Some preppers have unrealistic fantasies about what life will be like after the SHTF. They imagine themselves holed up in their home for months or years, taking turns standing guard 24 hours a day, shooting looters or zombies or whatever while they munch on all the food they stored. The fact is, that is probably not going to happen. In my opinion, the most likely scenario for the United States is an economic collapse followed by several months of turmoil (riots, looters, and so forth).
During this period, most people will still have jobs (albeit, jobs that don’t pay well). Others will spend their time working odd jobs or searching the surrounding area for supplies. And aside from a lack of food and clean drinking water, the biggest threats will be thieves, rapists, and murderers. Crime will be rampant if the economy collapses, so you better start thinking about home security now. Here are a few suggestions:
• Find a safe place to live – Avoid houses with large windows and sliding glass doors. In my opinion, glass doors may as well be open doors. They’re just too easy to get through. Also remember that second and third-floor apartments are much less likely to be broken into as criminals usually want to be able to make a quick getaway in case there’s trouble. (See the article: Defending an Apartment after the SHTF.)
• Reinforce your doors – I already wrote about this in my post, First Line of Defense: The Front Door. Most criminals don’t even know how to pick locks; they just kick in the door. It’s a lot easier than you might think. But if you have a sturdy door that can’t be kicked in very easily, they’re likely to give up and just move on to the next house. And don’t forget the back door, the garage door, and any other doors that lead outside.
• Get motion detector lights – Especially the kind that run on batteries or solar power, as there could be rolling blackouts. Criminals don’t like to be seen, and if a bright light hits them they’ll usually flee like cockroaches.
• Get an alarm – A very loud one. And again, make sure it will work if the power is out. If you don’t have a lot of money, at least get some doorknob alarms. You can get a doorknob alarm on amazon.com for a little over $10.
• Reinforce your windows – Like I said before, windows are just way too easy to break through. I recommend putting bars over all your windows if you don’t mind the way it looks. If there are bars on the windows, 9 out of 10 times criminals will move on to a house without them. It’s not worth their trouble.
•Put up a security 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.
• Get a decoy safe – Your main safe should be very well hidden, while the decoy safe should be fairly easy to find and filled with a small amount of cash, some fake jewelry, and documents that merely look important.
• Think like a criminal – If a criminal looked at your house, would they see toys, tools or other things in the yard? Are there lots of trees and bushes to hide behind? Would they see expensive items through the windows? Don’t leave things outside, get rid of those bushes and get some heavy-duty curtains. When you’re done, look at your house and compare it to your neighbors’ houses. Does it look more secure than theirs? If not, your house could be targeted first.