Much of defense is making yourself (or your property) a more difficult target than others in the area.
Someone who is in shape, keeps his/her head on a swivel, and carries themselves with confidence is much less likely to be mugged than someone who portrays the opposite.
The same is true with your property. Hardening your property is no guarantee that you'll be left alone, but it does make it a less-appealing target to petty criminals or potential food thievery.
A few things that could make your property a little harder that I have implemented on my own homestead:
1) No-climb wire. Called horse wire around here, it contains 2"x4" rectangular squares of woven wire, and it is impossible to climb. Very difficult and time-consuming to cut through, as well. Frequently seen around here with two strands of barbed wire above it, this makes a fairly difficult barrier to defeat. It's certainly possible, but it takes time and there's a much greater chance of being spotted.
2) Lighting. Motion-detecting lights are great for a lot of reasons, not least of which is causing a potential intruder to flee when a blast of light suddenly appears.
3) Dogs. Pretty self-explanatory!
4) High grade chains and locks on gates. Chain that can't be cut by manual bolt cutters is only moderately more expensive than a "typical" chain, and locks can be found with a rating of 8 or 9, which requires a hydraulic cutter to destroy. If you're securing your gate with a chain of this manner, and wrapping around something metal (my property has welded pipe fencing) then you're going to prevent vehicular entrance unless they're willing to destroy their bumper by driving through the gate. Get a good enough gate, and that's not an option either.
5) Speaking of gates and entrances, throw a motion-detecting light to oversee them, as well as be sure your bolts are inverted so a gate can't be lifted off.
6) Get to know your neighbors. You and your family have a limited amount of available eyeballs - add your neighbor's to the mix! This might be difficult if you live "way out in the sticks" like I do, but every little bit helps. Good neighbors can be amazing assets!
7) Know the most likely threats in your area. You can get Google Alerts to send you a daily email with whatever terms you choose. I have "XXXXXX County" as an alert, and get a daily email. Similar terms could be "My county crime" or "my city crime." These will give you a good feel for what's going on criminally in your area.
8) Pre-plan the defense of your property with your family. What happens if you hear someone breaking into your barn in the middle of the night? What's the average response time for the police? What's your best exit for situations on the north, south, east, or west of your property? What is your spouse or family to do in an emergency? These things require pre-planning, because you won't have time to logically plan these things out should something happen.
9) Know your defensive tools well. If that's a firearm (and it should be) know it well. Go shooting at least every couple of months. Even better, seek out a training facility and take some classes. Don't risk your life and your family's well being, especially in potentially devastating GSM circumstances, on a weapon that you are not intimately familiar with and used to.
None of these things will guarantee that you are able to successfully protect your family and homestead, but each one of them increase the odds in your favor. I am thinking long and hard about potential issues in this department as food will become more scarce, and small farms and homesteads that are growing food will become more targeted.
These are my tips, feel free to comment or add more below!
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