October 19, 2012

Security: Enhancements

For preppers, weapons and training are an important part of security, but both will be of limited usefulness if preppers’ protective measures end there. Many preppers want to have an array of other preparations, such as communications equipment for keeping in touch with one another and coordinating efforts. Equipment such as body armor and night-vision gear can help maximize preppers’ chances of surviving an attack. Preppers also strive to have physical infrastructure—such as security perimeters, surveillance posts and fortifications inside the compound—so that members of a community can mount an effective defense. All of these things fall into the grab-bag category of security enhancement. Here are some tips from Practical Preppers about what to put in place:

  • Body Armor: Practical Preppers consultant Dave Kobler, a combat veteran in the Iraq War, says protecting your body from bullets is crucial, but that you can’t deck yourself out like Iron Man. “The military gave us leg protection, but I never wore any of that, because you lose a lot of mobility,” he explains. “You have to make some compromises.” Protecting the head and torso with a helmet and vest, however, still allows a prepper defender to have some agility. A lot of different manufacturers make protective gear, but Kobler recommends looking for equipment which scores highly on the National Institute of Justice’s performance standards for body armor.

  • Surveillance Technology:  Night vision goggles are extremely useful, because they can enable a defender to spot an intruder from a safe distance. (“From 100 yards away in complete darkness, I can see the features on a person’s face,” Kobler says.) Again, there are numerous makers of night vision equipment hawking their wares on the Internet, but unfortunately, NIJ hasn’t set a standard for such equipment since 1975, so it’s a challenge to evaluate which is best. From Defense Industry Daily, here’s a detailed primer on various types of night vision equipment and their uses and limitations.

  • Listening and Observation Posts:  Kobler recommends setting up LPOPs continually manned by lookouts on the edge of a property, in order to detect an impending attack and relay warning back to the rest of the community. Such posts should be carefully concealed, ideally in wooded areas, so that attackers don’t spot them and sneak up on them. He also emphasizes that once an observer is on a shift, no one else should visit the post for any reason. “You want to make sure that your leader doesn’t walk around from post A to post B and C, checking things out,” he says. “That’s the way that the enemy will spot those positions.” Here’s a U.S. Marine Corps manual on scouting tactics and preparations, including the use of camouflage.

  • Communications: Because a sophisticated attacker may be able to detect and even intercept wireless communications, it’s a good idea to set up a land-line phone system with buried cables that connect back to the main dwelling. But during a confrontation or a medical emergency, when quick communication is crucial, two-way radios can help defenders to coordinate their efforts. From Advancedsurvivalguide.com, here’s a guide to radio equipment for preparedness and survival.

  • Fortifications: Preppers should surround the main house, barn and critical storage areas for supplies with a cordon of foxholes or barriers that give them cover as they shoot at intruders. From Modern-Prepper.com, here’s a U.S. Army guide to constructing fortifications.

  • Obstacles: Routes to the center of the compound should be blocked with barriers that slow vehicles, and thorny bushes and other obstacles can be used to hinder intruders on foot. From Globalsecurity.org, here’s a military primer on creating various types of obstacles.

  • Medical Supplies: Having an adequate stock of medical supplies to deal with injuries and health emergencies is also a must, Kobler says.

If You Only Do Three Things – Recommendations from Practical Preppers:

  • Plant thorny bushes around your windows. That’ll make it more difficult for intruders to get at you.

  • Get some handheld walkie-talkies. Remember, if civilization breaks down, so will cell towers and networks.

  • Stock up on essential first aid supplies. Bandages, anti-bacterial ointment, and other basic emergency supplies are a must-have. Refer to this American Red Cross guide entitled Anatomy of a First Aid Kit.

The Doomsday Preppers articles, videos, links, images, and instructions (“Content”) are for entertainment purposes only. The National Geographic Channel makes no express or implied representations regarding whether the Content is up-to-date, complete, or accurate, and shall not be liable for any consequential damages, claims, losses, or demands of any kind based upon reliance of the Content. Do not rely on this Content for disaster, medical, health or safety advice.

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