How To Prepare For Civil Unrest, Emergencies, Disasters

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Shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana coast, reports out of New Orleans on September 1st stated that victims of the disaster were being raped and beaten and that fights and fires were out of control, leaving corpses laying in the open as the city descended into anarchy. Emergency responders in the New Orleans area were overwhelmed, and as a result their response time was lapsed.

A “bug in” scenario may be our only choice after a disaster strikes and we must prepare not only for our basic needs, but also for our safety. Since the grid may go down during a disaster, each household should prepare for crime. Looting and home invasions will more than likely be at the forefront of these crime waves and a defensible home will help your family stay safe.

Many of us easily relate to the idea that our home security needs to be beefed up. In fact, some of the homes we live in are defensive nightmares given the location, structural design, neighborhood or city we may live in. Because the home will be more vulnerable when the grid goes down (due to electrical alarm systems not working, lapsed emergency response time, etc), consider having some alternative security features for inside the home. A barking dog would be a great detection system for anyone trying to break in. And, if the pet is trained properly, could assist in protecting the family.

In an emergency where civil unrest can be a problematic issue, criminals look for accessible targets. They will concentrate on vulnerable “easy-pickings” and bypass the more secured areas. This was seen during the Rodney King Trial Verdict riots in Los Angeles and it’s suburbs, the only structures that were spared from active looting by large gangs were some stores owned by armed Korean Americans.

Security is an important preparedness measure to keep in mind when investing in your emergency supplies. Bulking up your home security features for the outside can be your first line of defense in preventing any criminals from trying to enter your home.

Given that our financial situations are each unique, I am not suggesting that you go out and purchase every item on this list. However, if you are able to invest in some security items for the home, I suggest you invest in as much as you can.

Preps To Buy:

  • Reinforced doors and locks. (There is only 1 ” of wood protecting you in normal door locks.)
  • Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.
  • Place thorny bushes or plants around windows or near vulnerable areas of the home.
  • If possible, create a barrier from approaching vehicles.
  • Put a peep hole in the door.
  • Add a bolt and chain to the door.
  • Infrared (IR) floodlights to illuminate the property (These can be motion-sensor activated).
  • Solar garden lighting can also be an inexpensive way to illuminate areas outside the home.
  • Fence the entire property, if it is not done so already.
  • A gate at the front of the driveway that has spikes at the top to prevent someone from jumping over the fence.
  • Cameras placed strategically around the home and near the entry points of the home can also deflect an intruder.
  • Create a safe room or vault to where a family can go to evade their attackers.
  • Buy a gun and know how to use it.

Action Items:

  1. Walk around the perimeter of your home and see where the vulnerable areas are.
  2. Make necessary changes to the outside of the home by bulking up on security layers.
  3. Contact a security expert or friend in the police department and see if they can provide you with additional advice.
  4. If it is a good fit with your family, look into purchasing a firearm or going to a concealed handgun course.
  5. Create a neighborhood watch program.
Get Prepped One Week at a Time with our 52 Weeks to Preparedness Series


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