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How much prepper OPSEC is really possible?

Rain barrels can be one indicator of the prepper lifestyle.
Rain barrels can be one indicator of the prepper lifestyle.
Dan Vale

There are many reasons why Operations Security (OPSEC) can be difficult to maintain, especially in an urban or suburban setting. While no one of the indicators discussed in this article makes complete OPSEC impossible, the more such indicators there are, the more obvious it is that families with these indicators are prepper families. Among such indicators are:

  1. Rain barrels.
  2. Solar ovens.
  3. Gardens.
  4. Fish ponds.
  5. Four wheel drive vehicles.
  6. Solar panels.
  7. Fireplaces.
  8. Wood stoves.
  9. Wood piles.
  10. Privacy fences.
  11. Evacuation drills.
  12. Bulk grocery buys.
  13. Noisy generators running during power outages.

Even in rural settings, complete OPSEC can be difficult to maintain. Some additional indicators of rural families who are preppers might include:

  1. Chickens, rabbits, and goats as the primary livestock.
  2. Clotheslines full of drying clothes.
  3. Clothing that is mainly of the camouflage type.

To further complicate efforts at OPSEC, inside of preppers’ homes there may be indicators of the prepper lifestyle. Examples of such indicators might include libraries with prepper type books and stockpiles of food and equipment. People who will know at least some of what is inside of your preppers’ homes can include:

  1. Delivery people.
  2. Repair, maintenance, and inspection technicians.
  3. House guests.
  4. Landlords of rented apartments.

Also, there are other reasons why complete OPSEC is so difficult to maintain. It may not be realistic, for example, to expect other family members of all ages to keep perfect OPSEC among all of their friends and acquaintances. In addition, anyone who is keeping up with the news knows that the U.S. government and corporations keep data bases full of information about Americans.

Although complete OPSEC might not be possible, peppers have some control over how much information they reveal and to whom they reveal it. Trusted neighbors, friends, and relatives can help each other, and such cooperation requires a certain amount of self-disclosure of information from peppers.

Pepper cooperation with neighbors, for example, can evolve from neighborhood crime fighting groups such as Citizens on Patrol. Also, the benefits of mutual cooperation among neighbors and relatives is obvious to most people who are familiar with the rural Amish lifestyle. The Mormons are another example of communal type peppers.

What is your take on OPSEC? Do you think that the “lone wolf” prepper approach is best, or do you favor community preparation and cooperation? Please comment below.

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