Tag: weapons

Better Home Security

Report: Strengthen Your Home Against Intruders
Download the Short Report as a PDF

Preparedness is usually more of an attitude than an activity. But today we’re taking a look at actions to take for better home security. Most will require money. Some will require construction skills. We believe all are worth your consideration.

Strengthen Your Home Against Intruders

A Short Report from
Emergency Plan Guide

This Report introduces more ideas for avoiding trouble – what we refer to in the mini-book as the “outer ring” of protection for ourselves and our families.

Every one of actions listed here has to be dealt with before anything happens! in order for them to be effective.

The actions focus on your home. In a major disaster, we hope you can get home safely to shelter in place. But if the disaster lasts a while – like several days or weeks – your safety at home may be tested, as well.

You may be approached by family members, neighbors or strangers looking for assistance. Some of these people will be willing to share, while others will be intent on taking everything you have. You want more ability to handle these interactions.

We’re sure you have already thought about this topic, and we hope this short report gives you the chance to check off each suggestion as “already done.” If not, we’ve included a Personal Action Item List for your use.

Q&A Mini Series Personal Safety

(Editor’s note to this Advisory: Our mini-book on Personal Safety was first published the week of July 12, 2020. It may leave you with wanting more practical suggestions for better home security. You can get a head start on the book with this Advisory – so keep reading. Then come back here to get the details on the book!)

Six Steps to Better Home Security

Build an invisible supply of emergency food, tools, etc.

Nearly every one of our books emphasizes the importance of assembling emergency supplies. (Shelter in Place offers a plan for deciding what and how much.) But don’t store all your supplies in one place where someone desperate or determined could take them all!

Spread things around the house and garage, or in your apartment’s storage area. Camouflage by using mis-labeled cardboard boxes, hidden spaces beneath the stairs, or paint pails under a work bench covered with a dirty tarp. A repairman or visitor should not even notice them.

Above all, don’t brag to neighbors about all the effort you’ve put in.

Secure the perimeter to discourage casual trespassers.

We all know that people tend to take the easy way out. This applies to thieves or robbers, too. Don’t let your home be the “easy” target.

Put up a fence to keep people off your property. Install perimeter lighting that will automatically go on if someone trespasses. If you can, invest in a video doorbell to take pictures of anyone on the porch. At the end of the day, bring attractive furniture or toys (particularly bicycles) inside. Get a dog or a recording of a dog barking that you can play before opening the door to a stranger.

You can shutter the house down if you leave, but don’t let it look empty. Keep a car in the driveway, discontinue deliveries, etc. Consider interior lights on a timer.

Strengthen the doors and windows to prevent break-ins.

Most break-ins take place when a burglar or other criminal kicks in your front door. Consider stainless steel reinforcements for frame and hinges. And improve the strength of the deadbolt or replace it altogether. If you rent, and can’t always make these changes, at least invest in a heavy-duty door stop.

Don’t count on the latch of your sliding patio door, either. Use a rod to block it closed. As for windows, you can reinforce the glass with shatter-proof film. And be sure your windows have strong locks that are engaged.

(It’s a good idea to keep shrubs trimmed so they don’t block windows. You don’t want someone to be able to hide there. And you want to be able to get out safely in a fire or other emergency!)

Control any weapons in the home.

If you feel the need to protect your home from violent intruders, pick the right weapons and take responsibility for them. When it comes to firearms, assault-style weapons are usually not the best for home defense. (They are meant for assaulting, remember. And the likelihood of stray bullets striking unintended victims – next door or even down the street — is high.) A shotgun is probably a better choice for more control; you don’t have to be a crack shot to be effective at short or medium range.

Store all weapons so that others in the home – particularly children — will be safe. It should go without saying – become skilled at using your weapons.

Train family members in protection.

If you anticipate a threat, gather your family into a “safe room,” preferably an interior room with few or no windows and access to a bathroom. (You could have some emergency supplies there, too.) Agree on a signal and practice getting everyone into the safe room the minute they hear that signal. (A separate signal might be used to get them OUT of the house.) Teach kids how to call 911. Teach grandma how to text for help. Make preparedness part of your everyday lifestyle.

Build a neighborhood team you can count on.

You will always have a better chance of making it through a dangerous situation with the help of competent neighbors and friends. They are right there. They can take action immediately. This is why we emphasize building a neighborhood group of people who . . .

  • You know and feel comfortable with
  • Agree with you on the importance of being prepared
  • Are willing to share skills, equipment and even their supplies

Building this group takes time and consistent effort. If you like the idea of “strength in numbers,” you’ll agree it’s worth that effort!

Which of the suggestions for better home security in this Report might fit your circumstances? If you want to get started on a checklist, you’ll find one in the PDF version of the Short Report. Download the PDF here.

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

Do you have more suggestions for better home security? This is, after all, a Short Report. Please add comments below!

Protecting Yourself in an Emergency


Home security

Guidebook to home defense

We’ve said this before and no doubt we’ll repeat it more than once in the future. But the recent school shooting in Newtown has given new life to the continuing controversy about firearms – especially assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, etc. – for self-protection. If you’ve watched any of the “Doomsday Preppers” TV shows on the NatGeo Channel, you may have been shocked by the extent that some people go to for their imagined need for survival in a major catastrophe. Their arsenals look more like preparation for war.

Here are three things to think about if you are truly worried about having to protect yourself and your property in the event of a major disaster event. The first two are, in our opinion, negative approaches to life.  The third is in keeping with our philosophy of taking positive action.

Assault weapons are a terrible choice.

First, as any combat veteran will tell you, few people have the natural ability to calmly shoot people with a handgun, much less a rapid-firing assault weapon. Such weapons require training and discipline if you ONLY plan to hit a specific target while the adrenalin is flowing fast and heavy. The chances of hitting innocent people or things around and beyond the target are usually very high. There’s a reason mass murders use these weapons . . . they kill and destroy indiscriminately.

Shotguns aren’t a whole lot better.

Second, the best firearm in a self-defense circumstance is usually a shotgun. It has a limited range but a “spread” in the shot pattern that makes it more likely to hit the intended target on the first shot. You don’t have to be a marksman or highly-trained soldier to be effective with it. The bottom line, however, is if you find yourself having to use it, it’s still likely to take someone’s life. And, regardless of the situation, even if there is no legal consequence, that’s something you will have to live with.

Trusted Friends — Absolutely Your Best Protection.

Third, and most important of all in our opinion, your best protection in an emergency will be good neighbors – people you know and can trust immediately, instead of mistrust. We have seen over and over again the natural tendency of people to help one another following a catastrophic event. And, the more your neighbors are trained and prepared to survive themselves, the better equipped they will be to help you and vice versa. Unlike the first two means of self-protection, you can count on having enough friends if you have allowed for them.  And unlike the first two means of self-protection, this is one that saves lives instead of taking them.

Programs like the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training are excellent examples of the best way to prepare yourself and to work along the side your neighbors as an effective team. CERT neighborhoods will not only have a better chance of surviving, but will emerge as a true community with pride in having known what to do in advance . . . and possibly having saved lives and property because of their training.


Logistics of Terrorism

Terrorist taking photo

Spotting Activities That Could Be Acts of Preparing For a Terrorist Attack

(Part two of a three-part series) 

While random acts of violence are difficult (if not impossible) to foresee, planning and preparation for a “terrorist’s attack” has certain characteristics that, when combined, can be used to identify a pending event.


Funding any significant act of terrorism will often require activities that are out of the ordinary or out of character for someone.  Typically, large amounts of cash involving unusual deposit or withdrawal activity are required.  Solicitations for money or collections for donations or even fraud and transactions involving counterfeit currency or goods can provide the funding for terrorists.

Acquiring Unusual Supplies

Unusual supplies?

Unusual or particularly large purchases of chemicals or supplies, weapons or ammunition by unfamiliar or non-regular customers are worth noting.  Attempting to acquire official uniforms, vehicles or other items that would give them access to restricted areas is another sign to look for.

A case in point was Timothy McVeigh’s and Terry Nichols’s purchase of a large amount of fertilizer that would be used to perpetrate the largest scale incident of domestic terrorism in modern US history.  A close look at McVeigh’s reading and entertainment interests – as well as his radical political views – would also provide worrisome behavioral characteristics . . . but, then hindsight is, as they say, 20/20!

Deploying Assets

Getting people, supplies and vehicles into position to commit a terrorist act is often overt and observable by people familiar with the area.  It’s also the most immediate indicator with the least amount of time to alert authorities of the possible danger.  A good example of this was the SUV full of inflammable materials that was parked in Times Square, downtown Manhattan and brought to the attention of authorities by a street vendor familiar with the area.

Situational Awareness: Being Alert to Your Surroundings

Your best defense against terrorism is staying alert to your surroundings without becoming overly paranoid.  (For more about “situational awareness” here.)

You also want to avoid “profiling” individuals.  There is no “typical” terrorist appearance (Again, think of McVeigh and Nichols.)  School shootings should make it clear that the perpetrators look just like your next door neighbors or that kid in the next classroom.  The appropriate way to protect yourself is not to profile appearance, but to profile behaviors. 

This series continues with part three, focused on a terrorist’s practices or dry-runs.

Defend Your Stash From Intruders


Doomsday Preppers arm themselves for a total breakdown of society.

Guns for self protection

Protection against whom?

As we watch some of the reality TV programs on “Doomsday Preppers,” we are appalled at the extent to which many people go to arm themselves against anticipated attackers, looters and other lawless elements.  Some of these folks have virtual armories, full of weapons and ammunition they feel they will need to survive in a world gone mad . . . right out of Mad Max or the Postman, with a total breakdown of society!

Well, here at Emergency Plan Guide we’re not really preparing for that extreme situation.  Our objective is to help you and your neighbors prepare for the possible emergency that would be caused by an earthquake, a local or regional weather phenomenon, an industrial accident or even the unlikely event of a major terrorist attack.  You may have to take care of yourself and your family for a few days until adequate help can arrive.

Will there be looting or other lawless activity?

Perhaps.  But are your neighbors likely to pose a serious threat to your safety because they have been caught unaware and starving?  Probably not.

And even if you were to find yourself in a situation where you were to feel threatened, are you prepared to take another person’s life?

We’re not suggesting you shouldn’t prepare for this kind of eventuality.  That’s a decision you have to make for yourself, depending on where you live and other factors.

One way to minimize the risk . . .

What we are suggesting is that there are things you can do to minimize the risk of this happening.  You can distribute information about preparing for emergencies to the homes, apartment complexes and stores in your area.  In fact, the more successful you and your neighbors are in organizing a Community Emergency Response Team in your neighborhood, the more likely your neighboring communities will become interested . . . and at least take personal responsibility for their own preparations.

Joe Krueger
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

As a quick distinction . . .

  • Survivalists plan to use their wilderness skills and ingenuity to live off the land for however long it takes.
  • Preppers plan to survive in the aftermath of an emergency thanks to the preparations they have made, using the supplies they have assembled.