Discretion in Preparedness

Don’t you hate it in the movies when you have some intense scene and the person who is told to “keep quiet” or to “stay put” always disobeys that counsel and ends up getting the hero or heroine nearly killed?  I think I hate it so much because it’s so accurate in its portrayal of real life.

Recently our area had a shocking murder of a professor of Brigham Young University. Thieves meticulously broke into his home, slit his throat, and stole his guns that were specifically in his safe.  They committed the crime while two other people were in the home—individuals who were not killed, but rather tied up. Police are just now confessing that the guns were the target of this violent home invasion.  This brings many questions to mind (as well as much fodder for future articles) but the primary question is how did the thieves know that this professor had so many guns and how did they know where to obtain them? (Sorry, I just have to add, what is the use of having firearms in your home, if you’re not adept at using them to protect yourself too?)

Mental Preparedness

First of all, you should consider that the use of a knife in a crime is typically one of familiarity.  Strangers rarely use a knife on their victims. The FBI frequently calls the use of a knife in a crime as a crime of “intimacy.”  It’s safe to say that these criminals knew the professor.

Secondly, it’s apparent that the professor, or perhaps his family members, was a bit too verbal in broadcasting his possessions. As a result, they painted a target on themselves.  Think about this for a moment folks. The target was painted in a time of plenty. Imagine what it would have been like if this broadcasting of information was done during a time of chaos? The other two may have easily met the same fate as the professor as desperation is heightened in a crisis scenario.  This is why I caution those who attend my classes as well as you, my dear readers, from doing anything prior to or during a crisis which will announce to the world that you’re prepared.

PreparednessSpiritual and Physical Preparedness

In James Wesley Rawles’ latest book “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” he specifically addresses the issue of discretion when discussing your own supplies of preparedness. Now think about that. This man is a renowned author and a regularly faithful blogger with thousands and thousands of readers. I assure you that though he shares valuable information with all of these individuals, there are probably only a dozen folks in the world who know what he’s truly made of in his preparedness efforts. I’ll be blunt with you. Such dissemination of this kind of information should not go out even to friends, family members, and especially to government officials. Keep it under your hat, folks. If you get asked by your local church what you have available, understand that it’s so that they know how best to help you and are prepared accordingly. But if you’re like me, you may just want to respond “No need to worry about us. We’ll be ok regardless” or something like that.

As I don’t make a secret of the fact that I’m a Utah Concealed Firearm Instructor, I am frequently asked by naïve individuals “Are you carrying right now?”  “What are you carrying?” Etc. I realize that for the most part these questions are simply the result of a genuine curiosity. But there have been very rare circumstances in which I have actually shown anyone my “real” firearm and where I carry it. It’s just as rare that I will actually answer an inquiry as to whether or not I’m carrying a firearm at that moment.  It’s called a “concealed” permit because it’s supposed to be concealed—visually as well as mentally, in my opinion. It’s very much for these same reasons that I haven’t been forthcoming in photos for you all of my preparedness supplies. I simply don’t want those, whether great or small, advertised all over the internet. It’s no one’s business what we have or don’t have.  They need to be concerned with their own preparedness efforts, not those of a neighbor. In fact, when asked to view my supplies, the cautious side of me automatically thinks, “who does this person know that I don’t want to share this information with?” I can easily count the number of highly TRUSTED individuals who have even a partial knowledge of my personal preparedness efforts, whether it be water, ammo, or cheese.

Part of the danger in sharing with folks what you have on hand is the rampant sense of entitlement that is so prevalent in our society today. We cause the rich to pay the majority of taxes, we are taught that since the wealthy have they should give it to those who aren’t wealthy, etc.  This is simply wrong. Generally speaking the “haves” are not villains. They are workers and planners. I’ve generally lived as a pauper several times in my life but that hasn’t stopped me from prioritizing and taking care of my own preparedness. Unfortunately, in a time of crisis, most folks won’t view your provisions as your own.  That mean little entitlement gnat will get under their skin and they will thrust a false sense of charity and compassion upon you and take what they want. Sorry to have to state it so plainly, folks, but charity and compassion cannot be mandated. And when they are, they are of evil, not Christian in nature whatsoever. Anyway, my point being that the sense of entitlement is a screwy tool. It makes people believe the way they are behaving instead of behaving the way they believe. So be aware of this and defend yourself now from it by being discrete in your assertions of preparedness.

I frequently have folks telling me that when all heck breaks loose they will be coming to my house.  Just as sincere as they are in their assertion, I retort with a reminder that I do have a firearm and am perfectly knowledgeable in how to defend myself. While that may sound a bit crass to some of you, I find it no more so than someone telling me (jokingly or not) that they are willing to absolve themselves of any of their own responsibility in being prepared and that they will be helping themselves to my efforts. Tit for tat, if you ask me.

If you are planning on sharing with others this otherwise confidential information, may I suggest that you back it up with a thorough system of tools and skills to be able to protect yourself and your home? As awful as that thought may be to some, you are not truly prepared until you have taken such preparation into consideration as well.

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I feel I am one that might have pried in the past. For example I'd really like to see one of the reciepts that you save so much on with coupons. Not because I care what you bought, only because dispite my efforts I still find couponing to be a losing battle. I just can't get the results you claim to. That leads me to believe that you are buying differently than I am.

Like wise if asked to show how you are storing food it would be to get organization ideas.

Honestly you run a preparedness blog, whether you have anything or not the target is already painted. People will assume you have it. When the church asks if you are ok on food and you say you have plenty, they know that when they decide to take food to share, they can come and get yours.

That said I absolutely agree with you about discretion. In my attempts to get family prepared with food, I know they are going to come to me when they are hungry, the question is if I will turn them away or not..

Thanks for bringing this up, it is important to remember.

Preparedness Pro's picture

Todd, first of all, I do have pictures of some of my receipts on Facebook. You can "friend me there" and see those kinds of pictures. Secondly, the organization of your food in your home needs to match the way that you think, not my deranged mind. And lastly, I don't know about your church, my church is definitely not the "taking" kind. Then again my husband and I store with the intent to help others. But discretion is still critical--especially about your self-defense supplies as well as other vital tools.

Very nice reality check. Doesn't matter how much I ask my extended family to prep, they think I'm off my rocker and say that if anything ever happens they know where to go. Hope they let me know so I don't worry about them :D

I love this! It is exactly how I feel! In fact, hubby and I don't talk to anyone except a few immediate family members about prepping because we don't want folks to think of us a target. One night, though, we had friends over for a bonfire. I was drinking margaritas. They wanted to see the house (first time over). I took them through, and went (in my tipsy state) into the pantry! Oh boy, the reaction! ('We're coming here in an emergency!') Next morning, I woke early, remember what I'd done, and texted them to PLEASE not tell anyone about the preps. Moral of the story: margaritas and preps don't mix! (Unless you're storing margarita mix!)

Preparedness Pro's picture

Gen, that's hilarious! Thanks for sharing.


As usual, right on target. I like your blog because it extends me beyond my safe zone. Edgy. Gets me out of my naive world. I just read (or rather listened to) "One Second After" and even though it is way out of my comfort zone and the language was bad, it did teach me things I needed to know.

Anyway, if you don't mind, I will be referring to your post on my blog and link and copy it. I think this is one of the things people need to think about. Again, thanks so much.

Preparedness Pro's picture

Yes, I do warn people that it's rated PG-13. But it pushed me a bit too. I didn't want to think about the inevitable harm an EMP would do to the elderly and ill. Such a horrible thought because I have no control over it's affects.
I'm glad you enjoy the blog though! By all means, please refer folks. That's what I'm here for.

What do you think of 3steps.org? I have wanted to get my street organized like this in the past, but have the same concerns you mentioned here--that if I try to help with preparedness, I will become a "target". As Todd mentioned, if you are talking preparedness, people will assume you have it, in terms of supplies, no matter how much you have or don't have. I also wonder sometimes if it is getting to be too late to organize in this manner, because there are so many people having "food insecurity" already, and yet it would be so much better to have a neighborhood support system. It's a hard line to walk sometimes...

My only concern about keeping quiet is the admonition..."Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor." (D&C 88:81) If you read what comes just before this, it sounds like it covers preparedness as well. If you "warn" your neighbor, they will still "know" you have stuff...
Just wondering how you interpret this verse.
Thanks for all your "warnings"...I really appreciate them.

Preparedness Pro's picture

Actually, warning someone in detail how to be prepared is very different to me than showing off what I've got or sharing specific details. Clearly I'm committed to "warning my neighbor". But that doesn't mean that I have to give specific details on what I do or don't have, etc.
Hopefully if I'm being listened to in terms of "what to do" it's by those who have the heart to do for themselves and who are trying to learn. The others...well, they will have a great deal of trouble using their agency to thwart my own.

Preparedness Pro's picture

I'm actually not familiar with that. I'll have to look into it.

I agree with you whole heartedly - except when it comes to taking from the 'rich'. There is a big difference between taking a fair due from the obscenely wealthy (bansksters) and taking from the well prepared. Next time, be sure to make that clarity obvious.

Preparedness Pro's picture

I dont' believe in judging who is rich legitimately and who is not. That's the Lord's job. In my opinion, unless they are proven by a court of law to have obtained those funds illegally, then their wealth is between them and the Lord. If it is illegally obtained, then it is for the law which has jurisdiction to decide restitution, not me.

Your comment on carrying concealed is right on the mark... I have had people at work who *suspect* I might be carrying (water cooler talk has gotten around to second amendment rights on occasion)... when they ask, "so are you carrying right now?" I usually deflect it with the following 3 sentences... regardless of whether I am or am not carrying.

"do I look like I'm carrying? Why would you think I am? Besides, even if I were I wouldn't tell you, that's why it's called concealed."

Give them one of those "Puuulllleeeaaassse!" looks and they usually will back off in slight embarrassment... and still not be sure if you are carrying or not.

I am pretty low key about this sort of stuff. Family and close friends know I am somewhat preparedness oriented. When stuff comes up in conversation I stick to generic common sense stuff. "It is probably smart to have enough food in the pantry for a week long storm" or "A couple hundred bucks in small bills is smart to have around".

That can be done without saying that my Krugerrand's are buried 30 meters at magnetic north from the old oak tree.

People who want to help empower their neighbors with info on preparedness - but, who don't want to make themselves a "target" could.. with a few dollars, do a postal drop of some good literature and info - perhaps to several streets or a whole zip code.


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