Looting is a common after-effect of natural disasters and other widespread emergencies.
As we prepare to survive these events, we also need to take steps to ensure that we do not make ourselves targets for looters.
There are a lot of things we can do to secure ourselves against looting after a disaster or emergency, but there are also many daily habits that can place us in the crosshairs of local mobs or criminals.
Most of us are active on some form of social media, and the apps in each of our smartphones make posting to these platforms far too easy.
There is nothing wrong with posting some preparedness-related content, but you should be very careful about how much you reveal.
Go through your social media every few months and do a thorough audit making sure that the full extent of your preps is concealed.
Anyone viewing your social media should not be able to ascertain how prepared you actually are, but it is not only preparedness-related posts that can give this away. Check the backgrounds of all the photos that you post to ensure that your supplies are not visible.
Of particular note are firearms. Avoid posting any images that can reveal the number and types of weapons in your home. If too many people know the extent of your arsenal, you will become a target for looters looking to score some firepower.
This would include message boards where preppers and survivalists like to brag about the state of their preparations. If you participate in these discussions, keep the details to a minimum and use a VPN to hide your actual IP address and location.
Not Policing Your Trash
Garbage and recycle bins are great ways to gain insight into what is happening inside a home.
Be mindful when throwing out the boxes for your new survival gear.
People walking by your bins on garbage day will notice what those discarded boxes used to contain, and they will probably remember that when faced with an SHTF situation.
Some of these neighbors may turn into looters.
Lack Of Situational Awareness
The best way to avoid trouble is to see it coming before it becomes a problem.
Unfortunately, most people have been lulled into a false sense of security and do not exercise any degree of situational awareness.
It is all too easy to go through the routine and mundane day-to-day existence without paying too much attention to the world around us.
We need to maintain a constant watch on our surroundings and what is happening in the area around us.
Be aware of who your neighbors are, the vehicles that are commonly parked in the area, any criminal or gang activity, potential targets for mobs of looters in the vicinity of your neighborhood, and anyone or anything that seems out of place.
Looking Like A Victim
Never look like a victim.
If your neighbors see you as the person who walks around with a sense of purpose, head held high on a swivel, and exuding confidence; you will not be considered someone who is an easy target.
Too often, we walk around with our faces in our phones or earbuds in, totally oblivious to our surroundings.
When the people in your neighborhood see you, they should see someone who is physically fit, confident, aware, and not an easy target.
Looking Like A Prepper
Regardless of the situation, we should all be taking the ‘grey man’ approach. The best way to stay off the radar of looters is to appear that you have nothing worth stealing.
Related: How To Become Untraceable When SHTF
The problem is, as preppers, we like to have the gear we need ready to go in case of emergencies. As a result, it is common to see preppers and survivalists carrying get-home bags or EDC bags that look ‘tactical.’
Instead, what we should be doing is keeping our EDC and get home bags as low profile as possible. Instead of tactical bags or MOLLE pouches, choose school backpacks or gym bags that no one will note as potentially containing valuable survival gear.
Other things that make us look like ‘preppers’ would also include plastering bumper stickers or window decals on our vehicles that advertise firearms, survival gear, the second amendment, etc.
Wearing clothing that looks tactical can also give the impression that you are a prepper and would have things worth stealing.
Displaying Your Preps
In some cases, it is impossible to conceal your preps, such as solar panels.
But whenever possible, you should make sure that anything you have that screams ‘prepper’ is hidden from the view of passersby
One mistake some people make is to do inventories of their gear on their driveways, yards, or in the garage with the door open.
When you are pulling your gear or supplies out to check and inventory, do so in a way that prevents anyone who is walking by from seeing what you are doing.
Not Talking To Your Family About Security
It is vital that you speak to your family, especially children, about what they can and cannot speak to other people about.
Children like to talk and brag about how great they and their families are, so either ensure your children know that your preps are not to be discussed or keep them in the dark about the true scope of your supplies.
We are all creatures of habit, but there is no reason why we should let our habits affect the long-term survivability of ourselves and our families.
By staying aware of the habits we have formed and taking measures to correct them, we can remove ourselves from the crosshairs of looters or anyone else who may want to take from us after SHTF.
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