Thursday, July 8, 2010

Block the driveway?‏

I live in a wooded rural area and have a 3/4 mile long driveway to my home that has two steep places where I could block the road (to motor vehicle traffic) easily with a heavy farm implement. One of these sites is about 1/4 mile away and out of sight and hearing from the house. The other site is about 100 yards from the house and partly visible, through the trees, from the upstairs windows.

In the event of a severe societal breakdown would it be a good idea to block the road? Certainly I want to discourage anyone from driving up to my home in that situation but at least I could then hear them coming whereas if I block the road they could still sneak up through the woods. A compromise would be to block it where it is close to the house. That way I could keep motor vehicles away but still hear them drive near, probably, and might see them. What do you think?

Hi, I’m of the idea that if you can get there with a car, so can a car full of bad guys.
How would you block the road and still manage to get in and out for when you need to do so? That can get complicated.
If you’re thinking about a certain event where a lot of displaced people may be heading your way, then yes, I suppose you could block the way and given you have enough supplies you can stay put until the threat is over. It may work then for specific episodes where you have some time in advance.
This brings to mind another common topic of discussion, which is pretending your house is abandoned. The logic behind this is that the looter/refugee/other would think the place was already looted and there’s nothing there worth the trouble.
I find this logic to be very naïve, and totally opposite to what always happens in reality. In reality an empty house is an invitation to go inside and check for anything that might have been left behind. If nothing else, the empty house alone is ideal refugee for someone that may have just lost it all.
Wouldn’t you seek refugee in some abandoned house if needed? Its also easy to understand how anyone scrounging would approach the place to see if there’s anything of value.
Besides blocking the road, while I wouldn’t put spotlights around the place to make it stick out like a sore thumb, I would make sure that there’s enough light so that anyone getting close enough would clearly see there’s occupants. A sign saying “trespassers will be shot” would be much more of a deterrent than a house that appears abandoned.
Hope that helped, good luck with your plans.



Anonymous said...

Dogs can easily hear a vehicle approaching at least a mile away.

Gallo@GTA forum

Anonymous said...

im going to dig a moat i will be right back

k said...

Noticeable bullet holes in the sign and also in governmental road signs would improve the message that the locals are armed and likely to shoot

Anonymous said...


Here is an example of how to not defend loved ones: outnumbered, outgunned (single shot shotgun), and with your loved one as a hostage.

Lakeview, N.C.-Moore County deputies detained three men and continued their search for at least one other Tuesday following an armed robbery and shooting at a convenience store that injured three people.

The robbery happened shortly before 10:30 p.m. Monday at the Exxon Short Stop Food Mart at the intersection of U.S. Highway 1 and Camp Easter Road in Lakeview.

Store clerk, Grace Kelly, 75, her husband, Angus G. Kelly, 78, and one of the suspects were shot during the robbery, according to Moore County Sheriff Lane Carter.

According to investigators, Angus Kelly put the family dog in his Jeep Cherokee Monday night and went to the store to pick up his wife. When he saw the robbery, he grabbed his shotgun from the vehicle and fired a shot through the store window, shooting Williams in the face.

One of the men fled the store, and the two others used Grace Kelly as a shield to get out of the store. That’s when, investigators said, they believe an exchange of gunfire occurred that ended with Angus Kelly being shot twice in the side and his wife in the arm.

Williams was taken to Moore Regional Hospital, where authorities said he underwent surgery and was listed in critical condition. Angus Kelly was listed in serious condition Tuesday, according to hospital spokesman Tom Hughes.

Uncle George said...

Blocking the road or a driveway usually does not mean blocking access by foot. A couple of carloads of dirtbags would likely stop their vehicles, get out and inspect the blockage. Realizing it was intentional, they could easily decide to approach the house and out buildings on foot from several directions. This could make it more difficult to prepare for their arrival.

A "fallen tree" or some other naturally appearing blockage might work, but then it might not. It is always a judgment call, dependent on your particular circumstances, how you want to handle the intruder problem. If there is an open area around your house, but trees and shrubs farther out between the open space and the roadway, it might be a better to let them drive into the open, rather than parking in the cover and spreading out on foot.

Each situation can call for different methods.

Anonymous said...

might be a bit pricey, but a gate with a remote control would allow you access and also stop casual strangers.

a nony mouse said...

Assuming that random thieves would prefer easy targets, could you construct a fairly stout gate at the entrance to the property? If someone is determined to get past it, they will, but if there isn't some impetus, they might be just as likely to go on to the next.

While it's also possible that they can approach the house through the woods, why would they do this? they'd also have to carry stuff out, if their intent is to steal - and the further the better. If you think that their goal is to harm you personally, or if you have something in particular that they might want - then it's a different issue.

If you personally are a target, then the more time you have to get to a safe place or prepare your defenses, the better...you'd not only need to block the road in some fashion, but also include some sort of warning system.

Anonymous said...

The man who shot it out with the robbers just died.

Lakeview, N.C. — A 78-year-old man died Friday of injuries sustained June 29 during a shootout with suspects trying to rob his wife, a clerk at at a Moore County convenience store.

Godfrey said that Angus Kelly died Friday morning after being in critical condition at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill since the shooting.

Investigators say that Angus Kelly drove up to the Exxon Short Stop Food Mart in Lakeview to see three men robbing his wife at gunpoint. He fired his shotgun through the window, striking one man in the face.

The getaway driver fled, and two other men inside the store used Grace Kelly as a shield, prompting an exchange of gunfire in which the husband and wife were shot, investigators said.

Grace Kelly was treated for a gunshot wound in the arm and released from the hospital that night.

The injured suspect, Randy Joel Williams, 17, of Southern Pines, was released from UNC Hospitals Tuesday and placed in Central Prison in Raleigh.

russell1200 said...

In a rural location in the United States you are probably better off keeping visiting vehicles out at the road where they can be seen. The problem is then you need some sort of ringer-alert system so you can let people in.

The big cost is probably not the systems themselves, but all the digging to get the conduits (for the electrical, etc wires) into the ground). You would need power wires (to unlock gate), intercom wires, and possible security camera wires. The wire is cheap, the pvc conduit and pull boxes (because of distance) are medium expensive. The ditch and the (quality of) equipment are what will cost you. Since a lot of electricians and security installers hate to do trenching, a lot of them would work with you if you are willing to dig the 2' deep trench.

The reason that you are better keeping vehicles away from the house is that it makes your house a little more difficult to burgle. The thieves cannot (for sure) bring their vehicle all the way up to the house to throw loot into. It also makes one type of (through the front door) home invasion a little more difficult. A camera (or faux camera) at the gate will likely make them look for easier targets.

Note, I am not discussing SHTF scenarios. I am talking about here and now problems.

Sixbears said...

Here in Northern New England, driveways tend to be short. Houses are fairly close to the road. Even if someone has 100 acres, their house will often be within a 100 feet of the road. Who wants to shovel snow off a 1/4 mile driveway?

I did know someone who planned to block a causeway to his island with a bulldozer. While someone could have come in by foot, they'd be restricted to the road -no going around the roadblock through the woods.

Don Williams said...

What's wrong with putting some decapitated heads on stakes beside the first barrier?

Baja Publishing said...

In rural Texas, gates at the road are common. Most have a solar panel which eliminates the need to string power. They're an effective way of keeping people out in the here and now. Posting a sign as Ferfal suggests seems to be very effective. "We shoot trespassers" is effective as is "We Don't Call 911." People usually move on when they see one or the other. That said, a gate will keep no one out who wants to get past it.

A dog is a critical component of a defense system. Another thing, and some of ya'll may disagree, is total darkness at night. If you're out in the country and have some acreage around your home, you know that it can get so dark that you can't see the back of your hand at night. If that's the case, the darkness is your friend. You know your land. Chances are the intruder doesn't. Why light it up and even the field for him?

Anyway, a posted gate at the road, a good dog and darkness are my friends. Just my two cents. Thanks for the forum, Ferfal. I appreciate all the info you have so willingly shared here.

Serge Truth said...

No, there is no need to block off the road.

DaShui said...

Can any Americans walk 3/4 of a mile? 1.5 miles total?
Heart attack would kill them before they made it to the house. Then their relatives would sue.

Unknown said...

If you have become a target for organized people that wish you harm, then you should probably just move somewhere else. If there is some kind of mass migration going on where people are streaming past your house and you are in fear of being robbed, I can see where it would be beneficial for a temporary blockage of vehicles to your house.

With that said, I think the type of trenches that many farms use to channel excess water are perfect as far as stopping a vehicle. I think they'd stop a tank.

If you are worried about a home invasions that seem to be prevalent in Arkansas these days, then you need to realize that the biggest hurdle is "no knock" warrants and police impersonations by bad guys (who often face little to no resistance because people are afraid the SWAT team is gonna shoot them full of holes).




Make sure your doors don't line up with each other and you can block visibility through every window.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine bought a somewhat remote place in the Northeast USA over 10 years ago. He's a prepper. One late night the first year a pickup truck pulled in his driveway. The dog was in the house and heard them first.Three guys got out and tried to get in even though he made them aware he was inside and armed. When one of them broke a window in the door to reach the knob from inside, he shot a round into the ceiling of his foyer just above the door. The next one was going into the invader, but they all ran to the truck and left fast. He didn't have a phone line to this place, and back then cell phones were not yet a rage. At daylight he went and got the police. They determined that this was likely local thugs hired by the previous owner who regretted selling the place. No one knows for sure, but he's confident that they won't try it again. It's good to have a strong network of friends(professionals) in and outside the community you live in like Ferfal taught in his book. In this way he's confident he's secured himself. So since then the driveway has a gate,but it's manual padlocked. He has cell phones. Motion detector lights by the house; bugler alarm and everything else a modern prepper needs to have.

He came up with an interesting idea. He stocked up on a lot of skunk scent and found by experimenting on himself that it would likely clear the area of bad guys by launching a rag loaded with it from the house. Hasn't got the chance to try it on bad guys, but definitely isn't going to try an experiment again on himself.

Anonymous said...

deterring interest in your house seems the best course of action. Before building a gate, I would make your house more intimidating. An obvious alarm system, dangerous dog signs, skull and cross sign, trespassers will be shot signs, barred windows and barbed wire.

I would find barbed wire intimidating not only because my first thought would be 'how they hell to do I get pass that?' but 'Who the hell puts barbed wire on their fences?'

A gate is really only a deterrence to curious people, not committed criminals. Barring an incredibly strong gate, most gates can easily be opened by car, or some other fashion.

Anonymous said...

These battery powered marine megaphones are great. I had one before and the sirens are very loud for alerting neighbors you need help. Also use to warn trespassers from inside the house to get off the property.

Maldek said...

"A gate is really only a deterrence to curious people, "

Well you can always make a cheap gate, but with some sort of lock.

After the gate (towards you house) you then have spiked planks or something similar to stop inturders. (removeable so you can block/unblock the road without too much effort)

If someones opens a locked gate by force he sure has no good intentions and deserves to have his tires slit.

Anonymous said...

I get the impression many people think a moat is for castles and nothing else, it's simply not true.

Many people put gates on the ground horizontally over a ditch (a.k.a. moat) it is quite common. They are used to keep cattle and other livestock contained, it might be easy to simply remove the gate to deter traffic.

The ditch only has to be as wide as the gate, large felled trees work well on either side of the gate. Even with chainsaws and using chains entry by vehicle wouldn't be fast.

You might be surprised at how small of an incline stops even the baddest of 4x4 trucks.
[If criminals install some steel plates is that your tank attack, Don?]
Add a slight bit of water to make mud, and traction is reduced, sometimes to zero. Build it on a slope makes it difficult to get in, but perhaps easy to get out if needed.

Even by adding a small trickle of water, or seep from a spring, some ground can be made so a vehicle cannot pass unless it is made for such. In swampy areas (even on the outskirts of towns) this is common, the ground is difficult to even walk through

Many criminals do not like to get wet and dirty and wouldn't venture on foot through slop, or even wet grass and leaves. So the ones that do make it through,... you'll know they're trouble.

Add a hand winch, or remote winch and the horizontal gate becomes a draw-bridge. I've seen a few of those too.
I've seen many driveways in cities that are already setup for such a gate. It's nothing fancy or fanciful, just practical and somewhat inexpensive.

Anonymous said...

The skunk scent is no good. Some people can't smell it, like some people are color blind.

I can smell it and I really don't like it, but it would only irritate me.

LFMayor said...

k said: about those bullet holes... the county crews in this part of flyover country shoot the signs themselves when they replace/erect them, to keep people from taking the sign. Pristine, unblemished signs are wanted, probably because they make the best floor pans for rusted out vehicles.

LFMayor said...

About erecting a roadblock... buy yourself some flat harrow (drag or spike harrow) sections. These can be found on farms or at sales pretty regularly here in the midwest. The more modern, larger cultivation equipment usually has clod-breaking systems incorporated, this has made most of the older models obsolete.
The panel can be inverted, spikes up and then chained/locked to posts to help prevent removal. As said before, it's a minor hazard to foot travel (so long and you notice it), but it will shred any motor vehicles that have pneumatic tires. They're weighty, you'd need the aforementioned posts and a come-along winch to position the larger varieties by yourself. These could be concealed or installed tiger pit style in a shallow hole.

russell1200 said...

Where on earth do people live that they want standing mud puddles on their property, little less a moat?The mosquitoes will eat you alive. In a Koi pond the fish eat the larva. Are you going to make a house encircling Koi pond? That shouldn't be too expensive.

If you build a moat, or a World War 1 style barbed wire entanglement, everyone in a remoter region is going to know it. And then the less charitable within the region are going to try and find out what you are hiding.

Everyone understands a gate, and a simple fence. But when you start fortifying you are really just painting a big target on your property.

In real world settings anti-terrorist type improvements are usually disguised to make them less obvious. Large planters made of concrete and anchored will also stop a lot of vehicles.

Anonymous said...

"Where on earth do people live that they want standing mud puddles on their property,"

In countless agricultural areas, places where food grows and where water is diverted. Sometimes located just outside large cities, or even little known spots inside cities.

Many areas have small rivers and streams that act as moats.

Standing water erradication is not an issue in these places.

Those infamous 1/4 mi. driveways often have gulleys or streambeds that washout the driveway and act as a moat, although that's often seasonal.

On a smaller scale, the backyards of many fine upscale residential areas have springs or sump pump flows which can act as a moat.

Depth is not everything.

I guess it depends on where you live, but in a 1000 mi. radius of me a fence going up is not a big deal, even a barbed wire one. And they can be hidden, it's not that hard.

For when a Barefoot Bandit comes for loot, ya know he was on the loose for two years and covered quite a large swath of georaphy until he was caught.

Anonymous said...

"in real world settings anti-terrorist type improvements are usually disguised to make them less obvious"

They do that so it looks better and so it doesn't frighten the sheeple. Truth is the scarier and more dangerous your place looks the less likely people will poke around it. That's just a fact. Sure you may not be popular with the neighbors and people will think your some paranoid weirdo, but that doesn't change the fact that your an armed person who's very aware of their home security. Criminals are stupid but not that stupid.

Anonymous said...

The Romans had a vast aqueduct system, nowadays many mega-cities have above ground sewage and grey water aqueducts, some are built about three feet high and could be considered an, "anchored planter".

Neighborhoods could create an above ground (ground level) shared grey water line, use it to water plants and lawns and take the strain off waste water treatment.
Use a clay lined ditch and an asphalt, rock, or wooden six inch curb to stop or hinder most cars and trucks or arm loaded looters.

Creating grey water or irrigation aqueducts in poorer areas probably happens spontaneously without planning or thought and the grey water mixes with raw sewage, but it's still a barrier to criminals, especially on a slope.

I think my government was paying people to let them dynamite holes in the ground to fill with water for migrating ducks. Mini-ponds. Someti9mes there is a feeder stream or spring,... the fancy residential areas with private ponds often have this set up. Nice backup drinking water supply too.

Having a moat of some type might even be better than having a gate or blocking the driveway. Don't criminals usually prefer the easy way? With a moat people would, for the most part, be essentially herded down one path that could be monitored rather than allowing people to enter the property from various directions making detection more difficult.

And if someone had say, a flock of geese or ducks or something that might find a moat beneficial there's an added bonus as well as a "reason" to give to busybodies and it might be obvious to passersby that it's just "for the ducks" and think nothing of it except the mess they might encounter if they entered the dragon.

A moat can be a one centimeter wide and one millimeter deep stretch of water, and it's also a mini-irrigation trench that could be turned on each evening to both irrigate and soften the ground to act as a, "fence" for cars full of criminals where a real fence might not work... So long as there's no room for the car to gain momentum to make it through a moated area.

Wildflowers or rice growing as a hobby for a reason?
Use the grey water supplied rice as glue rather than for food?
Crawdad farming? You could hire the poor to tend it, or share crop it? Not for profit, but to break even and have a reason to have a moat.

I guess it all depends on your creativity, your geography, and your money supply.

Anonymous said...

I was climbing fences topped with barbed wire when I was 12. There is not a lot you can do to keep a dertermined person out. I suggest you design the driveway so that a vehicle can't leave it and then make sure you can see it all from the house. You want to see who is coming to your door you don't want them parking out of sight and approaching on foot. Some years back I heard of a person who built a house with a front door that was a fake. There are 101 things you could do to harden your home if you plan ahead. The best possible situation once someone intends to do you harm is that there is no place for them to hide outside your home, no way for them to break in and you can see them in your sights from a safe place. One last thought; I would still plan a way out that could be safely used even with a gang outside.