Questions and Answers With The Wolf Pack : How does one prepare one’s children for a SWAT invasion?

Dear MD,

Thanks so much for your website and the community that you have developed. I read regularly but rarely post comments. However, now our family is confronting a possibility that we never anticipated and I cannot find anyone on the web addressing this issue.

How does one prepare one’s children for a SWAT invasion? What should they do? Hide in place? Run for the woods? Lie prone on the floor as some sites suggest for adults?

We own an organic farm with the market on site so we acknowledge that opsec is pretty much in God’s hands, not ours. Our multi-generational farm is not defensible due to location but we believe that God has placed us here not only to provide real food for the community but also as a sanctuary for those He brings to us.

So, not only are we at risk of invasion due to organic marketing but also because of providing legal sanctuary. Doing the right thing doesn’t always mean being ‘safe.’ However, we are asking for advice on how to keep children (teens to infants) as safe as possible in such a volatile situation.

Thanks to all the Wolfpack and thanks for your advice. Please pray for our sanctuary as the Lord brings us to your minds.

Lo (Spinning Grama)


  1. I would think that if the SWAT team is already bursting through your front door, that means that they’ve already surrounded your property and all exits. Probably the best thing to do is to keep your hands in the air and do not show any threatening intent. Remember, these guys are heavily armed and I would imagine some of them have itchy trigger fingers.

    I would think the best thing is early warning and prevention. If you think you are at risk for illegal or violent raids from the local authorities have early warning detection and plans in place.

    For example, you can purchase remote cameras and intrusion sensors around your property. If they go off plan to have the children leave the property by various routes. Put caches of supplies like water, blankets etc. in various locations, things of that nature.

    • Some good basic security suggestions; however, at least some of your intrusion detection and cameras should be wired, and not wireless. They’re a bit more effort to install and maintain; but, less likely to be jammed.

    • Spinning Grama says:

      Those are good ideas we will look at. Fortunately our road is so quiet that we immediately wake up if there is any noise out of the ordinary.

  2. axelsteve says:

    I was thinking along the same lines. Maybe dig a underground cellar to hide the kids.

    • Spinning Grama says:

      We do have a hidden cellar already. Maybe a priest hole would be a good addition!

  3. axelsteve says:

    Another tact would be a name change for the farm.Call it Obama acres shiriah farm. Declare it the equivelent of Islamic kosher( if there is such a thing)Use that obama trademark thing to use as a brand.Produce a u tube video about Islamic farming ad praise tdl heavily in video. Post a sign that says drones welcome and call it good.

    • islamic kosher—halal

      • Encourager says:

        Believe it or not, “islamic kosher’ is not an oxymoron. Muslims avoid most of what the Jewish culture does when it comes to food. No pork, shellfish, etc.

  4. I would harden the house against flashbangs and tear gas canisters. Put chicken wire into the window treatments. I think you could have Roman shades with chicken wire in between layers of cloth and it would be pretty inobtrusive. Make the door really hard to kick in. Install a camera and intercom at the door so you can talk to someone at the door from safety. Install a plaque with your surname on the door so maybe they’ll have an inkling it’s the wrong house if it is.

    In the event of a SWAT raid you are either going to have to not be there in the first place, or behave so they won’t shoot you, or you will end up fighting a SWAT team which if you win will make you a fugitive or in an ever escalating siege until they burn you out . In other words once it’s got to that point it’s basically too late.

    There is no guarantee that you can “behave so they won’t shoot you”.

    If you could move into one of those Zombie Apocalypse houses complete with a moat and portcullis and the entrance being on the 2nd floor with a ramp you lower, and monolithic cement window shutters, that would really protect you. But who has the money for that?

    • Depending on how far the house is from the market a sign that says “Warning honeybees sting to defend their hives” out of market sight but seen from the home entrance will give you a little extra time as they wuss out.

  5. I would also say, that if the local cops know you as friendly then they’re not going to confuse you with the meth dealer who they might be fixing to bust a couple doors down. Some of this protection should be HUMINT and networking, not just physical security. At least then you might have an inkling which of the cops might have a ‘roid habit that’s making him an anger management case, even if you can’t befriend any of them.

    Cities that knowingly allow their police departments to become corrupt gangs of thugs should lose their tax base. That’ll larn ’em. For your own protection, move away from places like these. The life you save might not just be your own, it might be the neighbors’ if they have to downsize back to Mayberry.

    • with 34 yrs on the job, 17 in swat i can assure you all that the fed govt has converted all [ ok most ] swat units into something very ugly. their mentality is now one of control of citizens by use of force. not gonna be pretty folks

  6. I disagree with some of the suggestions above, they will only make the situation worse, if a swat team does show up to your property, and you have all of this barbed wire in place, they will draw two conclusions, 1) you are obviously a dangerous militant and any action they take is justified, and 2) you are holding person(s) in side of your building against their will, and any action they take is justified.
    I think you are better served in your situation to have a nice friendly sign on your doors, something like “Visitors Welcome” with a big smiley face.
    you have to in your situation come across as harmless and friendly to all, to lessen the threat you appear to be towards the swat team. After all you have said you believe you are there to help those in need, Look that way.

    • Totally agree with you! With the business you run and the intent you have (totally trying to help people) I think if they show up for some crazy reason they should end up looking like the ones in the wrong. I’d tell my kids to put their hands up and stand still or drop to the floor and lie still, someone should always be in charge of covering the small children as best as possible. Running to hide sounds like a bad idea. I mean running from the cops never turns out well for anyone and with children involved it sounds deadly. I’d rather be arrested for something I didn’t do and have my kids alive than have the whole family torn apart by death and charges of child endangerment or resisting arrest. If the worse case scenario happens and the news teams find themselves on your door step filming the after math I think the big welcome smiley face crushed on the floor and the farm house charm and crushed veggies should let the public know your family meant no harm. And unfortunately I’d say never associate with known “shady ” people. In this day and age you cannot afford to have ties between an innocent family business and some crime ring or drugs. Getting to know local law enforcement and emergency response isn’t a bad idea either, maybe present the offices with a box of fresh produce every few months during the peak seasons or offer a discount day once a month for law enforcement families, granted that won’t cover SWAT but it could help.

      • Spinning Gramma says:

        In these times, it is hard to not associate with suspect people. While avoiding drug and crime gangs is understandable, what about an innocent neighbor abducted by the feds and held without charges while being convicted in the press? He still doesn’t know why and its been six months. These are the things we will all be facing. We didn’t expect it this soon.

    • Caution . Do not pass this point. Honeybees sting to defend their hive. Even if you don’t keep bees. SGT Killadog will be a coward and afraid to enter giving you extra time.

  7. Tactical G-Ma says:

    This is a very good question. Training for children is important. Where to go if a tornado, where to go if a fire, and where to go if a home invasion or no-knock warrant. I see more and more mainstream hardening of property. We had a rash of people stealing air conditioner condensors and copper piping. Cameras can now be purchased at Sams Club and other common retailers. Even concertina wire is used to prevent invasion. So I don’t think a lot of these things are extreme given the right circumstances.
    But specifically back to the kids. At first sound of entry,teach them to stay low, get in a closet with a phone, if possible. Call 911, let them know the address and where they are located in the house. Stay buried under as many clothes as possible, with their eyes closed and clothes over their face. Dispatch will relay where the children are.
    If there should ever come a time of vigilante law or loss of the constitution. A hidey hole is safer or a safe room. Keep in mind that tactical teams use dogs who have a keen sense of smell so that must be taken into consideration. Packets of cayenne strategically located works as well as ammonia. Tbe only time I suggest that children run away is during fire. And children cannot differentiate between the good guys and bad guys nor can they negotiate.

  8. I like the chicken wire in the roman shades suggestion above. Apart from that, I recommend that you teach them to roll to the floor with their hands over their heads and to stay put. When I worked for the Army, this is what we were taught to do case of a hotel break-in by thugs. Crying for mama isn’t a bad idea, especially if there are flash bangs or tear gas thrown in, because they may not know children are in the house (I’m suggesting an older child or one that is taller than expected might need to act younger to avoid being mistaken for an adult). Acting tough or running will get them killed. Teach a teenager to pretend to be younger. I have (what nowadays seems rational) a healthy fear of a mistaken swatting. When we moved into the last house, the sheriff arrived on Saturday to serve a warrant of indebtedness against the former occupants, who had been gone for a month prior. We don’t have resources here in this county for excess force for minor things, and the local sheriff is up for reelection, so we may have a chance at changing him out. Of course, the Federales are a concern, and these days you don’t have to be doing anything wrong to have that concern, which says it all.

  9. Encourager says:

    Lord have mercy on us. My heart checked when I read this question. How in the world do you ‘train’ children about SWAT breaking into your home? I imagine even the training would be traumatizing. Wasn’t there a child killed a few weeks ago by SWAT tossing a flash-bang into her bed?

    Teach them to escape into a hidey hole or hidden cellar, with an outside exit in case the place catches fire. For sure, have alerts in place so you know they are coming. And PRAY!

  10. Retired says:

    To all there is no practical way for adults or childern to prepare for a police raid. The speed and savagery and overwhelming force is almost impossible to defend aginst.
    I hate to say this but but it might keep some of you alive:
    •••••••••••••••••DO NOT RESIST ••••••••••••••••••
    1.Go prone if possible this will prevent a forced takedown.
    2.Do not attempt to arm yourself it will not end good.
    3.The faster things settle down will dramitacly lower the chance of injury or death.
    If you fight the inside team and win there is still the outside team that will stop you.
    Yes I know even if you do everything right things might go bad. Also the actual raiding team 99% of the time are assisting the primary officers and are acting off the information they receive at the raid briefing.
    Live to fight another day….

  11. GoneWithTheWind says:

    This is begging the question. There is no reason for SWAT to show up “simply” because you run an organic farm. You have to also be breaking a law. Are you breaking laws?? If you are then you should indeed expect law enforcement to show up and enforce the law. SO the correct answer to the question you begged is stop breakng the law!

    • I think you could be wrong that SWAT would only show up if someone is “breaking the law”. What about the times that SWAT has gone to the wrong house? or had bad info? When SWAT comes, they aren’t there to talk about it and let you present your “case”, they simply take care of whatever “problem” they came for…. and people in the way CAN be hurt… even when innocent.

      • GoneWithTheWind says:

        I am aware of SWATs mistakes and inappropriate actions. But the writer stated that he expected SWAT to target him not to accidently drop by on the way to a real crime. He was begging the question to be provocative, to imply that his choosen profession/avocation would make him a target even though he was the model of honesty. Either he was making a joke on all of us or he was trying to provoke sympathetic responses. SWAT doesn’t target farmers, even organic farmers unless of course they are breaking the law. Now the law may be an ass, and it often is, but if you chose to break the law who is to blame?

        • GoneWithTheWind,

          So you’re saying that no matter what the law is that we should follow it because it’s “the law”?

          • GoneWithTheWind says:

            Well get specific. Tell me which laws you think you and I should not follow. I’ll start: If the speed limit on the highway is 65 and the traffic is going much faster I will usually exceed the limit by 4 mph. Yeah! Call me a law breaker but in some cases safety is more important and I don’t want to be the guy going too slow. But other then that I pretty much obey all the laws.

          • GoneWithTheWind,

            I’m not going to tell you what laws that you should follow, that is your decision…

          • I’ve read of an organic farm that got swatted for code infractions because the locals didn’t like the looks of the place. I’ve also heard of a swat raid for someone who had overdue library fines and also for someone who received orchids (for their business) but didn’t get the required original forms from the trucker. I’ve also heard of complete roadside car searches because someone had a Colorado license plate. These days, with the EPA ready to regulate every ditch and puddle, and a new regulation born seemingly every minute there is a real possibility of such a raid, even if you aren’t doing anything illegal.

    • In CA, despite being massively in debt giving benefits to illegal aliens, they have done door to door raids looking for Raw Milk. They are not willing to admit that evolution influences the ability to drink milk, so that while the Queen of England drinks raw milk every day of her life, a Nigerian Prince couldn’t. Instead of letting people make informed decisions they jackboot for equality.

      If you search for the article “A liberal and someone else’s money are swiftly parted” it points out how bad the fake “charity” Heifer Int is because the majority, up to 95%, of natives in 3rdworld nations have problems drinking milk.

  12. First of all: Resisting a SWAT invasion will get members of your family killed, most especially those actively resisting.

    They have flash/bang grenades, assault rifles, and are heavily armored. Armed resistance = Death.

    I would teach the kids to remain motionless on the floor, hands in clear view, unless doing exactly as the SWAT people direct otherwise.

    I would want hidden cameras covering the exterior doorways. They would be hidden because I have seen video of cops turning visible exterior security cameras in directions which show nothing. They may think they are simply protecting themselves from criminal observation, or they may be making sure their victims have no evidence of illegal SWAT acts: Doesn’t matter. Have cameras which will show their actions as they prepared to break in, and as they did break in.

    More cameras throughout the house, for the same reasons: you want evidence of their actions, because the only resistance you can offer without being beaten or killed will be your resistance in court. If the SWAT sees the cameras they will be disabled, and probably the memories found and confiscated.

    Ideally, your cameras will be the highest definition possible, and again ideally, they will have clear audio recording. Ideally there is an automatic feed to an off site backup or to the Internet.

    I think the reality of such a situation is that there is only one viable response: You must comply 100% with their demands, then sue them. If you resist, you will not live to sue them. Survival comes first, then retaliation through the court system.

    When the guns are pointed at you and your family, you do not start screaming that they have the wrong house, or that they are acting illegally. Your first priority is surviving the immediate situation. After that you use your video evidence in court, and in the court of public opinion.

    So: Don’t resist, and do video document their acts as well as you can. These guys, good, bad, or indifferent, are seriously hopped up on adrenaline, they are heavily armed, heavily armored, and rightly or wrongly are scared of getting shot by you and your family. Don’t scare them.

    Your duty at that moment is to survive for your family’s sake. Your children must understand that their duty is to do the same thing: Comply with the SWAT demands.

    Later you can sue their rears off.

  13. patientmomma says:

    You are worried about a SWAT invasion because of “organic marketing but also because of providing legal sanctuary”…this sounds confusing to me. If you are marketing illegal organic stuff and hiding people the law is seeking, you should be worried. Depending on where you are located, private citizens may not provide “legal sanctuary” or market “organic” stuff.

    Regardless, it sounds like you have a houseful of children who need to be taught not to resist, go to one location and stay there .

    • Spinning Gramma says:

      Our innocent neighbor was abducted last winter by the feds and held illegally and without charges, without bail, without medical treatment. Plenty of organic farmers have been subject to invasion, produce destroyed and/or confiscated while following all the rules regarding marketing their products. TPTB are owned by Monsanto and organic farmers are rebels in that regard. We are not doing anything illegal.

      • Encourager says:

        That…is so awful it is beyond understanding!! Is he still abducted?

        As far as Monsanto, they brag they have never lost a court case suing an organic farmer who “stole” their contaminated pollen and ruined the organic farmer’s crop.

  14. Catfish says:

    I really hope swat never has a reason to show up at your home but if there was some indication where the children’s rooms were it may help a bit. Most of them are parents too and if they saw some little kid pictures on the bed room door or something that made it obvious it was a child’s room I’d bet they took a little more care. Kids toys in the yard. Baby on board sign in the car……

    • The Number One Rule for all LEOs is that they go home safely every night. Your safety and that of your children comes 2nd or 3rd on their list of priorities. I have friends in federal law enforcement who agree that local police forces, with their new military equipment, are your biggest threat. FBI, and even DHS, require that someone higher in the chain of command authorize a SWAT-type raid. You may remember that SWAT units with bad reputations began on the local level (e.g., Los Angeles).

  15. Thanks for all the well thought out responses. This has been a concern of mine as well, largely due to an experience while moving in a big city- I had been threatened with death the week before by a stalker, enter my new apartment to see a man standing there holding a gun (no obvious badge or uniform). If it hadn’t been for the boxes in my hands at that moment and the puzzled expression on his face it would have been a shoot out. Fortunately he responded to my question by explaining he was a bounty hunter and then he demanded that I prove I wasn’t his target. We both walked away pissed at the other but we both walked away without injury thanks to fortunate circumstances. Between bounty hunters, Swat teams, Anonymous tips, etc… ANYONE can be in such a situation. Even in the most rural areas or biggest cities. Having some well thought out responses for a variety of types of incidents and environments is very sensible. (like what if you are visiting a friends house and a swat raid happens there?)

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