The Other Mike S. recently posted a very good word to the wise in regards to the dangers of being too open with your preparedness plans. The idea being, that its probably not the best idea to spread the word around that you have weeks, or months, of food and water stored up in case of an emergency/disaster situation.
That's something that I really should have given thought to, and will do so in the future.
In an ideal world, of course, it wouldn't matter. I would prepare as best I could for hard times, and my efforts could either be emulated by like minded individuals in the community or not. In the event of a disaster, I would be prepared - and those folks who chose not to take prudent steps to prepare for the worst would suffer as a result of their poor judgement - hopefully surviving to learn from the experience.
We don't live in a perfect world, though.
In reality, making it known that you have piles of nutritious food and safe drinking water in the midst of hungry masses of panicking refugees - would most likely result in big trouble for you at the least. I see two scenarios:
1. If your hungry neighbors find out that you have food and water- some/all of them will eventually decide to take it from you. Its simple survival instinct.
2. If there were any sort of "community organization" still in place, the situation would not be much better. The logical step for community leaders to take in a food/water shortage would be to pool resources from all sources and allocate those resources to the population at large. Either by equal shares, according to "value" of the group member, or some other apportioning method - including pure whim.
Both scenarios seem pretty plausible to me. Even if your situation makes it possible, and you have the firepower necessary, to protect your stash - would you really need any more of a headache on top of just trying to survive?
I sure wouldn't.
In the very good fictional book "One Second After", by William Forstchen - that's one of the first steps that the community leaders took when it became clear that help wasn't coming any time soon. Food stores, operation vehicles, and any other items that were deemed useful were commandeered by the "government", to be distributed as deemed appropriate.
In my situation, in regards to operational security, we aren't that bad off - I think.
My Mrs and I don't discuss our disaster preps with most folks. Some people are aware that I always seem to have a tool/flashlight/first aid item when someone needs it - but almost no one "in real life" knows the extent of our preparations. In fact, there's only one person who knows me in the real world that also reads this blog (Hi, Cwn!), and he doesn't live in the same community that I do.
This secrecy isn't by conscious effort so much as it is by simple context. Disaster preps just never seem to come up. I have friends that I talk guns with, and I have friends that I talk motorcycles/cars with. My Mrs. has friends she gets together with every week to Scrapbook, or shop, or whatever it is that Hens do when the Rooster isn't around :).... and prepping for the shit hitting the fan never seems to naturally come up their conversations either.
Which I suppose is a good thing, now that I think about it.
So... how many people within walking distance of your home know about any preps that you've made?