Letter Re: Advice on Protecting My Home from Gunfire

I am currently in the position of not being able to leave in the event of collapse or epidemic or whatever God may throw our way. I do, however, have the opportunity to build a “storage” area that may also be able to severe as a safe haven for my family when the hordes come out of Atlanta. Thanks to your blog we are way better prepared to survive than we were five months ago. However I feel we have virtually no gunfire protection in the mobile home we currently live in. I am going to be extremely irritated (assuming I survive) if, having prepared, it is taken from us by these hordes. So how do I build this storage area to protect us from gunfire? I have the fire protection pretty well down but I don’t know what type of building material would be best to use for gunfire protection. We have pretty much eliminated the possibility of building underground due to the fact that we are in a “wet” area. I would appreciate any advice you could provide on this subject. Thanks, – Denise

JWR Replies: Unless you are on a tight budget, you should consider constructing an aboveground safe room/storm shelter as an addition to your house. These are available through Safecastle and a variety of other vendors. (Typically the vendor supplies an inward-opening vault door and provides detailed plans/specifications to a local masonry contractor to complete the job.) If you specify at least 8″ thick reinforced concrete walls, it will be able to withstand repeated projectile impacts from pistols, shotguns and rifles.

In my novel “Patriots”, I describe how to improve the ballistic protection of brick or other masonry homes, by installing steel shutters and door upgrades. For those living in “stick built” (frame construction) houses, or for most other circumstances, a double layer of sand bags works remarkably well at stopping bullets up to .50 caliber. So it is a good idea to have a few hundred sandbags and a pile of sand available, so that you can fill and emplace sandbags soon after TSHTF. Consider them cheap insurance.