Home Security Tips

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By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

Purchasing sandbags have always been sold in late summer early fall as a preparedness product that is associated with the flooding attached to the fall rainy seasons and hurricanes.  The time to order and purchase your sandbags is now, but for a different reason: to harden your house if possible.  Those sandbags can be filled with more than just sand and can be used to stop more than just water.  Look at the world situation right now with North Korea, China, and Russia: need I say any more to encourage you to prepare and fortify your homes for a SHTF event?

There are charts ad infinitum that will give you the amounts of layers of sandbags that are needed to stop a bullet, depending on the caliber.  Most fill them with sand; however, unless you live on a beach, sand may be something not found out in your backyard.  You can fill them with dirt, but the stopping factor is significantly reduced.  It’s up to you: your decision (to paraphrase “Alice in Chains”).  You can make them permanent with concrete.  You can convert a front porch into a semi-fortified fighting position with three layers of sandbags about 3 to 4 feet high.

I don’t care to hear naysayers complaining at how the front porch will collapse, the room will collapse, yada yada.  It is up to you the homeowner to find what the weight-bearing structural load is for your porch or any other room you intend to fortify.  The main point is that there are steps you can take at home to make your property harder to enter and to enable you to defend it.

One of the big problems is that it’s hard (or impossible) to “scrap” different types of building materials or construction supplies out of the dump.  The days of “dumpster diving” for materials are just about over.  Salvage companies save everything to sell back to China, to be sent back (and sold) to us…as the salvors are raising money that is taxed by the local government…the same local government that will not permit you the citizen to “dumpster dive,” as it cuts into the “chain of events” just outlined…and their profits.

You’ll have to pick up some rolls of heavy-gauge fencing wire to cover over your windows.  Nail them right to the frame with fencing staples, and ensure they’re taut.  In this way, the Molotov will not go through.  Also, ensure that you have at least 1 inch between this fencing-grating and the glass from the window.  The Molotov may hit and allow the glass to break by bending the wire in enough so that the bottle’s weight impacts the window.  Then you’ll have to cover the busted window with plastic.

And since we’re on the subject, you can pick up rolls of 6 mil plastic, 25’ x 10’ for about $10 at Wal-Mart…could come in handy to close those windows if needed.  If you pick up the fencing wire rolls with rectangular apertures, say 2” x 4” it will facilitate you using the window as a firing port if the window is able to be opened from the inside and not a fixed window.  I wrote several articles a couple of years ago for SHTFplan detailing how to harden your home; I highly recommend reading them if possible.

A good door brace (also referred to as a New York Lock) for the entry doors to your home will help out.  It won’t completely prevent a break-in, but it’ll slow it down enough for you to deal with it.  Consider a good brace-bar to go across the door.  You want to make sure you have a solid frame.  If it is one of those premade “cookie-cutter home” frames, you may have to reinforce it.

Plywood sheets should be measured and cut for the event (or eventuality, depending on your viewpoint) that your windows will disappear.  Cut out your sizes to be able to nail or bolt into the frame on the outside of the window, and mark the pieces to enable you to match them up to the appropriate window.  I suggest (at a minimum) ½” pressure-treated plywood.  Also: measure and match up with those pieces pre-cut 2” x 4” sections, to put together as a “T” or multiple “T’s” to brace up the plywood in the center when it is in place.  You never know when some fool will try to smash out the center of the plywood and enter the house.

Cut apertures for firing ports and viewing ports at the appropriate levels in your sheets.  You can cover these up with pieces of plywood either on a screw or on a hinge to the side, to enable you to use your firearms to deal with Mr. Moron who just won’t take “no” for an answer.  Make sure you take down and remove any trees, bushes, or anything that can provide marauders with cover and/or concealment.  Cut down these things and use them for firewood later.

Now is the time to place any building materials and supplies you can on your property for use in repairs later.  Most of this article applies to those who live in a house, and it has not yet taken into consideration the plethora of neighbors, neighborhood associations, and other assorted worthless groups that try to infringe on your rights and safety in the interest of keeping their property values high and in conformity.  You may have to do it all on the q-t, and keep the OPSEC at a high.

The best thing you can do: conduct a thorough assessment of your home and determine likely avenues of approach for invaders foreign or domestic, weak points in the house, and areas where you would most likely make a stand.  We’re getting “long in the tooth,” so to speak, with world events, and you need to harden all of the points of your home now while there is still time.  An ounce of prevention is more than a pound of cure.  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

 

 

 

 

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By The Survival Place Blog

If you’re a dedicated prepper, then you’ll understand the importance of keeping your belongings safe. When disaster strikes and everyone’s survival instincts kick in, you’d be lucky if you don’t run into looters and hooligans who resort to stealing from others. When we’re in a nasty situation, it really is survival of the fittest and if you can’t hide your belongings and most important pieces of gear safely, then you’re going to be vulnerable and it’ll only take a single night for your survival chances to turn from decent to grim.
To help you survive the threat of thieves and looters, here are a couple of handy tips that you can employ right now to keep you, your family and your friends safe.

Fencing

A sturdy fence around your home is the first line of defence from looters. Combined with CCTV and traps, a fence can not only protect an area, but it can also deter people from wanting to try and steal your belongings. The more fierce looking your surroundings, the more likely people will stay clear from your place to loot you. However, it’s good to keep in mind that a fence will be your first line of defence because it is the most easily penetrated. Dedicated looters will be able to cut through the fence with ease, and agile climbers will easily be able to vault over the fence or climb over it. This means you shouldn’t spend too much of your money on fencing, just enough so it surrounds your home and deters intruders.

Safe Boxes

Your most valuable possessions should be kept in a safe box or a disguised storage container. The Safe Depot has plenty of good examples of this. They’ve turned everyday essentials such as water bottles and cans into sneaky storage solutions for small belongings and bits of equipment, but you can also invest in a large safe to store things like weapons and money. A smaller safe box that you can carry around with you is a good place to store everyday essentials such as a flip knife, multi-tool and rations.

Shutters for Windows and Doors

Full lockdown of your home is ideal when it comes to avoiding looters and hooligans. Shutters can often buy you enough time to fend off thieves, and in some cases, if the shutters are strong enough it can make your home virtually impenetrable. This is an excellent long-term solution that will not only protect your home from looters, but also from natural disasters such as extreme gales. Shutters can be installed for relatively low prices, but you need to keep in mind the quality of the metal itself. The heavier it is, the sturdier it will be but it will also be hard to maintain.

Locks and Doors

In the event that your shutters have failed, you need to consider falling back to a defensive location that houses all of your supplies. In this case, a strong metal door is a great way to fend off attackers and also make your supplies almost impossible to steal unless the intruders have the key. Sturdy locks are also great for when your supplies are housed outside of your home so that you can keep all of your prepped supplies safe during the night.

This article published by The Survival Place Blog: Keep Your Belongings and Supplies Safe from Looters

home-securityBy Tess Pennington – Ready Nutrition

Many believe burglaries are crimes that occur out of desperation, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, the motivation that drives many criminals is simply opportunity. Such is the case for why home break-ins occur around Christmas time while homeowners are away at work. All a criminal needs to do is make a quick entry, grab all the gifts perfectly surrounded by a Christmas tree and they are out the door faster than you can blink. Here are some facts to gain a better perspective on what you are facing:

  • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, every 15 seconds a home in America is burglarized and the homeowner typically suffers a loss of nearly $2,000 in stolen goods or property damage.
  • Most burglaries take place between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • The majority of break-ins are committed by burglars who live nearby.
  • Burglars tend to avoid homes with security systems.
  • Most criminals can burglarize a home in less than ten minutes.
  • Almost 30% of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window.
  • An astonishing 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
  • Burglars usually go to the master bedroom first.
  • The average property dollar loss per burglary is a staggering $2,251.
  • Someone is home during nearly three out of every ten burglaries.
  • Only 13.6% of burglaries in 2014 resulted in arrests.

Given these startling statistics, break-ins can be avoided altogether by using common sense and mindfulness. Here are some simple security measures to take to ensure your home stays out of the watchful eye of an intruder.

1. Keep security layers in mind

Having security layers in place is the best possible preventative measures to deter possible criminals from marking your home as an easy target. These security layers will advertise to intruders that they should avoid your home altogether. Designing a home defense systemthat includes multiple security layers is a proactive way to protect your home, family, and belongings. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools at your disposal for keeping your property safe. Most of them cost significantly less than an alarm system, and all together can provide several layers of security to your home. Below are seven awesome tools for keeping your place safe during the holiday season. These affordable items are a great start to beefing up your home security.

  1. Door club
  2. Wireless LED spotlight
  3. Fake TV burglar deterrent
  4. Digital lamp timers
  5. Sentry security bolt safe
  6. Hidden safes
  7. Security system
  8. Curtains and/or blinds on windows
  9. Use a wooden dowel on sliding doors and windows

Read more about these

2. Keep security supplies near vulnerable areas

Those that are preparedness-minded are always vigilant about ensuring the safety of their family members. In that same vein, children should know the basics of the family emergency plan and safety rules like not opening the door to strangers.

As well, having some basic safety/security supplies near the most vulnerable areas of the home (key entry points, garages, etc.) would be advantageous if you find yourself face to face with someone attempting to break-in. For examples, near the entry points in my home, we have a decorative basket that blends into the decor but has items such as flashlights, an emergency whistle, multi-tools and/or a knife. As well, if you do not have children in the home, you can also strategically place a handgun, clips or a non-lethal weapon if you choose. You can strategically place these items near vulnerable spots of the home.

  • The front door
  • The backdoor
  • The bedroom
  • Living room

Another vulnerable part of the home is windows. Burglars love to “window shop”. If you keep your curtains or blinds open, this will give them an opportunity to take a peek into the home. Moreover, if you have picturesque bistro tables and chairs, they can easily be used against you. Criminals will throw them against windows for fast entry. Installing shatter-proof window film on windows will help prevent this.

While we love a beautifully landscaped yard with shrubs and bushes cut low, this can also make for easy entry into the home. You can add bushes and landscaping to help deter criminals from marking your home. Plants with thorns such as roses, bougainvillea or blackberry bushes are great choices for securing the outer perimeter of the home. At the very least, secure the windows from becoming entry points with window alarms to alert you or your neighbors to a break in.

Speaking of yard and landscaping, how many of you have a ladder that you forgot to bring in? Criminals will look around for tools they can use to gain entry. The second story of a home is typically more lax when it comes to security. If you are guilty of this one, lock up your ladder in your garage.

3. Focus on the entry points

The most common way for an intruder to get into your home is through the door. Make this your first priority in reinforcing your security. The best method is to install door frame and hinge reinforcements on the front and back doors. This security solution is made of galvanized steel and can prevent single entry door kick-ins and stop intruders before they are inside. Moreover, you might also want to consider installing a deadbolt. Even the strongest reinforced steel door can be neutralized by one swift kick if your lock does not extend deep enough into the door frame.

As well, gaining entry into a garage is another essential entry point to secure. It takes less than six seconds to break into a garage if the criminal knows how. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to prevent this.

3. Be aware and know thy neighbors

Having a pleasant relationship with neighbors who stay at home is a beneficial relationship to have. They can keep an eye on your home while you are at work and you can reciprocate in a way that helps them out. Knowing who your neighbors are, what type of cars they drive and usually the time they are home, creates a neighborhood that is actively practicing OPSEC and awareness.

4. Don’t draw unwelcome attention to your home

We typically assume those living around us are respectful of property, but this isn’t always the case. Those living in residential areas bring unwanted attention to themselves when they rid their home of the large boxes marked with brand names or pictures of products. This happens frequently during Christmastime. That new flatscreen television box or video game system packaging will scream, “Come steal me!” to criminals. Be mindful and load up boxes and drop them off at a recycling center. This will reduce the eyes on the prize. As well, boxes are one the easiest items to repurpose. On a personal note, I have broken down boxes and used them to create a lasagna-style garden. This cut down on my trash load and helped me create a more sustainable lifestyle.

5. Let there be light!

Illuminating the perimeter is single-handedly one of the easiest security measures to take. Simply put, dark or poorly lit areas make it easier for burglars to go unseen. Motion sensing security measures will quickly signal you to trouble if it’s out there. As well, indoor timers for lamps and indoor lighting can help to fool anyone creeping around where they shouldn’t be. Remember, the main goal of burglars is to get in and get out unseen. If they think someone is home, they will think twice before entering.

Everyone wants to believe that they are safe and sound when they latch the windows and lock the doors. With the increase in crime, jobless rates, and increased food prices, home break-ins are likely to be on the rise. Take some incentive to review your family preparedness plans and beef up your home security measures! The investment in your home security will pay off for years to come.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: 5 Lifesaving Security Measures to Secure Your Home From Intruders

Additional Resources:

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Home Security: Securing the Doors

Home Security: Securing the Windows

 About the author:

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

 

guard dog1By Ruby Burks – Ready Nutrition

In the previous article on how your guard dogs could be compromised, I talked about how easy it is for me to get past your dog and onto your property when you’re not home.  Most people think that their pet dog behaves the same way towards strangers entering the property when the owner isn’t home as they do when the owner is present.  They see their dog barking ferociously and relentlessly and think they have a great guard dog on their hands.  My off the farm job requires that I enter all types of private property unannounced hundreds of times a month and I can tell you this just isn’t true in almost every case.

If you want your dog to protect your property while you’re away, there are a few things you can do that make it easier for the dog to do his job and to protect your dog from those that would otherwise want to do him harm.

Limit the Protection Zone

Dogs are naturally territorial, but they have a limit to what they consider their territory.  You may think of your entire acreage as “yours”, but your dog doesn’t.  The larger your property and the farther away from their territory they get, the less incentive they feel to protect it.  I feel much safer meeting your dog at your gate at the end of your long driveway than I do if your gate is open and I attempt to get out of my vehicle closer to the house.  The exceptions to this rule are dogs that are bred specifically to be livestock guardians, which we’ll discuss later.

If you have acreage that is fenced around the perimeter, put up a fence around your house and out buildings, too, and keep your dog inside that zone.  Install adequate shelter for the dog (a doggie door that leads inside one of the buildings or a dog house) within that perimeter.  This is not only the humane thing to do; it will also take advantage of the dog’s natural desire to defend its “den” and territory.

Never leave out fetch-type toys when you’re not home.  Balls, Frisbees, and other types of toys commonly used to play fetch are the first things I look for.  If you have a dog that loves to play fetch, I have a dog that loves to play fetch!  I’ll either try to get your dog excited about “Find the ball!  Where’s your ball?!” or if I’m unable to get the dog to go get the toy for me, I’ll look for a suitable substitute on my side of the perimeter like a stick.

Keep the dog poo picked up.  A yard full of dog poo is just gross and encourages parasites, but it’s also a dead give-away to let me know what size of a dog you have before I see the dog.  Little bitty poos and small dog houses- perfect!  I walk right in.  No one is that afraid of a twenty pound dog.  If your dog is on the smallish side, try to locate the dog house out of site.  On the other hand, if you have a big dog and a dog house sized to go with it, place it in a conspicuous place- the intent is to intimidate and give pause to whoever wants to enter your property before they get a chance to meet your dog.  Dogs can pick up on body language much better than we can and someone who is apprehensive is nervous and a little afraid.

Limit the amount of bushes and objects near your home.  One of the only times I feared for my life was while entering the backyard of a suburban home.  I had been told there was a known biter at this house, but that the dog was secured inside the home.  No one told me about the doggie door.  I was halfway across the backyard before the dog realized I was there and I was much too far away from the entry gate to get out before the dog could catch me.  The only reason I was able to escape is because the owner of the house was so messy.  Their yard was cluttered with all manner of things that I used to defend myself.

Provide a Pack

When we form a bond with a dog, we become part of their pack and dogs will defend anything in their pack, including other dogs and animals.  Many breeds that are now used in police and protection work were originally bred to protect a flock and don’t do well when left alone for an eight-hour (or longer) workday.  An “only child” dog left alone all day while you’re at work is often a bored and lonely dog.  They don’t have the job to do and will often welcome my unexpected company.

Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) make great protection dogs, but they need something other than property to protect while you’re gone.  The pack instinct is very strong in these types of dogs and, with proper training and supervision to control the prey drive instinct, they’ll bond with almost any kind of livestock and make it part of their pack.  This brings me to the Backup Auxillary Dog- a small dog that acts as a companion to your LGD (if they have no other livestock companions) and an additional set of ears/eyes.

Dog Flipping

Dog flippers are just like real estate flippers, except real estate flippers don’t steal your house.  Purebreds, especially unaltered animals that are still capable of breeding, are prime targets, but any dog can fall victim to these pet thieves.  As reported in this Time article, pet flipping is on the rise.

 “In a typical pet-flipping situation, a criminal will get hold of a pet — either by stealing it or seeing the animal in a “Pet found” poster or ad on Craigslist and claiming to be the owner — and then turn around and sell it for a quick profit. It’s a cause for concern for pet owners, obviously, but also for anyone looking to buy a dog or cat. The scam is an extension of dognapping, a trend that the American Kennel Club reported spiking in recent years.”

Contrary to popular belief, these dogs are no longer stolen by unscrupulous Class B Dealers, aka dog bunchers, and sold to laboratories thanks to a recent change in the law for research facilities.

 “Class B” is a USDA designation for individuals who buy, sell, or transport animals they did not breed and raise themselves…. Class B dealers sell dogs and cats for research, and some of these individuals have generated controversy because of repeated failures to provide adequate care for animals and, in some cases, selling lost or stolen pets to research labs.”

Source

Instead, most pet thieves are motivated by a variety of reasons.  Purebreds and “designer dogs” can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.  The thieves steal the dogs and then turn around and sell them as unpapered purebreds, use them for dog breeding and sell off the offspring, or claim to have found the dog and demand a finder’s fee (a form of ransom) from distraught owners.  Occasionally, expensive or highly desirable breeds are stolen by thieves to give to themselves or to their friends or family.  Arguably the cruelest of all are the dogs stolen and used as bait animals in dog fighting.

Another group worth mention is the Do Gooders: those individuals that make it their mission, whether they belong to an organized animal rights group like PETA or not, to “rescue” dogs.  Non-aggressive working dogs are especially susceptible to these types of people.  They see a dog that was bred to be perfectly suited for the environment and conditions it’s working/living in and think the dog is being mistreated.

Never Feed From Your Hand

Using the tactics above to take advantage of your dog’s instincts will also help protect your dog.  Additionally, never feed your dog out of your hand or toss food at their feet or in the air.  It teaches the dog to accept hand-held treats and to eat things thrown over a fence.  Instead, toss a bit of food down and train your dog to “leave it”.  This won’t fool-proof every dog, but make those hand-held and tossed treats less familiar and therefore make your dog more cautious about accepting them when left to their own devices.  If your dog is small and portable, never leave it unattended in a yard or alone in a car.

Make Your Dog Less Desirable

Spaying and neutered your dog makes them less desirable to would-be dog thieves and reduces the animal’s desire to roam in search of a mate.  Micro-chipping your dog is the best form of identification.  Virtually all veterinarians and animal shelters have the device to read the chip to find out the rightful owner.  It’s important to note that the information on the chip needs to be registered to your name as soon as possible and then updated anytime you have a change of address or phone number.  Take close-up photos of distinguishing characteristics of your dog- for instance, a white stripe on it’s chest or the pattern of it’s stocking feet or any scars it may have.  Take yearly photos of your dog, including full body and face shots, so you always have updated photos in case you need to post a “lost dog” ad.If you do discover your dog missing, watch the “found” ads in the newspaper and on the internet. Respond to any that are even close to your pet’s description. What one person describes as a “red hound mix” may look like a “yellow pit mix” to someone else.    Check your local shelters and search websites like www.petfinder.com or www.petharbor.com to see if your dog has been taken in by a rescue.  Many communities also have Facebook groups dedicated to finding lost or stolen dogs.  If you post to your own Facebook profile, be sure to make the post “public” so it can be seen and shared by as many people as possible.  Monitor pets for sale or pet adoption ads in newspapers or online from pet thieves are looking to profit from stealing your animal.

By making a few small changes to your property, you can help your dog to do a better job of defending it.  Teaching your dog that food comes from a bowl, not from your hand, will help prevent them from becoming conditioned to take treats from strangers.  Micro-chipping your dog and taking yearly photos will greatly increase your chances of getting your dog back if he gets stolen.  Done together, you and your dog are better able to protect each other.

About the author:

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

Looter defense tactics

By  – The Prepper Journal

For many; the not too distant events in Ferguson are the first thoughts that come to mind when you mention the word looting. Looting in some circles is what you do apparently when there is an opportunity to steal and occasionally destroy with relative impunity. For some people, looting is appropriate after your team loses a sports event like the 2011 Vancouver riots or wins one as in the case of the San Francisco riots of 2014. The most likely place to see unabashed looting appears to be after a natural disaster like the looting reported immediately following hurricanes Katrina and more recently Sandy. Even before the Sandy storm had subsided, wannabe criminals were taking to Twitter to announce their looting plans. To be fair, our country isn’t the only one engaging in behavior like this during a crisis, as the recent hurricane in Cabo San Lucas showed.

Whatever the motivation, looting is wrong in my opinion and if it were happening to you, I am sure you would agree. There are some professionals (lawyers naturally)who have tried to justify looting in the context of a natural disaster by obliquely saying property rights are suspended and as such the looters aren’t technically stealing from anyone. Property without an owner needs to be redistributed. The example is when you leave your home because an impending hurricane, the property is no longer in your possession so it is fair game.

Isn’t that special?

But consider for a moment, a real collapse, not your garden variety incident that provokes the theft of TV’s, shoes, jewelry and clothes or the overturning of a cop car. In a real collapse scenario where you didn’t have FEMA coming with tent cities to take care of you, the power wasn’t coming back on, and nobody had jobs outside of survival; looting would take on a different meaning. In a real collapse, I think looters would quickly forget about electronic game consoles and would quickly move on to food and supplies. In this article I want to discuss some looter defense tactics to consider if the SHTF and the looters are coming down your street.

Home defense mistakes

When it comes to a collapse, we are talking about living a life that is almost entirely devoted to survival. Even if you have plenty of food stored up, you will need to take steps to find and cultivate new sources of food and possibly collect water on a daily basis for your family. You will eventually need to go outside and even if you barricaded yourself in your suburban home, that would not guarantee your safety from determined looters.

Fight your own normalcy bias – Before a crisis hits you would ideally have a plan in place to deal with the potential outcomes. It is important to understand as quickly as possible the severity of the events surrounding you and take proactive steps to head off any further problems. It is too simple and dangerous to hope that given time, the authorities will be around, the power and water will come back on and life will go on as it did before the crisis. You have to start thinking of taking care of yourself without the dependence on emergency services from the start.

A father with starving children will not play by the rules in a collapse.

Of course I am talking about cataclysmic events, not smaller regional events like hurricanes which we should all accept are recoverable as a societal whole, in most cases. If there is a football game that goes crazy and riots are in the downtown area, I don’t think we have to worry in the same way as if a terror attack that takes out the grid. People who are even half-way paying attention will know when it is time to jump into action and you should be well ahead of the chaos game before that point.

Facing Violence: Preparing mentally now is important to increasing your odds of survival.

Be prepared to defend your life – In a true collapse, the regular rules are out the window. There will likely be no law enforcement for some period of time, possibly ever. At best, they will be much slower to respond because they will already be busy with other issues. You have to seriously consider what will be required of you in a worst case scenario and to that end, what you are capable of in the realm of defending your family and home. We talk about all kinds of forms of self-protection on the Prepper Journal, but each person has their preference. No matter what that is, are you prepared to use it? Are you prepared to take the life of someone who has plans to kill you if you are standing in the way of something they want? If you are not prepared to defend your home and the life of your family, are you prepared to live with the consequences?

Not being there to defend the home – This last one might sound overly simplistic but if the crisis comes and you have already bugged out to the woods, I wouldn’t expect to be able to return to an untouched house. If you don’t have the money for your own private security firm, who do you think will protect what is left inside? In a real collapse, it may make sense to always have someone stationed in your home to prevent looting and theft; possibly worse. It isn’t like you will be driving to the in-laws or the mall across town and will be gone all day, but even short trips away from your home could give the bad guys an opportunity to smash a window in and quickly take off with supplies your family needs. During a collapse, you really need to start thinking of your dwelling as a castle. It may not have the nice tapestries hanging from the walls, but it will be worth defending.

The ability to provide round the clock security will force you to rely on a larger group. This is when your neighborhood watch plans would make the most sense. Here are some looter defense ideas that may prevent you from being a victim.

Deter – How to make your home less of a target

  • Don’t give them anything to come after – This one is harder to visualize in a collapse. When everything is fine, we would talk about moving valuables out of sight of people looking in your windows should they be casing your home. Grid down – they may be more desperate and not looking for jewelry or TV’s or care if your yard is nicely manicured. Hiding food and supplies will be more common for everyone so you have to seriously work on making sure nobody knows you have things they want. Concepts of the grey neighbor apply and it may be necessary to pretend you are worse off than you actually are. You could also make your home look like it has already been looted.
  • Signs and fences –Armed response – Make them think there is a chance they will get hurt, possibly dead looting from your home. At least they should think it won’t be as simple as walking up to the door and kicking it in. Fences are an obstacle they have to negotiate, but I think unless you have a ridiculous fence that might not stop looters in a grid down scenario. A good roll of razor wire could come in handy after a collapse to string along the tops of your fences, but this requires a fair amount of extra planning. Knowing they are dealing with an armed person (looters will be shot) might not prevent them from trying, but they will have to think twice before they do. This will deter anyone who isn’t really serious about getting into your home.
  • Dogs – No thief likes dogs – although in a serious collapse, if all rules are out the door, they may simply shoot Fido and keep going.

Detect – How can I have advance warning of looting?

Simple air cartridge can be used as an early warning perimeter alert.

  • Change your perspective – Foreknowledge is all about intelligence. You have to know what is going on outside your home and the further out you can gain intelligence, the more time you will have to prepare for looters. In a collapse scenario, I think it will be necessary to have someone outside monitoring the situation on your street, in your neighborhood so they can provide advanced warning. This is best done with a group for coverage and capacity of bodies. Neighborhood security plans would be best for this scenario.
  • Motion Detectors/Trip flares – Lights Perimeter Alarm – Barring an outside sentry team or system, motion detectors are a great way to have a security system that alerts you when movement is happening on your property. Driveway alarm systems can be purchased for simple notification, but requires someone to come up your driveway. In a collapse, something like a simple air-soft “grenade” could be turned into a trip wire noise device system or even cans on a string could alert you to movement in your yard. Motion activated lights could give you advance warning assuming power is on and you aren’t trying to keep a low profile. Of course, these could go off like any other motion activated device when the wind blows. Too many false alarms will lead to the Boy who cried wolf syndrome and will be ignored eventually.
  • Security CamerasSecurity cameras are a good option if you have power and somebody to monitor the cameras at all times.
  • Dog – Yes, a dog will probably detect people coming toward your house better than almost any other means.

Delay – How can I make my home harder to loot or buy me time?

Traditional doors are very easily broken.

    • Reinforce your doors – Most home break-ins occur from doors and first floor windows. Doors are pretty easily kicked in unless they are reinforced. One simple and cost effective way of making this harder is to reinforce the jams and door-frame with something like the EZ Armor Door security kit. Any door’s weakest point is the hinges, the wood around the locking bolt and their attachment to the wooden frame. A security kit takes the weakness of that wood frame and converts it to a steel shroud that increases the amount of effort required to kick in your door. An added benefit is that this device can be installed in a few minutes by almost anyone. Another option that requires no installation is a Security bar from Master Lock that simply attaches on the inside of the door under the door knob.

Build your own security system the old-fashioned way. Install brackets, slide in 2X4 board. Voila!

  • Charley Bar for sliding glass doors – Yes, in a grid down scenario sliding glass doors are a stones-throw away from obliteration, but if the looters are trying to be sneaky, a device like the Charley bar will slow them down. I like a lot of others have the simple sawed off broom handle as my security feature, but the Charley bar is a nicer option that attaches to the door and puts the reinforcement at the middle of the sliding glass door as opposed to the bottom. Additionally, you can slide the bar up out-of-the-way when not in use and you don’t have to worry about the bar walking away, or in my case being used for a toy by someone. Kids!
  • Security Window Film – It won’t make your windows bulletproof, but adding security window film could slow down someone trying to break in. The concept is similar to safety glass, where you have a thin sheet of transparent plastic film over the glass. Instead of shattering completely on impact, the film holds the glass together making entry a much slower process. You can see a video of how this works here but this is another do it yourself home security project that is pretty simple and could give you precious seconds of time to defend yourself.

Defend – When all else fails, what is my defense plan?

In the Ferguson riots, two shops were ignored by the looters. Can you guess why?

    • Layers of security – This is when I believe everything will come down to life or death. In a collapse situation, if someone has gone through all your security options above and is not deterred, you will most likely be fighting for your life and the lives of everyone in your home. The ideal defense is to not even be in your home, but to repel the attackers from as far away from your home as possible. If they get in, you do have the advantages of knowing your home, confined spaces and possibly the element of surprise. When they enter your home, it is not the time to negotiate though, that time has passed. Retreat to a secure area or at least a space that provides cover that will shield you from bullets. If the looters are coming in from two directions, find a place where they will funnel, possibly a hallway where you can attack them from one direction – your protected front. Make sure you have someone watching behind you also.

Force Multiplier – With noise cancelling earmuffs, you can hear after gunshots while the looters will be deaf temporarily.

  • Hearing protection – Gunshots, contrary to what you see on TV and the movies, are very loud. At the range we have ear protection, but in a panic situation that might not be the first thing on your mind. If you have to shoot inside your home it will be even louder (140-190db) and will render you effectively deaf for some period of time after that happens. Noise cancelling sport earmuffs use the same technology that the Bose headsets use to block loud jet engine noises, but let regular sounds come in. Any gunshot sounds will be blocked because they are higher than 80db but you will still be able to hear regular conversations when you are done. Instead of ringing ears, you will be able to hear people move or talk to each other and this can give you a huge advantage if you are prepared.
  • Plan and Communication – Having a plan will be important so that everyone in your home knows what to do. If you are shot, what do they do? If the front door is breached, what is our plan? If they throw a Molotov cocktail through the window, what do we do? Don’t wait until the looters are in your home to react, have a plan and practice it. I don’t know if this is absolutely necessary now, but would be one of the first things to consider in a collapse. A well-trained team will perform better than a group of scared people who are frozen in a panic.

What are your thoughts on looter defense tactics for your home? Have you given this any thought?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Looter Defense Tactics

what-burglars-dont-want-you-to-know

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

Concerned about home security while someone is knocking at your door?
Here are 21 things ‘your burglar’ won’t tell you…

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..

5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: 21 Things Your Burglar Won’t Tell You

burglar

By Travis P

Fortification and security are constantly on the mind of people who prep, who carry a weapon and care for the safety and security of their families.

The world is not a nice place, and that’s been proven over and over. Home invasions are violent and rapid crimes, and expecting the police to save you is wishful thinking at best and downright irresponsible at worst.

In New Jersey last year, a woman was savagely beaten in front of her 3-year-old daughter in an incident that was caught on a nanny cam. And in Detroit this year, a woman defended her family with a Hi Point carbine from three home invaders.

And these examples were during the rule of law. Imagine the level of violence during a crisis or disaster scenario, after the rule of law collapses and there’s no electricity. The mere fact one is prepared means a lot. As preppers, we are in many ways painting a target on our back. Even if our OPSEC (operational security) isn’t violated people may begin to wonder why we seem to be doing so well.

The vast majority of houses are easy to get into because locks only keep honest people out. Ripping or kicking down a door isn’t extremely hard. During my time in the Marines, our 0351 Assault men were capable of breaching nearly anything, with shotguns, sledge hammers and hooligan tools. The size of the doors didn’t matter; guys who were 5-foot-4 and 120 pounds soaking wet could peel doors down with a hooligan tool. A slow breach took less than a minute.

While anything can be breached, sieged, burned down or starved out, what we can do is take precautions to make our homes less desirable targets.

Everything You Need To Know To Keep Your Home And Family Safe.

The first and probably most expensive thing one should do is take a firm look at their door. Does it have awesome windows that let in a full spectrum of light? It won’t look nice smashed on your floor with an arm sticking through it, unlocking your door. Big windows on doors are a no-go. The second problem is that anyone can see you coming, and gauge you.

Windows on doors should be left to the very top, something that can be ducked under and avoided, and something that no one can reach through. A nice solid wood door is expensive, but it much harder to break down than a light aluminum door.

Deterrence at the farthest distance possible is your best bet. Lights are one of the best deterrents available, and are very affordable. Lights equipped with motion sensors are even better. It’s a simple fact that people doing bad things prefer to do them in the dark. At the least, a good and bright light in front of your home’s door will raise the eyebrows of most thieves.

Reinforcing windows is also important and doesn’t require bars or steel shutters. Both these have the potential to lock someone in, as much as they have of locking someone out. A company called 3M produces a security film for your windows, making them shatter proof and difficult to break. Imagine covering your window with duct tape, from the bottom to the top, and trying to break it. The tape would hold the glass together, and these security films do the same. They won’t make your windows tough as steel, but they’ll stop someone long enough to receive a load of buckshot.

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Now after a disaster or crisis your options for security and necessity for home security increase tenfold. If you live in the burbs your neighbor may give you an odd look when you set up barbwire obstacles. Oh yes, barb wire — God’s gift to pain and security.

A roll of barb wire is compact and only costs about a hundred bucks. Building a barricade with barb wire is easy. All you need is some wire, some boards, staple nails and a hammer. Nail the boards into an X shape and connect the X with a long board, about five foot or so. Next run barb wire from the four edges of the X-shaped board. You can add more wire if you choose and either tie off or staple nail it from leg to leg. This forms a barrier that can be high enough that jumping it is difficult and low enough where crawling is impossible. The barriers can be combined with one another to make a fence capable of being adjusted and adapted to different needs.

It’s possible the power is going to be long gone in a disaster situation, so your lights aren’t going to be effective. (Unless, of course, you have a backup generator.) Stoking a fire all night for the little light it provides will be both time-consuming and wasteful. A better bet is to rig an alarm system. Now how hard is an alarm system to build? It’s easy and can be made with a bit of junk and some paracord.

The junk can be tin cans, coins, marbles, soda cans, or ball bearings. Using coins or even BBs in the can creates the potential for quite the racket. Now rigged to some paracord (550 cord) and strategically placed, these can create a racket. Outside of the noise giving a heads up you can also locate your intruder, and prepare to engage the threat. Most will probably panic when the sound of the cans go off.

The best bet is too place these in a mixture of low and high, and attach them to thin trees and plants. If these plants are hit they will make the cans go off.

An alternative trap is one sold that is used with twelve gauge blanks. This is a trip wire trap that when hit fires the twelve gauge blank and creates a heck of an alarm. Using live rounds will not be effective, and will destroy the trap, as well as being illegal.

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Of course the best defense is a good offense. Being able to engage your target before or during their attempt to penetrate your home will stop you from being placed into danger. This of course, means firearms. Being trained, ready and armed will do a lot to keep you alive.

In all reality, a combination of both defensive and offensive will keep you ready for anything. Your defensive preparations should be thought of as a delay for a determined attacker. For most, though, they will make you a hard, and therefore an undesirable target.

These are just a few suggestions. One can always board everything up and be fine. Everyone will have their own needs and abilities to fortify their house. Take careful examination and take stock of your situation. My situation is different than yours, and your different from your friends, so one guide is not enough for every situation. Stay safe.

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This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: Strong Home Security… No Electricity Needed