Passive defense includes the behind the scenes preparations to defend your home as well as various tactics to deter and thwart the incursion of a threat. Instituting any of the following will add defensive layers to the overall protection of your property but remember the more layers, the more effective the defense.
- Security Assessment: Tour your property to identify areas threats could approach without detection, points of entry and other vulnerable areas. Think like an intruder. Consider requesting a security assessment by your local police department.
- Open Space: This tactic clears the property of places intruders can hide and provides you with a broad view of the immediate area. This is often more applicable to those with larger properties but the urban dweller can clear vegetation close to the home and in front of windows.
- Camera Surveillance: Cameras are in of themselves a deterrent for the casual burglar as they represent a complication the average thief would rather avoid. But as a surveillance tool, cameras allow for remote inspection of the property from a safe vantage point.
- Alarm System: This is a security provision that applies to the non-apocalyptic times when society and law enforcement resources are still functioning. Alarms will deter the casual thief who is after a simple break in, will scare off an intruder once it is tripped and alert police to an unlawful entry. If the system has a battery backup, alarms can also deter looters after a severe natural disaster.
- Lights: Be it a tripped alarm, motion sensing or simple pathway lighting that dispels the dark hiding spaces, intruders will reconsider a well lit home.
- Gravel: A gravel crunches underfoot so laying gravel driveways or other approaches will alert you to an unexpected visitor.
- Obstructions: Thorned vegetation like berry bushes will present a challenge for a would-be intruder to negotiate. Randomly disperse trip hazards around the approach to the house such as river stones, branches and low brush. This may run contrary to advise for open spaces but this vegetation is not thick enough or high enough to give cover to intruders or restrict your line of sight.
- Isolate Visitors: Devise a choke point through which visitors, known and unknown, will have to enter. Or, a more expensive and complex option, creates a isolation area between an outer fence and the front entry to the house. Both methods will slow or stop the approach of someone providing extra time to identify or assess the threat.
- Reinforce Entry Points: Reinforce doors, frames, and hinges with door braces, extra locks and sturdier hardware (secure door jambs and hinges with longer, stronger screws). Reinforce windows with security film that when applied will hold shattered or broken windows together.
- Hidden Storage: Hide or disguise supply caches behind hidden walls, rooms, false cabinetry and false floors. Defensive weapons can be hidden in fake food containers, in hollowed out bed posts or books as can other items of value.
- Safe Room: A safe room can be as solid and secure as a bank vault or as simple as a defendable room for family members should defenses fail.
- Hidden Passage: A hidden passage for escape, to access a safe room or a concealed cache of food or weaponry can confuse and slow intruders.
- Create a Plan: Create plans for a home invasion, designate and plan a route to the safe room or escape routes, plan for contingencies if the primary plans change. Practice those plans with the whole family to ensure everyone knows what to do during an emergency situation.
Active defense involves actual engagement of a threat and the plans for how your household will react should a breach occur. The actions you take will be determined by the situation. The response to a burglary attempt differs from a violent home invasion which will contrast still with home defense after a collapse of society.
- Safe Room: In most situations retreating to the safe room is the best first step. This will gather everyone into one, secure place where defense can be managed, police alerted (if the alarm system did not) and await their arrival. In most cases when societal infrastructure is generally intact, this will be the extent of your response.
- Escalation: Should the situation escalate and the intruder is intent on violence, an armed defense may prove necessary. With the family safely in the safe room, position yourself in a place where you have a view of the door and who comes through it. This will provide time for you to gauge the intruder before they are able to assess the room. You will have time to act.
- Post-Collapse Incursion: If the worst should come to pass, society collapses and your home is the island of security in the wilds then there is the potential for a direct attack by persons intent on taking anything they can. For situations of this caliber all your planning, training and preparations will be called upon for defense.
- Defend Access Points: The vulnerable points identified during your security assessment are vital defense points. Store weaponry at these locations for quick use.
- Escape Routes: Should the fight shift out of your favor, make sure escape routes (primary and alternative) are clear and available for use. Set code words for the family ahead of time for each route and use to tell family members which route to take and which rendezvous point to meet at if someone is separated.