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As you begin to plan your strategy for protecting your preparations, the first (and most basic) option is to keep quiet.  For the purposes of our discussion, keeping quiet includes three options: hiding your stuff at your home, hiding your stuff outside your home, and hiding your stuff by not talking about it.  Today we’ll go over some of the general considerations for hiding stuff, and next time we’ll talk about specific strategies for hiding things.

Remember: You will probably want to use a combination of strategies, because some ideas will work for some things but not others.  For my family’s preparation, we do a combination of all of the options that I listed above.

The Challenges of Hiding Stuff

As you think about hiding your preparations (at home or outside of your home), you’ll face some of the same challenges over and over again.

  1. Large objects can be difficult to conceal.
  2. Some items may require controlled temperatures.
  3. Metal items may be discoverable with a metal detector.

Each of those challenges will limit your ability to hide things, or if you wish to be successful with hiding things, you will have to address these challenges creatively.

The “Hiding Stuff” Interview

This week, you can begin your preparation protection plan by answering the following questions:

  1. What preparations should I hide?  Make a list.  Are you hiding food?  Emergency supplies?  Guns and ammo?  Precious metals?  Tools?  Try to account for everything that you plan to rely upon in an emergency.  Next to each item on your list, note any special considerations: Is it large?  Does it require a controlled temperature? Is it metal?
  2. What is my goal for hiding my preparations?  One goal may be to keep your guests from realizing that you are more prepared than the average person, so that in times of need they don’t think of you.  If this is your goal, it may be enough to just keep preparations out of immediate view, because it is unlikely that your guests will snoop around your house to discover whether or not you are prepared.  Another goal may be to prevent burglars from taking your preparations.  If you’ve been following Rock’s advice and acquiring precious metals, keeping them out of view may not be enough.  If your silver rounds are “hidden” under your mattress or in your underwear drawer, although they will be out of view, the first time anyone tries to rob your home, they will definitely wipe out your whole collection.
  3. How hidden do I need my preparations to be? Or, how valuable and how scarce are the things that I am hiding?  Value and scarcity will influence your decisions about hiding things.  If I only have a small amount of space to hide food, I’m going to hide my more valuable food (in my case, freeze dried fruits and vegetables) before I hide my bulky, inexpensive buckets of wheat.  We only have one generator and we don’t want to buy another one, so that is something that is better hidden. 
  4. How often will I need to access whatever I am hiding?  Frankly, hiding stuff often makes it more difficult to access.  This can be a good thing; if your preparations are harder to access, they will also be harder for a burglar to steal.  But, if you’re trying to rotate your food storage, it should be relatively easy to access or it won’t be worth the hassle to access it.  On the other hand, if you’re hiding things that you only need to access in the event of a prolonged emergency, you may choose a less accessible hiding place.
  5. How will my potential hiding places affect practical use of whatever I am hiding?  If you’re “hiding” 55 gallon drums of water storage, try to choose a hiding place where they can be filled and drained in their hiding place.  If you’re hiding guns, you probably want them to be well-concealed (to prevent theft and use by the “bad guys”), but quick and easy for you to access.
  6. What is my budget for hiding preparations?  What you are able to spend will influence your decisions about hiding or storing your preparations.  Even on a tight budget there are free options for concealing your preparations—and really, if you’re on a tight budget, you probably can’t afford to have them stolen, so you’ll want to do what you can to hide them.  If you are able to spend more, you’ll have more options available.
  7. Who do I trust?  Whether you’re thinking of hiding items in your home or outside your home, you’ll need to decide which people (or facilities) are trustworthy.

After you’ve answered these questions you’re ready to make a plan for actually hiding the items on your list.  Hang onto your answers, because you’ll want to have them handy next time.

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