This is the first in a series of posts that will highlight serious challenges to the suburban prepper. We will then discuss ideas to overcome these challenges then YOU, my faithful readers, can give your 2-cents on the subject (since I do recognize that I don’t know everything).
Part 1; SAFETY OF THE CASTLE AND ROYALTY INSIDE
How do you protect your home from the unsavory characters combing the streets looking for the food, ammo and medical gear they failed to pack away?
So Why Are You Still Here?
Why haven’t you bugged out to your 50+ acre Idaho farm on fertile growing soil? You know the one on Rawles Lane (you named your new street after the survival guru Mr. J. Rawles didn’t you?). Well, first of all my kids want to go to a school with more than one room, my wife still wants to see her mother (shivers) and I have a job that cannot be done over the internet. These factors all mean one thing … suburban life baby!
Being stuck in the burbs ensures one thing … that the chances of you buggin’ out are slim to none and slim was arrested for terrorism and is being held as an enemy combatant. You are in the burbs dude, once the mushroom cloud goes up you aren’t going anywhere! The streets will be packed with cars that only have 1/4 of a tank (cause who can afford to fill er’ up anymore) and pretty soon major roads and freeways are going to parking lots. If you try to make it, you risk your family being exposed out on the road with nothing more than what you could cram in your Explorer. Unless you are guaranteed to make it to a retreat or wilderness area you may be forced to bug in.
You’re Here, Get Ready to Make a Stand!
So how do you protect your suburban home? The biggest threat as I see it is an assualt by a determined group. Why? All they have to do is burn your house down. Ever think of that? Watch some old westerns and you will see how easy it is to get someone out of a building. You have two ways to prevent this: (1) stay completely hidden so no one knows the house is occupied or (2) double up with another family, fortify that McMansion and give em’ hell.
You are limited only by your imagination here. Staying hidden requires that you never leave the house so you better have your preps squared away and solid! You better have night light discipline. Solar power instead of a noisy smelly generator (is there anything that would call MORE attention to your location after the gird goes down than a generator?). You will need to cook indoors which presents its own issues or go on completely cold food. Become nocturnal (there is a reason animals are nocturnal you know) and do all of your outside work at night. Get some night vision or get your eyes seared like Vin Diesal in Pitch Black and make the night yours!
You should be prepared to hide inside your home at least once if a roving gang does a house to house sweep a la “I am Legned” in a coordinated and systematic search for goods. Hiding yourself can be challenging and it is limited by your home’s structure and location. Consider the attic to hide (ever read Diary of Ann Frank?, I didn’t but I think she hid there), false walls, hidden rooms (you could easily convert a closet into a hidden room with one of these), hollowed out furniture, or any other creative idea you have. Remember, you will only have to stay hidden for a short period of time, they will eventually move on. Considered hiding your preps as well. This presents a much larger challenge but I think you get the idea.
Show Them No Mercy… For You Shall Receive None! (Lord of the Rings!)
So you were in town at a make-shift pub drinking home distilled vodka and had a little too much to drink and pissed off the leader of the Hell’s Angels gang that happens to be motoring through town. On top of it all, you start spouting off about how you have three years worth of food, 1,000 rounds of ammo, gold bars and a teenage daughter and that they will never get you… Uh Oh, you are screwed. You get back to the house but they followed you and now get ready for a Lord of the Rings siege… Are you ready?
Preparing the Castle for The Siege
If you are planning to bug in or have to because of your particular circumstances you must be prepared to protect the “keep”. This requires prior planning, acquiring some key items and some research.
A great place to start is Combined Arms Operations in Urban Terrain. (Go over to Ranger Man’s Blog and pick up a copy through his online store) This is the Army’s manual for urban combat. It will show you how to reinforce windows, how to move in a building without being seen and whole bunch other really cool stuff. It also shows you how you may be seized upon! Knowing the other guys’ moves may be helpful.
You will need to pick up the items to reinforce your windows, doors and any other entrances to the house. I would suggest buying multiple lengths of 2x4s and flooring thickness plywood and stashing them behind the garage covered under a tarp to reduce the weather’s effects on them. The SP always has TWO charged batteries for his power tools so even if the power goes down, you have got a few hours of operation left. Sand bags would be great but I not sure the homeowners’ association would like a pile of sand in the drive way “just in case”. If you have a little room in the back for some sand, then stash some bags and a shovel. Sand bags make the best cover for firing out of a window (ok, not as good as armor, but you get the picture). Razor wire is a fantastic item to prevent actual entry into the home. It is not terribly expensive but handle it with caution. Check out the burglar bomb for some chemical deterrents. You can get creative if there has been some sort of chemical or nuclear attack and post a bunch of fake warnings on the door and walls indicating that the people inside are infected or mutated (it is worth a shot right?)
As you know the sky is the limit. If you read Patriots by J. Rawles then you know that protecting your home can be done with explosives and other hard-core devices. If you can get this stuff (and handle it safely) then good for you. But for the average suburbanite, that is not a reality. The goal here is to make YOUR home undesirable to anyone trying to make an easy kill. Playground rules kids, the bullys pick the easy targets.
Below I have provided a picture of my own home so you can get an idea of my defensive capabilities.