Looters

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

With hurricane season back upon us, there are many in the country who are concerned about the potential of a hurricane hitting their area sometime over the next few months. Considering how 2020 and 2021 have been, I don’t think it would surprise anyone if we had another Hurricane Katrina level event this year. The real question is where it will hit. A secondary question is how many looters will try to take advantage of the situation.

There are three basic times when looters come out; during wartime, during a riot, and during natural disasters, especially when there is a general evacuation. Of course, just because there is a hurricane in your area, doesn’t mean that there will be any sort of evacuation. But you never know. Looters can come out even without an evacuation, if they think they can get something for nothing.

By and large, looters aren’t regular criminals in the sense that they don’t make their living by crime. Rather, they are opportunists who live on the right side of the law… but just barely. These people see looting an abandoned home or business as a low-risk opportunity to get something they want. It’s low risk because law enforcement is busy elsewhere and people are too busy taking care of themselves to bother reacting to strange sounds, like breaking glass. Besides, they might not hear that breaking glass anyway.

So how can you keep your home from becoming a target of these criminals?

Stay at Home

The number one thing that you can do to keep looters out of your home is to make sure that you’re there. Be obvious about it too, so that they aren’t left guessing. That means having lights on, if possible, and keeping some sort of noise coming from the house, even if it is nothing else than a transistor radio.

Looters are unlikely to break into an occupied home, although it is not unheard of. They don’t want a confrontation with anyone; they want to steal stuff that they can either use themselves or sell for hard cash. Getting into confrontations with people interferes with that prime goal and could get them hurt, something they really want to avoid.

Keep Valuables from Being Visible

Looters don’t scout out their targets to the same degree that professional burglars do. Rather, looting is a crime of opportunity and looters are looking for anything that looks like an easy target. They might look in the windows from the street, to see if anyone is home and to see if there’s anything worth breaking in for.

That 80 inch large screen television that’s hanging on your wall is just the sort of thing they’re looking for. If it’s visible through the windows they know it’s there, don’t have to hunt around to find it, and already have an idea of what it is worth. Having things like that, where they can be seen from the street, is really just asking for trouble; not only from looters, but from regular burglars as well.

Make Your House Hard to Break Into

I’ve written to you before about various things you can do to make your home harder to break into, such as installing security striker plates on the doors and security window film on the windows. My reasoning than, which applies just as much now, is that the normal measures we take, putting in deadbolts and locking windows can’t keep people from breaking in. All it takes is one good kick from a booted foot to break open a deadbolted door and breaking glass is even easier.

Adding the additional measures I just mentioned won’t make the home break-in proof, but it will make it hard enough to break in, that the would-be looters are likely to try and go elsewhere. That’s about the best you can expect and in reality, it’s good enough to meet your needs.

Security Lights and Cameras

One of the top things that security specialists recommend is motion-activated lights and security cameras. These increase the possibility that criminals will both be spotted, and be identified. While law enforcement may be too busy to do anything about it in the midst of a hurricane, that doesn’t mean they won’t pay attention later.

Security lights and cameras are a good idea anyway and the price has come down; so there’s really no reason to put them on your home anyway. They’re good for dealing with a whole lot more than just looters.

One Final Thought

Don’t be quick to shoot at looters. Chances are pretty good that they are unarmed, at least as far as firearms are concerned. They might have a knife on them, but you wouldn’t look good in court, shooting at someone who has a knife in their pocket. On the other hand, if they pull that knife and are within 21 feet, that’s generally considered by the courts to be cause for use of deadly force.

Keep your head about you and you probably won’t need to shoot. That’s the best result anyway, in any confrontation between someone protecting their home and family and an armed intruder. And like always, keep you powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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