STAYING Part 2 DefenseCrystal Calhoun
The second part of the STAYING articles incorporates techniques and procedures designed to enhance your survivability in a designated location of your choosing. Staying in the place you’re in is the choice you made. In an effort to keep you and your family safe, let’s explore options and methods that will prove successful by creating a more defendable structure.
Defense is nothing more than the tasks associated with preventing an opposing force from causing harm. Militarily speaking, defense refers to keeping the opposition from strategically acquiring land or resources by protecting a specific location. When referring to sports activities, we associate defense as methods to keep the opposing team from scoring. When it comes to defending your home after the system fails, you are PREVENTING ALL UNWELCOMED invaders from acquiring your resources and safe haven.
Your safe haven’s weakest point, for most residential houses, is the windows. Very little effort is required to gain entry into a home when breaking a window. If the system has already collapsed and appearances are no longer a priority, board up your windows from the inside using a minimum of 1 inch plywood anchored with 3 inch lag screws into the window frame. The long screws will provide much more resistance than shorter screws. If you watched Will Smith in I Am Legend, you may have noticed he used armor plating that either slid into place or utilized a retractable roller system. Such a system can be purchased today at great expense, but the high cost is usually associated with the ascetics. If you plan on putting armor on your windows while things are normal, plan on keeping it as low profile as possible. Yes, your neighbors or guests will ask lots of questions if you fail to keep a low profile by placing large, bulky, steel plates that slide over your windows in your home.
The second weakest point to a residential home is the wall. Walls are more difficult to get through than windows, but not as difficult as one may think. A residential home’s walls are usually covered by a sheet of plywood and one layer of brick or siding on the exterior. A wall is nothing more than two by four wall studs and insulation. Ever seen a car crash into a house? That large hole means someone can now get into your dwelling. The corner of the house is more vulnerable than the middle for someone trying to gain entry by smashing a vehicle into the house. Less expensive methods to prevent such actions include placing decorative reinforced concrete barriers around the front of the home. Just because it looks like an elevated flower garden doesn’t mean it can’t perform extra duty. Planting thorny bushes, such as holly is also a good deterrent for individuals getting next to windows. A reinforced barricade will require planning, but can be very effective.
Barricading the front door is the easiest of all the techniques. Today’s modern steel door designs are very effective. When reinforcing the front door, REMEMBER TO REINFORCE THE FRAME. That expensive new door won’t hold up if the original wood frame is used. It just means when they break down the door, the frame and all goes crashing to the ground. An additional consideration is placing a reinforced bracing bar on the backside of the door. The bar locks in place on the backside of the door (usually close to the door knob) and connects into a space on the floor. This simple device provides a significant obstacle when trying to break through a door.
Whether they gain entry through the window, door, or through the walls, the other key consideration is to have an escape plan. Deciding well in advance on a route to get you and your family safely out of the dwelling you are in can pay dividends to your survivability. Don’t make the error of barricading yourself in with no means of escape. If you have a basement, consider a tunnel to a safe location. Otherwise, define a method that can get you out of the house while an invader is occupied trying to get in. Pick a route that leads you away from harm.
Remember, my key focus on these articles is and will continue to be increasing survivability. Avoiding harm to increase survivability means thinking in advance. Increase your situational awareness and know your neighborhood or the area around you. Next week, I’ll discuss offensive measures for STAYING.
Photo credit: ~sd-stock
Additional thoughts by Vicky
One thing that you could install now without attracting any unwanted attention is bullet proof film. It is great to reduce hail damage to windows. It is also suppose to help prevent projectals from entering through your windows during a tornado. Of course if the tornado is strong enough they will still come through your walls. That is if you still have walls.
You can find the type of roll down shutters that Read was referring by searching under Hurricane Shutters. I once read about a type of Austrian Hurricane Stutter that could withstand a rocket launcher blast. I wished that I had kept that link.
Keep in mind that anything that slows down unwanted entrance into your home may also slow down your exit from your home, especially during a fire. Make sure that bars can be quickly removed from the inside. I was glad to see Read point out the need for an espace route. Frustrated attackers may decide to burn you out even if it means they will lose any possible bounty.
Great jobs as usual Read!