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John

Bug-In Castle Defense

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Here's my real life scenario. I live in the south in a small "urban" community of about 24,000 less than 10 miles from the capitol city, tri-county area of 300,000 give or take a few. My home is in an upscale neighborhood only 2 miles off the interstate. I am a long time firearms user but nobody else in my family, wife, one 13 year old daughter special ed student has ever shot a firearm and would prefer not to. I have another older daughter that works in another state.

 

My bug-in plan such as it is would be to defend my castle from anybody for as long as possible until calm or civil order is restored during any number of bad case SHTFs. I try to remain optimistic about this.

 

I have two garage doors which I do not think could be easily breeched unless somebody rammed then with a vehicle....very possible. I have a weak front door but a piano nearby. That makes a back door and the garage entry into the hallway. Downside is lots of windows in every room.

 

I will have enough food and water to last 3-5 days but am building more stores. Weapons and ammo not an issue. I have natural gas which has never been cut off during hurricanes and neither has the city water, but these could be lost. I have a Coleman stove and lanterns, candles and plenty of flashlights, batteries, etc. There are many other factors that contribute here, but don't want to take up more space to detail them.

 

I would just like to hear from others in similar situations or thoughts from all the Brotherhood of SC.

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John,

There are a lot of similarities between your situation and mine (and some differences too). I'm abt 10 miles from the county seat (and population center) but on farmland 400 yds off the back road. Somewhat secluded, but not totally hidden. I plan on starting some small-scale farming/gardening and also have a small stocked lake on my property. Consequently, I'm hoping to stay right here as long as possible.

 

My biggest concern is securing the house. I also have a lot of windows and that is the weakest link. Security bars would be great on the lower floor windows, but my wife doesn't like the idea. What I might do is weld up some bars and have them ready to install if things start to get sketchy. I've been thinking of installing a wireless camera system (already have alarm set-up) for advance warning. My 3 dogs will assist with that as well!

 

When my place was built in '95, the owner made an area partially below ground w/a concrete floor and cinder-block walls (no windows); only accesible through the crawl space door in my garage. I'm working on this now to make it a safe-room and store room. Goal is to have minimum of 40 days of food/supplies for 4 people. Presently have about a week. I've got 2 generators ready to go, well-water, and propane tank for heat. Also have a fireplace and all the wood needed should the propane go dry.

 

I've been a gun nut since the '70's and my wife has begun taking an interest in the shooting sports. (Her favorite TV show is Top Shot). My teenaged daughter and son are not real interested, although I would like to get them onboard.

 

Well, that's my situation! I feel that I'm on the right track, but have more to do and learn.

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My place does not have the best in terms of doors but the windows are elevated due to my house being on a hill. Excluding a basement window or a split level home that has windows very low to the ground I would fortify the doors.

 

I only worry about someone or group being able to charge in quick. Kicking in the door or window will be loud enough to wake me and the dog (your real concern at my house)- but only the door ways give enough room for zombies to rush in with numbers.

 

I would recomend a deadbolt or interior latch to the hallway door and the dog remain in the living room. This way you should hear the front, side, or basement door go down, dog goes crazy, and if they shoot the dog, then there is another door to get kicked down. Should give me at least 60 seconds to awake and get my first pistol from bed stand and long gun from closet if I hear gun fire on the dog.

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Here is one of the ultimates I have seen, in person from a boat, and is now for sale. Took the photos of the website

http://www.baggettlakehome.com/

 

I highly recommend you look at this "castle" b/c that is what they built.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]100[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]101[/ATTACH]

Good Grief! The only problem is that it says "value here - come loot". That and the fact that I couldn't afford it. Of course, if I had it I could put some cannons on it and .............

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John,

most of us urban types have similar issues. Iron bars sound good - but I can take them out with a chain and my truck in a few seconds. Most houses, mine included, have too many windows. I helped my situation by replacing the sliding patio door with French doors. Looks good and more secure AND I get a doggy door for added security in the back yard. Yes, I do know that bad guys can come in those doors but I also know that if they do, my two pups will try to eat their faces off. Solid doors for inside rooms are a best bet. As far as possible, set up a safe room with a solid, outside door and deadbolt system. For security, hollow core doors might as well not be there. If they got inside, they will just kick down the standard inside door. If it is a break-in and NOT a large scale TSHTF event a solid, outside door and deadbolt will give plenty of time for police response.

Raised flower beds in the front lawn are an excellent idea. It breaks up the ability to drive into the house and gives excellent firing position if needed. You are not some prepper nut - you are a serious gardener making your neighborhood more beautiful.

Make a range card of your neighborhood so you know how far it is to the tree down the street or anywhere else the BG's might hide. Thorn bushes are great around windows (does make it hard to put up hurricane plywood) to discourage entrance. Again, it is landscaping, not prepping.

Five gallon buckets of sand make decent revetments around windows (inside so they are invisible) post SHTF. Gives a little cover from small arms - not totally effective against rifle fire but pistol, shotgun and carbine will have trouble getting through it. Of course, that is a lot of sand and quite a few buckets.

A big concern is fire. The MZB might just set fire to your neighbor's place and then your house is in jeopardy. Make sure you have a decent roof and keep it clean of leaves, pine needles any flammables. You don't want to have to try to fight a fire while being shot at.

One of the best techniques (in my not so humble opinion) is to channel the attack. If I can make most avenues of approach undesirable (things with thorns - rose bushes, tropical plants etc.) then I can concentrate my defenses on the avenues that are left. Not 100% effective of course but against MZB it gives you an edge. Military trained folks will see through it, but most MZB are not members of a SEAL team.

Try to give yourself defense in depth. Look at the old castles. If you got past the moat, there was the wall. If you got past the wall, there was the inner wall. If you got past that, there was the tower.

While it may help to make your place look picked over already, keeping the BG's out entirely is my preference. Defense in depth, long range engagement (if they have pistols your carbine out ranges them - read the story of the Northfield, Minnesota raid by the James-Younger gang - 50 yards is LONG for most pistol shooters), channeled approaches all are a great help and can be done without obviously setting your house up as a target.

Finally, leave yourself a back door (emergency exit). If the BG's get you into your safe room and you don't have a back door, you may be faced with the choice of them or a fire. Not a choice I'd want to make.

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If you're going to have any chance in a hunker down situation you have to make sure all windows and doors can be secured quickly. Good suggestion is to go into hurricane mode, plywood for windows, prep the portal with anchors so the plywood can go up quickly, iron bars, big deadbolts, metal door skins. You can kick the panels out of garage doors easily so secure the door into the home especially well. Make the home look like its vacant and of no use to looters. 3-5 days of water is nothing. stock up on canned veggies and fruit, lots of water in those. There is literally hundreds of things you should consider in this scenario.

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I think there is some great advice in this thread, and Capt Bart gave some that I really liked.

 

I personally have made a range card for every window of everywhere I've lived. One of my essential items is a Leupold RX-II laser rangefinder. I bought it "officially" for predator hunting, but I use it to make range cards and keep it in my go bag if I ever need to lase something or make new cards for a new location. I also use the concept of "defense in depth" in my life in various ways, and home defense preparation is no different. This is a concept that everyone should be well versed with, because there is no single or even double layer of protection that can provide safety. I also like creating a channeled approach. If you can create a "fatal funnel" on a large scale, you have a tactical advantage that could be very hard to overcome.

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I got married about a year and a half ago. we (I) moved into her house because it was bigger. Both houses were built in the early to mid seventies, are brick and have those high (5ft fro ground ) windows. One or two in each room. My house (like minded) best friend lives two doors down at the entrace to the cul-de-sac. So I have some decent options. A little plywood, and I'm about as secure as a normal house is going to get. I already have metal doors and the windows are pre set up for the plywood and plywood panels are already cut and labeled (for hurricanes.)

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Capt- Thanks for the good thoughts. I have some of these barriers but probably had not considered them such. Good point here is a really thorough eval on the whole property. No option for a back door since I assume any group with any organization would be assaulting all the doors at the same time. Maybe not. I have long range and front porch repellants but again tough for one gun to cover all points. Maybe I can get wife to reload like bunch on Jose Wales.

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2How- Hit us with some more of those 1000 things. Have considered the plywood covers, but seems to me it would draw attention if there is no storm about especially if it is the only house in the whole neighborhood with them. One good thing is that my house is in the 3rd section of the neighborhood with plenty of places to loot before they get back to us.

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If the SHTF event is short term, say three weeks then you may be ok without doing any mods to your house or property.

 

If, on the other hand it is a long term event such as two or more months then you will be in a world of hurt if large amount of refugees come by your house or can see your house from a major road. Once it become apparent to a large segment of the population that the lights are not coming back on anytime soon and thefood and water runs out people who can, will move to find food and water. Think of 40 or 50 (or more) people coming to your house each day, will you be able to fend them all off? Even the act of running them off will draw more people... it is a no win situation.

 

That is why, if your main house is within 100 miles of large population center, you should think about having a bug out location out the the path of the so called "golden Horde". If people can't find you they can steal/hurt/kill you.

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IMO care should be taken to make your house look vacant, and not worth looting. shutters or plywood will keep people from looking in and certain plants and hedges will make it difficult to navigate in your yard .

 

Go to survivalblog.com and search the archives, some great info there.

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Offensive landscaping can do quite a bit to secure your home. The windows on my house have bushes growing right up against the house 4 feet high. This wont stop anyone determined but it wont make it easy for them. just make sure you keep everything trimmed regularly so it's not a potential ambush point for you. Pick a bush that grows thick enough people cant hide in them or has thorns. As for the front door next time your at home depot look at the steel security screen door section. The white ones reflect a lot of the outside light back so if your indoor lights are off you cant see in. I think its all ready been said but if your cant put the bars/boards up then your can keep them on hand. Put security window film on your windows it will buy your enough time to get to your gun http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM3273537201P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM3273537201 I don't know how big of an attack you plan on holding off but if things get really bad having the stuff on hand to build a barbed wire obstacle could buy a lot of time but its overkill even in a lot of SHTF situations.

As for making your house look vacant that could back fire. Refugees looters looking for food, warm place to sleep, or really anything may think it's a good place to setup camp or an easy target for what ever is there. Normal people aren't looking to kill you over canned corn if they can get it for free at the neighbors on vacations house.

Edited by Autonomous

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IMO care should be taken to make your house look vacant, and not worth looting. shutters or plywood will keep people from looking in and certain plants and hedges will make it difficult to navigate in your yard .

 

Go to survivalblog.com and search the archives, some great info there.

another thought is yellow crime scene tape and/or bio-hazard quarantine stickers. If it looks already picked over or dangerous just to go there, you might get a pass. Never tell this to anyone.

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All of you have an excellent point as far as protecting your house goes, but what if you live in an apartment? For example, i live on the second floor of an apartment, so what would i do to fortify my living space if it came under seige from muraders?

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All of you have an excellent point as far as protecting your house goes, but what if you live in an apartment? For example, i live on the second floor of an apartment, so what would i do to fortify my living space if it came under seige from muraders?

 

Many of the same measures, except the outdoor defenses and the heavy duty interior defenses, pre-SHTF. You can do things like pile the entrance hallway with scrap to make entry into your building difficult. You can screw doors shut to slow things down. You can place piles of scrap on your balcony making it difficult for swift entry into your apartment that way. Move between buildings by making holes in the wall between apartments, so you do not back yourself in a corner or move out in the open. Create a camouflaged escape path that does not use the main entrances of the complex. Network with neighbors and see if you can get a few like-minded individuals together to put up a united defense. Read up on urban combat and apply what you can to your situation. Prepare for both your neighbors and external threats. Decide how far you'll share your preps with neighbors in order to get a secure situation (hopefully people to help secure the complex, do work like make rat holes and throwing scrap into the entrances, moving cars to funnel attackers, etc).

 

It's doable, but not preferable in many ways. I would worry about a "Lord of the Flies" scenario breaking out before a threat from the outside manifested. You would be the one prepared, you would be the one with the most to lose.

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If you want a chill to run down your back, watch the movie Children of Men starring Clive Owen with the scenes in the apartment house in the urban setting. This of course has to be the ultimate worst case scenario with factions within and outside the government combating on the streets. Pray Lord it never comes to that.

 

One of my major concerns is fire. If the water is off, then I see no defense for that beyond the fire extinguisher. I have some hope on the low-profile, look abandoned profile. Capt has a good idea with the yellow crime tape. It could be the neighbors (some) would/could rally to form defense patrol teams. I have one neighbor who would probably make a good partner, but he has 4 girls, all young, and a wife that would be tough to be around over the long haul. Plenty to ponder.

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i already worry about just 1 robber potentially showing up, in the middle of the night and i think it would be a pure blessing to survive a drive-by, based on how the house is on a hill, angled to the road, if it were flanked, it'd be all over. in the worst case lights out scenario, i'm leaving within 48 hours, there's no natural water source thats safely accessible (huge percentages in being robbed and rape) for 50 miles. theres nothing to fight for when it could be lost by 1 simple molotov. Sure 12 or so miles due north is the Chattanooga river, but at the 3 mile mark starts the Ghetto, and if you survived that, theres 2 miles of sniper city. then with nearly 300,000 gallons of raw sewage that got into that river a few years ago at that particular point across the river is the sewage treatment plant, theres a huge risk of infection. i'm sure we'd be better off at the in-laws.

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Any serious military tactician will tell you that there are some places that are just not defensible. If you are unfortunate enough to live is such a place, begin your bug out now. Find an acceptable BOL and start getting it ready. Or better yet, move to a place that can be defended in addition to having a BOL. In 'Alas, Babylon' the brother KNEW that no where around Omaha (SAC Headquarters) would be safe so he "bugged out" his family the day before TEOTWAWKI. Trouble with bugging out is, as always, timing. Too soon and you are an idiot who wrecks his job/life; too late and you are just dead.

Take a really, really hard look at your situation. Decide what you can live with and what you must GOOD for. Be really hard nosed about it. Everybody that bugs in faces the "I've got to go, NOW!" decision. Even at your BOL you may have to decide to go again. You do have a plan C, right? Yeah, me neither but I'm working on it.

If even the most likely TSHTF scenario (a home invasion robbery perhaps) is not survivable (you live in NJ, NYC, Chicago other such gun phobic areas) then being a survivalist means you must move. Every one who fortifies and hunkers down has a top limit of what they can do. The French failed to hold Dien Bien Phu,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dien_Bien_Phu

while the US Marines held at Khe Sanh in RVN

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Khe_Sanh

Technology and preps made the difference in these cases. The results speak for themselves. Sometimes, with what you have, you can't hold and must run. Rebel, sounds like you can't Bug In for most area wide situations. Given your description, I'd bet you don't have 48 hours - you may have 12 or less. Take a serious look at the history of the area. During past events, how did it go down. Best bet is to be gone 24 hours before, not trying to get out 48 hours after.

You still have to survive the "private" SHTF scenarios. If you can do that, then other considerations come to the front. Things like denying street access by blocking the road (felled trees, burned out hulks, etc) might help if it is TEOTWAWKI but it will take serious planning.

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Of course everyone has a different set of circumstances and different elements to deal with. The big unknown is any firm idea of what will exactly tough off a SHTF and its scale. Maybe its a Wall Street Riot or a run at the SNAP office for food stamps during a shortage of food or gas. We know we have to drink, eat, and maintain hygiene. We have to protect family first, then property. If we have a Bug Out option, then we have to get to it. I suspect this is going to have to be done very early in the scenario. I am mindful of less than 8 hours after the hurricane evacuations came before the highways out were completely log jammed. Last winter the entire inner city highway loop was shut down due to an ice storm that stranded hundreds of vehicles on the ramps and loops at rush hour. They were half the night getting it straightened out. If you were trying to escape in such a mess you wouldn't make it 20 miles. So plan for water, food, necessities, and defense as best you can and as you can afford it. The tough part is such a SHTF may never actually ever happen.

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Smokecheck: Yep, as a psychologist I am rather sensitive to the bahavior of others especially under stress. If you partner up with anybody, family or friend, you best be darn sure they are highly compatible with you and your family. I have seen several excellent videos which many have also seen about being careful when the non-prepped folks next door show up on your porch. It is a tough decision to turn people away, but few of us can afford to plan and stock up for others that have done nothing or who could contribute nothing. These are the hard choices. Flip side is looking at others to partner for defense, strength in numbers, sharing food, resouces, skills, etc. Bugging in is not the option for all, but right now it is my best one.

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Well I messed around with paint a bit, and made a pic of a type of set up I would want.

 

I would try to make it uphill too, this would be expensive, and its do-able with money management and time, as well as a good job, If I was super rich I would add a mote but... lol

 

The Yellow is crops, the trees are apple trees and other edible fruit bearing trees. The bunkers would be under my crops and have a trap-door like entrance, hidden of course.

 

It was messing up on the uploader so click on this or visit it

 

http://s1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd479/Daniel_Verrier/MHHHEH/?action=view&current=HOUSE2SHTF-1.jpg&t=1318662338455#!oZZ2QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs1221.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd479%2FDaniel_Verrier%2FMHHHEH%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3DHousePlansSHTFTEOTWAWKI.jpg

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