Looting and home invasions were common in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but that extreme environment does not mean every other environment is free from possible invasion.
At any time, but especially during a home invasion, you or your loved ones can be burglarized; here are some steps to take to make sure it does not happen.
Secure your doors with multiple locking mechanisms.
Yes, it is an annoyance to carry multiple keys but why make it easy for the bad guys? A deadbolt is essential and even two would not be excessive. Make sure the locks are difficult to pick.
Do not leave keys out.
Even if you think you’re being clever, don’t leave keys under mats, under flower pots, on top or door frames or in one of those $3 magnetic key carriers that fit under the frame of your car. Thieves know about these places and are more creative than you might think when it comes to locating a spare. Here at my place, we have secured a spare key in a coded key vault, similar to the type real estate agents use
Do not put your name and address on your key ring.
If you lose your keys, and who hasn’t, why advertise your home location and provide easy entrance? You might as well put a sign on your front door that says “TAKE ME”.
Keep your outdoor areas well lit.
This does not have to be costly. Even shaded areas will benefit from inexpensive solar lighting. Put porch lights on a “dawn to dusk” timer and make sure your garage entrance is not shrouded in darkness. Motion lights around doorways can be startling since they come on when a person walks up to the door.
Consider an alarm system.
When I say alarm system, I am referring to a loud horn or blast that goes off when someone invades your territory. This is especially effective if you have neighbors who will also hear the alarm but even in a more remote area, the alarm will annoy and dissuade the burglars from sticking around. These wireless motion sensors can be installed on doors to scare away a person trying to break in. Best of all, they’re battery operated and will still work during a grid-down event.
Secure your mail.
In addition to minimizing identity theft, an overflowing mailbox is an open invitation to thieves who will assume you are not at home or traveling. Invest in a
PO box – they are cheap.
Be wary of people who come to the door.
Whether they are strangers, delivery people, or even officers of the law, if they are unexpected, you need to be alert. Ask for a badge or ID number and call it in. Remember, uniforms can be readily purchased online and in these days of Photoshop, fake IDs can be easily created on a home computer.
Add locks to your gates.
If you lock your gate, then you don’t have to worry about people showing up right at your door. Plus, you’ll be sure to be on high alert if there’s a knock at the door.
Know your neighbors.
I have said this before and will say it again: neighbors and community members who know you by name and by face will be the ones that will watch your back in a crisis. You do not have to become best friends – but you do need to say hi once in awhile and perhaps get involved in some community activities so that they can get to know you and you, them.
Get a dog.
A dog is a great, really great, early warning system. Heck, my little six pound Yorkie makes a lot of racket if a stranger is walking around outside at night. He might not scare an intruder once he is in the house, but he certainly would give the would-be burglar reason to look elsewhere.
Make arrangements to have your property looked after when you go away.
Have someone mow the grass when you will be gone for a week or longer and if you still have the newspaper delivered, for goodness sake, stop delivery while you are gone. You can also put a light and a television on a timer so that it looks as though someone is home.
Secure sliding glass doors.
Before bed each night, block the track of sliding doors with a metal bar or a piece of wood. Those locks are very easy to force.
Secure sidelights or doors with large windows.
It’s a very simple thing for a thief to break out a small window, then reach in and unlock your door from the inside. Invest in some decorative metal grid work to make this more difficult.
Ensuring your home is secure is one key to keeping yourself and your family safe – whether facing a survival situation or not.
These steps are simple, cost effective and most importantly, work.
For more information on securing your home – every day and in a survival situation, check out Survival Life.