Bugging In: How to Fortify Your Home for SHTF

You’ve built a well-stocked prepper pantry.

You’ve diligently squirreled away clean water for you and your family.

You’ve equipped yourself and your loved ones with alternative communication devices.

In other words, you’ve got everything covered to ride out any SHTF scenario!

But what if S does HTF and the friendly guy next door turns out to be an unfortunate zombie who didn’t bother prepping and now wants a piece of your stockpile?

Will your home stand a chance against the golden horde?

Fortifying Your Home for the End of Days

They say disasters bring out the best in people. But preppers know it could also bring out the worst.

Crimes such as looting are all too common when disaster strikes. And after all the restaurants and grocery stores have been emptied, where do you think will desperate people turn to next?

No shit, Sherlock. Your castle could be their next stop.

It’s not a happy thought, but aside from gathering the essential supplies for bugging in, you’ll also have to put some effort into fortifying your home to resist unwelcome guests and assaults.

And you’ll want to do this BEFORE any SHTF scenario occurs!

Now before you hoard self-defense weapons, it’s vital to emphasize that your survival does not rely solely on the equipment you have. Rather, what makes the most difference is the plan you put in place as well as your mindset.

So how can you fortify your home for TEOTWAWKI? Let us count the ways.

First Things First, Never Spill the Beans

The number one rule in prep club…is to not talk about prep club!

Other than the people in your household, no one should know that you have food, water, and supplies stashed away. Once word goes out that your house has everything people need when SHTF, expect everyone and their brother to come knocking at your door!

Well, if they still have the decency left to knock, that is.

You see, hunger can turn even the gentlest person into a savage animal who will be more than capable of harming you for a can of peaches! So as much as possible, avoid sharing your game plan to others.

Guard Your Perimeter

When defending your home, your primary goal should be to keep any and all attackers outside.

But, should somebody attempt to raid your property, you’ll want to keep them as far away from your house as possible, too.

One of the best ways to achieve this is by creating a defensive perimeter around your home.

Tall fences? Or not

Some preppers advise building a 7-feet tall wall or fence around your backyard to deter potential looters. While it does make it harder for someone to snoop on your property, it’s also the most obvious sign that you probably have some stuff worth stealing!

If you’re going to build fences around your property, it’s best to make them look as innocuous as possible. A sturdy chain link or a tall wooden fence is your best bet.

When the grid has gone down, you can also put barbed wire or spikes on the top to keep intruders from scaling the fence.

Landscape defensively

If you’re lucky enough to live in a house with a lawn, use that to your advantage. Trees and shrubs do not only provide shade, but also add privacy to your home.

But keep in mind that potential intruders might also use bushes and shrubs for concealment. So make sure to plant unfriendly shrubs strategically to help you gain visibility from the inside.

Don’t be afraid of open space

You don’t need to install fence after fence to secure your perimeter.

Having some open space between your wall or fence and the main structure of your house also works to give you a clear line of sight so potential intruders cannot cover their approach and you can react quickly.

Hang a foreboding sign

Another way to fortify your home and deter intruders is by hanging foreboding signs on your property. Placing signs such as “Quarantine area,” “No Trespassing,” and even “Trespassers will be shot on sight” may help you avert danger.

“Beware of Dog” sign is also an oldie but goodie--even if you don’t actually own one. This tactic will drive looters to an easier target. But in times of famine, announcing that you have a dog may not be a good idea as they may also become prey to others.

Set up cameras or motion lights

Simply looking out the window to monitor assailants won’t suffice when SHTF. You must also consider setting up security cameras and solar-powered motion-sensor lighting around your property. They will serve as your extra eyes and ears that will help you catch any intruders who are trying to sneak up on you.

Fortify Your Home’s Entry Points

What happens if a zombie gets past your perimeter defenses?

Imagine if he ignores your signs, scales your fence, disregards your cameras, and makes his way through your door or window.

This is where the next layer of your home defense becomes important.

Properly fortified doors and windows will make all the difference in keeping intruders out and keeping your family safe.

Improve door security

When SHTF, zombies--especially the hungriest, most desperate of them all--won’t even bother sneaking down your chimney or digging their way into your basement to steal your loot. Most of them would simply walk right up to your door and smash their way through it!


Make sure you don’t give them a happy ending by boosting your door security.

  • Install high-quality deadbolt locks. Single-cylinder one-inch deadbolts are recommended (at a minimum).
  • The best locks in the world will be useless if you use regular hollow-core doors, aka doors that even a 12-year-old can easily kick through. Make sure to replace them with metal-insulated or solid-wood doors.
  • Use longer set screws for your door hinges and strike plates.
  • Install door jammers. Door jammers will buy you some precious time in case of an attempted intrusion.
  • When the world as we know it ends and lawlessness ensues, your good ‘ol deadbolts won’t stop any intruder from prying your doors open. Thus, you’ll want to reinforce your door with some barricades.

Secure windows

Large windows are perfect for letting natural light into a room. Unfortunately, light won’t be the only thing coming inside your home if you don’t secure your windows enough!

If you want to fortify your home completely, bulletproof glass is the way to go. It might break your bank, but at least the golden horde won’t break inside your home.

But if that isn’t an option, there are some things you can apply:

  • Fortify windows with security film. It keeps glass from shattering completely, and would require the intruder to break the entire window completely to enter.
  • Plant cacti or thorny bushes beneath first-floor windows to make it tougher for home invaders to get through.
  • Put up burglar bars on the inside. Burglar bars are steel bars installed over windows to prevent unwanted entry even if someone already breaks the window. The bars you install need to have a quick-release mechanism that will allow you to easily escape in worst case scenarios. But it should also be far enough away from the window so an intruder can’t easily reach in to activate the release and gain entry.
  • Be prepared to set up sandbags behind windows in case more prepared intruders with ammo try to take over your home.

Set some booby traps

Setting some booby traps is a must if you want to keep intruders at bay during any SHTF scenario. There are tons of booby traps you can make to suit various purposes--from simple air horn alarm tripwire traps that help detect when a threat is present to more lethal ones that will make intruders think twice about continuing.

Be Ready to Take Up Arms

Obviously, your SHTF home fortification plan should also include self-defense weapons and tools.

Now you don’t need to be armed to the teeth to be able to defend your home. What you do need, though, is a selection of trusty self-defense weapons that you and your family know how to use in any situation.

Keeping a small cache of weapons in each main room of your fortified home is also a must. This may be difficult if you have curious kids at home, but there are endless places to stash your defensive tools. Wall art, fake electrical outlets, and kitchen furniture, for instance, make great hiding places for your weapons.

Of course, other household items and construction supplies, such as a fire extinguisher, golf club, baseball bat, crowbar, and hammer, can also be used as weapons. So it makes sense to place these items in your home strategically. Here’s a list of improvised weapons you might wanna check out.

Designate a Safe Room

Even with the best security and home fortification plan in place, there’s still a chance that zombies will gain entry into your home. So it’s essential that you have rooms where you can retreat to when your home defense fails.

Whatever you want to call it--safe room, escape room, panic room, or bunker--your last resort must be fortified as well so your family and the things necessary to your survival are adequately protected!

  • Your safe room must not be a place where you wait for death. It should have stockpiles for extended stays and must also offer the same level of security as your exterior doors.
  • Your safe room must blend in and not be painfully obvious. A modified closet or walk-in space will work just fine.
  • Your safe room must have enough sleeping space for all of your family members.
  • Best of all, your family members must know where to retreat when things go from bad to worse.

Outfitting your home with a hidden living space can be tough if your house doesn’t have much space, so it pays to be creative and find out what works best for you.

Final Thoughts

When SHTF, the unprepared will come looking for food, water, and shelter. As a prepper, you need to be able to defend what’s yours to ensure your and your family’s survival. And one of the best ways to do that is to fortify your home!

Get ready for the worst while you still can--keep your prepping private, secure your perimeter, reinforce your entry points, train for self-defense, and have a safe room if things go south!

Posted in  Prepping   on  January 8, 2019 by  Alexa R.0


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About the author

Alexa is an outdoor enthusiast with years of experience camping, hiking, backpacking, and prepping for any situation. You can often find her out in the woods, or getting ready for her next challenge!


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