The last thing anyone wants to think about after a natural disaster or an economic collapse is their home being a target of looting. Something about a situation being out of control drives people to vandalize and steal, and leave nothing but destruction in their wake. The sad reality is that if a large scale disaster or massive SHTF event happens many people will find themselves in this situation, and will probably feel powerless to stop it. When lives are on the line, there is no government help coming in, and you’ve been without basic needs for weeks, the situation can get desperate, very quickly. Looting is something you need to know how to handle, not just for your own safety, but for the safety of those around you as well.
While it might not be possible to completely avoid looting, there are some steps you can take to be proactive about keeping looters away. While they may not always prevent the looting, it can lessen the impact, and if anything, you will have done all you could do to get prepared.
First, it’s important to take stock of the home security measures that you have in place. Do you have a security system that will alert you (and the authorities) that your home has been invaded? If so, make sure that it is working properly, and that all doors and windows are connected to it. If you don’t have one, weigh the options of getting one versus not getting one, and see if a system would be the right fit for your home. What about security cameras? They can be your eyes when you can’t see all over your property, and can be a good backup option if your security system fails, or law enforcement cannot get to you right away.
Do you have a guard dog? This is a basic security option that many people can have, even if they don’t have more high tech measures installed. A good guard dog will alert you when something is amiss at your home and can even protect you personally from an attacker. Is the exterior of your home well lit, and good visibility? This can work for you in that you can see an invader approaching, but it can also be a bad thing if you are trying to keep a low profile from would-be thieves. Also, a good neighbor can also be a great defense for you when you aren’t at home. When neighbors look out for each other and pay attention to anything that appears suspicious, it can sometimes head off situations before they can turn criminal.
Once you have taken some measure to protect your property, whether that be in the form of security cameras, motion detecting lights, or other products, you need to look at how your home would appear to looters. Are your valuables in plain sight? Do you have windows covered by blinds or curtains? Keep your food and emergency supplies stored out of sight, or hidden in plain sight. Think about using every day furniture pieces for hiding extra supplies, so they don’t draw attention from robbers or looters. Keep any valuables locked away in a safe if you are going to be gone for awhile and keep the safe hidden. Keep your garage or sheds closed and locked at night and when you are not outdoors. If your home doesn’t look like somewhere looters can score a lot of stuff that can work to your advantage!
The most important thing to consider here is that you need to be willing to protect your possessions, sure, but you also need to be ready to defend your own life, and those who live in your home with you, if it becomes necessary. Do you own firearms? If you do, are they easily accessible or are they locked up, and stored unloaded? Are you trained in how to use them? Would you be ready and willing to take someone down who threatened your family? Most likely in a SHTF scenario, you aren’t going to have local law enforcement there quickly, or there at all, and it can become survival mode. You will be faced with some tough choices and have to think clearly and quickly to protect those you love.
Stuff is just stuff, and it can be replaced if looters raid your food stash or take tools or other items. But as mentioned before, in desperate times, people will do things they never thought themselves capable of, both good and bad. By planning ahead to fend off looters, you’ll be one step ahead of them before they come calling.