Week 23 of 52: External Security Preparedness

Week 23 of 52: External Security Preparedness

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana coast, reports out of New Orleans on September 1st stated that victims of the disaster were being raped and beaten and that fights and fires were out of control, leaving corpses laying in the open as the city descended into anarchy. Emergency responders in the New Orleans area were overwhelmed, and as a result their response time was lapsed.

A “bug in” scenario may be our only choice after a disaster strikes and we must prepare not only for our basic needs, but also for our safety. Since the grid may go down during a disaster, each household should prepare for crime. Looting and home invasions will more than likely be at the forefront of these crime waves and a defensible home will help your family stay safe.

Many of us easily relate to the idea that our home security needs to be beefed up. In fact, some of the homes we live in are defensive nightmares given the location, structural design, neighborhood or city we may live in. Because the home will be more vulnerable when the grid goes down (due to electrical alarm systems not working, lapsed emergency response time, etc), consider having some alternative security features for inside the home. A barking dog would be a great detection system for anyone trying to break in. And, if the pet is trained properly, could assist in protecting the family.

In an emergency where civil unrest can be a problematic issue, criminals look for accessible targets. They will concentrate on vulnerable “easy-pickings” and bypass the more secured areas. This was seen during the Rodney King Trial Verdict riots in Los Angeles and it’s suburbs, the only structures that were spared from active looting by large gangs were some stores owned by armed Korean Americans.

Security is an important preparedness measure to keep in mind when investing in your emergency supplies. Bulking up your home security features for the outside can be your first line of defense in preventing any criminals from trying to enter your home.

Given that our financial situations are each unique, I am not suggesting that you go out and purchase every item on this list. However, if you are able to invest in some security items for the home, I suggest you invest in as much as you can.

 Preps To Buy:

  • Reinforced doors and locks. (There is only 1 ” of wood protecting you in normal door locks.)
  • Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.
  • Place thorny bushes or plants around windows or near vulnerable areas of the home.
  • If possible, create a barrier from approaching vehicles.
  • Put a peep hole in the door.
  • Add a bolt and chain to the door.
  • Infrared (IR) floodlights to illuminate the property (These can be motion-sensor activated).
  • Solar garden lighting can also be an inexpensive way to illuminate areas outside the home.
  • 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.
  • Cameras placed strategically around the home and near the entry points of the home can also deflect an intruder.
  • Create a safe room or vault to where a family can go to evade their attackers.
  • Buy a gun and know how to use it.

Action Items:

  1. Walk around the perimeter of your home and see where the vulnerable areas are.
  2. Make necessary changes to the outside of the home by bulking up on security layers.
  3. Contact a security expert or friend in the police department and see if they can provide you with additional advice.
  4. If it is a good fit with your family, look into purchasing a firearm or going to a concealed handgun course.
  5. Create a neighborhood watch program.
Get Prepped One Week at a Time with our 52 Weeks to Preparedness Series

Prepper's Cookbook

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years. Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published October 11th, 2011
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  • Yves

    Real good advice.  When the grid goes down and no electricity, alarm systems have emergency batteries.  They only last about 24 hours.  However, it won’t really matter then because the police department will be so overloaded by then that your alarm won’t really matter, although 120 db sirene would maybe deter a would be robber.  Please, send me all you have on preparedness and home security for when the shtf!
    Thank you.

  • Kyle

    A couple of big dogs are also useful.

  • bitslinger41

    Re: “[...] reports out of New Orleans on September 1st stated that victims of the disaster were being raped and beaten [...]“  No big quibble here, since it’s clearly acknowledged as second hand info.  However, just FWIW, Lt Gen Russell Honore, the US Army commander who headed up the federal military (as distinguished from the Guard units) in the Katrina response, pointed out that in the hours and days after the hurricane passed through, the media were not performing their usual verification of raw data.  He said that reports of rapes and wanton assaults could not be confirmed.  He nicely covered his involvement in the event (including Lessons Learned) in his book, “Survival: How Being Prepared Can Keep You & Your Family Safe” (ISBN 9781416599012).  It’s a good read, although it’s arguably more about the Katrina event than about personal preparedness or survival.  BTW, while it’s essentially true that the city “descended into anarchy,” I think you actually meant chaos.  Anarchy is merely the absence of political authority (government), which can theoretically still be orderly; chaos is great disorder or confusion.  These two conditions don’t necessarily share the same threat and vulnerability assessment profiles.  Nit aside, this is a good article.

  • http://n/a bill parsons

    what worked in New Orleans after Katrina:
    sign:
    you loot;  we shoot 

  • HOAslave

    Nice suggestions… unless you live in a community with a homeowner’s association.  No barred doors allowed.  No fences to property line.  No security lights.  Fence max height 42″.  And a person can’t sell ’cause nobody’s buying.  Grrrrr.

  • BunkerBob

    Good advise all….I personally relate to the “you loot we shoot” comment.  I own numerous firearms, have emergency stores of water, dried food staples, good security system and of course, lots and lots and lots and lots of ammo.  Watch your six!!!

  • forest

    one more thing to remeber is do not put all of your supplys in one place have them in diffrent locations such as diffrent rooms and in vehicals

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407062387 Lizeth

      Emergency rooms were created to treat pittenas who are either in imminent life-threatening danger or they feel like their condition rewards immediate attention. Instead, many pittenas are being treated in emergency rooms who can be seen at a later time in their doctor’s offices, thus taking up valuable time and space that other more critical pittenas can occupy. I do not say that if a person is ill and needs immediate attention that they should not be seen at an ER but when there is no emergency do not go to the ER because it is just convenient. Health care professionals should know better than to advocate pittenas come to the ER because the wait time at their facilities is shorter than maybe another competing ER. Thanks, this was such a great and informative posting. Beverly Ward

  • Jim

    Get licensed to carry a concealed handgun and get used to having it with you. Buy a home defense weapon such as a shot gun. Make sure you follow the laws of your state in weapon use as lethal action should always be a last resort and you still could face a civil suit.

  • Tammi

    I did not see week 50, 51, or 52 is there a way you could email it to me. Thanks

    • http://www.readynutrition.com Tess Pennington

      Hi Tammi,

      The series is still going on, so weeks 50, 51 and 52 have not been covered yet.

      Thanks,

      Tess

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