[The following is an excerpt from Countdown to Preparedness.]
One aspect of prepper security after a major collapse is keeping your head down and blending in. For example, if it has been a few weeks since disaster struck and everyone around you is starting to see their belly buttons getting closer to their spines, you really don’t want to walk around picking bacon from between your teeth and patting a full stomach.
If folks around you have a strong feeling you have more “stuff” than they do, it may just be a matter of time before they come knocking on your door, either with their hands out or their hands filled with weapons. By reducing your footprint, you reduce any motivation for folks to come visiting.
What do I mean by footprint? Essentially, this refers to leaving little evidence laying around that indicates you’re better off than others.
For at least the short term, bag up food wrappers and empty boxes for later disposal. If it looks like it will be quite some time before trash pickup begins again, consider either burning or burying trash. Compost what you can as much as possible.
If at all possible, do all cooking indoors to prevent the smell from wafting over the neighborhood. Depending on what you’re cooking, the spices used, and how you’re cooking it, that odor can go for quite a ways. If you have to cook outside, do so as quickly as possible.
Try to keep things audibly quiet as well. Depending on the circumstances, it may be just fine to let the kids play in the backyard but make sure they understand to keep the noise down. Ne’er do wells who are hunting for targets might figure if your kids have enough energy to play a loud game of tag, they’re getting that energy from food you are hiding.
Keep your stored food and water out of sight in the home. Folks looking through windows as they pass by shouldn’t see five cases of MREs sitting on the kitchen table. Also, there may be occasions where a neighbor might be welcome to stop over for a short visit but you don’t really want them knowing you have a dozen cases of bottled water socked away.
If none of your neighbors are keeping up with their lawns and flower beds, don’t be the only one on the block who does. Keep gardens in the backyard or somewhere else that is not easily seen from the street. Consider privacy fencing to keep eyes away from your stuff.
Again, a key element here is to blend in with those around you. If they are wearing drab clothes that are starting to get pretty ragged, that’s not the best time to strut around in new looking cargo pants and flannel shirts you set aside for a rainy day.
Personally though, I have a hard time with preppers going so far as to stand in line for any rations being given out by authorities if said preppers have a fully stocked pantry. Doing so reduces the available resources for the truly needy. You’ll have to make your own call on that one.