Well, hello there!
My apologies for taking some time between installments. I figured that I had left you with $200-$1000 in stuff to get taken care of in the Part 1, Part 2, Part 2.1 and Part 2.11, so we could take a while and get caught up. Also, in the time since I wrote the original Part 3, I have moved and had to make my new residence fit in to the post. This caused me to re-examine and then re-re-examine my plans, and that takes a bit of time.
For those new to this series, I started writing it because 1. I think that every level of the government (local, state and federal) is doing a pretty crappy job in “protecting us” against terror attacks, and 2. Is not prepared to cover our asses during and after even a small sized natural disaster.
Which is good, because I do not believe that I would like to live in a place where the government had that much control over the movements and actions of the people.
I wrote the original series before Hurricane Katrina and only had my above mentioned beliefs fulfilled.
And lastly, I absolutely believe that Americans do things best when they do things by themselves and for themselves, hence the title.
It would probably be best for newcomers to start at Part 1 before going on. Make sure you read the comments sections. I am only one guy and, while I would like to be able to think of everything, I can’t, and there are some good ideas there too.
Anyway, today we’re going to talk about putting up a protective perimeter around your shelter (AKA: your house) in times of trouble.
We’re going to stick with the same scenario as in the last posts: Multiple small to medium scale terrorist attacks in and around your home and/or a moderate sized natural disaster (earthquake, flood, hurricane, etc) has knocked out power and water and killed/injured a number of first responders or has otherwise kept them from restoring normality.
You are hunkered down in your home with your family and are waiting out the storm until order and facilities are restored. You have read the previous sections and are equipped with enough food, water and armaments to make it for a month or so.
I’ve chosen for us to stay at home because moving you and yours and all the stuff necessary to stay alive is both difficult and dangerous. Roads blocked/cut-off and having to deal with the unprepared masses makes staying home (so long as there is a home) your best bet.
Also, as I mentioned at the end of Part 2, the government is only going to help you if the terms are of their choosing. This will mean leaving all food, water, personal items and weaponry behind for the looters. I like my stuff and I dislike sleeping in a gymnasium or temproary camp. I’ll wait it out, TYVM.
We’re going to go about ten to fifteen days into the problem and there are lightly armed gangs of approximately ten people or so who are hungry and thirsty running about, going from house to house in your neighborhood looking for food and victims.
They are mostly on foot and hungry enough to try and break down your door. You have tried to stay low key, but they’ve figured out that there is someone there because the doors and windows are shut. Also, at least one of these gangs have managed to keep/get a car up and running and are willing to use it as a breaching ram.
Plausible scenario, agreed? OK then, here we go.
Your first line of defense is a fencing structure. It doesn’t really matter whether it is a live structure (hedge or row of small trees) or man made (wooden or metal). You want something that will provide a barrier that makes persons either have to go around, over or through. This will serve to slow them down and give you a place to pin them down at.
After you choose and build your alternative, you will want to do two things; know its distance from various points on your property and put it into your head that you CAN shoot through it. Do not let yourself be fooled into thinking that the cover you provide for your enemy is bulletproof. Let them find out that surprise later. Very few fencing materials can stop a 5.56 or 7.62 projectile and even a dozen 00Buck pellets will go through a hedge.
My last residence was more open than my current one, but this neighborhood itself is much more defendable. Also, since I live near two large sized military bases, I have multiple ex or retired service members and a couple current ones all within earshot. However, the majority of us live on postage stamp sized lots. We’re packed in tight, which has it’s plusses and minusses. You can probably figure the minusses out, and I’ll get into the plusses in just a bit.
I have one long shot from my roof of 425 yards and the rest are all easily under 100. Knowing your distances is easier than knowing your targets. During the power outage we had a couple months ago, my main worry was packs of 8-12 unfamiliar juveniles wandering through my neighborhood. Were they dangerous? I had no idea. What were these kids I’d never seen before doing wandering through? I had no idea. I haven’t heard from any of the neighbors about having been broken into during that time, so they were probably just harmless. But 10 days or so into an emergency could make the situation much more dangerous.
My residence has fencing on three sides, all 6ft tall or higher. I my back yard connects to three other back yards. One of the plusses of the houses being in tight is that there is no way to get a vehicle into any of these yards without damaging the machine to where it won’t run.
Since these sides will allow foot traffic only, I have pre-made a set of anti-personnel devices. These are not technically “boobytraps” as they do not require anything to set them off. However, if I were to say anymore than the words “Punji” and “Board”, I could get into trouble.
In a post I wrote shortly after the windstorm-caused power outage, RNS reader Greg left a wonderful idea regarding perimeter security in the comments section.
Buy yourself a few of these “Motion Detecting Game Cameras” and set them up in pre-determined locations. Set them for “strobe” and anyone hopping your perimeter will set the flash off and alert you to their presence. Another plus is that if the trespassers are wearing NVD’s they will probably be blinded for a few moments. I bought two and have plans for another two. Turn them on just before dusk and off after dawn and their batteries should last a decent while.
The fourth side of my residence is wide open.
One of the problems with living smack-dab in the middle of suburbia is the peer pressure to conform. No one else in the neighborhood has a fence along their sidewalk and driveway, so to set one up would make one stand out. I’m not a conformist, so I really don’t care about fitting in, but because we are renting this house, no improvements of that nature are allowed.
However, if I were going to set up a barrier, this is what I’d do.
I want my driveway accessible for me in day to day movements, which means I don’t want to put up a permanent fence or other structure, but I want it easily blocked in times of trouble.
There are two different routes available here: Large blocking structure or something strong that can be quickly strung across the entrance.
I can put the wife’s car across the yard and my truck across the driveway. With her habits, she’s probably got less than 1/4 of a tank of gas in there anyway and it’s fully insured, so what the hell, right? But that will give anyone who wants to use it good cover. Yes, a rifle round is able to go through both doors, but I’d rather not pay for their cover. I also have to remember to face the gas fill doors towards the house JIC I have to start syphoning for the generator.
My other option is a cable or chain fence that is strung across the entrance to the driveway. Trespassers will have to go through or over it, slowing themselves down and it provides no cover whatsoever. On the down side though, it will be eye catchingingly strange. Anyone with a brain will know someone is here.
To make this idea work, I can build permanent posts on either side of the driveway and have the cable or chain fence made up so that it is quick and easy to install. This is most easily done by putting in heavy duty light posts. An even better option would be those decorative, brick covered, rectangular concrete posts with lights on top. They’ll be more functional than the neighbors could ever guess.
One on either side of the driveway and another on the opposite corner of the yard would be enough. Cable or chain strung between each of them, then wrapping around the tree in the yard and ending wrapped around the 6×6 post that starts the corner of the backyard fence should do the trick.
Or, I can go a cheaper and even less involved route. Concreted piping in the ground that I can slip fence poles into. I would have an extra step in putting the posts in before I string my fencing, but that may even be stronger than an above ground structure. Just install eye bolts in the posts at your selected height intervals and you’re done.
Things to think about for the fence option: You want to make sure that you are the only one able to take it down. If you use the slip post method, you don’t want someone to be able to come along and pull your posts out of the ground. Think of a way to lock or bolt them in their place. Also, you don’t want to use something like carabineers to connect your fencing to the posts. The easier it is for you to put up the easier it is to take down. I like heavy duty C-bolts with either over-long threads or a lockable cross-bolt. These will also be strong enough to hold the fence together should the fence have to try and hold back a vehicle.
Is your driveway two cars wide? If so, you will probably want to have a support post in the middle to help hold the fence upright. You will probably have to have a hole cut in your driveway for a slip post.
Speaking of post holes, you will want your posts to be at least 2ft deep in the ground. 3ft would be better. You can decide on how tall you want your fence, but 3-4ft is probably enough. Remember, this fence should be made of at least 1/2 inch cable or chain and will not be lightweight.
You want to make the lowest string across a maximum of 18in off the ground and then another horizontal cross section every 8-12 inches. If you can, put a vertical string every 3-4ft so as to make it like a net. It’ll be stronger and harder to get through.
As I said before, all of this exterior preparation will probably make the house look occupied. The trick is to make the placement of things look random or haphazard. Not an easy thing to do. But if I toss stuff like the patio set, the lawnmower, the trash cans and odd junk from inside the house out into the front yard, people passing by might think the house has already been looted and therefore, less inviting.
The next step is to block up the entrances to your home.
With no power, gas or water, you have a few unusable lumps of metal inside your house. Your stove, washer and dryer, dishwasher and the refrigerator (if it is empty). While none of these is actually bulletproof, they make good door jams and cover. Just move them where you want them any they become useful once again.
For instance, the stove is probably the heaviest and can go behind the front door so that it can’t be forced open easily. The refrigerator is the tallest and thereby also the longest. It can be laid down in front of a sliding glass door for use as cover. Use the rest of the appliances in the same manor, to block doors and to give you added protection in your firing positions.
Now to any bodies that may pile up. This is a legal question and I am not a lawyer. But I do know that a gang of brigands trying to forcibly invade my home is a damn good reason to open fire. All I can say is to use you best judgment. Do what you want with the corpses. Stack them up or leave where they fell.
DO NOT let their friends come back and get them. You then loose the upper hand in any future legal questions that may arise.
Last but not least, remember to always leave yourself an out.
You may need to just un-ass the area and retreat if the attack is too strong and you don’t want to pen yourself in. Figure out which entrance is the hardest for the trespassers to get to and make that one your escape hatch. Have a vehilce loaded and ready to go.
Now, after all of this, you might also want to add improvised munitions to your defense arsenal, things such as remote directional explosives and booby traps. I would suggest that, if you haven’t as of yet, you look into those. They are oh, so handy.
There are hundreds of reference books out there for you to peruse, and I suggest doing so. Although I would not suggest you buy them online or use your credit card to purchase them, for obvious reasons.
Now that we have covered this topic, I would welcome any additional ideas in the comments section or my e-mail box.
I would also welcome any suggestions as to book titles and/or suppliers of said book titles. I know I am not the only one who buys these damn things. Although, it has been over a decade since I have had to make a new purchase, so help a brother out!
The next installment will cover ‘Good Neighbors and Bad Neighbors’.
Also, again, please feel free to put suggestion for future installments in either the comments or my e-mail box.