We’ve looked at several ways that you can protect your preparations: you can hide them (or at least keep quiet about them), you can plan to share your preparations, or, you can defend them. Last time we started talking about passive defense options (big dogs), and we’ll be discussing a couple more of those before we begin to look at active defense options.
You have to remember that anyone who feels like they need to come after your preparations is going to be feeling like their situation is pretty dire. In order to steal—or worse, confront you for—your preparations, they are going to be pretty motivated. Their life could be on the line, and they could feel like they have nothing to lose. That doesn’t mean you need to lose your ability to take care of yourself…but it does mean that you need to be pretty serious about your defense.
So, let’s suppose the invader has somehow gotten past your big dog…what’s next?
One thing you could do is make your house less accessible to people that are not supposed to be there.
Whether you’re expecting an emergency or not, you should probably be in the habit of locking your doors and windows. If your doors and windows are unlocked—especially if you’re away from home—you’re inviting the “bad guys” to steal your stuff. You might as well leave some fresh cookies out on the table so they can make themselves at home, because your house is such an easy target that you may be robbed even if there isn’t an emergency and the situation isn’t dire.
If you keep a key outside, be sure that it is very well concealed.
Once your house is no longer wide open to anyone passing by, the next thing to do is to look for weak spots. If you’ve ever accidentally locked yourself out of the house and tried to get back inside without a key, you may already know where the weak spots are.
Usually the weak spots will be doors and windows. Some people may have other weak spots, like some sort of vent, or a skylight.
After you’ve identified your weak spots, reinforce them.
To reinforce your doors, if you’re really serious about defending your home, you’ll want a metal door. Those are pricey. A cheaper option is to buy a special plate that prevents doors from being kicked in. (The plate is installed on the doorframe near where the locks are.) You can get one at a home improvement store, and they’re very inexpensive, definitely under $20, maybe under $10. You should also have a peephole with a wide range of view.
To reinforce your windows, bars are probably the most secure option, but they may not be suitable for all neighborhoods. Instead, you may consider applying a security film, to make windows shatter-proof. Depending on what kind of emergency you’re preparing for, you could also have wood panels cut to size so that in an emergency you can board up your windows quickly. That would depend on what you’re preparing for, though, and may not apply to everyone.
To make your home less of a temptation at night, install security lighting, with motion sensors. Test it.
If you really want to be fancy, you can also install security cameras, to monitor your property.
Your assignment this week is to assess your home and find the weak spots. Then, decide what you’re going to do to make your home more secure. Next time, we’ll look at one more passive way to defend your preparations.
In the meantime, if you can think of any other ways that people can secure their homes, please feel free to share them in the comments!