Clay’s Guide to Urban Defense: Ep. 4 Hardening the Home

Authors Clay Martin Columns Home Defense This Week

In our last episodes we covered the fun part: guns and how much ammo to feed ’em. I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to chewing the fat on this topic; I’ve spent hours in the forums talking about caliber preference, weight vs. power, and all the like. But now we have to get into the not so fun part, the part that resembles work. If guns are the equivalent of showing off your abs, the hardening the home part of this series is how you got those abs. It isn’t sexy, but it is important.

Clay’s Guide to Urban Defense

My Experience

Clay’s Guide to Urban Defense: Ep. 4 Hardening the Home

I’m going to start here with some general experience, and why I’m qualified to speak on the matter of defending an urban location. First and foremost, I did some tours in Iraq, which offers some unique insights. Despite what the public generally thinks about U.S. Military bases and the lines of trailers many troops used, it wasn’t always like that.  Especially in the early days, we took over former regime buildings and lived and worked in them. It is pretty funny to see a bunch of grunts living in a palace with gold toilets, but it’s how it went. The bad guys weren’t shy about still trying to kill us in those structures, so we learned a lot about hardening them from both rifle fire and mortar attacks. With the caveat that we usually had Uncle Sugar’s logistics train to help us, which provided very expensive and unwieldy things. Like Kevlar blast blankets and Hesco bastions as time went on. Blast blankets start at about $1,500 apiece, so I think we can leave those off the shopping list.

Second, Iraq had a very weird infrastructure. In certain spots at least, I remember being amazed by how similar it was to a U.S. city. Like the interstate highway system around Baghdad had green and white signs exactly like ours (only they were in English and Arabic), letting you know what exit was coming up. This applied somewhat to buildings as well. In the cities, most structures were concrete and bore at least a passing resemblance to ours. Minus all the OSHA standards and safety features.

Third, not only did we harden buildings, so did the bad guys. It was not uncommon at all to have to fight through barricades and the like, especially if a certain neighborhood was in open revolt at the time. That, combined with some very odd design choices, gives a man insight into how to set up a defense.

And fourth, my last job helps a lot as well. As a CQB instructor, part of the task was teaching new guys how to deal with obstacles similar to what they were likely to encounter. But being on a timeline and a budget, the idea was to build those obstacles cheap and easy. But also in a manner that would require a lot of effort from the student to overcome or work around or breakthrough.

Suburban Defense

Much like the first article on rifles, where we divided the world into free and non-free cities, we need to divide again. The first part of this will focus on the suburbs, for a normal American house built of 2x4s and drywall. The second will focus on the concrete and stone structures we introduced in episode one. There is obviously some overlap of what can be done, and those things I will put in the second part.

Having traveled the world, I can generally break all construction into two categories. American, and everyone else. For cities this is definitely true, Prague looks like Okinawa, looks like Cairo, in terms of things built in the last 50 years. Maybe I lack the artist’s eye, but it’s how I see it. No one on earth has American-like home ownership, owed at least partially to our ability to build them relatively cheap but also structurally sound. And while American homes have proven capable of lasting against the elements for 100 plus years, they do have a weakness. They don’t stop bullets worth a damn! Maybe that is also because we always play away games.

Unless you have something a little different, like a log cabin with foot-thick walls, your house is largely indefensible against rifles. It is even worse against fire, which is a concern I often see ignored in prepper circles. Your back fence will burn, your shingles will burn, and the outside of your house will burn with very little effort. We have largely mitigated this problem in civilized society by having good fire departments and enforcing suburban burn bans, but it is a different animal when Mad Max rules are in play. In short, I would not want to ever try and defend my house from teeming hordes equipped with Molotov cocktails and long guns.

Sandbags And Fighting Positions

But you might not have a choice. So you can still do some things to tilt the odds in your favor. A lot of this is construction specific, which also varies from region to region. One thing that has been brought up in the comments section is sandbags. Plausible option and it would help stop bullets at least. The downside here is the number of sandbags you would need to secure a perimeter around your home, and the labor required to fill them. Having done some sandbag filling, it is not a fun chore.

Some suggested sandbags in the context of hardening only one room, but that has downsides too. Even to protect an interior room is going to require a lot. And if you can only defend that room, you are ceding enough ground to attacking forces to get within 4 feet of you before you have a clear shot.

If you are built on a concrete foundation, you can actually take a shortcut. It’s extreme, but we are talking about extreme circumstances. If you cut holes in your floor for fighting positions, you would lower your needed sandbag count by a lot.

Because you have walls to hold the dirt up, you could actually get by without any sandbags at all. You will still want a wheelbarrow, but you could actually build “range berms” three feet high the entire way around your house. Inside or outside, depending on the direness of the situation.

I have a full basement, so my options are more complex. The smartest thing I could do is build parapets to my needed perimeter positions, and then cut firing ports in the walls to the outside. That cedes my entire first floor, but the surprise would be nasty. Imagine running up the driveway for an easy score, then taking rifle fire at knee height. Ouch!

While we are talking about the typical neighborhood set up, the direness of the situation directly influences the level of heavy-handed response from you. For instance, have you thought about fields of fire? Most of the places I have lived, my best course of action would be extreme. I would have to huddle the neighbors in my own home, while I burned theirs to the ground. Otherwise, the avenues of approach would be many. You can stop saboteurs at 50 meters. At five meters, they are likely to win or at least complete their task.


What else is a high priority? The next step we can take directly from our friends in hurricane country. While plywood window coverings won’t stop bullets, they do stop bricks and Antifa goblins (FYI: half-inch plywood won’t even stop handgun rounds, much less rifle fire). I suggest a slight variation from the full coverage of windows, leaving an 8-inch gap at the bottom. This prevents your house from being totally dark while also creating airflow. Since you bought a pile of guns from episode 1, it also gives you space to see and shoot back.

Won’t the gap make the window coverings easier to rip off? That is a valid criticism, and yes, a little. But two things. One, as they said in Rhodesia, “An obstacle is only an obstacle if it’s covered by fire.” If someone is sticking a crowbar in your barricades, you should be sticking bullets in them. And two, trying to remove a sheet of plywood held in by a dozen three-inch deck screws is no easy feat. With your F-250 maybe but not with just your hands or hand tools.

Won’t the gap allow snipers to shoot into your house? Possibly. Walking in front of a lit window does create a signature that could get you shot. But it is also kind of the point of the gap. That ribbon of light should serve as a reminder not to walk in front of it. Because in terms of rifle fire, your house might as well be made of paper mache.

Doesn’t the plywood create a fire risk all its own? Yes, it will burn, no question. But if it keeps a Molotov from landing in your living room/inside perimeter, it has still done its job. Which brings up the next subject.

Fire Extinguishers And Screws!

Aside from all the standard prepper food and water, you are going to need some other things for home defense. Right up there with bullets should be fire extinguishers. A million dollars in guns and ammo is worthless to you if it burns up. When you calculate the spots in your home that need to be covered by a sentry, calculate 2x fire extinguishers for each as well.

Next, you need at minimum a full contractor box of either nails or deck screws. I prefer deck screws, but only if I have a cordless drill. Nails are easier to install with manual labor but are also easier to pull out. You can make some creative barricades with just that and materials laying around your garage or basement. In the absence of plywood, I could barricade all my windows with fence planks.

For our suburban neighborhood defense, I will close with this. You are going to have to think outside the box. One of the other specific suggestions I have is to plant a large bush or bamboo in a spot you have no windows, 3-4 feet off the wall. The thicker the better. If I was planning to siege a suburban house, and I had numbers on my side, what would my plan be? The same as any Old West movie. Cover the doors and windows with guns, and set it on fire. Shoot anyone that comes out. It is a mistake to assume goblins have never watched an old Western or can’t fathom that simplistic line of reasoning. If you find yourself in that spot, the weakness of sheetrock walls can work to your advantage for once. The bushes are to cover your emergency escape hatch, that you are cutting on the inside from day one of the crisis. If you ever need it, cut the last bit of exterior wall you have left in place, and the ground cover buys you precious seconds of surprise. It’s little things that often give you a tactical advantage, and you have to shift your thinking.

Tune in next week, when we cover the specific defense of concrete buildings for our brethren stuck at the city center.

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  • Norm Fishler October 26, 2020, 12:58 pm

    Good article and many good comments. See “Uncharted Waters,” for a take on TEOTWAWKI that is here to fore unspoken.

  • DAVID MILLER October 26, 2020, 6:54 am

    Just get out of Dodge

  • Steven W Harder October 6, 2020, 5:44 am

    All good advice . . . Having said that, how about electricity for your food, cooking, heating, etc.? How about water? I live on the southern Oregon coast, so I had to think about tsunami’s and earthquakes as well. Looking ahead, my house is on the back side, military summit, of a high hill (300+ft) with a river on 3 sides. Cut the one bridge and defense just got a lot easier, starting with my neighbors on the lower streets. Not to mention longer range sniping from the various levels going up the hill.

    Ever hear of a 6ft chain link fence? If you have backup power (solar, wind turbine, gas generator, or combination there of), stop by your nearest farm store and you can pick up a “weed chopper” electric fencer, wire, and insulators. Why make it easy to go over? And yes, there is a reason I live far from large cities.

    Back to the authors advice, I’d add a propane grill to heat/sterilize water, cook food, and possibly for temporary heat. Cans of water are a must and don’t forget sewage. Have a plan! Also remember, sewage flows down, so the lower the hill, building floor, the more you have to worry about sewage backup. Bad hygiene is one thing, trying to survive surrounded with sewage is another. When power gets cut, sewage pumps no longer work . . . not the cities, but also your own. Also shut off the toilet water tank and save for emergencies. DON’T flush! When you have to empty the bowl, use a one gallon pitcher. You can get most down with one pitcher of water. (A gallon jug will not work, the flush principle relies on a large, quick amount of water.)

    Water also flows down . . . but when the city water supply loses electricity, there won’t be any water after the storage tank goes empty. Depending on the size of your neighborhood and location of the water storage tank, the tank can be empty in minutes.

  • John Smith October 3, 2020, 6:25 pm

    I made my master closet a “safe room” with 2″ thick HDPE sheets, made a swing out barrier so I can shoot from cover. 2″of HDPE stops most rifle fire. I tested 1″ stopped a lot, i doubled-up for more protection. A 2′ or 3′ high perimeter of HDPE sheets in your home could be added to perimeter walls of your house, they can be made to blend in with the architecture by adding chair rail and increasing height to 3′ high and painting it.

  • mark e haney June 12, 2020, 8:20 pm

    I have thought about SHTF for years and first thought I would flee the city but I would be joined by the rest of the population that are unprepared and would have only what my wife and I could carry leaving the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids behind (which would never happen). The only alternative is to prepare your home the best you can to gather the family together. Food, weapons, ammo have already been stockpiled (with harsh criticism of the wife for the waste of money) Yes eventually your home may fall to marauders and you will die but I would be able to hold off longer staying in my home and be able to defend my family with better results. There is no way to second guess what would happen so it is my suggestion that you prepare your heart and put some Jesus in it because we are going to die eventually regardless of which path we take.

  • Flipper May 16, 2019, 4:02 pm

    Cheap things that stop bullets reasonably well:

    cinder blocks, railroad ties, barrels. Fill the blocks or barrels with gravel, dirt or sand. In the chaos leading up to actual conflict, order a dump truck load of gravel, or a flatbed of 40 lb bags of playground sand.

    • ScottyGunn October 16, 2020, 1:02 pm

      Cinderblocks don’t stop crap

  • LowKey September 10, 2018, 7:34 am

    It doesn’t have to be Armageddon for it to be SHTF.
    L.A. riots.
    Ferguson riots.
    Post Katrina looters.
    Antifa riots
    Charleston riots.
    Those are just a few from more recent history in the US, lots more if you go back further in time. Or go overseas, even in non-third world countries.

    Yes a determined attacker could camp out, cut your water and power. It’s an old tactic that’s been around at least as long as there have been fortifications. Bunkering up doesn’t make you invincible, it just makes you harder and more costly for them to chew on you. They’re going to have to be very determined to get you if they’re going to keep absorbing rounds while trying to break into your place. Your average mob will go elsewhere and look for an easier target.
    Worst case scenario for someone bunkered up is that they get to live a little longer before the bad guys break through, but apparently you’d rather just get it over with. Sorry, some of us don’t share that sentiment.
    The alternative to hardening your home up is what? Becoming a refugee? Not a vocation with good prospects, for reference see, “All of history”.

    • LargeMarge October 24, 2020, 10:07 am

      ‘allow rioters to escape so they can kill my neighbors’

      For thieves and murderers, each encounter with potential victims is a learning situation.
      If they can escape, they will use their lessons.
      Inevitably, they will be more successful with your neighbors.

      The downside:
      * after you humiliate them, they will increase their cruelty upon your innocent neighbors.
      The rioters will regain their strength by resting while feasting around your neighborhood.
      They will recruit other rioters with lessons from other encounters, and their failures will be investigated.

      I think allowing rioters, looters, rapists thieves, and murderers to peaceably escape is a particularly bad idea.

  • Uncle Al September 10, 2018, 12:03 am

    I find this topic to be interesting whether realistic or not. I think the folks who are going to hit the woods for game will find themselves with a couple of million like minded people and there will not be any game left in a matter of a couple of weeks.

    • mark October 26, 2020, 11:58 am

      yes sir!…the depression in the 1930s proved that out. and there are about 200 million more people now than then!

  • Walker September 9, 2018, 4:26 pm

    If you stay in an urban area you are going to die. After four or five days the takers will become hunters, and will be hunting for you. Plan now to get out before chaos reigns.

  • Captain Dan September 8, 2018, 12:18 am

    I have a stud frame house that is paper mache for sire. Remember the Russian enovatipn of sloped armor in their T Seriese Tanks durring WW2. I have a second floor with 2×12 joist 12in oc with 2×6 toung and grove on top and mdf underlayment on top of that then there is carpet padding and carpet. To hit me while laying on the floor would be tough since the rounds would be traveling at an up angle through the multiple layers of floor structure. This means the bullet will likely strike two joist at an angle, the sub floor at an angle as well as everything else. My thought is to place a pile of plywood on the second floor at my vantage points so I can lay on them for added protection. I will Cut through the second level walls at the floor level and gravel bag / dry stack structural block (Not Cinder Block) these strategic fireing positions position. My children will also lay on a stack of plywood in the center of the upstairs with structural block and gravel bags. I recommend gravel to fill your bags simce they will dissipate the KE of the bullet much better than sand where a rifle bullet will likely go right through. Sure this is veaunerable to fire, overrunning the ground floor, However running is not physically feasible. If I were a young buck without a family I would definitely go mobile.

    Other defense measures:

    Trip wires using different noise makers at the four quadrents of the home. You are not only alerted to an intruder but have an idea where it is coming from.

    For the Ground Floor Cover the windows as Clay suggest with the bottom open, then set up a fireing position back inside the room where you can cover several bottom opeanings. Once again I would set up a fireing position with gravel bags, structural block and whatever else you have. 2×4 4×6 on a 45degree angle

    My house is constructed using western Platform framing which means I have a wood floor 8” concrete perimiter foundation walls and crawl space with perfectly placed air vents which give me a perfect vantage point to observe, fire and move quickly to another vent. I will plug the vents from inside and remove as needed.

    Another defense barrier will be 8’ chain link fencing wraped around the house over doors, garage doors and windows. I will use the small premanufactured 6×8’ dog run sections to cover doors / Windows where I plan to exit and also on the top floor.

    I will park my cars in fron of my garage door and exit doors so I will have cover when exiting, Also this will help protect with someone crashing in the doors with a vehicle.

    I will place pieces of mirror in the landscape to help maintain view of dead spots around the house.

    Definitely have a dog for an alarm and intimidation. If you do not have a dog get a recording of big dogs barking loud and tie a line to your door so you can shake the door while the audio plays.

    Much like the old westerns where the pioneer would have a hidden root celler to hide out in when the bad guys came to burn them out. Try to have a safe position to hide out underground. Stock it with essentials, this may be all you have if they burn you out. Like my house with concrete foundation walls, I can burrow from the crawl space under the foundation to escape under a wood pile or deck.

    As for fire I have few other options! I plan to bring my garden hose inside and hook it up to the washing machine connections so I can fight fires from inside until the water is cut off. I can use a fine mist to dissipate smoke and buffer heat by getting under wet blankets as a last stand measure.

    Also disguide any exterior water meters, well heds and exterior electrical shutoffs to make it more difficult to get in.

    Also in my Massada final stand, I plan to use a nimber of booby traps with extra firearms to take a few out after I am gone.

    I plan to have some decoy stashes of money costume jewlry. food and kitchen utensiles, so if I am ambushed I can give up the decoy stash and hopefully hold on to my good stuff.

    Women snould be ready for the worst immaginable rape. Men you will be leveraged to watch your loveones assaulted in order to give up your stash. Women should make themselves look hideous Unattractive! For women if the castle falls I suggest shooting ketchup and mayonase or hair conditioner into the vagina and tell them you have been raped many time and have a bad infection, do you want some of that. Ketchup in the teeth simulating blood is a good first deterrent. Lastly Ladies have a holdout knife, you will not be threatening to the intruders; however you can turn the day with a good pocket knife to the throaght of an assailent who is in the process of killing the men or loveones of your life.

    If there are those who are simply incapeable of fighting with firearms, they should be trained to reload weapons, administer first aid, man watches, use the fire hose / extinguisher, prepare food etc. If the warriors go down the rest will be left to plumder, so get involved.

    Just a few basic ones to think about.

    • Al September 10, 2018, 10:52 pm

      Great comments and points. I’ll be careful with my wording here.
      Since you are essentially hunkering down in a STHF scenario in your place of living, I believe researching to make simple, but safe and effective “devices” similar to a firework but more power. The use of those devices, especially with a few on remote triggers could greatly enhance your odds of keeping folks away. If you were able to place some a ways away from your perimeter, the psychological effect of a device like that could definitely make even determined attackers change course. If not, some very strategically placed (with angled steel plate directing them) devices should stop a small hoard of gangsters. And again, the wounded survivors will most likely flee for medical aid, and uninjured gangsters will have to wonder where the next device is coming from and this hasn’t even taken into acct your firing positions to supplement the devices.
      Definitely worth exploring the most legal possibilities. Aluminum powders can be purchased without any ID or licenses for amateur fireworks enthusiasts(i.e. anyone). Same with most other powderized metals.
      Use your common sense and research your possibilities or, better yet, consult prior military folks with the knowledge of what works best and is comfortable teaching that info for a SHTF scenario, as I wont provide any info on how to make such devices in any capacity and only say the above which is a commonly overlooked countermeasure/offensive measure in SHTF scenarios.
      Good luck and stay safe!

      • michael October 23, 2020, 3:50 am

        Air bags would work well with a little Ingenuity .

  • Alex L September 7, 2018, 4:51 pm

    Apparently, all the people who Rent are either victims or become the Goblins. There is strength in #’s and #’s require resources, so unless you plan to hold up at the local National Guard Armory with 100 or more other people, there are very few scenarios where you could make a successful long term defense of a urban or suburban residence.

  • Bobs your uncle September 7, 2018, 4:11 pm

    Several years ago there was a big uproar over small rural communities/law enforcement receiving surplus military weapons and equipment, most of these communities are a tank full of gas away from big cities, these small communities would be under siege for food, fuel, shelter. I also heard stories of mountain communities plans to block off roads to outsiders, being mobile is going to have some pitfalls

    • Al September 10, 2018, 10:56 pm

      This is where prior networking and researching for a plan A B C D E F G H and even I and beyond important. Being able to provide a value to a barricaded community will make your presence welcome, be it security or providing a specific skill set such as a doctor would. Planning ahead is a 100% MUST for bugging out.

  • Dan Corrigan September 7, 2018, 3:25 pm

    I live in Las Vegas, NV. Once the power goes out hereabouts it will be difficult past day three as all the stores will have been looted or sold out. Lack of AC will weaken and cause much stress and combined with lack of communications panic will reign. Deliveries of gas, water and food will cease and escaping into the desert without adequate supplies is out of the picture. In the land of the blind a one eyed man will be king so a person with adequate supplies, water, food, arms and ammo might stand a chance against ill armed but numerous thugs. These thugs were really your neighbors who sadly made no provisions of WTSHTF scenarios. When their supplies run out they will be coming for yours. How many of them can be trusted to join you and defend an area even if you supply the arms and ammo? Will you be willing to shoot down your ex neighbors to save you and yours? At least I will give my self a chance to survive but life will never be the same.

  • John Chaney September 7, 2018, 2:44 pm

    Thanks Clay! I am indebted to you for your service, and for your willingness to share your hard-learned advice in an area often left untouched by the “keyboard killas”. I’ve been a cop for 25 years, and I feel now more than ever that the scenarios being looked at in your articles are fast approaching. After a serious medical issue, I’m not going to be outrunning anyone… I always try and look at problems realistically. I’m glad I share some of your opinions already on ammo and weapon hoarding; I make sure that anytime I do order ammo, I order mags with it. My ammo is stored with mags for it, and in most cases IN mags. I’m well aware of the issue of mag “spring fatigue” but they will probably outlast my body fatigue… Anyway, THANK YOU for this series of articles, and your fire extinguisher advice may have saved my family, as I hadn’t really considered it before. God Bless you and your family, always.

  • DK Deuel September 7, 2018, 12:07 pm

    Sorry fellas, but this article is sheer BULLSH*T. If you live in an area where this would be a viable coarse of action, IT’S TIME TO MOVE! Simple common sense and situational awareness would tell you that if where you live this is a possibility, it’s time to be somewhere else, all this fantasy shows you is how to turn yourself into a fixed, immovable target, it takes every other option possible completely off the table. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not a big fan of Suicidal Last Stands.

    • mark e haney September 7, 2018, 2:56 pm

      where you gonna go? most of us don’t have a place to go or someone else we can go to. we are going to have to do the best we can where we live. our only other alternative is to pack up what we can carry and hike somewhere to starve to death with ono supplies and where we would again be targets picked off a lot easier than if we would have stayed put.

    • BRASS September 7, 2018, 7:15 pm

      About 30% of Americans live in areas like this with some variation and you know moving isn’t an option. People live where they work or where they retired. Either way, most can’t just pick up and move to the middle of no where and build a house with cleared fields of fire from cement, steel, etc.
      Come on, get real.
      I’m a retired Marine and I’m not moving. I’ve bought the last house I’ll ever buy and planning on dying in it one way or the other if I can. I’m either fighting from my house or seeking shelter on the local military base if they allow us access.
      There are tens of millions just like me. People and families of all ages have to be near jobs, schools, medical care and all the other infrastructure that makes it possible to make a living and live when there is no uprising of any kind. If you can buy a thousand acres in bum stump nowhere and survive with nothing nearby, good for you, but that’s not happening for most of America.

  • BOhio September 7, 2018, 10:44 am

    Willy, it takes basically no talent to tear down someone’s ideas. Maybe pull your head out of your smug attitude long enough to realize that the goal is to survive another day. And then another.

    Have you read Jim Rawles’ book, variously titled “Triple Ought, The Coming Collapse”, “TEOTWAWKI”, and “Patriots”? He’s given a whole lot of thought to the survival topic, and fundamentally seems to recommend living away from it all and defending perimeters, etc.

  • December September 7, 2018, 10:23 am

    Place is territorial style made of rammed earth 18″ thick. Flat style roof gives good view and crennulauions give cover. Windows have hurrican screens. Won’ t stop a bullet but not easy to smash into. 20 of the acres are absolutely flat and mowed so good fields of fire. Last inner 2 is fenced also with electrified barb wire on top. Sure could ram it but in general someone grabbing the top is in for nadty surprise.

  • TRUBRIT September 7, 2018, 10:11 am

    ‘Mobility is key’. Defending your home briefly makes sense, with the objective of getting out of Dodge as soon as things get serious. In your sand box experience, how well did the enemy fair when they stood and fought? How well did they fair when they melted away at your attack and regrouped somewhere else? Isn’t one of the Marine Doctrines ‘ to pin the enemy in place so they can be eliminated?’ Another reader mentioned Siege, they will wait you out. They only need to leave a few people to keep you pinned down while the rest of the group continue to raid. Eventually they will get through your defences. They can get a good nights sleep and attack when they want. You have to be aware at all times and will be sleep deprived. I think you should add to your planned articles one on Bug out vehicles and how and where to go to have the best chance of survival. What to take, can you purchase a small property in your intended area of escape and cache supplies their that you can get to when needed but do not intend to defend? A suggested start, my bug out vehicle is a large 4×4 pick up with a roof top tent on top. I can load her up with a lot of gear and supplies. Based on your experience, how would you armor up and what would you take?

    • Tenbones September 7, 2018, 10:59 am

      “‘Mobility is key'”, unless you got friends or relatives you can go to you will just become part of the problem. I live in fly-over country and I consider hordes of people leaving heavily populated cities just as much a threat as any enemy combatant.

      • TRUBRIT September 7, 2018, 11:23 am

        You can still be mobile in an Urban environment. The problem with trying to defend something is that you are advertising that you have something of value. I escaped SFL in 2014 and now live in the Mountains of one of the sane states. While I agree on the issue of being stuck with hordes of people trying to leave a large City, the key is to plan ahead and leave early. I dealt with Hurricanes in SFL. People were told to evacuate but left it until the last minute and it was chaos. I always planned ahead and had an evac plan in place of when, what route, and where I would go. You should have the same in this SHTF scenario. Cities wil break down first, History proves this. People like me who no longer live in the City or Urban jungle will have this as the early warning. I will be in a forest somewhere within reach of a good water source and game. I will have a cache of supplies within a reasonable distance. I will have other camps picked out in advance in case I have to or wish to move.

  • Joe September 7, 2018, 10:07 am

    Good ole Charlie Bronson does this pretty well in Death Hunt. digs out the floor of his cabin and cuts knee high shooting ports thru his cabin logs. A sneaky assaulter gets birdshot right to the face

  • Marcelino September 7, 2018, 10:06 am

    Willy, I’m in agreement with you. The bunker mentality is fatal. (depending on the attacking force abilities). Moving is the best policy (if able to) and a Eugen Stooner Armalite for insurance a must.

  • Bobs your uncle September 7, 2018, 9:28 am

    For those that think a SHTF scenario can’t happen or that its hopeless and you should just stand there with your Johnson in your hand, look up LA rooftop Koreans. Or you could take Homer Simpsons advice to Bart, “give up son don’t try”

  • Mo September 7, 2018, 9:06 am

    Excellent article.

    Id mention that armorcore 4×8 sheets are relatively inexpensive and can be installed in a home under or in place for drywall, be painted and look like it belongs and is not hardened, yet defeat small arms fire. Good for shielding the sides of a window or door that will be used to return fire or enclosing a room.

    Fortunately I live in South FL. My house is concrete block, the roof is tike and the windows have aluminum shutters that lock but I can open from the inside. It isnt bullet or fire proof for sure but its naturally hardened against molotives and rioters. When locked down. It also allows for easy escape out any window. In an event i would just put some glue in the outside lock to prevent external access and use a holesaw to cut some vantage points (which i could do from the inside).

  • John September 7, 2018, 8:48 am

    Keep the fight away from your home first. Most people will come at night, good night vision and again keep the fight away from your home if you can. If the home is the last defense, razor wire and any thing you can position away from you home in rifle site to slow them down and still allow you to shoot at them. Use cars as cover in front of your house, most people have 2 or 3 of them.

    • Mo September 7, 2018, 9:11 am

      Night vision is great but thermals rule the battlefield.

      For somone with a tight budget the ccd or gen 1 options qith a good 940nm ir light would give a serious advantage over no night vision…but you’d create a beacon for those with NVs. In urban terrain though, probably less likely to run into many people with military grade NV.

  • Bodine September 7, 2018, 8:47 am

    Willy, I totally agree with you. When SHTF we all will perish eventually. I would rather go out in a blaze of glory than to wait for the final income while I am shittin” in my pants.

  • John Schiff September 7, 2018, 7:25 am

    A concrete block home built in the late 50’s with the cores poured solid and a metal roof replacing the shingles 3 years ago are … comforting. Steel exterior doors, a 200×200 lot with vacant lots on 2 1/2 sides, and a small-town environment help. Raised beds most of the way around cover the first 20″. Gives me a nice start on additional wall coverage. The windows are still a weakness as is that there are zero windows on the second floor covering the front of the house (dormers are in the back). The dormers and gable ends are hardi-board. Living in a hurricane zone, I’m considering adding permanent mounting points for metal window covering. Sadly, my budget won’t cover AR500 shutters! Any suggestions there?

    • Willy September 7, 2018, 8:34 am

      This article, and the thought of it is absurd. So many people talk of “SHTF” and such, and talk like they will be the last man standing. Ha ha ha. What a foolish notion. There you are, in your house, all fortified and surrounded by an army of freely-moving people. They do not have to fire a shot at you. They shut off your water and power, and wait, just wait. If they really want you, they will do a Waco Texas kind of thing on you. You can not win, no matter what you think and how you prepare and stock up with ammo and harden your structure.

  • LowKey September 7, 2018, 5:27 am

    Don’t forget putting sprinklers on your roof, assuming you still have water pressure. Reduces the risk of your place going up, not only from direct arson attacks but also from floating embers off the houses of the less fortunate.

    Curious, would you consider it excessive to pick up some surplus concertina wire on the cheap to be kept stored in the garage and then deploy it liberally (multiple layers deep)in your yard/along the perimeter of your house (or perhaps in the stairwell of an apartment building)?

    • Willy September 7, 2018, 8:34 am

      This article, and the thought of it is absurd. So many people talk of \”SHTF\” and such, and talk like they will be the last man standing. Ha ha ha. What a foolish notion. There you are, in your house, all fortified and surrounded by an army of freely-moving people. They do not have to fire a shot at you. They shut off your water and power, and wait, just wait. If they really want you, they will do a Waco Texas kind of thing on you. You can not win, no matter what you think and how you prepare and stock up with ammo and harden your structure.

      • Mike V September 7, 2018, 10:12 am

        As with all things, there are a wide range of possible outcomes.
        The idea that you can’t survive no matter what is preposterous.
        How much time and money you are willing to sacrifice towards that end is a personal judgement one must make based on their specific circumstances.

      • Red Warrior September 24, 2018, 10:25 am

        You need to go lie down and die. If there is no possibility of anyone surviving, then just give up! The fact that you think that shows how small minded you are. Except you think you know more than everyone else in the world. You rule your skull sized kingdom with might and fury! lol!

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