Prep Monday—Security

I know I’ve talked about this often, but you really can’t have too much security around your homestead. Okay, maybe some things are a little over the top, but just like anything else, you have to construct, implement, and practice on a consistent basis.

We have had some fencing from the beginning, nearly the entire property. All but one side has been mostly fenced at one time, but two sides need repair and the front had huge gaps—most obviously by our gate.

Today, that changed. Four-strand barbed wire is now in place.

See, this has been on our list for some time and last week we bought materials. But when our neighbor called yesterday, and we were on the road about 30 miles away, to tell us someone had simply zoomed AROUND our closed and locked gate and gone to the house, I’ll admit that I panicked.

A bit.

He texted back soon after that it was the mail carrier. Still pisses me off. Who the hell drives around a locked gate?? Mail delivery or not!

So we stepped up our timetable.

Our purpose in buying materials when planning to put up the fence “soon” was because, well, you never know what’s going to happen and you certainly don’t know if any wire or posts will be available for purchase. So we planned ahead.

Yes, I know security is crucial and it should have been done sooner. The point is that nothing happened—although it could have—and now we have one less worry.

We’ve also installed a small security system and will be adding to it. It’s quite simple: motion detectors with a receiver that sounds in the house.

Honestly, it’s annoying as hell when one of us goes to the barn or gate and we forget to turn it off . . .

But it also sounds off by gate and is guaranteed to scare the crap out of anyone wandering around up there.

Additionally, we have a mobile receiver in case we’re not actually in the house and someone enters the property—by the gate as well as other points along our boundaries.

Overkill? I think not. You can’t stand in the middle of the farm and see everything, after all.

Let’s not forget neighbors—if ours hadn’t been paying attention and been able to contact us, and, of course, if it was someone besides the mail carrier, we’d have been in trouble.

And I can’t stress this enough: lock up at night and when you leave the property; maybe even when you’re out and about working on site. It really depends on your personal situation.

Around here, there aren’t many people that have business on our road; it’s a dead end and besides the neighbor across the road, there’s only one other family past us that normally accesses their property from here. Anything new or different, someone will notice and check it out.

Basic security—perimeter is first and depends on deterrence. Deterrence hinges on on ease of access: a gap versus barbed wire and heavily wooded property versus a cleared and clean look. You need some kind of alarm to tell you that perimeter has been breached, which allows for your second line of defense.

And that is often up to you.

Around here, I suspect the ETA of any deputies, or perhaps highway patrol, is at least 20-30 minutes by road. It could be less, sure, particularly if a LEO happens to be on a county road or state highway nearby. Still, we’re looking at probably close to ten minutes in that case.

That, too, is assuming there IS law enforcement. During SHTF, there probably won’t be.

Your home, it goes without saying, should be defensible and you should have backup plans for even that.




Prep Monday—Weapons

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s Tuesday. Our move to the farm has taken an unexpected turn, so that’s my excuse. Tune in Wednesday for all the details . . .

Weapons. Everyone should have one for defense.

Before you freak out over this statement, consider how many things could be USED as a weapon: canned good—yes, we all had a laugh over this Internet sensation, but think about this in the context of your home, not a classroom—heavy knickknacks, sharp knives, a large hardcover book.

Take a look around you. What if someone broke in to your home right this minute? Or what if you answered the door, expecting a religious treatise or something, and it was, instead, the bad guy?

The old baseball bat by the door is almost a cliché, but it could be effective. So, too, could a heavy object. Or a kitchen knife, if that’s the location of the break in. Almost anything can be used as a weapon, if you’re willing to grab it and get up close.

First, you have to have that mindset. Naturally, it depends on the situation—the intruder might just be annoying, or maybe he didn’t expect to find you at home and he’ll run. On the other hand, perhaps he IS bent on destruction, robbery, or death. Your death.

Mentally prepare, and have something at hand at all points of entry.

And practice. You might feel silly, but really, it could save your life or at least minimize injury; and no one has to know.

Then, of course, we have your standard weapons: guns, knives, hatchets, arrows, and so forth.

Practice daily or weekly, but practice. With firearms, you need to become familiar with the handgun or shotgun or rifle; you need to learn safety procedures and practice those EVERY TIME you bring out your weapon.

Ammo can be pricey, but you still must practice on a regular basis. Forget a quick-draw—just be ready to use it, slow and steady, if necessary. Defense consists of two prongs, if you will: mental prep and skill/ability. Even if you don’t “like” to use your firearm, you may, at some point, need to.

While handguns have less range than long guns, knives are typically used for an up-close encounter unless you become proficient at throwing. Throwing knives are, of course, different than a kitchen knife or a hunting knife; know the different and practice often. Start close to the target, and when you become consistent, move back and keep practicing. Same goes for hatchets. These are mid-range defenses.

Whatever your weapon of choice, you should strive to become proficient, and this means practice. Just like with common, everyday objects, you first need to mentally prepare to defend yourself and then have the weapon at hand—and then practice until it becomes second nature.

I know some of you will be concerned with who is to be accorded “bad guy” status. Sometimes, yes, this can be difficult to discern; pick up a psych book and do a little reading and research on signs and clues.

Most of the time, however, in spite of TV and movies, you’ll know right away that this intruder means you harm. After all, he’s already entered your home, or your space, uninvited, and he seems determined to come at you or steal from you or attack you.

This is not the time to wonder if he’s the “bad guy” or to run down a list of clues in your mind. This is the time to go on the offensive. Sure, you can wait until he makes his move, but that might be a fatal decision.

And sometimes, just a show of being well-armed with any kind of weapon is enough to deter the “bad guy.”