Book Review


Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary
by Jim Cobb
224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1612431154
eBook $9.98; paperback $15.95

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

Preppers–folks who lay in supplies, learn how to be self-reliant, and practice emergency drills–share many parallel interests with armed citizens and indeed the overlap between the two demographic groups is substantial. Just as we have a broad selection of literature about armed self defense, prepping has stimulated a vigorous selection of instructive books on getting ready for hard times.

Interested in what was being taught beyond storing food, I recently read Jim Cobb’s Prepper’s Home Defense book this month. Cobb establishes that his book is intended to address “the time frame that begins with the disaster and ends with order being restored,” because his recommendations include protecting property: one’s home or place of retreat during the emergency as well as defending essential supplies. Under current conditions, using deadly force to protect property is unjustifiable. He adds that his most sincere hope is that his readers never need to implement the solutions he outlines.

While planning is good, Cobb advocates practice runs on strategies going beyond acquiring supplies. Escape routes and slipping away from a retreat that has become untenable is discussed as is setting up hard-to-breach perimeters and patrolling and protecting those lines. He offers specifics for shoring up weak doors, windows, walls and the outer perimeter, as well as some creative thinking about obstacles and detection systems.

Cobb is no fan of the safe room concept applied to long-term emergencies because retreat to an enclosed area depends on eventual police rescue.

“In most situations I can envision occurring in a world without the rule of law, I believe safe rooms would become nothing more than convenient death traps,” he stresses.

Defense plans are introduced with the order of “Deter, Delay and Defend,” as Cobb points out that the awareness needed to avoid falling prey to roving predators “extends to communication with neighbors and other trusted people in your area.” He also discusses operational security in depth, noting that keeping your prepping activities secret begins now, to avoid being targeted for theft as hunger and desperation sets in within a day or two after an emergency disrupts services. “Reduce the motivation and you’ll reduce the risk,” he comments. During an emergency, additional steps to avoid standing out as a rich resource for predators include blocking light, noise and even odors that would tell the world that you are eating well and living in reasonable comfort, he teaches.

With many of Cobb’s strategies based on strength of numbers, he advocates forging alliances with like-minded neighbors, while taking care not to invite trouble from those who only want access to food and supplies without contributing anything to group well-being.

Teamwork also relies on communication, and Cobb gives advice on hand-held radios and their capabilities. For wider communications–listening to news and weather, or transmitting via shortwave radio or citizens band radios–he offers pro and con analysis of various radios. Scanners to monitor emergency services channels get his nod of approval, too. All require power, though, so early on he suggests that solar power charging equipment is worth the investment, too.

If planning to use radios to communicate conditions, needs or locations among family or neighbors, bear in mind that the communications will not be private, Cobb writes.