Consider any house, any house at random, or own your house. You’ve decided, for a whole host of practical and realistic reasons, that if and when a significant SHTF occurs, a Bug In is your best option. After all, this is your home. You’ve lived there for years in relative comfort. You know every inch of it. You know your neighbors, well, at least by sight anyway, or you should.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author
For years you have worked on a prepping plan that hopefully would allow you and your family to survive at a fairly decent level of comfort during any SHTF or disaster aside from one that completely destroys your residence. This plan did not come easy or without some discomfort or sacrifice especially financially. You are convinced though, you made the right choices so far and for the most part your family is on board, though their doubts may linger.
Related article: Simple Ways to Slow a Burglar at the Front Door
Your survival stocks of essential goods include food, water, medical, sanitary, and the basic gear to get by. All the same stuff that would be in a Bug Out Bag is at the house in storage containers and safe boxes. Oh, you did a BOB just in case, too. You think you have all your bases covered.
Still you fine tune and home, but feel pretty confident you can withstand a SHTF, at least for a good while. But, what else? Maybe other fears continue to haunt you?
A Man’s Home is his Castle
How secure is your house after all? Could it be breached, easily or with considerable effort? How much detailing have you put into making your physical residence as break in proof as possible once a SHTF siren goes off? Eventually, count on people milling around investigating who is home, what is easy to take, or how to get inside your house. Recall the movie Purge?
Yeah, I know, its Hollywood, but the scenario portrayed is none the less pretty scary. That house was secure, or so they thought. They had steel shutters that closed and locked electronically over every window and door entry. Their “lock down” for the Purge was over the top. Well, I know the system was unlocked from the inside for the movie plot to play out, but the purge pranksters (neighbors by the way) were able to attach chains to the front door and jerk off all the security armament they had in place. Just saying.
So, let’s play a game, one that could save your life. It’s actually fun. You can do it yourself, with family, or perhaps a prepper teammate or somebody else you know that is prepping like you are. Exchange the favor to help each other out.
Being the devil’s advocate is always fun. Take a legal pad and a red pen. Walk around your house from the outside noting every weakness you can find that could be exploited by somebody wanting to break into your house during dire circumstances like a SHTF.
Now, this analysis helps, too, in cases of pure crime like breaking and entering, or robbery, but now we’re talking a full bore SHTF where people are thirsty, hungry, in need of help, or just want to take what you have and kill you in the process. This could and does happen during real survival disaster situations.
If it helps, pick up a copy of Joe Nobody‘s book, Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart, which takes the reader through the thought and planning process of preparing your domicile for defense.
Repel from the Outside
The more hardened you can make your house during a SHTF, the more likely you are to repel unwanted advances or threats to your security. During your walk around take note of these usual weaknesses. All entry points, doors, windows, garage, patio, fireplace chimney, roof, attic vent outside access points, any place or weak spot that could be opened, pried open, cut into, hacked into, or where an otherwise forced upon entry could be made.
How protected or locked down, sealed from outside tampering are your utility connections including electricity, natural gas, and water? This might also include sewer and certainly an external power generator. These could be cut off in order to force you out of the house. During a SHTF, devise some way to add extra security to these key resources.
It is common during hurricanes for residents and business people to cover their doors and windows with heavy duty plywood for protection. Perhaps such “shutters” could be custom made for your house and stored in the garage. Special break proof glass could be installed in windows, but the cost factors may well be out of reason. Seek other options.
All normal entry points should be double secured with multiple locking systems particularly hardened physical dead bolts and slide locks, not just electronic locks. Replace exterior wooden doors with steel doors with minimal windows. A viewing port though would be valuable. Garage doors should be hardened too, with inside slide locks or lock jams.
As you do the security analysis of your home from the outside, just ask yourself, “If I could get into this door or that window, or drop a fire cocktail down an open chimney top, then so could anybody else intent on breaking in as well or indeed forcing an evacuation.”
Defend from the Inside
In the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales, I always liked those window shutters the old adobe house had so that gun barrels could be moved in a “T” fashion or like a cross port, both up and down, and right or left. Any defender inside the house could see out of those slits, but also see well enough to shoot out of them. Outsiders found it hard to target these shutter openings. I wonder if SHTF shutters could be fashioned like those designed to secure a door or window but still allow them to be shot out of. Something to ponder I guess. The point being, if you Bug In and your house is more or less on a security lock down, you may still have to defend your positions from inside the house, aka The Alamo. Sounds easy, but much more difficult to deploy with doors and windows shut. Even shooting out an open door or cracked open window can be problematic if not practiced. This is a training drill you will need to practice. Do not fail to consider defense of all sides of your house.
If you live in a two-story house, then the second floor could offer a defensive advantage being able to oversee advancement threats below. There may also be ways to deploy roofline defenses from the rear of the house. If your house has dormers with windows, these may be defensive positions as well. All the possibilities need to be explored.
Check Out: Handling an Active Shooter Situation
Regardless, you will need plans for defending multiple points of potential attack on your residence. Hopefully you have other adults or responsible youth that can help out, too. They will need training, weapons, ammo, and gear of their own or a shared arsenal with ample back up supplies.
Securing your Bug In residence takes on considerable complications. Defending it requires even more planning, preparation, practice and execution. Of course your intent is to survive a SHTF, whatever it is, so step up your prepping plan a few more notches beyond sustenance basics. There will likely be the opportunity to test it out eventually. Save
Modern homes have been deliberately designed so that they are impossible to defend from LE attack. Passive defense is the only way to “bug in”. Trip alarms, and black outs, with overwhelming counterforce once your security is breached or you are attacked. The best thing you can do if you believe that the collapse of civilization or civil war are inevitable is MOVE to a place you can defend. In truth there is no “modern” home that CAN be used to make a defensive position. The only option you have is tire walls or foxholes. House walls made at any time in the last twenty five years offer little more than a plastic and plywood tent held up with cheap lumber and sometimes thinly clad in cheap brick.
yeh, what Ray said.
I mentioned once before about this bad “dream” I had. bad guys were hiding out from the cops by the basement window, under the big rhododendron at my childhood home. just south of that, an overgrown azalea, all but obscured the other basement window. the phone line was right there next to it. in those days, you didn’t own your phone. if you wanted an extension phone for the MBR, you paid extra. 911 didn’t exist yet at that time…
our phone was downstairs, in the living room. the only guns we had in the house, were my toys. a child could have climbed in through one of those basement windows, I know, because I had done it. (neighbor’s house, story for another time)
the crisis resolved itself somehow, but I was passed out with fear. I woke up the next day in my own bed. (alive) I never discussed this with Dad. he was the only other person awake at the time.
somehow He and I were on the same page. once he knew I could be trusted, a firearm that was inherited, remained in the house. (He’d had enough of guns after Korea) we wired the upstairs with extension phones. we got a dog. (she was a great dog.) he aquired one of the early “bag” type cell phones, once they became available.
all it takes is a little reality check once in a while to re awaken your inner prepper.
Check out the book, Patriot Dawn The Resistance Rises, for SHTF armed home invasion. Amazon carries it. The story is told in two books so you’re not on the hook buying a bunch. The author is former British military and US special forces. He’s written several small unit tactic books as well such as Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival.
Actually NO. The guy who wrote “Patriot dawn” was a British Para who spent several years in the US Army and as a “Merc” in Africa. He runs a shoot school in WV. and sells books and webgear. His “advice” and “training” seem to have more to do with making money than anything else. Take it with a large grain of salt.
You are correct. I have read all of his books and appreciate the wisdom in them, but his training and advice lately has been geared towards growing his business and not with an eye towards what most people will have to work with.
For instance, you probably won’t have a four person term, you’ll be lucky to have a two person (mom and dad, you and your brother, ect.).
Don’t get me wrong, he puts out good stuff, but it’s no longer within the sphere of things I have access to.
When my ship comes in (it’ll probably ram the dock), I plan to build a concrete monolithic dome, actually a complete sphere (one of the strongest shapes known to man) half-buried in the ground. Home and bunker in one! Stick (2X4) and paper (sheet rock) structures are designed to fall down in about 50 years (or less) in the best of conditions, so banks and developers can extract the maximum profit available. Why does a $100,000 house cost you four to five times that; uncontrolled GREED! I may have an escape tunnel out from my sphere or I may not, if things are that bad, there probably won’t be anywhere worth going to! Truthfully, most ‘modern’ houses are death traps! But, the system of rich ruling the poor that exists everywhere in the world is designed to keep most people down while pretending to do the opposite. Good thing I’m an optimist! GLAHP!
remember: when seconds count, the Police are (at best) minutes away.
You are On Your Own, ’til help arrives. (if ever)
I have replaced my contractor-grade door locks with high quality lock sets that use longer, harder steel dead bolts; removed the tiny screws securing the hinges and replaced with 3 inch wood screws that secure the hinges through the frame directly to the house; and did the same with the strike plates which were also replaced with larger, heavier steel plates. All of my doors are metal including the garage door. I have five front windows facing the street; each window in a separate room. There are sufficiently large pieces of heavy furniture in each room which could be moved and secured to block access through those windows. I store extra lumber for wood working projects which would be used to secure those windows and the few in the back of the house. My house is built on a concrete slab with brick all around and the back yard is fenced but that could be breached. The big bad wolf might not blow it down, but someone determined would eventually find a way in. It would be up to me to make that an expensive proposition while maintaining a viable exit strategy. A modern house is no fortress, and I would not want mine to become a prison.