OPSEC, or Operational Security, refers to keeping your everyday movements and actions discreet to prevent malicious parties from being able to piece together important information such as your schedule or the status of your preps.

Many preppers and non-preppers alike are familiar with obvious day to day OPSEC procedures (i.e. not putting a key under your door mat when someone might be able to see you). But what happens in a SHTF scenario? As people start to get hungry and potentially violent, the rules change and a stricter set of OPSEC standards needs to be applied.

I have come up with a few examples of how OPSEC will need to change post-shtf. As you are reading these keep in mind that OPSEC, similar to prepping in general, is a mindset the needs to be acquired and applied to the situation at hand.

Daily Routine/Travel Routes

In a pre-collapse world, many people that live in the same area follow similar schedules. For example, in a particular neighborhood, the majority of people might work 9-5 Monday through Friday. Burglars use this information to plan break-ins.

Post-shtf, it will not just be burglars any more. Now it’s any desperate individual with mouths to feed. You might even have people watching which route you take to find a vulnerable point to attack you away from the security of your home.

To increase your security, think about varying your schedule and alternating routes.

Noise Level

Before the chaos, noise coming from a house is typically just dismissed as a nuisance by the casual observer. Post-shtf however, noise means activity, which means people, which means supplies. Loud items like portable generators and power tools should only be used when absolutely necessary, and ideally during the daytime when you are not the only person in the area making noise.

Visible Security Measures

While having visible security measures is a deterrent post-shtf, if you suddenly erect a 10 foot barb wire fence with guard towers around a trailer, you might start to draw some unwanted attention. While that example is obviously a bit extreme, the point here is that you should make the necessary improvements to secure your home post-shtf, but avoid taking any measures the might be out of place for the area that you live in. You want to make yourself look like a difficult target that is not worth the time. The more high end or expensive security measures you have in place, especially if it is obvious that you had planned ahead of time for a shtf event, the more likely it is that someone might think you have something worth hiding.


In good times, people do bad things. In bad times, more people do worse things. You would be amazed at what people, even those you consider “friends”, are capable of.

OPSEC becomes even more important to your survival in a collapse. The best way to boost your operational security post-shtf is to get the right mindset pre-shtf. Start by doing the simple things.

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