How to harden your home:
In today’s blog, we’re covering hardening your home. This might sound unnecessary, but I assure you it is vital to have a plan. Your plan doesn’t have to be centered around the news, riots, and protests. You absolutely do not have to feel like you’re watching an episode of “doomsday preppers”. I assure you that the reasons are simpler than you think! Some of the reasons that you might need to know how to harden your home are:
- Civil Un-Rest
- From people
- From animals
When you’re looking to harden your home, you don’t have to put up a 10 feet steel fence. Although that’s not a terrible idea! But there are easier and cheaper things to do to protect your loved ones if you can’t bug-out.
First, consider your perimeter.
Like I said, the 10 feet steel fence is ideal but probably not in line with your HOA not to mention practical! However, a wooden privacy fence would be a great substitute. Either a 6-8’ fence, even just around your back yard is enough to stave off would-be intruders since a fence that high is difficult to scale.
A natural barrier to a yard, if a fence is not available or affordable (they are expensive!) are rose bushes! Their thorny nature makes them difficult to climb through. Any shrubbery or bushes, if they’re dense enough can be a natural barrier and create resistance to those trying to intrude.
Something to consider is if you can see 100% of your perimeter from the culmination of your windows. You can check this by going around to each of your windows and making sure that each field of view from each window overlaps. You should be able to see a 360 view around your home.
If your water shut off is exposed I would recommend that you build a fortified box around it so no one can tamper with it. This also goes for any gas lines, electrical lines, air conditioner unit, and other such equipment around your property.
Second, Points of entry.
This means windows, doors, chimneys, and any possible way someone could break the threshold to your home. I highly recommend that you get an alarm system on your home. As “overkill” as it may seem, it can be the difference between life and death. ADT is a great company that has a variety of security packages. There are security panels that give you the ability to signal police, fire, or a silent distress signal. These are vital even in a small town. Many security companies have what is known as a “glass break”. This little device is installed up central to large picture windows. If the windows break the alarm goes off. This is important when your windows are not armed as a door is.
My recommendation is getting an alarm system and arming your doors. I also recommend investing in steel core doors. Another way to reinforce your perimeter doors is to add longer screws to the hinges. A screw that is 3” in length will penetrate the stud in the frame of the door. Adding these screws will make it much harder for someone to kick the door in. Other suggestions include a heavy duty deadbolt, a reinforce plate (a metal plate that encases the door around the door knob and dead bolt]), get a door with a peephole, and don’t neglect the back door! If you have a back door similar to your front door, simply repeat the hardening step above. If you have a glass sliding back door I recommend investing in a good lock and deadbolt for that also. I also recommend that you get a thick piece of wood or metal to use as a door stop. Alarm your back door as well.
To reinforce your windows in the case of a hurricane or riots you will need plywood. Buy enough plywood to cover every window. Cut the wood between 2 and 3 inches larger than the window. You might need to cut the wood larger to ensure that the screws go into a stud. Label each piece of wood as to what room and window it goes in and store it in your garage. Don’t forget to have enough screws on hand, set aside from your normal stock, for the window barricades. If you don’t want to do this for every window in your home, I strongly suggest that you at least do the large windows in the large living area.
Third, stockpile supplies.
If you’re going down the mental path of barricading your home from the inside I would imagine that you’ve thought about what you’re going to feed your kids. This is where having a stockpile comes in. Now, you don’t need to go all crazy and get 5 years of freeze dried food. Although this isn’t a terrible idea, you don’t need to go that far just yet if you don’t want too.
I would recommend having at least 2 months of food and water somewhere. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of space. There are many resources on Pinterest regarding emergency food storage. I recommend Mountain home, thrive, wise food storage, and oddly enough, Costco has a great selection of yearlong sustainment packages to choose from. Just don’t forget the water!
Fourth, have a plan.
As in always, always, always, have a plan! Have a rubric to gauge how bad things before you feel the need to shelter in. Sit down and talk with your spouse and kids (depending on their age, they may not be emotionally ready for this yet), and let them know “If that happens, then we will protect ourselves by doing this.”
Although this is NOT an exhaustive list of what you need to do to fortify your home, it will get you started on the right path to making decisions that are best for your family. As I always say, the mindset is 90% of everything. Having the right mindset and plan can help you fill in the holes to what you don’t physically have done around your home.