Force Multiplier: “A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of a successful mission”
Any group or person can take advantage of force multipliers, and they do not necessarily apply to combat, or “tactical situations” if you will. As a side note, the term tactical is used quite often in survival circles, and it may at times be used in the wrong context, but that is a discussion for another day.
1.) Skills and Training
Being skilled and highly trained is a force multiplier. One highly skilled person can literally do the job of two or more untrained personnel. Gaining knowledge and being able to practically apply that knowledge is a force multiplier in any situation. A single person who is well trained may very well be able to do a job that would take two or even more untrained personnel to accomplish, within the same period.
Barriers can include barbed/razor wire fencing, a stone or brick wall, a ditch, or any ground barrier, natural or man-made, which blocks or hinders the advance of opposing forces. Without barriers you would need personnel patrolling the areas to warn against or to stop intrusions. The barriers can take the place of guards in many cases, and thus they become force multipliers.
Barriers are not just to stop humans from gaining entry however. You would need barriers like fencing to keep predators out of the chicken coop, for example. If you did not have force multipliers like barriers, then you and others would have to take turns guarding the livestock, to keep predators from running off with your food supply, and to keep the livestock from simply wandering off.
Being able to see at night is a force multiplier, or in some cases, it simply means the playing field is leveled because you have the same technology as the opposing force. Without it you are at a distinct disadvantage, and thus would require a much larger force to overcome the disadvantage. Night vision equipment can be purchased by anyone, and even the lower end gear gives you an advantage over nature and four legged predators that roam the night.
Surveillance cameras and early warning alarms are force multipliers. One person can monitor multiple avenues of approach from a static location, whereas without the equipment you would need enough personnel so they could be on the ground at the individual points.
4.) Know the Terrain
Know your battle space as some call it. Who knows your own backyard better than you do? However, if you are targeted specifically for whatever reason, then you can expect the opposing force will know the terrain around your home or homestead as well as you. You never go into battle without knowing the “lay of the land” and any force with training will know what they can expect before engaging you in battle.
For SHTF situations the opposing forces in most cases, will be looters, rouge Preppers, and malcontents of all stripes. They are looking for opportunities, and would not likely have put your home under surveillance to gather Intel on the terrain and your habits. This puts them at a disadvantage, and even though they may be the larger force, you have a force multiplier, because you know the ground around your home much better than they do.
5.) Your Mindset
Defending terrain or a structure can put you at a disadvantage in some cases, because you can find yourself in a siege situation. On the other hand, you have more incentive for winning. You are protecting your family, yourself, and your possessions. Looters and others are looking to grab what they can quickly, and may not be prepared for serious resistance, and thus, when you show them you are prepared to do what it takes, they may move on. You do have to be prepared psychologically you have to have optimism to be able to overcome.
This would not work however, if a force was determined to wait you out. To counter this you would need multiple ways of exiting the structure. Tunnels, would ideal, and then once outside the structure you would need fighting positions that offered cover and concealment. Foxholes, and sniper hides can be placed in various places so you could defend the structure from outside of it.