Whenever I sit down and watch the evening news I get worried. I think about my family and their safety in our home. I think about those things that we can all do to make our homes just that much safer. I don't think I'm alone here! These are troubled and uncertain times, after all.
Whether it's a full-blown SHTF home security situation or hardening your home against thieves, a fortified house plan will be your best bet. We can start by asking where the weak points are and how best to strengthen them. Then we can look at more active self-defense options. If or when the bad things start to happen in America, your preparation may be the only thing between your family and a nasty fate.
Basic Home Hardening
One of the last things you want to do is to make your home look like it is worth a looter's time. Big and obvious fortifications will be some of the first things a roving band of looters will look for.
So, we have to think about those things that will look normal to prying eyes.The first thing you should think about is your fences. Yes, fences. The kings of old had at least two and so should you. The trick is to make them look as innocuous as possible. You won't be able to get away with ten feet of stone wall for your castle.
Not in a typical American town anyway!
Your first fence should be something like link sturdy chain link or a tall wooden fence. It should be strong, well maintained and set deeply into the ground. Make it blend in. Again, you do not want your place to look inviting. Make it strong and worthwhile.
Chain link is easier to keep a sight line, but wood gives your family a little more privacy.Your second fence is much more subtle. For hundreds of years mankind has relied on the sharp and painful thorns of trees, shrubs and hedges to keep out the unwanted.
One of the best options is to plant spiny or thorny plants around the inside of your fence. Another good place for a defensive planting is under any first floor windows.
Plant on either side of any basement door to prevent an intruder from hiding at the side. Certain kinds of bushes, such as hawthorn, wild roses, or more showy old-fashioned English roses grow quickly and offer their owners the protection of their long blood thirsty thorns.
Little Decorative Defensive Touches
Next I want to take a page from more war-torn regions and home decorating magazines. Decorative designs of busted up glass bottles pushed into concrete can be both pretty and dangerous. Redecorating basement window sills to deter intruders while catching the sunlight is a nice two-for-one that the wife will love.
Iron bars on windows and doors are sure to keep out the uninvited. But again, we don't want to be obvious or even just look like a prison. Decorative but solid iron-barred screen doors are a great addition. Any type of decorative wrought iron bar window cage will keep out the unwanted just as well as a plain bar set.
Every home has windows that offer perfect targets for a trigger happy looter. Installing bullet proof glass is an option for some.
If bullet proof glass is out of your price range then there are options. I am seriously considering both security film and hurricane security screens. Security film is applied to glass. It prevents shattering and can slow or stop an invader. Hurricane security screen mesh is a special mesh that is designed to stop or slow projectiles. When used together with iron burglar bars such precautions could mean a safe window.
Fortify With Wood, Sand and Steel
Plywood on the outside of your windows is a target for a hungry looter. But plywood on the inside of your windows is something else entirely. Prepare these fortifications before you need them. Cut pieces of plywood can be made to exactly fit the interior of each window and even the sliding glass door.
Use a marker to label each one with the location of the right window on it. Stack them in a secure interior site with a fully charged cordless drill beside them. When you need them you will install them so that the wood is hidden by your curtains. Sometimes the best home defense systems are just that simple.
Replace flimsy doors with solid wood and steel doors. You want no glass, just a secure peephole or two at strategic heights. Next replace the flimsy small standard strike plate of both the handle and the deadbolt lock with more secure longer models with longer screws.Next mount and fit barricades to each door. Mount one or two sets of sturdy U clamps on either side of every exterior door. Fit solid wooden two by fours to each clamp.
Cut them to length and label them with the door they fit over. Place them in your safe and dry interior storage space. One other good supply to keep on hand are bags of sand. Stacked sand bags are a great way to barricade doors or basement openings.
They offer great cover from gunfire while preventing entry. You can even move them around as you need to, unlike bricks or plywood.
Hidden in Plain Sight
You will need some place to keep your preps. In fact, you should have several places to hide your preps. It's a good idea to have at least one cache outside of the house. A roving band might be curious about a well-built shed. But they will walk on by a pile of wood or a camouflaged dugout.
I haven't gotten to weapons yet, but keeping a secured weapon and a small cache of ammunition in each main room is a good idea for a fortified home. This may be hard for a family with children, for obvious safety reasons, but the clever use of wall art to hide a small hand gun might be wise for a home full of responsible adults.
Consider getting a dog and a perimeter alarm as part of your fortified house plans. A smart and well-trained dog can take the place of a perimeter alarm system in the case of catastrophic power loss. Well placed cameras and motion detectors can make securing your perimeter safer and less stressful. Using lights for standard anti-criminal hardening is wise.
After SHTF you will want to rely on night vision. When SHTF grab a few hated bits of furniture and your trash can. Smash the furniture in your front lawn, somewhere easy to see from the street. Spread the trash out. You want looters to think your home has already been looted. Do so under the cover of night.
Active Home Defense
SHTF home security often means being willing to take up arms to protect what you have. You do not need a huge firearms collection. What you do need is a small selection of trusty firearms that you know how to use in any situation. Make sure to practice your skills often.Long guns are best for withstanding a siege.
Cutting gun ports into window coverings is something that must be done. Second story windows or attic vantage points make for great sniper's seats. You want to see them long before they see you. Not everyone has the space of funding for a deluxe underground bunker built with personalized fortified house plans. But we survivors are crafty and can think on our feet.
A handy basement can be retro-fitted to give every comfort with great safety. We can also rig up some amazing low-tech protection that doesn't need pricy gear to work correctly.The dog needs to sleep and fuel for the alarm system might run out. You need back up. A low tech alternative to both is to string tin cans on a fishing line across any access point.
The noise startles any sneak and alerts you.A quiet alarm is another option. It will alert you, but not your intruder. Car batteries can run for years. Use one or two to power a small motion detection system set to flash an interior light. It can be as high or low tech as you'd like.
Have an Active Plan
Always have a plan for when SHTF. You never know what the next day will hold. Take a look at this guy's Bug In plan. It's just great. He has his home fortifications ready. He knows his weapons. He knows his supplies and what he has to do when SHTF.
Your plan should be as well thought out as his. Lastly, you will want a back up plan. It may not be possible to stay safe bugged in. Always have an escape plan and a bug out bag ready to go. In a well fortified home a hidden trap door is a great fail safe. Put it in a part of your home far from obvious doors. Tuck it under a bush or other cover. Pray you never need it.
Get to Work
By using your brains you can keep your family safe from anyone who would want to harm them. Just remember to keep your fortifications solid and your defenses at the ready. When it comes to home fortifications just remember that ingenious home-made fixtures are sometimes preferable.
Take your time when you decide on the best home defense systems for your family. No one will see your defenses for what they really are if you plan well. If you have any questions or a contribution to the cause then please comment below.
- Build solid fences.
- Plant thorny plants at weak points.
- Install solid doors and secure your lock plates.
- Pay special attention to your windows.
- Diversify your cache sites.
- Place weapons in discrete but accessible locations.
- Procure and store fortification materials.
- Outfit home with hidden living space.
- Fit a hidden escape route into your home.