Consider any house, any house at random, or own your house. You’ve decided, for a whole host of practical and realistic reasons, that if and when a significant SHTF occurs, a Bug In is your best option. After all, this is your home. You’ve lived there for years in relative comfort. You know every inch of it. You know your neighbors, well, at least by sight anyway, or you should.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author
For years you have worked on a prepping plan that hopefully would allow you and your family to survive at a fairly decent level of comfort during any SHTF or disaster aside from one that completely destroys your residence. This plan did not come easy or without some discomfort or sacrifice especially financially. You are convinced though, you made the right choices so far and for the most part your family is on board, though their doubts may linger.
Related article: Simple Ways to Slow a Burglar at the Front Door
Your survival stocks of essential goods include food, water, medical, sanitary, and the basic gear to get by. All the same stuff that would be in a Bug Out Bag is at the house in storage containers and safe boxes. Oh, you did a BOB just in case, too. You think you have all your bases covered.
Still you fine tune and home, but feel pretty confident you can withstand a SHTF, at least for a good while. But, what else? Maybe other fears continue to haunt you?
A Man’s Home is his Castle
How secure is your house after all? Could it be breached, easily or with considerable effort? How much detailing have you put into making your physical residence as break in proof as possible once a SHTF siren goes off? Eventually, count on people milling around investigating who is home, what is easy to take, or how to get inside your house. Recall the movie Purge?
Yeah, I know, its Hollywood, but the scenario portrayed is none the less pretty scary. That house was secure, or so they thought. They had steel shutters that closed and locked electronically over every window and door entry. Their “lock down” for the Purge was over the top. Well, I know the system was unlocked from the inside for the movie plot to play out, but the purge pranksters (neighbors by the way) were able to attach chains to the front door and jerk off all the security armament they had in place. Just saying.
So, let’s play a game, one that could save your life. It’s actually fun. You can do it yourself, with family, or perhaps a prepper teammate or somebody else you know that is prepping like you are. Exchange the favor to help each other out.
Being the devil’s advocate is always fun. Take a legal pad and a red pen. Walk around your house from the outside noting every weakness you can find that could be exploited by somebody wanting to break into your house during dire circumstances like a SHTF.
Now, this analysis helps, too, in cases of pure crime like breaking and entering, or robbery, but now we’re talking a full bore SHTF where people are thirsty, hungry, in need of help, or just want to take what you have and kill you in the process. This could and does happen during real survival disaster situations.
If it helps, pick up a copy of Joe Nobody‘s book, Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart, which takes the reader through the thought and planning process of preparing your domicile for defense.
Repel from the Outside
The more hardened you can make your house during a SHTF, the more likely you are to repel unwanted advances or threats to your security. During your walk around take note of these usual weaknesses. All entry points, doors, windows, garage, patio, fireplace chimney, roof, attic vent outside access points, any place or weak spot that could be opened, pried open, cut into, hacked into, or where an otherwise forced upon entry could be made.
How protected or locked down, sealed from outside tampering are your utility connections including electricity, natural gas, and water? This might also include sewer and certainly an external power generator. These could be cut off in order to force you out of the house. During a SHTF, devise some way to add extra security to these key resources.
It is common during hurricanes for residents and business people to cover their doors and windows with heavy duty plywood for protection. Perhaps such “shutters” could be custom made for your house and stored in the garage. Special break proof glass could be installed in windows, but the cost factors may well be out of reason. Seek other options.
All normal entry points should be double secured with multiple locking systems particularly hardened physical dead bolts and slide locks, not just electronic locks. Replace exterior wooden doors with steel doors with minimal windows. A viewing port though would be valuable. Garage doors should be hardened too, with inside slide locks or lock jams.
As you do the security analysis of your home from the outside, just ask yourself, “If I could get into this door or that window, or drop a fire cocktail down an open chimney top, then so could anybody else intent on breaking in as well or indeed forcing an evacuation.”
Defend from the Inside
In the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales, I always liked those window shutters the old adobe house had so that gun barrels could be moved in a “T” fashion or like a cross port, both up and down, and right or left. Any defender inside the house could see out of those slits, but also see well enough to shoot out of them. Outsiders found it hard to target these shutter openings. I wonder if SHTF shutters could be fashioned like those designed to secure a door or window but still allow them to be shot out of. Something to ponder I guess. The point being, if you Bug In and your house is more or less on a security lock down, you may still have to defend your positions from inside the house, aka The Alamo. Sounds easy, but much more difficult to deploy with doors and windows shut. Even shooting out an open door or cracked open window can be problematic if not practiced. This is a training drill you will need to practice. Do not fail to consider defense of all sides of your house.
If you live in a two-story house, then the second floor could offer a defensive advantage being able to oversee advancement threats below. There may also be ways to deploy roofline defenses from the rear of the house. If your house has dormers with windows, these may be defensive positions as well. All the possibilities need to be explored.
Check Out: Handling an Active Shooter Situation
Regardless, you will need plans for defending multiple points of potential attack on your residence. Hopefully you have other adults or responsible youth that can help out, too. They will need training, weapons, ammo, and gear of their own or a shared arsenal with ample back up supplies.
Securing your Bug In residence takes on considerable complications. Defending it requires even more planning, preparation, practice and execution. Of course your intent is to survive a SHTF, whatever it is, so step up your prepping plan a few more notches beyond sustenance basics. There will likely be the opportunity to test it out eventually.