How Would A Nuclear Winter Affect My Home Security?

August 23, 2013

Home Invasions, Survival Retreat


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Whether on the road or around your home, heavy snowfall can be definitely inconvenient. However, having to wake an hour early to shovel the driveway and scrape the windshields pales in comparison to the worst the cold can bring. This inconvenience can turn into a complete disaster during long heavy blizzards – or to be pessimistic, a nuclear winter scenario.

During these situations, it pays to be prepared with a recent energy audit, plentiful additional clothing and blanketing, alternative power and fuel sources, and so on. But one concern that many people forget when marking their checklists on handling an impending blizzard is how the cold can affect their home security. Here are three considerations that anyone can make to bolster their home’s security against trespassers and looters when the cold begins to take a toll on their home:

1.      Off-the-grid security

While a home security system such as ADT home security can be a very effective tool in deterring burglars, they can be useless when a wintry storm takes the grid down. Alternative power sources can be handy, but there are much more fruitful ways to use your power when it becomes an issue of scarcity during a blizzard. Instead of relying solely on an alarm system, ponder other methods to boost your security independent of power sources.

A.     Windows

Replace any panes in your windows and doors that aren’t shatter-proof, since these will resist damage from storms and human blows alike. Bolster their sturdiness further with storm windows, shutters, and an interior pane. These will help you keep out unwanted guests and keep your heat from escaping windows. Alternatively, if winds are particularly strong, you can brace doors by boarding them. While extreme, this is the only truly safe way to prevent strong winds or trespassers from exploiting them.

B.     Doors

Fortify your doors with stronger locks. While electronic locks are becoming increasingly useful and affordable, they could become more of a problem during grid-down situations. Deadbolts and screw-anchored chain locks may seem rudimentary, but they’re incredibly efficient at holding up to brute force. Greasing your locks with lubricant can help in making your locks more difficult to pick and bump. If you want to seal an entrance or brace it against wind, wedge your doors shut with an angled doorstop or large piece of furniture. If you have any doors that slide to open, make sure they’re not easily shoved off-track by screwing in a length of wood against the bottom interior-side.

2.      The effects of freezing on your resources

While freezing can cause obvious damage to our property and bring down the grid, it can cause complications to even the most carefully laid out backup plans. Unlike other emergency scenarios, blizzards have the unique problem of damaging resources with freezing and frost. Here are a few details about freezing damage to reflect on before accounting for your home’s security during a lengthy snow-storm.

A.     Alternative power sources

Having backup power is always a wise investment in emergency planning, but freezing cold can render many of these options useless.

  • Propane can become useless in temperature which are too cold, since their pressurized containers require a stable temperature to function. Attempting to warm these tanks without the right equipment can result in an explosive disaster.
  • Diesel (especially biodiesel) can freeze into gel. This can be resolved with specialized chemicals and different diesel mixtures, but this solution is hardly practical in a home environment.
  • Even eco-friendly solar panels can fail in extreme winters, though applying glycol and safeguards like frost protection circuits can help prevent that.

Whatever your alternative power source, make sure it is foolproof to extreme cold before relying on it to keep your family safe.

B.     Lights

Besides needing to stay warm, long wintry period often come with decreased daylight. In a nuclear winter scenario, many in the scientific community predict that people can expect the darkness of midnight at noon. Given that, it’s important to invest in sources of light that won’t become damaged due to frost. After all, maintaining a presence at home is one of the key essentials in deterring home invasion.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are affected by the cold much more than incandescent bulbs, which are on their way out of the market. Even worse, fluorescent lights are often inoperable below 50°F. Stocking incandescent bulbs may be a wise decision in preparing for the cold. In addition, consider increasing stocks of batteries for flashlights or electric lanterns since the cold saps energy quicker from them.

What other thoughts do you think preppers should have when protecting their home in a nuclear winter scenario?

By Naomi Broderick

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