’t really addressed the water problem as we have a stream nearby, and good (portable) water filters…. but I guess we should stock some.
I would tell you to include Hickory, NC in the great places to live (and it is) but there are few jobs unless you are into working in retail & convenience stores. Many people like living halfway between here and Charlotte… and work in Charlotte. It’s a good compromise.


Vote -1 Vote +1Stacy
March 6, 2012 at 8:59 am

You mentioned stocking up on water…any ideas on how to find large containers that are BPA free? Thanks


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Christine
February 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

We tend to be *quiet* about it, but I do engage in discussing the subject of preparing both materially AND spiritually – as in “Got God?” However, I DO want to stay somewhat under the radar, tho I think I’ve said too much on Facebook, but there you are. What’s done is done. “They” will find out for “themselves” anyway. Insert whatever the current FEMA theory, etc., etc. is and whatever is “expected” from “Them/They” during whatever crises you wish to insert here. Oh and by ANY number of recent criteria, I’m already considered a “terrorist”, so no doubt “They” have a file on me 3″ thick!! LOL! Too funny.

We haven’t got the wherewithal to go all freeze-dried, buckets and #10 cans, but – and because – we thought we’d be homeless by December 2 years ago, (casualties of the Great Meltdown) – we have the physical needs of shelter, sleeping gear, stove, etc., already. We’re just going to have to go “regular store cans” and water and then, once it runs out, trust God for the rest. We’re what you might call “other directed”. We believe in the Rapture and if we’re wrong, we still think God will mind for us. However, we don’t expect ALL of our needs to be seen to by some other Being, trust tho we will. We DO need to at least get thru a few months on our own, suss out the situation, figure out whether we’re going to have to make a stand for our faith, (in which case, our hope is solely on God and we have a right to believe He will supply our needs – faith), and then make our moves from there, from what we hope will be a safe “base”.

WTSHTF, we’re bugging out to a friend’s farm, knowing we can grow food there, our friend has animals that he grows his own feed for, (and we can trade work for return benefits), clean water (spring) and it’s in known territory in case we need to know sources for this or that – food, equipment, whatever. Also my husband and our friend/his wife, between them all, are related to half the county, and know the other half, to barter and we’re semi-rural too, so that works for all of us, community-wise. (This to me is the perfect place to be.) Also, we’re both physically disabled, so a stable place to – what? Hide? Remain safe? I don’t know what exactly, but I feel safest there. Maybe because it’s an OLD farm, (spring house, root cellar, etc.), w/ friends, w/ options and the vast knowledge that 3 of the four ppl can muster if need be.

I mostly look for the economic collapse, but The End Times are in our thoughts on a daily basis, being Pentecostal and all, you know. 🙂 I’m the one in our family who gives preparations and arrangements deep thought – it’s just my husband and I. He will deal w/ what happens afterwards, because he’s able to consider situations in a logical manner and extrapolate what might happen as a result of each action we take, or could take. He’s the string to my kite. I “nest”, he “guards”. 🙂


+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Shirley
February 20, 2012 at 5:14 am

Christine, buying the foods you are buying is great. Any preparation is better than none.
I have a small amount of dehydrated foods, hardly any freeze dried and quite a bit of wheat, flour, sugar, salt, rice, beans and lots of canned and pkgd. foods. I am sure I have enough to feed the 13 people I am planning for for 5 to 6 months on most things and enough wheat and rice for a year at least. I am continuing to prep and will for awhile.
As far as the rapture, I believe in it too. But I know Jesus doesn’t return because we have struggles or disasters, He has a plan and it isn’t when an individual needs Him but on His schedule. He tells us to be prepared to take care of ourselves in many places in the Bible and in his parables. God helps those who help themselves. So don’t count on your timeline for His help and His timeline for His return to be the same. God Bless!


Vote -1 Vote +1Christine
March 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Oh Shirley, absolutely on God having His own timeline and this might not be IT. Spot on there. That’s why we want to have enough to go until we can grow more, have as safe a place as possible, w/ clean water, animals we can grow and butcher and a cold cellar for keeping foods over the next winter. (Tho an old farm might be a target, what do I know?) And these folks, incl. my husband to a lesser degree, all grew up together and learned all the same skills, w/ variations of course. All farm kids, in a county that is somewhat insular when it comes to the old families vs the Beltway Bedroom Community sorts that also live here. That’s SO comforting!

Our friends/family all know how to shoot and hunt, (I’m learning), there is ground enough to grow food once the season comes around, so we look to keep food enough for a winter and before the harvest. I hadn’t even thought of this, but their children may “come home” and increase our numbers and all of them have good, country commonsense. Hmmm, that’s a bright thought! 🙂 Heck, *I’D* be the odd one out, not knowing all this kind of stuff! Well, they can teach me and I’m quite willing to weed and water in the meantime and also can, cuz I’m for sure taking my canning pots/utensils and we need to stock up on jars when the season rolls around soon.

But, as God knows when the variest swallow hits the ground, He will keep us and guide us. Our friends pretty much have the same simple faith. That’s why I said we”d have to suss out the situation and “see if we had to make a stand for our faith.” That’s when TSHTF BIG TIME!! LOL! If we don’t have to make a stand, avoiding the Mark, we’ll look to making “laying low” the way to go until things settle down again, I guess for how ever many years that will take. People hunkered down during the last Depression and then the war and they made it through. All this has at least one good side to it – our kids will know what hard times are and maybe that will be the saving grace of this country and what it takes to grab it back from sinking for good. My parents knew, all too well, so they saved, invested wisely, lived moderate lives and knew what had gotten them thru (whatever their faith or strength), and they were called “our greatest generation”. We’ll at least salvage that much out of it. TPTB may find that this contrived monetary crisis is a 2-edged knife that twists in their hand. Our kids WON’T forget, that’s for sure! But I’m learning so much here and other places that I hope, and pray, that we’ll make it thru, God willin’ ‘n the creek don’t rise! LOL!!


+5 Vote -1 Vote +1Deborah
February 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I have not gone into depth with the level of prep I have been doing. All I say to those I come in contact with is “wow, the cost of food is skyrocketing! It’s probably a good idea to buy extra”. Something I have started doing is putting up food for others in the way of a few meals. Grocery stores give away or sell cheaply their empty buckets in the bakery department. These buckets are perfect as they are NSF food quality and hold 3 1/2 gallons of product. I get mine from Safeway because they are free. In each bucket I will put a variety of food, such as, canned ham, top ramen, soup, dry bean mix, pop tarts, tea. That would be a dinner bucket. I make breakfast buckets of oatmeal, pankake mix, powdered milk, syrup or molasses, coffee. I try to make a wide variety. This makes me feel like I am doing something to help. It does my heart good.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1doug
February 19, 2012 at 12:15 am

Do you have a link for “Preparedness Expo” ?


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Craig
February 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

I would like to know more about the Expos also.


+6 Vote -1 Vote +1Sharon
February 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

I started my prepping in 1965. As a newly married I was living in a cold climate with winter isolation a real possiblity. I learned to grow a garden and can my own food. I learned to store things in a root cellar and always carry survival items in my car and have extra items in my locker at work. Over those few years I used all of my stash on numerous occasions. It was just a part of smart living. As our family grew it became harder yet more necessary to use alternate means for survival. We lived in our car, cooked along the way, lived in various climates, had unemployment issues and always in the back of our minds preparing for rougher times and learning skills to help us get by. We learned to quilt, knit, sew our own clothes, can our food and alter our recipes, camp cook, and create shelter from what was at hand.
1999 and Y2K gave me another wake up call. This one resulted in a lot of laughter among my friends when it turned out to be a non event. I was glad it was a non event and was able to use all the items I had stored. That was better than some insurance premiums I have paid that are gone forever.
The kids are grown, those days of survival are behind us and we live comfortably and able to help those less fortunate but always with the knowing that we too could be there again. I store for the weather, for lack of money, for illness and isolation and now for the political scares we get on the news every day. My challenge was to get my children to understand the need for being prepared. They were too little to gain from our early experiences and they are comfortable. So for christmas I gave them each a 30 day supply of food, first aid supplies and cooking utensils for their families. Pretty pricy to say the least. It made the impact I wanted and now they are taking a good look at adding to what was given. They have added to and individualized the things in their inventory. Even my brother who has been a dis believer up until now is now capable of living from his food for a couple of weeks instead of going to the store every day or eating out. I have come to realize that not all will plan in the same way I will but for them to do something to assist in their own survival is a step in the right directions. My adult kids are quitely telling their friends to prepare. I tell no one but the immediate family what we have stored and then only in general terms.
I have found these prepping shows great to show us other things we can do that we never thought of but I am not a community organizer or letting my neighbors know what I am doing.
My greatest help is to teach the children I know how-to survival skills at every opportunity. The strength of the youth willl be the salvation of us all. The grandchildren elementary school age have learned to sew and plant a garden, the teens have learned to build shelters, can food, and shoot a gun safely. All have learned first aid to their age level. Even without a major disaster they will be better equiped to survive in any circumstances. We did not forget to teach them to pray, be team players and how to exercise basic leadership. We will continue to live as we always have knowing that things can change at any moment. BE PREPARED. Sharon


+4 Vote -1 Vote +1Chad and Beth
February 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm

My wife and I began making preparations back in 2008 (after all the news broke about AIG, Lehman, Fannie, Freddie etc….and the fall of the housing market). We’ve since relocated to an extremely remote area in the north Georgia mountains. We also began home-schooling our son shortly thereafter as well. After witnessing the debauchery that followed Katrina in NOLA, we decided it best not to share any of our preparation plans with our family and friends. Not that we wont help if and/or when the time comes; we just dont want 50 people showing up at our door at once. Having said that…..

We now live in an area with abundant natural resources i.e. fish, deer, bears, wild hogs, turkey, numerous plant life wife and I both grew up in the country. We both are pretty good at cultivating crops and have always done so, even before becoming preppers. We have also always loved fishing so that wont ever be a problem. Unfortunately neither of us grew up in families that hunted. As a result, we’ve spent the last two years learning how to not only hunt wild game, but how to prepare them for consumption. This has proven to be the best decision we’ve made with regard to prepping. Making the necessary preparations is one thing, but having the skills to survive is another. If its one thing we’ve noticed over the last several years, its that fewer and fewer people know how to hunt, fish, process wild game etc…

So far as OPSEC goes…like I said, we dont share the fact that we are preppers with friends and family. Its not that difficult considering all of our families live in a different state, and our nearest friends are at least 20 miles away. Nor are there any visible signs immediately around our home to indicate that we’re preppers. While Our house is located along a two lane highway, it sits a 600′ off the road and is situated on a ridge above the road. In short, nothing is visible, nor is it accessible from outside our home. We do have a cellar beneath our house which used to have an access point from the outside. We’ve since taken the door off and blocked it up so that it matches the rest of the foundation walls. The cellar is now only accessible from within the house. We’ve considered installing an electronic alarm system but our long term goal is to remove ourselves from the proverbial grid…ie no credit cards, no checking accounts etc…unfortunately the only way to really accomplish this is to pay our mortgage off since thats the only debt we have. Anyway, thats our two cents worth for now. Best of luck to all of you!!


+3 Vote -1 Vote +1judy bresch
February 20, 2012 at 12:24 am

I am LDS and it is part of our belief to be self suficiant with one year supply of food, water, and fuel (where possible) We not only want ot be able to take care of our families but to also share with our neighbors and to not have to rely on scant resources in the community. This spirit of comunication and cooperation brings a sense of safety and security to know that we are prepared and can also help others. We also automatically have an organized network and plan based on cooperation within our own membership as to how to quicklly put our plan in place. Helping our families and others is key.


Vote -1 Vote +1Mariowen
February 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I am asking this most sincerely. I respect your belief of storing for a years supply of food, etc. but here is my question. If you are sharing with your neighbors and now they know that you have food enough, what is stopping them from having their family and friends coming for food, also? When SHTF, those nice neighbors won’t be so nice when they get hungry. How long can you keep your family from starvation and their family and friends, too? This is a legitimate question that I have wondered about.


Vote -1 Vote +1Mariowen
February 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I always thought bugging in was best, but after some careful consideration, I have changed my mind. Some of the comments here are very thought provoking. I think storing all prep stuff from food to water to guns to ammo would be better protected away from the living location, so I think that an undisclosed location that is close enough to access but far enough to not be “found” would make the most sense. When big brother comes, they will find nothing here. That is what will confound them the most. They can go on a wild goose hunt and in the end find my geocache! I think getting away from the close quarters of a subdivision will best serve those who can do it. It is good to have friends in wild places! I am not enough of a stronghold yet to advertise my location and prep materials. I am working on it.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Ralph Oliver
February 20, 2012 at 7:34 am

What these show boats don’t realize is the US government has “Presidential Executive Orders” passed under President Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Cliton (who know what’s in store from Obama) empowering the govenrment to confiscate any “excess and surplus real and personal property” this means that food, cash, gold coins, firearms, ammo, or anything else not needed by you, can, and will be confiscated. One might argue that it’s unconstitutional, such agument will be moot when a group of National Guardsman have guns pointed at you while the rest strip your house of “excess” supplies, and if you have MRE’s you could go to jail for having stolen government property even if you bought if from a local surplus store. “Keep it low key”


+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Donna Harrison
February 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm

It is possible this gov’t can make an unconstitutional demand by confiscating our personal property, which is like any thief, but if it wants to take our stored food, best to keep it burried in the woods or well hidden. My grandpa did it to prevent people from taking his stuff, and my grandma did this to prevent grandpa from taking her stuff.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dr. Prepper
February 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

If you do not believe Ralph, just go to youtube and type in Katrina gun confiscation……you will have a totally new view of our governments powers and lack of respect for the constitution and our so-called rights….we really don’t have any.
Dave has already commented on this but if you missed it go to youtube and check it out.


Vote -1 Vote +1Christine
March 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm

It’s been illegal since WWII to “hoard food” and the gov’t has had the right to strip you of it for what? 60 or 70 years now? (Or more for all I know.) But back then, the gov’t appreciated those that were prepared to care for themselves and didn’t need to call on what gov’t services there were, to keep the gov’t free to feed their soldiers and make their weapons. Now the gov’t WILL take your food and that DOES incl. your canned food from your own garden. That’s considered hoarding too.

What does Obama have in store for us? Have you heard about the “raw milk” places being raided, etc? Well, there are actually laws that say – tho they haven’t been invoked that I know of – that you’ll be prevented from eating your own produce! The homesteaders are already under the fiat of laws that prevent them from selling/giving animals away past their property line w/o a special (and pricey) licenses and having the animals checked 70 ways to heaven and back. I can’t even think enough of the name of the “act” enough to Google it, to tell you, but if you know a homesteader or can find a source talking about that, you’ll see what’s been happening there. Now, I won’t “bet the farm” that it’s in effect now, but you wonder why they have rules, all stored away and quite handy to use, that they DON’T use, I’m sure all of you here can see exactly why.

But this allows you to see that there ARE rules on the book “they” don’t apply now, but can at any moment that it pleases them to do so. A dang good reason to keep one’s mouth at least hushed if not totally shut. I figured the guns all along, but never in quite the context you put it, Ralph. No doubt even my tent, cots, stove, etc., etc. could be fair game for them, as well. Can anyone say “What the HECK happened to our Third Amendment???” (The billeting of soldiers in a person’s home, but if “they” can strip you of all you need to survive, to give it to the forces in league w/ whatever power structure in in place, is the same thing, in my mind anyway.) You KNOW not every one will be an “Oathkeeper” or of the same mindset, you KNOW folks will run to the power structure for any of several reasons – protection, power, food, safety, stature, whatever. And these vigilantes will have NO qualms about stripping you of what you own, just to keep it for themselves! And that’s not counting the roving bands of n’er-do-wells that would do it as well, no matter why – just because they can. So depressing if I think of it too long… But that’s why so many survival articles tell you that having, and keeping, some kind of faith – be it what it may – is THE most important survival tool we all can possess.


Vote -1 Vote +1Empirical
February 20, 2012 at 10:06 am

Anonymity is the best security while online. But if you’re using IE or Firefox everything you’ve posted has been recorded, filtered for key words and routed to anything from a specific file to an actual analyst depending upon what you wrote. Chances are if you been bold (or stupid) in what you’ve posted you’re on a watch list or something worse. Figure your audience is much larger than you possibly think.
If you’re browsing or discussing sensitive topics, I suggest using the Tor browser. (tor Using it will allow you to surf or discuss with a high degree of anonymity as the browser redirects your IP address through a number of volunteer users who allow their systems to be used to redirect. Yuor IP address with go through a number of different users in a number of different countries. Extremely hard to track.
What’s the use of Pr3pp1ng when there are agencies that know every aspect of it. Your home will be one of the first they search when it becomes illegal


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Christine
March 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm

“They” already have me tagged as a terrorist, no point in worrying about it now. And I don’t say that lightly – I really HAVE been tagged as I belong to, or believe in, groups and causes that the gov’t has on their watch list. I had a father and an ex who have security clearances so high you could get nosebleeds (meaning they have a file a foot thick on me by now! LOL!), and a son who’s working his way up. Not to mention I’m highly patriotic (yes folks, that a sign of terrorism according to TPTB), I have been active in the pro-life movement since the early 80’s – and that “associates (me) w/ a movement or group that has planned or has actually committed violent acts”, I’m a member of Oathkeepers, ANY number of religious and right wing political groups (both are also signs) and where I’m not a soldier myself, I have 2 sons who are, w/ one recently “separated” – one of THE highest signs or characteristics of being a terrorist. (Can you believe it?? A soldier!!) The time to hide behind IP addies has looooong gone.

This is the lovely little flyer that the FBI just put out that makes about 80% of America “terrorists”. It includes “Fundamental Christians”, “recently separated military personnel”, anyone deemed “too patriotic” (Wha???), if you like to use cash instead of plastic, use Google maps to check out ANY place that might be populated by a number of ppl, like a Mall or highways, or you just want to have fun using Google’s “Street Map view” where you see things at ground level. Don’t dare buy dye for your hair or fingernail polish remover, fertilize your lawn, or buy the stuff needed to develop your own film.

Some of these “signs” are from other places, but it won’t take you long to find the same things I have. We have been tracked for SO long that we weren’t even thinking of terrorism or even survivalism by then. Even Y2K was monitored well before anyone thought to be worried about it! My Dad had been in computers since 1952, he told me that the gov’t kept an eye on who was doing what by the time Darpa started getting used by the public. It WAS a military system from its inception – why would there be a time in-between when “they” WEREN’T watching us? What part of that makes ANY of us “stupid”? I don’t trust my gov’t – a so-called crime right now – so I guess I DO have to fear the authorities, because I HAVE “done something wrong”, but it’s too late now. I’ve got enough going forward that I need to be preparing for, why look backwards to something I can’t change? It’s too late for all of us. And not a single one of us have been “stupid” by holding viewpoints the gov’t doesn’t like. We were guaranteed that right from the conception of our gov’t! (In fact, “citizen-farmers” were the greatest virtue at the time, like Geo. Washington, lauded as a New World Cincinnatus who had held an office for a while and then returned to the life of a gentleman farmer.) Otherwise, if it’s true we are stupid, I’m afraid I can safely say that you fit the same designation, maybe even more so – you, by your own admission, have been using online anonymizers and, specifically, Tor, a system already under such tight surveillance because real terrorists have been caught using it. I’m not trying to be snarky, honestly, but it is a fact via your own admission. Remember how Star Trek (all of them) used so-called “sci-fi” – now science – that eventually came true? (Almost all. Still waiting on those medical things that kept doctors honest…) Watch NCIS now – you think they still can’t trace you thru several points of reference? McGee could have tracked you by the time you finished writing your short note! It’s a hard truth…but still the truth.


Vote -1 Vote +1Ron Isaacs
February 20, 2012 at 10:45 am

up here in Nampa Idaho, we are prepping low key, thought process is different here a lot of us are somewhat ok for about three months, at least people I know. i would like to be ready for a year , to that end each year we put as much as we can afford away. Iam retird army my son is a marine lives in Boise, we are staying in place here in Nampa, we have good area to hunt and fish and farm nearby. We have weapons ammo and dogs large and small to help ward off some people, this may not be ideal but its what we can do at this time,I believe Idaho may be one of best places to survive in the country. Keep up the good work I learn something every time I come here.


Vote -1 Vote +1alf
February 20, 2012 at 10:50 am

My wife and I dug out our basement and have running water under a wood floor and the drain pipes run into a blue plastic barrel sunken below where we can dip . It isn’t full but maybe has 40 gallons. I measured the flow before I put in the barrel:about 2-3 GPM in dry times. I used it to flush basement toilet and save $10 on electricty in Jan.


Vote -1 Vote +1todd
February 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

I live I hawaii, I dont advertise, what prepping I do , hawaii people dont c it as important to prepare, thinking that it would be easy enough to fish and such, but in certain events runoff would pollute the water and fish but oh well


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Seido
February 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I’ve just started prep because I’m convinced there is no solution or way out of the hole our elected leaders put us in. My plan is to remain completely stealth while I gather intel and forge some better relationships in my immediate neighborhood. I will only reach out to those close by that I’ve selected as compatible WTSHTF. I am going to work a plan around a team of six and will carefully select the members based on a balance between skill and community. Telegraphing your survival plan to anyone prior to SHTF day can be a serious and fatal flaw and just not worth the downside risk and liability! Although I prefer “lone wolf scenarios”, you need a team to share the load for the long haul which means you have to structure the plan to accommodate the extra members you select. Timing is also critical in the first week because of the fog of anxiety and panic so it is very important how you approach your team since you have not had any time to prepare them in advance of your plan.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1William
February 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm

If a person is interested in learning or obtaining emergency skills , there are Amish communities all over the U.S. They will also sell horse drawn carriages and break horses for you to draw them with. This is their normal way of life.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1cj
February 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I commend these guys for going on national TV. I have gotten some good ideas from some of them and watched a couple and knew what they were doing was not right. One lady was storing her food in just regular containers, not sealed well at all. What I would worry about if I were these people is the government, not regular citizens. Most of them are armed and can defend themselves against most raiding civilians, but the military has some awesome firepower and now they are on big brother’s radar. I think it would be a good idea to connect with preppers from different parts of the country. If your part is hit, you know like minded people in other parts you can flee to. Just a thought.


Vote -1 Vote +1Spartacus 2012
February 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm


If anyone actually wants to try community defense I highly recommend a fast read. “Citizen Soldier”, Robert Bradley Copyright 1994 by reliance publications.


Vote -1 Vote +1Paul
February 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Until a few years ago I was single male wilderness survival instructor. Now I am married with a small child. Yes, my survival strategy has changed from cashes all over the place to an off-grid retreat. Along with that came an extension in provisions to multiple years. One thing, however, remains the same. Everyone is either in the circle of trust or outside of it. Everything, including information, is an asset. Anyone who has not entered into a mutual aid agreement is by default a resource to be tapped if only in the event of pending starvation. We have a big map on the wall of our war room with pins noting the locations of every known homesteader, prepper, and survivalist.

I was shocked how many times I could enter a name and state provided by ‘Loonday Prepper’ into Facebook and pull up someone’s personal page with lots of juicy details. Most of these people are playing the equivalent of fantasy football with no real blood on their hands or experience watching people die violent deaths. There are plenty of opportunities to advocate preparedness anonymously and they expose themselves at their own peril. They have sown the wind and will reap the whirlwind.


Vote -1 Vote +1Atokaite TN
March 15, 2012 at 5:28 am

Reviewing some of the aspects of Prepping.
Stoarage, given a natural disasters destruction will be cause for concern.
Used or new metal containers with good secure straps seems to be a good viable means of saving perishable goods.
Travel will be severely constrained due to FEMA and Local chokepoints.
We WILL Prevail
Semper FI


Vote -1 Vote +1Fay Uyechi
March 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I only get to this location now and then, but enjoy and learn something each time.
1. I’m a 75 year old Grandma, with very little money, hence, unable to hop on a MRE storage plan like I’m buying a pair of underpanties. I’ve been able to purchase canned goods, a couple at a time, but usually use them up before have enough money to buy them again. Oh well, will keep trying.
2. Would love to learn to operate a gun again, was a pretty good shot without preparation as a child, but didn’t know anything about cleaning, loading, etc., etc., etc.! Of course, again, the money will also be an obstacle.
3. Live in an apartment, that I hate, but again, can’t afford to get that RV that I would like to, but would feel a lot safer if had one. Owned one a couple of years ago, and love it!
4. And, most importantly, whether I believe in God or not, plays a integral part in all I do. Most folks would say, “hell at 75years of age, who cares, it’s time for you to “go” anyway”! True, but that ol’ thing called “survival of the fittest” comes to mind, and keeps me going!
Now for the fun part! If/when I mention this to my family, living nearby, they of course want to have me “put away” as being “irrational”! Now, most of you on here KNOW that isn’t so, and am sure you’ve run into the same thing. And, being a woman, and 75, all have there drawbacks as far as joining a fire department. Hey, I’d love working with a bunch of good looking guys! (Just kidding!) Yeah, wouldn’t be a bad idea, if they would/could “teach” me the “tricks of the trade” (survival), first responder, 1st aide worker, driver, whatever it’s going to take, not just for me, but “others” less fortunate. Of course, don’t know too many that have less “moola” right now, but “I will survive”!
P.S. Have any of you thought about the “ham radios”, digital responders, etc.??
Grandma Fay


Vote -1 Vote +1Sherry
March 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I actually approached my sister about teaching a class on emergency food-prep and storage for the women of her church. The idea never took off – we both just got busy with other emergencies in our lives and it got put on the back burner. I have mixed feelings about this – I feel that it should be done for the good of the community, but at the same time am a bit hesitant to open myself up that way. My husband feels it should be this big secret between us & those closest to us and he’s probably right – only time will tell, I guess.


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