Co-Opt Your Neighbors

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One of the hardest parts of prepping is maintaining your OPSEC (operational security). We don’t want people to know what we are doing, because we don’t want them to come knocking on our doors, expecting us to take care of them, when things go bad. That makes sense from a purely logical point of view, as most of us don’t have enough for both us and them; but it might be a whole lot harder to accomplish in practical terms.

First of all, we may not realize that we’re living through a TEOTWAWKI event. Should some enemy destroy the electrical grid, all we wound know at first is that we’re in a power outage. It might take several days, even a couple of weeks for us to be at least fairly sure that it really was an EMP.

So, let’s say there’s a big blizzard and the power goes out. Not an uncommon occurrence. The next day, the neighbor comes over, asking for some help, because the storm hit before they could go buy food. While we can look at them with scorn at their foolishness, we’d probably help them out; right? Three days later, when we find out that the power didn’t just go out in our area, but everywhere else too. We think “EMP;” then we realize that we had already given our neighbor food.

The thing is, that neighbor probably decided to visit your house because they knew you would have food. It’s all but impossible to hide prepping from the neighbors. They’re going to see the things we are doing, no matter how careful we are to hide them. While they may not make the connection that you’re a prepper immediately, they will when they are in need.

What are you going to do then? You’ve already helped them once.

Okay, so let me propose an idea that’s a little contrary to normal prepper wisdom. That is, plan on your neighbors knocking on your door and be prepared to help them. I don’t mean feeding them as well as you feed your own; but have something to give them, even if it is nothing more than rice and beans.

I have several hundred pounds of extra rice, beans, and cooking oil in my stockpile, just for this very purpose. I’ve also got plastic bags, so that I can repackage it, lots of seed, so that I can help my neighbors plant gardens, a rototiller with gas to tear up their yards to make gardens, and even a few spare .22LR rifles.

Should the TEOTWWKI event we’re all expecting come to pass, one of my first actions, once I’ve secured my own family, is going to be to gather my neighbors together and co-opt them into my survival plan. I’ll offer them rice and beans, water purification, and a few other basics, along with help getting their gardens started. In exchange, I’ll expect them to help me with manual labor, such as hauling water and working one everyone’s gardens. I’ll also expect their help in defending our neighborhood; hence the extra rifles.

Please note that the total cost for doing this really isn’t all that much. Rice and beans are cheap. The most expensive item on that list is the seed for their gardens. But by doing this, I’ve just eliminated the biggest danger I face; that of having my neighbors join together to attack me. I’ve also gained an outer perimeter, helping me defend my home.