One thing I often hear from folks who live in the suburbs is, “Oh man, you’re so lucky, you can totally take your mountain cabin and make it an armed fortress.”
That’s not exactly true. While I do have a retreat in a rural area, I do still also have neighbors up there. We are on acre+ lots, so there is space. But if I started stringing barbed wire and digging a moat, it would raise a few eyebrows. Not only might I get a visit from the DHS (or the People’s Republic of California equivalent), but my neighbors would have advanced notice that I was stocked up when it all hit the fan.
So what I’ve done is gathered all the materials for that time when fortification will be necessary, and just have it in sheds or stacked discreetly on parts of the property.
Then when the flag goes up, our first few days will be spent erecting the fence and stringing it with barbed wire, setting up the noise-making trip wires on the upper back side, setting up my solar-powered motion sensor lights, etc.
You folks who live in a suburban neighborhood can do the same. Just figure out what defenses you have in mind, get the stuff, and keep it in your garage until the balloon goes up.
I feel bad for anyone who has to make a go of it in a suburb, but you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess. Plus, be grateful it isn’t an urban area. Probably your best bet would be to figure out how you could close off a set area (cul-de-sac or both ends of a street), and get enough material to do the whole area. The plus side there is you’ll have instant allies and people to work with. The down side could be that after a few weeks and hunger starts to set in, they may say, “Hey, if he had all the security equipment ready to go, he probably also stashed away food.” One way to help throw them off the scent would be to now buy clothes from Goodwill that are a little too big for you, so they hang slack like everyone else will be wearing. Another way, if you could afford it, is have extra food for them, too.
Or perhaps a way to go would be to make an encampment of all the properties that touch yours, and leave it at that. Anyone beyond that would be an outsider.
I know there is a lot to think about on that, and I don’t envy you that task. But I’ll close with the original point of this note, and that is to say you can hide security measures in your garage until you need them. Good luck, get prepared and stay safe. – Mountain Man Virgil