Most experts agree: Bugging in, in the event of an emergency without forced evacuation, should always be your first plan of action. This is no different for a zombie outbreak. The initial reaction of most unprepared citizens is going to be to flee – leaving roadways, freeways, side roads shoulders and the like all jammed with impassible traffic. The best option is so stay right where you are – provided you are prepared.
Of course, bugging in your home is only going to work if you have the right stockpile of goods. This includes food sources (renewable is better), water sources (renewable is better), weapons, plenty of ammunition, a power source (renewable is better), communication methods and more. However this article deals with a far more basic topic – fortifying your home.
Assuming you have all the supplies you are going to need to hunker down for a good 90 days (ZETA recommendation), you need to fortify your home. Zombies, after all, may be the least of your worries. With other armed citizens roaming about, looters, riots, hungry parents, and more, you will need to turn your beautiful home into a fortress.
Let’s take a quick look at turing a two story home in the suburbs into a modern day fortress quickly easily, and cheaply.
Find the weak spots.
The first thing to take notice of in your home is your points of entry. This includes the garage, the front/back door, the windows, and all other first floor entry points.
For the front door, there are plenty of articles out there on the web giving advice on how to reinforce your door. Steel doors, solid core doors, etc are all explained in great detail. ZETA recommends you have some kind of reinforced door. The best advice we received from security experts is to install a door that opens outward. This will allow for the frame of the door to take quite a beating before it gives. Added reinforcement is easy enough – simply wedge some spoons or other items between the door and the frame opposite the hinges, and the door can withstand quite a bit of force. You can choose to brace the door further – but this simple step alone will give you enough time to react to the threat. In other words - you will get to them before they get to you.
For the windows or sliding glass doors, this is a no brainer. Simply purchase 3/4″ plywood, and cut them to fill all first story windows and sliding glass doors. A 3/4″ piece of plywood will withstand a 220 pound man swinging an axe at it with no problem. The question often arises though on how to secure these to the windows to prevent human – or zombie – removal (for instance, hurricane clips, tracks, etc will not work). This is easily achieved too. As we were advised by a ZETA engineer, simply drill a 1/2 ” hole through the center of the plywood (which is also the center of the opening). Place the plywood into the window opening after you have opened the window from the iside. Run a 1/2″ bolt (length depends on depth of the window) through the hole into the interior of your home. From there, the bolt should pass through the open window, and through a 1/2″ hole drilled through a pressure treated piece of 2 x 4. This 2 x 4 should be long enough to extend past your window frame by about 8″ on either side. Attach a nut to the end of the bolt on the inside, and tighten everything down. That’s it – windows are now secure. With a little practice, you can comfortably secure 8 first story windows in about 45 minutes or less. Treat sliding glass doors the same way, but provide extra bracing to accomodate the larger openings.
Garage doors are very easy to secure. If you want to spend time and money, have a garage company come out and reinforce the door for hurricanes. This will encompass them running aluminum supports across the door at small intervals, making it so strong that ramming it with a vehicle won’t even bring it down. Even with no money (or a reinforced door – either way) go ahead and latch the locks on either side of the door by the track – and the grage is secured. For added measure, reinforce the door from the garage into your home, using the same methods as the front door.
Using similar methods, fortify all of the first story entry points using plywood. The only way into your home (and out) should be the front door. Do NOT fortify or plywood second story windows. This comes into play later, when developing a security plan for home defense.
Build yourself a crows nest.
This step depends heavily on the type of home you have, and the layout of your roof. Assuming that a window on your second story grants you roof access, you will want to build a crows nest on the roof. On most homes ZETA has analyzed, there is a window(s) that allows roof access in the front of the home and the rear of the home.
Using plywood and a small frame made of 2 x 4s, make yourself a little level spot on the roof. If you have a 2 story home, and there is a portion of the roof that only covers the first story (like over a grage for instance) this is the place to build your crows nest. Make sure you have a good view of the front of your home, and if possible, the rear as well. The method to construct the frame and level area is different depending on the direction of your roof pitch. However, it is easy to build a”triangle” out of wood to make a somewhat level spot. This will make it easier to sit on for long periods of time. Using sandbags, or other materials that have the potential to slow down or stop fired rounds, build up a wall in the front of your stand and on any open sides. Build the walls high enough that you can conceal yourself behind them for cover, but low enough that they do not risk tumbling down. With a little practice and effort (if the sandbags are already created) you can build a crows nest in about an hour. Some experts recommend creating the level stand ahead of time – in doing so, you can cut almost 40 minutes off your time. Build a second crows nest, as needed, for the rear of the home.
You should now have a crows nest that provides you with a vantage point of your home and the immediate surrounding area. This also provides a tactical advantage (higher ground) to those coming to do you harm – both zombies and humans. It will also help you determine threats, engage targets from greater distances, and help eliminate and threat trying to get into your home before they have chance to do so.
Develop and practice a home defense plan.
Now that your first floor is fortified, and you have a crows nest, you will need to develop a defensive action plan for your group or family. This plan will need to be created individually, but there are a few points to remember.
The reason the 2nd story windows were not boarded up is that they provide vantage points, exit points (but difficult entry points), and look out stations. If you board up the second story, the threats may have a harder time coming in, but you will have a hard time even seeing them. Keep them free of obstacles.
Now that everything is set up, the weakest – and most likely only entry point for a threat will be the front door. Using your crows nest and second story windows, you should be able to eliminate any threats before they gain entry. However, if they do, be prepared. Since most front doors open up into a foyer or hallway, use this to your advantage. Remember – you know your home, they do not. If you feel entry is going to happen, take up positions inside to cover the front door. When the threat enters, eliminate the threat, and secure the door.
Remember to set up sentries, interior patrols, and guard watches if you can. If you have a group or a family, get them involved. If you have an alarm system on your home, use it – if nothing lese, it can provide an early warning system for you. If you have the extra cash, set up video cameras/security cameras to help one poerson keep an eye on the entire property.
If you have the supplies you need, and follow these instructions, your home will be your fortress.
Good luck out there.