Noise discipline is the practice of minimizing ones noise signature so that it does not compromise your intended purpose. For a prepper, this can vary from trying to avoid attracting attention while bugging in to maintaining silence while traveling on foot.
Have you ever been outside in your yard when there is a power outage? Did you notice just how quiet everything is? You still have the sounds of the birds and the wind blowing through the trees, but many of the sounds we have been used to hearing are gone. Now imagine no motors or engines of any kind. You will be surprised at how far sound carries and you will notice sounds you normally never hear.
Now, noise discipline may be a bit different for a prepper than for the military. The military is more than likely to be in the field and not hiding at home. They also don’t normally have to deal with children as most preppers will.
Here are some rules for noise discipline that cover both at home and in the field.
- When walking outside, watch where you set your feet down. Do not step on dried leaves or grass. The sound from that stick you break will carry a long way, especially at night.
- Consider not using Velcro fasteners on your equipment. When things are quiet, the sound carries surprisingly far. Replace Velcro with buttons or other type of fasteners.
- If you are carrying a cell phone, be sure to silence it completely. Even on vibrate it makes an identifiable sound.
- Secure all the metal parts of your field gear with tape to prevent them from making noise during movement.
- Use radios only when necessary. This includes radios that may be used for communication, as well as that solar powered radio you have in your preps. A,t home use headsets with them as much as possible to avoid attracting attention from your neighbors.
- In the field, avoid unnecessary movement of people or vehicles.
- In the field, be aware of the sound that a half filled canteen will make as the water sloshes around. Consider using collapsible canteens.
- Nylon and some other synthetic fabrics are known for being noisy in the woods. Listen to the sound your clothing makes as you move around and make note of which fabrics are most quiet to silent.
- Teach your young children that they have to be quiet when so instructed. This takes time and practice, start now by turning it into a game, such as “Simon Says”.
- In addition to training children, you should take time to also train your dogs, in particular. They will naturally bark and sound the alarm when alerted, but if they can be trained to remain silent until receiving a signal from you, it will help conceal your presence.
- Remember the sound of your voice can carry quite far. So watch what you say. No yelling that lunch is ready. A “No Yelling” rule would be a good one to establish.
- Develop hand signals that will convey important information. Like be quiet, take cover etc.
- Beyond hand signals, learn as much American Sign Language as you possibly can. Perhaps the whole family can begin taking lessons. Here is one series on YouTube that is recommended.
Now all of these are pretty much common sense, but they will need to become second nature in an emergency. Even though your neighbors will know you are living there, you still need to avoid attracting unwanted attention.