Disguises for Use in Disasters – Good Idea or No?

Posted on: November 3, 2014

I don’t spend a lot of time perusing survival/prepper forums anymore. Entirely too many keyboard warriors who are apparently still living in Mommy’s basement and not nearly enough functional adults who live out here in Big People Land.

Today’s topic is one that I’ve seen posted about ad nauseum on many forums. The general idea is that some folks have purchased or cobbled together, well, costumes, that they plan to use as a way to get around roadblocks and other obstacles should a widespread disaster hit. The most common costumes or disguises are of law enforcement officers, FEMA workers, or even National Guard soldiers. These people figure that if they’re dressed in such a way, a little bluffing will get them through a checkpoint or whatever and they can continue on their way with little delay.

Um, yeah. Folks, this is a really, REALLY bad idea.

I know a lot of law enforcement types. Most of my closest friends wear badges or they did until they retired. They are pretty good at spotting fake cops. Further, they don’t tend to look favorably on those who take this route to fame and fortune. While minor misdemeanor offenses like littering or jaywalking are probably going to be ignored in the wake of the crisis, someone showing up wearing a tin badge and pretending to be a cop from a neighboring area is likely going to see some rather intense scrutiny.

Hell, it could even go the other way. Let’s say you pull off an Oscar-quality performance and they buy it. You just might find yourself being asked to pitch in with the relief efforts. Declining that request could subject you to closer examination, bringing you back around to square one.

Many of my readers are military veterans. Show of hands – how many of you don’t mind in the least when you learn of someone lying about a service record? I know one guy who tried doing that online, telling folks he had been a member of some Secret Squirrel outfit that was an offshoot of the Army Rangers. Perhaps not surprisingly, when a few REAL Rangers found out about this, they checked him out and found out he was a fraud. Squirrel dude has been pretty quiet ever since. I’m guessing he’s still learning how to type with his toes.

On top of the risk of being found out by the people wearing the real uniforms, you know, the ones they actually earned the right to wear, this course of action flies in the face of the Grey Man concept we try to stress. Rather than blending in, all you’re doing is calling attention to yourself. Think about this for a second — in the event of a major crisis, do you really want to have anyone think you are even remotely “in charge” of the emergency response? To many laypersons, anyone in a uniform is going to be seen as someone with information about the situation, someone with answers, and they’ll want to talk to them.

A far better plan is to do everything you can to avoid potential roadblocks and such. Donning a Halloween costume in hopes of pulling the wool over the eyes of those manning those obstacles is just inviting more trouble.

4 thoughts on “Disguises for Use in Disasters – Good Idea or No?

  1. Yes I plan a simple disguise. A mustache! I’m female, a senior, but broad shouldered and have been called sir when I tuck my hair into a cap. Since a male of any age is less of a draw for creeps, I’m thinking this will help.

  2. I’ve given the disguise look some thought over the last few years because my commute is 20 miles one way although I do work 1 or 2 days a week from home.

    If the SHTF fan while I at my office I would have to walk those 20 miles and knowing my luck, it would be zero degrees with a wind chill factor.

    My plan is to buy a scruffy old Carhartt jacket and stuff one of my fleece lined levi’s in the truck for such an event.

    During the winter I keep a pair of snow boots in both trucks. And warm gloves.

    If it all goes to hell in the winter I’ll pull those clothes on and try not get any attention from LEO’s OR predators. However, I need to plan for summer SHTF as well and have those clothes in each vehicle as well.

    There are two routes I have planned out should I have to walk home from work and both have a stretch that passes through several blocks of section 8 housing. With my dirty carpenter disguise I’m hoping to avoid problems. My size ( 6’3″ and 190 lbs ) should deter most people but my grey hair might encourage a group to confront me although in the intial first hours of SHTF there will be confusion which I’m hoping will work to my advantage until after i get home. Who knows?

    If there is a disguise that would work I’m hoping that the tired carpenter hoofing it home will work.

    If not then the Keltec 9 MM should dissuade any jerks and if that doesn’t work my Kabar will.

    My thought is that anyone who tries to disguise themselves as LEO’s or NG is not going to be treated well by the real deal. You’ll be stuffed and cuffed and if the SHTF is going down you’ll be sitting in jail with some of the most horrid criminals ya’ll ever laid eyes on. NOT GOOD!

    Stay well my friends and watch your six!

    Snake Plisken

  3. this best thing ANYONE can do is try to be the person that NOBODY pays attention to!!! be the gray person is NOT a easy thing to do you have to look like everybody else as far as clothing goes START by paying attention to who is wearing what when you go out to say walmart pay attention to hair cuts is there mostly short hair long hair what ever are they whereing hats and sunglasses you get the drift

  4. I hope they all dress up like police and Soldiers. This way the intelligent people can make it out.
    My family is to meet at our home. If one of us can not make it home we meet at my brothers. We will stay home as long as possible. If we need to get to the woods in never never land, we have mapped out four different routes with four different ways or transportation Car, Boat, Four wheelers and hopping a train. We are looking at a fifth way at this point if we need to move in the snow. Snowmobile is our choice but we have to find a good route for that. We will make that happen after the first snowfall.
    This is off the subject but thought people would like this. I live very close to the city line but my house is on a street with woods behind it. Guess it was railroad property. Well I have two deers eating apples out of my hand at this point. My dear brother said yep keep feeding them deer we might need them nice and fat one day. He promised I would not have to shoot them he would. So all is good there. 🙂

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