HomePosts Tagged "defend your neighborhood"

In this post I want to go into what I think are three tactics you could use to even or improve your odds at defending your neighborhood. These should be relatively simple actions you can take that would give your team an advantage over anyone trying to do you harm and make the job of taking what is yours possibly too much trouble to try. Again, the assumption for this series is that there has been a national disaster that has rendered our nation in a crisis where there is no local rule of law.

Within that context, you would be responsible for maintaining the safety of your home at a minimum, but it would be smarter to join together with neighbors to provide security for a larger area, pool resources and provide a harder target to take advantage of by people who might try to do you harm. I don’t think many people will argue that it is wiser to be a lone wolf than it is to form a larger group for safety and security. Some of you may have already planned this out with a larger group. You may have plans to bug out to your remote retreat, but if you find yourself at home without the benefit of a squad of ex-Navy Seal buddies, what can you do?

Keep everyone on the same page – Effective Communications

Midland GXT1050VP4 Two-Way Radio

Simple radio communication is a huge force multiplier in a grid down scenario. Assuming electronics work, just having a few radios on hand will enable you and the rest of the team to stay in constant contact and be aware of anything that is happening around the area you are trying to secure. Most of you probably have radios that you use for camping or hiking or if you have children, even for play. I purchased a few Motorola FMS radios to be used just for cases like this when I need to stay in contact with my home and I am not traveling too far away. Another use was hunting so I could stay in contact with my hunting buddy out in the woods where cell coverage was non-existent. Midland seems to be the other big player in radios like this and they have a lot of models that are geared towards hunters.

We have used these radios for all sorts of activities and they work great. One thing to note is that almost all the radios I have seen will say something along the lines of that they have a 20 or 50 mile range and there is no way you will ever get that much distance from one of these radios. You will be very lucky to get 2 or 3 miles assuming you don’t have a lot of terrain interference. For more range you would want to move to Ham radio, but that is out of the scope of this article. For the purposes I am talking about here, neighborhood security; these FRS radios are a perfect option in most cases. A nice addition is to add an earpiece and microphone attachment like the Surveillance Headset with PTT (Push to talk) microphone. This will allow you to hear the radio communications in private which would be another huge benefit for roving patrols, guard posts or simply maintaining some form of stealth.

Newer models have upwards of 50 channels so you can take simple steps to talk relatively securely. These radios are on a public band so if you are on the same channel as someone within range, they will be able to hear you, just like any radio. It is possible to scan for communications on all channels, but this is probably not something you have to be too concerned with. Keeping radio discipline, changing your frequencies often and having different channels will make it harder for people to hear what you are saying. This isn’t foolproof I know so before you send me emails about how easy it is to hear someone talking, I know… It is just that you can still communicate effectively within the scenario I described above and it will give you an advantage over people without radios. Keep conversations to the minimum, use code words. If you have an enemy group scanning radios and taking that many deliberate steps to monitor and spy on you then you are in for a big fight anyway and military tactics will likely be your only saving grace.

Make them work for it – Restrict access

Trip Flare, Non-Pyrotechnic

I said yesterday that we don’t live in walled compounds. Each neighborhood in America has its own challenges with preventing access but there are steps you can take to slow people down or halt vehicle traffic entirely. You may not be able to stop them from walking through the woods, but you can prevent them from driving up with a U-Haul or speeding their way in past any security you have planned.

I walk through my neighborhood frequently and each time I go on my Neighborhood Recon I am among other things looking for the best places to set up roadblocks. In order to take advantage of the terrain you would want to set roadblocks up to stop vehicles that would prevent them from going around or over the obstacle. Where I live, we have lots of large trees that could easily cover the entire road and then some. The only thing we would have to do is chop down the tree. That limits us when it comes to getting out though and would be more of a worst case scenario precaution I think.

A different strategy in areas with trees like this would be to use 2 or more, preferably 3 trees to create a mini-maze that any approaching car would need to slow down to a crawl to make it through. You would arrange the trees so that each only takes up half of the road but the vehicle would have to weave in and around the obstacles to get through. This would allow you to still exit using a vehicle (assuming they still were running) as well as let people back in if they left in a vehicle. At the same time, it would slow someone down who was trying to get in sufficiently that they could be engaged with small arms fire if the threat was intent on getting in and your Rules of Engagement stated that deadly force was required in this instance. You could pretty easily block several roads in short order with this strategy. You could do a similar thing within the city and you would have the benefit of buildings to block anyone from going around the outside. You can also use cars that are probably simpler to move into and out of place but they can also be pushed out of the way by a big enough vehicle. Trees aren’t so easy, even for an MRAP.

What about people walking in through the woods? This is when roving patrols and multiple observation posts will be a good idea, but not always possible. It really comes down to how many people can watch these locations. If you don’t have enough, you will have to contract your perimeter to something you can manage with the available personnel. Another option would be simple trip flares. These would work at night to alert you that someone has entered your perimeter. These are great ideas, but they have their drawbacks too like only warning you if you can see them. You can purchase chemlight versions which are relatively quiet and trip warning devices that are audible using compressed air.

Cover all the angles – Defensive Positions

Once you have the roads blocked, you still have to manage any traffic coming to your roadblocks. Ideally, this would be an area where people posted on guard could maintain control of traffic while still keeping them safe potentially from incoming rounds at the same time. In a grid-down scenario like this the best thing to stop bullets is mass, but not many of us will have the ability to build or construct concrete pill boxes. I think for the prepper who wants to have a plan, but doesn’t necessarily need to build a bunker a simple foxhole makes a great idea. The design is straight forward and only requires a shovel. As an added bonus, you could add sandbags to the top and sides, but a well-built foxhole should protect you from any rounds that you could expect. What about those big trees you dropped on the road? Sure, those could work too, but only give protection from the front and could even be used as cover by the other side.

How many positions do you need? Again, it comes down to what you can supply with resources, but I think a minimum of one position at each entry way. This can be manned by one, ideally two people with a radio. If you have remote patrols outside of your perimeter or a spotter high up, they could alert the team that someone is approaching. I have considered the roofs of houses or hunting climbing stands as options to get a birds eye view of the approaching area.

If the scenario really descended into anarchy, you could also construct pits to trap men who made it through the outer perimeter. These would be lined with sharp sticks or bamboo and probably wouldn’t kill anyone but it would give them an injury that could incapacitate them.

If all else fails…

Have a plan B. You could be overrun by superior numbers or they could get the upper hand in some way. Have a fallback location and a rally point somewhere away from your location. This is another great use of the radios because everyone in your group can know what is going on with contact and the plan if you all have to bug out quickly to the woods.

In this post I want to go into what I think are three tactics you could use to even or improve your odds at defending your neighborhood. These should be

This is the fifth and final article in a five part series on Neighborhood defense and security in a grid down scenario. In the first article, Neighborhood Watch on Steroids I listed some possible reasons and different types of threats you could see that would compel you along with your willing neighbors to take steps to prepare to defend your neighborhood. In the second article we started looking at beginning to think about your neighborhood from a tactical perspective and how you can take advantages that you already possess to give you as the defenders of your home turf advantages over anyone trying to get in. Next I discussed gathering intelligence and thinking about how you would respond to threats you may see walking or driving down the streets towards your neighborhood followed up with ideas on how to increase your odds of survival when it comes to defending your neighborhood.

In this post I want to go into what I think are some logical weapons and supply considerations that would give you an upper hand if you were faced with a situation where you were trying to defend your neighborhood. Just like all the previous posts in this series the assumption is that there has been a national disaster that has rendered our nation in a crisis where there is no local rule of law.

Before I dive in though I want to clarify what these posts were meant to be as I have had some great questions and dialog on the previous posts. These articles are simply thoughts and suggestions from one man regarding a hypothetical event in our country that virtually no one has ever lived through.  These are my ideas based upon reflections I have had when I considered potential realities for our country with our current society. That doesn’t mean they will ever come to pass. It also doesn’t mean that what works for one person will work for everyone. I try to give ideas and my reasoning behind those ideas. If none of that works for you, no big deal. The key is to start thinking about how you would solve this problem yourself with your resources and limitations that will most likely be different than mine. I believe the simple act of thinking about a scenario like this could give you an advantage if you ever find yourself in a situation where you were faced with the prospect of defending your home or neighborhood from people in a Without Rule of Law scenario.

If you don’t believe that would ever happen, this series probably doesn’t do anything for you. There are many of our readers; actually a strong majority that do believe that some event could cause a situation just like this. In a recent unscientific poll I conducted as part of a giveaway, the number one response to the question “What is the SHTF Event you are prepping for?” was Economic Collapse. Do you foresee or are you concerned with a possible Economic Collapse in our future? Maybe you don’t but you can see the value in preparing just in case. Could an economic collapse cause widespread chaos and looting? Could an Economic collapse cause people in your town to start acting without regard for laws since there would be no law enforcement anymore? I think it is possible with the right circumstances and that was the motivation behind this series.

What do you need? – The People Problem

Get to know your neighbors now before any crisis.

One of our readers pointed out that to defend a neighborhood you would need people and lots of them. I agree that the more people you have the more able you will be to defend your neighborhood. I also agree that the more people you have the more resources you will be able to pool, but there are a couple of questions. How do you get these people in the first place and how do you convince them that it is in their best interests to chip-in so to speak to help protect the neighborhood? Do you run around now like Chicken Little talking about the impending doom and risk alienating everyone?

This is a tricky issue because I don’t believe that too many people can convince their neighbors that because of (insert your favorite grid-down threat here) we need to band together now to plan and prepare to defend your neighborhood. Now I know that some of you have survival groups already and some even have retreats and plans to bug out to the woods when the SHTF. You train together every weekend and work on getting your cabin ready with supplies, skills training and weapons practice. You are the exception.

I believe the overwhelming majority of people who call themselves preppers keep to their selves. You might have a buddy or two, but no retreat and no constitution governing how your survival group will function once the grid goes down. Even if you did, these aren’t your neighbors. I know there are exceptions, but I would bet money that most preppers are on their own to a large extent. Now add the rest of the world in there who isn’t prepping at all and you have a ton of people who will not be actively ready for anything like this. They don’t see a threat and don’t care even if they do. You won’t convince them now without jeopardizing your own security. So what can you do?

Hurry up and wait

Wait. Yes, I think in this instance you would need to wait until something happens that is real unfortunately. It would need to be something that started affecting people before they would understand and believe anything you said. I believe that if we had a crisis like I described above, you would have many more people who only then would see the rationale behind your words. Does that mean you live like a hermit until something bad does actually happen? No. It certainly doesn’t mean you should not try to help and encourage others to prepare for disasters if the opportunity arises. I think what is useful is getting to know your neighbors but focus on knowing them not converting them to preppers and drawing up a neighborhood defense plan. Get to know them as people now before anything bad happens. You want to have relationships with people first before you find yourself needing to place your trust in them if the SHTF. It may turn out that in the course of getting to know your neighbors you find out they have similar thoughts and concerns as you. This is useful information but remember to think about OPSEC when sharing your thoughts and preps. A little discretion now could save you later. If you find after a lot of time that you really do have a shared values, thoughts, preps then that person might be a great choice to form some sort of survival group with. I just wouldn’t lead with the neighborhood defense plan or offer up how the sky is falling.

While you are waiting for a reason to rally your forces, should you sit idly by not doing anything? No, I think each individual can continue to make preparations for disasters like this so that you are prepared in the eventuality that something does happen. Most items on my list below have other uses so it isn’t like you are only buying supplies for the grid going down and you may find yourself able to help a neighbor through some issue while the grid is still up and peachy.

Supply Ideas

Weapons and Ammo – Within reason. I think there are several weapon options that make sense for general home defense, hunting and even grid-down disasters. In my post on the Top 5 Firearms you need to get your hands on now I explain what they are and give my reasons for each. I don’t think you need an arsenal but the assortment I mention in that article should do just about anything you need. Now, if it comes to neighborhood defense there are some options better than others in my opinion. For starters, a battle rifle like an AR15 or and AK-47 would be my first choice primarily for range and effectiveness. Just about any good hunting rifle could pull double duty as a sharpshooter weapon by someone in an over watch role provided they were a good shot. You probably do not want to rely on pistols or shotguns as their range is more limited. They are better than nothing though. A .22 rifle while I know can kill people would not be my first choice for a defensive weapon. I know others will disagree with me.

Make sure you have more than a box of ammo for each too. I have my personal minimum ammo counts listed as well as an ammo inventory spreadsheet. Do you need 50 guns? No, but there is nothing wrong with that if you have all the other bases covered first.

Radio Communications – Radios are a great equalizer. You can relatively cheaply provide communication options to your entire group just by purchasing some good radios.

– What is food doing on the supply list? You want to make sure you have enough to feed everyone in your home at least so that you aren’t forced from the safety of your neighborhood to find more. By having food supplies you are eliminating one reason people will be wandering around if we do have an economic collapse.

Binoculars – Get a decent pair of binoculars to see what is going on or coming your way. If we never have a crisis you can watch birds or do like I do and watch my neighbors doing foolish things with fire in his yard. Better than TV.

Trip flares – Its probably more accurate to call this intrusion detection. The two options I came across are non pyrotechnic so there is no flare really. The first alerts you by breaking a light stick. Great for areas where you have a good bit of visibility and the glowing chemlight will alert you. These can be seen for a pretty good distance in darkness. The other option uses a CO2 cartridge to create a noise that will alert you too. Don’t buy anything like this until you are squared away on Food, Water, Shelter and Security

Chain Saws – Chainsaws sure make the work of cutting down those trees much easier and you never know when you will need one. If you live in ‘the city’ a chainsaw might not get much use. Our yard has trees in it, but we aren’t cutting them down so I don’t have a need for a chainsaw in my day to day life. This is another nice to have for me I think but extremely valuable if the grid goes down. You don’t want to rely on an electric chainsaw if there is no power.

Shovels – As well as a good selection of regular hand tools will come in handy. Shovels will be useful for digging in the garden, digging your defensive positions and digging your sanitation trenches to keep waste from making everyone sick.

Work Gloves/Heavy duty boots – I have talked to other readers before about this subject and even wrote an article on making sure you have the right footwear for the occasion. If the grid goes down, you do not want to be running around in flip flops ladies. A sturdy pair of boots will be what is needed when you have to survive and staying pretty isn’t the most important part of the day. Men too should have a good pair of boots, some good work pants like Carhartt and sturdy gloves. The same goes for cold weather gear and rain gear. Those flimsy raincoats they sell now (yes I have one too) won’t keep you dry in a real rain for long.

Sandbags – Sandbags are relatively cheap. You can buy sandbags in bulk for .36 cents each and they have a ton of uses. This is on my list to buy once I have a few more of the essentials out of the way and I plan to put them in the shed until they are needed. Sandbags can be used to secure your home from water if it is flooding and they can be used to stop rounds from penetrating your location.

Power – You will need a source of power to recharge those radios you purchased as well as all sorts of other things. You can purchase smaller solar chargers from a lot of places or work your way up to a 4 panel system. Gas will run out eventually and you probably don’t want the noise of a generator running if you are trying to keep your neighborhood safe in the first place.

Concertina/barbed wire – Concertina is also called razor wire and you need specialized gloves to work with this but if you are willing to do that, it offers a great deterrent. Traditional barbed wire is much easier to use and it won’t slice you open but still can be used as a means of keeping people out or tripping them up. You can always use it as fence too…

Night Vision – Probably the single most important thing you can buy and one that almost nobody has. I don’t have any night vision but I recognize their extreme utility. When it comes to force multipliers, there aren’t too many higher on the list than being able to see your enemy in pitch black darkness, but they aren’t practical for everyday use in any capacity. These are designed for only one reason and they are very pricy. This will be one of my last purchases unless I win the lottery but if money was no object I would have a pair or two. You can offset the cost by only purchasing a weapon scope with Night Vision, but then you can only use it if your weapon is up.

Hopefully this series was helpful and if nothing else gave you something to think about. I hope I was able to give out some ideas about how you could start thinking about neighborhood defense. Above all, I hope that none of us has to ever worry about it in our future.

This is the fifth and final article in a five part series on Neighborhood defense and security in a grid down scenario. In the first article, Neighborhood Watch on Steroids

In previous posts I have discussed home security concepts and how you could take steps to make your home more secure. Ideally, these steps would be ones we could all take to strengthen our home’s defenses but the sad truth is that most of us our modern home fabrication caters to aesthetics and not strength. We like light and windows too much and our homes while relatively strong are mostly built on frames that can easily be bashed in without too much effort and a sledge-hammer. Yes, I know they have plywood on the outside, but if I can drive my car through the wall, it isn’t too stout is it?

My wife and I like to play this game where we have won the lottery and we are discussing the first thing we will buy. Usually, at the top of the list is a new home far away in a remote stretch of wilderness. Since this is pure fantasy – mostly because we might buy one lottery ticket a year- the sky is the limit with construction. It is during these conversations that the stark difference between my idea of a dream home and my wife’s come into focus. For example, she wants a lot of big windows to check out our fantastic view of the hundreds of acres we will own. I tell her that we can’t have big windows because we have to think of security. Instead I suggest that if we have the large picture windows, we also install roll down hurricane proof metal shutters that would come down and secure all the windows from any damage. Yes, I know this is like something out of Batman, but Hey! I won the lottery in my mind.

Needless to say these conversations never go anywhere and no we haven’t won the lottery so I have to take all my defensive problems back to my current reality house instead of hiring some miracle contractors with an unlimited budget to solve it for me. But why do I need super Batman strength security in the first place?

What am I worried about?

I do not live in a “bad neighborhood” but you always want a home that you feel safe in regardless of the situation outside. Usually this is from the prospect of someone breaking in and stealing what you have or just plain busting down the door to do you harm. Our homes like I mentioned above are all easily breached with some basic tools, brute force or a little time. Heck, it only takes a rock to bust in a window and people can walk on in. A stiff boot will work on most doors the first try and that is if they are locked in the first place.

I think of regular home security problems when there are police and electricity and food on the grocery store shelves. I also think about home security when none of those things are present. If you have a grid-down collapse scenario your home most likely won’t stand up to a couple of determined people for long if they go unchallenged. It is times like this that unless you have a walled fortress you need to consider adding some resources to your defense plan. You could hire those contractors I mentioned to start retrofitting your castle with those handy hurricane shutters but that is impractical. It is much wiser to revert to the Neighborhood watch on steroids.

What is the neighborhood watch on steroids you ask? You have heard of the neighborhood watch before and some of you may even have this in your neighborhood. I remember that we had a home in our neighborhood that was broken into several years back and all of our neighbors got together at a meeting to discuss forming a neighborhood watch. We had a police officer come in and talk briefly about what we should and should not do and we all received small flimsy signs to put in our yard that said words to the effect of “This neighborhood is protected by neighborhood watch”. I think there was one lady who volunteered to roam the streets but that is about the last I heard of it and once the flimsy sign rusted and faded it found its way into my trash can.

If you have a true collapse and you and your neighbor’s feel that they need to defend their homes it is better to join together and combine forces so that you can protect more homes at once. It is also more likely that several people watching over things will be more of a deterrent than a single older retiree walking her dog at night. This is another situation where it all depends on the disaster that has happened. If you are talking about a late summer storm that drops some trees on power lines and you have the resulting loss of power for a few days, the neighborhood watch on steroids probably doesn’t need to get activated.

If you have something more long-term and serious like a hurricane that robs power for several weeks and damages homes or displaces people that neighborhood watch might be necessary to prevent looting. Thinking more long-term and dire than even a hurricane; if the police are unable to come to your aid, there is widespread looting, theft, panic and chaos – you should already have a plan for keeping your neighborhood safe from intruders. All of your able-bodied neighbors should be on board with joining the neighborhood watch if that happens. The more people you have watching, the safer you will be but the disaster will dictate what is necessary or prudent to expect in the way of escalation of force.

Defending the Neighborhood

Who are the people you could expect to pose threats to your neighbors in a grid down or Without Rule of Law scenario? I think it depends on the length of the crisis almost completely. If the crisis or disaster is relatively short-lived and some semblance of order is returned this problem will go away. The more prolonged or serious the crisis is and the more desperate or bold the people will become.

Looters – This will be the first wave and it is completely normal to see people looting over just about any event these days. There was looting in Ferguson that materialized out of protests, but the looting I am referring to would be more like what we saw after Hurricane Sandy. After the storm had passed, people were found rummaging through homes that had been evacuated due to the alerts. With nobody there to stop them, these opportunists simply had their run of many homes. I even heard some reports that looters would dress up as utility workers so they would look legitimate, but that may have only been rumors. Even if it was, I can see people trying it.

Desperate People/Nomads – After the looters have gone or when the subject of what people are looking for turns to necessities instead of flat screen TV’s I think people displaced from their homes would be the next group. We talk about the Golden horde moving out of the major cities and into surrounding communities and I think this is something we could easily see with the right disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people from New York alone could disgorge from the city if they had some form of terrorist attack or outbreak. When people are forced to flee so fast they can’t take any supplies, they will be left with what is on their backs. Even if you had a great Bug Out Bag, how much food are you taking with you? What will you do when the food is gone but the emergency isn’t over yet? These people will be looking for food and supplies and they may be walking through your neighborhood.

Bands of criminals – I think this is only likely in the most severe form of disaster after we have a long absence of law and order. Groups of thugs will join together for survival and once they do, they will start roaming outward to gain the same thing that others will be looking for;  items they need or want in order to live. If you are still in your home and you haven’t bugged out to your secret walled complex with rolling metal shutters in the middle of the forest, they could find your neighborhood. These people pose the greatest threat in my opinion because they will most likely be armed and will have experience with assaulting homes and people. This will be a larger organized group that has survived long enough to know a thing or two and the will require the most force and tactics to deal with effectively.

I plan to expand this topic to cover tactical ideas, strategies and supply considerations in upcoming posts that will all be linked and I’ll talk about how you to transition from no plan at all to a neighborhood watch on steroids. Have you given any thoughts to your neighborhood security? Do you plan to join your own Neighborhood Watch on Steroids?

In previous posts I have discussed home security concepts and how you could take steps to make your home more secure. Ideally, these steps would be ones we could all

It is a basic tenet of any conflict that you need to be prepared to defend your location. For military forces, they have bases which are guarded by fences and guard posts at a minimum. Kings had their castles with high stone walls and moats. We civilians in the present day have our communities or neighborhoods which are largely constructed without any thought of defensibility. In every conflict there are people attacking and people defending and this as you know if you pay attention to the news or history at all is not something you should consider yourself immune to.

I find myself occasionally thinking about how I would make plans to prepare my neighborhood against attack. What natural resources could we take advantage of? What areas would be weaknesses in our perimeter? What would be necessary in terms of work and sheer numbers of people to pull this off and could we really make a decent stand in the first place?

You might be asking, who do I think is going to attack our neighborhood? Excellent question and the answer is pretty simple. We, being my neighbors and myself would possibly be defending our neighborhood from anyone who wanted to attack us or try to take what we have. I could easily see situations in our future where we will be forced to defend ourselves. Whether or not we would be successful depends on how well we make plans and the force that is mounted against us. My neighborhood isn’t a trained and well supplied Army by any stretch, but determined people can stand and mount a decent defense if they have the motivation and resources. It is with this mindset that I started sketching out my own plan for how I would start, should some catastrophe give us a reason to, preparing our neighborhood to withstand attackers.

Draw out your Borders

There is a lot of literature on the subject of defensive preparations, but I usually go to Army manuals for the best source on a wide variety of topics. FM 3-19.4 is the Military Police Leaders Handbook which has been approved for public release so you are free to download it here. This FM covers a ton of valuable information like “Preparing for Combat”, “Constructing Fighting and Survivability Positions” all the way to “Reconnaissance Operations” and finally “Base Defense”.

Civilians do not have a base to defend, but you may find yourself in a situation dire enough that you need to defend a complex or several streets in a neighborhood. Is it realistic to expect you would be able to repel an overwhelming force without some serious physical obstacles like mines, trenches or walls? Most likely, but could you defend against a gang of looters or a rival town who has plans to take your supplies? Possibly. In either case, if I found myself in a situation like that I would make an effort and the start of any effort is a plan.

In my hypothetical scenario, I imagine locking down our neighborhood to limit or at least slow access into our area on the roads and set up patrols with a grid system for perimeter defense. If we had every single person in our community on guard duty at all times, we still wouldn’t have a major force, but what we could have is an early warning system and a plan for rallying to provide support quickly if needed.

To start with, I began to sketch out the area I was concerned with. This area is fairly large but it encompasses some natural features we would want to protect in the form of three fairly large ponds and multiple roads into our area. There are a lot of sketching programs out there if you want to get fancy and if I had more time I would have overlaid this on a topographical map, but for the purposes of this article we will use the sketch below as a guide.


Rudimentary plan for controlling access to our neighborhood

I began by sketching out the roads and placing houses in roughly the right positions according to the map so I would be able to later drawn in lines of travel where we now have fences and woods. We could also place Observation Points in various locations and the grid system would enable everyone who was connected via radio to know where any action was taking place or where people were located. Rather than say I see some sketchy people walking behind that house that used to have the three small dogs… You could say we have 3 people approaching from the North East of grid 5 on foot. With that information who ever was in charge could reallocate forces if necessary or your SOP might be the closest OP patrol would run to backup whoever was in that location.

The roads into our neighborhood approach from two sides but we have a large section of forest to our back. From a strict vehicle attack standpoint, we should be able to set up roadblock checkpoints at the two entrances coming in and monitor all traffic in or out. If the situation was dire enough that we had to create the network watch on steroids; felled trees make excellent barriers. Three trees across the road and cut with a path that a car would have to slowly zig in and out of would prevent anyone from rushing our position. Large enough trees would even stop large troop carriers like the MRAP. You could also use vehicles if fuel weren’t a problem.

What else could you prepare for?


Horizontal Lines show trees to be used as a blockade. Any cars would have to slowly navigate this obstacle.

Using this map as a guide would enable you to show plans to your neighbors, work out shift assignments and share grid information. Assuming you had made copies this would be simple. Even simpler if you still had running electricity in this Mad Max scenario, but at least it is a start. Pen, pencil and crayon don’t need electricity and you can make other maps built of this initial plan.

Assuming this was a real grid down emergency that was long lasting, you could begin planning for gardens and other community features like waste disposal to name a couple. I go walking and I am usually at least once or twice looking at trees that would make great barriers, good over watch positions in which to place additional firepower at the checkpoints and natural features we can use to our advantage.

I may never need anything remotely like this and I hope I don’t, but just in case, I already have some thoughts on paper we can use to start preparing and that could be all the difference we need.

Stay safe out there; I feel a storm brewing…

It is a basic tenet of any conflict that you need to be prepared to defend your location. For military forces, they have bases which are guarded by fences and