Letter Re: Post-Collapse Charity OPSEC

James Wesley:
A buddy of mine and I were talking about giving out food in a post-collapse world and it occurred to us what we give out could have an impact on your operational security (OPSEC). Unless you come upon the refugees in the middle of your garden, then they’ll probably think (unless you tell them or give them reason to believe otherwise) that you are in much the same situation that they are in. The type of food you give charitably could be a message in and of itself.

Give them store-bought food standard-form (processed food that can be picked up at a regular grocery store, in #2.5 size cans) and that tells them “I have some food”

Give them store-bought food in bulk-form (#10 cans, bags of rice, grain or any of the such) and that tells them “I have a prepared stockpile of food”

Give them standard garden-fresh vegetables (carrots, lettuce, the “salad foods”) tells them “I have a small source of food”

Give them orchard-grade foods (apples, pomegranates, anything that comes from high-maintenance plants or old-growth plants, or fresh meats other than perhaps deer or common game) says “I have a large and capable food supply”

In the large scheme of things it may be more of an afterthought, but it would be one less thing to draw attention to your group. In my heart I want to help as many people as I can however I can, but my primary responsibility is my family and any others under my care. If people know you have a large source of diverse foodstuffs it makes you an all the more tempting target. Take care, – WPK

JWR Replies: As I’ve mentioned before in SurvivalBlog. in the event of a societal collapse, I plan to distribute charity anonymously, through a third party: my local church. I believe in “giving until it hurts”, but not in getting oneself hurt while trying to give.