Thursday, October 27, 2016

Home Front: Home defence and preparedness.

The folks atSimpliSafe home security, have done a lot to help everyone understand the importance of protection. This month, they're having everyone think about the subject and hear how we'd survive if we found ourselves in one of our favorite scary movies or shows. I wanted to give you all my take on what items would you utilize to protect yourself and your home in the case of a zombie apocalypse or lawless nation?"

The idea being how it's hard to find accurate survival movies, and we can all agree there is nothing worse than an incompetent character trying to survive in a film. Being such an avid survivalist myself, or at least a vocal one, I wanted to give my take on protecting my home from the most terrifying of scenarios. Bug-in-style.

So first up, lets talk scenario:
Without going too supernatural, in which a lot of options are right out, I'd like to go for a grounded, realistic and scary situation, the top of my list would sit at the 28 Days later or Dawn of the Dead style zombie apocalypse: mass casualties, civil disarray, utilities slowly winding down as infrastructure collapses, total lawlessness, and fast, savage, infectious and hungry semi-living foes.

Not a lot of lead up, maybe a couple of days at most as the situation escalated from "this just in..." news on the TV to "martial law" and then "....static ..." of the fall of civilisation. Sure it would be possible to talk about "how to best make a fort, but I've covered that kind of thing before. This situation is "hey, the world just ended, how do you make your house safer?"

Aside from providing a secure wireless security system, the folks at SimpliSafe had this cool Layered Defense presentation that made a lot of sense, in a regular world security perspective, and I thought I'd build on that:

  1.  The Safe Room: safe, flashlight, mobile phone.
  2.  Inside the house: TV & lamp timers, hidden valuables, obstruction under windows, heavy drapes, wireless alarm systems.
  3.  Walls, Doors & Windows: Garage with multiple locks, solid reinforced doors, waring signs, security film, keyed window locks.
  4.  The Grounds: security lights, gravel, outdoor lighting, prickly plants, dog.
  5.  Locked gates: low level fencing, more warning signs.
  6.  The neighbourhood: Know your neighbours, street lighting, neighbourhood watch.

So that's a lot of good points. Do we have a "safe room" well, given the layout of the house, the best option is probably Tactical baby's room, which has a single window facing the side of the house next to us, and no access to it elsewhere. Protection through obscurity.

More on the neighbours houses later ...
Inside the house we have a lot of things covered, blinds and locks, including sliding windows blocked with rods dropped into the rails to prevent unwanted sliding, even if unlocked. In this situation, you wouldn't want timers switching lights ON at night, but rather, OFF, to obscure your presence, even if there were still mains power.

Our grounds could do with some serious work, but the solid wall of houses on one side acting as a double protection, the biggest concerns are the bay-window facing the street.

My plan would be to barricade this inside and out, using futon-bed slats as a basis to bar it and layers of cladding to seal it up. Higher windows aren't as much of a concern, except for noise and light discipline.  Our backyard fence is a bit rickety, but can be reinforced from the inside, and materials salvaged from our shed could also assist in reinforcing it, and barricading. In the worst case, we could just fall back, and barricade the back of the house, abandoning the back-yard. If I could rig up hurricane fencing, even on the inside of the wooden slat fence, I'd be a lot happier. as its a rental, the chances of getting the fence replaced is pretty slim.

Our front yard, with its white picket fence, and big windows presents its own problems. Not high enough or strong enough to obscure the home, or repel hordes, it does offer a buffer, and allows you some visibility as to what's going on. By reinforcing and barricading the windows, again, with shed walls, and bed-slats, you could quickly rig up a hurricane and zombie resistant house-front.

We recently replaced the aging fly-wire and aluminium frame screen door, with a steel mesh and framed security door, complete with new wooden beams to fit it to, giving us a much more secure front entrance. Coupled with our Strike Plate lock, the front door is more secure now.

Here's where my plans get devious. Given the scenario laid out, our home isn't great, defensively, but my neighbors house is. Walled in by our house, and their other side neighbors, and again at the back. Walled garden at the back. Solar power, rain tanks. Roof access between their and ours (the gap is only about 1.5m).

If the world came to a horrid, zombie infested end? We'd secure our place as best we could, and make plans to move one house over. Know your neighbors. Know your neighborhood. Be well respected, appreciated and valued. Look out for each other and be ready to help when called, and you'll be welcomed in times of adversity, AND know where the best bolt-holes are.

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