Graduated Levels of Force and Redundant Detection and Warning

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Clint McNabb. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

Security is a 24 hour requirement. If you can’t surveille, detect, and defend when the sun goes down, then you will vulnerable to the bad guys. It doesn’t matter how much food you have, if you can’t protect it, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to keep it, no matter where your location is. And, you can’t do it by yourself. There are cases made that it will take 10 to 12 adults to provide 24 hour security, gather, grow, and prepare food, tend to community hygiene and medicine, local and wide communications, power production, water sanitizing, gather fuel, and many other mundane chores necessary for continued operations after SHTF. During the early phase of SHTF, security will demand an intensive manpower effort. This article is about providing yourself with options for force. It’s just not a prudent plan to go directly to the AR-15 to solve your defense problems. A good defense plan includes options for dealing with problems at the lowest level of force up to deadly force. Redundant detection and warning are essential to a good defensive action plan.

Graduated Levels of Force

There should be a range of possibilities for security you can employ. You could take on the look of a previously ransacked position with a grey-man concept…there is nothing of any value here…it’s all gone…don’t bother even looking here. There is a lot of “hope” involved with this attitude, but may be your only defense if you are of few numbers. Or, you might employ a well thought out layered defense with graduated levels of force to be used to defend your position. This will require a formidable effort of manpower and equipment. You won’t be relying on hope to defend your group. Your position will be known and possible intruders will suspect that you have things of value they would want. You’re objective is to persuade them that it just isn’t worth the risk to get nosy.

Early Warning

At the extremes of your perimeters you could establish a warning line; a string holding paper signs in document protectors warning the intruders to “DO NOT COME CLOSER….DEADLY FORCE”. They have been warned. There very well may be legal consequences after society is reestablished, so proper levels of warning and force should be considered.

After intrusion detection, an announcement with a bullhorn from a security post could be the next level of warning. If necessary, a conversation with the intruder could be conducted from afar. Simultaneous with that, a warning would be made via walkie-talkie or whistle to the rest of the group for additional support. They would drop everything, arm themselves, and respond to their predetermined security support positions.

Pyle-Pro PMP30 Professional Megaphone/Bullhorn with Siren

Redundant Detection

Detection is a very important aspect of security. You can’t engage somebody you can’t detect. Detection should to be redundant and reliable to be effective. I have been using a Chamberlain CWA2000 Wireless Motion Alert System to detect motion with a range as far as a half mile, and they are passive in nature. One base unit can support eight sensors and everything works on battery power. Each sensor causes a unique alarm at the base unit. It’s a little pricey, however you don’t have to line you whole perimeter, just the areas of probable access. Intruders probably won’t choose to wade through obstacles. They’ll take the easiest route.

For redundancy I like GE window warning alarms used with trip wires to sound an ear-piercing alarm that can be heard from a distance. Use a mono-filament fishing line at ankle level as a trip wire to separate the magnet from the alarm. You can use several trip wires with each alarm. The batteries last a long time and a large supply is fairly cheap.

Escalating the Force

Back to the increasing levels of force; wasp and hornet spray killer can accurately spray up to 25 feet. Maybe that will turn them around when you hit them in their face. You might not want to allow the intruders to be that close to you. This is just an option under unique circumstances. If you allow them to be close, a 26 Inch-Self Defense Stick may offer a viable option in your inventory short of going lethal.

If the intruders are still coming, it’s time to escalate the force. Here are some options in order of use. A 12 ga. Super-Sock Bean Bag Impact Round. It’s an attention getter and can reach out and touch someone without permanent damage. For graduated levels of force, I would load a shotgun with one or two rounds of these first, followed by some #7 bird-shot, followed by 00 buck shot. Yes, you need a magazine extension kit for your shotguns.

Are the intruders still around after the bean bags? How about a BB gun, followed by pellet gun, followed by a .22, followed by #7 bird-shot? These are escalations of force options as appropriate. You just can’t go straight to the AR-15 to solve your problem. Your threats maybe anything from an unarmed mother with two kids to a mob of 25 armed animals. You need to be able to respond accordingly.

Security at Night?

Mr Beams MB393 300-Lumen Weatherproof Wireless Battery Powered LED Ultra Bright Spotlight with Motion Sensor, Brown, 3-Pack

Night operations are much more complicated and sometimes expensive, but if you can’t provide security 24 hours a day, then you don’t have security. It’s a must. Bad guys are hungry at night as much as in the day.

I can’t afford generation 3, Night Vision Goggles for three security posts for night ops. That would be $10,000 plus. So, here’s what I’ve got lined up. In addition to the motion sensors and trip-wired window alarms, I’ll use Mr Beams MB393 300-Lumen Weatherproof Wireless Battery Powered LED Ultra Bright Spotlight with Motion Sensor. They are easily mounted to trees, eaves, posts, etc. The four D cell batteries will last six months to a year. I’ll locate these on avenues of approach and areas that are hard to detect intruders. The best place for these is as the next layer after the motion sensors and window alarms. After that line I think a light that the security position can remotely turn on like: Mr. Beams MB371 Remote Controlled Battery-Powered Motion-Sensing LED Outdoor Security Spotlight.

Each weapon needs to be able to light up the intruder. I like the u-Box 2000LM C8 CREE XM-L T6 LED 5-Mod Flashlight Torch Lamp with Remote Switch Pressure Tail Switch Wire Extended Switch and Flashlight & Laser mount for Gun/Rifle/Shotgun plus 1x 18650 Rechargeable Batteries and AC Charger Complete Set. Yes, it’ll give your position away, but it is more important to detect the bad guys than flounder around and bump into them. This is a 2,000 lumen light. It’s bright and can blind and disorient the intruders.

Got more money? I’ve looked at these for increasing my night capabilities:

Equinox Z Digital
Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular $219.99

12X X-Sight
ATN DGWSXS312A 3-12X X-Sight Night Vision Rifle $449.99

Avenger Gen 2+
Armasight AVENGER GEN 2+ ID Improved Definition Night Vision Monocular with 3X Magnification, Black $1254.75

As I said previously, your main goal is to just make the intruders think there is just nothing in your position that is worth dying for.

Sometimes you might be able to get more bang for your buck with something that might cause the intruder caution or reconsideration. I like this UniquExceptional UDC4 silver Fake Security Camera with 30 Illuminating LEDs. For $9.36 each this fake camera shows infrared capabilities which could cause intruders to take a second thought on their safety.

Maybe just sticking some utility easement flags at various locations would cause concern with the intruders. It’ll make them wonder what they are for and do I want to take a chance finding out.

During SHTF there will be a lot of good people doing bad things. Have options for a full range of force levels and detection that has backup in all conditions, day or night.

If you can’t protect it, you won’t be able to keep it.

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  • Mike Lashewitz

    All fine and good if you live in the middle of nowhere.

  • Bolofia

    Thanks for your view on a very complex issue. There are an infinite number of variables that influence decisions about setting up and maintaining a secure perimeter, including terrain, field of view, whether your compound can be easily seen, how many people you can afford to dedicate to security (around the clock), as well as the sheer cost of some solutions. Maintaining security around a fixed location versus an overnight camp are distinctly different challenges. In the first case, you can study, prepare and fine tune to the limits that your wallet can sustain. If your group is in bug out mode, it is far more likely that you will be innovating with a bare minimum of resources.

    • BobW

      Shoot, Bolo. On the fly, go all ‘the walking dead’ on them. String with cans/pie tins, etc.. that just make some noise to alert the group. I knew that show was good for something.

      As for the article, I think it identifies numerous ‘less than lethal’ options for deterring unwanted visitors. Other than possibly signage, none really work for my situation, but they provide interesting options no less.

      Having directional hp LED lights to light up someones butt would be valuable. I do have some concerns about utilizing ‘D’ cell technology, as they don’t last long when used, and would be expensive to stock in volume.

      • Bolofia

        There is no “one size fits all” solution to the issues raised in this article, and Clint doesn’t suggest that there are. Personally, my view of the “Deadly Force” sign is equivalent to advertising that you have something valuable (such as food) that you want to protect. I would rather be invisible, or at least “gray” to individuals and groups that may pass by my property.
        If I am protecting my family in a full blown TEOTWAWKI scenario, the concept of “less than lethal” defense is out of the question.