The Dark Threat – Report
One of the most common survival scenarios to prep for is a power outage. Everyone should have a couple flashlights, batteries and other preps in place. Some are even more prepared and have a generator and possibly even shelf stable food and water put away.
This kind of thing happens relatively often in certain parts of the country. I personally have gone a week with no power from an ice storm, and an acquaintance went almost three weeks from super storm Sandy.
But what if the lights don’t come back on? Or what if the outage is on a large or even global scale? Don’t think that can’t happen. Just 150 years ago the Carrington event was a massive solar flare that melted telegraph wires. Imagine something like that hitting the earth today with our reliance on electronics that are extremely less robust than telegraph wires.
When the power goes out from a storm, even a big one, neighbors come together and look out for each other. But when a huge event happens like an EMP people will be fleeing the cities and things may get ugly for preppers who might have prepared for just such an event.
Security is job one
If you are not planning on inviting the whole neighborhood to your home when society goes belly up you need to watch what you say about your preps. The less people know about you being a prepper the better off you are.
Once you have your mouth security in place it is time to look at your home and think about how you would go about breaking in. If you have a buddy you are prepping with this is a good time to task them with the job of figuring out how to rob you. Once you have this figured out you will know where to make improvements, or even leaving an obvious avenue open as a place to funnel the unwanted visitors.
Making it difficult
Even if you live out in the sticks you can add inner city security to your home. Functional shutters or even bars on the windows will slow down and stop intruders. Perimeter fencing with clear ground between it and your home will give you a clear field of view to keep potential looters away from your home.
I have allowed wild blackberries and poison ivy to grow in a hedge around three sides of my yard. It would be very difficult for someone to sneak through this barrier, and why would they when they can approach from the front with no obstacles other than being in full view of the house.
Keep it dark and quiet
If there is a large outage you will not want to advertise that you have power (if you do). A generator is nice but a battery system that can be charged by solar, wind, or a generator when it is safe will keep you in power without advertising your presence.
A generator can be heard from a long distance especially at night. Looters looking for food may be drawn right to you if they hear it running.
You should also cover all your windows at night to keep light from being seen at a distance. The same as a generator a lit up window will draw more than moths in a night without power.
Your best bet will be to run the generator in the daytime when others may be doing the same thing, or figure out a way to muffle the exhaust so it can’t be heard at a distance.
The only exception to this should be if you are attacked. Then you should light up the countryside if you are able and fight back.
Low tech alarms
Some people keep dogs as a first warning system. Others think dogs will give away their presence with barking. If you are a pet person be sure to incorporate your animals into your warning system somehow.
An easy low tech alarm is soda cans strung on fishing line. You can string them around the yard. Across your driveway or even use them on the doors to your home. They are loud and will in some cases scare away intruders if there is any kind of response to the alarm. Don’t space the cans out along the line, put them all at one end and have just the clear line strung.
If they get in
If someone does make it into your home, you will need to be prepared to clear them out. Some like a shotgun for this, and others prefer a handgun. I am generally in the handgun category since it is more compact and quicker to get on target.
This not the place to discuss house clearing tactics, if you want to learn them do some research and take some classes, or even work with a bail bondsman who collects his own fugitives. You will learn many things about moving through a darkened house.
A large power disruption is not necessarily the end of the world, but even if it is you can increase your odds of survival if you watch your security and prepare to keep a low profile so the looters will bypass or think you are not worth their time.