Urban Defense Planning for the Home

“As much as I would like to believe that order and decency will prevail in a crisis, I’m afraid the reality is that the thin veneer of humanity may crack under pressure.  I hope that the worst never happens, but if it should, you need to be prepared to protect yourself, your family, and your supplies.  As I see it, the biggest threat from your fellow man will be from home invasions and looting.”

Quote from How to Survive The End of The World as We Know It

As the economic system continues to break down, an increase of crime, looting and kidnapping will be seen in more of the so-called “safer neighborhoods.” In a worst case scenario, such as a societal breakdown, these criminals will be well organized, cunning and willing to do whatever it takes to get into a home. Due to the poor architectural designs of homes these days (glass doors, sliding glass doors and easy entry from streets and highways), homes are now more vulnerable than ever to break ins. If a home is set in an urban location, home invaders can easily break into a home using simple items found outside the home. Items such as bricks, paving stones, and lawn furniture can easily be used to create an opening. Further, if doors or locks are not reinforced, they can easily be kicked in.  Intruders could also use a variety of ruses and disguises to trick you to open the door.  Intrusions will typically be during the day when you and most of the neighbors are at work. If you happen to be home, criminals can be cunning and prey on those who are ill-equipped to handle a home invasion.  A person must always be alert and cautious when opening a door to a stranger. The following scenarios can easily be created to get you to open the door: 

  • They will use disguises of uniforms to get you to open the door.  They may even have a convincing looking delivery vehicle to further try to convice someone.
  • Act as if they need your help (This can be anything from begging for food, needing to use a phone or needing help with car problems).

Securing Your Home

Designing an outter defense  system from the home to evade possible criminals is your first line of defense when protecting your home, your family and your belongings. Although many survival experts highly recommend having a home in a remote location, some people are not able to do so. Walk around your home and distinguish what the vantage points, and vulnerable areas are.  Make necessary changes and home adjustments to “lock down” a home more thoroughly.  In the book,  How to Survive The End of The World as we Know It, the author, James Wesley, Rawles lists some examples on how to have a defensible advantage from criminals.  Although, this article lists some of these examples, it is highly recommended that you read the book.

  • Reinforced doors and locks.
  • Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.
  • Place thorny bushes around windows.
  • Intrusion detection systems.
  • Position web cams strategically in hidden areas.  Place the computer that is monitoring the locations in a hidden spot so the criminals do not walk off with the computer.
  • Create a barrier from approaching vehicles.
  • Put a peep hole in the door.
  • Add a bolt and chain to the door.
  • Guard dogs
  • Infrared (IR) floodlights to illuminate the property (These can be motion-sensor activated).
  • Fence the entire property, if it is not done so already.
  • A gate at the front of the driveway that has spikes at the top to prevent someone from jumping over the fence.
  • Extra fire hydrants in the case that the invaders try to burn you out of your home.
  • Create a safe room or vault to where a family can go to evade their attackers.
  • Create a neighborhood watch.

What If a Criminal Is In Your House

A home invasion can happen suddenly and catch someone off guard.  If the home is not fully protected an invasion can take no time at all to happen. 


Arsenal to use on invaders

If a home is not defensible and a person comes into a home, then they will stop at nothing to get what they want.  This includes stealing property, rape, terrorizing and death.  In a worst case scenario, a person must fight and defend or they will end up dead.  Although it is advisable to have a gun in the home, some do not agree.  There are other weapons that can be used to defend yourself:

  • Pepper spray
  • Fire hydrant
  • Hot coffee
  • Lamps
  • Metal baseball bat
  • Salt in the eyes
  • Butcher knife
  • A small dog thrown at the invader will distract them enough to where a person can attack.

Do not take home defense lightly.  The prominent areas will no longer be as safe as they once were.  In fact, they will probably be the first areas hit by mass crime.  If you plan to stay in the area, take precautions now and prepare because sooner or later the crime will come.

This article is intended to inform on possible home invasion scenarios and is further advised that each person has a choice on what type of defensive measures they want for their home. 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 21st, 2010
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  • A few months ago, a neighborhood watch member (aka volunteer vigilante) went overboard in his harassment of suspects and got shot as a result. http://areyoutargeted.com/2010/01/21/first-blood/

  • Jeremy,

    It sounds like this guy took his authority a bit too far.  But in a post SHTF scenario, that’s the kind of neighborhood watch member you want.  Someone who is serious about patroling and keenly aware of a possible threat and willing to go the extra mile to investigate (He should have identified himself as a patroler and not stalked the girls in such a frightening manner though).   

    If the SHTF, and there are societal downfalls due to a major disaster (man-made or natural) or a major economic crunch, there will be waves of  crime and they have the potential to do extreme damage.  These criminals could work in 1-3 person teams or gang up and sweep a neighborhood with 30+ gang members and leave the neighborhood defenseless, if the neighborhood does not ban together.  There are power in numbers, and the power rests in our hands.  Gangs of criminals could also use explosive devices to distract police officers from the neighborhood areas in order to rob homes. And while the police are investagating the explosion, the neighborhood is left defenseless again.  If a neighborhood relies only on the police force to protect them, they could be left in a vulnerable situation. 

    The point is, these criminals will see things in a different point of view.  Where we see a terrible situation, they could see it as an opportunity to get what they deserve.  You have to think what a criminal would do and how he would act, in order to protect your self and your family. And talking strictly worst case scenarios, when people are desperate, they will do anything it takes. Nightmarish stuff, I know, but we have to be aware of what we could be up against.

  • Absolutely.  There’s no telling what those four teenage girls might have done!

  • Lol!  That was great.  I’m sure the neighborhood patroler’s motto in life is: Everyone is a suspect – even children.

  • Dennis

    You forgot one thing, Keep lots of guns and your house and shoot to kill if any thug enters your house. Me being a staunch believer in the second adendment and lifetime NRA member, you have that right to protect yourself, you wife, kids and dog even if it means using deadly force. Any thug or criminal that ever breaks into my house is a dead man for sure and is not coming out alive!!!!!!!

    • Dennis,

      Thanks for commenting, and I completely agree with you. We do have right to defend our home and families against intruders whose main motivation is to steal or kill. When my husband and I first began discussing our home defense plan (if someone broke into our home), I asked my husband if I should warn the intruder that I had a gun and intended to use it. My husband laughed and said, “If they are in the home, they intend to cause harm. They do not deserve a warning, so shoot to kill.” There was a lot of wisdom in those words.

      Although I am an avid suporter of the NRA, and stand behind my right to own a gun, some people do not always feel the same as me. So, I try and leave the choice of having guns in the home up to the reader. But if a person does own a gun, and someone is in their home, they have a right to defend themselves and their property. Thanks again for the comment.

  • Dennis

    Thank You Tess for supporting me and I agree with you 100% that each person should have the right and the choice of whether or not to keep a firearm in his or her house, whatever is most comfortable for you. If you choose to do so, then take a professional weapons handling and safety course on how to operate it properly and safely and keep it stored and locked away in an easy accessable but safe place, especially if you have kids in your home. Thanks again, Dennis

  • Mike

    Just a few points.
    One, get serious about what you are putting out there. Throw a small dog? Come on.
    Two: The rhetoric/bravado about “they won’t make it out alive” sounds good, until you are looking in their eyes across your living room. I hope you are sure. Remember too, you never shoot to kill. You shoot to stop. The “reasonable man” test will be applied and you better not fail this test, either civilly or criminally. Let me suggest getting some formal legal advice for you/your group on what you are going to say/do when and if you shoot someone in your home.
    If you are going to arm yourself, you better have a plan for everything. If you do get a gun, training is a must. Not an option. Children have to be trained too, at least on gun safety and also to “take the shine off the apple”. The NRA has some excellent children’s programs. Don’t rely on a “safe place” to keep kids away from a gun. If it is secure enough to keep preteens out, you’ll never get it into operation in time to do any good. 
    Three: The neighborhood that stays together, survives together. This applies to current day as well as TEOTWAWKI time. The neighborhood watch needs a set of specific instructions. “If you want specific results, give specific instructions.”
    Fourth: Finally, get serious. As stated in other posts, the trolls did NOT break into your house when you are home to play nice. They will do you great bodily harm and/or kill you and yours. You had better lose the “be nice” BS. Get a firearm. Train with it and get some stress inoculation so you are prepared, not a sad story on page three.
    Luck in battle, Mike

  • John

    I don’t have children, if I did I might invest in one of these.
    The advantage of mace, pepper spray and other less than lethal weapons is, of course, less chance of killing a kid, spouse or pet.
    In my case a pair of 1911a1s hanging over the end of the bed makes my bedroom my ‘safe room’. They go with me when I leave to prevent them from being stolen.

  • Ken Wilcox

    Check to see if your state has a Casle Doctine in place.  If so it givew you the right to defend yourself once the invader is inside your home.  You cannot shoot them through the door.  They must be inside and a threat to you.  Also it is not advisable to shoot someone in the back.  If they are trying to leave let them go.  Let the police deal with them.

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