Looking for suggestions/criticisms for my location/plans

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Gazrok

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Hello all,

As some here may know, my wife and I have a small ranch and we are planning to "bug in" for any SHTF scenario. Since one person can't think of everything, I'm looking for folks to weigh in on things. First, I'll show the layout (I know, I know, OpSec, but without showing you, I can't get good feedback). Also, not like I'm throwing up the address.

Then, I'll explain what the overall game plan is. Some of these preps are in place, some aren't yet, but all have their place in the timeline of the next 3 years. What I'm looking for is:

1) Weaknesses
2) Suggestions
3) Any other feedback

I may forget some things in the initial post, so may make additions as they are pointed out.

Thanks in advance.

Here's the place:

We are about 5 miles outside of town, and it's a town of about 30,000 people.

TheRanch-Fences.jpg


The yellow line is our property line and perimeter fencing. The light blue lines are interior fences.
F = Fruit trees, R = Rabbit hutches, V = Veggie Garden, G = Gas Storage, C = Chicken Coop

SECURITY

If the SHTF, one of my first goals will be using the chainsaw and felling some trees over the main road leading to us. (to prevent a bunch of vehicles coming through).

All the perimeter fencing is lined with trees, making it impossible to get a vehicle though, except for the roadside fence and the drive fencing. For these, I'm putting in posts every 3' to work as vehicle barriers (like you see in front of convenience stores, to prevent folks from plowing into the store).

The House is concrete block (as is the Garage, Shop, and Shed. The Stables (both) are wood and the Storage Trailer is basically an old semi trailer. The home with the orange colored fencing noted is a separate lot, our elderly neighbor, and a good friend (I include her in the preps, though we haven't discussed it much. She dismisses the need saying she's too old, but said if it all goes to hell, well she expects we'd likely use her place to keep her and others comfortable). Rosebushes grow under windows, which have security film. Outer doors are strong wood with deadbolts and top/bottom locks as well as kick-in plates. Slowly but surely, we're adding decorative (though functional) ironwork to the windows.

We have driveway sensors to alert us when someone comes up the drive, and a few security cameras (which we can access even with cell phones). Right now, this is more so we can really see who is here, than anything else... Also, motion sensor lighting throughout the ranch.

We have firearms, (pistols, rifles, shotguns), lots of ammo, and will be getting the equipment to make out own reloads. All family members and our survival group (those that will be coming here) know how to shoot. Two of our group are ex military. One is a current cop, and another is a former EMT.

Behind us is acres of open pasture (not ours). In a SHTF scenario, I have concrete blocks, concrete, rebar, and sandbags stored, that I can use to make sentry pillboxes to keep guards safe while on watch. These will be built in places to provide 360 degree monitoring of the perimeter. Most of the inner fences have an electric wire, though vs. people, this is really more of a nuisance than anything else. (though someone getting shocked will likely cry out and alert a sentry).

There is also going to be a small but secret (location) bunker on the ranch that can house us (cramped) in a pinch, but it is really more for fallout than anything else. (it will be concrete though, so like a saferoom too).

WATER

For water, we have a well, 3 rain barrels, 4 water tanks, and stocked bottled water, in addition to nearby fresh water sources. We will be switching the well to solar power, but also have a backup diesel generator for it. In the Backyard, we'll be adding a pool also (which can provide quite a bit of water for washing). Also a hot tub on the back porch that holds a bit of water we could use for washing.

FOOD

For food, we are adding chickens (C) next season (both meat and eggs), we have rabbits (R), and are growing fruit trees (F) and a vegetable garden (V) (the Garage hides it from the road). Also, by the front door, there is a small culinary/medicinal herb garden around a small koi pond. Around the house perimeter we grow other medicinals and some other fruits. We stockpile dried foods, spices, and prep materials and ingredients as well as a lot of home-canned veggies, fruits, meats, etc. Also home dehydrated foods. If the SHTF, we'd convert the Rear Pasture to a large garden (because you can't see it from the road). Pets will eat scraps, veggies, and fruit from trees (horses will graze on grass). We're specifically growing carrots, apples (yes, there are 4 kinds of apples you can grow in FL) , and lettuce, for example, to help feed particular animals.

MEDICINE

We've been stocking up on med supplies, and as mentioned, one of the team is a former EMT (and she's offered to train others if need be). We also grow medicinal herbs. One of our neighbor's rooms would be the infirmary. Our team member has access to good pro equipment.

POWER

Eventually, I'd like to go full solar, but that is beyond the 3 year plan. Until then, solar for the well will at least ensure running water. Also, diesel generators to try and keep the house cool, and the fridges and freezers cycling. The plan is to eventually get a kit and make biodiesel and use this in a SHTF scenario. We have Gas Storage drums (G), next to the Garage. In a SHTF scenario, we'll put up cinder block walls to make them more secure. We also have a wood fireplace, and a lot of stored firewood (from a downed tree we had to cut up)...so we can do some cooking and heating with this. We also store some propane.

TRANSPORTATION

We have 3 horses of our own, so that's a primary one. I have a diesel truck with multiple tanks that is ideal for using biodiesel. Also, we store diesel fuel. Our tractor is also diesel. We do store one drum of regular gas too (for the other truck and the lawn mower).

COMMUNICATION

We'll be adding HAM radios after we get licensed, but for now, (and even after) we also use small two-way radios for communicating on the ranch. (well, we currently use cell phones, but we've used the radios before). The trucks also have CB's, and the ranch has a CB to talk to the trucks. This is really more left over tech, but is functional.

TRADE ITEMS

Once things settle down, we hope to be able to barter with other survivors (even gangs if needed). One of our group is into brewing his own drink, and we could easily grow tobacco. Also, we could offer medical treatment and excess food/water for trade, biodiesel, and ammo reloads. I've posted before on how to do some safe trade, so no need to expound here on it.

SHELTER

All current residents keep their current rooms. We'll split up the shop and make half into another bedroom. Other group members have room in our neighbor's home. (should she change her mind, we can convert stalls in the main stable into actual rooms easily enough).

WASTE

We have a septic system for toilet needs (two if counting the neighbor's) but we're also adding a composting toilet to the stables, just because it will be nice to have one out there. In a SHTF scenario, we plan on driving a load of garbage some distance away, then burning it (at night). We don't want to advertise our presence right after.

I think I've covered most of it, but I'm sure I'm likely forgetting some things.
 

Gazrok

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None? I'm sure I've left some gaping hole somewhere....
 

Sbrosky1

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Simple suggestion. Unless you're offering an invititation, you might want to remove the map and layout.
 

Gazrok

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Simple suggestion. Unless you're offering an invititation, you might want to remove the map and layout.​
Seeing the layout is kind of necessary for the critique though. I did coverup the ranch name, however. Good suggestion.
 

Sbrosky1

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That will work too. I should have clarified which map. I meant the satellite version on the other. No harm. That was the onl loophole lol
 

Gazrok

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The real trick is what happens with the neighbor. (or after her). Chances are, no SHTF event until after she passes, and no idea what will happen to the house then as she has a few children.
Maybe then we'd be in a position to buy it, that would be good.
 

Sbrosky1

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Or get one of your prepper buds to buy it and move in. Security and safety in numbers
 

Gazrok

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There ya go, hehe.

May talk an inlaw into it at some point. She's looking to relocate. She's a shut-in anyhow, so shouldn't mind living in the country. ;)
 

ChancesR

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I dont see Cows or wooded area to hunt... you could solve that by making friends in the area with Cows or are Hunters with land... but you have a nice place so far
 

eireguy

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Man....that is nice.i wish i could pull something like that off.
 

eireguy

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Maybe some old crank field phones?looks like you've got the room for the wire:Dthat would save on batteries or even if you didnt talk on them if you got multiple sets you could use it as a quiet alarm system.put one in your op & if you see someone you just start cranking & everyone will know somethings up
 

Gazrok

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I dont see Cows or wooded area to hunt... you could solve that by making friends in the area with Cows or are Hunters with land... but you have a nice place so far​
No, I don't keep cows. My wife and I both work, so just our friend at the ranch who takes care of things for room and board, etc. Plus, our kids (both barely adults) help out when not working.
I love beef, but cows need a LOT of grazing area. If we ever get the land behind us, then maybe. There are nearby woods to hunt in. Plus, I see wild rabbits weekly here.


Man....that is nice.i wish i could pull something like that off.​
Thanks! It's a lot of money and upkeep, but living the dream you know? We have to work a lot to pay for it (and a lot of driving). Interesting idea on the crank phones. Never really heard of such things, but damn cool.
Obviously now, we all just use cell phones or the home phone (which has receivers in the shop, stables, garage workshop, etc.)
 

Gazrok

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http://www.armyradio.com/arsc/customer/home.php?cat=88 they use batteries[d cells] but only when you actually use them[ I can see by my post that it sounded like they took no battery].still it would cut down on the drain of a constant on source.there are a few models in the link
I looked them up when you mentioned it. Damn cool idea as a backup really, and often pretty cheap. Plus, I can run the cable with existing ones, so no biggie.
After a SHTF situation, and I clean out the planter/sentry stations, having such a radio in each would be a great idea.
Better yet, I could just store the equipment for now, only pulling out after a SHTF situation. (I'd go ahead and run the cables though, just to make it easier).
 

eireguy

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Just saw this
its a long range motion detector thst operates on murs freqs.they sell on amazon also
 

realisticdude

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Is that a power line to the rear of the property and then open pasture beyond ? Also describe the main road that leads to your driveway, traffic , how far off main hwy. ,how many neighbors, etc.... water being #1, I always suggest ( wwwdrillyourownwell.com) a shallow well with a hand pump is a QUIET backup and should be easy enough in Fla....In a worst case scenario , I would have a back door plan to get my truck QUICKLY to that open area behind your property , esp. after felling trees on the main road. Impossible to get a vehicle through also means you can't get out quickly , if need be.
 

Kenprep1979

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Hello all,

As some here may know, my wife and I have a small ranch and we are planning to "bug in" for any SHTF scenario. Since one person can't think of everything, I'm looking for folks to weigh in on things. First, I'll show the layout (I know, I know, OpSec, but without showing you, I can't get good feedback). Also, not like I'm throwing up the address.

Then, I'll explain what the overall game plan is. Some of these preps are in place, some aren't yet, but all have their place in the timeline of the next 3 years. What I'm looking for is:

1) Weaknesses
2) Suggestions
3) Any other feedback

I may forget some things in the initial post, so may make additions as they are pointed out.

Thanks in advance.

Here's the place:

We are about 5 miles outside of town, and it's a town of about 30,000 people.

View attachment 1467

The yellow line is our property line and perimeter fencing. The light blue lines are interior fences.
F = Fruit trees, R = Rabbit hutches, V = Veggie Garden, G = Gas Storage, C = Chicken Coop

SECURITY

If the SHTF, one of my first goals will be using the chainsaw and felling some trees over the main road leading to us. (to prevent a bunch of vehicles coming through).

All the perimeter fencing is lined with trees, making it impossible to get a vehicle though, except for the roadside fence and the drive fencing. For these, I'm putting in posts every 3' to work as vehicle barriers (like you see in front of convenience stores, to prevent folks from plowing into the store).

The House is concrete block (as is the Garage, Shop, and Shed. The Stables (both) are wood and the Storage Trailer is basically an old semi trailer. The home with the orange colored fencing noted is a separate lot, our elderly neighbor, and a good friend (I include her in the preps, though we haven't discussed it much. She dismisses the need saying she's too old, but said if it all goes to hell, well she expects we'd likely use her place to keep her and others comfortable). Rosebushes grow under windows, which have security film. Outer doors are strong wood with deadbolts and top/bottom locks as well as kick-in plates. Slowly but surely, we're adding decorative (though functional) ironwork to the windows.

We have driveway sensors to alert us when someone comes up the drive, and a few security cameras (which we can access even with cell phones). Right now, this is more so we can really see who is here, than anything else... Also, motion sensor lighting throughout the ranch.

We have firearms, (pistols, rifles, shotguns), lots of ammo, and will be getting the equipment to make out own reloads. All family members and our survival group (those that will be coming here) know how to shoot. Two of our group are ex military. One is a current cop, and another is a former EMT.

Behind us is acres of open pasture (not ours). In a SHTF scenario, I have concrete blocks, concrete, rebar, and sandbags stored, that I can use to make sentry pillboxes to keep guards safe while on watch. These will be built in places to provide 360 degree monitoring of the perimeter. Most of the inner fences have an electric wire, though vs. people, this is really more of a nuisance than anything else. (though someone getting shocked will likely cry out and alert a sentry).

There is also going to be a small but secret (location) bunker on the ranch that can house us (cramped) in a pinch, but it is really more for fallout than anything else. (it will be concrete though, so like a saferoom too).

WATER

For water, we have a well, 3 rain barrels, 4 water tanks, and stocked bottled water, in addition to nearby fresh water sources. We will be switching the well to solar power, but also have a backup diesel generator for it. In the Backyard, we'll be adding a pool also (which can provide quite a bit of water for washing). Also a hot tub on the back porch that holds a bit of water we could use for washing.

FOOD

For food, we are adding chickens (C) next season (both meat and eggs), we have rabbits (R), and are growing fruit trees (F) and a vegetable garden (V) (the Garage hides it from the road). Also, by the front door, there is a small culinary/medicinal herb garden around a small koi pond. Around the house perimeter we grow other medicinals and some other fruits. We stockpile dried foods, spices, and prep materials and ingredients as well as a lot of home-canned veggies, fruits, meats, etc. Also home dehydrated foods. If the SHTF, we'd convert the Rear Pasture to a large garden (because you can't see it from the road). Pets will eat scraps, veggies, and fruit from trees (horses will graze on grass). We're specifically growing carrots, apples (yes, there are 4 kinds of apples you can grow in FL) , and lettuce, for example, to help feed particular animals.

MEDICINE

We've been stocking up on med supplies, and as mentioned, one of the team is a former EMT (and she's offered to train others if need be). We also grow medicinal herbs. One of our neighbor's rooms would be the infirmary. Our team member has access to good pro equipment.

POWER

Eventually, I'd like to go full solar, but that is beyond the 3 year plan. Until then, solar for the well will at least ensure running water. Also, diesel generators to try and keep the house cool, and the fridges and freezers cycling. The plan is to eventually get a kit and make biodiesel and use this in a SHTF scenario. We have Gas Storage drums (G), next to the Garage. In a SHTF scenario, we'll put up cinder block walls to make them more secure. We also have a wood fireplace, and a lot of stored firewood (from a downed tree we had to cut up)...so we can do some cooking and heating with this. We also store some propane.

TRANSPORTATION

We have 3 horses of our own, so that's a primary one. I have a diesel truck with multiple tanks that is ideal for using biodiesel. Also, we store diesel fuel. Our tractor is also diesel. We do store one drum of regular gas too (for the other truck and the lawn mower).

COMMUNICATION

We'll be adding HAM radios after we get licensed, but for now, (and even after) we also use small two-way radios for communicating on the ranch. (well, we currently use cell phones, but we've used the radios before). The trucks also have CB's, and the ranch has a CB to talk to the trucks. This is really more left over tech, but is functional.

TRADE ITEMS

Once things settle down, we hope to be able to barter with other survivors (even gangs if needed). One of our group is into brewing his own drink, and we could easily grow tobacco. Also, we could offer medical treatment and excess food/water for trade, biodiesel, and ammo reloads. I've posted before on how to do some safe trade, so no need to expound here on it.

SHELTER

All current residents keep their current rooms. We'll split up the shop and make half into another bedroom. Other group members have room in our neighbor's home. (should she change her mind, we can convert stalls in the main stable into actual rooms easily enough).

WASTE

We have a septic system for toilet needs (two if counting the neighbor's) but we're also adding a composting toilet to the stables, just because it will be nice to have one out there. In a SHTF scenario, we plan on driving a load of garbage some distance away, then burning it (at night). We don't want to advertise our presence right after.

I think I've covered most of it, but I'm sure I'm likely forgetting some things.
i would change the doors out to steel doors . any door is penetrable but steel will hold up alot longer then hard wood. also amongst your firearms i noticed u didnt post any close combat weapons ! cutting and stabbing weapons or blunt force weapons i would definitely look into that for ammo will not always be available.
 

Gazrok

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Is that a power line to the rear of the property and then open pasture beyond ? Also describe the main road that leads to your driveway, traffic , how far off main hwy. ,how many neighbors, etc.
Yes, it's a power line, and yes, runs through the pasture behind us. The main road is about a mile and a half off the highway in each direction. I do have neighbors. The land to either side of me, both are about 5 acres (about 20 acres behind me). However, across the street, there are more double lot sized homes. (about a dozen different houses, then large ranches/farms on either side of that cluster).

i would change the doors out to steel doors
Would be a bit too much cost, though I'd like too. Down the road maybe.

water being #1,
We do have a manual way to access the well. I'd like to rig up a bicycle powered pump too, but that's further on the list.

i noticed u didnt post any close combat weapons
In addition to some actual combat ready swords, lots of knives, machetes, and farm implements that would really be nasty in close combat. The bigger challenge is getting everyone trained in how to USE them in such ways.
 

Gazrok

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The front doors are solid oak with a deadbolt and slide bolts in the top and bottom, and kickplates, though eventually, I would like to replace them with metal doors (when wet out, the doors swell, and can often get stiff to open). Still, I bet it would take some time, even with a police battering ram. Same with the side door. Of course, if someone chooses the side door, they have that deadbolt, then two more (storage room, then laundry room), before they actually get inside the main house. (so, bad choice).

The real vulnerability is the glass doors in the back porch/mancave area. Though they have security bars, and security film (and alarms), I'm still not comfortable with them in a SHTF scenario. I think I'd simply concrete block them up in that case, at least at present. The back porch's "walls" are a pretty flimsy affair from a security standpoint, as is the door, but not too much of "portable" value out there. (doubt anyone is making off with my fridge or pool table).
 

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