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This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Jason in Virginia
We’ve all seen the news. The unemployment rate. The wars and rumors of wars. The earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunami’s and other natural disasters plaguing the globe. Our own governments seemingly inexorable march towards Eurocentric slavery (also known as socialism, Marxism, “the realization of the universal brotherhood of man”, or whatever it is the Occupy hippies are calling it these days). Many of us look around our urban or suburban dwellings and shudder at the thought of having to make our stand here.
I pray I do not have to. Every penny of profit I turn from my home based business goes to the Retreat Fund. But I have to accept and prepare for the possibility that TSHTF before I can get there, and I’m forced to, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “Accept the adventure that the good Lord sends me.”
For the purpose of this article, I am going to assume the readers house is somewhat like mine, located in Anytown, Suburbia, Eastern United States. The primary goal here is to defend yourself, your family, your home. and your preps from those who would otherwise do harm. It is assumed that the primary threat here will be bands of looters/thieves/social deviants, squatters, or loners looking to pillage.
STEP ONE: SDSU (sit down shut up). When SHTF, one of the biggest mistakes that can be made is to stick out. The refugee flood will not take place immediately. People don’t like to leave their homes. It is part of their identities, and, generally speaking, will only leave when left with no other alternative.
If that alternative is looking down the street at your house, with its generator running 24/7, lights on, aromas of cooked meat, and kids still playing on the front yard is trying to take that from you, please don’t delude yourself. Todd Smith, the neighbor you used to play golf with on Saturdays and have backyard BBQ’s with in the summer WILL come calling, and it wont be to have a cold beer on the front porch.
Hunger will make a man do crazy things. The easiest way to avoid this is to SDSU. Stay in the house, maintain light discipline at night, curtains drawn during the day. Give no sign that would indicate that anyone is even there, or if they are, that they are in any better predicament than anyone else. The nail that sticks up gets hammered down in situations like this.
STEP TWO: WAIT IT OUT. Eventually (and probably much quicker than one might think) your neighborhood will empty out. Remember that the average American family has less than 3 days food storage on hand. I’d venture a guess that within 2 weeks the residents of your neighborhood will be gone. At this time, it may be advisable to venture out, in small, well armed groups, and secure your secondary perimeter.
STEP THREE: ESTABLISH/SECURE OUTER PERIMETER. After your immediate area has emptied, you have a limited time with which to secure your perimeter. In most suburban setups, this is a difficult proposition, as neighborhoods are often a maze of streets, side streets dead ends and cul de sacs. I suggest worrying primarily about your immediate street, i.e. the three houses on either immediate side of you and 6 across the street.
Ensure ALL doors and windows in these homes are at the very least double locked (add locks if time and supplies permit). Squatters are NOT your friends, and are only one step above looters. Move abandoned vehicles in the open areas between homes, and block the roads on either side of your perimeter with abandoned vehicles. 50 yards from this picket line should be a makeshift road spike.
This is a line of 2 2×4’s, 2 wide, with long nails driven through the bottom sticking up the top. No wheeled vehicles should be permitted to breach the perimeter. Once this is complete, ALL items and obstacles within 20 yards of the inner perimeter should be cleared, thus creating an open field of fire should the perimeter be breached. No where to hide for a good 60 feet should allow anyone on watch an absolute minimum of 2 shots before the intruder reaches any cover.
STEP FOUR: ESTABLISH/SECURE INNER PERIMETER. This is your home, and is the last line of defense should your outer perimeter and field of fire be breached. Resist the urge to move to your empty neighbors house because of size or features. You know your house, you don’t know your neighbors. Intimate familiarity of your surroundings is an edge that should never be surrendered voluntarily. They don’t call it home-field advantage for nothing.
Acquire as many concrete blocks as possible, to buttress the outside walls of your home, at least 3 feet high, all the way around. Keep in mind that your home was probably built by the lowest bidder, and vinyl siding, particle board, and insulation won’t do much to stop a 7.62 round. Motion detection solar lighting is a must and can now be found for relatively cheap at any home improvement store. A strong fence is the minimum starting point for protecting your rear and flanks.
I am assuming that barbed wire is not readily available at your local Target in Anytown, so consider driving nails (the same type and length as in your road spike) through the top and cross planks of your fence. It’s no fun for a band of looters tying to scale your fence to slam their hand onto or step on a large sharp nail.
This should give them pause, which should give you sufficient time to send lead down range at a slow or non-moving target. Steel, magnetized front and back doors with triple locks should be the rule, and a 12 gauge loaded with buckshot should be close by either door in the event of a breach. Finally, I know we all understand the value of basements, but I really feel that attics are under appreciated defense features.
If you have an attic, you have a snipers nest. Become familiar with your attic. If you don’t have a window in your attic, make one. The view that it will provide you of your perimeter, both outer and inner, is unmatched. You can remain virtually invisible, even after shots are fired, which gives you a huge psychological edge over any intruders. Armies have for centuries, and still to this day, seek out the high ground when defending themselves. That is no coincidence.
WEAPONS: I know this isn’t a “step” per se, but I wanted to create a section on this because I feel it is relevant. I firmly believe that you do not need an armory to defend your perimeters. Here are my general suggestions for what I feel should be the minimum to secure your home.
- 1 AR-15 for every adult capable of handling one. These are multi-purpose weapons that can be used both in long-range (attic) and shorter range (field of fire) encounters.
- 1 9mm per adult. Short range weapons, easy to carry, easy to handle, good for up close work (if front/rear door is breached)
- 3 12 gauge shotguns. One for the front door, one for the back door, one for the attic. If you can catch an intruder in the doorway or window, this is about as close to a “can’t miss” gun as you can get there. Also good for Attic work if front or rear fence is breached by multiple intruders.
- A minimum of 500 rounds per gun per person for each firearm.
Now, I’m not saying these are the ONLY guns you can have or should have, it’s just MY bare essentials home defense firearms. I know others will have their own opinions on this and that is great, but I REALLY don’t want this to turn into a debate on firearms.
What suggestions do you have for securing an urban/suburban home in an urban/suburban setting? I’m really looking forward to the Wolf Packs thoughts and feedback.
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:
- First Prize) Winner will receive a gift certificate for $170 worth of Winchester Ammo donated by Lucky Gunner. A Smith & Wesson Heat Treated Collapsible 21″ Baton and a copy of my book Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat.
- Second Prize) Winner will receive a Wise Food Storage meat bucket and 3 dozen Tattler Reusable Canning Lids donated by LPC Survival.
- Third Prize) Winner will receive a LifeStraw water filter system donated by Eartheasy and a copy of the Wolf Pack Cookbook.
This contest will end on January 11 2012 so get busy…