Those of us in the preparedness game spend lots of hours and lots of dollars preparing for any likely disaster. Food, water, power, communications, and many other topics fill our minds and fuel our plans. We all consider our well-prepared homes as our castles, but what do you do if someone has taken your castle…and your preparedness lifeline? Are you prepared to watch your family go hungry and become vulnerable because home intruders picked you as a victim?
This issue has a lot of factors, and I have a lot to say about it so I’ve divided this article into two parts: In Part 1, I will discuss the overall problem, and Part 2 will be devoted to practical steps you can take if the only option is to take back your home by force.
Your Neighbors Know
Let’s talk honestly. There’s a very good chance your neighbors know that you’re a prepper, whether they heard it from you or from another neighbor. They know you’ve stocked up on food and other supplies, or perhaps they know you raise chickens or have a flourishing garden.
Well, who else knows? The Gardener? Your babysitter? The Postal Carrier? The UPS guy? People notice, and people talk. Some of those people may not have your best interests at heart. You have your plans, but taking your preps may be someone else’s plan.
Consider this typical comment, left just yesterday on this blog. “John” said:
I have plenty of guns and ammunition and thus can take anything I want from my unarmed, effete, and liberal neighbors.
It’s unlikely that someone with this attitude and lack of integrity will stop at taking things from the people on his hit list. If he believes that “Might makes right,” you can bet he won’t have a problem taking from you if he thinks he can. And there are many, many people out there just like “John.”
It’s much easier for people like this, home intruders, to take someone else’s preps than to spend their own money and time to become prepared themselves.
You should be prepared to defend, or in some cases, take back your family’s life-sustaining supplies and shelter from those who will be intent on taking them.
Let’s Get a Grip
Now, realize that I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill wildfire, minor flood or any other event that is an inconvenience for a few days. Even though those can be stressful situations, they don’t tend to change most people’s behavior.
I’m talking about a disaster that is catastrophic, one that destroys hundreds of homes and businesses, and crushes a community’s way of life. It could be a major earthquake, a widespread and long-lasting power outage, or a Katrina-level storm. It’s a situation where it is obvious to everyone that serious help is needed, and yet help could be days or weeks away.
That’s the time when it’s likely that morally compromised individuals and groups start looking for supplies that they can take to solve their own immediate needs, or to make a buck at your expense. They may make the choice to take your food and supplies, and your home.
Anticipate the Risk of Home Intruders
Is this scenario unlikely? You bet. But not impossible; you only need to read the weekly stories of people who have had to confront an intruder in their home, or have their business robbed to realize that predators are present throughout our society. The only thing that holds many of them back from going full-on marauder is knowing there is a protective layer of law enforcement that, usually, protects their potential victims.
That protective layer will become scattered, at best, in a true worst case scenario and the possibility of having your home and preparedness supplies plundered is a real threat. But just as with other natural and man-made hazards we can anticipate, you can plan for this home intruders hazard as well.
Analyze Your Vulnerabilities
Start with an assessment of how intruders could make their way into your home by force. Ever get locked out of your home? Did you have to jump a fence, pry open a window or force open a door? This is a great place to start your planning; bad guys may try to get in the same way.
Windows and doors are of course the most vulnerable openings, but also consider walls shared with others, such as in a townhouse or duplex. Also, consider shared basement or attic areas, where an intruder could gain access to your neighbor as a prelude to victimizing you.
Once inside, they have gained the upper hand. It will be far more difficult to take back your home and belongings from an individual or group of people who have claimed it for themselves.
Plan Ahead to Take It Back
The advantage you have over an interloper is knowledge of your home. You know the layout, where things are kept, and any vulnerability that can’t be fixed. Realize that taking back your home will not be easy…but if your and your family’s survival is at stake, it would be worth it.
If you have law enforcement or military talent in your family, take advantage of their knowledge and skills as you make your plan. Factors to consider are your health and physical ability, skills and experience, and the amount of help you could expect from family, friends and neighbors.
That plan can include an attempt at negotiating with the intruders, or not. Negotiating in this context is high risk, but also potentially has a high reward. You would alert the intruders of your presence, making a subsequent physical entry of your home a much higher risk to you. However, if the intruders agreed to leave peacefully, you would alleviate the physical danger of an assault.
You may decide that a stealthy approach and quick assault stacks the odds in your favor. But first and foremost, if you can summon law enforcement help, do not try to resolve the situation yourself. Be a good witness and let the professionals do their thing.
Coming in Part 2: Specific tips for taking back your home by force
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