There is much to consider when a home or property owner begins to assess his or her home protection needs after a national or global disaster becomes a reality.
Items and methods of perimeter security can generally be placed into one of three categories. These are natural defenses, man-made defenses, and sentry defenses.
Natural (or passive) defenses are naturally-occurring obstacles or barriers to trespassers that generally do not draw attention to themselves as being utilized as a line of defense. Natural steep inclines, hills, swampy areas, and thick, prickly foliage are all examples of natural perimeter defenses.
Man-made (or active) defenses are items such as gates, fences, walls, and electronic surveillance equipment. The good news is these types of defenses have the potential to identify or slow down a home invader significantly. This, in turn, gives the home owner time and information – two things important in making an informed decision as to how to handle the oncoming threat.
A significant downside of such defenses is the curiosity piqued once they are recognized. More specifically, upon discovery of man-made defenses, it’s reasonable to assume a looter will suspect the property owner likely possesses something worth protecting. To a looter, something worth protecting may very well be something worth stealing.
Sentry defenses (or guards) are humans or animals that actively patrol or watch over the property to discover signs of trespassing and react in a specific way, usually with noise or direct attack. So, obviously, animals such as dogs and geese that are known to be territorial and that become very loud at the sign of intrusion are the most useful as a warning signal that someone is trespassing onto your property.
Booby-traps are man-made devices that are camouflaged from sight and designed to capture, damage or otherwise disable individuals or vehicles. Booby-traps may or may not be lethal, but they are currently illegal to utilize almost everywhere, so I would never recommend implementing them in any scenario except for a time and place where lawlessness truly reins and you can guarantee the target is indeed hostile. Since booby-traps are almost always hidden from sight until they are tripped, it would be too easy for you, your friends, your family members, your pets, or the curious but otherwise innocent individual to wander into one of them and sustain life threatening injuries or even be killed.
Guard towers, wire fences, trenches, bunkers, and foxholes can all be very useful as defensive measures when situated at key points on the property. For each specific location where you wish to place a defensive measure, you will want to consider what type of measure would work best, what your budget will allow for, and for some of the more complex measures, whether or not you possess the skills to properly construct and install it.
Poorly constructed defensive measures have the potential to be more harmful to the defender than helpful. For example, a bunker constructed of materials that can be penetrated with common firearm calibers will essentially provide the user with a false sense of security that may not be realized until bullets begin to pass through it during its first use. The result of this error is likely the death of the user.
As with poorly constructed defensive measures, poorly positioned ones can be equally useless or perhaps even lethal for the home defender. Be sure the location you choose for each defensive measure allows for a direct line of sight to the point in the perimeter you wish to defend. If you don’t have that fundamental requirement met, then you simply cannot effectively neutralize an attacker with weapon fire without leaving the safety the defensive measure provides. Also, you will want to do your best to theory craft (work through) possible scenarios in which the measure would be used to be sure it can be effectively utilized, yet is not easily destroyed or overrun by one or more skilled attackers before you commit to the chosen location and begin construction.
Another method of testing the potential of your plan for a new defensive measure is to switch sides and assume the role of a would-be attacker. Perform some simple practice drills as the bad guy to determine if your plans are sound. Analyze what you find will work well and what needs to be adjusted, make the necessary changes, then proceed with materials planning and construction.
In addition to perimeter security measures, there are numerous modifications that could be done to the home itself to decrease the chances of a successful home invasion.
There are many simple electronic home security devices and systems available to warn the homeowner of a security breach. Simple and affordable battery operated window and door warning sensors can easily be installed which sound a loud alarm when window or door they are attached to is opened. The majority of these install without tools or modification to window or door frames.
For obvious reasons, it is not a good idea to attempt to break into a home while being painted with bright light, so nighttime motion sensors are useful in deterring a would be home invader so long as you have sufficient power available to apply to the system. This clearly requires that the motion sensor system have battery backup capability, the home be connected to the power grid, or the motion sensor system be wired to a power generator throughout the nighttime hours.
More advanced and intricate systems like those installed by professionals like ADT include an exhaustive list of functions and features, though those systems tend to be some of the most expensive solutions to consider. Some firms that offer and maintain these high end security systems boast remote monitoring of your property for as little as $1 per day. This is all well in good in the relatively civilized society we currently live in and enjoy, but it may be wise to consider whether or not these security professionals will be manning their desks in a national or global disaster, or a massive economic downturn.
The installation of grenade grills onto windows and exterior doors help to prevent hand grenades and tear gas canisters from entering the house. This option is obviously better than installing plywood or OSB board if you wish to allow sunlight into the home and maintain a usable view of the property.
Make no mistake; you are not safe inside a traditional “stick-built” home if someone is shooting at it unless you make some major modifications to the structure. Modern day building materials routinely used in home construction do not stop bullets fired from larger caliber firearms. Owning a home with living space on a basement floor, or fortifying a central room space on an above-ground floor within the house with concrete or rammed earth would allow your family a layer of reliable protection if shots were fired into the home.