Letter Re: Manpower Requirements for Defending a Retreat in a Worst Case, and the Jealous Neighbor Factor


The “Mr. and Mrs. Oscar” profile was most interesting. For a lot of us, probably the epitome of “If I had the money, my retreat would be…” On the downside, I would be concerned with:

1. The problem of defending/patrolling the property. A quarter section translates to a full mile of frontier. In a full SHTF situation, I’d want a trustworthy, commo equipped, well-armed loyal soul every 100 yards or so. If those folks put in 12 hour shifts, you’d need about 35 hands for perimeter security. That doesn’t take into account the roving patrols on the interior of the compound, nor the rapid response fire team(s).

2. The “jealous neighbor” factor. Human nature being what it is, you can bet that there’s a few locals who figure that when the balloon goes up, “Those rich people with that big house should have grub to spare.”

3. Every fella who delivers gas, propane and diesel knows all the details of his route. People talk.

4. With all those Class 2 weapons, I’d be concerned about being a bit too high on the radar screen.

5. The problem with “Meeting others of our ilk.” is widespread. I wish I had an answer.

All in all, a most interesting read. – Hawgtax

JWR Replies: The level of security that you describe (35 people!) would only be required if you had a retreat that was close to a city or right on a line of drift and it was an absolute worst case scenario. I think that even in the midst of TEOTWAWKI, having just one or two LP/OPs manned 24/7 and supplemented with intrusion detection sensors (such as a Dakota Alert passive IR system) and some trip flares would be provide sufficient warning to quickly man a defense. Once it is clear to the bad guys that you are on your guard and well armed.(just one burst of semi-auto high power rifle fire would probably be good clue) then looters will go find an softer and more inattentive target elsewhere.