by Selco, The Organic Prepper:
In our interviews with Selco, he has frequently mentioned the Gray Man principle. This is something that people in the preparedness community mention a lot, but many don’t fully understand it. In this week’s interview, Selco explains how – and why – we should embrace being the Gray Man, even before the SHTF. ~ Daisy
In your articles, you frequently mention being the Gray Man. What exactly does this mean?
It is a simple concept that comes to be very important when SHTF, and it is often completely opposite of how a lot of preppers are planning to look or act.
In the shortest definition, it is staying uninteresting or simply looking and acting like most of the people around you in a particular moment.
It can be used in a lot of situations when SHTF, during prolonged periods of time, or during short-term events.
How can you use the Gray Man concept for your home so it is less likely to be targeted?
It depends on the situation, but in case of a serious collapse in urban settings “home invasions” (especially in first period) happens based on opportunity and what can be achieved from that invasion.
In other words, yes, if your home is less protected then it is easier to get inside, but in terms of SHTF the more your home looks like a place with valuable things inside, the higher chances are for being attacked.
Remember it is a time without (at least without proper working) law and police force. That means there are no police coming to help after a few shots. There is only you and the attacker.
Having a home with visible cameras, expensive equipment, attack dogs, alarms and similar (especially in a neighborhood where that is not usual) clearly makes you different and gives attackers the idea that there are valuable things inside.
Having all that equipment in times when there is law and order makes sense because police and help are only a couple of minutes away.
When the SHTF in Bosnia, the first houses that were robbed were known rich guys’ houses. It didn’t matter that they were defended and had steel bars.
When 70-100 people (who are mostly armed and not disturbed by the police) start attacking a house with only a few people inside, there are no steel bars and no smart strategies.
Not if the attackers have a strong enough motivation to get inside.
Do not give that motivation to them.
I am not talking against alarms and dogs, but I am advocating a more “subtle” way of home defense, and more fluid, more Gray Man type.
Just making your home “gray” alone is a big topic, but here are a few suggestions:
This is the first step of home defense of the Gray Man principle. Using your weapon should be the last!
In one of the previous articles, there was a comment along the lines of “If I make my home look abandoned, then it is going to be targeted, so it is a wrong suggestion.”
The concept is to look like everything else around you. In a prolonged urban SHTF, there are going to be houses around yours that are going to be deserted, ruined, looted.
Sometimes it makes sense that your home looks like that too. Like if 50 people are coming through your neighborhood looking for useful things, it makes sense if your home and yard look on “first glance” looks like someone already looted it (like most of the houses on the street).
Sometimes the best defense is to look like there is no defense. You still can be prepared and ready.
There is no universal advice. In case of prolonged collapse, different tactics will work for different regions, based on the situation.
For example, in my case, it was very useful (and still is) to put few “mines” signs as a deterrent. In your case maybe it is cool to have a few biohazard signs that you may put in front of your home, or in case of a pandemic, a sign that says “bodies inside.”
It works in drastic situations. In my case after some time, people simply avoided going inside places where they suspected bodies were.
Think about what can work in your case.
Think in layers
Your defense should not start at your house door because by that time you have lost some of your advantage. Think in layers.
For example, the first layer is a neighboring house, the second layer is your yard, and the third layer is inside your home.
Use advantages (and disadvantages) in your favor
Example: if you have a yard in front of your home, look now for possible ways that intruders could approach. How many of those ways are there? If there are 4 potential ways, is it possible to watch all of them? Can you minimize that to only one way by funneling the attackers by using obstacles, garbage, etc.? Simply put yourself in the attacker’s mind and see what he sees.
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