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Home Security After the SHTF

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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. 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.

During this period, most people will still have jobs (albeit, jobs that don’t pay well). Others will spend their time working 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, so you better start thinking about home security. Here are a few suggestions:

Find a safe place to live. Avoid houses with large windows and sliding glass doors. 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 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. But if you have a sturdy door that can’t be kicked in very easily, they’re likely to just move on to the next house. And don’t forget the back door and the garage door.

Get motion detector lights. Especially the kind that run on batteries, as there could be rolling blackouts. Criminals don’t like to be seen, and if a bright light hits them they’ll probably flee.

Get an alarm. A 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 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 too easy to break through. I recommend putting bars over all your windows. If there are bars on the windows, 9 out of 10 times criminals will move on to a house without them.

Backyard Liberty

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 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 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.

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What to read next: Home Invasion 101

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  • locksmith ottawa

    Can’t really add anything to this… very comprehensive list. At a minimum everyone should have top quality locks, as well as an alarm.

  • Sean

    A mean sounding barking dog is also a deterrent and works when the power is out….. no one will ever sneak into my house…..

  • Dee

    You forgot a biggie. Landscaping. There are many ways to use landscaping to protect your home. Thorny plants around open windows won’t lure as a bare window will. Just an example. Great article otherwise. :)

  • Lolo

    If you live “in town” many local governing bodies have restrictions on fence heights, typically no higher than 6 feet.

  • Leslie Leonard

    I have always been told not to put up privacy fences because makes people think that you want to keep people away from what you have. In another words it makes thieves/looters believe that you are trying to protect something that they may want or need. Don’t know how true it is but maybe some food for thought.

  • Michael Svea

    I have tons of great ideas, but I hate to give anyone looking the heads up. so your just going to have to wonder what horrifying suprises are awaiting would be unwelcome guests.