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Friday, November 25, 2011

OPSEC

Original Article

Hiding In Plain Sight

A couple days ago, I saw a guy driving a Jeep Cherokee, towing a small utility trailer with 10 5-gallon gas cans in the back.  I commented on the Facebook page that he was probably either a prepper or an arsonist.  Some reader comments got me to thinking about OPSEC (operational security) with your preps and keeping things discreet.

For this guy with the trailer and gas cans, a simple plywood and tarp structure would have kept his trailer contents completely hidden.  A reader, Steelheart, sent in this photo:

He took a regular old utility trailer and built up two foot walls with plywood and then added a tarp.  It's low enough, it doesn't affect drivability, yet provides discreet moving of anything you don't want everyone to see.  It also provides secure moving of trash, brush, or other things that would be hard to do in an open trailer.  Big thanks to Steelheart for sharing this.

Another fuel OPSEC issue is storing it.  There is a house near here that backs up to the interstate.  Every time I drive by, I'm amazed at how much propane they have stored behind their shed, in full view of thousands of drivers each day.  They've got a 100 lb tank and 6 or 7 20 pounders back there.  These folks also have a large garden, so my prepper radar goes off.  They've got a 4 foot chain link fence around the back.  It'd be simple to put those plastic strips in the fencing to obscure the view of their yard.

I moved a lot from the time I got out of high school until I got married at 35.  I lived in 11 different places during that time.  If you have to move preps, that's another place to be concerned about what folks see.  All those #10 cans of food?  The gun safe and cases of ammo?  What about the two generators and 10 gas cans?  How to move that into your new home if it is in view of the neighbors.  I sure don't want Gladys Kravitts hollering, "Abner, Abner, you should see what the new people are moving in!"  If you have an attached garage, that can be ideal.  Just back the truck in and unload there to move into the house.  Guns can be wrapped in blankets or carried in duffel bags rather than gun cases.  For the safe, check with an appliance store and see if you can get a refrigerator box, and cover it with that.  For the food, get some big boxes from the U-Haul store and put the manufacturer's boxes in those.  The generators and gas cans might be the hardest.  Sometimes you might have to unload in the wee dark hours of the night.  A friend has a his generators in a small shed with that pink Styrofoam type insulation in it.  The generators plug into a junction box in the shed that is wired to the house power system.  He's adding some low level vents for cross ventilation of the exhaust, and will be able to run them inside the shed, with a minimal sound signature.

You want to keep your preps low key and out of the public view as much as possible.  Sometimes, it takes some creativity to keep them that way.