Thursday, April 23, 2015

Preppers: OpSec and Security for Bugging In

Years ago I made a YouTube video about my "Bug-In Kit." Unlike those who talk about guns I talked solar power, security cameras & a survival lap top. Why?
Knowledge is power? At the time of this video I have a security apartment in a small city with a security door. I could access the roof, place those little cameras at key points:  (1) one covering the front door to the building, (2) the fire escape which was inside the building and directly outside my apartment, (3) my apartments front door & (4) the alleyway that the fire escape accesses. Access to he roof means those binos with the built in camera can let me keep an eye on the surrounding environment & anything worth reporting can be pictured in an image, especially helpful for getting an idea of events & correct information.
So lets say, a building is on fire or people are rioting. I can capture an image, upload it to that "survival lap top" and show it to those others living in the apartment building. Why? To rely on them to help secure the building? If people 6 streets over are standing on their roofs with rifles & here gun shots, I might want to ask why? I might decide to bug out which means eyes on the alley & down my fire escape. So if rioters, looters, criminals or whatever, are a threat to me I don't have to blindy run into that alley &risk my life.
My CB radio also gives me access to news, rumors and information, outside my visual range. All of this can be powered by my solar gear. Because I needed space in a space limited environment (a single bedroom apartment) my emergency rations where 3600 calorie bars. Of course they aren't the best tasting but, I have real food in the kitchen the Mainstay is to get by when I have nothing else. Three little squares get you by when all your real food is gone. That box in the video is 30 days worth of Mainstay, its compact even if I' bugging out.
The Military relies in intelligence, and a prepper needs to rely on information. Mad Max fantasies and Gray Man delusions aside, you need to have information in a crisis. Guns and ammo are great when the threat is obvious but what about threats that aren't as obvious? Experienced criminals will rely on ambush tactics and con games, using force is an amateur move (criminally speaking). Information is key. If Drones were as common then as they are now, I'd have worked on acquiring one. 
Look at the LA Riots & Katrina, 1) a CB radio could alert people to threats, to hide their weapons from the authorities 2) Solar means no engine noise and no reliance on fuel. Sure my neighbors will want me to help them keep warm, or cook their food. I will be glad to help them, because helping them means I will people who won't standing watch on a roof top for a few hours, listening to a CB radio for information or watching a TV screen with cameras for a an hour or so while I sleep. If they have a gun they won't mind using them for mutual defense. What keeps them from taking over? Well that's were my gun come into play but its basic social-defense. You trust those you depend on and you depend on those who are a value to you. If I am of value to my neighbors, they will depend on me & if they depend on me they will trust me. If they trust me, they will help me.
In essence, it doen't matter if you're a militant prepper or a gray man you need information. Camouflage is a tactic, in some cases it will save you. Looking like a hard target is a tactic referred to as a Threat Display or Force Projection. I'm for both Tactics being used in the correct context, using those tactics properly requires you to know your environment, to know your situation and to re-act or act accordingly.
Look the aftermath of Katrina, home invasions, burglary,looting and violence. Who were the primary targets & Why? That's not even addressing my favorite issue which is Paramilitary cops, like those who went house to house taking weapons after Katrina. Rather then be killed or, being on the run for getting into a fire fight with such LEOs I can cache my weapons and when they ask if I can defend myself, give them a bow & a baseball bat.

Many times we as preppers think about OpSec more then intelligence. There are only so many things you can prepare for travel disruptions, utility disruptions, economic disruption & social disruptions. In every, disrupting one can lead to others. A breakdown in travel can keep food and fuel from getting where it needs to go, making the travel disruption worse and resulting in social disruptions such as looting and rising crime as people become desperate. It doesn't matter if an EMP keeps you from getting water, power or the supermarket from opening or a tornado knocks out the power grid and you have the same problems.
Preparation should be something you discuss with your neighbors. You don't have to reveal details about your preps, in fact FEMA as helped by suggesting you prep for 2 weeks and it is something you should think as a basis for opening the subject of prepping. There is no one step or one size fits solution. Bug-in, Bug-Out, Project Projection or Camouflage are all tactics you want to be able to use in maximize the potential for your survival, "tools in your tool box" to get the job done. Using your neighbors is just simple human resource management, knowing how to organize your community, building a relationship members of your community and perhaps even building a lasting friendships will help in ad out of a crisis. This is why the modern mandate on warfare includes the prospect of winning hearts and minds. Winning hearts and minds means you need to have knowledge of the people you are dealing with.
While many people might argue that an EMP could knock out all electronics, consider that an over estimation. Most Modern Cars can be turned off after being "shut off" from an EMP. Batteries will still hold a charge and gas will still burn meaning generators will still work. Wind will still blow meaning my wind generator will still work and water will still flow, so hydro electric dams will still work. Also Chemical reactions will still occur, so I can turn a bicycle and car alternator into a peddle powered generator with some JB Weld and basic mechanical skills. Circuits will be fried but most of those parts can be replaced and it just requires some learning, solder and hot metal poker, butane soldering iron or electrical soldering iron to repair a AC/DC inverter. In theory, an old microwave purchased at a Thrift Store should shield such devices from an EMP as a microwave is a form of EMP & Microwave ovens have built in Faraday Cage to contain the Microwaves they should also keep out microwaves. Ultimately, simple grade school science fair project science will produce a simple circuit able to charge batteries, burn lights and run older electric heaters.
Even without, and especially without an electrical system to support such information gathering tools you need to rely on people around you; family, friends, neighbors and so on. Information is your greatest tool. If you're bugging in, you need  security plan to hold down.
Was used to teach basic tactical planning to execute a mission. It can be applied your survival plan as well...
  • Mission: Survive in Place
  • Equipment: (Enter your gear: Food & Water, Weapons, Ammo, Medical Supplies & Fuel + any specialized gear)
  • Enemy: Apply only if you have a known threat... Potentially anyone?
  • Terrain & Weather: Area specific use OCOKA
  • Troops Available: Who are you counting on?
  • Time Table: How long can you hold out?
  • Civilian Considerations or Collateral Damage Considerations: Non-Combatants on your Side
OCOKA: Terrain Considerations
  • Observation/Fields of Fire: Where sentries will observe and were they be shooting.
  • Cover & Concealment: Cover stops incoming rounds and sight, concealment blocks only sight. These are places the potential enemy can hide.
  • Obstacles: Natural or Man Made, these are places that stop or delay your movement or the movement of the enemy.
  • Key Terrain: Important real-estate that stands out. 
  • Avenues of Approach: Routes you must travel or your enemy must travel into and outside of your position.
Of course this is military doctrine but, its military doctrine that establishes a frame work for developing your own survival plan. Depending on the event, society's reaction to the event & your situation you may need to Bug-In or Bug-Out, you might want to blend in to the crowd or stand out as well armed and able to defend yourself. If you can work with those around you to develop a tentative plan to observe, organize and operate for mutual benefit you increase your odds of survival by ten fold. Doing so doesn't have to reveal your best kept secrets or every tool in your tool box. OpSec is basically using need to know information. You don't need to tell everyone everything just reveal small portions of information by degrees about your preparations or that you prep as other need to know about it. Play the Newbie who isn't a prepper just Prep-Curious...

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