OPSEC for Preppers Part 2: What do you need to protect? – By Gray Wolf – Brought to you by the Pirates Ready Store

How to make a Prepper OPSEC plan

How to be a Prepper: OPSEC for Preppers Part 2:

What do you need to protect?


The next thing you have to do in learning how to be a prepper with good OPSEC… ( you need to bold or italicize things in your writing if you want the search engines to know what your article is about, in case you’re wondering why some of these things are bolded or italicized. Sometimes I just like to mix it up though). …after you figure out of all the things you have: what do you need to protect? What do you have that you can’t live without? Don’t forget family and friends, and yourself. Look at what you have that would be extremely difficult to replace if it were lost or used up, or difficult to repair if broken.

These are the things that you need to focus your attention on. Don’t worry about protecting the stuff you don’t need. You may even want to carry things you don’t need that others may, in order to get yourself out of a predicament later on. One common practice that illustrates this point is a decoy wallet. If you are being robbed and you give up a wallet that has unimportant items such as random business cards and a few dollar bills, it may buy you time to get away – with your real wallet and the rest of your money and items.

Look at not only how valuable it is but how hard it would be to fix if SHTF or if you couldn’t ask for help. Look at what would happen if someone stole it or broke it. What would happen if someone found out you had it?


Ease of Replacement – Water is an extremely important item to protect in most circumstances but if you live over an underwater stream, draw water from a well with both electric and mechanical pumps, have a lake nearby, it’s priority of consideration for keeping would be different than if you were walking through a desert with just a camelback on. Same goes for items such as firewood, food, vehicle parts and so on. If you lost it, how easy would it be to get another?

If it’s important and you would have a hard time replacing it then you have to protect it better. If not, you can afford to allocate your resources to protect other things more. Sentimentality is a part of the consideration of ease of replacement that may supersede other considerations. An item may be of no use to you or anyone else except it’s kept as a reminder of a loved-one.

Even though on the surface it may look like you don’t have to consider its protection, perhaps you do. Cost factors into the ease of replacement because it’s directly tied to value but in a SHTF scenario or during the aftermath of a natural disaster like a hurricaine, values change drastically. Don’t just think of something costing the $10 to replace it that you spent to get it. What if that $10 paid for antibiotics and someone got a cut that was starting to get infected? Those antibiotics are now worth everything to that person and others with them.

Ease of Repair – Do you have an important item that you wouldn’t be able to fix if it were broken? If so, you have to put this item higher up on the list than others. Someone may not steal it but it could seriously affect your well-being if it were damaged. What is it worth?

To a businessman in downtown Vegas on a Saturday night, a wad of hundred dollar bills is worth a great time and could even have an effect on his career and relationships if spent on others. To someone stranded in the woods with no hope of rescue on a cold night, it may be worth even more: tinder. If the world , or your immediate world, were to take a drastic left turn, what we see as expensive or valuable may be worthless overnight.

Conversely, things that most people don’t really consider all that expensive today may be worth killing or dying for. Imagine the value of antibiotics to the father of a child who got a nasty cut from playing in the yard

Is there a substitute? – One thing to keep in mind with worth is related to the previous topic of replacement ease: substitution. Are there other things that could be used instead? In the above example of antibiotics, you may not have a leftover subscription of penicillin that would be of value to the concerned father but if you had some form of veterinary medicine, in a survival situation, you could save that child’s life. There are also plants that have antibiotic properties such as pine resin.

How much would just that knowledge be worth? Of course, if there are no pine trees to get the sap, that knowledge may be worthless. Basically, you may not have the ability to replace an item if it’s lost but if you have the knowledge and ability to find a suitable substitute, you may not have to worry as much about protecting that particular item.

When deciding what it’s worth, you not only have to figure out what it may be worth to others, you have to figure out what good it is to you. Why do you really need it? In order to understand that, it might pay to understand just what a need really is. Needs vs wants. Do you know the difference? A need is something that its loss would have a negative effect on someone’s heath or function. A want is something that has a positive effect on your quality of life, however you measure that. You may still want to keep something even though you don’t actually need it but you may come to a point where you have to make a choice. You have to decide if you need it or just want it really badly. Everything has an opportunity cost associated with it. You need to learn how to be a prepper with priorities.


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

One person who did a lot of study on needs and wants is Abraham Maslow. To break down how a person’s needs and wants may vary depending on their circumstance, he developed his Hierarchy of Needs model. He broke down needs into five major categories:

    1. Physiological
    2. Safety and Security
    3. Love and Belonging
    4. Self-Esteem
    5. Self-Actualization

Physiological needs are basically what the human body needs to survive. If these needs are not met; we die. Items that provide for these needs are such things as food, water, basic shelter and air and sometimes medical supplies and information. Items that satisfy these needs would typically have a higher priority for protection than others. These are the survival skills you first jump into when learning how to be a prepper.

Safety and Security needs are a definite priority in a survival situation. Many things can contribute to safety such as shelter, ammunition, relationships and so on. These items must remain high on your priorities but may not be has high as that of items that satisfy physiological needs. That doesn’t mean that you would always prioritize items that provide for the satisfaction of physiological needs over safety needs, however. For example, if the supply of food is plentiful or easily obtained, you may decide that packing an extra 500 rounds of 9mm ammunition may suit you better than an extra meal ration.

Some items that satisfy safety and security needs are not immediately apparent. Financial security and overall health and well-being are among the needs in this category. A jump rope may not be recognized as immediately important (although it could be used as a rope, if need be). At second glance, however, you could see that it could keep someone in shape, thereby mitigating disease. Keeping in shape also increases your cardiovascular system, which could come in handy in either a combat situation or while hasty advancement to the rear.

Love and Belonging is the next set of needs in the hierarchy. Humans have a strong urge to be a part of a relationship or a group and why we risk our lives to impress people. This is why a picture of your kids may be worth more than eating for a day or more. Having things or doing things that keep you important to a group may be important to you as well. If you’re a part of a community that values you as a mechanic, then having tools could be immensely important to you; more than the medic next door.

Items that increase your value in the sight of others would also belong to this group. If you lived in a shelter that impressed the pretty girl living in the tent nearby, your perceived value may increase because of the shelter. That shelter now not only protects you and keeps you warm, it gains you a sexual or relationship advantage over others not so lucky.

Self-esteem is how much value you place on yourself. Some items or abilities can affect a person’s self-esteem. These items are those that help someone gain recognition from others or a sense of value. A guitar may be worthless to someone who doesn’t play but to someone who plays well and is appreciated for his playing, it can be worth its weight in gold. Maslow spoke of two versions of esteem needs; lower and higher. The lower is the need for respect from others and the higher is self-respect. This can be thought of as external and internal respect, although both are intimately related.

Self-actualization is the highest rung on the hierarchy of Maslow’s needs. It is essentially what is a person’s full potential; what they were born to do. Some people may be strongly drawn to teaching or medicine while others may feel fully alive while protecting others. A common misconception is that the theory says that people must fulfill their needs on a lower rung before they need higher ones. Being at the top doesn’t mean it’s any more or less important than the others. It just means that in general, if someone is lacking in having their lower needs satisfied, they may have stronger motivations to fulfill those before moving on to self-actualization.

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