In a crisis people can get real nasty. They use the fear and frustration of the crowds to burn, loot, pillage and steal whatever they want, without any thought to the consequences. Because, more often than not, they’re going to get away with it. Without active police or any kind of assistance from local law enforcement, it’s up to homeowners like you and me to put real strategies in place to keep looters away from our homes.
Looting is inevitable. Once a disaster strikes it’s like the cockroaches scuttling out of the cracks to take advantage of the chaos to look out only for themselves. And the worst part is often they’re not just looking for food or other survival supplies, they’re walking off with your high-end televisions, jewelry and whatever else of value they can find. It’s just robbery, done in the aftermath of a SHTF event. But here’s how you can keep them from your home.
Don’t be a target
Running a generator to keep the lights on is nice and comfortable, but in a neighborhood with the grid down and your house is lit up like a Christmas tree it’s inevitable you will become a target. Think stealth, and be selective on which lights or power you run. For us, we’ve got a smaller kitchen in our basement, complete with blackout windows. The idea being that if we were the only house for miles with any power, you wouldn’t be able to tell, so long as the only lights that were on were the ones in the basement. The last thing we want is to advertise just “how good” we’re living with a crisis going on.
Don’t be an easy mark
Solid fortifications will go a long way in keeping all but the most determined looters out. Having strong external doors with reinforced frames will ensure it’s not easy to kick in, and thick ply on the windows that has been securely screwed into place will give many opportunistic looters pause. You want them thinking that breaking into your house is just too difficult. Make yours the most secure home on the block, and you’ll be the last one that gets looted because they’ll aim for all the easier marks first. We’ve attached security screens to out windows, and even cleared out a wide-open space surrounding our home so you have zero cover approaching out home. Perfect for us to defend.
Don’t avoid a confrontation
While looters at your gates is a scary experience, you have to remember that none of them want to get hurt or killed either. Instead of hiding out, make your presence in your home known, so anyone trying to break in is well aware it’s not an empty house. If you’ve got firearms, make it clear that any attempt to break in will be met with returning fire, and a couple of shots sent skyward can be a fantastic warning that will send most looters running for cover. But do be prepared that they might shoot back, and ensure you’ve got somewhere you can take shelter, out of sight and protected from any return fire.
Don’t open the gates
Fences work both ways, they may deter some potential looters who see the risk of attacking your home to be too great (especially if you’ve made “looters will be shot” signs), but they also may advertise there’s something behind worth stealing. In a more suburban setting I’d go for the biggest security fence I could find, but out here in the sticks I’ve used trees and natural ridgelines to create an almost impenetrable natural wall that you’d never thing to try to push through (unless of course you knew exactly where you were headed).
Don’t let it be dark
Just like cockroaches looters like to operate with anonymity under the cover of darkness. I’ve setup a rather bright set of floodlights that light up the entire perimeter of our home, as well as smaller, motion-triggered silent alarms, cameras and lights. If someone is approaching down our driveway we get notified, and they’re lit up like daylight before they even get close to our house. And that’s before we even turn on the “big” lights. If they were shooting they’d be blinded by the change, while we’ve got a perfect target illuminated.
Don’t do it alone
Aside from my family, we’ve got four big dogs on our property. They serve a dual purpose of being loving companions to my kids, but they’re also trained attack dogs. If anyone, and I mean anyone, gets close to our home without our knowing, you can bet the dogs have already discovered the intruder and they’re barking at us to draw our attention. Of course, determined looters may just shoot the dogs if they’re really intent on breaking into our home, but hopefully not before they’ve faced the wrath of our dogs, and there’s no way this will go down without us knowing they’re coming.
Don’t let a fire burn
Unfortunately, many looters who aren’t able to breach an initial target return later to “burn them out.” You’ll have seen shops and homes looted, torched and completely destroyed because of some small, ill-perceived slight the looters imagine occurred. If you successfully repel a group from your home, ensure you have the firefighting materials, extinguishers and fire blankets to contain the blaze they are very statistically likely to return to set. These people aren’t thinking with rational minds, and you don’t want to go down in a blaze of glory either.
Keeping looters away from your home requires a bit of common sense with how you operate once the SHTF, as well as taking action now on some key fortifications, defensive measures, and of course, ensuring you have enough firepower to successfully defend your home from those intent on taking what’s yours and yours alone. Don’t leave it too late to start getting prepared, you never know when the next big crisis will hit.