The biggest threats during any type of disaster are people who are unprepared. When they start running out of food and realize no one is going to save them, you’ll have to be very careful.
We can’t ignore the reality of roving gangs looking for food in the wake of a disaster. That’s why home defense is an important part of prepping for life after SHTF.
Passive defenses are key to home defense
Your defensive plan must include reliable passive defenses. You have to keep the attackers outdoors to give yourself a tactical advantage so you need something that they aren’t going to get through quickly. No passive defense system is perfect. If it can buy you time to make a stand while the attackers are still outside, it has done its job.
Below are some tips to improve your home defense.
Upgrade your fence
It needs to go all the way around your property and be at least seven feet high. Criminals might still find a way past it, but the point of most of these security measures is deterrence. If you can keep dangerous people off your property altogether, you won’t even have to put your other home security measures to the test. Wooden posts can be changed to steel posts while wooden slats can be covered with corrugated tin. Barbed wire or razor wire can be installed on top of your fence.
Use shrubs and trees to your advantage when planning your landscape. Thorny bushes such as blackberry bushes are a great thing to plant in front of windows. But you have to strike a balance as bushes and shrubs can also offer concealment to invaders. Make sure your landscaping still offers 360-degree visibility. As for your fence, plant a thorny vine that grows quickly. It will cover your fence with green leaves and sharp thorns.
Reinforce your doors and windows
Most doors are surprisingly easy to kick in, so reinforcing your doors should be a top priority. Installing a metal doorframe is the most secure measure you can take to reinforce your doors. You can also upgrade your wooden door to a steel door for extra strength and install a small length of steel conduit running a few inches into your doorframe so that your deadbolt will be anchored into an entrenched metal sheath. A bad guy’s other main point of entry into your home is typically through a window. Strengthen your windows by fitting bars over the windows – either on the inside or the outside. You can also install Plexiglas on either side of the window or simply put a dowel rod in the gap where your window slides to ensure it can’t be opened enough for someone to get in.
Get a defensive dog
With superb hearing and scent detection, defensive dogs such as German Shepherds and Rottweilers will alert you if someone is trying to break in. But you have to make sure you train your dog to stay silent on command and to always listen to your cues.
Get a Gun
If the attackers manage to get past all of your defenses, your final defense is a good firearm. If you really want to survive a home invasion, you need to get a good gun and learn how to use it. A baseball bat isn’t going to stop a violent intruder, much less a gang of intruders. (Related: Stay safe at home this summer, when most home invasions and break-ins occur.)
Always have an escape plan
Your defensive plan has to include an escape plan. We can’t tell what will happen when we engage in a fight, but it is important to know when it’s time to bug out.
This part of the plan needs to include communicating to everyone that it’s time to bug out without letting the enemy know. You’ve also got to have a plan for breaking off contact with the enemy. Everyone on your side needs to know your escape route. There should be a surprise trap like a barricade that can be dropped to slow down the intruders just in case they decide to chase you. An escape route that offers at least some concealment can also help.
Bug-out bags and other gear to grab should be readily available along the exit route at the last moment. Establish a rallying point for everyone to meet if you don’t all manage to leave together.
From there, you’re moving into your bug-out plan rather than your defensive plan. So make sure that the two fit nicely together. While you may change your mind and circle back to retake your home, that’s a decision to be made for later.
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This content was originally published here.