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Ok... there's lots of discussions about hidden wilderness retreats and such...with elaborate defensive structures: barb wire fences, lookout posts, spider holes, sniper towers, bunkers, a fortress of sorts manned by 12-14 people, etc.

but realistically...most here live in a subdivision of sorts...

What actual defensive tactics can someone living in a modern subdivision adopt to protect his family in a SHTF (societal collapse) situation? (4 people...living in a modern home, in your modern subdivision)
 

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Being one of those subdivision dwellers myself I'd considered that question myself. The only thing I could come up with was a kind of panic room. Like in the movie of the same name. A reinforced room or two or maybe a hidden room somewhere in the house.

Only problem is it probably wouldn't work for long term or against a large number of people, or fire, or a number of other things I haven't even considered yet.

I'd like to hear other opinions myself as I can't come up with any long term viable plans.
 

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May *** help us all.
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Good question. Thanks for posting.

How well do you know your neighbors? Serious looting looks to be a significant problem - the more help you can get, the better.

For long-term survival and you're stuck at home, you're gonna have to turn your house into a "panic house."
 

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Christian
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Good question. Thanks for posting.

How well do you know your neighbors? Serious looting looks to be a significant problem - the more help you can get, the better.

For long-term survival and you're stuck at home, you're gonna have to turn your house into a "panic house."
My house is smack dab in suberbia, the reason I feel ok about a short term emergency is because I and my family have kept our mouths shut about what were doing. If something happens, we have dark blinds good security and limited battery backup and food / water. If it gets bad then we break for our BOL and go back to self sustained living in the country.

bottom line is my neighbors / friends do not know what were doing. as far as they know were just poor sheeple just like they are.
 

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It doesn't matter where you are when the shooting starts. I'd hope you've at least have a few friends or family that would "fort" up with you to provide mutual protection for each other. When the shooting comes it will be by gangs and you can't do it all yourself. Neither can your friends/family. Pick the strongest house in terms of defense and gather there until you feel it's safe for each to go to their own homes. City, Suburban,wilderness retreat. Defense for a time will be 24/7, you can't do it all yourself.
 

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Well, realistically, talking about "defense" only, if you're attacked by even a moderately well armed group unless you have brick home, that's pretty much a game ender right there. Most homes might as well be cardboard against even 5.56 and 7.62, two common "assault" rounds.

But also realistically, there's hopefully no reason, at least for a good while, why your particular abode should BE a target for a group.

I would postulate that in a real situation of a month's duration or longer, where there really wasn't any aid forthcoming, some of your neighbors would be the earliest foes. Of course, in most 'burbs of any size, these might as well be people from the outside, as you won't know them. But hopefully they won't be organized enough or in force enough to be undeterred by a home that can shoot back with some authority.

As always, food, water, lighting, and sanitary considerations will be paramount for some time, rather than armed defense (hopefully). If you can last two-three months or so without outside provisions, you might find that you're living in a relatively empty area, as certainly not one home in ten (maybe one in fifty) would have that capability. But once you've eaten all the abandoned dogs and cats, well....hmmm.

- OS
 

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My first thought would be to grab a collection of cars that are no longer operational, and build a fence in the middle of the road and in the border lawns with them. Remove the fencing from non essential areas and reinforce it in the weak. If necessary, scuttle a home, booby trap a home, colapse a home for reinforced protection.
 

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Perimeter signs such as "If you can see a house, we've already seen you"

Warning devices with blanks. I have seen a couple contraptions online for tripwire + blank shotgun shells. Use some kind of incendiary or tracer round and you will get a visual and sound.

Keep some fires burning on the perimeter at night predetermined intervals such as 100m, 300m etc. Use it as a range finder and mess up any intruders night vision.

Keep a few rolls of barbed wire. Roll them out along the perimeter on the ground. Someone comes walking night or day and trips up on that barbed wire. I don't know how many times I got gashes while fencing from tripping up on barbed wire.

Set up a fortified OP on the roof if you are some of the few left. Be sure to have communication with those inside. Take shifts on watch.

punji pitts, dead falls, and other traps, assuming this really is the end of the world and not just a local disaster

caltrops serve as good anti-vehicle devices. you can make your own using nails

build earth berms by hand around the outside of the home. 3-5 feet tall except at windows
 

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Where do you live?

I recently left Dallas for the (relative) safety of NH in anticipation of a SHTF scenario.

The thing about Dallas is that there is a massive field of suburbs built around the downtown areas of Dallas and Forth Worth, housing about 8 million I think from recent estimates. Honestly, I think the gangs would work in concentric circles from their bases of operations and began spiraling outward once the local grocers and residents were wiped out. This would give a lot of the suburbanites a buffer of a day or two before the gangs began to make it to the extremes of the actual city of Dallas.

I think the good news for a lot of people is that gangs tend to rise up from areas of high population density, especially where there are a lot of victim types around. They will probably begin by taking over their city blocks first and establishing a base of operations. Most people know that there are millions of gun owners in America, many of them hunters. The gangs will go after the easiest targets first, which will be the urban dwellers.

If the gangs make it out of the cities, or if gangs of opportunity begin to spring up and go on rampages, defending your home becomes the last of your problems. It is war at this point.

Basically, you are totally f-ed in the suburbs of a modern large city. They will quickly devolve into war zones. I would seriously suggest moving. If you stay, you probably have a day or two before you're stranded in a 24/7 war for extremely scarce resources. Why not move now?
 

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Sweat more, bleed less!
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forget the tacti-cool stuff, blend in. If you haven’t already, get to know you neighbors. If nothing else it will give you a feel for your neighborhood and what to expect (somewhat) when SHTF.

I live in town but with the first sign of trouble its lights out and heading to one of my primary BOL's. they are close enough to keep an eye on things but not so close to get caught up in a confiscation ring or get cornered and killed.

Always have half on lookout and always have scouts out ahead of your perimeter. Having early detection devises like booby traps with blanks or trip flairs is a good idea but that will also make the intruders certain that there is something there worth fighting for.
 

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I was in San Francisco California in the 1989 Earthquake, which was much worse than reported.

The food stores were closed. Restaurants were closed.

The streets were broken, many streets deep in glass from the skyscrapers.

Buildings were broken. The Bay Bridge was broken.

The Marina District was on fire.

We were under first stage martial law.

By the second night, it was near mayhem.

The "gangs" were white men, with resentments, roving around the streets, despite the curfew, loudly bragging who they wanted to murder.

I saw no black man, or any person of color.

Fortunately, the next morning, the Mayor announced anyone who wanted to leave the city could leave. I did. The gas stations sold $3 worth of gas!

note: Is the gas tank full? I keep the gas tank full.

It turned out practically everyone who did leave went to distant family members, about 2 states away, defying the projection for disaster of putting a burden on surrounding communities.

That was three days. Three days.

I think it is prudent to take BOB "short trips" any time you feel things getting bad, as "insurance" against things got bad and you can't go anywhere else.

People in San Francisco thought a huge two-room "family tent" and a Coleman stove was a "good deal" compared to remaining in, and near, broken buildings. I saw no looting, no stealing and no guns. I did see one man dressed up in his team baseball uniform with a hefty metal baseball bat in his hand. That's it.
 

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Well, there are different TSHTF scenarios my area might be susceptible to: tornado, hazmat spill, nuclear leak, etc. But if we're talking societal collapse, I'm not sure I'd stay here.

My suburb is the extreme outer-ring, basically a separate small town a couple decades ago. But in the event of a societal breakdown, I'd expect the dense/urban part of the city to enter into general mayhem for awhile, and within a few days or weeks people would be pouring out. Might be best to cut one's losses and be up in the country before then.

I don't see any likelihood of martial law, because there wouldn't be enough manpower to keep a metro area of 1-2+ million people pacified. They say that The Man learned to use bread & circuses to calm the populace back in ancient Rome, so rather than martial law a massive airdrop of free DVD's (good ones, not the crap in the discount bin at Wallyworld), music and food would probably be most effective.

But for one's own home, I think it's more important to be alive somewhere than to be dead in one's own home. Especially if the mortgage lender technically owns most of it anyway. If the hoardes come and I'm forced out, it'll be the bank's problem at that point -- they can protect their property. I mean, if I owned it free-and-clear, that would be a different matter altogether. But with something like 20-25% of all Americans actually upside-down on their mortgages, it might actually be a good time to let the hoardes take it. You can't lose what you don't own.
 

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Being one of those subdivision dwellers myself I'd considered that question myself. The only thing I could come up with was a kind of panic room. Like in the movie of the same name. A reinforced room or two or maybe a hidden room somewhere in the house.

Only problem is it probably wouldn't work for long term or against a large number of people, or fire, or a number of other things I haven't even considered yet.

I'd like to hear other opinions myself as I can't come up with any long term viable plans.
You might consider an under ground saferoom.
Most subdiv houses are built on crawlspace foundations, with plenty of room underneath.
Dig a pit directly under the closet in the master bedroom about four or five feet deep and pour a 4" thick concrete floor at the bottom, thickened around the edges to about eight inches. Then lay up some block walls to the underside of the floor system, and fill them with concrete at least to the level of the dirt. After backfilling, spread the excess soil around in the crawlspace. This should give you about six or seven feet of head room in the shelter, depending on the height of your foundation. Be sure to leave and escape hatch into the crawl space, just in case.
A simple scuttle hole in the floor above, covered with carpet to match will work for the entrance. A throw rug on top will also help to disguise the carpet seams at the hatch.
Then it's a simple matter of storing your "mission critical" supplies in the under floor space.
When the poop hits the prop, hide in the underground space until the threat passes. Bad guys can roam at will in the house and if you keep quite, they will probably pass you by as there is usually not much of value in a closet and they will spend little time in there. They'll be more concerned about food and weapons.
You will also be safer if they decide to "recon by fire" as you will be below the line of fire.
Down side is that if they do find you, your toast, unless you can escape into the crawlspace and exit out of the house. (A locking mechanism on the hatch, actuated from inside the shelter, will reduce the chance of this.) Or if they fire the house for gits and shiggles, in which case you'll have to exit the shelter through the crawlspace. Note: most crawlspace access panels are latchable from the OUTSIDE, egress from the crawlspace may not be possible until this issue is resolved.
Another problem is that all the digging work will have to be done by hand and that will suck, but it can be done on the sly and nobody will be the wiser.
Cut the access in the floor first, then all tools and materials can be brought into the house and then down into the work area.
If you have an attached garage to stage from, concrete mixing and working will be much easier and out of sight.

Oh, and when diggin the pit, don't undermine the existing foundations of the house.


Just a thought.
 

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Christian
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The "gangs" were white men, with resentments, roving around the streets, despite the curfew, loudly bragging who they wanted to murder.

I saw no black man, or any person of color.
Loud, murderous, roving resentfull white guys. ROFL theres a joke in there somewhere. :rolleyes:
 

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I lived near downtown in a subdiv a number of years back. I think that in most cases the population density will determine the outcome if it really is SHTF time. Too many people in a tight areas. Even upscale neighborhoods. I think that you would have a few days to organize, but when thousands of people are watching their kids starve? When the restraint of law is lifted due to no police presence, no cameras?

Key reason why I moved out of the city to a small town of 10K 30 miles from the city. Fall back for a 'wait and see' scenerio is my parents place that is outside a town of 2K. If things really fall apart, then it is a 3hr drive to the middle of nowhere to the BOL. I would love to think that my nieghbors would band together, but would you trust the lives of your kids on that? I don't.
 

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Ok... there's lots of discussions about hidden wilderness retreats and such...with elaborate defensive structures: barb wire fences, lookout posts, spider holes, sniper towers, bunkers, a fortress of sorts manned by 12-14 people, etc.

but realistically...most here live in a subdivision of sorts...

What actual defensive tactics can someone living in a modern subdivision adopt to protect his family in a SHTF (societal collapse) situation? (4 people...living in a modern home, in your modern subdivision)
On some level I would want my subdivision under control, but at the same time, I don't want to look like we have something of value. However, to get the ball rolling, here are some suggestions, and then incorporate your own situation for fine-tuning.

The book Lights Out deals with defending a subdivision. I know you can find the link if you search here. It's free.

US Army Field Manuals on Countermobility, Physical Security, Military Policing, etc. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/

Know the neighbors, never under estimate the power of a pre-apocalyptic muffin basket.
 
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