If there is an emergency or a conflict of some type where being broken into for your supplies is a very real possibility, you should consider some steps you can take to “harden” your home against intruders. Some of these are more invasive, so you may want to only do them when it becomes a very real possibility.
There are several steps you can take to make your home harder to break into during an emergency or conflict:
- Reinforce doors and windows: Use solid core or steel doors and reinforce them with heavy-duty deadbolts and strike plates, or consider adding a steel door jam too. Adding additional locks can make it harder as well. Consider adding security film to windows to make them more resistant to breakage. Use sticks or stoppers in windows and sliding doors that make it so they cannot be opened from the outside – just make sure they are easily removeable if you need to leave the house quickly.
- Install a security system: Consider installing a security system that includes alarms, motion sensors, and surveillance cameras. This can deter intruders and provide an early warning if someone does attempt to break in. However, you need to have power for these to be useful.
- Use exterior lighting: Install motion-activated exterior lighting to make it harder for intruders to approach your home unnoticed. However, it can be a sign that someone is in the home, which some do not like.
- Secure valuables: Keep valuables such as cash, jewelry, and important documents in a safe that is bolted to the floor or wall. Ideally, you want the safe hidden from view and not placed in a place that a thief would immediately look, such as in an office or bedroom closet. Consider storing backup copies of important documents in a separate location.
- Trim shrubs and trees: Trim shrubs and trees around your home to eliminate hiding places for potential intruders.
- Perimeter fencing, barriers or gates.
- Keep a low profile: Avoid advertising your wealth or possessions, such as expensive cars or electronics, using a generator, or having easily visible solar panels, which may make your home a more attractive target for thieves.
- Plan for emergencies: Develop an emergency plan for your family and practice it regularly. This can include identifying safe rooms, emergency exits, and evacuation routes.
Remember that no home security system is foolproof, and it is important to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times. If you hear or see something suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately.