If you have badly needed supplies, expect veterans with military skills to be trying to take them.
Have 2 guards at each watch point at all times that change randomly.
bowls to draw for shift lengths daily, so shifts change randomly and are not
easy to predict. The Dark Outlook could become a reality.
First Step - Know the building floor plan, and all possible entry points in order to secure them. Building maintenance and long-term residents can provide great insight on this.
- Front Door
- Back Door
- Fire Escape Doors, ladders, etc.
- Parking Garage Door
- Receiving Door
- Basement Door
- Roof Entry
Most likely your entry points will be all you need to watch but also have a Rapid Deployment Team just in case a roving gang or homeless group is trying to break in. In most cases, seeing several armed Guards, will deter them from advancing any further.
As an extra precaution, you might include a few strategic long distance vantage points for early warnings to see things like this (gangs) coming. But more complex security may become necessary, so it is good to know how to develop and implement a plan. Be sure to put needed security measures in place before it is too late.
Step Two - develop a written building Security Plan, with other trusted, mature, (armed) residents, who will be known as the Security Leaders, except for a few, who will remain confidential Security Leaders. They will discretely infiltrate the neighborhood to hear and report any concerns, objections or possible uprisings, that might put the building resident's safety at risk. You never know how bad it might get, so plan for the worst. With any Neighborhood Watch Plan, diplomacy & democracy is critical, and it is good to partner with other buildings in your area.
The plan should include different versions. A Members Version that you plan to share with all residents in a time of crisis, so have sufficient copies printed in advance. This version should include limited details, such that copies falling into the wrong hands will not be devastating. You might issue one copy per floor, clearly identified, possibly with a large watermark ("FLOOR 2"), or a serial number, so any recovered copies can be traced to their source. This will be primarily an introduction and a sign-up sheet.
On this Members Version, let the members know that: "We need a security plan to protect us, and your assistance will be important. The plan should include a 24-7 security watch to help achieve our objective, which is to ensure the building residents are safe."
"All able-bodied adults will be asked to assist."
It is probably best to read this to the members at a security meeting, before passing out copies
Advise any who express objections, that "Your participation may be nothing more than watching the street from your window" (which would be a strategic vantage point like a corner apartment might offer), ... "or sitting on the Lobby Sofa & alerting us if anyone tries to get in." If they continue to object, advise that .... "We won't ask anyone to do something they can't do" ... and move on. If they don't see a need for security, advise "we respect your opinion, but that cannot stop those of us who feel that having security is important.... after all, it's better to have one and not need it, than to need one and not have it." ... and move on. Your Confidential Security Leaders should identify these objectors and arranged to talk with them further after the meeting to determine how strong their objections are & if they represent a threat, or may call the law.
"Points of entry will be watched to ensure the safety of everyone and we will call 911 if anyone threatens our safety."
"Now I'd like to open the floor to questions, after which we will ask for a volunteer from each floor to be the Floor Leader. Their job will be to listen to the concerns of the floor residents and help address them. If there are more than one volunteers from a floor, the floor residents will vote for them confidentially via a secret ballot. But first let's answer some questions."
Open the floor to questions, answer a few generically, disclosing only what you have said above, and that: "The Floor Leaders will be involved in the decision process of what and how we do things. We won't know what all that will include until the floor leaders meet."
"If the vote is to not have a security plan/team, then so be it. I'm well-armed and can protect my place. This was really an effort to protect the others and our building." Then pass out the Members Plan / Volunteer Signup sheet to list their name, apartment number & optional phone number (nothing else). You may also consider individual floors having security, and others not having it. You can publish a list of floors that have security guards. When the uncooperative floors see this, they may decide to join; if so, be careful / reluctant to accept what could prove to be trouble makers. A small team is better than a larger cancerous team.
Ideally you have already identified and asked someone you trust from each floor to volunteer.
Select the Floor Leaders and move on to a smaller scale meeting. Any further questions, will be answered by the Floor Leaders, after we meet and figure out the details.
Your Floor Leader meeting will be to re-emphasize there is NO Hidden Agenda. The only objective is to ensure the safety of the building residents. CAN WE AGREE ON THIS? It is okay if we disagree on the best way to do this, but as reasonable people, we should be able to come up with a plan that we can ALL Support as a team.... even if we individually thought there was a better way. We can always fine tune it as needed.
Our goal at this meeting is not to make a plan, but rather to agree on this. After which we will go meet with the residents of our floors, hear their concerns, and then meet again to develop a plan that meets our objective and that considers their concerns. I'd like to schedule this planning meeting at:.. Day / Time / Place.
On a building this size, you could have two at each corner if risk was high, and still have residents only watching a few hours per week.
Have four bowls, one for each corner, with a number for each floor to randomly draw who works the next shift. Once drawn, your name/number doesn’t go back in the bowl for X days.
Your Confidential Version(s) will include critical, highly confidential, security details that are not shared in its entirety. Only limited, need to know, details are shared as needed to develop and execute the plan. Do not even show them to the Floor Leaders. So, let's talk about what our plan should include:
- Several Teams: Command Post (Base); Guard Posts, Listening Posts, Rapid Deployment, Scouts, and Support Teams.
- Watch the surrounding area from a high vantage point Guard Post, so you can see what is coming for a long way. This might be from the corner of a parking garage where you can see up and down two streets, in both directions. It might include looking out windows of a corner apartment, or from the roof, or a combination of these. You need to be watching all avenues of approach to see if Rioters / Looters are approaching. Work in pairs, and change the pairings every few days. A parking garage floor, just below the top one, gives you cover (vs just concealment), from shooters above in higher buildings.
- Randomize all guard details so they are not predictable. The biggest weakness of any security plan is predictability. Have layered security with backups to support the front-line security personnel, or cover for them during a retreat.
- While cell phones may work, it is good to have radios for communication. They make good Christmas Gifts. The number needed will depend on the size and complexity of the building being secured. I would say that 6 to 50 might be required. You will need one for each Guard Post, with two guards, one for the Command Post, then possibly three for the Rapid Deployment Team, two for a Scout Team and a few extras.
- Have some means for Intruder Detection. It may be security cameras with someone watching them (Command Post), motion detectors, trip wires, or motion detecting lights in hall ways, stair ways, around the facility and near entrance ways. Having dogs on the ground floor running the hall ways, or stairways may be a good idea. Allow residents with manageable dogs to have them at their Guard Post or Scout Team, except at Listening Posts.
- Secure the elevators, so they are not accessible on floors that would be easy to breech. If under attack, stop them from running, unless temporarily released and supervised by security at both the pickup floor and drop off floor.
- Building entry may be limited to existing residents for security purposes, depending on how severe the threat is outside. Permitting any new people to enter poses a risk to all residents. Keep a list and photo of any who are allowed to enter / stay, and maybe even residents who will be in the building. Any people inside or seeking entry who are not recognized should be photographed, questioned and their residence confirmed by sending their picture to the Command Post.
- Have a Rapid Deployment Team that can respond to security alerts, but never send more than 1/3, because it could be a decoy. In fact, it may be good to send another 1/3 to the opposite side where a sneak attack is most likely to occur after a diversion.
- Have Guard Posts at strategic locations that provide security without stressing your available resources. This may include entry points strategic and vantage points. Locations within sight of each other and that can help guard each other are ideal.
- Have a Listening Post at locations where you can hear what is going on. This usually is a hidden position near where heavy foot traffic occurs, but could simply be hanging out at a bus or rail station, city park, corner store or any place nearby where people gather and talk. Your people doing this, should dress appropriately and not allow outsiders to connect them with your building. Ideally don't let them connect you with a team mate who is also present; It should appear that you two don't know each other, or are only acquaintances in time. Don't travel together, unless the risk from being alone is high.
- Glass doors & windows can be broken, especially on the first floor, but 2nd floor windows and those near other buildings could also be at risk. If you were trying to break in, where might you try?
- Audit and inspect your security system or the bad guys may do it for you.
Below is what the planned staffing might include on every shift, 6 shifts total, first, second and third shift, 3 days on, 4 days off, followed by four days on, 3 days off.
- Two guards at each Guard Post entry point; for our example, let's suppose we have two entry points, so 4 guards per shift with 2 radios required.
- Two (or 4) guards at each of 4 corners of the building looking out a window. 8 guards per shift with 4 radios required.
- One Rapid Deployment Team with 6 (minimum), 9, 12 or 15 guards, divisible by three, so they can deploy to threats in two places and still have reserve resources. 6 guards with 3 radios required, never in less than groups of 2 with 1 radio per group. If this group is needed, having a radio is essential for each pair.
- One Scout Team of 4 for patrolling / scouting around the building in a diamond formation (see Security Drills). 4 guards, with 2 radios required, never in less than groups of 2 with 1 radio per group.
- Two guards at two Listening Posts, stationed randomly in different discrete areas around the building to hear people talking without being aware they are being heard. 4 guards, with 4 radios required. 1 Radio per person, since they are remote, we need redundancy in case batteries die, etc.
- Two guards at two random vantage points, like a parking garage, across the street, or some place they can see what is going on well. 4 guards with 4 radios. 1 Radio per person, since they are remote, we need redundancy in case batteries die, etc.
- Two Security Team Leaders at the Command Post. 2 guards with 2 radios required. They may need to be communicating with two different groups simultaneously, hence 2 radios. They should also keep the extra one, that can be deployed where/when needed via the support team.
- One Support Team to assist the other teams as needed. Need 1 per 10 guards, with 1 radio each. The Support Team will deliver supplies to the teams, give breaks, etc. but also serve to check their readiness. If they can walk up to a team and not be seen, the team has just failed miserably.
Here are some example security teams:
Minimum Security, entry points only + 1 guard at a command post. Total guards per shift = 5, with 3 radios. Probably best to have 6 radios, three in use, and three on charging. With 6 Shifts as above, this would require 30 Guard Volunteers.
Heavy Security guards per shift = 4 + 8 + 6 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 2 = 32 per shift + 3 support (1/10) for a total of 35 guards per shift in this example, with 24 radios (ideally) calculated as: 2+4+3+2+4+4+2+3. With 6 Shifts, this would require 195 volunteers. This seems like a lot, and it is, but if you partner with some neighboring buildings to form a Neighborhood Watch, you will secure a lot more area, share the burden, and have a larger, stronger defense team. A risk of large teams, especially with unknown members, is that it is easier for an outsider to infiltrate your team, without anyone realizing it. Having some kind of Photo ID check system is advisable, and/or have everyone from each floor / building report to work at the same time, together to ensure they know each other.
Obviously, you must adjust this planning for your building needs which will likely be somewhere in between, and to have 24 radios in use, you need 25 to have a spare, with 25 available to use, and another 25 to be on charging. Area businesses may be willing to provide the radio's or supplies if you also help protect their businesses.
Ideally each guard will have a handgun, but that is unlikely. Priorities on Guns are given first to the Rapid Response Team, then one at each guard station. But no gun confiscations in any form or fashion. Then guns, as available to the Scout Team and other guard stations.
In the early stage, concealed carry should be the only guns present. You don't want your neighbors calling the police on you. Once stories of raiding gangs gets out and the police are over loaded, then open carry and ARs might be more acceptable, possibly even a welcome sight for some. But think about this. Two masked bandits have broken your home window and crawled in. You see one has a gun, and one doesn't. When your life is threatened, who will you shoot first?
Having enough radios will be difficult, but okay if cell phones are working. Low cost Whistles can be helpful to communicate and call for help. Having enough guns will be a challenge, and if things stay bad for long, Ammo will run out. So, a good question to ask now: How much Ammo do I need?
In a worst-case scenario, there will be plenty of guns in the hands of dead people who ran out of Ammo. Let's hope it never comes to this, but the point is that lots of Ammo is important. A bow and arrows is an excellent stealthy weapon in the right hands; especially when the ammo runs out.
If we are shooting a gun, every 10 seconds... that is bang, thousand one, thousand two, thousand three, thousand four, thousand five, thousand six, thousand seven, thousand eight, thousand nine, thousand ten, bang.
Hopefully you get the point that this is a very slow ammo usage rate, but over time it is a lot of ammo. This is 6 shots per minute, 360 per hour, and 2,880 in an 8-hour shift.
So, the question(s) now is how much ammo do you have, how long would it last at a low usage rate like this, and how much do you need to buy?
And there are other things that we need, like First Aid supplies including a trauma kit. Other things to consider might be suggested by the Rule of 3 which says:
You can die in:
- 3 seconds without security;
- 3 minutes without air;
- 3 hours without shelter (in hostile weather);
- 3 days without water &
- 3 weeks without food.
Follow the blue links above (and below) for more information, especially about food and water which we haven't covered here.
Last but not least, know your local and state laws on self-defense. In States without a Castle Doctrine, or Stand Your Ground rights, if a gang breaks into your home, you are legally obligated to retreat and let them have whatever they want. Apparently, some states respect the rights of criminals, more than they respect the rights of their citizens.