Home Security for WTSHTF – Part 3, by T.Z.

(Continued From Part 2. This concludes the article.)

Areas Two and One

Area Two consists of the inside of your home. Area One should be the most defendable room in your home. This is the same regardless in a rural, suburban, or urban environment. These areas are discussed together in this section because they are so closely linked in the home defense. The key to Areas Two and One is overwhelming force.

While the windows should have been barricaded from the outside before attackers ever appeared, the doors should be barricaded from the inside. Just locking the doors will not stop someone from kicking them in. Deadbolts should be at least one full inch thick. Longer, more sturdy deadbolts are readily available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other stores. Furthermore, the lock and deadbolt have to fit the frame of the door to be most effective. Many are not, and a one-size-fits-all approach is dangerous. Assessing, and replacing, the locks if necessary is a very important part of home defense.

In a TEOTWAWKI situation, I also recommend a barricade that will help prevent attackers access from the outside. There are many permanent barricades available on Amazon. They are easy to install and much less expensive than one might expect. For inner doors, there are portable barricades that you can use to buy you time. If all else fails, just placing furniture in the way of the door can work. Remember that no obstacle is impenetrable, it exists only to buy you time.Retreat Security - Layers - Figure 3

Such time is important, as it will allow you to position your defenders to secure your home. Those that are not actively part of the defense, such as young children, elderly members of your group, and pregnant women, should be hidden in Area One. This should be a room with as few windows as possible, and preferably only one entrance. A room in the basement or an attic both work very well. If you have body armor, prioritize giving them the body armor or helmets to keep them safe. Hide them and make sure they do not scream, otherwise they would be easily discovered.

Once the door is barricaded and the vulnerable members of your group are hidden in Area One, all members of your defense must be oriented towards the points of entry. Giving each defender a sector to be focused on helps him or her stay focused on that specific point of entry. Each door and window should be prioritized by risk. The most high-risk point of entry, usually the front door, should have the most emphasis in the defense. The second highest risk, either a back door or a first floor window, should have the second most emphasis. This continues until each and every point of entry is prioritized and planned for. Prioritize the first floor, as they are the most likely points of entry for attackers. The second floor, if present, should be left open to allow defenders to fire on attackers as they cross Area Three.

The more able-bodied members in your group, the more defenders you have available. A small family with young children, therefore, will find it much more difficult to defend a home than a large group. The less defenders you have, the larger their sectors need to be. For a young couple with two kids, I would recommend having one parent hide the kids in Area One and keep them from crying or screaming, while the other parent secures the most high-risk points of entry. It is possible, in most homes, to find a position that allows one or two people to adequately secure most or all of the points of entry.

The points of entry are funneling points. You know where they are coming through, but they do not know where you are inside the home. It is essentially a chokepoint in which all the attackers will be close together. The moment attackers enter, open fire on them. This is why we call it the ‘fatal funnel.’ Overwhelming force is key here, and the split second it takes for them to enter should be their last. If they do get inside the home, it is significantly more difficult to get them out. You need to stop them before they enter.

Each defender should have a fighting position he or she will stay in. While this sounds like a large investment of time or energy, it does not have to be. Just behind a countertop is a great fighting position for home defense. These positions should be behind cover and at least six inches away from any walls. This is because bullet fragments travel parallel to walls. The defenders should be able to maneuver effectively so they can cover the points of entry with ease while still being protected.

If attackers do get inside your home, you will need to retrograde to another fighting position. Each defender should hold their ground and retrograde only when the attackers have gained a foothold in the room he or she is defending. Usually this is the case when two or more attackers have entered the room.

Retrograding to another fighting position will require lots of planning and practice. Each position must avoid crossing another defender’s sector in order to prevent friendly fire. Everyone should practice the retrograde plan incessantly so that each defender knows exactly where everyone else is. This is also done to prevent friendly fire.

Retreat Security - Layers - Figure 4

The last retrograde position should be in Area One. Once one defender retrogrades to Area One, everyone has to retrograde with him. The entrance to Area One should then be barricaded, and every available weapon should be aimed at that entrance. This is your last ditch effort to protect yourself and your group before getting overrun.


Firearms are the optimal weapon for home defense. However, there are important considerations to take when using a firearm for home defense. Firstly, bullets can go through walls, doors, and other commonly used barriers. As the person behind the trigger, you are responsible for knowing what is in front of, to the side of, and especially what is behind your target. If you miss, your bullet can go through a wall and kill one of your neighbors or family members. This is especially important in an apartment, where the walls are particularly thin. Make sure you train with trigger discipline, ensuring that defenders understand that they have to have positive identification of an enemy before engaging and that they have a clear shot before pulling the trigger. Nerf guns or airsoft guns are really fun ways to bond as a family as well as engage in good training. Now is the time to train together and flush out any mistakes, so if the time comes where you do need to defend your home in TEOTWAWKI, you family and group are prepared.

Edged weapons are very effective in home defense, especially in Areas Two and One. Make sure that you have enough room to slice and stab properly in your home, otherwise your weapon will become cumbersome and give the attackers an opportunity to go through you to other parts of your home. I recommend fixed blade knives that you can use equally well in large rooms or small entryways. Train with rubber knives often, utilizing them with striking and ground fighting to develop a well-rounded approach to hand-to-hand defense. Grappling is of special importance when fighting with knives, so enroll your family in Brazilian Ju Jitsu classes. Pepper spray is another great option, especially for younger members of the defense. Just make sure you clean the room thoroughly after using it!

Home defense requires initiative, and an active defense where sentries are posted 24/7 is best able to anticipate, and alert the rest of the group of, potential intruders. Effectively covering the four areas I have discussed to make a layered defense is the best way to secure a home. By training your group and family to work together to defend all four areas in the home defense, you can effectively defend your home in TEOTWAWKI. By preparing, you can protect your family when SHTF. By preparing, you can thwart attackers’ plans. By preparing, you will not fail.


  1. Inside the house “Overwhelming Force”? Respectfully if your that level of resistance they WILL simply burn you out and shoot you as you flee the fire.

    Your not talking about chasing away a sneak thief or a pair of armed thugs here are we? I think you’ve been talking about an out for blood and fire Mob or paramilitary thugs?

    You are being honest about YOUR own bullets passing thought our homes like butter and thus trigger control BUT Bullets goes both ways. They are not going to worry about hitting your non-combatants friend.

    Yes we have to defend and go out fighting but anything is better than a firefight and Molotov’s inside our flammable American Homes.

    Look to the Branch Davidians as an example of “defending” a wood framed structure. Not a good option. They were afraid of shooting at Feds so they hid and were burned out.

    Never fight from your front porch. Always be improving your positions.

    1. Well said, brother. If you have to fight from your home, 90% chance you have already lost.

      Take ’em on before they expect it, in a place of your choosing.

      Carry on in grace

      1. Well said Gunny. I recently bought two large fire extinguishers for front and back doors. Also I’ve been playing with a smoke generator that I repurposed from a mosquito fogger run off a small screw in propane camp stove bottle and I fill the fogger with diesel fuel and waste engine oil, it’s puts out a lot of smoke if you need to hide your exit from the house or used as a diversion. Just my two cents

    2. Michael,

      Thank you for your comment. This is meant to apply to a broad range of attackers, although we can normally assume that their motivation is to plunder either material goods or to hurt the people inside. Either way, stopping the enemy in Area 4 is always preferable. Once someone gets inside, there is little chance that you can stop them from burning your house down. Instead, focus on what you can change, and prepare for attackers trying to get inside your house.

      Bullets do go both ways, which is why defenders and non-combatants alike must be behind cover the moment confrontation begins.

      1. TZ your infantry friend. What inside your home is cover? Cover = Stops bullets, Concealment = hides you hopefully from shooters.

        When I was working as a police man one of my first jobs at a shooting was deploying #2 yellow pencils. We would examine the area and place one pencil in the bullet hole pointed end facing the expected path of that projectile. That way we could go to the other side of that wall and track the next likely hole. Some pistol rounds I tracked (mainly 38 Special back then) would go through a brick veneer outside wall, two or three interior walls and exit the house to parts unknown. Occasionally we would find spent pistol bullets in frozen turkeys in the freezer or a washing machine.

        I one investigated a 22 LR stupid shooting. Shooter was plinking with a old tube fed Sears 22. Placed cans on fence to shoot them. Never thought about the house behind that fence. 22 LR will blow through a wooden plank fence, through your house wood siding, and through three interior walls before stopping.

        That’s why I strongly suggest a safe room with bullet resistant materials or even better that Bullet Proof “Garden Shed” with firing ports. We spend a LOT of money on expensive gear like Night Vision how much is protecting the non-combatants worth friends?

        For the cost of one set of current NVG’s and a weeks worth of hard work you could build a Hobbit Castle with a 365 degree fighting position. It can be explained as a Tractor Shed if asked you know.

        I’ve had the nightmare of being shot up in my home by an angry gang member. Not something I wish on anybody. It’s why I gave up Police work for the Army. Seems If I live long enough I might get to see my home shot up again by thugs? I hope and pray not.

        1. Michael,

          Great point to make. I envision covered fighting positions being made inside rooms, disguised as furniture. I have not personally made them yet in my own home, as I will be moving soon.

          Until then, concealment from countertops, behind beds, etc. will have to do.

          Preferably, Area 1 would be a bullet-resistant safe room… but I also know that most people cannot tear down walls and create a metal or concrete room in their house.

  2. If you have the time… Goggles or gas mask. Who knows what the bad guys will bring to your home. Or , if you are prepared, unleash something into your home if you are wearing a gas mask at the time.

    1. Good idea! Just remember that unleashing something into your own home, whether it be smoke from a fog machine, pepper spray, or tear gas, it can be terrible to clean up afterward!

  3. Good article. If folks actually try it they will quickly see what applies to them. We all have ideas about what work for our particular situation but the basics apply to all general residential housing.

  4. Hey T.Z., this was an excellent series.

    Is there any books you can recommend that goes into more depth on all this material, especially defending areas 3 &4?

    This series has really got me to thinking about coming up with a neighborhood plan even though none of my neighbors are preppers that I know of. Which is why it’s even more important to think this out ahead of time. My neighbors are all very scattered here in the boonies but we have the terrain working in our favor with some huge natural obstacles, and only three roads coming and going. The more I watch the news, the more money I’m willing to bet this country isn’t going to make it to 2030 in one piece. I don’t think we can over prepare.

    1. To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth Paperback – March 1, 1998, by Jeff Cooper (Author), has a chapter, Notes on Tactical Residential Architecture, Page 47.

      Plus, several of JWR’s books cover this subject in detail.

    2. Hi St. Funogas,

      Here is one of many possible ways to begin developing a framework in one’s mind before developing a defense. There are many videos on the topic. It is best to view videos geared for the prepper, and those that covers the basics well. It is a place to get started, and if it is not appealing at this time, there are many others that might provide what you are currently looking for.

      First we must understand the various threats.

      “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

      ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

      Start with this video. Unfortunately we do not have series of videos compiled by the maker. Yet hunt and peck around his YT channel, Maine Prepper Reruns, for what might interest you. Maine Prepper is a retired First Sargent, USMC.

      Maine Prepper: WROL threats from gangs.

      To properly develop our defense to meet the threat from gangs, we need to get organized and use methods proven to work.

      TheHossUSMC, Fire Team Basics, a video series:

    3. St. Funogas,

      Thank you! I really appreciate that!

      All the books already mentioned probably have a lot of information, and I would suggest reading the After Action Report of the Battle of COP Keating. While it was eventually overrun, it can be so useful to learn from their failures, and integrate that into your own home defense. It shows how important it is to patrol, as well as how the use of probing attacks, hoaxes, as well as the lack of maintenance and general complacency can severely weaken a defense.

      As this is an introductory article, there is much more to write on this subject. In the coming months, I may write more articles to expand on the information already written.

  5. A book mentioned here before is “The Secure Home” by Joel Skousen. A rather complete guide, (673 pages) but mainly geared toward new construction for those on a huge budget. Still has plenty of tips. Articles in the past have talked about perimeter security, using concrete planters, and firing positions, as well as using trees, barbed wire, and blackberry bushes to funnel the attackers into your kill zone. One problem I see, is if the fighting positions like concrete planters are abandoned as you retreat to the house, those will be used by the enemy to hide behind and fire on the house. There is a few that would rather be in the woods, with a suppressed rife taking them out one by one, rather than being trapped in the house. As mentioned, once they control your perimeter it is easy to burn you out, if that is their goal.

    1. Ozark Redneck there is always a no win scenario friend. That’s why a good relationship with your family and creator is a FIRST Prep. I cannot prepare for a Predator Drone-Hellfire strike as I’ve witnessed it’s effectiveness in the sandbox. So I prepare for those things I can defend against.

      In my experience aside from a select few true riflemen very few people could pass the following test: Do two 50 yard wind sprints, Drop into the prone and successfully get two shots into a 4 inch square at 200 yards, you have 2 minutes. The reasoning of this test? Simulates Combat excitement and generally stress of being alive in Chaos. 4 inch square is a reasonable rifle port from a fighting position. I choose 200 yards partly because where I live between the trees and rolling terrain you NEED a tree stand AND a clear cut fire lane to get even 200 yards when shooting at deer.

      Thus the fighting tower. 360 degree view, murder holes for close in defense, small arms proof AND those hiding behind my planters will find their legs shot to bits.

      Sneaky Pete stealing your chickens and or the hungry kids is one problem, a small group of Meth Heads armed is another, a large Mob of thugs with some military training a real problem. The Feds showing up with an Abrams Main Battle Tank like at Branch Davidians is a REAL PROBLEM.

      Not to make this an article, I’d offer the thief and hungry kids a chance to redeem themselves with work for food. No they’d be supervised friend, I’m well aware of the trouble some folks can get into. The others I have my SOP planned and as this is an open board that’s all I can say.

  6. The last thing I would want to do is defend area 2 and 1. Thus we have the motivation to work hard to end the fight in area 4. Of course we could evacuate area 2 before they get to area 3, and then turn the situation around and go on the offense and make the attackers defend a building they are not familiar with. This tactic would unusual and a surprise, and keep attackers off balance.

    The best option is to end the fight in area 4. Tactics mentioned in a post yesterday in part 2 of this article, apply.

    This is a good time to bring the neighbors a plate of cookies and start talking about an area defense. This can start as community operated, or approved check point, and then road block. We can begin by establishing radio communications with neighbors. Give them a radio if need be.

    Cooking up bacon and coffee again this morning. Gotta eat it up before it goes bad. Might be the last bacon I’ll get for awhile…

    1. I know what you mean about the bacon. We’re having to ration it down here as well, which isn’t a situation I thought I’d see again (last time was overseas, due to supply lines being restricted). Never thought I’d see that here, short of a full collapse. Interesting times…

  7. You can’t defend a home. If you are inside and 5 or more attackers are outside and determined they will destroy your home and kill you. With great planning and effort you could possibly turn that around such that it would take 10 attackers to burn your home to the ground and kill you. What I am saying is that essentially it is pure chance if you survive a determined attack or not. If it is a simple home invasion a good door and a gun will probably work to save your life. But if it is a planned attack in a SHTF situation where there is no law and order and they have the time and the will they will win.

  8. My brother in law had five acres just outside a very small town on a dead end road. He had six of those little yappy dogs that his wife “saved” adopted/whatever. They stayed outdoors all the time. You could not even get within 100′ of his gate without all six of these dogs yipping and yapping at you. Half the time you couldn’t even see them, they weren’t brave they were just noisy. Even if you could see one and shoot it (assuming you were a soulless home invader) the others would run and hide while still yipping up a storm. I suspect all six of them ate less than a German Shepard or Doberman would and because they were more scared than a guard dog they wouldn’t make good targets.

    I would use this tactic for an early warning and if I saw a serious attacking force I would get out of dodge right away and give up the house.

    Considering that I think the wise thing to do would be distribute your supplies and have backup living arrangements. That could be a tent, a tiny cabin, a BOL, a friend/relatives house, etc.

    [A few lines with some advice with a high fratricide risk deleted by the Editor.]

    1. Saul with some of the best advice for home defense: dogs (they work 24/7 for dog food, too!) … … For rural areas, some people recommend a raucous flock of Guinea Hens. [You’ll laugh every time Guinea Hens run along] Chickens will cause a laugh, when the entire flock zigzags after a grasshopper. (Chickens don’t guard all that well; but much better than a house-cat) Chickens need protection.

      The right breed of Big Dogs can protect you [and also chase-off/kill predatory animals like coyotes and foxes; robbing the hen house. … Villains trying to burgle a house will have to shoot some animals (which would alert the home owner). … A man that writes on SurvivalBlog frequently says he owns a breeding bull. …. The breeding bull doesn’t want anyone bothering him except his sweethearts. (The bull is dangerous.)

      No Bull! = I’ve been chased by a Stallion once (as a teenager). Dang horse! A group of us kids didn’t know the area, and cut through the Stallion’s big corral. The slowest running kid was lucky to reach the safety of a big tree in the corral. The kid was able to scamper around the tree quicker than the Stallion.
      …… The horse decided to just to stand back to ‘guard his post’ and out wait the kid. … The rest of us kids went around the outside of the corral to the other side, and made a lot of noise to attract the Stallion. Fortuitously, It worked.

      Animals can make good guards/warning alarms for people. Frequently, a homeless person has a pitbull or other dog for protection/warning alarm. It would let someone sleep at night, even if they had only one good guard dog.

  9. On the chance that you intend to stay or cannot get out you could plan ahead and set up traps outside. Set up a system of “garden lights” in your yard with underground/hidden wiring. Coincide this with some natural places to cover an attacker, i,e, behind a tree, a rock, a hill, etc. In these specific locations put in place one of those underground lights, the kind that is flush with the ground and shines a spotlight up at a tree or other feature. On the day you detect SHTF replace these lights with a simple device; something like a shotgun shell that will be set off by the 12V power with a mason jar of gasoline or ether sitting just above it. All of it of course concealed below ground. The prepared installation would have separate on/off switches for each of these special ‘lights’ and when the attacker assumes the logical position behind the convenient “cover” you throw the switch and “light them up”. The options for traps like this is unlimited, just use your imagination.

  10. Just some thoughts,

    Form a Militia in your area of operations, think Switzerland, fit, well regulated, males, aged 18-45, dedicated only to the area, train them young, no LE or current Military. A force to hunt down these groups of marauders before they pick off the individual homesteads, to break a siege of a homestead and to pursue them after the attacks. The Militia has been replaced by a standing military & a politicized LE, who have other loyalties, priorities and obligations. Your security arrangements will still be needed to keep the marauders at bay…

    Radio Communications, plan for long range and for jamming. Sending Lassie for help is probably not a good plan… Something more than a handheld?

    What Radio Should I Buy? – Budget Tri-Band Ham Radio Setup
    (YouTube Video, 14:06)
    Survival Dispatch
    Mar 31, 2020

    Radio Quick Start Gear Guide
    Posted by NC Scout
    Apr 2, 2020
    American Partisan

    External Rapid Response Force – while your homestead is being attacked, someone needs to hit them from another direction. An ultralight or aircraft based miles away, may drive the attackers off as well or at least make them very nervous.

    Plunder – historically, pillagers have sometimes been weighed down by their plunder. Is it feasible to give them something to plunder? Maybe a small store house in Area 4? Looters have favorite items, those are the things to stock there…

    1. These swiss are soldiers, conscripted soldiers but well trained soldiers with heavy arms, artillery etc. integrated fortified defensive positions and only a fool would want to fight them on their home Ground.

  11. I would use an Anytone AT5558uv with cross band repeat.\

    These are now only $209.00 on Amazon. It is open banded and will transmit from 136 to 174mhz, and 400 to 490mhz, if memory serves, with a maximum of 50 watts. One could even use a cheap FRS or GMRS hand held and transmit on MURS off the Anytone located in a vehicle or from the base station. There are other frequency combinations as well. The cross band repeat could be used in place of a local repeater that fails, or as a stand alone for the community on other than Amateur radio frequencies. They are easy to program. One of my base station and vehicle antennas is a Tram 1181 dual band antenna that is inexpensive, yet very broad banded and will cover 140 to 162mhz, and 400 to 470mhz. It is a perfect fit for the Anytone AT5558 or a Boafeng. Standardize on an antenna. I have checked the SWR on about 20 Tram 1181 antennas and they are consistently found to have a low SWR in the frequencies stated. Most quarter wave antenna must be tuned. This one does not have to be tuned.

    I prefer the Slim Jim rather than the J-pole because it has more gain and twice the bandwidth that allows one to tune it for 144 to 154Mhz, and an air choke is not needed.

    1. For your base station, what kind of antenna mount are you using for the Tram 1181?

      For a portable, non-vehicle mount antenna, what would you use?

  12. While I understand your thoughts behind prioritizing body armor for non-combatants, I would argue you’d do better to prioritize it to your defenders. This increases their survivability, thereby increasing their chances of successfully defeating the attack and protecting the non-combatants. Excellent points on training and conducting battle drills.

    Thank you for an enjoyable, thought-provoking series.

    1. Francis,

      I debated back and forth for a while. Honestly it comes down to if I survive the attack and my wife gets shot… I would be truly devastated. Ideally, Area 1 would be bulletproof, so there wouldn’t be any need anyways, but for now I believe that the non-combatants should be the priority… at least for my family.

      Thank you for your comment and compliments!

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