Sunday, January 18, 2009

Security, Security, Security

Once, a long time ago, before I headed off on a dark and twisted path that led to a new job, a buddy of mine who had come from those regions told me, “Joe – never let anyone tell you they are too high-speed for security. Security, security, security – always think security.” So that’s where the title comes from. The idea comes from a discussion we are having on the forums concerning home security.

There are many things one can and should do to ensure one’s home is secure. Simple things like keeping doors and windows locked; keeping sheds and barns and garages secured; not putting valuables on display; getting a dog; trimming bushes around the home; exterior lighting and so on. Most know these things but many do not apply them. I will not dwell on these basic items; instead, I want to talk today about two principles of security – Threat Assessment and Layers. Once you understand the concepts, you can apply them to your unique situation.

Threat Assessment

As the economy continues to take hits, property crime will rise. If the world as we know it ever ends – it could get very interesting. Probably the first thing you should do is make an assessment – what are you securing and from whom? The reason we do this is because to loosely quote Sun Tzu, “He who defends everything defends nothing”. You don’t have the assets to defend everything against all possible contingencies – so you have to prioritize. How you prioritize is based largely on your assessments.

The What may seem easy at first blush – “I’m securing my DVD player, the jewelry and my guns”. Well today, you are. But who knows what tomorrow will bring? I was reading an article in a recent edition of Backwoods Home Magazine about the Great Depression and how folks had to secure their vegetable gardens. You may have to secure your livestock (remember movies about cattle rustlers?) You may have to secure your firewood. Who knows? But you do need to make an assessment.

So far the What was all property bad guys may wish to steal. Unfortunately the What doesn’t end there. You may have to secure your life and the lives of your loved ones and friends. In the Future Unknown there could be mobs or evil individuals just bent on destruction – of life. They could also, like rioting mobs the world over, be focused on destroying property instead of stealing anything. So you’ll have to make an assessment there.

If you live out in the sticks, your chances of facing a mob bent on burning stuff down are significantly less than if you live inside a city. But you may have to secure and defend your pond full of bass…

Take some time and list out what you have to secure.

Who do you have to secure your property and possibly life against? A crack head? Some gangbangers in SUVs and Caprice Classics? A motorcycle gang? Six rednecks on ATVs and in pickups? Pandemic flu vectors? Fallout? (Just to let you know, it’s not always people). Start with the most likely and work out from there.

Securing your property and self against a crack head is pretty easy – take basic precautions. Securing against organized criminals is tougher – much tougher, but not impossible. I would caution you however not to engage in “wishful assessments”. I would encourage you not to underestimate your potential Who?s based on a self limiting assessment of yourself and your own capabilities.

I’m talking about Todd. Regardless of your abilities - you must at least consider Todd. Unfortunately, if Todd wants it, Todd will likely take it. So maybe in the case of Todd, you need to make it so he doesn’t know it’s there or decides it’s just not worth the effort. Sorry, Todd is a bit of an inside deal and the original author won’t let me release details… suffice it to say, Todd is a bad mama jamma. The good news is – you probably won’t have to defend against Todd – most likely. But you should at least consider it.


Which brings us around to the concept of Layers.

The first layer of security is you and what you have within arm’s reach. First off, you need to be aware. Then you need to have plans – real plans – for what to do in various instances. Like, if while reading this, your front door was caved in. It is locked, right? Can your reach out and touch a useful weapon right now? I hope so. When you walk into your home, and start moving towards another room do you know where additional weapons and safe areas are located? Scroll down and read Intruder Drill for some more info along these lines.

Do you have safe or secure areas inside your home? A safe room, a safe or maybe a hidden drawer? This is an additional layer of security.

Alarm systems and the like fit in here – from electromagnetic or IR motion sensors in the home to seismic sensors out in the back pasture to police scanners, radio networks and the like. Layers within layers.

Walk around the outside of house and try to think like someone who just wants to make a quick buck. What would you steal? How would you get into your home? When you identify vulnerable areas – when you assess them – fix them.

Drive past your house. How does it compare to others in the neighborhood. Does anything stick out to make it more or less attractive as a target for crime? Think like your assessed threats. An outlaw motorcycle gang thinks and acts differently than a lone crack head. Who do you need to be concerned with?

I have heard some folks say, “I want to put razor wire around my house”. If I was a bad guy and I saw razor wire these days, I might think there was something pretty cool in there worth protecting. Instead of a deterrent, it might serve as an attractant. Your call.

A fenced yard with mean dogs and a locked gate does not stick out where I live. And while they are not “noteworthy”, the dogs and locked gate are definitely a deterrent around here. Much easier to go to some other similar house with an open gate and no dogs to steal stuff or do other evil.

But you must bear in mind what another great military leader (Patton) said: “Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity.” It is entirely possible that you will fail if you limit your thinking to drawing the line at the edge of your yard – and in effect create a fixed fortification.

This is where you need to extend your layers outward. This is where you want to include your friends and neighbors. See, you really don’t want to be fighting off the Godless hordes by firing your Homeland Defense Rifle from behind your mailbox at the end of your driveway. No, no that just wouldn’t do. The first thing you want to do is keep the bad guys out of your entire neighborhood. Let them seek greener pastures elsewhere.

Like everything else, plans like this usually don’t come together over night. They also work out a lot better if you put some effort into it on the front side. Talk it over with the neighbors. Draw up some plans, rehearse them. “What if?” it to death. Then practice some more.

Maybe you want to establish some kind of checkpoint at the intersection with the main road. Not bad. Why not do a few practice runs to figure out what kind of logistic support you will need, how long the shifts will be, how you will communicate and what your contact (with bad guys, with good guys, with unknowns...) plan is?

Maybe you want to extend the ring further and maintain a roving scout patrol out beyond your checkpoint. Maybe you want to have someone inside the perimeter monitoring various electronic means of information sharing. These might be all good ideas. But they don’t end there. What happens if your scout vehicle becomes disabled? Is there a rescue plan? What about if your electronic monitor picks up information about a mob headed your way? What then?

My main points (beyond conducting a security assessment and setting up your security with layers) is, as always – to actually plan this stuff out and then get to work organizing people and practicing.

No excuses. The lives of you and your loved ones could be at stake – get busy.

I’ll see ya out there.

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. – Luke 11:21 - 23


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America


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