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Domestic Privacy and Security

Privacy and Security

Ensuring our privacy and security during a crisis is vital, so its very important that we control the approaches and access to our homes and reduce light pollution that advertises our independence from the national grid power supplies. Blackout blinds and curtains (or window shutters) are an absolute must for every window and door to stop light escaping thus advertising your self-reliant position.

Multi point locking on doors and windows is a must even in normal times, but after a crisis develops you may wish to add self-adhesive laminating security film to your windows which makes gaining entry to your home via a broken window far more difficult and noisy for the intruder. It is also essential that you keep some pre-cut marine grade ½ plywood boarding to secure any windows that do get broken.

In recent years a new design of door called the COMPOSITE door has gained massive popularity in the UK, it is made of colour resistant / fire resistant polycarbonate, over wood and foam and metal core, it utilises over engineered hinges (often three or four) and much more robust multi point locking than used in UPVC doors. The door frame is of aluminium cored UPVC or Composite material and again is much more substantial than the older UPVC systems. The best versions are the government / home office APPROVED BY DESIGN types that have passed vigorous testing. Metal clad doors are also gaining popularity in urban areas.

Some people have fitted security bars that pivot or swing over the doors to re-enforce the entry points. Apparently it is remarkably easy to kick in the bottom panel on most older UPVC doors made in the UK as they were designed this way to make access for firefighters easier. Equally the locks and hinges even on expensive double glazed doors do not stand up very well to police officers using a slide hammer to gain entry to execute a search warrant, so extra security devices, bars and hinges should be considered.

Note* Very often modern double glazed doors external frames are only secured to the building wall with a couple of mild steel screws in each side, this makes it very easy to simply to pry or bash the entire door and frame out, its well worth getting high tensile steel self-tapping bolts fitted which massively increase the doors security strength.

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  • Comments (14)

    • 2

      A couple of “Lessons Learned”;

      Once when driving past this shack in winter just to see how road was faring after some adverse weather, I noticed my overall dark brown house was not easy to see but my stairs to door were. Added to list to paint side sections (ony 1 side visible from road but do not ever want anyone to think modifications are for Armagoddon worries).  Only the actual stairs section painted with a more visible plastic stain.

      Attended a seminar and lecturer told us that leaving out a shovel that’s visible from road – even if a private road – and someone enters land to take shovel for a personal emergency during an overall emergency such as a hurricane – is not illegal. The speaker fleshed out his point that can’t be presented here. Keep one’s grounds / lawn / lobby area of dwelling/ empty of attracting items.

      • 2

        Same common senses applies to bug out vehicles Bob,  Those with jacks, spades, sand matts, solar panels, jerry cans etc attract prying eyes, like your front garden the outside of our vehicles should be bland and boring.

    • 3

      Great topic!

      I did not know that those composite doors existed, so thanks for teaching me about them.

      Can you imagine if you were down in some of those Texas neighborhoods during this freezing power outage and you were running your noisy generator while your entire block is blacked out and freezing to death? You would be a target so fast!

      You also need to be careful about solar powered motion sensor lights around your house. Sure they are an excellent deterrent during normal times, but if you have bright flood lights going off around your house during a week long blackout, your neighbors are going to think you have power. Even though you may be in the same situation as they are and your lights are just being powered off the sun.

      • 2

        The secure by design composite doors are a British thing, but very very similars are available in the US cos I’ve seen them in Boston and Denver, Never need painting either, you just order them in the colour you want. They even resist police breaching tools for a good while.

    • 3

      There are steel door frames that can be used with composite doors, an example

      Steel Door Frame

      Also there are widely available are steel entry doors, including commercial grade that can be used in a residential setting, an example

      Steel Door

      A bit industrial looking, but could be painted by an autobody shop to any colour and give it a more residential fee.

      There is also the consideration of getting air into the home and I plan to buy this type of door:

      Steel Security Storm Door

      It can let air in as needed but doesn’t give such a “fortified” look to the home. I prefer to appear more low key.

      With respect to black out blinds, I have them, but recently noticed something I need to address with a higher mount to the black out curtains. I was outside at night and realized there was a bit of a glow radiating to the upper part of my living room window. And always a wrap curtain rod for drapes to close out side views. It doesn’t hurt to check your windows for light bleed after installing the blackout window treatments.

      Thank you for the great topic, Bill.

    • 1

      I was thinking about the after effects of a disaster as it relates to safety and security and found this article in my resource material. It is a series of communications sent by the author’s friend who was “heavily involved” with the situation during Hurricane Katrina. 

      At various points, the article describes incidents involving domestic privacy and security, for example Post 4 #4.

      This article also discusses many other prepping issues, such as bugging out or people living in fringe areas of the disaster who were over run by people flooding out of the disaster zone.

      I found there were some points/info that I had never considered and well worth noting.

      • 1

        Sorry, here’s the link

        Thoughts on a Disaster

      • 3

        Ubique, the link is real good for a class/seminar to teach this stuff.

        Some moring rambling:  4-1;  I do not like volunteers (here called “spontaneous volunteers”, in some Asian areas: “helpers”).  For evey little old lady from Pasadema equivalent who can help with the radio, there is also the acid heads, drunks, slave traffickers, and the hustlers.

        2-1;  Routr selection is frequently officially pre-determined at onset of emergency.  Adhere to the route or anticipate problems beyond just delays.  

        At “Too many chiefs…New Orleans”; In fairness to the NO Mayor, the local establishment, the state authorities and the Louisiana Delta’s Federal agencies such as ACE- Army Corps of Engineers – they did recommend rehab of the levees and the related.  Louisiana’s Congressional delegation did not accept the recommendation.  The rest cannot be discussed here but many official and unofficial reports available.

        In a national emergency such as a war, there is now a backup route to the Mississippis River / New Orleans.  The “Tenn-Tom” connection links the MidWest to Mobile, Alabama.  If the national situation is even worse than loss of NO and Mobile, there are other substitute routes in place.

        Ref 3rd post, 4; “communications .. rescuers .. and government”.  It’s not a communications matter. There are many new organizations and all of them are staffed with “new” people.  This is same labor environment withing ther governments’ civil service.  Today, these problems are still present.  Sometimes families cannot be kept together.  One determining common denominator is medical needs. This triage is occuring in environment described above.

        “5” is wrong. A disaster situation allows for searches. It is also lawful to compel evacuations from an area.  I’ve been attempting to explain this for ages. The schools no longer teach these subjects. Be prepared for worst case scenerios. I’m not addressing fact-patterns; just the searches and evacs as being part of emergency management.

        Ref the mentioned 4th post, 4; True. Besides the national entitlement mentality, there is also a “dumbed down” problem.  It is important to never sleep in a car at a rest area nor in a wilderness setting UNLESS a governmental presence is there or being a member of a small but still appropriately-sized group.

        Not mentioned in link; As a responder, one of my dangers involves those smokng next to our medical oxygen supplies.  Can’t elaborate.

        Again, the link is a good lesson plan for a Prepper seminar. The material used to be Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts / Civil Defense basics.

           

      • 1

        Bob – 

        I really like this article, too. There is much to learn from it. 

        The first thing I noted was that over 30 (not so well prepared people) showed up at his property when only 2 families were actually invited. Fortunately, he and his wife were prepared and very generous of spirit (and money on a trust basis) to those who landed on their property.

        Even with their generosity, the sewage issue was something he add to address with them all.

        Re your points:

        4-1 – It is an example of how without properly trained management, the problems can escalate and rapidly. That is why shelters have management on site to ensure no one is harmed. The church meant well, but they paid a heavy price for their good intent.

        2-1 – It was good reminder also to know when to leave as in before the routes are congested.

        Good to hear that routes were improved. Sometimes it does take a disaster to discover the things that need to be improved, created or repaired. We had that here in the flood zone for certain communities.

        2-2 my point – I think his point on how a disaster can raise socio-economic or other issues could have been better stated. 

        3rd post, 4 – A very good point. People forget that new people have to jump into the fray and hit the ground running. They are doing the best they can. There are some who may not even be that appropriate for the position, however, it is a “body” and the position must be filled.

        5 – I find it strange that anyone wouldn’t understand how they can search and order you to evacuate. It isn’t about “rights”. It is about saving lives and trying to bring some semblance of order to a dangerous and chaotic situation.

        4th post, 4 – Also, never park in any area without egress – as in you can manoeuver your vehicle without being pinned down. I have survived a situation like that with a friend. Familiar area, off season cook out to get away from city. Pinned down because I backed my car into campsite. I was parked between two trees. I could drive out, but they parked across the front of my vehicle. One of the people had a gun.

        Long story short – I talked us out of the situation because I grew up in the area. When they heard my family name, they got very nervous and left. But, to this day, I never park where I can’t move my vehicle freely.

        Point taken on watching for anyone smoking next to the oxygen. (Wow!)

        In the Okanagan BC wildfires of 2003, a person I knew volunteered with a known organization’s food truck. There was another food truck on scene from a very large organization that happened to have run out of food. The first organization’s food truck had plenty of food and were ready to help.

        They were told  that they weren’t allowed to feed a group of exhausted and very hungry firefighters who had just emerged from the fire zone because it was the larger organization’s territory. 

      • 1

        Ref food truck and territory; It’s not just meal distribution matters.  The term is officially speaking “political sensitivities”.  Even if properly planned, headaches can arise. Here, we don’t have the food distribution issue to responders but I’m on alert to have a source for red pouch MREs. This is the Sharia-compliant MRE. 

        In the big cities “political sensitivities” get magnified. $$$ involved.  A damage assessment properly prepared translates to an account receivable for the claimant.  The damage had better be in the claimant’s territory/venue. Sometimes specifics are murky/cloudy.

      • 1

        Hi Bob, I found a potential source for the red pouch MRE’s:

        J&M Certified Halal Meals

        Thanks for explaining the food truck incident. They got fed which is the main thing.

      • 1

        A good link.  Thank you, Ubique.

    • 1

      Security cameras with audio are also a good way to observe and listen. The audio helps identify problems that can’t necessarily be easily seen.

      On a house that is a rectangle shape, I have 8 cameras (Swann hi def/IR/300′ Zoom). There are two cameras per side on a corner mount under soffitt and are therefore, not as conspicuous.

      Each camera covers the other camera to capture tampering, if attempted. UPS prevents loss of outside security in event of power outage.

    • 1

      Also, one more point about our hi def, I/R, security cameras with audi as posted below: 

      We had to install them because we had a problem with a voyeuristic neighbour in close proximity to us. Local police recommended it as I had to have proof of what he was doing and threatening to do to us.

      We also had to install a one way window film from England over every single window in our house because of him, in addition to blackout blinds and curtain panels. Additionally we installed 3 security lights in the back yard which are left on all night, and one sensor light in the front. 

      His methods have changed, but he is clearly obsessed and not well. To date, I have not been able to have him charged.

      However, the positive that can come out of this mess, is that we know there is a problem with him in advance of any crisis or adverse event.

      I found out what he was by paying attention to his behaviour. Pay attention to how people around you behave.