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Of what use are all the food and water you have stored if intruders can easily snatch everything from you just because you failed to fortify your home. Worse still is if the criminals decide to take interest on your loved ones. This is one scenario that could befall newbie preppers, or anyone else for that matter unless you learn early on that your home can become a fortress even without spending that much.

Put Up Signs

Pepper your home with warning signs. These will deter any would-be intruder from trying to break in your home. A simple sign that signifies the owner is armed or that there is a dog in the vicinity will make people think twice before entering your premises.

Improve the Lighting

Criminals usually strike during daytime when the occupants are away but that doesn’t mean you’re completely safe at night. Most thieves hang out in dark alleys and wait for their victims. The same can be said about burglars who wait for the cover of the dark to prey on victims. They wait until nighttime when people are asleep before they break into houses or buildings.

A good and cheap way to fortify your home is to brighten things up. Put some security lights in strategic places such as at your front and back doors, which are two of the top three points of entry of intruders. Other areas that should be well-lit include the gate, fence, garage, driveway, and back yard.

You can also keep a light on inside your home to let people think someone inside is still awake. Just leave the curtains down so no one can see what’s going on inside.

Strengthen the Door

Have you ever wondered why people could easily kick down doors in movies? That’s because standard doors have a weak point. If you look at the door frame, you’ll see the metal strike plate where the deadbolt or latch bolt enters to lock the door. These strike plates are usually secured to the wood frame by small screws. A cheap and easy way to strengthen the door and fortify your home is to replace the 3/4-inch screws with 3- or 4-inch ones, which cost just around 50 cents per piece. You can also replace the screws on the hinges.

Even if intruders can’t kick the doors open through the strike plates, it is still possible that the door itself breaks apart. The best move here is to replace the weak door with one made of solid wood or metal.

Invest on the Right Locks

You need the right locks to keep your door secured, especially if you consider that 34% of home invaders enter through the front door.  Replace your typical door knobs with deadbolts.

Protect Your Windows

According to statistics, 30 % of intruders gain entry through an unlocked door or window. The easiest yet often neglected way to fortify your home is to lock up. When we leave the house, the last thing we do is to lock the door. However, most of us forget to check the first-floor windows if they’re locked.

Even if your windows are locked, intruders can gain access by breaking the glass. If you don’t have bars keeping bad people away, you can at least apply window film to keep the glass from shattering. The film can still be penetrated but at least you will have enough time to react to the attempted break-in.

Secure the Perimeter

Your first line of defense against intruders is your fence. Ideally, you’d want something sturdy like a metal or concrete fence. If you can’t afford them yet, you can fortify your home with wood planks or wire mesh fence. Check the local laws before you put up your fence.

For extra protection, you can add barbed wire on your fence but this may cost a bit and make your home look like a prison. Nails and broken glass are good and cheap alternatives. Simply drive nails through cut up old rubber tires and place them on top of the wall or where intruders will likely land after scaling your fence.

You can also add broken glass or spikes on top of your walls. Again, check local ordinances if they allow such anti-climb measures.

You can also fortify your home by using Mother Nature. Avoid growing shrubs or bushes in your yard as they offer a good hiding place for bad people. Fill your perimeter with trees and cacti instead. Trees offer privacy but you should trim the foliage enough for neighbors to still see if there are intruders in the yard. The prickly plants, meanwhile, are good deterrents or could at least make their lives miserable for a while.

Bells and Chimes

Security alarms are a bit pricey. Use bells or chimes instead.  Place them at the front and back doors so you’ll be alerted when they start jingling in the middle of the night. You can also make a trip wire around your perimeter with bells or chimes attached. When someone trips on it, the sound will alert you of their presence. This will also deter would-be home invaders from going through with their plans.

Guard Dogs and Other Pets

Train your dogs to bark at strangers so you’ll know when someone is trying to break into your home. They can also attack when provoked by intruders. Just don’t let them go and disappear into the corn field when you’re dealing with alien invaders.

Dogs are not the only pets that can protect your family and guard your home. Donkeys, llamas, geese, and ostriches are usually bundled with sheep because they are known to protect their wooly friends. While these animals do not fit into an urban setting, they make great guard pets in the farm.

The goal of prepping is not only to be ready with loads of supplies and survival gear but also to keep yourself and your family from harm during emergency situations, especially when the EOTW has come.

Ideally, you should set aside a budget to fortify your home. If you’re a bit cash-strapped, the tips above on how to fortify your home are good starting points for making sure your family and property are safe from harm. Once you’re capable, invest on security cameras, alarms, motion detectors, a panic room, and weapons.

You must always remember, however, that there is always a risk that you’re home will be compromised whether by intruders, natural disasters, or zombie hordes. Prepare a bug out bag and a bug out vehicle for when SHTF.

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