Tuesday, December 30, 2008

SHTF: Defending Suburban Home

I have been reading a SHTF fiction piece which takes place in an upscale neighborhood in a major metropolitan area.

Defending a neighborhood described in the story is near impossible. I can think of more than a few reasons why.

1) You have to depend upon your neighbors.

I don't know about you, but I don't think many of my neighbors even own a gun, at least not as far as I can tell. I have one neighbor who I know is an avid hunter and owns some sort of a "security supply company" which sells bullet proof vests, body armor, helmets and that sort of thing. Besides what he does, I don't know if anyone else has any other useful experience or supplies.

I would not want to depend upon my neighbors. How many of them are anti-gun? Or believe the "authorities" should handle the problem? Or might report my having "stuff" to the authorities? Or might feel sorry for those willing to steal or kill in our neighborhood because they were "economically distressed"? You can't count on everyone believing and acting the way you do.

I add to this the common line I hear from others about their neighborhoods "Most of my neighbors are vets/blue collar/like minded. I am sure we will stick together". My advice is to guess again unless you have a plan and pseudo-organization in place to defend the neighborhood.

2) Too much property

Most neighborhoods are spread out. They border other neighborhoods full of people you do not know. A high rise, strip mall or apartment complex might be next door to a neighborhood which changes the dynamics in multiple ways.

Are there creeks, woods, fields, or empty lots adjoining your neighborhood? Can you and a handful of other homeowners honestly patrol and effectively cover this type of territory?

Just watching the four sides of your home is enough for one home owner, now try watching all sides of your neighborhood.

3) You say no, the neighbor says yes

So you have a group of neighbors who agree to watch the neighborhood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You and the guy next door are on sentry duty for the front of the neighborhood. A car rolls up and some young guys says he and his two friends are home from college and want to see his girlfriend. You say no, go home. Your friend wants to get along and says "we didn't discuss this happening. What say we give the kid a break?". While you two are arguing, College Boy and his homies pull 9's and fill you both full of lead.

How about this? A car load pulls up and they are friends of yours. "We know you are prepared, John. Can the family double up with you?". Other guard says "no way", we have enough to deal with. You say its my house.. blah blah blah.

And so it goes. Neighbors who have a casual nod and hello relationship while getting the morning paper are suddenly co-survivalists in an urban compound with nothing in common or plan in place. Recipe for disaster.

4) Too many liabilities

A gang of 10 or so bangers show up and try and raid a few homes. The neighborhood patrol goes out to meet them and when the bangers are surrounded one grabs a little girl as a shielf and hostage. Maybe it is your daughter or your next door neighbors.

Or maybe the bangers go out in a blaze of glory? They fire wildly into the nearby homes, all made of brick and wood, and the rounds tear into whoever and what ever is in their path.

Or maybe they just decide to start burning the close together homes until everyone comes out to get shot or captured?

Regardless, there are too many variables to go wrong in an all out defense.


The only home I would defend would be my own and maybe a few next door neighbors I know very well.

I would also follow my Suburbia Defense Strategy outlined here. It is a longshot but it is better than walking patrol with a bunch of middle aged Rambos on Wisteria Lane.

Other than that, your best bet is to get out of dodge when the time permits.


Anonymous said...

Do you have any real experience with any of the scenarios you have posited here? It doesn't sound like it. What is your experience? Based on my experience, your blog sounds like it is written by somebody with a small amount of second-hand information and a wild imagination.

JD said...

Do you have any real experience with any of the scenarios you have posited here? It doesn't sound like it. What is your experience? Based on my experience, your blog sounds like it is written by somebody with a small amount of second-hand information and a wild imagination.

Frankly, I don't know anyone who has experience in dealing with suburban life in a post-apocalyptic America say after a nuclear war, nationwide EMP event, massive financial collapse, civil war or zombie invasion. Everything is speculation, hyperbole and yes, even imagination. It's all we have available because none of these situations have occurred.

Rather than criticize, feel free to a) present something more tangible or b) create your own blog/website and give examples of your experiences in dealing with the above. I will be happy to link to your site.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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