(ModernSurvival.org) – During World War II, the U.S. Office of War Information began distributing posters with the slogan “loose lips might sink ships.” These posters served as a public warning against careless talk that could be overheard by spies hidden within the U.S., then used against troops. Decades later, the slogan has been picked up again by preppers looking to protect their stockpiles.
What is OPSEC?
Traditionally a military term, operations security (OPSEC) is used to describe methods of keeping vital information out of the hands of potential threats and enemies. For preppers, this means keeping the very act of prepping a secret from all but a very select few, including friends and family members. Essentially, OPSEC takes the loose lips adage to a whole new level.
Why OPSEC is Important
Most preppers and survivalists are good-hearted people who want to help out their fellow man. Unfortunately, no one can stockpile enough food, water, and essential supplies to save all of their friends and neighbors after a disaster.
The idea behind prepping is to ensure the continued survival of the prepper and their immediate family following a disaster. The more people who know about a person’s prepping, the higher the likelihood that others will come looking for help during a bad situation.
Even if the person is a trusted individual, there is no telling who they will tell and then who those people will tell. Following a disaster, all of the people who know about a stockpile could come for help — or they may try to take supplies by force. Parents with starving children will do drastic things to feed them.
How to Practice OPSEC
While being careful of who is told about one’s prepping is a good start, it’s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. When a person is seen carrying 50-pound bags of rice into their home, it’s a fair bet their neighbors will catch on pretty quickly. To fully embrace an OPSEC mentality, analyze day-to-day prepping activities to ensure no one catches on.
Here are some simple tips on ways to develop OPSEC at home:
- Don’t talk about prepping in public or with people who don’t understand the concept of OPSEC.
- Keep prepping stockpiles hidden from view.
- Never haul prepping supplies indoors when prying eyes can see.
- Develop a cover story, should preps ever be discovered.
- Destroy and bag containers from prepping buys; don’t just put empty boxes at the curb.
This is just a very small glimpse into how deep the OPSEC rabbit hole can run. For anyone truly worried about their prepping activities becoming public knowledge, a whole new world of “counter-intelligence” can be applied. This includes removing the digital fingerprint by using cash to purchase preps and having online purchases sent to a P.O. Box rather than to a home or bug-out location.
Essentially, OPSEC is taking the entire prepping lifestyle and going “gray man” with it. For more information on the gray man concept and how a person can put it to use, check out our article here.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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