Are You Ready to Hunker Down in a Crisis?

When people talk about dealing with a crisis, there are usually two possible scenarios they discuss.

One is that you and your family will have to bug out because the disaster has made your home unlivable, while the second is you will stay put and very possibly have to defend your home and your supplies.

We’ve spent plenty of time trying to help you prepare for the first option. We’ve provided advice about which items to include in bug-out bags and why, the importance of having secondary locations for your stockpiles and knowing exactly where you’re going and how you’re going to get there when you bug out.

Not to mention how to best care for Fido and Fluffy in this type of situation.

Hunkering Down Requires Preparation

Now we’re going to focus on hunkering down. Generally speaking, this is the more preferable of the two scenarios. Neither is a walk in the park, but bugging out presents a whole new set of problems you won’t encounter with defending in place.

You definitely will have more control over your circumstances if you’re staying home to ride out a crisis, especially if you’re prepared for it.

Another advantage to getting ready to hunker down is that many of the preparatory activities you will engage in are things that can help you now, even before there is an increased threat.

The best example of this is securing your home and we’ll get to that in a moment. Robberies and home invasions occur on a regular basis in this country, so doing everything you can to keep an uninvited guest out of your home could help you now as well as later during an emergency when a break-in attempt is even more likely.

So, let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take now to be better prepared to stay home to endure a possible disaster:

Defensive Perimeter

Perception is reality. We’ve all heard that phrase and it’s especially true in this situation. The more your house looks like it will be difficult to break into, the less likely a burglar will choose it among the houses in your neighborhood.

So, start with the perimeter of your home and make it as “unfriendly” to potential thieves as possible.

Having a fence is a good start and electric fencing is even better. Hedges with thorns are a way to at least slow down a potential thief. Security cameras in plain view let would-be robbers know you are looking for them.

Clearly marked alarm systems let burglars know that you and probably the local police department will be notified if they open any of your doors. Don’t forget a “Beware of Dog” sign at each entrance, even if you don’t own a canine.

Home Fortress

The first step in turning your home into a fortress is having doors that are extremely difficult to open. You might have the strongest door in the universe, but if the frame and the hardware holding it together are not top notch, someone will be able to get it open.

And thieves would much rather come through a door than they would a window. Here’s what you want to do after making sure you have solid doors:

  • Replace the screws in the door hinges and strike plate with 3-inch long, case-hardened screws.
  • Install a second deadbolt, far away from the primary deadbolt, preferably higher up on the door.
  • Replace the standard door striker plate with a strike reinforcement plate. This is a longer plate that will spread the shock of an impact over a larger area.
  • Install a door edge reinforcement around the locks to help prevent the door from breaking.
  • Install a floor attachment system that will secure the door even if all else fails.

As mentioned, robbers aren’t crazy about entering a residence through a glass door or window, but if that’s the only way they can get in, that’s what they’ll choose. So, take some of these precautions:

  • Cover glass with security film. This should withstand several hits with a hammer or baseball bat, but probably won’t stand up to repeated abuse.
  • Make plywood covers for the glass and use it if you are expecting violence.
  • Attach a layer of Plexiglass over the glass.
  • Attach burglar bars over the glass.

Extreme Measures

It’s highly unlikely that more than a few readers of this publication will want to go to the following extremes, but I thought I’d mention them anyway. They include an impenetrable bunker, trenches, moats and a large arsenal of weaponry.

A bunker is a self-contained shelter that is virtually impossible to breach. This could come in handy if a tornado is headed your way, a nuclear weapon is detonated anywhere near you or a pandemic is wreaking havoc in your area.

A bunker could help you and your family survive for a few days, weeks or maybe even months. But the costs range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Trenches and moats will make a potential thief have to work hard at getting close to your home, but they require considerable landscaping work.

A large arsenal of weaponry might help you keep intruders a respectable distance from your door and might come in handy if you have hundreds of zombies approaching on your front lawn. But it will also put you on a watch list and again will probably cost more money than you’ll want to spend.

Sticking with the basics – securing the perimeter of your home and your home itself, stockpiling plenty of long-lasting and nutritious food and water, and being prepared to make wise decisions about who can go in and out of your home – will probably be enough to help your family ride out an emergency situation in the comfort of your home.


In an emergency, hunkering down will be easier to deal with than bugging out, but only if you’re prepared. Get your home – and yourself – ready for a disaster.