This week begins a series of lessons on security. All the preps in the world won’t help you if someone can easily take them from you. Therefore, it is important to implement at least basic security measures for your home and/or retreat.
The first step is determining your vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Once you have those figured out, you can work toward plugging those holes, so to speak.
This week, we are going to focus on what we call structure hardening. This term refers to the security of the physical structure of your home. We’ll first do a survey of your home and next week we’ll work on fixing any problems we found. In upcoming lessons, we’ll discuss things like perimeter security, early warning devices, and area denial.
Grab a notepad and pen and take a walk around your house. Make a note of every single point of entry, including all doors and ground-level windows. Don’t forget basement windows.
Are there bushes in front of any of those windows, bushes that might provide concealment for someone looking to break in?
Do you have exterior lighting at all doors? Do the lights work?
Do you have keys hidden outside somewhere? How hidden are they really? Please don’t tell me you have a key under the doormat or in one of those fake rocks!
Do you have trees near your home with branches that overhang the roof, allowing someone access to the upper levels?
Do you have window air conditioners? Can they be easily removed from the outside?
Do you have solid-core or metal encased exterior doors? Do the doors have windows built in?
Do you have deadbolts on all exterior doors?
Are the hinges on exterior doors exposed to the outside?
Are all windows lockable from the inside? What kind of windows do you have (casement, sliding, etc.)?
Do you routinely keep curtains/drapes over windows so people cannot see inside?
If you live in an apartment or condo, are the hallways well lit?
Is it a secured building? Meaning, is the outer door to the building locked at all times, requiring a key or buzzer for entry?
Do you have a pretty good idea of who lives around you? By that, I mean would you recognize someone different in the immediate area?
Is the parking lot well lit or are there deep shadows at night in spots?
Do you have a corded landline phone?
Does everyone in your family know what to do in case of fire? How about a break in?
As you go through the survey, look at everything with an outsider’s perspective. What would a stranger see when they look at your home?
Your assignments this week:
1) Go through the security survey above. Feel free to make notes of additional concerns I may not have mentioned. Next week, we’ll talk about ways to fix problem areas.
2) The heat wave continues and we’re experienced dramatic droughts in many parts of the country. How is your water storage holding up? You may want to add a few more gallons this week.