Topic Takeover - Maintaining OpSec?

(39 Posts)
TheSlightlyEmbarrassedPrepper Thu 22-Oct-15 12:53:07

Those of you who are preppers, are you open about the fact that you prepare? I try to keep it as quiet as possible because people will think I am a nutter, and I don't want ravening hordes descending on me the minute the lights start flickering.

I have a very dear friend who has four children and one day she was round at my old place and noticed all my bottles of water. I explained that I was preparing for a powercut and the possibility that the shops could be shut for a few days. I referenced the fuel crisis too, for emphasis. I didn't come right out and advise her to start prepping! She found the whole thing hilarious. I can be a bit eccentric, which doesn't help. But I do worry about my friend and how she would cope with four hungry children in case of emergency.

How do you strike a balance between keeping quiet about your preps, and suggesting to those you care about that they might want to start prepping?

None of my family know I prep, and they don't have anything other than flasks, a few tins, longlife milk and a gas camping stove. My mum does rush to boil a kettle and fill flasks whenever the lights suddenly dim. They would think I had gone quite mad if I told them about my preps, despite the fact that we were regularly snowed in in the distant past. I think that is where I first got my interest in prepping from.

I don't discuss it with friends either.

Just wondered how other mumsnetters deal with this?

OP’s posts: |
Stratter5 Thu 22-Oct-15 16:45:21

Easy for me, I have whittled my RL down to me, DH, 2 DDs, and the PILs. SIL hovers vaguely on the sidelines, but she is very much like me, and keeps herself to herself.

I've spoken to the neighbour's about 6 times in 4 years, apart from that I only talk to local shopkeepers so nobody knows outside of MN. I wouldn't tell anyone. If the scoffers haven't prepared for anything, that's their lookout, I can't afford to prep for others.

winchester1 Thu 22-Oct-15 19:10:05

I just moved toba very rural area where I'm seen as unprepared!

FuckTheseSixFishInParticular Thu 22-Oct-15 19:18:23

I do try not to talk about it too much, because I don't want people coming around asking for it (or worse) if something happens.

My mother knows I have some stuff, she thinks it's sensible and has some stuff of her own.

We were also snowed in a couple of times as kids, and also had a couple of fairly lengthy powercuts when I was at school (rural northern boarding school), so I have always thought it was just common sense to be prepared.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 22-Oct-15 19:19:53

I'm a prepper. Dh is not. <sniffy about it> He may be thankful one day. Otherwise he'll never know what has been prepped in spite of him. Hopefully that'll be the case.

Stratter5 Thu 22-Oct-15 19:58:18

DH is an odd cross between someone who wants to be as self sufficient and live as off grid as possible, whilst scoffing at anyone who has more than 3 cans of tomatoes in the cupboard.

Let's not tell him I buy them in multiples of 10 every time I go to Lidls. At 31p a can, I can stash a lot without it impacting any food bills. Same with all their canned goods, v v good value. He's not found my canned goods stash yet, am planning that it stays that way.

TheSlightlyEmbarrassedPrepper Thu 22-Oct-15 20:05:24

Where do you all keep your tins? I used to have some of mine on a large cheap wine rack in the garage. I could store two normal sized tins in the space meant for each bottle. I don't have the room for that now so I have built a wall of tins at the back of each kitchen cupbard but it is difficult to keep track of what I have, especially when I am storing what I use, and using what I store. I have seen some good ideas for underbed storage drawers but I am already using that space for clothes.

OP’s posts: |
TheSlightlyEmbarrassedPrepper Thu 22-Oct-15 20:09:50

Something that worries me slightly is that I have all this outdoor cooking gear but if I don't want everyone knowing that I have preps I won't be able to use it. I really wouldn't want to use any of that stuff inside, even though i have a CO monitor. I have read disturbing advice not to heat any food up as the hungry hordes will be able to smell it from miles away. I am in an area with houses all around. Am I doomed to eating everything cold from tins?

OP’s posts: |
atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:20:16

My friends and family think I'm slightly unhinged but we live rurally and in fact whenever there is snow we become housebound (although we have 4 wheel drive on both cars) and the trek to the nearest shop on foot would be a nightmare.

My DM jokes about being able to do her entire monthly shop in my store cupboard if she's ever destitute. My DSis could be persuaded that having a few things in her house just in case wouldn't hurt. Most of my friends laugh at me but I can tell I'm gradually converting one (the only other who also lives rurally). When we're drunk, the conversation often comes around to the number of tins of baked beans I have since I am apparently the most unlikely of peppers to look at confused.

We have a secret panel on a store area under the stairs (house came like that, it wasn't me being obsessive) and in there we have many many bottles of water. I also have some large water storage containers which get refilled from the tap on a regular basis. The food is mainly in the garage where it's cool and the "kit" torches, candles, oil lamps, battery packs, spare batteries, walkie talkies, matches, fire strikers etc all lives in the utility room.

We also all have a torch besides our beds.

Racundra Thu 22-Oct-15 20:32:02

What is it you're prepping for? Ebola?

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:39:56

Just stuff

MNHQ wouldn't give us a "being prepared/prepping" topic and so we're taken over the Ebola topic smile

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:40:16


winchester1 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:44:29

What we are prepping for depends where we live and how we think. For me its three main categories.

Snow/hurricanes type stuff -likely to get help in a week/month but need to stay indoors.

House fires, burst pies etc - need to get out quick, but only you affected.

Major disasters - earthquake, tsunami, pandemic, major floods - help may or may not come for many months.

(ebola is just one of many and the best topic we could.find so as not to.flood chat)

Stratter5 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:46:02

It's a rather pointed take over, given we were denied a board of our own in favour of Yoga hmm

TheoriginalLEM Thu 22-Oct-15 20:52:25

So what are you preparing FOR?

Hopefully EBOLA isn't going to decimate the planet, yes its a terrible problem in the underdeveloped world where sanitation is an issue but hopefully modern medical practice and infection control has this one covered. If it doesn't, then what? guess we are fucked.

Zombie apocalypse isn't real.

I suppose its sensible to be prepared for a powercut and being snowed in.

Anything else i reckon we are fucked so i'll just stick with a cyanide tablet.

winchester1 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:57:20

But snowed in, floods, fires is what we are talking about.

Zombies are just a bit of fun.

TheSlightlyEmbarrassedPrepper Thu 22-Oct-15 20:57:50

I think they just didn't give us the board because they think we are nutters. But in the US the government gives a lot more advice on what to do to be prepared. Also in the US people know that the government will not be there for them. Here most people seem to think that somebody will come and sort it all out for them, and that Cameron wouldn't let us starve hmm

If the grid goes down nobody will be able to access mumsnet for advice on how to survive. This is why you need to prepare in advance, not just with supplies but with knowledge.

OP’s posts: |
atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:58:20

and do you actually have a cyanide tablet wink

Indole Thu 22-Oct-15 21:02:11

I'm prepping (patchily and randomly) for major power outages, pandemics, floods and extreme weather. Those are the things that are most likely to hit me where I am. So my stuff is all about bugging in and being safe and comfortable in our home. DH thinks I am a bit crazy. I think I am just being prepared and making sure we are safe. I am mainly about being prepared for loss of power and being fed and warm while waiting for the crisis to be mended. I'm not doing end of the civilised world stuff. Although I do have an excellent library of seeds that will breed true, so should the end of the world come I have either the means to feed us for years or an excellent bargaining tool.

I don't really talk about it to other people. I can't not talk about it to DH as otherwise he would think I was an insane hoarder. I have water, food for a good month (maybe more if rationed), a means of heating/cooking food without power, ways of keeping us warm, ways of keeping us connected to news (eg solar radios), just stuff that might make us comfortable in the event of a big problem.

Ideally, I would like to be somewhere more isolated with more land and also as off-grid as possible but DH and DD don't agree.

Indole Thu 22-Oct-15 21:03:48

I also have an excellent library of (paper) books on how to survive and also how to make/build/do stuff that you might need to do in order to rebuild some kind of infrastructure in the event of the actual end of the world.

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 21:06:40

I have a good pocket book about edible plant life in the UK. Hawthorn leaves are not bad.

Indole Thu 22-Oct-15 21:29:47

Oh, that sounds like a useful kind of book to have. Could you share the title? I would really like to get something like that.

EldonAve Thu 22-Oct-15 22:02:03

Do you think you should also stockpile weapons and fuel?

TheSlightlyEmbarrassedPrepper Thu 22-Oct-15 22:18:02

You are not allowed to store more than 30l of petrol or diesel. If you are a farmer and you have your own agricultural diesel pump then all well and good, but if you live in a suburban semi it probably isn't the best idea.

I am not stockpiling weapons or ammo. I don't have any of either. My family have shotguns but I don't. I have only shot clays as a hobby and I was never very good. I don't think having lots of people who are not very experienced at shooting roaming all over the country taking pot shots at each other is a very good idea. What puts me off all this prepping is that people with guns will just come round and shoot me to get their hands on my tins of luncheon meat. That's why I am keen on maintaining opsec. A lot of preppers seem to mainly be interested in guns and crossbows. That isn't me. I just want to be fed, warm, and clean.

OP’s posts: |
winchester1 Fri 23-Oct-15 05:01:03

Yh we have guns and diesel but we use both regularly so its more a way of live than prepping.
Tbh killing and butchering meat is harder than it looks I think those in cities and not experienced would be better raiding shops.

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