I did a presentation on going gray for my prepper group and to sum things up, you blend in.
You keep your eyes open, ears open, and mouth shut. You don’t advertise your stuff – or leave it where others can see it. You do not talk politics or religion with neighbors (giving them a grudge or a reason to remember you out of many other strangers, or interesting them in a sudden visit). You talk about local sports and the weather instead – innocuous subjects. You don’t wear camo, you wear work clothes (if that is what everyone else wears around you). You drive a similar car to everyone elses (that was hard for many of the men to accept, they liked their personal vehicles). You don’t ‘open carry’ . Concealed is OK, but it is strictly don’t ask, don’t tell. (Why give a predator pre-knowledge of your ability to defend?)
You watch what you tell people – disinformation can be a friend, but keep it to a minimum or you will get mixed up. Better just give the impression of being the quiet type.
Cultivate the neighborhood snoopy-pants. They will be able to tell you about the neighbors, their friends, strangers, wildlife in the ‘hood, etc. If you can do it, a little dis-information can be put into play – just tell them it is a secret, and it will invariably get broadcast. So make sure it is what you want people to think, ie, you too think the way that everyone else does. So utilize that nosy snoop for intelligence. Be discreet, but make friends (sort of) with them. If you squirm at disinformation, just be a great listener. Spy agencies collect data that way, so can you.
Start networking now with your neighbors – discreetly, of course, talking sports and the like, so you can get a feel for how they might handle a critical situation. Several of my neighbors are preppers, though nobody has openly discussed it. They are self reliant, and in a crunch we will team up; we all know that instinctively, and have an unspoken agreement on it born from borrowing each others power tools, and swapping veggies and canning recipes over the back fence. We have given out firewood, they have helped us split wood when we get a new load in. The one legged Viet Vet, the construction worker, the do-it-yourselfer who is a hunter, and the motorcycle mechanic down the block we all know, and have learned enough about to network with them. The ultra liberal elderly lady across the street – no, we will help her get to her family, but not depend on her one whit. Ditto the harried family man next door who is always too tired from work, or when he is laid off too tired from smoking weed, to help his wife with the upkeep of their home. We will help him and his children sign up for help from FEMA (he does not know where to go, while we have researched it for him). But depend on him? Noooooo. Let him in out home? Noooooo. Give him anything? Hell, Nooooooo.
Depending on circumstances you might need to be gray around your whole family, especially when your children are too young to know about opsec. Show and Tell at school does not need to know about Daddy’s (or Mommy’s) new gun and how they carry it everywhere (it tends to freak out the teachers anyway); nor about the full store room. If you decorate in ‘colonial’ or ‘historical’ style, it is easier to have such things as hand tools and non-electric appliances on hand. Just tell people you are ‘old school’ or if you want, that you are ‘trying to lessen my carbon footprint’ (LOL). Treat such things matter of factly, without fanfare (if you cant keep it secret) and hopefully the little shavers will just assume it is nothing unusual or interesting enough to bring up to anyone else, until they are old enough to understand not talking about some things to their peers. Camping is a good socially acceptable way to practice your self reliance skills. If you have a nosy neighbor who sees you practicing pitching a tent or some such in the back yard, it is ‘advertised’ as family togetherness, not something out of the ordinary. Ditto visiting historical sites and tours to see how things were done in the eras before electricity. History buffs tend to be thought of as faceless geeks, while preppers are looked upon as lunatics with cool stuff you want to take.
Clothing, even in a crisis should NOT be military or hunting camo, it stands out. Work clothes, preferably broken in, in gray, beige or denim; a bike helmet, NOT a military style one (sorry folks, I like that stuff too). Work boots, not military ones. A common backpack in a neutral color, not a LL Bean (pricey, makes you a target) or a military (makes you a militia suspect) one. You don’t want to stand out at all.
So, to sum up about going gray: look, act, talk, dress the same as the neighbors; keep display items that are flashy or more expensive strictly out of sight. Keep your yard up more or less the same way; drive a similar car. No obvious stuff that most neighbors don’t already have. No gorgeous slate shingles if everybody else has asphalt ones. No boat worthy of a drug smuggler when everyone else has a bass boat. Leave the HumVee in the garage and drive the used pickup truck around town. The life of the party, the neighborhood block party guy, is NOT who you want to be in a crises. You don’t even want your name being associated with charity events – donate anonymously. You want to be nobody special. You want to blend is so well that when your name is mentioned, people’s first reaction is “Who? Never noticed them. ” Its safer that way. That is what living gray is to me.
Statistics: Posted by kappydell — Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:45 am