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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Preppers - A cautionary tale

Are you intentionally setting your survival preparations up for failure? Are you or others in your family or group telling extended family, friends and/or strangers what you are doing to survive the next disaster or the coming apocalypse? Are you advertising to others that you are the "GTG" (go-to-guy or gal) to flock to during an emergency or SHTF event?

Operational Security: Basics for Protecting Your Survival Preparations

By Bama Bull, a reader of SurvivalCache.com

This brief article provides an overview on the topic of operational security of your survival planning and preparations before whatever SHTF or TEOWAWKI event you are prepping for occurs. If you don't take precautions ahead of time to protect and safeguard your actions, all your efforts could be vain.

What's OPSEC?

Operational security, known as OPSEC, is the process of protecting your planning and actions; safeguarding information on you, your family, or survival group; and preventing potential adversaries from discovering or learning about our preparations. It is used to preserve our plans, safeguard in progress efforts, and protect what has been accomplished. Your overall success will depend upon secrecy so that others cannot target you during a crisis event. The human animal is the most dangerous animal to confront, since he/she is a thinking predator capable of adapting.

The less information that is known about you and your efforts by others in a crisis, the safer you and yours will be, and the harder for others to target you. A good motto from World War II is "Loose lips sink ships." This well known slogan is a reference to helping safeguard information on the sailing of troop and supply convoys in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

A "The Twilight Zone" Lesson

Some of you may be familiar with the old television show "The Twilight Zone" which aired in the late 1950s and early 1960s. There is an episode called "The Shelter" (first aired Sept. 29, 1961) which gives viewers a look at how people can react in a crisis. This short 25 minute story depicts the problem of friends and neighbors knowing about your survival preparations for a disaster. In the episode, a suburban dinner party is interrupted by a government bulletin warning of an impending nuclear attack on the country. As the neighbors scramble in panic to prepare themselves, many turn against the one family that had the foresight to install a permanent bomb shelter in their basement with supplies. Since the neighborhood knows about the shelter, the situation quickly deteriorates into a "dog-eat-dog" situation. It is not until a "false alarm" announcement is made that calm is restored. However, the damage is done and a real and ugly lesson is learned about all concerned. It is well worth watching.

Doomed Before the Disaster?

Two examples of preppers who have violated basic OPSEC principles and compromised their own secrecy and exposed their preparations are the McClung family and Lisa Bedford of Phoenix, Ariz. The silver lining here is that their public disclosures serve as a good lesson and a distraction away from the rest of us.

Dennis and Danielle McClung, from the suburb of Mesa, have made their presence and preparations known not just locally, but nationally and internationally via the internet on a host of survival websites and YouTube; and by appearing on such cable channel shows as National Geographic's "Doomsday Preppers" and on TLC's "Livin' for the Apocalypse." The McClung's have opened their home and preparations, to include their elaborate aquaponic greenhouse in the yard and the store room of food and supplies, for the world to see.

Bedford is the popular survival blogger known as "The Survival Mom" with about 60,000 readers a month. While she does a great job of sharing information and her knowledge with tens of thousands of preppers, she's unfortunately exposed herself and her family to all sorts of potential dangers when the SHTF. She's disclosed her extensive stockpiles of supplies, and allowed TV cameras to show the front of her house in her cul-de-sac neighborhood and how trucks make nighttime deliveries.

Greater Phoenix is an isolated desert urban area of more than 1.5 million people, and is highly dependent on interstate trucking and the railroads to keep the flow of food, fuel and goods coming to feed and service the population. In a SHTF or TEOWAWKI event, depending upon the situation and time of the year, Phoenix and Mesa's isolation in a harsh and barren desert environment may leave hundreds of thousands trapped and forced to fight for resources. Unfortunately, crime-wise, Phoenix and Mesa are well above the national averages for all types of crimes and has a significantly large number of ethnic street gangs - many are well organized and armed.

Both the McClung and Bedford families have openly discussed their plans to "bug-in" when apocalypse event occurs. It is great they are sharing information with others, but at what peril to them? If there was ever a better "famous last quote" it would have to be Dennis McClung on camera with NatGeo saying "We try to stay under the radar as much as possible." McClung might as well paint his house orange and wire up neon "Loot Here" signs to the roof solar panels. They may get lucky and last a full week before the armed and violent hoards come a knocking at their respective doors!

What Can You Do?

Look at your daily activities from an adversaries' point of view and determine how you can alter your behavior and actions. Here are basis suggestions:

· Safeguard what others might learn about you and your family.

· Develop and apply countermeasures, which are ways of preventing others from obtaining your information.

· Determine who you can trust and confide in with your information - be very selective.

· Develop a cover story that is plausible that deflects from your preparations and satisfies curiosity.

·

· Measures You Can Practice:

· Make sure that your family and inner-circle knows what OPSEC is and that information needs to be safeguarded.

· Routinely reinforce the importance OPSEC.

· Be aware of your surroundings, who is watching you, and what you say in public, in emails, on social media sites, and on cell phones and hard phone lines.

· Keep a "need-to-know" mindset - only inform people with a need to know your business.

· Shred any documents with personal and financial information, and receipts of your purchases.

· Don't stack up boxes or throw out wrappers and packing for your survival gear and supplies in your curbside trash. Dispose of this trash at dumpster away from your area.

· Use a different "ship to" address for deliveries, such as your work or a P.O. box, instead of your residence.

·

· Limit What You Say About:

·

· Where you live (your specific street location or neighborhood) and your family members.

· The location of your "bug-in" or "bug-out" sites.

· Where you keep your "bug-out" or "get-home" bags.

· The location of any prepositioned caches.

· Your bug-out routes and methods (avoid potential ambushes).

· Any issues concerning your security systems or protective measures.

· The extent of your preparations and your weapons, equipment and stockpiles.

· The physical health of you and family/survival members, and any disabilities each may have.

This is no intended to be an all encompassing article on OPSEC, but serves as an initial primer to provide some of the basics. There is much more you can learn and put into practice. The important take-away is that you need to take precautions so you and your survival group doesn't become a target if the worst happens. For more information or to discuss this topic with others, visit the Survival Cache Forums.

About the author: Bama Bull is an Army veteran and lives in southeastern Alabama. His interest in survival preparedness are based on the threats associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, coronal mass ejections, pandemic diseases, and financial collapse. The views of the author do not necessary reflect the opinions of Survival Cache and Forge Solutions.


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Prepper Movement - "People are getting it"

Why Are Millions Of Preppers Preparing Feverishly For The End Of The World As We Know It?








The American Dream
October 26, 2011

In America today, there are millions of “preppers” that are working feverishly to get prepared for what they fear is going to happen to America. There is a very good chance that some of your neighbors or co-workers may be preppers. You may even have noticed that some of your relatives and friends have been storing up food and have been trying to convince you that we are on the verge of “the end of the world as we know it”. A lot of preppers like to keep their preparations quiet, but everyone agrees that the prepper movement is growing. Some estimate that there are four million preppers in the United States today. Others claim that there are a lot more than that. In any event, there are certainly a lot of preppers out there. So exactly what are all these preppers so busy preparing for?

Well, the truth is that the motivation for prepping is different for each person. Some preppers believe that a complete collapse of the economy is coming. Others saw what happened to so many during Hurricane Katrina are are determined not to let that happen to them. Some preppers just want to become more independent and self-sufficient. There are yet others that are deeply concerned about “end of the world as we know it” scenarios such as terrorists using weapons of mass destruction, killer pandemics, alien invasions, World War III or EMP attacks.

But whatever the motivation is, the prepper movement is clearly growing. Today, millions of Americans are converting spare rooms into storage pantries, learning how to grow survival gardens and stocking up on everything from gas masks to auxiliary generators.

Recently, the Salina Journal gathered together about two dozen preppers. What they found is that there is a tremendous amount of diversity among preppers, but that they also clearly share a common passion….

It was a diverse bunch. All different shapes, sizes, ages, gender and political persuasions.

Some were ex-military. Some never served. Some were unemployed, some had jobs. A few were retired.

But they all shared a common bond: They call themselves Preppers, and they had gathered to share ideas, demonstrate various skills, enjoy each other’s company and to put faces to the online names they use to disguise their identity.

Never before in U.S. history have we seen anything like this. We are at peace and most of us still have a relatively high standard of living and yet millions of Americans feel called to start preparing for the worst.

A lot of preppers don’t like to publicize the fact that they are prepping. As the Salina Journal discovered, a lot of preppers try very hard to keep their prepping to themselves…..

They are trying to keep their passion for prepping hidden from neighbors and, in some cases, employers who they said would frown on their association with such a group. Two admitted their appearance here would probably get them fired if their companies found out.

Many people believe that it takes a lot of money and resources to be a prepper, but that is not necessarily the case.

For some, the best way to get prepared is to radically simplify things.

For example, a recent article posted on Yahoo Finance profiled a man that lives in his RV and that survives on about $11,000 a year….

I had an apartment in Burbank and was the typical Los Angeles apartment dweller. I started to feel a strong desire to simplify my life. I had a garage full of stuff I never used, my closets were full, and I started to see that it was costing me money to have an apartment big enough to hold all the stuff I never use.

My initial plan was to scale back and move into a smaller apartment. Before long, I realized I didn’t need too much to be happy. I could fit into a small space. That’s when the RV idea occurred to me. I was just sitting in traffic and an RV pulled up. I said, “I could probably fit in that thing.” The more I looked into it, the more I realized how practical it would be. For what I was paying for rent in LA, I could own my “house” free and clear and not pay rent, and own my car as well.

Other people make the most of what they already have. It is absolutely amazing what some families are able to do with limited resources.

For example, there is one family that is actually producing 6000 pounds of produce a year on just 1/10th of an acre right in the middle of Pasadena, California.

This family grows more food than they need and they sell the excess to restaurants in the surrounding area. You can see video of their amazing gardenright here.

Other Americans take prepping to the other extreme. For example, Steven Huff is building a 72,000 square foot “home” (some call it a fortress) in Missouri. Huff is the chairman of Wisconsin-based TF Concrete Forming Systems, and he wants to show off what his firm is capable of. Huff claims that this will be “a home that uses very low energy, as well as having strong resistance to tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, flood and insect damage”.

In reality, what Huff is building kind of resembles a castle. You can see pictures of this remarkable “home” right here.

But Huff is not the only one taking things to extremes.

In a recent article, I detailed how renowned Texas investor Kyle Bass appears to be very well prepared for the horrible economic collapse that he believes is coming. The following is how one reporter described his recent visit to the 40,000 square foot “fortress” owned by Bass….

“We hopped into his Hummer, decorated with bumper stickers (God Bless Our Troops, Especially Our Snipers) and customized to maximize the amount of fun its owner could have in it: for instance, he could press a button and, James Bond–like, coat the road behind him in giant tacks. We roared out into the Texas hill country, where, with the fortune he’d made off the subprime crisis, Kyle Bass had purchased what amounted to a fort: a forty-thousand-square-foot ranch house on thousands of acres in the middle of nowhere, with its own water supply, and an arsenal of automatic weapons and sniper rifles and small explosives to equip a battalion.”

Do you think that Bass is taking things too far?

Well, there are other big names that are busy preparing for the worst as well.

For instance, Robert Kiyosaki, the best-selling author of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series of books is now a full-fledged prepper.

He says that he is “prepared for the worst” and that he and his wife “have food, we have water, we have guns, gold and silver, and cash”.

So should the rest of us be preparing?

Of course we should be. Our nation is drowning in debt, the U.S. economy is dying, the number of earthquakes and other natural disasters is increasing, and the entire globe is becoming an extremely unstable place. If you read my articles on a regular basis, then you know that there are a whole host of reasons to try to become more independent and self-sufficient.

So what can we all do to get prepared?

Well, in a previous article I listed a few things that can be done by most people….

#1 Become Less Dependent On Your Job

#2 Get Out Of Debt

#3 Reduce Expenses

#4 Purchase Land

#5 Learn To Grow Food

#6 Find A Reliable Source Of Water

#7 Explore Alternative Energy Sources

#8 Store Supplies

#9 Protect Your Assets With Gold And Silver

#10 Learn Self-Defense

#11 Keep Yourself Fit

#12 Make Friends

For those interested in learning more about preppers and prepping, there are a lot of really great resources out there….

*American Preppers Network

*The Survival Mom

*In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog

*The Surburban Prepper



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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Protection

A .45 for the bedroom,
A shotgun over the door,
A 30.06 for distance,
You don't need any more.


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