How to Avoid Being Targeted by Looters During a Period of Civil Unrest

Daniel Major
By Daniel Major June 8, 2018 11:16

How to Avoid Being Targeted by Looters During a Period of Civil Unrest

This post was gladly contributed by Danny Major from Alpha Survivalist.

There isn’t much any of us can do to stop a natural disaster or doomsday type scenario happening in our towns and cities. All we can do is ensure we are in the best position possible to ride out the worst of the situation and come out the other side in as good a shape as possible.

In other words, if you want to survive, you had better make sure you are as well prepared as possible – but where do you start?

There is a seemingly endless list of things you can ‘prep’, as well as many new skills you can learn that will undoubtedly help you in the future. However, for this article I am going to concentrate on just one thing- how to make your home as ‘looter-proof’ as possible.

Related: Home Security Tips From an Ex-Burglar

How to Make Your Home Less Appealing to Looters

If you think about it, the vast majority of homes in the US are not very secure. Sure they might have a top of the range alarm system fitted but let’s be honest about it; who’s going to respond to a ‘bells and whistles’ alarm system when all hell’s breaking lose?

To deter looters you will need to look at other more effective methods, because your alarm system is simply not going to cut it. That isn’t to say that a good alarm system isn’t worth having; they are still one of the best home intrusion deterrents you can have. It’s just that an alarm is of limited use when there is no law enforcement available to respond to it!

So let’s consider the best ways to make your home a less appealing target for looters, or any other unwanted intruder for that matter.

Reducing your kerbside appeal!

I’m not suggesting you should make your property look like some run down hovel; far from it. What I am suggesting is to make your property look as unappealing a target as possible. Make it look like it will be far more trouble to break into than it’s worth compared to every other house in the neighborhood.

How to Avoid Being Targeted by Looters During a Period of Civil Unrest

There are a few ways that can be used to encourage looters to target other properties rather than yours. The first is to have a visibly strong wrought iron storm door fitted that would obviously require a lot of effort to get through.

You could also grow large rose bushes or similarly thorny shrubs under all your downstairs windows; they may look beautiful but trust me, you would not want to force your way through one to get to a window, especially when there are other, nearby properties that don’t have a dense barrier of thorns protecting them.

Strengthening your home

A new wrought iron storm gate and strategically placed rose bushes will certainly make it more difficult for a potential intruder to gain access, but to a hardened criminal they will be considered a mere hindrance. You will need to step up your game a little if you want to keep these types of vermin at bay.

To a professional criminal a storm gate is only as good as the lock securing it, so always try to get as good a lock fitted as possible; this obviously goes for all your windows and doors too.You can further strengthen all doors by fitting affordable door clubs, which will make almost any solid door impenetrable.

Most intruders will try to gain access to a property by forcing a door, but the next most common forced entrance is via a downstairs window. There are a couple of ways you can make your windows stronger; improve the locks on them as mentioned earlier, and apply a sticky transparent film that when applied thickly to the inside of your glass is designed to make them virtually shatterproof.

Related: No Power? No Problem! Methods for Home Security When the Grid is Gone

Don’t advertise that you have something others will want!

Beware of the Dog How to Avoid Being Targeted by Looters During a Period of Civil Unrest

Signs can tell one person one thing, and somebody else something totally different. Take a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign for example. It warns people that there is a dog on the premises; they will either give your home a wide berth or be stupid enough to get bitten, but the likelihood of someone stealing your dog is slim.

Now compare that to someone who puts up a sign advertising that they will shoot looters on sight, or that they are a member of the NRA. This type of signage will obviously deter a lot of looters – but there will be a few who will target that property specifically to steal the owner’s weapons.

Even if those weapons are secured in a coded gun safe they will not be safe, because if someone is threatening to hurt your partner or your child unless you open it, you are going to open it.

Advertise you have a dog by all means, but it really is better not to advertise you have guns in your home, regardless how safe doing so makes you feel. Don’t worry; if at some point an intruder gets past your strengthened security measures that will be the time to let them know you have a gun!

By the way, if I haven’t said so already, having a guard dog trained to protect you and your family is a great idea.

Make it difficult for looters to reach your door, never mind opening it!

If you have strengthened your windows and doors as outlined above you shouldn’t simply sit and wait for an intruder to try and force them open; you should at least make them work for that opportunity!

How to Avoid Being Targeted by Looters During a Period of Civil Unrest

Making the navigation from the perimeter of your property to your actual house as difficult and as hazardous as possible for would-be intruders will not only make an attempt to loot your home even less enviable, but it will also provide you with more time to prepare your defense of your home against those stupid enough to try.

Defensive measures can include the use of barbed wire on surrounding walls and fences, trip wires that trigger all sorts of unpleasant surprises, to booby traps such as nail spikes (pieces of wood with large nails hammered through them that are hidden on the ground, waiting for unsuspecting intruders to stand on them).

Whether or not you put up notices warning people that there are security measures in place is up to you, but bear in mind not every one who comes calling will have ill intentions. Also, you will need to check your state laws regarding what you can use legally. However, in a SHTF scenario when there is no law enforcement to protect you, many people will simply do what they need to to protect their home and family, irrespective what the state legislative says.

Something that is often overlooked that could very well save your home

How to Avoid Being Targeted by Looters During a Period of Civil Unrest

One item that should be in your home, especially in a situation when looting is rife, is a fire extinguisher!

It may seem a strange item to add to your list, but if looters are desperate to get into your home they will often place it under siege, but because of your precautionary measures and your defensive efforts they will not be able to gain access despite their best efforts. This will result in them becoming frustrated, especially if there are no other homes left to target, and they will start to resort to more extreme methods to force you to leave thus allowing them free unhindered access. Unfortunately, this might mean they try to burn you out.

That is why having a few extinguishers or strategically placed buckets of water lying around, ready to fight any potential firebombing attack, is a wise move.

Although the simple measures outlined above barely scratch the surface of what you can do to protect your home from looters and other criminal elements they will still dramatically help in improving your chances of avoiding being targeted.

You may also like:

Bullet Proof Home Banner New

8 Items You Need To Bring if You Need To Leave In 10 Minutes

World’s Smallest Battery Powers House For 2 Days (Video)

The Best Way to Train Your Dog For Hunting And Security

Ways to Make Your Home More Defensible

What’s the Limit of Your Morality in a Crisis?

Please Spread The Word - Share This Post
Daniel Major
By Daniel Major June 8, 2018 11:16
Write a comment


  1. left coast chuck June 8, 15:44

    I notice in the picture that the plywood over the windows has no peep holes in any of the sheets. While plywood over the windows is fine to keeping folks out, you also can’t see what they are up to unless you provide some means of being able to see out.

    Oh, you have security cameras in place. Okay. but the EMP/CME whiped out all the electric circuits. Now what. Oh, they were in a faraday cage and they run on batteries. and you have solar chargers for the batteries. Well, that will work for a while until the batteries just can’t take a charge any longer.

    You need peepholes in the window protection.

    Reply to this comment
    • Stan June 8, 18:01

      If a emp takes out the grid all nuclear power stations will melt down. Having or not having peepholes in your plywood window coverings will be the least of your concerns.

      Reply to this comment
      • MikeyW June 8, 23:31

        My understanding is that nuclear plants are designed to fail “safe,” i.e., if power is lost, they will automatically go into a shutdown mode. Not even a problem if you’re not near one.

        Reply to this comment
        • Claude Davis June 9, 00:52

          That’s my understanding as well – it needs power to keep the control rods OUT of the reactor core. If the power goes, the rods drop in and slow the reaction to a safe level.

          Reply to this comment
          • Greg June 9, 05:51

            I worked in nuke power for 25 years. If grid power is lost, all oplants have back up diesel generators that will come online in a second or two to provide power to only the critical systems/components needed to bring the plant to a safe shutdown and to maintain continuous cooling to the spent fuel pool (unlike Fukashima). After the Fukashima event, some plants now have back up generators to thier main backup generators. The plants can shut down all by themselves without human interaction.

            Reply to this comment
            • poorman June 9, 12:31

              And how much fuel do they have Greg? Just wondering how long they can run. If we are talking an EMP they are going to have to run for a long time.

              Reply to this comment
            • Eth June 9, 21:38

              Would Generators be ruined (copper coils or whatever is inside) from an EMP?

              Reply to this comment
              • Stan June 10, 00:25

                Most of the people who worry about emp would tell you that. But reality isn’t like the movies. Look at the congressional report on emp testing. Most cars and consumer electronics would fail only PART of the time at the highest credible e fields. And that testing was done a decade and a half ago. Today’s electronics are even more reliable. Don’t get me wrong. An employee would be a disaster. But it would NOT be the ‘back to the stone age’ so many fear.

                Reply to this comment
                • Bill June 11, 23:57

                  Hi Stan,

                  I tend to agree with you on this as far as EMP wiping everything out, but I’m sure it will do damage to some degree.

                  I have come to the conclusion that the grid will probably be down in many places, but vehicles and gen sets and things like that, may not be.

                  I think the grid will be damaged, and my logic may be 110% wrong, but I think an EMP will back feed and the transformers that step DOWN the power coming to our homes, will be sending stepped UP power back into the grid and over loading it and causing damage…….maybe?????

                  It’s like you running a gen set that’s feeding power into a down grid and 10 miles away a lineman is killed from stepped up power.

                  Again, I may be screwed up as polio here, but that’s my logic.

                  I also think vehicles and gen sets and anything not plugged into the grid at the time of an EMP, may have a higher survival rate than we’re thinking, and I base this off of research and in part, this video of a vehicle being hit with 800,000 volts.


                  Again this is not an EMP, but I’m not sure how we can get any closer to testing other than the real thing, but this does give me hope that anything not hooked to the grid, has a better chance of surviving.

                  As far as evil people coming for you and your home, I think that’s a real threat and one I take more seriously than any other.

                  I myself, I’m not putting up ANY signs, even the beware of dog sign, because I do not want them to ever have a heads up on anything. The last thing I need is for them to throw a poison steak to my dog to distract it and an hour later he’s dead or dying.

                  I want the dog to be a complete surprise once they clear the fence.

                  Then if they get past the dog, I want to funnel them to where I want them to go. Maybe even have some premade and prepositioned things like “FAKE” cover that they run to and hide behind and then you trigger a little surprise.

                  Give these people a reason to quit and not come back before using lethal force, but if you don’t quit and you keep coming and you get to a “CERTAIN” point of no return, all bets are off.

                  Also, I was told by my lawyer that he doesn’t want to see beware of dog signs anywhere on my property. He said if your dog attacks someone, they will sue you for KNOWINGLY having a dangerous animal running free on your property, and that sign proves you knew it was dangerous.

                  He said if you don’t have a sign, and your dog attacks someone, you say “HE NEVER ACTED LIKE THAT BEFORE AND I’M JUST AS SHOCKED AND SURPRISED AS EVERYONE ELSE BECAUSE HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN SUCH A GOOD DOG WITH THE FAMILY AND OUR FRIENDS” and what an animal is thinking or planning is some thing no one can predict.

                  The dog would be put down, and you might have to pay medical expenses depending on the entire situation, but they would have a very tough time suing you for massive amounts of money.

                  Basically he said do not give them any ammo to use against you in court, because the way courts are going, common sense is out the door, and the poor criminal who came to rob you and God knows what else, is the real victim here because of YOUR DOG.

                  Reply to this comment
            • Consco June 11, 20:10

              I have wondered about this. Thanks for sharing this!!!

              Reply to this comment
        • Stan June 9, 06:48

          That’s exactly right. But EVERY reactor at Fukushima that melted down (plus the fuel in the spent fuel pools that were damaged) survived the quake and wave. What caused the meltdowns was the loss of coolant when backup power was lost AFTER the reactors we’re shut down. Even if you stop the chain reaction nuclear reactors do not immediately stop generating heat. In a grid down even that so many preppers speculate could happen, one where all electronic and electrical devices dies, nuclear power plants would loose cooling, and as a result, they would melt down.

          Reply to this comment
        • GA Blackhawk September 4, 15:33

          Nuke Plants are designed to fail safe, HOWEVER, without power, they cannot keep the shutdown core cool. The Nuke Plant emergency diesel generators only have enough fuel on-site to last 7 days. Unless the receive additional fuel for the EGDs, there will be releases to the environment.

          Reply to this comment
    • Armin June 9, 22:42

      And this reminds about something else for all of you to consider. I forgot to put it into that post about home defense. Another vulnerable point are those plastic pipes sticking out of the wall of your home. One is an intake for the furnace. The other the exhaust. The intake is extremely vulnerable. What’s to stop someone from putting a noxious substance into the intake pipe if they’re trying to get you out of your house? Something as simple as ammonia based. Or pour a gallon of gas down that pipe and light ‘er up. Or even something like concentrated skunk stink.
      Especially if it’s winter or cold weather and your furnace has to be on. In very short order your house becomes unlivable or a burning inferno. If you live in a hot climate I don’t know if they can do something to your air conditioning unit. I’m sure that if some one wants to get at you in an EOTW situation they can be very “creative” about it. The more that I keep thinking about what may happen if the SHTF the more it worries me. Maybe if we want to have the greatest chance to survive we may HAVE to move to a smaller community somewhere we can have enough land to support our family. Obviously not a choice for everyone. Something like people like Clergylady already did. She’s already a true survivalist and is living it.

      Reply to this comment
      • Consco June 11, 20:13

        A simple beer bottle full of gas with a rag tucked in it and thrown on to your roof wins. Negates most of your advantages.

        Reply to this comment
  2. Labienus June 8, 17:06

    If they have the supplies, they won’t need to burn you out. They can out last you. Take the siege of Alessia for example. Caesar had enough food and supplies, so he didn’t need to get vercingetorix food, water or materials. He wanted the man. So he stopped his allies from saving him, and literally starved him out, with circumvallation. If they want to put you under siege, be ready to wait or fight.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck June 8, 19:48

      Read enough history about B.C. and up through the middle ages about sieges and and you will see that they were often a a double ended sword. As you pointed out, they had to be amply supplied with food themselves. If the countryside around the sieged castle or town had been denuded of supplies oftentimes the attackers themselves starved out. That was frequently the case with the crusaders in the Middle East and many sieges failed due to lack of preparation on the part of the crusaders.

      That was why Constantinople was such a tough nut to crack and withstood many sieges was because its walls were so extensive and because they made sure they laid waste to the countryside around Constantinople before the attackers arrived. There were other factors, but most besiegers starved out, gave up and went away.

      Perhaps the most recent siege that saw the attackers starved out was the German siege for Moscow and Leningrad. The Russians initiated a scorched earth policy on their retreat from the Germans. As the Germans’ supply lines stretched further and further into Russia they tried to resupply locally only to find out that everything had been stripped from the countryside..

      Reply to this comment
      • Consco June 11, 20:18

        Agreed LCC. And it is great reading as well. In a simple wood framed house, if the attackers cant get it and dont want you to have it, they will simply get mad and burn it down. No one gets it. They then move to the next place. Firefighters will be overwhelmed and of little use. No one wins. LOL most neighborhoods will not let you build a style of house like one of the coastal defense forts we see in the west. You are stuck with a siding that burns and one of 3 colors of beige….choose wisely!!! Your families safety depends on it.

        Reply to this comment
  3. Jo June 8, 17:56

    What is the sticky window film called? Brand, or where to buy it? Thanks

    Reply to this comment
  4. Stan June 8, 18:04

    When I see someone with a fancy security door on their house I see someone who has something they are willing to spend a lot of money to protect. That would be at the top of my target list. James goes people with “beware of” signs.

    If you want to make your house more secure, the more covert methods you use the better.

    Reply to this comment
    • Claude Davis June 8, 19:01

      Security doors are good, but you’re right – if it’s obviously a security door it’s just going to attract attention. Discreet security is a better option. A steel door with a wooden facing looks pretty normal, and unless someone’s close enough to hear how it sounds when it closes they won’t know what the barrier is until they try to get through. Just don’t forget that the frame has to be as strong as the door itself.

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe June 11, 13:06

        I would say the people inside the house are the most valuable to protect. So whatever you need to do to secure your loved ones then do it. Maybe have a normal door on the outside then an iron door on the inside so it can’t be seen. Maybe have a deeper than normal door frame to accommodate an extra door or two. Will look weird and may not have to install it until something g bad happens. Would be like those cartoons we watched as kids. Open one door and another is right behind it. Talk about psychological warfare. Lol

        Reply to this comment
  5. Prepper In Training June 8, 18:13

    Our government believes that if you throw enough money into it, a problem will go away. Unfortunately, a lot of people have come to believe that philosophy.

    In a scenario where there is no convenient law enforcement, and you are forced to defend your home and family, no amount of money spent today will totally protect you. Even if you don’t have supplies, it may be that your home is the desired object.

    If I were the “bad guy” going in to take your stuff, I would come with sufficient numbers to overwhelm your defenses. I would not rush to attack, but I would assess the situation and hit at the weakest spot at the most opportune time.

    Vigilance in defending your property is mandatory, but how vigilant can you be with multiple access points? LCC has a point, if you cannot see through the plywood, then it is not allowing you to see what is coming. However, if that plywood is strong enough to block a possible entry, then you will have one less area to defend.

    I do not remember which article I read, but there is an article on this site about how to defend your home once people have gotten in. The object is to have limited movement for the intruders, while providing yourself with the most vantage points. I am not advocating opening your doors to allow intruders in, just so you can kill them, but sometimes the best defense is the properly contrived offense.

    Be a good neighbor and friend to people, but make sure they know that you do not bluff 100% of the time. If people know that you will respond harshly when you are threatened, maybe they will not be so quick to pay you that unwanted visit.

    Reply to this comment
    • Claude Davis June 8, 19:03

      Having a plan to defend against intruders who make it into the house is a great idea, but it should only ever be a fallback option. The same principles – limiting the intruders’ movements while giving yourself good positions to fight from – can be applied outside, too. Use outbuildings, natural features and some well-placed rose bushes or barbed wire to channel intruders into approaches you can overlook from inside, and they won’t get close to the house.

      Reply to this comment
    • Stan June 8, 20:48

      On average $1 of preventative spending saves $6 in costs in a disaster. You CAN solve many problems by spending. Not all, but many.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Kage June 8, 18:19

    Heads on pikes? Crow cages?

    Reply to this comment
  7. Dave June 8, 18:20

    Also, throw a few items around, like old clothes, broken electronics, item you don’t use, around the outside of the house, to make it look like you have already been looted.

    Reply to this comment
  8. JakeTP June 8, 20:41

    How about a sign. “Go Away”
    “If you were not invited you should leave now while you can.”
    “Nothing on this property is worth your life.”

    Reply to this comment
    • Desert Lion July 10, 15:44

      Pointless. A criminal is not going to go away because your sign told him to. The others are threats that imply you can do something about it if they don’t comply, which means you might as well have “Guns Available Here” sign. Nice try, though. Signs don’t harden anything. Look at how many banks that get robbed have “No Weapons Allowed” signs on the doors.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Jeff June 8, 20:47

    Another idea for perimeter security: fill some mid-sized clay planters with small stones, screws, nuts, whatever and place some fake flowers in the pot. Leave about 1/3 of the side facing your home filled with dirt or potting soil and place some type of decal about 1/3 up from the bottom. In the center of the pot place about a 1/4 pound of Tannerite. The decal will be your target…you get the idea. Also, as far as plywood over the window goes that’s fine but spend the extra money and get some “marine grade” plywood as it’s much stronger. Bolt it to your home using Torx screws as the average lowlife probably won’t even know what they are and won’t be able to remove them. Hinge a few outward opening “gunports” that can be secured from the inside to the plywood.

    Reply to this comment
    • Eth June 9, 21:44

      You’re pretty smart…

      Reply to this comment
    • Frank June 9, 22:58

      Clever ideas. Even some empty holes which will be mistaken for gopher, rabbit or maybe turtle holes, can stop someone. I’d even consider placing stuff outside in a state of disarray in the backyard to hinder an intruders movement. It would be almost comical to see some jerk trip over a toy or a length of rope tangled in the grass.

      Reply to this comment
    • Freddie S June 4, 20:00

      Tannerite is good. I prefer pressurized fuel canisters. Anything from a bic to a 40lb propane tank. Refueling cans for lighters, etc. Of course the bigger they are the farther you have to be from them so you don’t take yourself out. I have a very long “driveway”,

      Reply to this comment
    • Consco June 11, 20:38

      The Tannerite and clay pots work very well. We used about 1/2 lb in each as the pots we have are heavy. The damage in about a 40 degree arc was incredible. In the stud bays beside the 2 exterior doors are 1/2 inch AR500 steel. Was not cheap but was an easy task. Had it pre cut.
      The film on the windows should be done by a pro. I tried a small area and REALLY sucked at it. Many other things I will not share that are passive but will cause much screaming. Agree with Marine plywood. We figured out a way to layer it in some brackets. Trying to come up with a better bracket system as we speak. Plywood painted black so it looks like the window.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Stormeagle June 8, 21:01

    My home is my castle and not defended by the usual mind set of guns. Any intruder into my home enters another world of defense that most are really not prepared for or even think about existing in a home environment. Those of us inside have the proper gear to survive a defensive stand and its not required to be locked up and everything legal to be owned by any household. Yes, the conventional systems are in place for advance warning in a normal environment but its the abnormal or SHTF environment that the SHTF protection systems come into play. Roses bushes are fine but Barberrry bushes are better and require less maintenance than roses, besides Barberry grows upwards of 6 feet tall and 5 feet thick. The bushes can be trimmed to look great for decorative purpose or an awesome hedge. they can also be supplemented with many other hidden “traps” placed when SHTF hits.
    Oh, back to inside the house. When the SHTF hits the security will be changed completely because electric backup is limited time duration but mechanically loaded warning devices last many months and the legal owned household items store for years. All you need is the knowledge as to how to make, mix, place, set, the SHTF devices needed to secure your home and make any intruder wonder “Why am I here.” Remember I did say inside we have the proper gear. For those who have not figured out my home defenses for SHTF. Think of a home as a closed confined space that can be defended by unconventional means. A clue is it has been made illegal by the Geneva Convention. Spelled out loud and clear – its called chemical warfare and all the ingredients are for sale in your local grocery store and legal to own. Invade my home – good luck

    Reply to this comment
    • Dennis June 9, 05:08

      I would appreciate any resources you might refer me to in order to learn what you are hinting about. My email is I’d also be interested to know if you have successfully tested any of the ideas you refer me to. Thanks. P.S. I am not a member of any government organization or police force, just an ignorant prepper.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Proud Deplorable June 8, 22:51

    I have done a lot of experimenting with various configuration of trip wires. It is fairly simple to make noise makers, flares, glow stick or even explosive trips. Of course I don’t have them activate at present but they are ready and could put them in play in short order if necessary. Something to consider anyway.

    Reply to this comment
  12. MikeyW June 8, 23:38

    Be VERY careful of setting anything that could be considered a booby-trap until and unless there is a complete breakdown of law and order. That plank with the nails pointing up could engender a lawsuit and be in and of itself, an illegal device for which you could be arrested.

    Reply to this comment
    • Proud Deplorable June 9, 00:28

      Thanks Mikey I do keep that in mind and as I say nothing is in use but is ready to go. Certainly I would not use anything that would cause injury unless all was lost. My original intent in fact was just to let me know if someone was approaching. Light stick trips work well for this. I found however that it is not fool proof because animals also set them off. LOL

      Reply to this comment
  13. Hoosier Homesteader June 8, 23:50

    Stormeagle, I never thought of this means of defense. THANK YOU for mentioning it.
    I’ll be doing some homework and writing down some “recipes” for my new “cookbook”.
    ….That’s what I enjoy most about this site; I’m always learning something new!

    Reply to this comment
    • Stormeagle June 9, 04:23

      Your very welcome. Don’t forget personal protection such as chemical filter masks for those inside the home that should survive some very choking and lethal fumes. Even a backpack air supply may be needed. Be extremely careful of possible skin absorption of some lethal liquids and fumes. Do very cautious and do very complete investigations of all chemicals and mixes. Just an example – Ammonia based sprays and fumes or ammonia based and Chlorox based mixes. The delivery systems can be pressure systems that are passive until activated. Even a personal reused squirt squeeze bottle can be blinding and choking when loaded with a mix of 80% ammonia with water and liquid laundry soap. Its blinding and choking and sticky, so hard to rub off. Just don’t squirt yourself. It’s amazing what is sold across the grocery store, hardware store, do it yourself store counter that can be very dangerous. Read the contents and be amazed at what is there – Example – Stump Remover.
      Oh, even the makings for Nitroglycerin can be found across the counter. DO NOT mix it up and try to store it. Homemade Nitro is unstable and can do untold damage. That’s why blasting in open pit mines uses urea fertilizer and diesel fuel with an electric blasting cap. Grandpa use to put the ingredients for Nitro in two small glass containers in such a way that it was dormant. we would go put it under a stump to remove and stand back( way back) and shoot it with a 22 rifle. The first shot broke the containers and the 2nd set off the blast to remove the stump. Those were the good old days down on the farm.
      From one Hoosier to another, please be very careful with all chemicals and their use, particularly in different mixes.

      Reply to this comment
      • Stan June 9, 06:56

        As someone who has made nitogylcerine and tnt and picric acid and astrolite and sprengel explosives and rdx and hmx and petn and anfo and a whole slew of explosive peroxides – I call bs. Glycerine does NOT nitrate instantly. If you mix the acids and glycerine with a .22 round and try to detonate the mixture with the next round you are going to do more damage to the stump with the .22 than any chemistry.

        Reply to this comment
        • Stormeagle June 9, 18:08

          You are well trained in explosives. I was around 10 years old and Grandpa told me what to do and when, that’s been a long time ago. I just remember shooting at the bottles and then shooting again. He did talk a lot.

          Reply to this comment
      • Hoosier Homesteader June 9, 11:18

        Stormeagle, I will have to be extremely cautious since this defense is totally new to me. At this point, stage zero for me, is this something you mix as potentially needed? Off hand, this doesn’t sound like something you’d prepare and then put it on a shelf in the garage.

        Reply to this comment
        • Stormeagle June 9, 17:57

          HH, some mixes can be pre-made and stored. The close range mix bottle, of ammonia, water and liquid detergent, I have stored for a year and it remains very breath taking. All of the mixes I have made are NOT tested on animals, people or any living creature. They have all been mixed and tested for storage. The effectiveness has been by chemical formula analysis and the formula by-products released and analysed. Unless you have these capabilities DO NOT just play with chemicals they are extremely dangerous and very DEADLY. To do some of the things I have done, start first with a Chemical Engineering Degree or an extensive Military background in chemistry.
          Maybe would be better to get back to the thread subject of How to avoid being targeted by looters. I seem to have opened a can that should have remained sealed. My apology to the thread originator.

          Reply to this comment
          • Armin June 9, 21:56

            I hear a lot of people talking about chemical defense and it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea but before you start mixing chemicals I VERY strongly suggest you do your research. And stormeagle is very correct. The stores are chock full of chemicals that could be adapted for home defense. If you mix them incorrectly you could have some unwanted effects. I was taking a course in college one time and the teacher told us this “funny” story. Not so funny for the people involved. The maintenance staff had been cleaning the bathrooms and was using some kind of a bleach cleaner for the toilets. I guess they didn’t flush well enough after the cleaning. The park opened. People started coming in and of course started using the toilets. Apparently some bleach-type cleaners and urine produce something like chlorine gas. Something like the gas they used in world war one. The people that came in after started passing out and were having serious problems breathing. I don’t know if anyone died but it was no joke. And be careful with tannerite. A little goes a long way. Makes a hell of a bang. For me, nitro glycerine is an unknown. I like the idea about the clay pots, Jeff. We could probably make our own claymore’s using ball bearings, nails, glass and black powder. Someone else was saying make your home look like it’s already been looted by throwing old stuff around the outside. May be a good idea once the crisis is underway but I know that where I live if the outside of the house looks too messy the town will actually come in and clean it up and charge you. It’s in the town by-laws. But there are so many options for home defense, only limited by our imaginations. If I was going to get serious about home defense and I had a little early warning of an upcoming crisis situation I would get quite nasty about home defense. Barberries are a good idea. Unfortunately some barberry species serve as an alternate host of the wheat rust fungus. For this reason cultivation of B. Vulgaris is prohibited in many areas and imports to the United States are forbidden. Even simple things like leg hold traps. Dig a shallow pit. Line it with downward-pointing spikes. And make it even more effective. We’re talking survival. Coat the spikes with some poop. I know it’s a horrible thought. Not only will the people get injured but they’ll also get sick. I look at my home all the time from a tactical point of view and it is much too easy to get into. The sliding glass door going out to the patio worries me the most. That’s the weak point. And if you had an armed gang of people wanting something that you had what’s to stop them from just firing through the walls of your house. Even a long rifle .22 will make it through your walls quite easily. But my biggest concern is fire. They can just burn you out and hope they still find something once the fire dies down. Maybe they don’t even care about that. Maybe they just want to kill you. Maybe there will be a certain type of person that goes around and just tosses Molotov cocktails randomly on people’s houses. We don’t know what’s going to happen if a true crisis hits. I’m sure there will be some that will go completely wacko. Some will indulge their deepest, darkest desires. While thinking about leg-hold traps it also reminds me of actual man traps using spears and set off by a trip wire. Very easy to set up and based on a stationary bow and arrow type of set up. You can set these up with a good sized spear and again “coated” if you wish. You can decide how much tension you want to put on the bow part. If you were going to go that route then you want to channel the attackers down YOUR path of choice not theirs. Which means quite a bit of plants. Where you don’t want them to step you make it virtually impossible for them to walk. Plants with thorns. Poisonous plants. Let your imagination run free. This is OUR lives we’re talking about. NO SURRENDER. NO RETREAT. NO PRISONERS! Maybe even uses vines liberally on the ground. Makes it difficult for them to walk. Easy to fall. And if they do fall, they fall on hidden spikes. And you could even upgrade the man traps. Set them up so that a firing pin hits a good sized slug or a shotgun shell in a pipe set off by a trip wire. Doesn’t have to be very accurate. Doesn’t have to travel very far. And if the bullet tumbles, so much the better. You want to do maximum damage. Put a slight groove in the end of the slug so that it mushrooms when it hits. You want these sons of a bitches never to come back to your house after they lose 90% of their people. Just a small sampling of ideas. I know you guys can come up with many more.

            Reply to this comment
          • Armin June 9, 22:08

            Anything with ammonia is just down right nasty, stormeagle. Even the ammonia-based window cleaners are irritants if I don’t have good air flow going through the house when I’m cleaning windows. I had to visit a company once on business and they were downwind of a Coca-Cola plant. There’s phosphoric acid in Coke. Something went wrong at the plant that afternoon when I was there. They released this huge cloud of ammonia gas into the atmosphere. The plant was at least a quarter of a mile away. When that cloud hit it was VERY difficult to breathe and I was almost passing out. I wanted nothing more than to get the heck out of there. My lungs bothered me for three or four days afterwards. Ammonia in any form is nasty.

            Reply to this comment
          • Hoosier Homesteader June 11, 22:12

            Stormeagle: Per your advise, I feel it’s best if I stick with the ammonia, water, and liquid detergent…. That alone might give an intruder a bad day.
            Proverbs 22:3 comes to mind: “The prudent man sees danger and takes precautions, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
            Thanks again for this defensive tactic. With the ammonia/water/detergent idea, I’ll have one more tool to use against the bad guy.

            Reply to this comment
  14. Wolf June 9, 10:48

    These, where all good comments.
    However, i have my security. 9mm

    Reply to this comment
    • Armin June 9, 22:30

      A 9mm is a fine gun, Wolf. Whether you have an S&M or a Glock or a CZ 75 they all have about a 17 or 18 round clip. Which is great. How long do you think you would last against a determined armed group of 30 men or more? They just wouldn’t attack you with guns. They may first put a few rounds through the walls of your house. They could start a fire at both the front and the back as a “distraction”. A complete home defense plan involves much more than just a hand gun. I’m hoping what you said was just tongue-in-cheek.

      Reply to this comment
  15. Caro June 9, 13:00

    My home has floor to ceiling windows in the den, my living room has a huge picture window with 36 small panes and my kitchen door is half glass and my dining has a double glass patio door . What do you suggest for protective measures?

    Reply to this comment
    • JakeTP June 9, 15:39

      I would recommend at least looking into the security window film discussed earlier. The on line tests I watched some time ago were very impressive. If you search on “window security film” there is a lot of info.

      Reply to this comment
    • oldguy2099 June 9, 20:35

      Home Depot and Loews both carry security bars that mount on the inside of windows. They are adjustable widths. They will not completely stop intruders that use chains and trucks to enter your home, but they will severely slow someone down. If they want to get past those bars, they will have to break the windows to get at them. That will alert you to their position and can promptly put rounds through the window. The nice thing about them is one man can easily mount them, as long as he has a good drill and strong batteries, in an afternoon by himself, AND they story flat in the box till they are used. So if you wife hates the idea of bars on the windows, you can just store them in their boxes till they are needed. They come in black and white and are paintable. I painted mine. Be sure to use at least 3 inch screws to install them. So if interested, measure your windows and by them NOW as home Depot and Lowe’s frequently run out of them . I did my 2 houses by myself, that’s easily 30 windows. And for tall windows just mount additional sets on the window. Easy peasy

      Reply to this comment
      • JakeTP June 9, 23:50

        I am toying with some designs for good old fashion window shutters. Like a lot of houses I have the decorative vinyl / plastic shutters on know. I have been thinking, why not build a functional shutter that are still aesthetically pleasing. They could be built to lock from the inside and you could cut decorative holes to keep watch outside. If built right they would protect the windows not only when SHTF but also in tornado season, or if you want, when you go away for a weekend. The would be especially useful for your weekend cabin get away. Just a thought.

        Reply to this comment
        • Armin June 10, 03:26

          I’ve also thought about real shutters for a long time, Jake. Up here more for things like hail storms. We’ve had some real doozies of hail storms and frankly I’m surprised the windows are still intact.

          Reply to this comment
          • JakeTP June 11, 15:51

            Just thinking out loud, I am wondering how I might go from manual shutter to push button operation and lock. Of course the next evolution would be to make them remote controlled. If nothing else I enjoy pondering such things. Thinking about these projects is what puts me to sleep a night. 🙂

            Reply to this comment
    • Clergylady June 10, 03:38

      A good escape route or hidden room somewhere.

      Reply to this comment
      • Armin June 10, 21:24

        The thing that worries me the most about all this is fire, Clergylady. I like the idea about a safe room somewhere in the house but if not built properly and they do decide to set your house on fire you could get barbecued. If a person has a bit of property (less than an acre) they could plan an escape route and build a tunnel to something like a looter/tornado-proof storm cellar. But then how do you build the tunnel out to it without arousing neighbourly suspicions? We’ve all talked about these types of things ad nauseum and no plan is perfect. Every plan has its pros and cons. You’ve done it the right way, Clergylady. You’re already on your piece of land living the dream and showing the rest of us how it could be done. As I’ve said somewhere else maybe that’s how we HAVE to do it if we’re serious about having any chances of surviving an EOTW crisis. Anywhere near a larger city is going to be problematic at best once things head south and we’ve all discussed the possible scenarios. None of them very palatable. At some point or other many of us may have to make the hard decisions and pull up stakes and relocate our families.

        Reply to this comment
    • Govtgirl June 12, 06:09

      There are roll down metal shutters, kind of like Roman shades. They come with automatic gear or you can pull them down like you pull the curtain closes over sliding glass doors. I have a neighbor who has them on the side facing the water. We get high winds here with gusts up to 90 mph occas., but mostly gusts to 70 several x each winter. These are not cheap. They paid $10,000 about 15 years ago. Also, since these are exterior metal roll downs seem like they could be dismantled. I recall reading about a build it yourself hexagonal cottage that had roll downs because it was for vacations only so they were for security. If not out of reach for you there might be a product out there that could work for the big glass. We have two sets of sliding glass doors as well as large windows, two skylights, impossible to defend. Plan to move in 2021 and security will figure big in location and house. I remember traveling on I-10 and spending the night in El Paso where everyone had grillwork and not for the aesthetics. It is so disconcerting to think that we may all have to live behind bars because of thugs. Call me too close to Seattle.

      Reply to this comment
  16. Illini Warrior June 9, 13:45

    Not near enough emphasis on a fire protection plan ….

    It’s a PC world – reality doesn’t enter often and rarely discussed – but arson is a much bigger threat than looting in today’s social disturbance – and fire as a racially motivated revenge tool all toooo real …

    Reply to this comment
    • JakeTP June 9, 15:54

      I agree with you on fire protection illini. As a 20 year Fire Chief I dare say there is not a great deal one can do. in a SHTF all in scenario. Certainly with small fire you can step in and catching the fire very early can make a lot of difference. Like everything else we discuss we need to be as prepared as we can with extinguishers, water, locking up fuel, keeping flammables away from structures, have several plans for egress. There are many variables of course but the old saying is a fire doubles in size every 2 minutes.

      Reply to this comment
      • Illini Warrior June 9, 17:05

        common tactic they employ is using the wind to spread the fire and blow embers – just wetting down the roof with a lawn sprinkler helps with that and also any thrown flammables …

        utmost is keeping any arson contained outside – not allowing the Zippo Squad reaching thru broken windows and liting curtains & furniture …

        Reply to this comment
  17. Frank June 9, 23:09

    Bobby traps, thorny plants, gravel, broken glass, highly aggressive or territorial animals such as geese or maybe a hive of bees, or well trained dogs are all defensive weapons. You could even try to electrify metal objects such as window screens or fencing if you have some power.

    A camera with a flash even a disposable one, can be used to blind anyone who gets too close to your windows. And as archaic as it may sound, spears are effective for defending doors, windows and inside hallways.

    In addition to suppressed firearms, one can make use of slingshots, crossbows, and compound bows. You can use radio controlled planes or quad-copters equipped with cameras to observe and patrol.

    The problem is that defending your home is a scenario that offers multiple advantages as long as one has made their home and property secure, they can see everything looking out, can hide or disguise parts of the home and property or out buildings. It’s your place, you know it, you have supplies and if well stocked and well armed with weapons and strategies it’s a hard target to penetrate.

    Nobody can predict exactly what our neighbors would do or what kind of scumbags may show up and when. I don’t think once you start shooting that people will give up totally, but most will be deterred. And no matter hard you try to give the impression that you have nothing to take, the fact that you may have a big house or nice looking house or just that you are alive may be enough for some people to fixate on you being someone that has stuff they can use.

    Hopefully your neighbors will band together and defend each other. but the reality is that many are lazy morons who don’t even have supplies to last 3 days. So you’d have to help everybody and be burdened with them.

    Reply to this comment
    • Armin June 10, 03:45

      You’ve given me some good ideas, Frank. There’s all kinds of creative ways to defend your home. I’m consistent in giving my neighbours the idea that I’m just a poor old guy with few resources and little money. My driveway looks pretty shabby and even though I could fix it, for now I’ll leave it as it is. Once I get my new car I’m going to have to figure out where to store it because what I want to buy will shock the heck out of the neighbours and then my cover will be blown. Everything I do, I do it to give the impression I have little. NO ONE knows the true state of my affairs and I’ll keep it like that. And I understand what you mean when you say that we may have no choice but to help friends and neighbours in an EOTW situation. I’ve talked about it at length elsewhere and I’m not repeating all that and it’s a kind of between a rock and hard place kind of choice. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

      Reply to this comment
  18. IvyMike June 10, 01:29

    I live in an unusual, unincorporated, secluded little working class community of about 150 modest homes with 2 acre lots. Some of the residents are retired, most of us are welders, auto mechanics, teachers, landscapers, electricians, one gunsmith and his shop, hvac…this is Texas so the Crimewatch sign at the entries to the community (one paved, one dirt road) instead of having a picture of a burglar caught in a spotlight the sign sports a 1911 Colt and the warning, Our Residents Are Armed! Needless to say, with Texas’ aggressive Castle Doctrine and No Retreat laws this is a very quiet place, I have not locked my doors at night for 15 years. Problem is we’re only 40 miles from The DFW metro area of 4 millions of terribly hungry people. When the SHTF all I can see is hundreds of thousands of starving people spreading out from the city through fields and small towns like rats and locusts stripping the land bare and finally arriving here. The United States, excepting a few cities in the Civil War, is about the only country that has never experienced war, never seen millions of refugees, cities destroyed, way of life destroyed. Maybe why prepping is so fascinating…

    Reply to this comment
  19. Clergylady June 10, 03:55

    If all else fails… Be prepared to face eternity. ..
    Simple traps, watchfulness, an escape route, a well stocked and armed rootceller/ saferoom, and all the preps you can figure out.
    I just aim not to look too inviting and grow thorny edibles along the fence lines. I have food, a garden, fruit trees, some weapons, and a lot less security than I’d like. If I have to bug out I have stores hidden in caches but I’m getting too old to do too much anymore and I won’t abandon my spouse with Dimentia.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Clergylady June 10, 04:36

    Thanks for the vote of confidence but I’m painfully aware of how short I fall from real security. There is always another insecure scenario I can come up with.
    A backup individual or group would feel more secure. I know that without close neighbors I can rely on I’d have died recently. A SHTF scenario without others would not be good. We won’t have 911, EMTs, or fire departments.
    Who will you depend on or call on? Will you have to stand alone? What can you do in different situations? Trouble shoot different situations.
    My only solution to my latest problem was emergency surgery. In a SHTF situation that might not have happened. My neighbors drove us to the emergency room and they sat all night with my husband. They were home when I had the surgery … It was scheduled for later. The hospital let my husband stay in my hospital room until I was able to go home. I survived but it was close. We need friends and help in many situations. In real anarchy we will need friends and backup.
    It might be family, neighbors, church, or other survivalist but we are stronger in a group than alone.
    Do I do all I can? Sure! Is it enough? Only time will tell.

    Reply to this comment
    • Armin June 10, 22:06

      We’re all talking about the same thing and worried about the same things. Fire is my biggest concern and the next is, as many have said, hordes of very desperate, very hungry people spreading across the countryside like locusts. The experiment has been done. The nearest big city is only about 40 miles south of me. In 24 hours a reasonably healthy person can make it to the next larger town 15 miles NORTH of me. Very possible for the majority of the people to make it to where I am before they become too weak from hunger. And these are things we’ve all discussed endlessly with no resolution. What it comes down to is this. Who can we really trust these days especially when it comes to families with children? Don’t misunderstand. I’m talking SHTF situation. How well do we really know our neighbours? I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to deal with people that were actually starving. Will they still be our friends when they and their children are starving to death or will they cut our throat for a loaf of bread? Parents will do anything for their children and if they are forced to choose between my life and watching their children slowly starve it’s a no brainer. In no way, shape or form am I looking forward to an EOTW situation. The possibilities chill me to the bone. Where I am now, guns are few and far between. So if we have a 100 or more people coming down our street it will not end well. The more I keep thinking about it the more it looks like my only choice may be to seriously try and get that piece of property in my preferred location. Population 1/10 of where I am now. Supply of clean water near by. Far enough away from ANY large population centres. Hospital and police in town. Hunting area with plenty of wildlife so most of the people would at least have rifles. There’s nothing holding me here. I just really have to get it together. It’s time. And there is something pushing me. Won’t let me be. This is going to be my last post for a while. I need to get serious about what I want to accomplish. I can do it just as well from where I want to end up as here. It’s been an honour and a privilege “talking” with all of you. I wish you ALL the best from the bottom of my heart. The next time that I come on Claude’s website I’m hoping it will be from my new home. If you don’t ever hear from me again than more than likely I’ll be dead. Take care. Keep safe. I love and respect you all. Armin.

      Reply to this comment
  21. headhunter January 21, 16:28

    if you live where it is known of bears romeing your area it is always leagle to place spiked boards to deture them from breaking windows and tearing doors down just post bear deturents around its leagle and the bears sometimes cannot read the warnings

    Reply to this comment
  22. Me January 22, 03:56

    Almost all of my windows are covered with aluminum foil 24/7. It not only keeps it cool in the summer but keeps other people from thinking about getting in. also during the winter i keep blankets up covering the blinds. its none of anyones business w t f i am doing. just saying.

    Reply to this comment
  23. Me January 22, 03:57

    Almost all of my windows are covered with aluminum foil 24/7. It not only keeps it cool in the summer but keeps other people from thinking about getting in. also during the winter i keep blankets up covering the blinds. its none of anyones business w t f i am doing. just saying.

    Reply to this comment
  24. red June 12, 04:25

    Fire extinguisher is also a weapon. Loud noise, strange smells, all is frightening to many. Having a dog sign may well make people raid you, if they’re hungry enough. Like a neighbor said, it can come down faster than it went up.
    Our yard is typical ‘desert’ landscaping, with a twist. Plenty of cactus (all eatable) all over. Garden trenches narrow enough they do not need to be walked on. You wouldn’t, anyway. You’d sink knee deep in some into decaying thorn brush, along with scorpions, 6″ long centipedes, and so on needed for garden health. The house is concrete brick, and will have an adobe shell ASAP. We ran out of adobe, but there’s plenty around off-property. Windows are a major concern, but a friend is making ornate iron bars for his place (old horse shoes! He’s a smith 🙂 and we’re talking to him about our place.
    Backyard, much the same as the front. Side, rose arbor, fountain roses, not a lot of thorns, but you need a chainsaw to get by them. Other side is prickly pear and other things even javelina avoid.
    Roof, gonna be flat and covered with bentonite clay ASAP, with stone over that so it can be used as an American Indian patio. Skylights, definitely, but also with steel plates inside in case of a raider shooting into the house. niio

    Reply to this comment
  25. Ehoney June 12, 13:57

    …But what if they throw a smoke bomb, fire, poison into the house? Then YOU are trapped! 🙁
    You need an underground tunnel escape – but far enough to come out away from them…

    Reply to this comment
  26. kt September 14, 17:58

    this is all well and good ideas, but what will you do when you dont have time to prepare? like right now, everyone is taking care of their homes/prop, keeping lawn cut, etc. if the shtf, we wont have time to be growing weeds, boarding windows/doors, barb wiring, putting film inside or whatever…we’ll be in the midst! we have lots of doors/windows on our house, all one level, and 2 of us old what do we do to prepare before the shtf?? thanks

    Reply to this comment
  27. One* September 30, 19:07

    One thing to keep in mind is that much of this stuff (including the comments) is a deterrent. Deterrents will be great for the first stages of a SHTF scenario. If the entire thing lasts for a relatively short period of time then this may be enough. Eventually people will reach a point that deterrents are not enough though. No matter if you focus on making it look like you were already looted or making it “too much trouble” than it is worth there will be a point that those things don’t really matter.

    If you want to give the appearance of already being looted then what happens when every other house was already looted too? Do you try to one up the others and look the most looted? It might not take long for your house to go from looking like the worst prospect to being the best, especially in areas with a higher population.

    Deterrents like making it difficult/dangerous to enter (barriers, spikes, rose bushes, etc) will also eventually become less and less effective to count on. As people get more desperate things like a field of rose bushes to wade through become far less effective.

    If your deterrents don’t incapacitate someone then eventually they will become ineffective. Also all of this is ignoring any potential siege situations which could directly negate any deterrents.

    Never underestimate people that are starving or on the verge of death from dehydration or really anything else. The lengths humans will go to to survive are very extreme. I am not saying that these types of defenses are pointless or a waste of time, they are not. But please realize that any SHTF situation that goes on long enough will require a much more substantial defense to be effective. You will need to include other methods and defenses and you WILL need to include some manner of defenses that either have to potential to kill people or at least give that appearance. When people are to the point of eating bugs to stay alive and haven’t had water for 3 days, the only thing that will make them move along is something that makes them stop and think “I am definitely going to die if I go in here”.

    I am all for deterrents and barriers and the like. They will definitely help you get through the first wave. Just don’t stop there thinking you are safe because your house looks like a bad prospect or difficult to enter. Eventually neither of those things will matter to someone already on the verge of death. They will only care about doing anything and everything they can to survive. Your only deterrent at that point is offering them a much higher likelihood of death.

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment


Follow Us