"We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box." - Congressman Larry McDonald M.D.
(1 April, 1935 - 1 Sept., 1983)


God Save The Republic

22 September 2010

Structural Security . . . Part Two

In the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs, the architects and workers were often ordered killed after building a pyramid. Call it the perfect version of operational security. The bottom line was, those who had the potential to know the secrets of how to enter the pyramid and reach the goodies hidden within were bound to hold the secrets for all time. In short, dead folks tell no tales.

Unless you can build an underground bunker without anyone (outside of close family, and even then you may not be safe) knowing or suspecting, said bunker is likely to become your tomb. Sophistication requires sources for materials and the logistics to get them to your site. Just try getting a rail container to, and buried in, your backyard without raising an eyebrow or two. Or several hundred yards of concrete. Do you think for a second your postal carrier or UPS / Fedex driver isn't aware of at least some of the survival supplies you've been ordering online? It is extremely difficult to avoid paper (and people) trails even when working hard at staying below the radar. How many people would you have to kill in order to keep your secret bunker a secret?

FYI: A bunker requires a fresh air source, and if I know or suspect you have a bunker, I'll find the above ground fresh air duct opening and either choke off the air supply to force you out, or I'll get pissed off from waiting, pour a couple gallons of gas in the duct and drop a match out of spite. As I pointed out in part one, even castles of heavy stone construction fell to highly motivated enemies. A subterranean castle is as much a false sense of security as one built above ground. If you build it, they will come, and destroy it, and take everything you have.

Don't mistake what I'm trying to convey here as promoting a defeatist mentality. Far from it. What I am saying is, you have to realize the benefit of fortification through realistic analysis. And that benefit is TIME.

If, for example, your beefed up entry points can delay a handful of thugs from invading your home, allowing you time to fall back to a "safe room" to call for help and / or arm yourself, then the benefit has been, at least partly, realized. The idea is to continue creating time and distance between you and the threat, then as a last resort, draw them into a choke point where your odds improve if push turns to gun play. However, if you are about to come face to face with a zombie hoard determined to help themselves to your pantry AND / OR YOU, then the benefit you will be in serious need of is time to make a getaway... out the door, window or tunnel and gone. Sure, you might sit in a second floor loft with a panoramic view, picking them off a few at a time but, how long can you stay awake watching? Time is now on their side. (Fat one eye guy says; why blow big bucks on survival stuff if you're going to risk it all in a fight against a numerically superior force?)

The things you need to consider when beefing up your structure's defenses are:

Wooden exterior doors in wooden frames with cheap hardware won't hold up to a battering ram. Steel doors in steel frames and hardened hardware will break too... just not as quickly.

Wood or steel doors with decorative glass panels look great, but you may as well not even bother locking them. Especially if you want to avoid having the decorative glass decorating your floor when bad guys break the glass to reach in to unlock the door.

With a little imagination, a foyer / open entry way can be turned into a 90 degree choke point with a 34 inch interior opening, with eye appeal, using a minimal investment in wall studs, drywall, drywall screws, joint compound, paint and time. This helps to prevent a straight in "bum rush" entry, tending to force "hard chargers" into looking like the Three Stooges trying to jam into a small space at the same time.

Windows... I can't find anything nice to say about windows. It's hard enough to find windows that will keep out a cold draft, let alone uninvited guests. It's first weakness is the glass and the second is the frame. Quarter height decorative wrought iron bar work will slow down unprepared thug type invaders. It will also slow down "retreaters" trying to escape a fire or an advancing zombie platoon. On the other hand, boarding up windows too far in advance of a societal crisis might appear a tad ostentatious to friends, neighbors or the homeowner's association Gestapo.

Provided there is (and I suspect there would be) some advanced notice of a collapse, having a few cases of sandbags, ready for filling and stacking along exterior walls, and inside windows, would be a wise purchase. They will stop repeated hits from most small arms fire, and when stacked with gaps across windows will provide adequate gun ports for returning fire.

Regardless of the best laid plans and preps, it is vitally important to understand; DO NOT become fixed on an "in place" survival strategy. Any structure can be breached. Plan for the possibility of having to make a hasty retreat out and away from your location should the situation demand. Preferably a retreat that can be made out of sight, and therefore out of mind, of those folks you really need to avoid. Of course you do have a list of "Plan B" locations already scoped out, right?


1 comment:

  1. ...nice finish...
    ...lets stress again,damn those windows...anyway,ya pointed out the best ideals,configure yer belongings to disrupt straight lines,lines of sight,etc to allow those precious two or three seconds for response time...
    ...i got a few strategically placed mirrors too,to "allow" me to see around a couple my corners leading to 'fatal funnels',and i know my house,i now where yer at by the squeaks in the floor(useless fer slabhouses huh?...lol)
    ...and don't forget to practice,practice,practice...