5 Critical Steps To Defend Your Homestead in a SHTF Scenario

5 Critical Steps To Defend Your Homestead in a SHTF Scenario

Electricity, heat, and running water are things many of us take for granted, but the truth is all of those things are extremely vulnerable weaknesses in terms of attack.

The grids are aging, slowly being overworked by increasing populations, and are under constant risk of physical and cyber attack, both of which occur more often than any of us would care to know.

According to a recent report by Crowdstrike, China is now ahead of Russia as the biggest state sponsor of cyber attacks on the west, and are using increasingly sophisticated and complicated measures to hack into government departments to steal information and breach cyber defenses.

This means that the risk of a grid down scenario as a result of China or any other foreign adversary is greatly amplified in contrast to only a few years before. And while you may believe that you’ll be safe in your homestead out in the rural areas far from any major cities, the truth is that you’re still just as vulnerable to armed marauders and raiding parties that will arise out of a grid down situation. And you must be prepared to defend your property, family, and supplies at all costs.

In today’s article, we are going to discuss the top five ways of defending your homestead against attack if the grid was to go down and some unconventional methods to survive.  

1 – Make Sure You Have Adequate Supplies

The first action item is simple, you can’t fight, or survive for that matter, without enough food and water.

Defending let alone maintaining a homestead requires a lot of energy, so you will need enough calories and enough water to stay hydrated in the event the grid were to collapse, and your homestead was besieged.

Food and water requirements vary based on the situation and how many people aside from yourself you’ll be responsible for providing for.

A good rule of thumb is one gallon of water, and 2,000 calories worth of food is enough to stay healthy and have the energy to tend to chores and fight should it come down to it.

You may want to collect BPA free 55 gallon drums to store water in. You can also use the same drums to store freeze-dried and preserved foods as well. Bury or stow a few drums in the local vicinity with things like medicine and clothing, ammunition and weapons, batteries and other necessary equipment you may think of between now and then.

2 – Build An Arsenal

Security is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining a homestead. Things won’t be pretty if the worst comes to worst and if you have something, somebody will want to take it from you. You need to have the means to defend yourself.

Consider buying a few long guns, such as a few rifles with optics and a few shotguns. Handguns are essential for fighting indoors and carrying covertly so you’ll want to have a few of those stashed throughout the homestead as well, but they are also backup weapons and rifles (specifically semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines) should be considered your primary weapons for a grid down.

Shotguns are excellent weapons for homesteads because they’re simple to operate, there is a variety of ammunition you can choose from as well as the shells being lightweight so you can carry a lot of them.

Rifles are important because you will need a high-velocity weapon you can defend with from a distance. Along with optics, make sure the weapon has a pair of iron sights as well.

While scopes and red dot sights are very helpful, they can be knocked out of zero fairly easily. Iron sights are easy to adjust and still offer the ability to engage the enemy from a distance. In other words, try to invest in rifles that also have iron sights built into them, so you have the option.

Consider a bolt action rifle over semi-automatic rifles. Some semi-automatic rifles have more moving parts that can get dirty or break, whereas most bolt action rifles have simple mechanisms that require little maintenance and have few moving parts. However, you can’t go wrong with rifles such as the AR-15, which can take nearly any kind of beating and should be a mainstay in any SHTF arsenal.

Handguns are small and come in a variety of calibers. You can choose them based on personal preference. Just have a supply of +P load ammunition for its stopping power and regular wadcutters to have a surplus. If you have one handgun, always make sure to carry another along with it.

One thing that is worthy of note is that in addition to investing in defensive firearms, you should also invest in a quality safe to store them in. The reason for this is because if you are ever forced to evacuate your home, even if it’s out in a rural area, having a safe will at least help keep them protected from any intruders who could break their way into an empty house.

3 – Have a Back-Up Source of Power

Once the electrical grids go down, be it an electromagnetic pulse, cyber attack, natural disaster; the odds are the lights won’t be coming back on anytime soon. You will need a source of back-up power.

There are a few ways to go if you want to have sustainable electricity. You can choose renewable resources such as geothermal electricity, portable solar panels, or wind power.

It’s worth keeping in mind replacement parts will be scarce. You will need the tools to fix your power generators when they inevitably break, and a means to acquire more fuel if you have a propane or diesel generator.

4 – Have Multiple Structures On The Homestead

It’s good to have more than one structure on your homestead for a few reasons. The first is it gives you multiple defensive positions instead of one, allowing you to potentially have people posted in different buildings in order to amplify your defenses.

Furthermore, having a shed built on your property is an excellent way to have extra storage space as well. Converting a shed into a defensive structure is also very simple. For example, you can place sandbags behind the windows and doors, and lining walls with metal plating. Sand and large sheets of scrap metal are cheap, and you can find suitable sheds to serve as a defendable secondary home if you need to.

A 20’x10’ shed with windows can be cheaply converted into a bunker if you have the right terrain and think outside the box with your designs, you will want 360-degree defense with the high ground whenever possible.   

5 – Always Have An Escape Plan

An escape plan can range from something as simple as stashing a few Go Bags in places you can get to in case you need to run, or something as advanced as a secret tunnel you can use to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible.  

This action item is entirely dependent and subjective based on what you have to work with. If you want a quick way to escape, have more than one way off the homestead, if you want a place to hole up, put a basement under your shed and tunnel from there. You’re only limited by your imagination.


The notion of the grid collapsing is a menacing though, everything we know would change in an instant. Though it is scary, having a place to call home helps, but remember you have a responsibility to defend it if you start it because lives, including yours, may depend on planning and preparing your homestead in advance.

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Sam Bocetta is a former defense contractor for the U.S. Navy and freelance journalist. He specializes in writing about defense contracting, firearms, defense, cyber warfare, cryptography, and cyber defense. He is currently working as a part-time cybersecurity coordinator.
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