Disguises for Use in Disasters -Good idea or no?

I don’t spend a lot of time perusing survival/prepper forums anymore. Entirely too many keyboard warriors who are apparently still living in Mommy’s basement and not nearly enough functional adults who live out here in Big People Land.

Today’s topic is one that I’ve seen posted about ad nauseum on many forums. The general idea is that some folks have purchased or cobbled together, well, costumes, that they plan to use as a way to get around roadblocks and other obstacles should a widespread disaster hit. The most common costumes or disguises are of law enforcement officers, FEMA workers, or even National Guard soldiers. These people figure that if they’re dressed in such a way, a little bluffing will get them through a checkpoint or whatever and they can continue on their way with little delay.


Um, yeah. Folks, this is a really, REALLY bad idea.


I know a lot of law enforcement types. Most of my closest friends wear badges or they did until they retired. They are pretty good at spotting fake cops. Further, they don’t tend to look favorably on those who take this route to fame and fortune. While minor misdemeanor offenses like littering or jaywalking are probably going to be ignored in the wake of the crisis, someone showing up wearing a tin badge and pretending to be a cop from a neighboring area is likely going to see some rather intense scrutiny.

Hell, it could even go the other way. Let’s say you pull off an Oscar-quality performance and they buy it. You just might find yourself being asked to pitch in with the relief efforts. Declining that request could subject you to closer examination, bringing you back around to square one.

Many of my readers are military veterans. Show of hands – how many of you don’t mind in the least when you learn of someone lying about a service record? I know one guy who tried doing that online, telling folks he had been a member of some Secret Squirrel outfit that was an offshoot of the Army Rangers. Perhaps not surprisingly, when a few REAL Rangers found out about this, they checked him out and found out he was a fraud. Squirrel dude has been pretty quiet ever since. I’m guessing he’s still learning how to type with his toes.

On top of the risk of being found out by the people wearing the real uniforms, you know, the ones they actually earned the right to wear, this course of action flies in the face of the Grey Man concept we try to stress. Rather than blending in, all you’re doing is calling attention to yourself. Think about this for a second — in the event of a major crisis, do you really want to have anyone think you are even remotely “in charge” of the emergency response? To many laypersons, anyone in a uniform is going to be seen as someone with information about the situation, someone with answers, and they’ll want to talk to them.

A far better plan is to do everything you can to avoid potential roadblocks and such. Donning a Halloween costume in hopes of pulling the wool over the eyes of those manning those obstacles is just inviting more trouble.

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