During a crisis situation it’s much better to avoid a problem than to deal with the consequences afterwards. Avoidance is the key to survival and since anything can happen to anyone regardless of where they are, it is better to learn a few strategies that will help you keep a low profile during SHTF.
Every single day we make hundreds of decisions that will dictate the outcome of a certain situation. While the decisions we take under normal living conditions are of little importance, things change considerably during a survival scenario and each decision we make can have a drastic impact on our lives. Thinking ahead, anticipating potential problems based on your environment and taking the right steps to avoid dangerous situation will become a way of life during a long-term crisis.
When the world around you is turned upside down and the people you think you know will become a threat, your best defense would be to stay out of sight and ride things out. Keeping a low profile during SHTF becomes a priority regardless if you are bugging in or bugging out.
Recommended reading: Bugging out without leaving a trail
People should keep in mind that they are not superheroes and it’s not their job to wonder outside and fix the problems. If you are bugging in, your main job is to deal with and manage the effects of the crisis within your own home.
How to keep a low profile during SHTF:
1. If you decide to stay inside, do exactly that – stay inside! You should avoid going outside, unless absolutely necessary. If you prepared in advance you should remain in your home and hold the fort. Walking around your neighborhood trying to find out how the situation is developing and scooping news from your neighbors is not smart and you may end up getting hurt or worse. Stay inside and keep your family away from windows and doors.
2.Avoid interacting with people. During a crisis event that creates unstable elements of society, no interaction is the best interaction. If you must engage others, you should keep all interactions brief. It is better if less people know about you, where you are, what supplies you have and the status of your family.
3.Avoid making new friends and maintain operational security. During a crisis scenario you shouldn’t bring anyone into your home. If you must interact with someone, do it outside and don’t test your luck, keep it short. If you must bring a known person into your home, make sure they understand and agree to abide your rules. If you notice strange behavior or if the person looks suspicious it’s better to discuss at the door. During a survival situation, people will become desperate and even those that you know can turn against you.
4.Keep your supplies out of sight. You should never pile up your supplies in open spaces where they can be seen from a window or an open door. Your supplies should be stashed in places only you know about and if you plan to use the “pantry decoy method”, hide the supplies in plain sight.
5.If you need to run a generator, make sure it doesn’t do more harm than good. You should never run a generator in plain sight. The noise of the generator will give away your position and you need to mask its location if you installed it outside. Try to find ways to deflect the noise of your generator. Some people will use a muffler and an automotive exhaust to cut the noise down while others like the person in the video below will build a quiet box for their generator.
6. You should avoid cooking foods. During a crisis scenario, it is smart to eat prepared foods that do not require cooking. If you fire up the BBQ grill, the smell of food will be carried for long distances and you will be detected by the hungry roamers. Also, making the right fire type plays an important role during a crisis scenario and you should learn about the different fire types you can build.
Suggested reading: Different fire types you can make and how to use them
7.Avoid using a light source at night if the power is out. Using lights at night will turn you into a salvation beacon for all the desperate people rooming outside. If you must use lights at night, get a few flashlights with red lenses to conserve night vision and use them frugally. Also try to use candles as your eyes will adjust better to the dark when going outside compared to when using artificial lights. You should plan and complete all tasks during daylight hours if you want to keep a low profile during SHTF.
8.Keep al exterior doors, windows and gates closed and locked. If one of your family members doesn’t respect this rule, it can compromise the security of your home. You should make it harder for people to get in during a survival situation and not easier. All windows shades and curtains must be kept closed to keep snooping eyes at bay.
9.Don’t engage strangers, no matter how pathetic or helpless they may seem. Bad guys can act and play the victim role just to get what they want. They will try to look convincing when asking for a glass of water just to gather information about you and your family. Even the helpless teenager that looks thirsty may be part of a much larger group trying to figure out if you are a good target.
10.Learn how to deal with survival sanitation. Disposing of waste can be tricky when you’re in lock-down mode and you need to make sure you know how to deal with sanitation during a crisis event. All traces of trash and human waste can give away your position if not handled properly.
Recommended article: Survival sanitation and how to deal with it
11.Keep your kids busy if you want to keep a low profile during SHTF. Some kids are well-behaved while others can be a handful. Regardless of what personality your kids have, one thing is certain, a bored kid will start acting up and you will have another problem to deal with. You need to find ways to keep your kids busy, so that you can deal with the more important stuff. Planning activities for the younger ones shouldn’t be that hard and everything from reading books, to game puzzles or even coloring books can keep them busy for quite some time. Knowing about what your kids like and learning how to pull their strings will help you control them during a crisis scenario.
12.Your pets, your downfall. This is probably one of the hardest things you have to deal with during a survival situation if you want to stay under the radar. Only few people invest time in their pets to make obedient and thrust worthy companions out of them. For the rest, dealing with pets during a SHTF scenario will become a real problem. There isn’t really a recipe for success here and it all depends on how you raised and trained your pets. Some will take the harsh decision of putting them down for the sake of others, while many will set them free (although all pets return to their home). Since pets are like family members for many of us, you have to plan in advance and include your non-human friends in your bug-in or bug-out plans.
13.Invest in your neighbors. I know that many people will argue that trust is hard to find in these harsh times, but the neighbors you knew all your life will come to your aid if they are preparedness-minded like you. Keeping a separate stash of canned/boxed food, water bottles and spare ammo on their property will benefit the both of you. Helping your neighbors and showing them that you are willing to share your supplies with them is a good step towards building trust. As long as you don’t compromise your security, sharing and cooperation will help you survive.
14.Don’t access your supplies in the presence of anyone outside your survival group. It is better to be selfish than to end up being shot for a few cans of tuna. Your number one priority has to be you and your loved ones. Only those close to you should know about your supplies.
Recommended reading: How to cache supplies for darker days
15.If things go down…fight back! Even with all preparations and all your struggle to keep a low profile during SHTF, there is still room for mistakes and your supplies may be discovered. If you live in a dense populated area, chances are aggressors will come for you and your supplies. Only a strong show of force may send them away, and even so, that might be temporarily. Aggressors will initially go after easier targets, but they will not forget about you. Once all the easy targets have been taken, they will come back for you and you need to have a backup plan.
Keeping a low profile during SHTF is certainly not easy and at some point you will need to make some crucial decisions. Do you stay or do you go? Do you make a stand? These are hard questions and it will not be easy to find the right answer when avoidance fails. Much of it will depend on how well prepared you are and how well you know your environment.
Stay safe and God Bless!
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