HomePosts Tagged "Security"

In the case of a SHTF event, we could live without internet, cars and gadgets. We could survive without electricity, air conditioning, heating systems and hot water. But we couldn’t make it without enough food supplies. Canned tuna, frozen beans and boiled potatoes can only last so far. All these supplies are bound to end sooner or later, leaving us exposed to starvation. So how can preppers improve on this aspect and ensure their food supply doesn’t run out after three days? The answer is raising livestock. Our ancestors didn’t have supermarkets, had never heard about take-away, fast-food, processed food or preservatives. In this respect, we have a great deal of things to learn from them.

Related: Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

Their survival depended on livestock, fruits, vegetables, plants and seeds. Nowadays you can learn about all of these by getting an agriculture degree. But back then, knowledge was passed down from generation to generation and people had to learn from trial and error rather than from a YouTube tutorial. If you want to make sure you are truly ready for anything read all about the livestock you should raise and why. It’s never too late to start researching livestock and becoming an expert in the field. Who knows, if you start right now, you might be taking the first step in keeping your family alive when disaster strikes.

Chickens

If we would have to advise you what livestock you should raise and why, based on rate of growth criteria, chicken would win by far. They manage to double their number with every year and they don’t require a complicated set up or high maintenance. They are great because they yield plentiful supplies of meat and eggs in relation to how much food they require. For example, a hen could supply you with 10 to 12 eggs for each five pounds of food.

Related: The Many Benefits of Raising Chickens

Another great benefit of raising chicken is that the birds are not picky about what they eat. They will happily peck on anything that they can find, from insects and weeds to leftovers from your dinner. The only drawback with this is that they can easily damage your garden, so you might want to fence them in to keep that from happening.

raisingchickens

Another pro for raising chicken is that they don’t need a lot of space or sturdy fences. However, you should keep in mind that these fowls will learn how to fly, so you might want to build a six-foot fence or add a top to their pen. You should also watch out for predators: foxes, owls, rats and opossums will all try to take a swing at your chicken if they’re not protected enough.

Pigs

Also dubbed the best garbage disposers, pigs will munch anything you put in front of them: kitchen leftovers, greens, roots and grains, just to name a few. In exchange for these, in return, they will give you bacon, ham and plenty of meat. Not only unpretentious eaters, pigs don’t need too much room either, despite their great size. The best time to buy a piglet is in the spring in order to give it time to grow and develop to more than 220 pounds over the summer.

pigs

All the maintenance pigs require is feeding and watering two times a day as well as cleaning their pens every few days. Butchering a hog that weighs over 200 pounds is no easy task. But you’ll only be reaping the benefits. Almost every part of the pig is edible and ready to be turned into steaks, broths, aspic, bacon, ribs, sausages, pork loins and trotters. Even the skin is edible, although most people are reticent to eat it because pigs are not among the cleanest animals. Bear in mind that they might test your olfactory tolerance before you manage to fatten them up and transform them into pork chops.

Rabbits

Not only pretty faces, rabbits are clean, quiet and prolific. Ideal for small spaces, rabbits will thrive in modest sized cages and as long as their manure is cleaned out regularly, they will remain odor-free. These furry animals are extremely rewarding for the amount of care and food they require. Rabbits feed on hay, which should be cut in three-inch lengths and stacked into the hay-racks that must be kept full at all times. They will also eat dried bread or crusts and, as it may be expected, they enjoy nibbling on carrots and roots.

rabbits

A buck and two does will yield as much as 50 rabbits per year, which translates into roughly 170 pounds of meat. Not too shabby for the effort you have to put in every day. Rabbits can be consumed as soon as they are seven or eight months old, but you can wait and make a more consistent stew from a three-year old buck. While they can withstand harsh cold weather, they are not big fans of wet or hot conditions. Keep in mind that they will need a cool place in the summer that has plenty of ventilation and fresh water supplies.

Sheep

Docile and quiet, sheep thrive on grassland, which is a huge selling point. They don’t require high maintenance and offer excellent products in return: meat, milk (which can be made into cheese), skin, wool and manure. Because they are amazing grazers, they are very economical. An acre of pasture can feed as much as four animals, without including the lambs. An adult ewe will be able to yield as much as 100 pounds of meat and 7 to 9 pounds of wool.

raisingsheetp

Care-taking is kept to a minimum, but you might want to prepare yourself for yearly shearing. Ewes might also need assistance in delivering their lambs and in making sure they are looked after. You should also keep an eye on the lambs which are extremely vulnerable in the first weeks and stand for an easy prey for natural predators. Easy to feed and look after, odourless and calm, sheep are definitely a top choice when it comes to livestock you should raise.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

In the case of a SHTF event, we could live without internet, cars and gadgets. We could survive without electricity, air conditioning, heating systems and hot water. But we couldn’t

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”, were the wise words once uttered by one of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, and they are the words that have helped prepare me for a countless number of scenarios. Preparing for D-day, or Doomsday, might sound funny to some, but there is nothing funny about good planning and tact. There are so many people who go about living their day-to-day lives without any concern as to what may happen tomorrow. They are casually living in the moment and basking in all of its glory. The act of preparing for the worst possible scenario does not make you a naysayer, instead, it makes you a visionary. You choose to look past the present and plan for the future. This is the principle that many, if not all, preppers operate on.
Doomsday could arise due to a different number of factors, however, the commonality between these numerous outcomes is the fact that you will have to keep yourself, your family, and those you love, safe and secure.

Adequately preparing for doomsday before it happens is the key to surviving whatever calamity the world throws at you. This could be in the form of a natural disaster, nuclear fallout, or even a zombie apocalypse. In any case, when the day comes, you want to make sure that you are secure enough to live to see tomorrow. Let’s take a look at five security measures that you can implement to help you stay alive during doomsday.

Strengthen Your Doors

The importance of your doors can never be overstated. Aside from the fact that they have symbolic value as the entryway into people’s homes, your doors are also meant to keep intruders out. There will never be a point in time where this will be more necessary than when Doomsday hits. The door to your home (home is relative in this situation) is an integral part of your defense, and it should be the most secure part of your “fortress of solitude”. This will deter any unwanted guests, and make sure your security stands strong against any attempts at forced entry.

In order to strengthen your door you should first evaluate the material that your door is made of. Most residential doors are made of wood, steel, or fiberglass. In most cases homeowners will not have to replace the doors they already have, unless the door is made from an extremely low-grade material or if it is not a solid core wood door. This is an important step that should not be overlooked, because the rest of the tips that will follow will mean very little if your door can easily be kicked in. Have you ever read “The Three Little Pigs”? That story will probably sum up the aforementioned point much better.  After evaluating your doors you need to focus on the locking mechanism and additional features that you can employ to make sure it makes it harder for intruders (and zombies) to gain access to your home.

Doors in most commercial homes lack basic strength to withstand brute forced entry.

It is advisable to make use of ANSI grade 1 deadbolt locks for your doors. Grade 1 deadbolts are made to withstand 10 strikes of 75 pounds of force, and they are effective at keeping doors secure. In preparation for a doomsday event, it will be best to make use of multiple deadbolts within your door to increase the security that they give you. In addition to using these deadbolts, you can also improve your door by using reinforced steel or wooden bars and rods (Zombie Bars). In order for this to work properly, you will have to install additional pieces onto the wall on either sides of the door so that your security bar can be held in place across the door. Implementing security bars and multiple grade 1 deadbolts will make your door extremely hard to get into, and that is what you want. In addition to these methods, you can also increase the security of your locking mechanism, to cater to any zombies that prefer to pick the lock rather than kick the door down. This can be done by using additional security pins, changing the materials of the spring in the lock, by using anti-pick locks, etc. In addition to this being a good opportunity to prepare for the worst-case scenario, it also gives you the chance to re-evaluate your home security.

Strong Chains And Padlocks

Another security measure that will help keep you alive involves making use of strong chains and padlocks. Chains and padlocks can be used in conjunction with the measures outlined above to make your door even more secure, but they can also be used on the go or to bar access to storage units. Not many things are certain about Doomsday, but you can be sure that people will be on edge, and that everyone will be looking to grab whatever they can, however they can. As such, it is of extreme importance that people utilize chains and padlocks to keep their valuables secure when they are on the go. It is also important to take into account the fact that people will need to stay mobile, depending on the state of things in their neighborhood. As a prepper, it is best not to wait until it’s too late, so invest in some good chains and padlocks today.

Chains and padlocks can be used in conjunction with the measures outlined above to make your door even more secure, but they can also be used on the go or to bar access to storage units.

When you set out to buy chains and padlocks, you want to make sure that these are strong and resistant to cutting attacks. It is best to employ the use of hardened steel chains with hexagonal links. These kinds of chains are highly resistant to bolt cutters and they help keep your items more secure. When you are choosing a padlock, you want to make sure that you pick a padlock that is made of boron carbide alloy (extremely strong and long lasting). Make sure that the padlock uses ball bearings to hold the shackle in place rather than a levered mechanism. And finally, make sure that the padlock has a hard and thick shackle.

Padlocks and chains can prove to be quite handy in varying situations. They give you the opportunity to secure your belongings when you are on the go and they can also give you added security when you settle down in a bunker somewhere.

Secure The Perimeter

Securing the perimeter of your property, or wherever you are camped out, is crucial to your survival. It helps warn you of impending danger as well as ward off the danger. There are several ways to secure the perimeter, but it is important that you keep some key factors in mind. It is imperative that your perimeter is kept well lit so that you can see any threat from a mile away and so that you can adequately prepare for it. In addition to this, you should make sure that your perimeter is either walled or fenced off. When walling off your property/space, make sure that you account for length. There will be no point to putting up a wall to protect yourself if that wall is easily scalable. However, sometimes it is not about the length of the wall, but about the material of the wall. Some walls can be retrofitted with spikes, cables etc. that make it a more arduous task to attempt to scale it. This will undoubtedly deter anyone (zombie or human) that thinks it would be a good idea to try and get over your wall.

The act of securing your perimeter also applies when you are on the go. It is important to have a security structure in place that warns you when danger is approaching and one that also helps you keep danger at bay. This can be accomplished by rigging booby traps or setting up makeshift fences with varying materials to keep your immediate vicinity secure while you are mobile.

Sustainable Defense

Now, this security measure is among the most important. This is because all the steps that are listed above will mean very little if you cannot sustain them. It is crucial that you have a sustainable defense plan. This is to ensure that you can continue to take care of yourself and those around you. A good chunk of the preparation process is learning. Yes, as mundane as it sounds, learning as much as you can is one of the best security measures to help keep you alive. It is important to learn as much as you can about the things around you and the components that go into making bullets, medicine, how to manage electricity, etc. It is essential that you learn how to properly obtain and store these items for long periods of time, since they are bound to come in handy. These are crucial security measures that will help keep you alive. One half of this equation is aimed at making sure that you are not caught with your pants down. The other half of the equation makes sure that if you are caught with your pants down, you can still get out of it alive.

IMAGE_4

It is important to realize that when Doomsday hits, in all its gruesome glory, there will be any unknown variables that the majority of people will be struggling with. There will be lingering questions about power, water, food, and shelter. It will be imperative that you have measures in place so that you are taken care of for the long haul.

Get A Dog

Yes, you read that right. One of the best ways to keep yourself secure in a doomsday scenario is to have a dog. If you dispute this fact, make sure you watch “I Am Legend” and you will see why dogs come in handy in all manners of situations. Dogs are reliable and they are good traveling and hunting companions, as well as being an additional method of securing your belongings since they will alert you to the presence of anything. Also, should the need ever arise, dogs are capable of holding their own in a fight and they make for amazing combat partners. Dogs have a heightened sense of awareness and having one around in a dystopian doomsday world will most likely increase your chances of survival and keep you around much longer.

One of the best ways to keep yourself secure in a doomsday scenario is to have a dog.

Conclusion

There is no prepper out there eagerly waiting for the world to crumble just so that they can yell out “I told you so”. That is not the reason why this is done. Prepping is done to make sure that everyone is prepared for the worst-case scenario, should it ever happen. Adhering to these 5 security measures will undoubtedly prolong your life during doomsday. However, do not be fooled into thinking that these are the only things that will help you stay alive. If this time ever comes, survival, safety, and security should be at the top of your list of priorities. This mindset will see you through a great many ordeals.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”, were the wise words once uttered by one of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, and they are the words that have

 

Security is a 24 hour requirement. If you can’t surveille, detect, and defend when the sun goes down, then you will vulnerable to the bad guys. It doesn’t matter how much food you have, if you can’t protect it, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to keep it, no matter where your location is. And, you can’t do it by yourself. There are cases made that it will take 10 to 12 adults to provide 24 hour security, gather, grow, and prepare food, tend to community hygiene and medicine, local and wide communications, power production, water sanitizing, gather fuel, and many other mundane chores necessary for continued operations after SHTF. During the early phase of SHTF, security will demand an intensive manpower effort. This article is about providing yourself with options for force. It’s just not a prudent plan to go directly to the AR-15 to solve your defense problems. A good defense plan includes options for dealing with problems at the lowest level of force up to deadly force. Redundant detection and warning are essential to a good defensive action plan.

Graduated Levels of Force

There should be a range of possibilities for security you can employ. You could take on the look of a previously ransacked position with a grey-man concept…there is nothing of any value here…it’s all gone…don’t bother even looking here. There is a lot of “hope” involved with this attitude, but may be your only defense if you are of few numbers. Or, you might employ a well thought out layered defense with graduated levels of force to be used to defend your position. This will require a formidable effort of manpower and equipment. You won’t be relying on hope to defend your group. Your position will be known and possible intruders will suspect that you have things of value they would want. You’re objective is to persuade them that it just isn’t worth the risk to get nosy.

Early Warning

At the extremes of your perimeters you could establish a warning line; a string holding paper signs in document protectors warning the intruders to “DO NOT COME CLOSER….DEADLY FORCE”. They have been warned. There very well may be legal consequences after society is reestablished, so proper levels of warning and force should be considered.

After intrusion detection, an announcement with a bullhorn from a security post could be the next level of warning. If necessary, a conversation with the intruder could be conducted from afar. Simultaneous with that, a warning would be made via walkie-talkie or whistle to the rest of the group for additional support. They would drop everything, arm themselves, and respond to their predetermined security support positions.

Pyle-Pro PMP30 Professional Megaphone/Bullhorn with Siren

Redundant Detection

Detection is a very important aspect of security. You can’t engage somebody you can’t detect. Detection should to be redundant and reliable to be effective. I have been using a Chamberlain CWA2000 Wireless Motion Alert System to detect motion with a range as far as a half mile, and they are passive in nature. One base unit can support eight sensors and everything works on battery power. Each sensor causes a unique alarm at the base unit. It’s a little pricey, however you don’t have to line you whole perimeter, just the areas of probable access. Intruders probably won’t choose to wade through obstacles. They’ll take the easiest route.

For redundancy I like GE window warning alarms used with trip wires to sound an ear-piercing alarm that can be heard from a distance. Use a mono-filament fishing line at ankle level as a trip wire to separate the magnet from the alarm. You can use several trip wires with each alarm. The batteries last a long time and a large supply is fairly cheap.

Escalating the Force

Back to the increasing levels of force; wasp and hornet spray killer can accurately spray up to 25 feet. Maybe that will turn them around when you hit them in their face. You might not want to allow the intruders to be that close to you. This is just an option under unique circumstances. If you allow them to be close, a 26 Inch-Self Defense Stick may offer a viable option in your inventory short of going lethal.

If the intruders are still coming, it’s time to escalate the force. Here are some options in order of use. A 12 ga. Super-Sock Bean Bag Impact Round. It’s an attention getter and can reach out and touch someone without permanent damage. For graduated levels of force, I would load a shotgun with one or two rounds of these first, followed by some #7 bird-shot, followed by 00 buck shot. Yes, you need a magazine extension kit for your shotguns.

Are the intruders still around after the bean bags? How about a BB gun, followed by pellet gun, followed by a .22, followed by #7 bird-shot? These are escalations of force options as appropriate. You just can’t go straight to the AR-15 to solve your problem. Your threats maybe anything from an unarmed mother with two kids to a mob of 25 armed animals. You need to be able to respond accordingly.

Security at Night?

Mr Beams MB393 300-Lumen Weatherproof Wireless Battery Powered LED Ultra Bright Spotlight with Motion Sensor, Brown, 3-Pack

Night operations are much more complicated and sometimes expensive, but if you can’t provide security 24 hours a day, then you don’t have security. It’s a must. Bad guys are hungry at night as much as in the day.

I can’t afford generation 3, Night Vision Goggles for three security posts for night ops. That would be $10,000 plus. So, here’s what I’ve got lined up. In addition to the motion sensors and trip-wired window alarms, I’ll use Mr Beams MB393 300-Lumen Weatherproof Wireless Battery Powered LED Ultra Bright Spotlight with Motion Sensor. They are easily mounted to trees, eaves, posts, etc. The four D cell batteries will last six months to a year. I’ll locate these on avenues of approach and areas that are hard to detect intruders. The best place for these is as the next layer after the motion sensors and window alarms. After that line I think a light that the security position can remotely turn on like: Mr. Beams MB371 Remote Controlled Battery-Powered Motion-Sensing LED Outdoor Security Spotlight.

Each weapon needs to be able to light up the intruder. I like the u-Box 2000LM C8 CREE XM-L T6 LED 5-Mod Flashlight Torch Lamp with Remote Switch Pressure Tail Switch Wire Extended Switch and Flashlight & Laser mount for Gun/Rifle/Shotgun plus 1x 18650 Rechargeable Batteries and AC Charger Complete Set. Yes, it’ll give your position away, but it is more important to detect the bad guys than flounder around and bump into them. This is a 2,000 lumen light. It’s bright and can blind and disorient the intruders.

Got more money? I’ve looked at these for increasing my night capabilities:

Equinox Z Digital
Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular $276.77

12X X-Sight
ATN DGWSXS312A 3-12X X-Sight Night Vision Rifle $449.99

 

As I said previously, your main goal is to just make the intruders think there is just nothing in your position that is worth dying for.

Sometimes you might be able to get more bang for your buck with something that might cause the intruder caution or reconsideration. I like this UniquExceptional UDC4 silver Fake Security Camera with 30 Illuminating LEDs. For $9.36 each this fake camera shows infrared capabilities which could cause intruders to take a second thought on their safety.

Maybe just sticking some utility easement flags at various locations would cause concern with the intruders. It’ll make them wonder what they are for and do I want to take a chance finding out.

During SHTF there will be a lot of good people doing bad things. Have options for a full range of force levels and detection that has backup in all conditions, day or night.

If you can’t protect it, you won’t be able to keep it.

  Security is a 24 hour requirement. If you can’t surveille, detect, and defend when the sun goes down, then you will vulnerable to the bad guys. It doesn’t matter how

My wife came to me a few days back and asked me what I thought about Silencers. She had heard either ads or an interview on a radio talk show and was curious so she asked the local gun ‘expert’. I hope you understand that I don’t consider myself an expert on anything really, but when it comes to firearms I do have more experience than my wife for what it’s worth. She had heard bits and pieces about silencers and wanted to know what was so great about them and if they were so great, why didn’t I have them on our weapons.

She even mentioned that she thought this might make a good post idea since there were probably other people who had questions about silencers too. My wife usually has good ideas so I figured I would give it a shot, no pun intended and frame this within the context of a Prepper and our hypothetical grid-down scenario. Does it make sense to purchase a silencer for your handgun?

What are silencers and what do they do?

Silencers are also called suppressors and some people will get hung up on this detail. The silencer doesn’t actually ‘silence’ the sound of the weapon, but it does suppress the sound. You can call it what you want, everyone else does too and only the really anal will correct you if you call this little piece of hardware a silencer.

The reason why silencers are able to suppress the sound of the gun firing is they offer the explosion of the gunpowder more room to expand and cool off. Without any type of suppressor, when you fire a gun, the gasses that explode when the firing pin strikes the primer and ignites the gunpowder explode with a high amount of pressure. This pressure could be as high as 3,000 pounds per square inch so that explosion is very loud when it comes out of the barrel.

A silencer extends the barrel of the firearm out and gives the gas baffles to expand into so the explosion, rather than coming out immediately at the end of the barrel has more room to dissipate and cool off. When this happens there is less pressure and the explosion of gas is not as loud. The round you are using and the silencer construction will all play into how much sound is reduced.

What are good reasons to own a silencer?

The main purpose of using a silencer is to make the weapon quieter when you fire it. There are some other effects that silencer manufacturers will point to, but the noise reduction is the primary benefit. The question is why would you care to have a weapon that doesn’t make as loud of a bang when you shoot it?

I have handguns in my home for self-defense. These are meant to be used in the event that I have someone intent on causing physical harm to me or one of my family. We usually envision hearing a noise in the middle of the night and realizing someone is in your home. The gun is grabbed from its location and we head out to confront whatever the threat is. Our intent would be that if confronted with a life threatening situation we would not hesitate to fire our weapon and disable the threat, possibly permanently.

This sounds well and good but have you ever fired a weapon in a confined space? If you were to shoot just about any gun indoors you would not be able to hear immediately after the first shot. The noise decibels of that gunshot explosion we talked about above would be so high that you would suffer (hopefully temporary) deafness. If you were able to put down the threat with the first shot that might be OK, but what if there were other threats? What if you needed to communicate with others in the house? That gunshot would make doing anything that required hearing for a little while almost impossible.

When I was in the Army we would go to the rifle range all of the time. One time we were qualifying and this exercise is done with pop up targets that pop up for a few seconds and then go back down. If they go down before you shoot them you miss that point. The targets are all spaced at random distances so you never know which one will come up. Speed is a big factor at being successful in this test so I didn’t have any time to goof around. When the exercise started, I sighted in on the first target as it rose and sqeezed off a round. Instantly I knew that I had forgotten to put my earplugs in. My ears almost closed up or at least the feeling was similar and even outside the rifle was loud. The targets weren’t stopping so neigher could I to grab my ear protection. Each shot I took sent pain through my ears. I finished the test but my ears hurt for a good while after that. With a silencer I know it would have done less damage to my ears.

Having a suppressor could make someone who is gun shy, because of the noise, more comfortable shooting a weapon. Instead of anticipating the loud noise, a silenced weapon might allow them to comfortably squeeze the trigger and shoot.

Without getting too far down the rabbit hole there could be situations where you did not want to draw attention to your location and having a silenced weapon could help in that department. I am not talking about going Jason Borne on anyone here, but I’ll leave some of that up to your imagination.

What are reasons not to own a silencer?

There are really only a couple of reasons I could think of not to own a silencer. The first would be the cost and hassle you need to go through in order to purchase one. A silencer is controlled just like firearms so you obviously would need to meet the requirements of your state laws, be over 21 and not be a felon, etc. etc. You would need to purchase this through or have the silencer shipped to a licensed dealer. You would also need to pay $200 dollars above the cost of the silencer and submit additional paperwork to the ATF to get a tax stamp. If that wasn’t enough you will most likely need a threaded barrel to affix the silencer so after it’s all said and done you could easily end up spending close to $1000 for the joy of this new toy.

The second reason for me anyway is that I can’t justify owning one. Would I like to go out and shoot without wearing hearing protection? Well, sure that would be nice but I couldn’t do that at a range because nobody else would have suppressors on. Would this help me in a home invasion situation? I believe it would be a tremendous advantage, but I still can’t justify the trouble. Also, I would have to leave my silencer on my weapon to really use this and I think that might make storing this (where I have my weapon stored currently) more problematic.

Can you imagine walking around with a silenced pistol in a holster?

I know that everyone has an opinion and what opinions are like…. But for me a silencer having a silencer for your handgun falls so far down the list of priorities that I can’t see ever purchasing one myself. That is just me though. I am sure that there are folks out there who have the money and see the value in purchasing a silencer for your weapons. I can see the value, but everything else seems like a hassle to me that doesn’t give me a great return on investment.

What do you think?

My wife came to me a few days back and asked me what I thought about Silencers. She had heard either ads or an interview on a radio talk show

In this article we are going to discuss different methods of securing your home or business in areas that tend to have higher crime rates than some other areas. On our community we often spotlight areas and analyze crime statistics to try and be solution orientated as to a relevant solution.

City Life

Areas that do have high levels of crime such as burglary, theft and criminal damage are these days unfortunately commonplace and the statistics tend to increase if you live in a city. This is obviously due to the higher population but in my opinion there are many other factors to be considered when looking at this cold hard fact such as poverty, availability of work, education and housing. But alas this is not a political or economic article, it is merely meant to give advice on how to improve your home security intelligently without sticking out like a sore thumb.

Trip Wires

Protecting your home in these areas can be quite difficult and is definitely not straight forward. Aggressive technique can sometimes have a back firing effect. Simply trying to improve security in the wrong way or as mentioned above, using aggressive techniques can make you the target of criminals or thieves who simply have too much time on their hands to test out your new 12 camera CCTV system and 10 feet proximity alarm with added trip wires. This is obviously stretching out an example of a paranoid setup but the point is to try and attain a balance between security needs and having a practical solution to securing your home.

BS3621 vs 5 Lever Locks

First of all you should look at what you have mechanically first. Do you have 5 lever sash or dead locks in your main exit doors? This is a requirement for most insurance companies but sometimes people overlook the BS3621 part of this area and just go ahead and get a 5 lever lock. The problem with this is that the non BS3621 models rarely come with the required extras to make this grade such as anti drill plates, anti pick curtains, minimum bolt throws of 20mm and additional testing of the lock itself to make sure it makes the grade. This grading can be found by the BS3621 stamp found on the faceplate of the lock itself. Ensuring you adhere to the BS3621 will ensure that you are protected against these methods of entry and also a very subtle way of improving your security.

Windows

Windows come in a few different forms; the most common are sash and casement windows. One of the main forms of entry of a criminal is through the windows. Ensuring that you fit window locks is key to preventing this and also can provide some added benefits outside that. For Instance, fitting window restrictors can reduce the chance of someone opening the window from the outside but also will help if you have children around the home and need to secure a second floor window. Window stops can also achieve the same effect while stopping the window from being completely open, leaving a gap of around maximum 4 inches would be sufficient.

Having closed circuit TV camera’s on your home can alert you to intruders.

CCTV

Having recorded images and video of criminal activity can be extremely useful when it comes to prosecution of criminals in court. What I would like to stress is not to overdo it. If you think this system would benefit you, time really should be spent on thinking about the area of installation, model and components you will need. We recommend checking the IP rating and Lux rating of the CCTV camera to see how it will perform in rough weather conditions and during the night time hours. Placement of the camera should be out of sight from passersby but visible when close by if possible. Adding 1 or 2 pieces of CCTV signage will work wonders as a visual deterrent but please don’t overdo it as you will certainly bring attention to your home or business for the wrong reasons.

Access Control

These types are of systems are soon becoming commonplace and will replace older style mechanical locking solutions. At the moment we are in a bit of purgatory and manufacturers have been designed models to work standalone but also to work in conjunction with mechanical systems rather than straight up replacements for front and back doors. We design a wide range of access control systems and our specialists speak to customer’s everyday regarding this interesting type of security. In areas that tend to have higher crime rates these models will unfortunately be less effective though and you are much better off relying on a high quality mechanical 5 lever lock to take care of your security unless you are looking to have them work in conjunction with each other in which case your security would be improved two fold.

In this article we are going to discuss different methods of securing your home or business in areas that tend to have higher crime rates than some other areas. On

Whenever I read through posts and articles on the Internet, I am surprised to see that many people don’t seem to realize or understand that the paradigm of civilian OPSEC is dead…

So what do I mean by that?

Example One:

Let’s examine a family that is acquiring a bunker, for instance, which they intend to have buried in a semi-remote location. Let’s assume they have acquired a small piece of land off the grid somewhere and that location is where the bunker will be buried in the ground.

The logistics of building the bunker involve money changing hands (credit cards, checks, etc.) so there are many records that document the delivery and ownership of the bunker. Then you have the delivery crew and the men who install the bunker, all of whom have personal knowledge of the bunker’s location. Of course, as the massive bunker is traveling down some road on its way to its final resting place, people and neighbors located along that road will see it pass-by, and assuming it’s going to a remote location, a sight such as that will be sensational to the few inhabitants of any remote area. All of these people communicate with other people, and word will spread, whether you like it or not. Most people today have cell phones with cameras, and they take all kinds of pictures with those cameras…maybe even a picture of your bunker (or some other sensitive intel). All of those pictures are easily accessed by many Gov. agencies, and on top of that, because most cell phones have GPS tracking integrated, the exact geographical location of where each photo was taken is associated to the photo.

Who else might be watching or listening? Who knows, could be anyone these days…how about this!

And I could go on, and on…with numerous more examples.

In areas where there are zoning ordinances, you must apply for permits before you can bury anything in the ground. Inspectors from the local regulatory agencies will show up to take a look, and even if everything is legit, they talk and have friends who may also hear about your plans. You can’t get all of these ancillary observers to the event (transportation and installation of the bunker) to sign a non-disclosure agreement. And even people, who sign these agreements, sometimes spill the beans. In the event of any serious disaster, one or two of these people might even be in a position to make it to your bunker?

Example Two:

Let’s assume that you are building your own backyard bunker, and using the ‘Great Escape’ method for hiding and relocating the dirt that you are removing from your backyard so that the neighbors and zoning guys won’t realize what you’re up to. And maybe in this example your kids accidentally slip-up and mention the bunker or the dirt issues, etc? OSPEC deteriorates over time and people (especially children) can and do slip-up and sometimes unintentionally mention something that arouses the curiosity of the neighbors or their children and then it’s not long before the Cat is out of the bag. Of course the neighbors have friends and it’s not long before they are in the informational loop as well. And of course everyone uses the telephones and Internet to communicate everything from business information and transactions to idle gossip…. ‘yea our neighbors are building a shelter in the backyard’.

Example Three:

John and Mike are on the telephone (cell phones) talking about their preps, and of course, their exact geographic locations are known. Maybe they mention the guns they have (‘gun’ is a keyword), or the fact that one of them has a bunker (‘bunker’ is a keyword) and so forth. Of course the entire conversation is being monitored and analyzed using keyword algorithms on a super-computer in real-time, and the data is then complied and allocated into the files on John and Mike (in real-time), adding to all the other information in those files. Sounds like Sci-Fi?  It’s not!

Sadly the real terrorists are winning… they now have us (American’s) looking are each other…. like a witch-hunt!

Certainly there is value in obtaining intel that precludes any terrorist attack. And if we loose some portion of our privacy to prevent such attacks, that trade-off may be worth it, but that’s a separate debate, and not the point of this article. The point is however, you really have little of no OPSEC, modern technology is reducing that tactic into obsolescence. (Note; I am not suggesting that OSPEC tactics are ineffective against everyone; the tactic may have some value against low-tech threats, such as local burglars, etc.)

But that’s not even the full extent of surveillance on private citizens… NSA also has it’s own super-computer that‘s on steroids!

Here’s the funny part that makes me laugh when I hear Preppers talking ‘OPSEC’ … here we have the world’s most secretive hi-tech agency, the NSA, engaged in the classified, top-secret operation of building, installation and operation of it’s ‘top-secret’ (OPSEC) super-computer facility… and even WIRED MAGAZINE knows all about it!!!

So how much more secretive are your operations over those of NSA? If you’re actually better than they are at OPSEC, maybe you should consider a $100K/yr. job with them?

Of course then we have manned-aircraft, Drones and Satellites overhead that have a multitude of surveillance technologies onboard enabling them to hear what you say and read the 12 point typed text on a piece of paper in your hand.

Numerous non-Governmental agencies have similar less sophisticated technologies that are nonetheless, more than up to the task of hearing and seeing almost everything you say and do inside your home, in your car, in your backyard, in the mountains, on the phone and on the Internet. The movie the ‘Minority Report’ is no longer just Sci-Fi either… a similar technology is already being used today:

http://rt.com/usa/cops-patrolling-facebook-for-predictive-policing-103/

For instance, if you bury a bunker, it can be seen using IR thermography technology that is now ubiquitous overhead in our skies.

Applying logic and thinking in terms of simply being an informed American Citizen who just wants to stay alive in the event of some natural or man-caused disaster, what is a reasonable approach in light of the realities today?

In my opinion, the bottom-line is this:

There are really just two choices:

One:

For those people/Preppers who are unwilling to plan ahead to relocate away from harm (risks and post-event conflict) prior-to or just after a disaster, and who instead intend to remain sheltered in-place, those people must promote prepping to ‘everyone’ around them. In a serious disaster, the people who are not properly prepared and who become desperate post-event survivors (the ‘Un-Prepped’, as I call them) will pose the greatest problems and risks for any remaining authorities (crime, looting, etc) as well as to those people who have prepared and cannot realistically be expected to feed and/or care for dozens, let alone thousands of desperate people, who are likely to be violent.

If the Government would get-behind Preppers in advising people to maintain reasonable amounts of Preps (more than FEMA’s ridiculous ‘3 days of food and water’), then the numbers of Un-Prepped people in any post-disaster scenario will be significantly reduced, thus reducing the risks for average Americans who are just trying to survive. This would also minimize the problems for authorities who are faced with the monumental tasks and risks of dealing with millions of desperate Un-Prepped people, post-disaster.

Just look at Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina and it all becomes so evident… FEMA’s recommendations for Americans to maintain of “3-days of food and water” per-person is just wrong, and that recommendation must be immediately modified to reflect the needs as seen in real-life situations!  Four-weeks worth of food and water per-person is in my opinion the absolute minimum!

Preppers need to support each other and support the efforts of anyone (including TV shows) trying to normalize the Prepping trend. Preppers must reach-out to their representatives and local agencies using all forms of communications and make this argument, now, while there is still a chance to make a difference!

Preppers are ordinary everyday Americans, looking to protect themselves, their families and their American lifestyles. They are not ‘domestic terrorists’ simply because they have done the math, and see that FEMA’s guidelines are just obtuse.

Short of this happening (a general conversion of Americans to a ‘Prepared’ mode), given the current risks posed to everyone (Government included) by The ‘Un-Prepped’ (desperate post-disaster survivors), the only other effective option for survival is Plan B;

Plan B:

Plan ahead and adopt a survival paradigm that will relocate you, your family and friends (if possible) to a safe location, far beyond the reach of the ‘Un-Prepped’.

My book, ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) details one such paradigm, which has been proven.

In the end, the odds of your survival in any disaster and during any long-term post-disaster scenario are in your own hands. Making an informed decision now, can make the difference between life and death.

Fair Winds & Seas!

Whenever I read through posts and articles on the Internet, I am surprised to see that many people don’t seem to realize or understand that the paradigm of civilian OPSEC

I work in a retail store’s warehouse. As anyone familiar with logistics work knows it’s basically just a big windowless box, and the lights are a long way off the ground, with lots of areas of shadow. One of my jobs is to drive order pickers down the rows and raise the platforms up around 40 feet in the air to gather orders off the shelves. Over the summer, I was all the way up at the top rack with my order picker, when I heard an explosion outside the building and the lights went black. The normally gloomy area was now completely dark; I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. A lot of people told me afterward that if they’d been in my position they would have panicked. I didn’t, however, because I had something on me that I always carry, no matter what: a flashlight.

What had ended up happening was that lightning had struck a transformer across the field, flash-vaporizing the oil inside and cutting power to our whole building. The sad thing was, we only had a couple of flashlights and over forty people were on duty in the store at the time. Luckily I had two on my person and another three in my van, all of them with extra batteries. My coworkers laughed, but I was able to help locate confused customers and start restoring order.

The point of that anecdote was to provide a case study of a very mundane event—a power loss due to electrical storm—that my prepared mindset enabled me to react to in an efficient and helpful way. I got laughed at, sure, for having so many flashlights, but I had more people come up and thank me for being able to lend a hand.

Flashlights are often overlooked as a part of a prepper’s Every Day Carry, especially for beginners. They’re not sexy, like guns and knives and monkey fists. They’re often considered bulky, awkward to use, and unnecessary. But as my story goes to show—and I have numerous others from various jobs and situations—they are far from unnecessary. In fact, flashlights are one of the most useful pieces of prepper gear you can carry on you at all times. You’re far more likely to whip out your flashlight than your gun or even your knife (and I say this as someone who always carries at least two knives and owns numerous firearms) in day-to-day interactions.

So, with all that by way of introduction, what are some good characteristics of an EDC flashlight that will serve well both pre- and post-event? Let’s look at a quick overview.

Characteristics of a Good Every Day Carry Flashlight:

EDC flashlights have to do a few basic things: They have to be easy to carry, take readily available batteries, be lightweight, streamlined, easy to operate, and provide adequate illumination. Let’s break these categories down a bit.

The best flashlight is one you have on you at all times.

An EDC light that’s easy to carry is one that you are going to have no second thoughts about throwing in your pocket or purse. It’s kind of like the “Always Gun” concept for flashlights. For those of you unfamiliar with the Always Gun concept, it means that even if you have a bigger, more powerful gun for specific situations you still need a gun that you will always carry, meaning it’s small, light, and easy enough to use that you won’t leave it home. With a gun this could mean you carry your Ruger Redhawk when walking in bear country, but a Ruger LCR when you’re at work in the city. Applying this to flashlights, this is the difference between a big MagLite 4 D-Cell flashlight that you keep by your bed and don’t take anywhere, and the little MiniMag penlight you keep on your keychain.

Readily available batteries should be self-explanatory but for a surprising number of people it’s not. The current rage in prepper products is for all things Tacti-Cool. These items have the appearance of being for high-speed operators, but are in reality bulky hindrances designed for mall ninjas. Case in point: more and more modern flashlights come with rechargeable batteries. I’m not against rechargeable batteries per se, but I do think they make for a bad EDC choice. Many of these batteries require USB charging cables, meaning they need to charge off of a computer or mobile power pack. This may be fine for a flashlight you keep in a truck or charging on the nightstand, but it’s not convenient to carry when prepping for life’s little (or not so little) emergencies. If you don’t carry any spare batteries on you (which you should, since a single change of batteries for a good EDC light adds negligible pocket mass and weight) or if your batteries have expired or gone bad, having very common batteries allows you to either swap supplied with someone else who is similarly prepared (this is why my sister and I carry flashlights that take the same batteries, since we work together), or allows you to buy them quickly from almost any retail or convenience outlet. It also allows you to help others if their light has gone out. Recently I tried to help a man whose flashlight was on the blink, but couldn’t because his light was highly specialized and only took one specific kind of battery I not only didn’t have but had never heard of.

Goldenguy 5 Pack Mini Cree Q5 LED Flashlight Torch 7w 350lm Adjustable Focus Zoomable Light – Great stocking stuffer.

A side point to keep in mind, where practicable, is to keep as much commonality between the power sources for your EDC flashlight and any lights on your EDC handgun or go-to home defense long gun. This is not a hard and fast rule, and often not applicable, but it will streamline supplies if it is possible. My EDC flashlights and the lights I’ve attached to my Ruger 10/22 and Mossberg 500 20 gauge shotgun (I live in town so need lower-powered firearms for home defense) all take the same batteries, meaning I can supply them all from the same stockpile.

Weight is a major consideration for an EDC flashlight. Most of us can’t go around in military web gear or with assault packs on our backs. We need something that we can easily fit into a pants pocket or a purse, and that isn’t going to slow us up, pull our pants down, or give us a sore shoulder. I have never weighed any of my EDC lights to get an exact measurement, but I know that they all come in at only a few ounces, even with batteries.

Another consideration is a streamlined design. Lots of lights look cool and techno, or tactical, or retro, or whatever floats your boat. But when selecting an EDC light, you have to keep in mind what kind of clothing you’re most likely going to be wearing and what kinds of activities you will most likely be doing while carrying the light. Believe it or not, what kinds of work you’ll be doing actually has a lot to do with what kind of light you select. That’s why I have a modest array of lights I can choose from depending on what I’m going to be doing. If I’m going to be mostly sitting at a desk or riding in a car, then I don’t need to worry much about a light that’s easy to turn on in my pocket because I won’t be moving my leg much. On the other hand, if I’m going to be out in the woods, at work, or on the range, where I’m going to be doing a lot of moving, squatting, or bending, I’ll carry a different type of light that isn’t so easy to turn on by mistake. There’s nothing worse in the world of flashlights than to pull your light out of your pocket and not have it shine because you’ve accidentally worn down the battery. So pick something that will fit within your lifestyle and the kinds of clothing you wear. If you wear cargo pants you’ll be able to get away with one design, skinny jeans or dress pants will require a different approach.

One important feature when thinking about design is the activation method. There are two main activation types on flashlights: Twist and push. Twist-type flashlights require you to twist either the head or the end cap to get it to turn on. I don’t personally like them because they’re almost impossible to use one-handed, but their advantage is that they seldom if ever turn on in your pocket.

Push flashlights can be further subdivided into standard push lights—where the button is up near the head of the light—and tactical, where the button is on the end cap or somewhere near it. Obviously this is a generalization, there are tactical lights with the push button near the head, and non-tactical lights with end cap activator. But for the sake of discussion this broad classification will work. By and large I recommend a tactical-style light with a somewhat recessed end cap button, as this is the hardest to accidentally activate. Standard types are the easiest to burn out through careless pocket activation, but there are some with good stiff buttons that are more resistant to this.

Easy to operate is fairly straightforward: get a light that fits your needs and that you can easily grab and turn on without thinking or looking. Odds are that you’ll be in the dark when you need it, and fumbling for your light’s on/off switch is the last thing you want to be doing, as you’re more likely to drop it than anything else.

One other thing to keep in mind when considering ease of operation is the bulb type. I am a fan of LEDs because they never get hot, do not need to be changed, and will not break so easily if dropped. However, if you have very sensitive eyes and will need to be using the light in close proximity to your face, such as in very tight quarters or inside an engine or mechanical assemblies, you may want to consider a standard incandescent flashlight. While they do not last as long and do not put out nearly as much light, they are gentler on the eyes.

Personally, I like a high-lumen light that provides a very bright beam over a short, wide space.

Lastly, I want to touch on adequate illumination. This is a tricky subject because it’s going to be different for everyone. The illumination a flashlight offers is measured in lumens. Without going into the physics definition of what exactly a lumen is, this unit is used to measure and compare the brightness of a flashlight’s beam. A higher number of lumens will be a brighter beam, and most likely reach farther. However the latter is not assured, as other factors including the lens material of the flashlight, mirrors inside the light head, the condition of the lens, and a few others dictate exactly how far a beam will reach.

Personally, I like a high-lumen light that provides a very bright beam over a short, wide space. This is because I’m usually using the light in cramped quarters or indoors, so I don’t need it to illuminate very far. If I were going to be spending a lot of time in the dark outdoors I’d consider something with a longer beam. Take into consideration how much light your eyes need to function. My sister carries a relatively weak flashlight because she has very strong eyes and can practically see in the dark anyway. I, on the other hand, have very weak eyes and need a lot of light to do anything, so I carry a much brighter light most of the time. Another criteria is the type of beam you want. Depending on what you think you’re going to need the light for, you may want a very tight, long-range beam, a broad, well-defined inspection beam, a diffuse beam from the many smaller lamps of a pocket work light, an adjustable-focus beam, or yet another variety. Choose your light based on your normal environment and the kinds of things you expect could go wrong there. I personally work indoors and tend to be in tighter quarters, so I want a wider, short-range beam to illuminate more of my immediate surroundings and not cast so many shadows.

Earlier I mentioned flashlights getting the cold shoulder in favor of guns and knives and other defensive gadgets. While these tools are more effective in a truly deadly confrontation, I would be negligent if I didn’t address the defensive use of the flashlight before I close. A bright, easy-to-use flashlight ready on your person can be used to shine in a nighttime attacker’s eyes, blinding him and either giving you time to escape or draw a more effective weapon. Just one more reason to carry some form of pocket torch.

A flashlight may seem unnecessary in our modern world of 24/7 ceiling lights and power at the flick of a switch. But even without a major disaster it’s still possible to be left in the dark for minutes, hours, or even days. For the purpose of brevity I didn’t go into all the further points to consider when choosing a flashlight for your home or vehicle, but hopefully this short piece helped provide some items for consideration next time you’re looking over your EDC load.

I work in a retail store’s warehouse. As anyone familiar with logistics work knows it’s basically just a big windowless box, and the lights are a long way off the

 

Residential security (RS) is something that is usually taken very lightly, most believe putting in an alarm system and maybe a camera or two is all that’s required.  It is common knowledge that one of the favored places for criminals and terrorists to target a victim is when they are in, entering or leaving their residence; Residential security must be taken very seriously. In times of civil unrest looters will be looking to target any location that has valuables, weapons or assets that they can use and that has minimal security, this means most residential properties.

If your threat is from criminals or terrorists and you’re going to hire security personnel for your residence or office make sure they are in some way trustworthy, just because someone has a security or private investigators license it does not mean they are competent or not working with the criminals. What a lot of people forget when hiring security personnel is that you get what you pay for. I am approached all the time by people who require security personnel, many of whom are having problems with their current security contractor, but they do not want to pay a professional rate. Sure, you can always get a cheaper option but don’t expect the budget security guard to be too concerned about your assets or well-being.

The basic procedures I have listed here can be applied on all residences or offices. What will differ is the type and size of the residence, the manpower and budget available. When taking over or moving into a residence, a threat assessment must be compiled and all vulnerable spots identified. A set of orders needs to compile and procedures drawn up for every eventuality. Before you occupy a residence, the residence and its grounds need to be searched for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices and contraband such as illegal drugs or weapons that could have been left there by the previous occupants.

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If the budget allows, electronic security devices should be employed. There is a vast array of security devices available on the commercial market, ranging from CCTV to laser sensors. Always choose the best that you can afford and buy it from a reputable dealer; it is best to also get a service agreement and have all equipment regularly serviced by trusted people. Even if your residence is in an apartment block, CCTV should be considered for the corridors and public parts of the building. Covert and portable CCTV systems are available at affordable prices and have a variety of uses. These days there are also affordable CCTV system that you can monitor over the internet. I had one client who told me while he was working in East Africa he watched Hurricane Katrina destroy his house in Louisiana over the internet. Remember if you use internet camera’s they can be hacked into, if someone gets access to your computers, passwords or on a more professional level access to your server they can also see what you’re up to.

Many people have alarms systems and panic buttons in their residences and it amuses me that a lot of people believe that installing an alarm is all they require to protect their families. We have all seen the adverts on TV where a woman is home alone, the alarm goes off, the bad guy runs away and the alarm company phones here to make sure she is OK; if only the world was that perfect. What if the bad guys aren’t worried and expect an alarm to go off because know they have at least 15 minutes before the police will respond. If you have an alarm system you need to know what the response time will be for those responding, be it an armed response company or the local police. In some places the response can take hours, even in the U.S. if the responding police believe there is a serious incident taking place with shots fire they will usually back off, call for support, cordon the area and assemble a SWAT team to respond if you’re lucky this may take an hour or two!

Another criminal tactic to counter alarm system on a residence is to keep setting them off until the target turns the system off. Think about it, if over a period of two weeks the alarm on your back door keeps going off between 1am to 4am what would you do? Initially for the first few alarm activations the police will respond, in a lot of places after 3 false alarm activations the police will no longer respond, if you have an armed response company they will be charging you for every alarm they respond to. So, I am sure you will call out the alarm company to fix the alarm but they will find nothing wrong with it. Would you keep putting up with the cost and aggravation of the apparently false alarm activations or just turn the alarm off? Take nothing at face value, if you have an alarm that starts going off for no apparent reason, look deeper!

CCTV should be considered for the corridors and public parts of the building. Covert and portable CCTV systems are available at affordable prices and have a variety of uses.

Security for a residence needs to be planned in depth with multiple rings of defense, how many you have will depend on the type and size of the residence. When planning the security for a residence you need to think like the criminals. In 1994 I was working in South Africa and was tasked to provide security for numerous residences that had active threats on them. My working day usually started in the early evening and went through to after first light the next morning. When I arrived at a residence the first thing I would do would be to assess the area around the residence for likely criminal surveillance points and approach routes. I would then assess the fence or wall around the garden for the most likely point the criminals would use as an entry point. I would then take up a position in the garden where I could see the likely criminal entry point or points and as much of the residence as possible, then I waited.

So, the first cordon of security you should consider is the general area around the residence. You need to identify any potential surveillance positions, choke points and possible ambush locations. Consider using CCTV to cover the streets and exterior of the walls of your grounds. All routes leading up to the residence need to be regularly searched for IEDs, surveillance and signs of an ambush which may be in the process of being set up, to do this the routes and exterior would need to walked by trusted and alert personnel.

If your residence is in an apartment block, the next level of security could take the form of covert CCTV in public areas or placing the building under general protective surveillance. In a large house, this cordon will be the walls or hedges that surround the grounds; these can be monitored by CCTV, with sensors or where legal topped with razor or electric wire.

In a large residence the next cordon would be the grounds or garden. This area could be covered by CCTV and be patrolled regularly by security personnel, day and night and in all weather. All external buildings such as garages and tool sheds need to be properly secured. A lot of people ask me about using guard dogs, something which I tend to dissuade people from doing. Dogs can be weapons and must be keep under control, in South Africa I had two German Sheppard’s attack me; they did not die because the client was screaming at me not hurt them. The dogs had been let out of their cage, as they usually were in the evening, by a staff member who did not know I was working there. OK, it was only me, so no problems but what if it was a child or woman and dog’s owner was not there to take control of them?

If you use dogs they must be properly trained, if I was in a high risk area would I consider having trained dogs in my garden, sure but they would need to be properly trained. Dogs can be targeted as same as security personnel, if they are not trained properly they are easy to poison. Guard dogs that bark a lot are easy to counter, same as an alarm system, we have used this in numerous times in parts of Latin America where every house seems to have a pack of dogs, you just need to get the dogs barking and keep them barking, the owner will soon get fed up with it or the dogs will get tired.

The next cordon would be the residence itself, all doors, windows and skylights need to be secured and controlled and if possible, alarmed. Consider defensive gardening to deter criminals gaining access to windows; below the window plant thorny bushes that would make it difficult and noisy for the criminals to get through. Ideally, all rooms should be fitted with motion detectors and in high risk areas locked when not in use.

Now you need to consider what you are going to do if criminals try to make entry to your residence; you need to make plans and preparations for this. On my courses I usually ask people what they would have done if someone tried to break in to their house the previous night, a lot of people say they don’t know or just then start to think about it. You need to put together sensible procedures, and then if you have an issue you will know what to do and not panic.

There are two general considerations when planning your procedures; are going to stay in the residence or evacuate, what you do will depend on your situation. A secure room needs to be designated within the residence to be used as a safe room for you and your family in the event of an attack where immediate evacuation is not practical.

The room should be lockable from the inside and have several good communications links with the outside world; there should be a list of emergency numbers in the room, so help can be summoned in the event of an emergency. What equipment is in the room will depend on your situation and the length of time you will need to possible stay in to room, this where you need to know the approximate response times of those coming to help you. The main thing a safe room needs is an escape route, if I was a criminal and wanted to target someone who I knew took their security serious I would not enter their residence. In reality if someone knows how to defend a building SWAT and room clearing tactics won’t work, you’re going to have big problems. The easiest way to clear a building is to cordon it and set it on fire, then hit the inhabitants as they exit, if they don’t exit then criminals have saved some bullets. Always have an escape route!

A set of procedures will need to be drawn up for dealing with visitors to the residence; this is the downfall of most residential security programs. A good example of this resulted in the kidnapping in Haiti of a family member of a business associate of mine. This person has a large residence and employed an armed guard to man his front gate. One evening the guard opened the gate to talk with someone who was asking after one of the staff members, as soon as he stepped outside the gate he had a gun put to his head by a criminal who was waiting next to the gate. The criminal with their crew gained access to the residence, as the doors were left open, robbed the place and kidnapped four people.

Why should the criminals try to break into a residence when in a lot of cases they can get the occupants to easily open the doors and come to them? As you read this now what would you do if someone crashed into your car; go outside and see what had happened, now you can be kidnapped and the bad guys have access to your house. A lot of houses have their electric mains outside, same in places where generators are use, so if the criminals cut the power what will most people do; go out and investigate. Sever the connecting to most people satellite TV and what will they do, go outside and check the dish. See the pattern, so do the criminals!

Residential Security Checklist

Here is list of things you want to consider when planning the security for your residence. Not everything will apply to you but take what does and use it, a lot of the considerations here can be applied to most houses or apartments.

  • Always plan security in depth, you want as many cordons of defense as possible.
  • Have several means of communications; land-lines and cellular, check them regularly.
  • Have planned escape routes.
  • If the residence overlooked what sniper or surveillance positions are there?
  • Check to see if the residence under surveillance.
  • Has the residence been searched for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices or contraband?
  • Is the residence ever left unoccupied, if yes it needs to be searched before re-occupation?
  • Does the residence have a fence or wall around it and can it realistically keep out intruders?
  • Are there gates to the residence, can they stop an intruder or a car, are the gates locked at all times and what are the procedures for greeting visitors.
  • Is there anything to help criminals climb over the garden walls or gates, such as trees or poles around the exterior of the property?
  • If the residence is in an apartment block, are there fire escapes or scaffolding that could give the criminals a way in?
  • Where along the routes in and out of the residence could an ambush be concealed?
  • Consider putting the residence under protective surveillance.
  • Always use counter-surveillance drills before entering and upon exiting the residence.
  • Regularly photograph or video the areas surrounding the residence and always watch for suspicious vehicles and people.
  • What security lights are there, do they work, when are the lights turned on and where is their control switch? If the control switch is outside, move it inside.
  • Lights should shine away for the residence not on to it.
  • Consider attaching lights triggered by movement detectors outside of doors and venerable areas.
  • Any defects to floodlighting or other security lights should be fixed ASAP.
  • If you are in an apartment block, is the reception manned 24hrs a day and If yes, are the people manning it competent? Consider a penetration test.
  • Do your doors have peepholes- peepholes are best positioned at the side of the door or in the wall so, you cannot be shot through the door. If using a peephole always distinguish any lights behind you.
  • Consider using a video phone to greet visitors and cameras to cover the doors and surrounding areas.
  • Consider an armored layer on the inside of main doors.
  • If you have a residential security team (RST) do they know their orders?
  • Are the RST from a quality trustworthy company and have they been vetted and well trained?
  • Do an assessment on your security personnel and evaluate how much you can really trust them; will they fight, flee or just rollover if there is a problem.
  • Make sure the RST patrols the grounds at all times in all weathers; bad weather is the best time for raids as guards are usually seeking shelter and un-alert.
  • If you are using guard dogs, make sure that they are well trained and preferably under the control of their handler.
  • Are all doors to the residence solid and are the door frames solid, most times a door frame will break before the lock on the door.
  • Are the locks on the doors of a good quality and have you changed them since taking over the residence?
  • If a key is lost or an employee fired who has access to keys change your locks.
  • Consider using deadbolts at the top and bottom of a door and wedges in conjunction with the normal locks.
  • Can the locks be unlocked from the outside, if a window is broken or can the door hinges be unscrewed?
  • Do you have control of all the keys to the residence and have a list of everyone with keys?
  • Have all unused entrances and exits secured.
  • All windows need to be secured on all floors of the building. It is a fact that in 90% of burglaries, access is gained through windows. Check that windows are properly shut, secured and if possible alarmed.
  • Consider putting thorny bushes under windows and around the perimeter of your garden to deter intruders. Thorny bushes can be put on the inside of perimeter walls also to tangle up and alert you to anyone jumping over.
  • Use laminated glass and heavy curtains where there is a threat from IEDs as they will help prevent flying glass. Wood blinds also work for extra privacy and protection.
  • Beware of casting shadows against windows which can be seen from the outside.
  • Consider putting a gravel walkway around the outside of your house so you can hear anyone approaching or stalking around.
  • All skylights and roof doors need to be secured and preferably alarmed. Roofs need to be secured and monitored.
  • Is the attic of the residence adjoined to another roof or attic from which someone could gain access?
  • What alarms are in the residence, are they working and when were they last tested?
  • All doors and windows on outbuildings need to be secured, regularly checked and, if possible, alarmed.
  • Are the roofs of the outbuildings secured; an IED or assailant on the roof of a garage stands a better chance of not being spotted than one in a driveway.
  • Do all padlocks have spare keys and who has them?
  • Are the padlocks of good quality and difficult to pick or shim?
  • Are all weapons in the residence legal and are they secured when not in use?
  • Do you and the RST know their rules of engagement and the laws for use of force?
  • No vehicle should be given access to the grounds of the residence without a member of the security team at least physically checking the interior of the passenger compartment. You never know- your personal driver flashing his light and laying on his horn at the gate might have a gun in the back of this head or a bomb in the trunk of his car.
  • What firefighting equipment is there in the residence and is it in a serviceable condition?
  • Are there any fire alarms and do they work? Fire is the largest cause of loss and damage to private and commercial properties. Fire prevention is, therefore, one of the highest residential security concerns.
  • Flooding is a major threat to property and equipment, common causes include taps that have been left running, leaks in plumbing systems or faulty air conditioning systems, heavy rain or snowfall.
  • Are all valuables kept secure and do you have pictures of all valuable artwork, jewelry etc.?
  • Are all valuables insured and have you recorded the serial numbers of all TVs, computer and stereo equipment?
  • Do you, your family and staff have security, emergency procedures and does everyone know them?
  • Do you, your family and staff know how to report any suspicious activity in the area?
  • Do you, your family and staff know how to the raise the alarm, in the case of an emergency?
  • Make arrangements for power cuts, keep spare batteries and bulbs for torches, several means of communications and check them regularly.
  • If you have a backup generator ensure it is serviceable and you have plenty of fuel in a secure location.
  • Keep all sensitive and security documentation secure and confidential.
  • Keep computers and hard drives secure and password protected.
  • Have your staff and employees been profiled and had background checks?
  • Do not discuss sensitive or security related subjects in front of staff, consider giving them disinformation on such things as travel and business plans.
  • Don’t let any of the security personnel get over familiar with any of the other staff.
  • Consider monitoring all phone calls from and to the residence.
  • All contractors must have appointments and must be searched before entering and leaving the residence. Searched when entering to check for contraband, IEDs or electronic surveillance devices and when leaving to make sure they are not stealing anything.
  • Contractors should be accompanied at all times.
  • If suspicious of visitors, turn them away or keep them outside and preferably illuminated, until their credentials are verified. Also consider that they could be testing your security or a distraction while others try to access your residence.
  • Never illuminate yourself in a doorway or a window, darkness is your friend.
  • All deliveries should go through the RST and be checked for anything suspicious, have a secure area to isolate any suspicious packages.
  • Use a mailbox or virtual office address rather than your residential address.
  • Be suspicious of unexpected power outages, faulty alarms etc.
  • Always have escape routes and don’t let security procedures obstruct them.
  • Know the location and safest routes to safe houses, emergency rendezvous points, hospitals, etc.
  • Think like a criminal and plan for every eventuality.

  Residential security (RS) is something that is usually taken very lightly, most believe putting in an alarm system and maybe a camera or two is all that’s required.  It is

 

For preppers, a home’s location is of utmost importance. Your home is your headquarters, your castle and sanctuary. It’s the one place you hope to feel in control when chaos breaks out.

Serious preppers are beginning to invest in purpose-built retreats that are off the grid and away from the fray. But make no mistakes about it. These retreats aren’t about relaxation and taking in a scenic view. The sole intent is to have a place that is made to stand on its own if humanity were to falter. In this article we will highlight 7 factors to consider if you are looking for the best property for preppers.

Determining Access to your property

Professional movers like North American have helped thousands of people move to urban areas and remote locations. One important piece of advice they give to preppers looking for a remote retreat is to always consider access. How will you and others access your retreat location?

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Thinking about how you will control access to your retreat property is an important consideration.

For most people, it’s fairly easy to get vehicles and moving trucks to a new home. Preppers that live in non-traditional areas like a hillside may need to work out additional logistics to get a home setup or built. This can actually be a benefit since it will also be difficult for others to get on the property. However, be prepared to construct your own roads if you’re looking for raw land to build on. This could have major consequences on price.

If a property is heavily wooded there could be hidden access points. It’s important to walk the entire perimeter of the property looking for entry points and notating where fencing or barbwire will be needed to block access.

Must have sustainable Water Supply

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A sustainable and abundant source of water is a must.

Having a ready supply of clean water is the biggest priority during natural disasters, riots, war and every other emergency situation. Preppers understand that they need to have a long-term solution that goes beyond storing gallons of bottled water.

It may be difficult to find a piece of property along a stream, river or lake that isn’t already in a developed area. Flooding is also a concern in these locations. The better option is to have a well. Currently, about 15% of Americans have private water sources. However, you will want to check the local health department for information on water regulations and testing guidelines in the immediate area.

What are the Security Issues of your property?

Securing your property is necessary for protecting your people and supplies. Many preppers look for property that’s already fenced off with access controlled by a security gate. If the property has no perimeter barrier that will need to be factored in before deciding on an asking price. It’s also important to bear in mind that vegetation is no substitute for fencing. It can slow people and animals down, but it won’t keep them out.

Do you have adequate Storage for your supplies

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Tiny Homes are catching on, but they don’t have anywhere near the amount of storage you would need for your prepper property.

From food containers to firearms, preppers know the importance of stocking up on supplies. The problem is you need a place to store everything so your supplies aren’t compromised. Many prepper real estate consultants suggest that people consider properties with at least five acres in order to have enough space of living, farming and storage.

How you store food could have serious implications on survival, strength, health and morale. Properties that already have a storage shed or barn that can be secured will put you ahead of the curve. Dark, underground cellars offer good storage for canned goods, but you may need a climate-controlled space with low moisture levels for wheat, grains, legumes and fresh produce storage.

What is your Off the Grid Power Supply?

solarpanels

Mounting Solar panels on roofs or moveable frames allow for easy access for maintenance.

During a worst case scenario, the power grid will likely go down. People that have prepared in advance by putting together an independent power supply will have all of the modern day conveniences, including security systems and device chargers.

Homes that have already been outfitted with solar panels, wind turbines, thermal heating and gas-powered generators are essentially move-in ready. If power supplies aren’t in place you’ll have to assess the area to gauge its wind and solar power potential. Ideally, you’ll want a variety of power sources and ample power storage for times when the wind and sun aren’t in abundance.

Soil Conditions for crops

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The soil quality will be a major factor in your ability to raise your own food.

Like water, food is a necessity for sustaining life. You can go much longer without food (at least three weeks), but the fact remains that your rations won’t last forever. Eventually, your stock of food supplies will be depleted, and you’ll have to rely solely off the land.

Many people overlook the health of the soil on a property even though finding a spot that can support crop growth and has good drainage is critical. If the property already has fruit trees or a garden that’s a very good sign. Remember, your store bought food supply will only last so long. You have to stock up on seeds and consider how your land can produce sustenance.

Bonus – Underground Bunker

The ultimate property feature for preppers is an underground bunker. In the event there is a nuclear bombing or biological warfare a bunker is a last resort for surviving the fallout. Bunkers can be standalone structures or connected into the power grid. When connecting electrical and plumbing sources it’s important to ensure all the spaces around conduits and PVC pipes are thoroughly sealed with silicon caulking.

  For preppers, a home’s location is of utmost importance. Your home is your headquarters, your castle and sanctuary. It’s the one place you hope to feel in control when chaos

A Final Prepper reader, Andrew asked the following question on our Contact form the other day:

I’m wondering if you guys could do a write up of the pros and cons of a fenced property as well as a gated driveway. It is something I have considered for some time but would be very much interested in what people more in the know think of these security options.

If anyone else has any questions, please send them in, or comment on any post. Your conversations help everyone in the Prepper community learn and if anyone has additional feedback to what I write here, please add that below.

A fence for home protection

When it comes to keeping people out or keeping them in, a fence is one of the first things considered. Naturally any secure area or building has a fence around it –  sometimes several fences. The most secure fences would additionally have a roll of razor wire at the top to detract would-be climbers from making it over unscathed or be electrified; possibly both.

In residential areas you are usually more limited in what you would even consider putting around your property. In my case, I wouldn’t be able to add that big prison fence to the sides of my yard because my wife wouldn’t allow it. Now before I get comments like I need to grow a pair, I will add that I wouldn’t want a large fence either. It isn’t like a large fence would help my falling property value and unless I am in a fortress it just doesn’t go with my landscaping.

When we first brought our survival dog home we talked about a fence to keep her enclosed in our yard. We priced out a traditional chain-link fence for our yard that would have given us some peace of mind if we ever wanted to let her go unattended. The over $5000 price list made me throw that idea out the window. I know that I could have installed a chain link fence myself, but I didn’t want to tackle that project on my own. Assuming money was no object, the question was, is a fence a good idea when the grid goes down? Will a fence protect you or keep the bad guys away? Are there any yard security measures you could take that would make a difference in a grid down world?

The Pros and Cons

Items like a chain link fence can improve your property’s value if done in a way that doesn’t detract from the appearance of your yard in most cases. Fences can keep children and pets in while keeping smaller children and pets out of your yard. There is usually a state law to have a fence if you have a pool to prevent anyone from stumbling into the water and drowning. Fences create a nice boundary line and frame your property in a way that for some is more pleasing than the openness of yards without borders. Aside from the aesthetic reasons and the property value implications (of which I really am not qualified to speak to) are fences good at realistic protection?

Assuming we are talking about traditional residential fences here, I don’t believe they offer anything on their own in the way of serious protection. Could they slow someone down? Yes, but for how long? Even the White House fence proved no match for a determined man. Fences can easily be cut with a plain pair of bolt cutters (which I recommend everyone have as part of a complete prepper supply list of items), or run over with just about any car and then the illusion of protection would be shattered pretty quickly. If you are planning on buying and installing a fence, I wouldn’t expect this alone would keep you safe from anything more than those small children and pets. They might be a better deterrent while there is no crisis going on, but if the grid goes down, do you really expect a fence to keep anyone out for long?

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Security gates may slow down vehicles, but what about people on foot?

What about a big security gate on your driveway? These are frequently more substantial than a fence, but they have their weaknesses too. Even with a gate, you are probably only going to slow down vehicles, but people can walk in or around those gates. I look at these like expensive locks on my shed. They are there to keep honest people out, not the criminals who will find a way to get around these basic security measures in a truly violent reality if they are motivated.

So should you do nothing?

I think in some situations, fences and gates can slow people down but they won’t stop anyone who is really determined for long. You can use these as your early warning system though and deploy perimeter alarms at the gates and on the fences to alert you when these obstacles have been breached. In a home invasion scenario this could give you precious seconds of advance warning to either make it to your home defense weapon or safe room and possibly call 911.

Those are my thoughts, what do you think?

A Final Prepper reader, Andrew asked the following question on our Contact form the other day: I’m wondering if you guys could do a write up of the pros and cons of