When the SHTF things are going to get real ugly, real fast. Hunger, a lack of preparation, and of course, all of the delinquents out to take advantage of the less fortunate. Well, it's a recipe for disaster. But when push comes to shove, you are the only one who can keep your family safe. And part of that is creating a secure bug out location. It's probably one of the most important tasks you face, because without the right protection, you risk not only all of your supplies, but your family's well being too.
Be smart when choosing your bug out location
There's no point locking yourself down in one spot if it's not got everything you need. Make sure there's plenty of space for your family, your stockpile of supplies, and also that you've got access to fresh water sources and adequate hunting grounds. I'd also recommend your land be big enough to harvest your own food, we've setup greenhouses and aquaponics and I couldn't tell you the last time I needed to actually buy fresh produce from the store. We grow all of it ourselves.
Think about the defensibility of your home
The last thing you want is a group of bad guys coming up on your location without even triggering an alarm. If you're able to select the spot for your bug out location, choose somewhere that's a little higher than the surrounding area (it makes it easier to defend when your attackers are coming uphill), and you've got a clear line of sight to see anyone approaching. I've also installed movement sensors at key points on our property, so we're alerted if anyone approaches our gate, and a few other natural spots intruders are likely to come from.
Buy the gear you need to defend yourself
Now here's where things start getting fun. Everyone should have a small arsenal in their bug out location, to fight back if you have people with ill intent on your doorstep. I'd suggest at least a couple of long-range rifles, a shotgun and a handgun for every adult on the property, and if you've got the cash to spend, you can't go wrong with a few semi-automatic rifles. Make sure you've got plenty of ammunition for these too, and don't forget all the replacement parts, cleaning kits, and the training you need in order to learn how to shoot in high-stress situations.
Don't give marauders a clear path to your door
Your goal here is to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to reach your doorstep. In our home we've done a few things to deter anyone intent on getting to us. The first, was to build out bug out location on a rise by a small lake. That way we're well out of the way of any rising floodwaters, yet if you think about our home sitting in the center of a circle, about 60 percent of this is water. Unless they bring their own boat, they won't be able to sneak up on our six. Our driveway was intentionally created to cross a small stream, and the wooden bridge that allows us to get in would be one of the first things I'd remove once the SHTF. We've got thick natural forest along the entire perimeter of the property, along with our barbed wire fencing, and it's all pretty inhospitable to cross (there's at least 50 to a hundred yards of thorny blackberries we planted that they'll need to fight through).
Remember the importance of line of sight
If you're not able to spot your target, you won't be able to shoot back. We intentionally created a massive clearing where we built our home so there's at least a couple of hundred yards of open space so we've got a clear line of sight to anyone approaching. We've also got a rooftop balcony that wraps around our entire home, with a railing system crafted from thick planks of hardwood and spots for our rifle resting sandbags. It still looks aesthetically pleasing, but it also gives us a 360 degree access and a barricade we can return fire from. If there's a threat, we can take the appropriate action.
Invest in technology for better defenses
I mentioned earlier about the movement sensors we have, but this is just the first line of technology defense we've got in our security plans. There's a smaller inner electric fence to keep any animals at bay, and we've got massive spotlights that can turn our home and the clearing surrounding it from night into day. There's smaller sensor-activated lights that light up on any movement, and we've got internet-enabled security camera's across our entire home and property, so we can always see what's happening. And if that's not enough, I just bought a few smaller drones that I can fly to any location and see exactly what's going on, and pinpoint the location and status of anyone on my property. My wife calls me paranoid, but it's all part of having a smart plan.
Don't forget your escape route
But even with all of these preparations, I know that even the best plans can fail. You can be surprised, outnumbered or outgunned, and it's important to have an escape plan in place before you need it. We've got two. A small jetty that backs onto our house is setup with a boat we can use to get to an impassable piece of our property (you can't follow us on a motorbike or a car), and there's a small utility shed on the other side that's got a couple of motorbikes in it, just in case. The other is an access tunnel I had built into our basement. It leads about 100 yards away, completely underground, and pops up into a secluded spot behind one of our sheds. It's our get out of dodge tunnel, just in case.
The only way you can be truly ready to survive is to be ready for anything. When it comes to creating a secure bug out location, it's up to you to have the gear, weapons, tactics and plans to keep your family safe, and the escape plans to get out if things turn for the worst.