If you can conceive of the worst possible scenarios following an apocalyptic disaster or WMD attack, then it is essential to have plans in place, along with the many contingencies that would protect you, your family and your property should you need to dig in.
In the worst of scenarios, your home is most likely going to be your last line of defense and last minute attempts to fortify your house may prove ineffectual and, ultimately, deadly to you and your family.
When the military takes a position and digs in, the “what ifs” are endless, but they prepare for as many contingencies that can be imagined. Digging-in, in a suburban or rural setting, presents a range of possible “what ifs” that go beyond the thought process of a military officer.
The gravest threat is the hungry throngs of people who have had neither the foresight nor inclination to do any planning or prepping of their own. Faced with depleted provisions, their only source of food and supplies are their neighbors. At the very least, you can expect mass looting, and even that may be the least of your worries.
It’s highly likely that among the ill-prepared masses will be some military-wannabe yahoos who’ve been waiting for the chance to use the weapons they’ve been stockpiling and maintaining for just such an event. Your house is an obvious target objective, so your fortifications need to be planned with a military-like strategy and attention to detailed tactics.
A fortified house may deter some, but the well-armed scavenger may look upon it as a mild challenge on his way to getting what he needs (a house is only fortified by someone with something to protect). Planning for an armed assault will provide the greatest measure of protection and could provide the needed deterrent against those who don’t want to take unnecessary risks.
Tactic 1: The first step you should take is to make your house appear as an unappealing target for scavengers. By creating the impression that it has already been hit, it may cause hurried looters to move on to a more appealing prospect. Spreading trash and mangled pieces of furniture and hardware on your front lawn could create the illusion of a house that has already been picked.
Tactic 2: The windows will likely be the first to go from stones or some ammo rounds. Having an ample supply of pre-cut plywood ready to bolt to your structure is a minimum requirement in preparation for an assault.
Better yet, roofing metal would be more effective at warding off intruders and would be a better bullet shield. In either case, it would be a good idea to prepare some of them with gun ports. This is a good time to point out that having a pre-charged drill on hand for fastening bolts and drilling holes would be essential.
Tactic 3: Have a good supply of sand bags on hand as these provide the best door seals and are able to withstand bullets and light artillery. Setting the bags two or three rows high against doors and entries will prevent intruders from busting through the doors. However, it is important not to completely seal off possible escape points.
Tactic 4: Your best line of sight is always from up high. By taking positions in the second floor rooms, you have the advantage over any street assault. If you don’t have a second floor, you will want to position yourself as high up on your first floor windows as is possible. Your gun ports should be near the top corners of your window shield.
Tactic 5: Keeping a 24/7 watch on all approaches to the house is difficult and the most tightly sealed house can still be vulnerable to an undetected assault. You should have plans and materials readily available to construct an early detection system.
A basic, yet effective trip wire scheme can be rigged utilizing low-tech materials such as high tension fish line and beer cans that will provide the noise alert that can freeze an intruder while giving you sufficient time to get into position.
If you want the element of surprise, you can rig a low-tech motion detection system that flashes a light inside of your house when it is triggered. From a concealed car battery, run an electric wire to a relay switch that is fixed to trip when the fish wire moves. It will trigger a current through a second copper wire that runs right to a light receptacle inside your house. Aside from tripping over a fish line, the intruder may not be any wiser as to the alert.
Tactic 6: Prepare your escape route. With tactics 1 through 5 fully executed, it is unlikely you will need to evacuate your house, but, an effective strategy must cover all of the contingencies. For those with basements in their house, tunneling to an adjoining property is an option, although it is not practical without a great deal of planning and effort (effort that might be better spent on other survival necessities).
If your house has been completely sealed, it will be difficult to make an escape undetected. As a cautionary measure, you may want to prepare the house for this contingency by installing a hidden or trap door that is undetectable from the outside. If it is installed on the least accessible side of the house (a side with no other entry), and you are able to create an effective diversion for the intruders on another side of the house, then your escape can be made safely.
Planning, strategy, tactics, contingencies and execution—it’s no different than a day in the life of a field ops officer. The real difference is that this is your home which has provided you and your family with shelter and warmth and may one day be your last line of defense.