How to defend against marauders after a disaster


After a significant disaster occurs, those who are unprepared or less prepared will start to get hungry, thirsty, or cold. If there isn’t relief provided in enough time they will go into that survival mindset and think that the only option is to take from others or die. 

We try and prevent ourselves from ever getting in that mindset ourselves by stockpiling food, water, and other supplies. Maybe we even stock more than we need so that we can give to others and prevent them from getting desperate. 

But take a minute to think about your situation and what you would do if you started to hear about marauders raiding houses in your neighborhood. What are some of the steps you would take to fortify your home, defend your possessions and family, and deter them from coming around? Try saying more than “got my guns n’ ammo, I’m good…”. 


  • Comments (37)

    • 2

      I live near the end of a dead end lane, out in the country.  My intent is to incorporate all families on that lane into a survival group, where we share resources & provide joint security.  My plan would be to put up a blockade where the lane meets the rural highway, manned by group members, with a sign stating trespassers will be shot.  If we were attacked, at that point I would go a step further. 

      There is a member on another prepper forum, named Slippy.  He advocates the use of Slippy pikes.  I can see where such a tool could quickly convey the message… don’t mess with us.  For those that don’t know, he is advocating putting a severed head on a long pole (pike) as a warning.   This has been used as a warning throughout human history.

      • 4

        Blockading/checkpointing the one road into your neighborhood is a good idea. Make sure to have the yards and perimeter of the neighborhood watched as well for those on foot.

        The head on a pike is a strong historical message to not mess with a community. I think historically the indians would scalp their enemies and do something similar right?  Thankfully, we as a society are far away from that, where even after a disaster, that will probably be frowned upon or make you a target by others as someone who needs to be stopped. 

      • 1

        I really love your style Redneck!

      • 6

        Well I guess if you had to sum up my style of prepping, it would be to avoid conflict if possible.  Avoid conflict with neighbors.  Avoid  conflict with visitors.  But if that isn’t possible, fight smart, fight ugly and fight to win.  My suppressed weapons, along with our knowledge of the area gives us an advantage.  I will take the fight to the intruders & attempt to remove the leaders when least expected.  I think most intruders would expect homeowners to hunker down & defend.  I would do the opposite.  My suppressed bolt action 22LR is almost completely silent.  

      • 2

        I could not agree more….. I think most people need to ‘Fight smart. Fight ugly. And fight to win’ if you have any hope of surviving a problem …………period.

        I have taught my family how to fight ugly…..with the one golden rule being do not take out a weapon unless you intend to use it (no matter what it is)

        Dont talk……… dont threaten…….. just use it!

        With bad guys ………there will not be a second chance….so do it properly first time.

    • 6

      I have a unique historic home that is Mediterranean style with a flat roof with short raised walls on the perimeter, that I think would make a great vantage point to be on guard looking for any who approach. My neighborhood has had a problem with druggy teenagers and 20 somethings who look for unlocked vehicles to rummage through. Almost always its around 3:00-5:00 am, therefore taking shifts around that time would be especially important.

      We already have Wyze cameras and security system installed which would also be utilized.

      Additionally my work in progress is we have an alleyway behind our house that is no longer maintained by the city that gets overgrown making easy hiding points for thieves. We cleared it behind our house and helped the neighbor behind us clear his, and on half of the alley several of us keep it maintained so its drivable. However we have another half section that needs clearing which I am organizing a cleanup with a community group this fall. I’m also contemplating planting something thorny behind our fence as well.

      I remember on another thread (can’t remember which one) someone had the idea of having a drone so you can see how things look around you which I think is a good idea. Its on my purchase eventually list.

      As you can tell I am in a urban area so this is good for short term issues, not sustainable for any long term SHTF.

      • 3

        I like how you didn’t just clear out your area and call it a day. You are going out of your way to help others and create those lasting relationships that you may need to rely on someday. 

        Great job!

      • 4

        My goal is to have it all drivable so that it stays relatively clear with vehicles driving through. When we bought the house we found back there an old small campfire and some cloths which lead me to believe a homeless person was staying there. Now its not inviting at all in my section, but it doesn’t do much good if they can hide a few houses down.

      • 2

        Try mermaid rose.  It gets huge but you can also prune to desired size.

      • 2

        Well owning large dogs is a huge deterrent.  I own a 100 lb. Mastiff, a 70lb bulldog and a puppy of unknown mix that will probably mature around 100 lbs.  I have a neighbor thats a real piece of work pretty sure hes dealing illegal substances, huge dude but terrified of my dogs, like rediculously terrified.  Sure someone could shoot a dog but multiples at once?  Prob not.  

    • 4

      Good afternoon Bradical,

      Our steps are already accomplished. My environment is a shack on some acreage in a forest ~ 1 km from nearest state road.

      If and when needed, reliance will be on non-electrical equipment that provides the equivalent or near-equivalent of Havana Syndrome experience to mauraders.

      We’ve studied the typical maurader groups here, some with ATVs and some without. These typical groups do not wear smoke masks, laser goggles or hearing protection. Hard hats not used by these groups.

      Our methods to repel are legal.  If any of these groups have attack dogs, what is not legal for humans is OK to protect against the threat of dogs. Dogs have lungs. The cartridge-powered gas not allowed for use against humans, OK for dangerous dogs.

      There will be no firearm use. Their use can – and will – generate reports to the authorities. After the Beltway Snipers incident, there will be no projectiles causing travelers to seek cover. This area is a garrison-state corridor connecting Navy Norfolk – metro Washington, D.C. The corridor is from the Atlantic Ocean to Interstate 95 through Richmond. The corridor will remain open and safe for lawful travelers.

      The authorities will hunt down those firing weapons. All those little USCG stations on the Chesapeake Bay for recreational boater policing also had a recent complexion change.  They are small forts able to rapidly expand.

      In summary, an intruder alert send us to put on HAZMAT PPE. This includes hard hats with face shields. goggles and sound-reducing hoods.

      • 1

        I like how you mention the googles and other forms of protection. We have to be aware that they may come totally suited up and then so much for our OC spray. And can you hit a moving target on an ATV??? Maybe we need to improve our training and idea of what the enemy is capable of.

      • 1

        Good morning Robert,

        Yes, a moving ATV is easy to hit. No firearms used but rather smoke and irritant gas.  The ARV must follow some basic path. The cable and ropes pulled across the paths definitely immobilizes the vehicle.

        For deadly threats presented by maurauders, irritant gas can be substituted for a more dangerous one.If a heavy rain and ground floor soaken wet, flame does wonders to repel.

        We’ve studied the prior events re tresspassers and none mentioned about noise cancelling hoods or laser goggles. Usually even diligent preppers don’t have this PPE.

        Matters can, of course, change but we’ve all had experience using above mechanisms.

        This place is like an ocean-going tug boat re the fitting out. Those who have visited the Big Sur, Carmel, Pebble Beach, California area(I think this is the area ) know what a water fog horn sound like. Even w/ hoods, people are inclined to just leave the area.

    • 8

      The trouble is……… you want them to go…. not confront them…… that puts you on offer too much.

      That being the case for me…………..simple inexpensive .22 cal trip alarms are the best way to go ………..and serve many purposes. Heck you can make them so very cheap……

      They tell you they are there……. It tells them you know they are there….. and they should think again.

      • 3

        you want them to go…. not confront them

        EXACTLY!!!!!  Confrontation (violence) should always be the last choice.

      • 1

        Agreed Redneck……..except it would need to be second choice…….only warn ONCE……..

      • 1

        And if you put up proper visuals like a car parked sideways in the middle of the road with a sign on the side saying TURN BACK NOW, then that’s a warning itself. If you then give a verbal or another visual warning and they still continue, you can sleep well that you gave them plenty of heads up.

      • 2

        The problem with another verbal warning is that you have given up your position and increased your odds of getting killed or hurt.  At most, the next warning would be a 22LR, as it is much quieter.  If it ended up in a person or just as a warning would depend upon their actions.

        Keep in mind I’m talking about protection in the worst of times, when you are on your own and society has broken down.  That is the extreme case.

    • 6

      Posting multiple signs around the property saying that you mean business. Having less lethal means like bear spray or paintball guns for those who get close for comfort.

      If it looks like they are more than just the hungry person trying to sneak in for a quick meal and the group is a real threat that are meaning to hurt and kill to get your stuff, then the bigger guns will come out and all niceness is out the window if you threaten  my family. My family would barricade themselves in an interior room so the thieves could have at the rest of my house and supplies and hopefully be happy with that. But the family would be safe inside the house. Better them get the stuff than us.

      Now would be a good time to invest in some motion sensing lights, audible alarms, or I have even seen a motion sensing sprinkler used by some.

      • 5

        Bonus with Paint ball guns are they can be loaded with pepper spray filled pellets. 

      • 1

        hope you don’t live in the US – because Zippo-ing someone like you would put a smile on any looter alllll day long >>> common enough practice most of the time and an absolute positive if they would know someone is hiding and they could trap them inside for the BBQ ….

        looting is only part of their fun – revenge goes a long way in their motivation ….

    • 3

      Cover windows, make it hard to see where we are and what is inside.  Focus on defending against intruders actually entering the house (or clearly attempting to enter) both for tactical and legal reasons.  Try to share information with like minded neighbors.  

    • 1

      If travel were still possible, this would be our cue to evac to our backup location, which is a sustainable homestead with family already living there. If travel not possible, we’d move deeper into the neighborhood to another family member’s home that is more defensible. Heavy LEO and military (current and former) citizen presence in our neighborhood, but our home is on the outskirts, so we would have to relocate further in to be safe. 

    • 3

      IF you are found by some marauders – strike first, strike fast, strike hard.  But that assumes that they are at the door.  I’m a big believer that the best defense is evasion or, you win every fight that you don’t get into.  I don’t say that to be flip, and sometimes fights cannot be avoided and when that happens, fight to win.

      What I am saying is that before you are at a point where you must to defend yourself, spend some time considering how marauders could track you and yours down. While it’s possible that the may stumble upon your location, they are more likely to be *drawn* to it.  If you can reduce some of the draw to your resources that’s less fights you need to win.  What could draw them to you?

      Walk away from your property an consider how it looks from different angles, at night, during the day.  Are the crops visible from the pathway?  Can the generator be heard from the street?  What do the lights look like through the windows at night?  Does the smoke from the fire carry up and point back to your cooking?  Do the solar arrays reflect light and in which direction?  How far can that be seen? 

      Move around like a marauder would.  They’ll watch for signals, signs (and gossip) and may even be some people who know you or your land.  How would they know you are there?  How would they know you are thriving?  

      There’s an saying I heard from my dad: speed wins fights but patience wins wars. If the S really does HTF, we’ll have fights but it’ll be a war as well.  Practice your speed but patience also needs practice.  Oh, and also practice making slippy pikes like Redneck (and Slippy) suggested.

      • 2

        Good morning Sunnuva Gun,

        Excellent points.

        Your dad was correct.

        “The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

        Oliver Wendell Holmes

      • 1

        Thanks!  That’s a great quote!

      • 2

        There are a couple strategies you can implement to have less smoke come out of your chimney and thus less of a signal that someone is there.

        +Having your house too insulated can have your fire struggle to obtain enough air. You can install a outside air supply vent into the fireplace or open a window in the room and see if the smoke level outside of the house goes down.

        +Just like the above step, running a bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan or a furnace blower fan will cause negative pressure inside the house and not allow the fire to draft properly, and thus create more smoke.

        +When the temperature difference between outside and inside is greater, you have less smoke. If it’s not too cold out and around the same temperature inside your house, then there will be more smoke. Try throwing on some layers of clothing for those moderate days and keep the fire for the really cold days.

        +Do not burn green wood, wet wood, or synthetic materials. These will smoke. Only burn dry and clean wood, possibly paper without too much ink.

        +Have your chimney cleaned every year.

      • 2

        Where I live, the weather only really allows for fires one or two months a year and even then just some of the days.  I still got a house with a real wood burning fireplace (always will if I can) so glad to hear some suggestions from those with more experience!

    • 1

      the best defence is to live a long way from any big city or large urban centre.

      post disaster the gas stations will be empty within 24-36 hours maximum so the chances are any looters are going to be walking, in that case not very far.

      • 1

        no guarantee – there’ll be people just about everywhere – the shitcan little scooters get 30mpg and that can be 100s of miles on a tank of gas ….

        and there’s 1,000s of people on the move between cities on the interstates – we used to call that mid-point “the collision point” where the evacuees meet each other coming out of the cities – the smart ones start exiting onto the state & country roads and spreading out looking to get home ….

        then you also need to consider the particular SHTF – you could have a FEMA evac of the cities to every available piece of real estate they can find – if you got a college, convention center, race track, county fairgrounds or empty factory locally >>> you could have 1,000s of evacs depending on FEMA and having little of nothing else – all potential SuperDome hellholes unleashed ….

        and if you follow the FEMA handbook – they can force communities to provide food & shelter to the evacs dropped off – bring them out of the cities on the secondary road routes and even the railroads – sprinkling them around based on a per population basis – a wide spot in the road town might get 20 staying at the local church …

      • 0

        Good afternoon Illini Warrior,

        You said it clearer and more precise in the post above than my many posts saying the same info about the “neighborhood” changing after the urbanite evacuees arrive.

        Here, there’s also been somewhat recent arrangements to also use neglected Army reserve and National Guard camps for evacuees.

        One reason I left working the emergency sheltering program is because our small sleepy rural county is obliged to provide food and shelter for these urbanite evacuees.

        Some will arrive with TB, some with the other infectious infections. Many liquor bottles will arrive with them along with handguns. Did I forget to mention drugs ?

      • 0

        Camp McCoy in Central WI got a big slug of the Afghans – the locals made it known they wanted a closed gate policy – didn’t want to see groups wandering around the countryside ….. 

      • 2

        in a country where people dont go 100 yards from their cars, are unfit and unhealthy. there is an obesity crisis and diabetis is rife, most will be lucky if they get 10 miles .

    • 2

      You can make homemade pepper spray using cayenne pepper, rubbing alcohol, and vegetable oil in a spray bottle. You better have your own goggles and face shield though because the wind will probably spray it back into your eyes a little.

    • 4

      I’d respectfully suggest folks watch the “Zuma” riots in South Africa a few months back

      lots to be learned from looter behaviour, LE behaviour and the advantages of community protection 

      for me, proximity knowledge is vital, as the more time you have, the better prepared you can be

      i have a MAD detection system on my long rural lane . Not so good for walk ins, but most, at least early on, would be vehicle mounted 

      kindest regards from somewhere in rural Western Quebec

    • 2

      If you decide to shelter in during a major catastrophe then the best way to defend your house is to make use of the fatal funnel. The downside to sheltering in place in your house in an urban environment is that you could easily be burned out by an opposing group or person. Have a plan to evacuate to a remote less populated area if you can, watch current events and try to get ahead of the stampede and panic. If you have a scanner listen to open police and fire channels and 2m and 40cm ham channels to get a heads up. Below is a link to what a fatal funnel is and how to use it to your tactical advantage. In the mean time get in as much training as you can afford.