I see a lot of preppers who look like they’re preparing to go to war, rather than preparing to survive a disaster. While one of the disasters we might be preparing for is a second civil war, that shouldn’t be the center of our preparedness. Yes, defending home and family are important; but that doesn’t mean that we turn ourselves into an army; nor does it mean that we should plan on bugging out, looking like we’re heading off to war.
There’s a very real reason to avoid being overly tactical. That is, it will show others that you’re prepared. While the “tacticool” look might be in vogue now, especially amongst us preppers, that’s not the look we want in the wake of a disaster. It may very well attract unwanted attention, bringing us under attack.
If someone attacking your home in the wake of a disaster, in order to try and steal your food, you don’t really want to send the message that you’re ready for a fight. While that message might dissuade some people, as they get more desperate, all it’s going to do is to tell them to make sure they bring enough people with them to overwhelm you with pure numbers, if nothing else.
This is not to say that self-defense isn’t a very real part of prepping. It’s clear, from looking at past disasters, that the criminal element in society becomes extremely active after a disaster. We need to be ready to deal with that, because the police will probably not be able to protect us.
Should that group come, you’re better off having them think that you’re not prepared for them. That will do two things to your benefit. The first is that they won’t come like gangbusters, expecting a fight. They’ll be expecting that their overwhelming numbers and arms will be enough to strike fear in your hear. Then, the second benefit kicks in, when you pull out your weapons and defend yourself. The element of surprise will work to your benefit.
Even so, there is a huge risk that you will be wounded or even killed, if you end up in a firefight with an armed band of looters who are attacking you or your home. For that reason, you should avoid it as much as possible. More than anything, that means doing a good job on your OPSEC, so that they won’t have any idea of who you are.
There are other things you should do, like making your home look like an unattractive target. If your home looks like it has already been looted, then people are more likely to look elsewhere, passing your home by. Make your home hard to break into as well, discouraging them from breaking in. While there is always a way to break in, if you make it hard enough, they may just decide that it’s not worthwhile, especially if the home doesn’t look like it will yield anything that’s going to benefit them.
Finally, be ready to fight. While it’s not a good idea to go around looking like you’re ready to fight, you should be ready. Again, you want the element of surprise to work in your favor. But you also want to fight with such ferocity, when the time comes, that you strike fear in the hearts of your enemies. Getting them to turn tail and run is just as effective as shooting them.