Zombies. Nuclear war. Meteor strike. The apocalypse has many forms, but there is one consistent feature regardless of the way it strikes: your survival. Whether you have to fight off hordes of zombies or avoid radiation zones, the sooner you start preparing for that inevitability, the better your chances are of surviving.
But maybe you don’t want to be seen as that crazy, paranoid, government-conspiracy theorist parents warn their children about. That’s perfectly fine, but it doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing.
Here are a few subtle renovations you can make to your home to prepare for the day humanity fights to survive.
1. Secure Perimeter
The first level of protection you need is your perimeter—or the edge of your property. The best way to do this is to install a high-quality privacy fence. Some neighborhoods have restrictions against these kinds of fences though, so if city codes stand in your way, choose a fence that fits within the codes, but that you will be able to easily attach something like barbed wire to, to make it more secure and defensible.
2. Door and Window Protection
The doors and windows of your home are your second line of defense, after your perimeter. As the points of entry into the building, you want to guarantee that they are secure. Replace your exterior doors with thick, solid, wooden doors. By choosing a wood that is difficult to break, like oak, your doors should be secure, letting you move onto the more prominent points of entry: the windows.
Obviously, boarding up all the windows won’t support the fact that you are a normal, unsuspecting citizen, but you need to do something to protect your home. High-quality windows are a step in the right direction. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could even go for bullet-proof glass.
As long as you don’t broadcast the fact that your windows are bullet-proof, your neighbors won’t know a thing, but you’ll know that you’re a lot more secure than they are. Sturdy shutters that you can close to cover your windows add another layer of protection, and depending on how the shutters look, they could just appear as a nice, new feature on your home.
3. High Observation Point
You need to have an open location high up on your home that you can use to observe the surrounding area. If you have a high balcony, that could work, but ideally, you want a vantage point where you have a 360 degree view. Most likely, that leaves your roof as the only viable option. If you don’t have a flat roof, however, don’t worry.
All you need is a flat area at the top-most area, and a way to access your roof from within your home (you don’t want to have to navigate the exterior of your house to get to the prime observation spot). You can add safety measures later, when your neighbors won’t be around to judge you. The most important part is that you have somewhere to see what’s coming.
4. Underground Bunker
Installing an underground bunker will be one of the most conspicuous renovations you will make; however, you can always say you’re building an extra cellar for your food storage or a storm shelter (if you live in the Midwest) if anyone asks you about it. For all they know, you’ll be telling the truth, and your cover will stay intact.
Fortunately, finding a bunker isn’t as hard as you might think. Storage containers are the perfect size and the best part is that containers for storage from Calgary to Columbus are plentiful, so you’ll definitely be able to find one. All that’s left for you to do is dig a hole big enough for it, place it in, make a stairwell access down to the entrance, and fill in the gaps. After that, you can equip your bunker however you want, away from the prying eyes of your neighbors, and you’ll be good to go.
The last step is resources. When the apocalypse hits, regardless of how it does, electricity probably won’t be readily available—at least not through the grid. You need to be able to supply your property with at least a bit of electricity to keep everything functioning. The easiest and most inconspicuous way to achieve this is through solar paneling, but you can also use a small wind turbine to generate electricity as well. After you’ve got a way to generate electricity, you’ll need a way to store it, but that’s as simple as using a car battery.
You’ll also want a small library with a variety of books. Stock your library with emergency preparedness and survival guides. You might even want to stock up on your apocalypse fiction novels, because even though they’re fictional, they could give you innovative ideas about things you encounter in your life after the apocalypse.
You don’t have to wait for the apocalypse to hit to start your preparations, even if you’re worried about what your neighbors will think about you. By following these subtle renovation tips, you’ll be ready for whatever happens, and you’ll still be the normal neighbor.
Eloise Hamilton studied business and law in college, and she practically grew up under the hood of classic cars. While those three topics are her main focus in writing, she occasionally writes about other topics she enjoys too, like home improvement, gardening, and technology, which keeps up-to-date on by frequenting sites like Southbend Storage.