Guest Post: Prepare Your Home with Purposeful Fences

All fences should have a purpose.Nothing is as quintessential to an ideal American home as a knee-high white picket fence. They’re nostalgic, charming touches that can make a house feel like the American dream. Of course, fences can be a pleasant decorative touch to any home. But despite how great a fence looks, what purpose does it serve an unwanted guest is able to step above it to access a resident’s property?

It is every prepper’s goal to make their home and family safe no matter what happens, and a fence that provides actual security is always preferable to one that’s only worth appearances. And when families have to abandon their homes during emergencies, a home’s fence is practically the only meaningful barrier between your property and opportunistic looters. Here are three ideas that every prepper can benefit from the next time they’re on the market for a new home, or want to have a new fence installed on their property:

  1. Incorporate security features

A security system is only as strong as its weakest link. By integrating security features in your fence design, you can avoid helping invaders exploit your system. Foremost, a lockable gate is necessary for a fence to be effective. Keeping security cameras out of reach with your fencing can help prevent anyone obscuring or destroying them. Installing motion sensors just behind fencing can help hide them from unsuspecting invaders. This is crucial since common motion sensing technology − such as pyroelectric infrared radial sensors – are usually calibrated to not account for lower angles where pets might roam.

  1. Make it the right height

A fence of the right height is necessary in preparing your home’s defense for various reasons; the most obvious is to keep people from easily climbing and bypassing them. A fence should be six feet at a minimum if a homeowner wants a fence to be practical for this purpose. An additional way that a fence can benefit your security is by disclosing your property and certain security features. Homes which advertise their wealth with empty boxes for expensive electronics and windows with clear views to entertainment centers tend to advertise the family’s wealth. You’ll also be concealing when people come and go, and when your house is vacant – another tantalizing signal for would-be crooks.

  1. Choose the best materials

Depending on your preferences, there are a few things to consider in the fence’s construction. In terms of affordability and ease of installation, few options beat metal wire fencing. However, these aren’t the best aesthetic choice for those who aren’t willing to fully compromise function for form. They’re also highly transparent, which defeats one of the security purposes of a fence. For more traditional options, any sturdy termite-resistant wood or thick vinyl can work well. Fences can also be treated and modified to be fire resistant and flood proof, which are worthwhile additions if you live in areas prone to wildfires or floods.

What do you think matters when it comes to fencing for your property? What other features would you suggest on making your home more safe and sustainable in case of an emergency situation?

About the author:

Naomi Broderick is a full-time mother who finds time to pursue writing when she isn’t juggling the daily duties of family life. She currently writes about home protection. She is a dedicated prepper who enjoys sharing and learning with others online in order to create a household that can withstand whatever the world has to offer.

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/almostjaded/1465022839/

Dog on the Run

This dog has no collar and has dug a trench in this man's yard.  It costs him time, money and effort to fix it.  Irresponsible dog owners remove collars to prevent dogs from being identified.
This dog has a collar and has dug a trench in this man’s yard. It costs him time, money and effort to fix it. Many irresponsible dog owners remove collars to prevent them from being identified as the dog’s owner.

Farmers have an issue in common with small towns and large cities.  Stray dogs running lose without proper supervision by their owners.  In communities and countrysides all over the world people have come to blows with neighbors over stray dogs.  This has been a problem as long as dogs have been domesticated.

As you read this article, bear in mind that not only do we have livestock, we have three dogs and two cats.  We love our pets.  But they are required to remain on property at all times and under our supervision at all times.

Dog owners who allow them to run loose are responsible for the actions of their dogs just the same as they are responsible for their children and in the same way employers are responsible for their employees.  Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t care because they think the property damaged or the livestock and poultry killed will never be traced back to the dog owner.

Irresponsible dog owners also have a notion that “dogs should be dogs” and be allowed to run free.  That is absolutely not true, and they don’t believe it themselves.  How do we know this?  Because you can bet they have house broken their dogs and taught them how to live within the human environment with acceptable behaviors in the family home.  These owners simply don’t care about anyone else’s property or well being.

The overriding theme here is that these particular dog owners do not respect the property of others and believe they are immune to the law.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter where you live, you see this behavior in all places of the world.

For city dwellers, you have recourse of the law.  It is illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits in almost every city in the country, except in the dire need of self-defense.  Cities are slow to react to complaints about unsupervised dogs and do it in increments only after many steps by the property owner, or after serious injury or death of a person.  Farmers, who live outside city limits are allowed to protect their property, family and livestock in the same manner.  Farmers don’t have to wait for the dog to actually do anything to take preventative measures.

All too often we hear of a farmer trying to be “nice” and “agreeable” with their irresponsible dog owning neighbors when trying to settle the matter permanently.  This is usually ineffective in most cases and allows a bad situation to get worse.

Think of it like this, the neighbor is doing wrong by allowing his dog to run loose onto your property to tear things up, dig holes for people and livestock to turn an ankle in or to have lawn mowers fall in, and then wander off to your cattle lot or chicken pen to see what’s for fun or dinner.  Dogs will chase cattle until they die.  The owner doesn’t care, but also bets that you will never shoot his dog for fear of possible repercussions.  After all, he isn’t going to be the big mean person who shot a poor defenseless dog, as he tells this to every neighbor and the sheriff.  You can see it now can’t you?  Them all talking and shaking their heads to the shame of your senseless act?

Shooting an owner-less stray predatory dog is the absolute right thing to do because you can’t stop the dog yourself with out risking your own life or limb.  Choosing to use anything less than a lethal attempt is ineffective.  Using a B-B gun, pepper spray, rock salt, or paint balls only teaches the dog to check to see if the person who uses those things is on the property.

If the dog really wants what you have, he will watch and wait for you to leave and then go after it.  Also, many dogs will tear up your fence, barn, or chicken coop to get inside.  Don’t believe that?  Think about what a male dog will do to get into an enclosure of a female in heat.  A family member had a dog in heat, so while they were at work they put it in the closed garage. They came home to find their garage destroyed by male dogs trying to get to the female.  Which they did, and she was no where to be found since she got away because the double car sized door was destroyed.  How much more will it do to get a meal to survive or feed it’s puppies?

Next, you don’t know for sure if the dog on your property is a healthy neighbor’s dog or a wild dog that could be infected with any disease or parasite.  Actually, you don’t really know if the neighbor’s dog is healthy because irresponsible dog owners may not practice good veterinarian care either.  Using non-lethal force on a wild or sick dog might get you sick, injured or dead too.

Using pepper spray will cause the animal to salivate in great amounts.  I would not want a rabid or otherwise sick dog salivating all over my property to spread his infection to my pets or any animal that might encounter it and then spread it to my livestock or me.  Just because a dog doesn’t look sick does not mean it’s healthy.

Once a dog has found great entertainment or something yummy and exciting to eat, he will return, time and time again unless the dog owner takes action or the property owner does.

One way to prevent battles with neighbors over dogs is to send a certified letter to all neighbors notifying them that you have had trouble with a dog harassing or killing your livestock or poultry, or is menacing to your family, or damaging your property, and that you are going to use every legal means necessary to protect your investment, including killing the dog.  For some reason, using economic terms gets their attention and they pay attention.  Since they have signed for the certified mail they can not ever clam they did not know their dog was an issue.

This letter could also include a price list of your livestock should their dog damage or kill it.  Reasonable prices would include money spent, time, and future loss of the animal and future products from that animal.  So if the neighbor’s dogs run your prize milk cow to death, not only do they owe you for the vet bills and disposal of the animal, they also owe for the purchase price of the cow, and the loss of milk and calf production over the life of that cow.   Why?  Because now you have to start over investing time and money for a new milk cow and calves.

As you can see, the dollar amounts are now quite large.  When the dollar amount is presented to the irresponsible dog owners, they are suddenly motivated to keep their dogs home.  You can’t be where all of your livestock is all the time, but your security camera can.  Having images captured by your high definition security camera of the dog in the act will go a long way towards getting them to settle out of court and persuade law enforcement officers, county commissioners, or city council members to enforce the law.

Preppers and Veterinarians

Preppers and Veterinarians Make a Good Team.While prepping, most of us make sure we have enough supplies for our family, including furry friends.  That supply of pet meds and animal food is important to the well being of the whole family.  Dog and cats will bring in fleas and ticks, among other parasites if left untreated.  So, what about the relationship between a preppers and veterinarians?

Some animal parasites can be transferred to people, a lesson very well learned from watching Animal Planet’s “Monster Inside Me”.  Perhaps someone to have on your prepper team is the local veterinarian.  Even the American Veterinary Medical Association agrees having a veterinarian during an apocalypse is a good idea.  While veterinarians are best trained for the zombie apocalypse, they can transfer those skills over to any other doomsday event.

From their website:

Now, under normal circumstances, of course, we would never recommend that a veterinarian treat a human, but in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, well … physicians might be hard to come by, governing boards and malpractice laws are out the window, and if one of your party is bleeding to death, a veterinarian just might give that person the best chance of survival.
It makes sense.  The article is entertaining, but still practical in a quirky way.  Finish reading it here.