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Defending your castle

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posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 03:39 PM
Most survival scenarios feature teh big bug out plan. This is, of course, rather well advised if you are in a major metropolitan area or in a situation where your residence becomes unhabitable.

But what of us who would rather defend our homes instead of attempting the perilous journey to potential freedom?


1. Defence: No amount of supplies of knowledge will save you if you don't have locks on your doors and someone decides to set you on fire as you sleep. So what to do? Some suggestions include having various building supplies stashed away to rapidly turn your prize-winning rosegarden into a series of revetments and general unpleasantness. Others say that sandbags and wrought-iron fences are a good mix. I don't know, that's why I'm asking for suggestions.

2.Sustainability: Well, you have your mini-bunker, but no food. You're about as equally screwed as the guy with a ton of food that gets brained with a rock in the night. Well, not quite. You have a base of operations that you can scavenge out of, which is better than nothing. Can you garden? Better learn. Can you stockpile? Not a bad idea, either. Water, food and heat are your concerns right after getting out of harm's way.

3. Morale: So you've got your house, your chow, and your supplies. You're ready for the long haul now! Just...make sure you don't off yourself. Books, things like that will keep the will to live going.

So, what's everyone's thoughts on how to defend your home, with the priorities listed above?


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 03:44 PM
Just remember, one man can't defend a base.
You need at least 3 people to maintain a around the clock watch over your "castle", if you plan on staying alone, stay hidden.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 03:46 PM
How many people live there? What are their ages?

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 03:50 PM
For me, it's your standard nuclear family, plus a dog. No man should be dogless, in my opinion. Enough people to maintain a decent watch. I'm speaking purely theoretical terms, as my current employment leaves me obscenely well off in case of most Situation X's.


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 04:56 PM
A solid wall close to the house provides privacy (or fire and movement cover). A distant perimeter chain-link fence will slow intruders, while allowing you to see (and fire upon) them.

There, that paranoid enough for ya?


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 05:06 PM
Har har, Herr Doktor.

My worries are fairly specific- namely, that someone will want something you have, or that you will have somehow angered someone to the point they would be willing to perforate several of your favorite arteries. Now, I'm under the impression that most houses make for #ty cover at best. Something else to consider- even if you hide in your house, do you really want a stray round to fly through your wall and kill your dog?

Anyways, as for defence, the main objective is to shield you from harm. Sandbags can hold back floodwaters, or they can stop bullets. Two by fours and plywood can be used to shore up defences or put a temporary fix on that hole a hurricane just put in your home.

Something to consider: how quickly can you make your home more defencible from nature and man, and is there anything you have out in suburbia that won't make you raise too many eyebrows? I mean, a wrought-iron fence comes immediable to mind, or a three-foot wall with a gate.


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 05:29 PM
A lot of this is house specific, you need to take advantage of whatever strengths your peticular property might afford you. As you said keeping a dog is always a good idea. I think the best idea though is to not show your hand. If you have anything that could be of value to anyone else you should keep it hidden as much as possible to avoid any intruders.

You could also make your place look like fort knox if you have the resources and equipment, it might make someone think twice about trying to attack you at home or it might make people think that you are guarding something valuable. I personally prefer any potential enemy of mine to underestimate me.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 05:43 PM
I was a lot more serious than you'd think.

A brick facade is fairly good at stopping small arms fire. Particularly if the homeowner has added some 3/8" steel sheets behind the drywall underneath and around each window. Not perfect, but it brick + steel will stop even a lot of rifle fire.

Incedentally, there's a relatively large price jump between 3/8" and 1/2" sheet steel. But then, life is all about compromise.

Putting lockable exterior doors at strategic points inside your home can do a lot for foiling intruders. Instead of a "safe room," you'd partition your home, and keep your escape routes open. From a stakeout/standoff viewpoint, you hate to face a barricaded assailant; but even worse is trying to storm a building with multiple exits, the locks to which you don't control.

If you had some fancy artwork above the interior face of a doorway, like say, a family crest or something, then you could hide pistol inside a holster up in the artwork. Small children couldn't reach it, or even see it. Guests in your home would never realize that there's a gun within easy reach, until you drew it.

Another idea is an entryway recessed into the face of the home, in an alcove, with high narrow windows on either side of it. For someone to reach your door, they'd have to walk past the opposing windows. Bathrooms usually have high windows, and so this home design wouldn't seem "paranoid" to the casual visitor. And this positioning would put drain cleanouts for the bathrooms along an exterior wall, so that stopped up drains would be easier to clear with a roto-tool. A fashionable "gaze-ball" on a short pedestal 20 ft. or so into the yard from the front door way would allow a person looking out the bathroom window to see, in the reflection of the gaze ball, the entire front of his home.

Many people think shutters can give a home a fashionable look. Shutters can be decorative as well as functional. Wooden shutters kept open could even mask the existence of actual steel shutters behind them. And such shutters, when closed, might cover the entire window except for a small slot through which firearms could be presented. Such steel shutters would prevent smoke grenades and molotov cocktails from being thrown through the windows into the home.

Did you think I was paranoid before???

how 'bout now?


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 06:35 PM
The other thing I was thinking was that in case of flood, said wall would be easy to sangbag shut, giving you a few feet of headstart. Not to mention that it will partially block flow-flying debris. Sandbags covered in cement are quick to put up, solid and resistant to small-arms fire. I was thinking of maybe shoring up two layers of sandbags around said wrought-iron fence for extra stability.

Other concerns include houses with aluminum siding instead of brick (not a place you want to be when the bullets are flying, or even rocks), long-term provisioning, and anti-fire measures.

Home ground is a good place to be, even in anarchy.


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 07:06 PM
I don't know about flood control, and haven't given it much thought, because I live in an arid region, on a gentle rise.

As far as fire control goes, I've been thinking about the fact that a lot of newer homes in my area are putting the water heater in the attic. The reason for this is the popularity of slab foundations, coupled with the tendency of slab leaks which are incredibly expensive to repair. Basically, such an overhead system is most of the componenets of a commerical sprinkler system. I wonder how doable a home sprinkler system would be.

Smoke alarms would still activate, because they are battery powered.

I tried looking into building a home that was completely brick, not just a facade, and found out that it's not legal in my area(!) I cannot get an explanation from anyone, but for some reason it isn't allowed. Which is a pity because such buildings in Europe and the American northeast have stood for hundreds of years. maybe its part of a larger conspiracy. You'd have less trouble with fire, bullets, or even earthquakes, I think.

earthen homes have become popular in my area again. I think it would have some advantages, except for flood.


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 07:19 PM
what about in really urban areas, townhouses, apartments???
how would you guys advise setting up defense for those, there will be people with no other option and who cant make visible changes to the property because of landlords and such... is there stuff that they can keep on hand for quick defense?

I have steel shutters, storm/security door and fences on 3 sides, well I'm supposed to have fences, waiting on the permit to put them back up, the back is open to a yeah if it floods more than 2 stories or we're invaded by boat, I'm screwed

The fences aren't going to offer me much security I don't think, it HAS to be wooden shadow box fences (association rules). But maybe I could add some aluminum panels on the inside?

as for a safe room, we have a walk in closet under the stairs that I use for storage of my emergency supplies and excess pantry goods, in the past before we got shutters, it was a go to place during the worst parts of hurricanes. It currently has a regular interior closet type door, I have considered changing it to a more secure door, but don't see it as a priority in my list of survival preparations since I don't think this will be the house I live in forever. The majority of my survival preparations tends be more of the mobile type, things I can take with me. If it wasn't for hurricanes, I doubt whether I would have shutters, but after a few years of putting up plywood, we could see the many benefits of the shutters. Same thing with the door, if it wasn't for water damage last year, we wouldn't have changed it, but when we did, we added the storm door too.

don't know what I would do to really secure the back though, other than building another fence... which i don't want to do because it kind of closes in the space and blocks the view of the canal, plus I'm not sure whether that would help or hinder re-sale value of the house.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 07:40 PM
i'm gonna go & read the latest post that worldwatcher just sent,
but i had to say this idea straight away

I'd opt for a houseboat and put-put into one of the swamp areas for our 'sanctuary',
in the meantime your houseboat can be used for strictly pleasure & weekends/vacations.
If i really wanted to plan an excape refuge, i'd get an old 100' X 20' barge
(you can shop a older one for +$50K) then i'd go about retrofiting it for living on it for 3-6months at a time out in some hard to access backwater
->up the river here in SC is where the famous 'Swamp Fox' made his base of operations in a area we call (the big sandy) in the region between Marion & Florence SC ~about 200 sq miles of swamps & rivers~

the MadMax thing could have its counterpart in a MikeFink river pirate thing
if i had a barge fortress operational for the anticipated anarchy era in america...just some food-for-thought


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 08:29 PM
First: Baricade the house. Second: Arm everyone with a sidearm, pepperspray/mace, and a baseball bat. Third: Have plenty of food stockpiled for at least a 3 month duration. In my opinion, anyone stupid enough to break down a door with the proper baricade devices deserves whatever happens next.. --- Parting shot ---- "The Universe unfolds as it should."

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 08:46 PM
My first line is perimeter wire. I would connect it every 6 feet or so with those trip/glow sticks that crack on a tug of that section of wire. This makes night patrol easier. If a glow comes from the west, you know it has been breached by something the height you set it at. It sounds extreme, but I am surrounded by woods, and this way seems easiest.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 08:55 PM
Well I live in Florida and my house is relitivly new. So I think that it could stand up to a hurricane. It's concrete block construction like just about everything in FL. So that limits external fire.

Sand bags are pretty easy to get ahold of here. Beach is only a mile away and bags well Just about anything can be used in a pinch.

Duct tape is your friend in emergencies. As is a generator. Sure the long haul you don't have the gas to keep that thing going but as far as about a week Im pretty good. After that it's time to get my son & hide in the mountains of CO.

posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 01:58 AM
I think the title of this thread is very helpful in guiding the discussion. If you can draw inspiration from history, you're better prepared for the future.

So, what methods did castles use to repel invaders?

The ability to see the enemy coming is incredibly important, and so is the ability to force your enemy into a bottleneck, or at the very least narrow down the number of directions from which they can approach. Some ideal locations might be on top of a high bluff, or hemmed in by high cliff faces, or with a body of water covering one or more of your sides.

If you're not lucky enough to have the terrain working for you in this way, you can at least ensure that there are only a couple of ways into the house, and plan accordingly.

If you can predict the direction from which the enemy will approach, or situate your castle to restrict the enemy's choices, you can focus your defenses more effectively.

Castles also used layers of defense to slow the approach down, and give the defenders more opportunities to 'snipe' at the enemy. Multiple barriers - gates, moats, keeps, and so on, force the enemy to advance bit by bit, and every time they have to surmount another obstacle, you get more free shots from behind the safety of the walls.

In castle terms this was necessary to whittle down a large invading force. It's doubtful if you'll ever have to hold off an army, but the same principle applies.

You should have a deep and secure well, as medieval castles did. You should have a stockpile of food that can last several months. You should control the entrances, focusing your firepower there.

I'd like very much to discuss boobytraps, but I have to look into the legality. I'm fairly certain they're illegal almost everywhere in America, and as such, I can't discuss them on this website. It's a shame too, because nothing will ruin an intruder's day like a well placed boobytrap.

If, after investigation, I find that we can talk about traps, I think it's very important in securing the home. In normal situations they're probably not advisable, but in the sorts of situations we're talking about, they can be invaluable - especially if you don't have the luxury of a small army watching your back while you sleep.

Anyway, hopefully I'll have more on that later.

What dr_strangecraft said about controlling the invaders' movement throughout the house is spot-on. There's no better way to frustrate an invader than to make them break through a layered defense, while annoying them from safety.

I'll be able to post more on this thread tommorow, I think it has a lot of merit. Kudos to Deus Ex for starting this discussion.

posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 09:54 AM
Call your local arborist and let them know they can drop their biggest logs, that they would normally bring to the dump, right in your back yard. If the city raises their eyebrow... chop up some of it and tell 'em its fire wood. Otherwise... a few piles of well placed meter+ diameter logs is a better (bullet proof) defensive bunker than any schlage deadbolt on front door of a wooden or block shanty.

posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 10:19 AM

Originally posted by worldwatcher
what about in really urban areas, townhouses, apartments???
how would you guys advise setting up defense for those, there will be people with no other option and who cant make visible changes to the property because of landlords and such... is there stuff that they can keep on hand for quick defense?

Shovels, sandbags, and quickdry cement. Like I said, makes a durable and solid barrier to small arms fire, and in general. Plus, no one is going to raise eyebrows at you for having thsoe supplies around. You can shore up interior walls with them. However, if you're in an apartment, it is definitely in your best interests to bug out instead if at all possible.

The fences aren't going to offer me much security I don't think, it HAS to be wooden shadow box fences (association rules). But maybe I could add some aluminum panels on the inside?

What's aluminum gonna do? Chainlink would be best- you can shoot through it, and it hampers movement somewhat. You might have to settle for your shadowbox and hope for the best. Maybe a bale of concertina wire in the basement? If situation X occurs, you suddenly have a very nasty looking surprise for someone who wants over your fence.


[edit on 17-12-2006 by DeusEx]

posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 10:46 AM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
The ability to see the enemy coming is incredibly important, and so is the ability to force your enemy into a bottleneck,

Very true. I think a CCTV or Airphone system is key in defending your castle. It's not that expensive to install a standard three camera airphone system (UPS included) and even if it were, it's well worth it.

Hell, even a dead cam would help deter possible intruders.

A few of these have already been mentioned, but here's a list of factors to consider when thinking of how to defend your castle:

- Standoff space: The visible distance between your home and a perimeter of some sort (more is better).

- Visibility: having some way to see outside without having outsiders looking in is idea. If cameras are not possible, one way blinds or pull-downs would suffice.

- Deter: Dogs, cameras, fences, heavy locks, steel doors, bars on windows, etc... you get the point.

- Perimeter: Having a high fence is great and (as dr_strangecraft said) will give you more time to stop an intruder (shoot him). Motion detectors work great, the ones with the spotlights are even better.

- Fortify: Heavy locks, dead bolts, thick doors, FEBR windows and walls (a little pricey), bunkers (great idea with the logs, Sri Oracle), etc...

Defend: Guns, slingshots, knives, booby traps, you get the idea....

Logistics AKA beans, bullets and band-aids: A good idea is always maintain a 30 day supply of food and water, but some of us have alot more than that stashed back. Also medical supplies, books, gear, spare batteries, etc...

Communication: Radios, cell phones, hard-line phones, etc...

Evacuation: Have a plan to evacuate and rehearse it with your family. Establish rally points not far from your home, so you and the family can met up later. Have a plan make sure EVERYONE knows it!

Safe-Haven: This is often overlooked, but it's a great idea to have one room (probably a big closet) that is used as a safe-haven...a place where you and you family can make a last stand, your own little ALAMO. Have everything in there that you would normally keep in your regular supply stash...guns, lots of ammo, food, water and comm gear (maybe even NBC). Your safe-haven should be like Ft. Knox. Hard-lined doors, fresh air supply, etc.. If you can't do all that atleast make sure you have some sort of defensive cover to buy you some time while the intruders are beating on the door....and when they knock it down, all hell breaks loose! Let 'em have it...unload!


[edit on 17/12/2006 by SportyMB]

posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 01:42 PM
Well, as I suspected, setting boobytraps even on your own property is illegal in most states, according to what I've read. It used to be less of an issue, but with the meth epidemic we've got going on, boobytraps are a bit of a sore spot for law enforcement, understandably.

If the booby trap is not set, in other words, if it poses no danger in a state of rest, it's legal (as far as I can tell) - this would not be true if you're a fan of explosives, they're still considered dangerous at rest. But you should check you local laws before doing anything of this sort.

The other option is to keep the supplies around, and that way you can construct a few traps in a hurry when you need them. Better to have them all set, but by the same token, if posessing them is illegal it's better to be on the safe side and never give law enforcement an excuse.

I don't see any reason not to add mousetraps, monofilament, and 12 Ga. shotgun shells to your stash, and in a pinch be ready to crank out dozens of traps for your home and/or property.

I get easily annoyed with laws that make criminals the victims, and force homeowners into a position where they need to endanger themselves in order to avoid prosecution. If those stupid laws were changed, people would be in a better position to protect their lives and property, but I guess that's wishful thinking.

Sporty covered many good points, as did dr_strangecraft. I also thought I'd mention that sturdy walls are a necessity if you expect them to stop bullets. One of my apartments on Chicago's West Side had holes in two of the interior walls that resulted from 9mm rounds penetrating multiple walls, coming from across the alley. The folks who lived there before we did moved out after one round passed through two walls and smashed into their computer while the husband was doing his taxes.

They also had a hole in the ceiling of their child's room, another 9mm had come in at an angle from the street below, broke the patio door and penetrated another wall before lodging in the ceiling. :shk:

As far as the stigma attached to paranoia, it's only a bad thing if it's taken too far. If it keeps you alive, it's well worth the stigma, IMO.

Paranoia can be a destructive, crippling problem - like fear taken too far, it can be counter-productive. But if it's restrained, it can be helpful and work to keep you alive.

Healthy paranoia is the sort that motivates you to take precautions. Unhealthy paranoia is the sort that motivates you to take unreasonable precautions (barbed wire in a residential neighborhood, land mines on the front porch, splurging for trained attack wolverines), and leads to a deterioration in your mental and physical condition.

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