I'd like to start a thread to focus on Home Preparedness. This involves defending against threats from many areas. One of the sites that does a great job of laying out preparatory ideas is http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs ... p/map.html
. I tend to always link it to those who are new to the idea. Preparing your home does not just consist of preparing to deal with intruders although that's a decent part of it. You also have to deal with natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and worst of all the house fire which claims the most homes of all here in the USA.
1. You do need to make your home burglary/invader unfriendly by having strong doors/locks, clearing out cover close to your house, installing exterior lights, not leaving things outside to be easily stolen, securing exterior access to circuit breakers and power switches, maintaining cell phones and flashlights, possibly creating a strong room to retreat to, keeping weapons available and ready, and installing security systems of some sort.
2. You need to protect your wealth by documenting it (best done with a digital camera), backing up all your information on external hard drives or flash drives, and storing copies of digital information offsite in bank lock boxes or in the cloud. Friends of mine have had house fires and insurance will NOT reimburse you for items you cannot prove that you had or that you cannot prove the value of. Family pictures and keepsakes are not replaceable after a fire or theft. Digitize and copy.
3. You need fire alarms, co2 alarms, extinguishers, and exit plans. You need a Bug Out Bag (more on another thread) prepared for yourself and your family that will allow you to leave your home instantly and have a change of clothing, cell phone, keys, etc... available. Fires may start when you're in bed or showering. A very large number of fire fatalities occur with people who knew about the fire, but did not leave because they were dressing, grabbing vital things, calling 911 from INSIDE, or trying to organize an escape that should have been planned previously. Panic makes rational people do stupid things. Pre-planning allows you to make the right decisions ahead of time.
4. You need to know how to cut off your gas and/or have a tool ready to do so. You need to be aware of possible dangers around you: gas storage facilities, chemical plants, highway systems and other things that could have accidents that would cause you to have to leave quickly. You need to have plans in place to leave your house rapidly with whatever you need and maps/routes planned ahead of time. Katrina ended up causing a great deal of people to run at the last minute...unprepared, hungry, without gas in the car, without money to buy anything, after several days of watching the hurricane get closer on tv and the internet. A smart person had plenty of time to pack, drive, and find a hotel or family well out of the way to run to. It would have been easy to leave and then come back if problems didn't pan out. Deer in the headlights get smacked.
5. You need first aid kits at home and you need the training to use them and to know when to call 911. The Red Cross provides many very good courses. I highly recommend that you take their combined CPR/AED/First Aid course as a bare minimum. You can now take the majority of the class online and then easily schedule coming in to do the practical hands on section. I believe it cost $60 or so and it is invaluable.
6. You need to build up a stockpile of food, prescription medicines, contacts/glasses, etc... that will allow you to reasonably and comfortably live through service interruptions (storms, unrest, etc...). You also need to have alternate heating solutions for cold weather. It will never happen to you...until it does. Blizzards in the south shut down everything. Riots don't happen in America ever...Los Angeles should have disproved that. Watch the power go out by accident somewhere and you almost instantly have looting.
One of the best things to remember is a loose quote from the website I mentioned. Survival is possible for anyone with a halfway quick mind. It's also possible simply by chance for unprepared but lucky individuals. THRIVING on the other hand only happens to those who plan, prepare, and work.