The first thing you have to keep in mind is that the typical home is not a defensible structure, unless specifically designed that way. You can of course fortify your home, but once you begin doing that you have already conceded that criminals and other malcontents will be reaching your front door.
In a real world situation, unless your home is of particular value (is a target for some specific reason) to someone it is simply another home, meaning it is a structure that could be chosen at random for looting at some point. You do necessarily have to prepare for a full frontal attack, but you do have to deter and defend against looters and other criminals.
Keep in mind the information provided is designed to help you deter the typical looter during a crisis.
If you live in a rural area you may live several miles off the main highway, and access to your home is likely to be a narrow lane/driveway or road. Looters and other criminals when targeting homes for loot need a way to carry that loot. You can restrict access to your home by blocking access routes so vehicles cannot get with a quarter mile (choose any distance) of your home for example.
Not only are you denying access, you are maneuvering people that may wish you harm, into a spot you have chosen. You are creating a choke point and in military parlance a “perfect ambush location”. You do not have a fort, and you do not live in prison surrounded by barbed wire, so you have to control what others are doing outside of the structure so they do not get inside the structure.
Obviously, if a vehicle cannot get close enough to your home, the thieves or criminals may set off on foot through the woods. Once they do, they are now on your home field however. If they are just looters looking to smash and grab, and they have no way of hauling off their bounty they may just turn around. The more serious ones will set off on foot but you will know this because you have controlled their actions up to this point.
Once the criminals leave their vehicle, because they cannot drive any closer they have essentially lost the game and you now control the field.
Criminals for the most part look for the path of least resistance, and the more barriers you put up the harder it is for them. Looters and other criminals of course lack ambition so when the job becomes work they may begin to look for an easier target down the road.
Make It Obvious
You as a homeowner in a rural setting should already have more than one way out to the main highway, one that can be traveled easily on foot in the dark. Leaving bread crumbs for the thieves to follow means they are being controlled by you. Once they leave their vehicle, they will seek the easiest way through the woods. You already know the easiest way, so again you can track and control them by making sure, the blocked access point is close to a footpath leading to the home.
Some people may be wondering why make it easy for anyone to get to your home. If the criminals set off on their own path, you do not control their actions and thus cannot defend against them as easily. The entire point of this exercise is to “herd” or funnel anyone moving up on your home to a pre-determined location and then dealt with before endangering anyone inside of the home.
The Bases Are Loaded
Imagine a baseball diamond and home plate is your home. The difference of course is that you will not have a backstop so instead of 180 degrees you have to defend 360 degrees.
Once you have others that have ventured onto your property you have to see what they see. Professionals of course will use cover to their advantage but they will realize that any cover available is already known to you so they are likely not to use the obvious, they will create their own cover using Ghillie suits, vegetation and spider holes.
Professionals wanting to take over your property will have literally dug in days in advance for observation. In most cases, the average homeowner will not have the resources or the training to defend against a military unit. The likelihood of ever having to do so however in a crisis is so low as to be non-existent.
Your typical criminal will essentially walk to home base using the easiest route, which if you have prepared prior to the crisis, then the route will be of your making.
Security is about planning and seeing things from a different perspective and angle. Defending your property is hard work. It is important that all family members are a part of any home defense planning. If you find yourself becoming paranoid and devoting every waking hour to security then you need to step back and analyze the situation.
You need to do perimeter checks and in some cases having one or more people awake all night may be needed. However, if you find you are under a constant and real threat daily it may be time to think about evacuation. You can only maintain a high state of alert for short periods unless you have a large group of people with the proper training.
The biggest threat in some cases will be from people you know and thus you may very well be caught off guard. Everyone will guard against strangers, but what about those that you know and may have seen or associated with on a regular basis before the crisis.
This article is designed to get you thinking about your property. Ask yourself how a criminal would assess the situation as they come upon it, in most cases randomly. You can barricade yourself inside and hope that the criminals will get tired of trying to break the door down or you can try to stop anyone from even getting to the front door by predicting his or her actions.
You want deterrents and then a defensible position outside of the home. Once in the front door the intruder has the advantage contrary to what you may think. You do not have them trapped inside; they have you corned inside your own home. No one lures a burglar inside the home you do what you can to keep him or her out.