New guy here...advice please

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by GunshowNick, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. GunshowNick

    GunshowNick Guest

    Hello all,

    As the title states Im the "new guy". And being the new guy I need a little advice from those who have been around the block so to speak. Ok, here's the deal. I BELIEVE I am a smart person and have begun the process of being more prepared. I purchased some books, implemented a plan, and have begun obtaining the items I feel are needed. That being said here's my issues;

    1. I live in a location that is not the best suited for any major incident (joliet,Il-a major city with pop. of 160k) according to most "guru's". They (guru's) suggest residing in a some what remote locale, but I can not live outside the city's limits. I live in a normal suburban (cookie cutter) home. You all know the type. Vinyl siding and crappy building standards. It does have a cement poured full basement (+1).
    Question:What's the best means for fortifying a home like this?
    Has anyone ever had a shelter installed?
    Is there an ECONOMICAL way to fortify a full basement from....let's say nuclear fallout?


    2. I have been looking for a community in Illinois comprised of persons with prepardness mentality. Iam not all familiar with communities and I would like some insight. Also, I would like to gain the benefit from being around others who possess more knowledge than I in survial and prepardness (remember Im the new guy).
    Questions: Does a community consist of persons who ban together at a particulat location when the SHTF?
    Does anyone know of a community that's already in operation?
    Does anyone have any comments on prepardness communities?
    Should I post a thread and strart one in my area?
    If I should start what's the best means of starting?
    Should I have rules or guidelines or be just open in general? etc

    Thank you in advanced

    ps if you have any other advice feel free to lay it on me.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  2. LiveFreeOrDie..

    LiveFreeOrDie.. Member

    new guy myself, but have been preparing steadily for 1-2 years now.

    as far as fortifying your home, I would recommend some basic stuff to start. lots of plastic sheeting for windows and doors, duct tape to secure the sheeting and some precut 2x4 boards that will fit across your door jams and nails and hammer to secure them if needed. Doors open inward, so tacking them up on the inside will likely deter most invaders. If you have a trap door to an attic, don't forget sealing it with the plastic too!

    Another thing you can do to secure windows if they are wooden, is to drill a hole through the middle cross frame when the window is closed, be sure to be at least in the upper half of the frame so you don't break the glass, lol. Drill the hole just big enought to slip a long nail into, the same nails you would use to nail up the 2x4s would work nicely. If you have the time, will and storage space, you could also get plywood/particleboard to put over the windows and glass doors. The windows might be secure, but a broken pane of glass will change that pretty quickly.

    Trying to seal off the whole house may be impractical, especially in a sudden emergency, so you may want to focus on a smaller area that can have all you need in it. Your basement sounds perfect, especially if it's in the ground and has a toilet in it. If no toilet, at least have the old 5 gallon bucket with some treatment to put in it. It would be more secure overall than being upstairs if it's below ground.

    If you don't have them, getting some N100 masks and some IOSAT tablets wouldn't be a bad idea since you have concerns about nuclear and/or biological events. I shop around for all I need, but a couple of the best places I have found on the net for buying things are and . is very fair in their shipping charges and has great deals all the time

    hope this is helpful
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009

  3. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

  4. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

    There's nothing wrong with fortifying your house, but you might also want to consider a BOL as a backup plan. Heavily populated areas will be no fun if we ever have a SHTF situation. Prefferably a friend or relative that lives within 1 car tank of driving could provide a BOL.
  5. GunshowNick

    GunshowNick Guest

    thank you for the info...most appreciated

    any ideas on Q#2?
  6. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    Nick, be aware, this site isn't the biggest out there, so as far as networking goes, explore some and look at other sites like, Survival Monkey, and do some internet searches. Put it out there that you're seeking to network or join like-minded folks with a common purpose and you're bound to find the right connections. I'd ignore qualifications for what you want up front because you might weed out the person that might connect you to the right group of people. Obviously you're going to want to find folks you have common values when it comes to preparedness and that will only show itself with time.

    Personally, I think a town of 160k has a lot to offer if it's the right community. I think trying to live in remote settings poses its own set of risks and hazards. Obviously you're better off than someone in Detroit or Central LA when it comes to the risks of civil unrest, obviously you're closer to the source of where food is grown and stored, obviously you're not on top of a volcano or major fault line (I don't think), so no place is perfect. If you live in the sticks you need to really have your act together on what to do when you need dental work, break a bone, have a heart attack, or your house catches fire, and a city of 160k can handle those types of emergencies much better.

    If I were you, I'd focus on getting your own preps sorted out, making sure you understand your local hazards, have at least a few weeks of food put up, the ability to deal with power failure, water failure, and fuel shortages before getting too into specific scenarios. It does you no good to build a fall out shelter in your basement if you don't have a fire extinquisher in your house and the next time you're frying a fish your kitchen catches on fire.
  7. GunshowNick

    GunshowNick Guest

    Excellent piece of advice! I will do just that. And the fish fire gave me a chuckle too :D

    thank you!!!
  8. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I have trouble planning for nuke fallout - no matter where you will be able to get to in N.A. the fallout will continue for years in all areas. Instead of planning with that in mind, may I suggest a different set of plans.

    1. Environmental problems
    2. Financial problems
    3. Zombie-hordes
    4. Medical problems

    #1 = Snow, flood, fire, drought

    #2 = Loss of job or other significant financial change

    #3 = Not zombies like you see in the movies, but, zombies as in people who do not think for themselves and follow what is going on. This can include riots and looters.

    #4 = Wide-spread disease

    The best way to prepare for each of those is to build your home into a mini-fortress. Build a "pretty" fence that would take major machinery to break through. Concrete and steel would be the best materials to work with. Depending on the design of your yard, I would probably use re-bar'd concrete to a max-height of 3 1/2' all around with a steel "high-point" of approx. 8'.

    The lower concrete w/ steel would "bounce" a car away from your yard protecting your house. The upper steel would repel all but the most dedicated people trying to get into the yard.

    Next - fortify your house. Take the walls apart and reinforce the areas around the doors and windows. Use steel to re-case the doors and then support the new door-frames with the rest of the house. Insert 2x4's horizontally between the joists. Steel-frame the windows and again, make sure that they are fully joined with the house. Finally - install security bars - make them pretty so that the neighbours don't know what you are really doing. If I could suggest making "killer" bars that if someone attempts to get through anyway, a secondary bar system will automatically drop into place from above the window (inside) and settle into anything in its way. If someone's body is in the way, they will be impaled.

    Next - protect your house from outside fire. Replace the vinyl siding with aluminum siding, replace your shingles with a tin-roof.

    Finally - create your Bug-out-Zone. I would suggest practice going to and from your bug-out-zone regularly. Setup a camper with everything that you need to live comfortably for 1 week off the grid. That would include stored water, food, clothing, etc. In winter, your camper would be the place to goto in case of power outage or other problems. Practice camping in the back yard (summer and winter) as well as at your BOL (Bug out Location).

    For the medical problems - practice a self-imposed quarantine to keep yourself from catching whatever is going around.
  9. LiveFreeOrDie..

    LiveFreeOrDie.. Member

    Naekid, I like the way you think, but come on, that's not a minifortress, sounds more like a mini Cheyene Mountain, LOL.

    I do agree with the bug out zone idea if someone is able to manage it.
  10. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I live in a city of a million-plus. Yesterday we had a gang-shooting that killed one guy, seriously damaged two others and the Dodge Durango that they were in smashed through a wooden fence, into a backyard and ended up really close to a house. An hour later and the kids that reside at that house would have been home from school.

    The fortress idea is to keep those who have no regard for human life, away ..
  11. LiveFreeOrDie..

    LiveFreeOrDie.. Member

    just out of curiosity, just how hard would all that be to do living in Canada? also, how much cost are you talking about? after reading a post from another person that lives in Canada that paid $20,000 for a parking space, I imagine it would be expensive.
  12. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Depending on what the level is that you would want to do - it could get very expensive. I work for a metal fabrication shop where I have access to virtually all kinds of metal at cost - mill-cost. I also have access to alot of free metal from the scrap-bins and have my own equipment to put all that metal together (I have two welders, plus grinders, chop-saws, torches, etc) into wonderful shapes.

    I have friends in construction, so, I can use their influence and get contractor-grade pricing on materials - especially if I hire them to help with the projects.

    What it would end up costing me in materials will be totally different from what it would cost someone else without the same kind of contacts that I have. Doing the work wouldn't be bad - as long as the weather cooperates .. :eek:
  13. LiveFreeOrDie..

    LiveFreeOrDie.. Member

    sweet, having connections def helps!!
  14. ShaiserManelli

    ShaiserManelli Guest

    You could just pile up massive amounts of dirt on the sides of your house until it's a hill and then it will be fortified from a blast
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Seeker of Knowledge

    Hi and welcome to the play pen.. as you have read this site is not supposed to be the end all of info... but a place to ask questions of what you have learned and how it may apply or is it really the best idea .. So go surf the net gather info download pdfs. get ideas find things you need and then come back here kinda like your living-room, or garage Bs session.. when you invite friends to gather, and you throw out a idea to see what they think its the same here.. Some of the members are further along than others to reaching their goal. Some want to live off the grid. Others want be able to live off the grid when needed.. check out your K.S.A.s ( Knowledge skills and Abilities) Do you have more Money than skills of more Skills than Money .. Example do you have a BOL?? if you do can you fix up your house to be a better BOL . if you have the skills you are your own do it yourself er otherwise you need money to get these do it yourself projects done.. or use the money to upgrade your food closet and your meds meanwhile upgrade your skills to save yourself money.. so on and so on.. My advice is start with what you have and grow it to survive more longer .. Just make preparedness part of your life do not let it take over your life .. become self reliant and self sufficient..But let me add one last thing..Exspiriance just because you think you need it or was told you need it nothing beats using it or trying it, just do not get one and put it in a box..... use it, learn about it, you might want to get a better one or find out its junk when you need it.. It is no the time for learning and trying it out
  16. flylow

    flylow 40-year-old noob

    I'm new here, too, but I've found a lot of good information just by hanging around (lurking...).
    I'd say get your supplies together and include a can of spray paint for the front of your house like this guy did for his business during Katrina.
    Picasa Web Albums - David - Katrina
    I wouldn't try to go in there, just in case she really is ugly. :D That and I have an irrational fear of claw hammers wielded by other people.

    Joking aside, figure out what exactly you are planning for and write everything down. If you've got family be sure everyone else knows the plan and how to use the stuff. I won't help them if something happens to you as you are trying to get home through everyone else's foolishness.

  17. merlotmaker

    merlotmaker Guest

    Interesting, GunshowNick....I hadn't thought about suburban type cookie cutter homes in a SHTF situation but the majority of people seem to live in them these days so glad to have you open up a great topic. I haven't seen this topic on any other preparedness forums yet. Good thinkin'. You're right about the building on those homes----pretty crappy. Doesn't make sense.
  18. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    Naekid: What are your thoughts on windows?

    I have three ideas:

    1) Shatter-resistant sheeting which definitely prevents smash and grab burglaries and will protect your home against rising crime without taking away your natural lighting or making your home look like a fortress. I saw the stuff on It Takes A Thief on the Discovery Channel and it seems pretty tough for 4-5 good solid impacts, so it will stop a molitov cocktail from sailing through your window, too. However, I think a determined bad guy could smash out all the edges and corners and eventually get in.

    2) 1/8-1/4" Lexan sheeting over the outside of windows. I remember my high school had the old plexiglass windows after someone broke out several windows and they scratched really easily and tended to yellow in direct sunlight, but Lexan is stronger, more resistant to scratching and doesn't yellow as badly. It's tough enough to take a baseball bat with multiple strikes and if mounted and framed correctly, it's virtually indestructable. I have very few windows in my place, but cost would be an issue with a larger home with more windows. I also think it wouldn't look the best. It's not going to stand out like a sore thumb. However, unless you go to great trouble, you won't be able to open your windows and there's a serious risk when it comes to escaping from a fire unless you design some way to make them breakaway from the inside.

    3) Shutters. I remember reading Rawles' book and he mentioned 1/2" steel drop shutters with gun ports. Sorry, that ain't gunna cut it in my neighborhood. Also, unless you want to live in the dark, it only works when they're deployed. I think you could do something pretty strong with sheet metal covering 3/4" plywood mounted inside the window frames, but the light issue is a major issue for me. That means running more lights, which means I need more alternative energy.

    Any other thoughts?

    Re: a bug-out zone- I think the ideal situation would be going in with 3-4 (or more) families on a 10-35 acre piece of vacation property that can be developed to serve two purposes. First, it's a place to escape during the summers and enjoy the beauty of the a place far from the city with your family. Time at the property could be divied up like a time share and expenses could be shared in developing the property. I think it would be a good idea to buy a used shipping container and dig a big, well drained hole in the ground to put it in. Leave either one end open or cut a hole in the top and put a trap door in the cabin built over it and bury it to grade. The shipping container could serve two purposes: primarily storage for pre-staged supplies, but also a fallout shelter if it was designed with proper ventilation. Initially a small 12x16 tuffshed-style cabin could be constructed so families would have a place to stay on vacation. Eventually, you could add additional cabins or RV trailers until everyone has their own place.

    I think establishing one's self in the community, having supplies pre-staged before problems arrise, and getting a garden started would put one at a tremendous advantage over just showing up somewhere that you think is survivable and meeting your new neighbors in a time of unrest and chaos.

    This is an open invitation to PM me if you have an interest in doing something like this in Colorado. I think south central Colorado offers the best of all worlds when it comes to beauty, growing season, mild winters, remoteness, and price for land, but I'm very open to ideas that are within a few hundred miles of Denver.
  19. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about doing the shatter proof window thing. To keep bricks and rocks out if there's a riot.