How to Fortify Your Home Against an SHTF Event
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So, our modern times have you wondering how to fortify your home for an SHTF event. Whether it’s the craziness of our current times, the riots, the economy, the state of politics, the pandemic, China, etc., you’re right to be concerned.
And, if you’re concerned, then this blog post is for you. In it, I will share the ins and outs of fortifying your home so that when life goes south, at least your house won’t be taken by surprise.
With that, let’s get into getting your home for an SHTF event.
What Does It Mean to Fortify a House?
More and more people are turning to prepping these days to protect themselves and their families in the event of an emergency. But what does it mean to “fortify” your home?
Fortifying your house means making it more secure. When it comes to making your home safer, there are three main areas that you can work on.
The areas that you can work on to make your home more prepared for a potential SHTF event are:
- The perimeter of your property
- The exterior of your house
- The interior of your home.
Next, what does it mean to fortify a house rests with you, the person doing the fortifying. How to prep your home for an SHTF event is your definition to define.
It’s your definition because it’s you, as the informed, preparedness-minded, person who must determine your greatest risks. Likewise, it’s you who must choose the most effective, value-driven threat mitigation strategies and practices based upon your risk profile.
When you do all of that, you’ll not only know the generic answer to “What does it mean to fortify a house?” You’ll also see the solution as it applies specifically to you.
And that’s the purpose of this post. To help you, the reader, the securer of your home, to be better prepared when any disaster hits, natural disasters, or two-legged criminal disasters.
Why Should You Fortify Your House?
Since the beginning of time, people have been preparing for the worst. Whether it’s stocking up on food and water or building a shelter to protect themselves from the elements, humans have always tried to make sure they are prepared for anything life might throw their way.
For the security conscious, this means fortifying your home against potential threats. By making your house as secure as possible, you can do your best to ensure that you and your family will be safe no matter what happens. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider fortifying your home:
1) A fortified house is more likely to be prepared for and withstand a natural disaster.
2) A fortified house will help stop violent crime such as break ins and home invasions, which are on the rise.
3) A fortified house provides a safe place for your family during a crisis, including SHTF events.
When it comes to answering the question of why you should fortify your house, the answer should be, “Why wouldn’t you?”
Is it Legal to Fortify House?
Yes, I cringe at writing that heading, and not all jurisdictions are the same. The fact is that local laws are as varied as the local authorities who make up the laws. Therefore, unless you want to run afoul of your local authorities, you’ll want to know what you should and should not do ahead of time.
Some security measures that some people may consider using and may get you into legal hot water are booby traps and security bars without safety releases in the home. As a former firefighter, I agree with laws requiring burglar bars to have a safety feature.
After all, the thought of myself, a family member, or a friend stuck on the inside of window bars without a safety release during an emergency is frightening. Don’t be that person!
In the end, it’s always best to start with a review of current laws and regulations before adding any security. That way, at a minimum, you know what you’re dealing with.
Home Security Vulnerabilities
Some significant vulnerabilities are commonplace in many homes, and it’s these home security vulnerabilities that bad guys rely on, and disasters pick apart to cause you problems. Therefore, before talking about fortifying your home, let’s first cover some of the vulnerabilities criminals prey upon.
The most popular way to break into a home is through the front door. Yes, 34% of all criminals come in through your main door.
Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding glass doors are a popular choice of entryway for many homes. Unfortunately, a sliding glass door presents some serious risks that can make it less secure and more dangerous than other types of entrances.
That’s because a sliding glass door presents a large, fragile, and often quickly shattered access point into your home. In other words, a sliding glass door is a perfect criminal superhighway into and out of your home.
So, while they’re convenient and great on a patio or nice deck, think twice about a home or installing sliding glass doors into a home.
In addition to glass doors being a problem for you, so too are windows. That is especially true for first-floor windows and basement windows. ADT cites that first-floor windows and basements account for 27% of the access into a victim’s home when it comes to burglaries.
With your home’s principal security vulnerabilities covered, let’s get into what I do and what you CAN do to help get your home ready for when times go sideways.
How to Fortify the Perimeter of Your Property?
When deciding how to secure your home for an SHTF event, I use the five d’s of home security: deter, detect, delay, deny, defend. And, the first thing I focus on to achieve the five d’s of security is fortifying the perimeter of my home. The good news is the perimeter of your home doesn’t require barbed wire fences and roving patrols, it just needs to make others seem like an easier target.
One of the most popular and easiest ways to fortify the perimeter of your property is with a fence. However, just any old fence won’t do – if you’re going to install a fence for security purposes, it needs to be tall and difficult for an intruder to climb over or break into.
When it comes to security fencing, most people install a simple galvanized fence and consider it good enough for security. However, proper security fencing requires the homeowner consider not only the height of the fence but also the gauge of the wire.
For this purpose, there are also low fences that you can find at home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, but they offer little protection and a false sense of security if someone wants to get on your property. While low fences don’t provide excellent security, they do provide a visual indicator of your property’s boundary.
Another good way to fortify the perimeter of your home is with driveway sensors. These devices can be installed on both sides of your gate and will help keep unwanted people out and alert you when someone tries to gain access to your property’s entry points. These devices work by sensing motion in front of them and then sending an alarm signal to the receiver, which sounds audible alerts inside the house to know if something is happening outside while you’re not there. They are straightforward to install yourself in about two hours.
Security lights are excellent security devices to help alert you to would-be intruders. This type of lighting is designed to deter intruders from entering your property by providing a well-lit area around the perimeter of your home. So, how do you know how to best illuminate your property? You want to make sure that you have enough light to see what’s going on in the access points to your property. You’ll also want to consider lighting areas where knuckleheads can sit and observe the goings-on inside your home. It’s also essential to install high lights to stop any unwanted visitors from disabling them.
When it comes to perimeter lighting, I prefer to use motion lights. Motion lights are an excellent way to deter intruders because it provides a surprise of a well-lit perimeter around the property when any unwanted visitors show up.
One way of securing your home perimeter that I prefer is by adding a friendly yet, protective guard dog to your home security and self-defense plan. While some people purchase highly trained guard dogs, these dogs don’t always make great pets.
So, find a dog that is best suited to your situation. I like personally like dogs that are fun to have around and act as a home alarm system for when a bad guy steps across your perimeter.
How to Fortify the Exterior of Your Home?
Now that your perimeter is secure let’s take a look at securing the exterior of your home.
To secure the exterior of your home, you’ll want to focus on any common entry point, starting with making sure you have strong exterior doors.
One of the most common entry points that people try to exploit is through the doors of your home. Door frames are a common weak spot, so it’s important to reinforce them by installing a door frame brace, such as Door Armor MAX.
Door Armor MAX provides deep and solid anchor points to help thwart a possible home invasion.
Another door best defense tip is to make sure you reinforce the hinge side of the door as well. With the hinge side reinforced by hinges such as the Defender Security Hinge, combined with longer screws (3 inches plus), and your doors will be ready to stop from being forced open while your family members sleep the night away.
As I mentioned earlier, the front door to your home is the number one way people use to get into your personal space. Therefore, making sure your exterior doors are metal doors in a solid door frame is one of the best and most effective physical barriers you can have on your home.
Next, when it comes to upgrading your exterior doors, you’ll want to consider improving your door lock.
Door locks are essential security measures that often stop with the installation of deadbolt locks. And, while deadbolt locks are great, better options take our patterns of life into account.
Touchpad Security Locks
With that in mind, touchpad security locks are an excellent way to make your home safe and secure. These types of locks provide a higher level of protection than other types because they offer you the ability to program up to 30 unique 4-digit code combinations.
Even better, some of these locks come with a built-in alarm system which will sound any time someone tries to bypass your home fortification tactics.
Now that you’ve invested your time and money into a solid lock don’t forget about the strike plate. The strike plate is where your doorknobs latch secures into the door frame. Strike plates need to be robust steel plates, and here’s one with great reviews.
The garage door is an often overlooked entry point for intruders. While it may not be the best way to gain access, you can’t afford to ignore your garage door as a potential weak spot in your home’s security.
Garage doors are often left open during the day and only closed at night so that vehicles can enter and exit with little to no effort. But this means they’re also accessible to intruders looking for easy ways inside of your home.
To ensure you have a secure garage door, first ensure it has been installed properly with all of the hardware necessary for safety and security, which will help prevent forced entry.
Also, it’s not unheard of for a person to leave their car unlocked, sitting in the driveway, where a criminal can access the garage door opener.
So, make sure everyone locks their cars while sitting in the driveway, even if it’s inconvenient. Otherwise, your garage door opener may provide a golden opportunity for a knucklehead who wants what is yours.
Protecting your home’s exterior doesn’t stop at the doors. Home fortification includes your windows as well.
Windows are an easy way to access your home. So it’s essential to make sure there are locks on all of your windows, especially ones that are accessible from the outside.
Windows are typically protected by various types depending on how they’re installed in the home. These can range from window locks to window guards, which offer physical barriers to protect against intruders.
Window film can protect from flying debris and break-ins. Additionally, depending on what product you buy, it will help keep people outside of your home from seeing what’s going on inside and from knowing whether or not someone is home.
This method of fortifying your windows also provides relief from the sun’s heat in the summer, keeping your home cooler and more energy efficient.
One cost-savings idea for using security film on your windows only cover the first-floor windows and not the second-floor windows. Keep in mind, though; criminals are known to occasionally enter through a second-floor window.
How to Fortify the Interior of Your Home
With the exterior of your home protected, it’s now time to focus on the interior. When focusing on the interior, it’s important to remember that these home fortification methods only come into play after your perimeter security and exterior security have failed. They’ve failed, and now the thugs are in your home!
Solid Wood Doors
My interior home defense plan starts with solid wood doors. I start there because, unfortunately, in today’s home market, builders save costs by using flimsy, hollow core doors instead of more secure, solid core doors. If you’d like to know more about door types, check out this article at Home Depot.
When adequately mounted, as discussed earlier, solid wood doors provide you and your family with the most significant amount of safety and security between you and criminals. That’s because solid wood doors are just that, solid.
I know from first-hand experience about the worthlessness of hollow core doors. That’s because a burglar broke into my home, cut through a locked but flimsy door, and stole my safe. It was a crummy experience and one that I don’t want you to suffer.
Remember, when working on your home fortification, don’t forget, as I mentioned earlier, burglar bars, security bars, or whatever you want to refer to yours can both protect and be deadly.
So, don’t self-install a set of DIY burglar bars that don’t have built-in safety features. If you do, you may live just long enough to regret it.
A safe room is a specially designed area in your home where you and your family can escape if necessary. I feel a secure room is mandatory when deciding how to prep your home for an SHTF event.
These rooms are usually located in the basement or a family’s living area. People often have an interior bathroom in or near their bedroom converted into their private safe room.
People can also build a safe room with their own air supply to seal off outside threats. Safe rooms should be made with solid interior walls, locking doors, and emergency access to the outside.
After all, while you don’t want bad guys to be able to chop their way and shoot into your safe room through your door and interior walls, you will want the ability to exit your home should the situation warrant.
One of the most important aspects of a safe room is having the proper supplies. These supplies can include food, water, medical supplies, and weapons.
Food and water are essential for survival. So it’s necessary to make sure you have a stash of both that will last for at least 72 hours.
Medical supplies are also vital, especially if there is an injury during the SHTF event. It’s essential to have bandages, gauze, medical tape, and scissors.
Lastly, I feel it’s a good idea to have self-defense weapons on hand that you are trained on and proficient with.
Fortifying Multiple Areas of Your Home Simultaneously
Now that I’ve covered the specific areas for you to focus your home fortification efforts, it’s time to cover strategies that can cover all or some of the areas you need protected.
Security cameras are a great piece of security kit to level up anyone’s overall security and preparedness posture. Some of the benefits of a complete camera system around your home are:
– The ability to easily monitor your property during the day and at night.
– Protecting yourself and your family from burglars, intruders, and other threats.
– Great peace of mind knowing that you can check in on things when you’re away.
Here’s an example of a great security camera: Arlo Security Cameras
Arlo cameras are another great way to secure your home. Arlo security cameras come in three basic packages: base, pro, and outdoor pro. Each of these packages is customizable to meet your needs as the homeowner.
Home Security System
A more and more convenient and affordable way of turning your home into your castle is through the addition of a security system. While external companies monitor some systems, many today are based on a self-monitoring system model.
What is significant is that today’s systems are often modular and much more than alarm systems of the past. Now, security systems are plug-and-play, meaning you only pay for what you need. So, you can custom fit your security and surveillance systems to your needs.
When it comes to home defense, a security company can help do just that by maintaining an active role in securing your home.
Security companies offer monitoring services that can be useful when you need 24/7 surveillance against burglars. Depending upon the company, they have mobile patrol options, which bring security guards to your property at random times to check and make sure everything is okay.
One disadvantage of security companies is that they can be pretty expensive. For this reason, it may be wiser to invest in home security systems and cameras on your own rather than paying for 24/7 monitoring by a company. The fact is that in today’s world, self-monitoring is a cost-effective and better option for many people.
The Bottom Line on How to Fortify Your Home Against an SHTF Event
As preppers, it’s crucial not only to fortify our homes for SHTF events. We need to make our homes resilient to all types of everyday problems such as acts of Mother Nature and out to get you, criminals.
In the end, there are many ways you can do secure your home, and it all depends on what is most practical or affordable for you.
Regardless of how much work goes into fortifying your property before disaster strikes. Doing so, in my opinion, will always leave you feeling more secure, knowing that your home is defended against a variety of outside threats.
After all, if you don’t plan on bugging out, or you miss your window to bug out, staying safe in your home will all depend on what you did to fortify now, before problems strike.
Do you have any strategies for fortifying your home for an SHTF event that works for you? If so, leave us follow up comments below.
These units will not stop an intruder but will slow them down….
In any event, it will allow you enough time to respond.
I would submit it is impossible to stop a determined individual from
accessing the interior of your house.
All I hope for, if need be, is enough time to gear up.
I installed the DIY security system from Simpli Safe. Smoke, CO, Freeze, water, door and motion sensors Also a panic button to summon police. Their 24/7 monitoring fee is $26.49 per month for the package I chose. My homeowners insurance discount (State Farm) covers that cost. With the complexity of our property, I purchased a number of sensors for the large house and a 1,000 sq ft pool house. They offer set packages, but I ordered what I needed “ala carte”.
I’d like to have my email added to your mailing list. Thank you!
am a 70+ yr old whose spouse isnt interested in this….so what else can I do when they wont even consider suggestions, or help? wont pay for anyone to do anything, and it ticks me off, he thinks I’m crazy to worry about such things…..
We have been on the receiving end of bad guys and you don’t want to wait for them to come to your door.
A. Get your own firearm and learn how to protect yourself with it. Don’t let your husband teach you, Get a professional women instead. B. Design and construct a safe room. We used half inch ballistic panels layered (& bolted to the studs) to one inch thick for our safe room. It was easy to work with. We also opted for a solid bedroom door that we can bar to buy time (we’re in our 70’s) when moving into the safe room and await the deputies arrival. C. We also added cameras after an actual incident since the SR has no windows. And finally, tell that husband of yours he’ll get dinner when you see that his progress is satisfactory. Peace of mind is worth every penny.
Concrete block and possibly brick walls can be demolished using a pillow or cushion and a sledge hammer. Stucco over styrofoam is even easier.