Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Realistic post SHTF security

First of all, thanks for writing your excellent blog. I've also purchased your book and am reading that now. I just wish I didn't have to, if that makes any sense at all...

One thing that I'm concerned about is how security after SHTF. Let's be optimistic and assume that I keep my job. I live alone in an apartment...when I head off to work, my apartment will be left unattended. Given what you've said about police response times, I'm worried that my supplies will be picked clean. Plus, it seems to me that although I am on the third floor, it'd be easy enough to get into my apartment via the balcony rather than the front door. Any suggestions? I'd really appreciate any insights you can share on this topic.

Please keep my email address private. As long as you use only my first name, though, I am fine with you replying on the blog if that's easier. Thank you!

- Gregg

Good down to earth question, thanks.

By the way, with the trip and all, I'm behind in replying to emails, please have patience. Not playing any games just dont have the time, but I do reply, takes time thats all.

One of the things I've noticed while in USA, (and still seeing it again now in Texas) is that security is certainly not much of a problem in "normal" parts of town.

Some people dont bother to lock the doors, and even if locked most houses do not have serious barriers or security. I have a hard time adapting to that, not because I'm an idiot, its just that my head has been working in a different setup for too long. I cant leave stuff in my rent car or friends car, I cant leave the car door unlocked even for a minute when I get out, I cant relax easily while hanging out outside the house. Getting there, but not there quite yet.

Back to your question, yes definitely, you are right, and unlike Lala Land fantasy, you wont have an Ex SEAL buddy posted in the LP/OP guarding your $700/month little condo while you go work from 9 to 5 if you know what I mean. Doesn't work that way, does it? And getting told to simply get together a survivalist group and setting up a multi million dollar retreat... kind of isn't helping you much. :-)

Back to reality, if your asking me regarding serious criminal activity in your area, what it will depend on is basically 4 factors:

1) You living in a good neighborhood
, safest one you can afford to live in.

2) You keeping your mouth shut
about what you have, and keeping it out of sight.

3) Having a realistic layer of security.
Can someone simply break inside with a screwdriver (or brick)? Then you dont have a minimum security layer. If they get in, will something bite them? Keep in mind that the door is most often the easiest point of entry. People usually think that because they have a solid wooden door they are set. No, it can be easily pried opened, sometimes in seconds, or just kicked down much more easily than people think. I've written posts about security door before, look them up. Invest in a security door, bulletproof if you can, and a frame upgrade if needed. Fancy? You may think I've got loads of money for even suggesting it? No, it cost me about 400 USD to get mine, and even for the poorest person you simply cannot find a better way to spend money securing your house and protection you and your family. There's no security door company in your area? Then even better, get busy, learn and start one. You'll have a door and I promise you, given today's times, you'll be making lots of money if you have half a working brain cell.

4) Having an alarm system
that alerts both you and another family member, and the police if someone breaks in, as well as the loudest alarm siren you can afford, both inside the house and outside. The inside the house alarm (+120 dB) physically hurts your ears in close quarters, disorients and gets the burglar nervous. Cameras also help if there's a crime committed, there are game motion activated cameras you can set up without much trouble. There PC connected cameras that allow you to see inside the house with your phone.

About the balcony, you are right and let me tell you, its a favorite point of entry, these guys are like cats, and we've seen our share of "spiderman" burglaries (that's how they call them on the news in Argentina, sometimes they have some rappel and climbing training of some sort)

What we do here in those cases where the balcony its an easy target, we use some sort of wire grating or bars, looking for one that gives both protection and doesnt look too bad. You can use safety concern for kids as an excuse, your sons or nieces, whatever. Here are a few examples and a company offering this service in Argentina.



Anonymous said...

My grandparent’s house is two story made of concrete and two layer thick brick walls. It has burglar bars on all windows buried into the concrete sill and double doors—metal and wood. The only two windows that did not have burglar bars were where the second story bathroom is. The windows are 20 feet up and are only about 12” by 18”. The only way to get to them is by walking ass to the wall on a one foot ledge with the risk of falling and impaling yourself on a metal fence 20’ below. Well, Murphy does not sleep and one Christmas eve while my grandparents were at our house for the night, burglars broke in through one of those windows. When we arrived the following day, the house was trashed, and on one of the beds the burglars left one of my grandpa’s 30-30 rifle loaded. They did not take the rifle, probably because they were on foot and only wanted money and jewelry, but they sure as hell would have used it against anyone who would have walked in on them. After that break-in my grandpa put burglar bars on those two windows and no ones has broken in since. Necessity is the mother of ingenuity says a common phrase in Mexico, and when there is need, people find a way.

In my house in the United States, I feel very vulnerable since all I have is an alarm and storm doors (in addition to the wood door). But all the windows are just glass that can easily be shattered with a brick. The HOA (bad idea to live in an area with an HOA) does not allow fences in front of the house or burglar bars. My only hope is that if someone attempts to break in, the alarm and my dogs will buy me some time to get to my pistol while the wife calls 911. Getting Stupid out of your head at 3:00 AM is not easy, though.

Gallo@GTA forums

Anonymous said...

It must be quite a shock coming from such a security conscious environment. Here in Austin, there are some very nice neighborhoods where I would bet nearly one-half the houses have at least one door unlocked at all times. (Big houses with multiple side and back doors) You also see people go grocery shopping and leave valuables in the back of their trucks, unsecured. If you live in a good neighborhood, you can get away with it. If you do it in the barrio, your stuff will disappear quickly.

Anonymous said...

What about this product? I saw it mentioned here on ferfal before. Sounds like a good idea.


Anonymous said...


What do you think of this product? I live in a 12-unit condo building. Our doors open to an interior hallway. Our rules would not allow us to install a different type of door so I had this installed instead:



P35flash said...

Putting up bars like that would get you kicked out of most apartment complexes in the United States.

Most people here do not value security and have no concept of how crime ridden a country can become after a complete economic collapse.

The only way to get really secure here is to own your own home in a neighborhood where there is no HOA or other stupid regulations to prevent you from putting up burglar bars and etc.

I also think the product Ferfal had on his site a few weeks ago is a great idea.

Basically, its a burglar alarm that releases pepper spray into the air. Pretty hard to steal things if the bad guy's eyes are watering so badly he can't see.