Are You Afraid of The Dark? You Should Be.
As preppers we have a million things to consider, food, water, shelter, power, self-defense etc. But sometimes we overlook what it will actually be like living in the dark in a SHTF scenario or an extended grid down event. It’s hard for us to understand how dark it will actually be if the only source of light around the country is the moon.
Most of us have the basic preparations for an off the grid event (hopefully) but what about those who don’t? What are the unprepared going to do when the sun goes down and they are basically left in the dark? And what are we doing to prepare for when those with nothing come to take what we have.
We all know that only after a few days people will start to become desperate, as soon as they figure out that FEMA was set up to maintain governmental integrity and not to help the citizens, or as soon as they see that they can get what they need by just taking it we are in for the fight of our lives.
If someone wants something bad enough, and has the means to get it, there is not much we can do about it other than get out of the way and live to fight another day. There are some things however that we can do to make it a little harder, or make them think twice about how easy a target we are.
It Takes a Thief To Catch a Thief
We have all heard the saying “it takes a thief to catch a thief” and that is because it is true. If we want to defend ourselves we need to think like the intruder, we need to think about thing the way they do. Most thieves want to get in and out with the least resistance or when the target is most vulnerable, and with the cover of night they can basically see you without you being aware of their presence.
In a SHTF scenario there will be plenty looting, rioting and violence in the daylight, but there is a bigger threat looming. The “good” thieves will not be in this group, the “good” thieves will be sitting back waiting for their opportunity…darkness.
Because thieves want to take the path of least resistance they are not looking at looting a Walmart as an opportunity, there are far too many people and too many problems that could arise. What they are doing is sitting back, calculating a plan and deciding what the easiest way to get what they need is. Hopefully you are not in their devious plans, and if you are hopefully you are ready for them.
Light Travels Long Distances
If you have ever been camping you know that when the sun goes down it gets VERY dark and quiet, you can see the light from a small flashlight for miles with a clear line of sight. If no one for miles around has power except for you, you stick out like a sore thumb and you are now a target.
A thief is thinking that if you have the ability to have light in your home at night, what else do you have that they might need.
Cover Your Windows
Do whatever you can to trap the light inside your home, even if you only plan on using a few candles or a lantern you do not want that to become a beacon for the thieves to follow.
You can cover your windows with black visqueen or even black trash bags to keep the light in. You will probably want the ability to open the windows during the day time for ventilation depending on where you live, so you’ll have to get a little creative with this. Yet another great use for duct tape.
When the sun goes down normal people sleep, and this creates a perfect opportunity for thieves. Just like light, sound will be amplified if there is no other sounds to drown it out. Generators can be loud, and although some are quieter than others you can hear a cricket fart in dead silence, so any generator is going to put out some amount of sound.
Try to have a small battery bank set up to at least give you the watt hours you need to get you through the night without having to use the generator until daylight. The size of your battery bank will vary depending on how much you need to use it. If you are unsure exactly how to set up a battery bank you might want to listen to the survival podcast episode 1039.
Night vision could level the scales when it comes to unwanted visitors at night, remember a predator or thief will have cased you out and know when and how to get what they want from you. It’s quite possible that these thieves will have night vision, so why not have your own way of seeing in the dark.
Most of us think of night vision goggles as expensive and something only hunters and the military uses, but the truth is you don’t need to spend $1,000 on night vision goggles, all you need is the ability to see something moving on your property. With technology getting better there is more availability and options than ever. You can even use night vision toys to fulfill your needs.
There is nothing worse that hearing a noise outside and not being able to see what it is. Even if it is just an animal or the wind blowing, if you can’t see anything your mind starts playing tricks on you and you begin thinking about the worst case scenario…but what if it is?
Stay Inside at Night
This should be common sense but you see it all the time, people just don’t understand the dangers of going out in the middle of the night, especially in a grid down situation. Do whatever you need to do in the daylight, and do whatever it takes to stay inside your home when the sun goes down.
Nothing Good Ever Happens After Midnight
As I get older this saying makes more sense than ever. Normal people who are working all day are basically warn out and need to rest, but this is when the thieves will be getting ready for business. Hiding under the cover of night, a person who is willing to harm you to get what they want is more likely to do so if no one can see them do it.
Secure your perimeter
I wrote a post in the past about securing your home and this is exactly why it is important. Having an alarm that will alert you when someone enters your property could give you valuable time to ready yourself, whether that be retreating or defending yourself.
Remember that in a grid down situation you will not have electricity so you will need other means to power a perimeter alarm, these could be from solar powered, powered by a battery bank or even booby traps.
Know thy neighbor
It is always good to know who your neighbors are and whether they stand with you or against you. Hopefully your neighbors will understand why sticking together is so important, and hopefully your neighbor is not one of those people waiting for the sun to go down.
Whatever the situation you need to know who you are dealing with, get to know your neighbors now and assess whether they are a risk or a benefit to your security. You don’t need to go over and tell them all of your plans and concerns, but feel them out and create a relationship with them.
Keep your mouth shut
The most important security measure you can take daytime, nighttime or anytime for that matter is KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. You don’t want to advertise how well prepared you are for a grid down event.
Even if you know your neighbors really well hold your cards close to your vest, you never know how someone is going to react when they become desperate.
The more you say about your situation the more likely the word is going to get out that you are a perfect target. Even if you are talking to someone you trust you never know if someone is listening over their shoulder to your conversation, and you never know who that person is likely to tell in the future.
Prepare To Survive
Not only is it important to have the supplies you need to survive any sort of grid down event, it is just as important to protect what you have stored. So when I say you should be afraid of the dark, I don’t mean shoot anything that moves, I just mean that you don’t need to go in blind.
Preparing to defend yourself during the daylight will be hard enough, but if you can defend yourself at night you increase your odds even just a little.