Survive in Place – 7 Tips to Better Your Chances at Survival
Many experienced preppers will tell you that if you happen to live in these large metropolitan
cities like Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and even Charlotte, my own
hometown, you need to consider selling your home and moving to a small rural town in the
country or preferably the mountains, far away from any major urban center.
For many, that simply isn’t possible. Our jobs require us to live in the cities or sprawling
suburbs. If purchasing a secondary home in the mountains and stockpiling supplies there is out
of the question, then you need to know how to survive in place.
To survive in place, start stockpiling basics like water, long shelf-life food supplies, first aid,
firearms and ammunition. Get to know your neighbors better. Who knows, after a while you may
find several who are “like-minded.” When the you-know-what hits the fan, it will be essential to
organize your neighbors who are also electing to survive in place versus those bugging out to
friends or family members who live in the country.
1. Fortify Entry Points: A security company can install devices such as a motion detecting
alarm system. Just having a sign on your property warning that an alarm company is
monitoring your property it is a great deterrent against burglars. With today’s technology,
inexpensive video camera systems can be installed to monitor your property from the
safety of your home’s interior. Also consider replacing all of your exterior doors with
sturdy steel doors and steel frames. Extra deadbolts and third party door stoppers such as
the Door Devil allow you to beef up your existing doors and frames. Companies such as
3M and The Door Sentinel provide anti-shatter adhesive films you apply over windows
and glass doors.
Tip: Having ¾ inch plywood pre-cut and stored in your garage may be a prudent
proactive step to fortify your windows and provide an additional deterrent.
Another method would be to unhinge interior doors and use 3-inch sheet rock
screws to secure them in front of your windows on the interior of your house. This
would not stop bullets, but would make break-ins very difficult.
2. Adequate Personnel: Double up with extended family members and like-minded
friends. In a collapse scenario, you will not be able to maintain a steady 24/7 vigil
looking outside or patrolling your property. Having two or three other families with ablebodied
adults, each trained in firearms will be key. You can get by with a bare minimum
of four adults but six is ideal.
Tip: If doubling up, make sure to double up your food and water supplies!
3. Panic Room: Every well-fortified home should have a panic room. Panic rooms should
not only be secure against break-in, but depending upon your floor plan, provide the
ability to escape into a hidden crawl space. For maximum security, upgrade the entry
point into your panic room with steel doors and frames.
Tip: In addition to 24-36 hours of food and water, loaded firearms and packed
bug out bags should be kept here.
4. Sandbags: There is a reason why our military still uses sandbags to this day. Sandbags
make great, inexpensive ballistic barriers to have on hand. Sandbags are very inexpensive
and can be purchased at any hardware store or local Army Navy store. Sandbags should
be used to reinforce the walls from which you plan to man and potentially defend your
home. Consider having several yards of sand delivered and placed in your backyard. You
can hide the sand in plain sight by easily building a large sandbox out of four eight foot
long railroad ties fashioned into a box. If you do this, secure some black landscaping
fabric to cover your sandbox and keep out weeds, and two 4×8 sheets of wood or vinyl
lattice to keep the fabric from blowing away and to deter neighborhood cats from using
your sandbox as a litter box.
Tip: Filling sandbags efficiently requires two people, one to hold the bags open
and tie them off, and the other to shovel the sand. Use a sand shovel with a
5. Fireproofing: In a crisis, you can’t count on anyone showing up (or even answering the
phone) when you dial 9-1-1. Prepare ahead to prevent or suppress fires yourself. If you
are looking to build a home, consider a sprinkler system. If your home is in need of
shingles, consider a fireproof or fire-retardant type. Upgrading your home with a
fireproof metal roof has the added advantage of obtaining free run off when it rains,
creating a relatively clean source of drinking water that can be captured by converting
downspouts to fill rain barrels. A spray nozzle and 100’ of landscaper-grade garden hose
(not cheap vinyl hose) can allow you to fight small fires before they get out of hand.
Tip: Consider purchasing additional fire extinguishers and placing them
throughout your house in the event you elect to bunker in.
6. Neighborhood Watch: Organize a neighborhood watch. If you and your neighbors are
already accustomed to collecting each other’s mail or taking care of pets while on
vacation, then perhaps you should discuss starting a neighborhood watch.
Tip: Don’t forget the importance of Operational Security, or what the military
calls OPSEC. Never put all your cards on the table when discussing your food
stores, firearms, and other preparations with your neighbors until you are 100%
positive they are of like-mind.
7. Communication: Having functioning communication equipment is key to alerting team
members to pending trouble. CB radios and walkie-talkies are two great options.
Tip: Consider taking a class to get a HAM operators license. HAM radios are
great for allowing one to stay in touch with others far away, to monitor for news