Prepping safety tips: How to build your own off-grid security system
By Zoey Sky // Aug 05, 2022

Before SHTF, you need to set up a security system to monitor the perimeter of your homestead and property.


With some tools and equipment, you can set up a DIY security system to upgrade your home security. (h/t to

Use phone towers to set up a DIY home security system

Note that this system isn't 100 percent off-grid so when the grid goes down, you won't be able to use the camera set up for this system. If you want to be completely off-grid when SHTF, check out other methods for improving your home security.

For day-to-day "normal" life, you can use this DIY method to monitor your hunting cabin near your homestead. You can also tweak this system to suit your needs.

You will need a motion-activated Blink camera. These cameras cost around $140 at an online retailer.

Once you get the entire rig setup, the Blink camera will send your phone an alert and a picture whenever it detects motion out in its field of view.

You can also talk through the camera. If an intruder is attempting to steal your supplies, you can give them a verbal warning that the police are on the way.

Follow the steps below to set up the DIY security system.

  1. Get a car battery. If you don't have a spare, buy one at a car store for about $80 to $120.
  2. Use alligator clamps to hook up the car battery to an inverter.
  3. Plug the router and the device that communicates with the camera into the inverter. The router will communicate with the cell tower.
  4. Set up a solar panel and mount it on your roof to power the car battery. For best results, make sure you also have a charge controller for the solar panel. This will prevent the solar panel from "over juicing" things. You can also get a charge controller from an online retailer.

Note that during a grid-down scenario, you won't be able to use this system for monitoring. Fortunately, you can also use this setup for a camera that doesn’t need to utilize cell towers but uses some type of radio frequency to alert you when something is happening.

Other tips to improve home security

Once you set up the DIY security system detailed above, here are more tips that will help keep your home safe when SHTF.

Upgrade your fence

For a fence to be effective, it needs to go all the way around your property and be at least seven feet high. Burglars might still find a way past it, but the point of most of these security measures is deterrence.

A fence is a great deterrent so if you don't have a fence, build one. And if you do have one, upgrade it. Reinforce a simple privacy fence by replacing wooden posts with steel posts.

Cover wooden slats with corrugated tin and add barbed wire or razor wire on top.

Reinforce your doors

Keep thieves out by reinforcing your doors.

Here are four options for optimally reinforced doors:

  • Metal frames – A metal doorframe is the best, most secure measure you can take for reinforcing doors. Anyone strong enough can easily kick in a door that is set into a wooden frame, no matter how strong and intricate its lock system. Metal frames are harder to break through.
  • Steel doors – After getting a metal frame, upgrade wooden doors to steel doors for extra strength.
  • Steel conduit – With a small length of steel conduit running a few inches into your doorframe, the deadbolt will be anchored into a metal frame and an entrenched metal sheath.
  • Security deadbolt – A security deadbolt will ensure that the knob on a deadbolt can't be turned from the outside, even if someone has a copy of your house key.

Strengthen windows

If a thief can't get in through the door, he may try to break into your house using a window.

Strengthen your windows using these methods:

  • Dowel rods – Like doors, windows are still a weakness if they can be unlocked. Dowel rods are an efficient additional security measure since you can easily place one in the gap where your window slides to ensure it can't be opened enough for someone to get in. This is also great for securing sliding glass doors.
  • Plexiglas – If you don't want to use dowel bars, you can strengthen the window itself by using Plexiglas instead of regular glass. Plexiglas will deter most home invaders because it takes more force to break it.
  • Security bars – Secure windows by fitting bars either on the inside or the outside.

Landscape defensively

Plants aren't just for beautifying your home. With the right kind of shrub or tree, you can use the landscape to your advantage.

Plant thorny bushes like blackberry bushes in front of windows to keep trespassers away. As a bonus, you can harvest berries.

It's also important to strike a balance because bushes and shrubs can also offer concealment to potential invaders. Make sure your landscaping still offers 360-degree visibility.

For your fence, plant a thorny vine like catbrier or greenbrier (Smilax rotundifolia). Catbrier will quickly grow up your fence and cling to it, covering it with green leaves and very sharp thorns.

Get motion detector lights

Criminals don't like to be seen and if a bright light hits them, there's a chance that they'll give up and leave.

Since power outages are likely during any disaster, install motion detector lights that run on batteries or solar power.

Build a safe room

If you're worried about your family during a home invasion, set up a safe room in your homestead.

A safe room is a secure room that you can retreat to in case of a home invasion. You can stay in a safe room until the intruders leave.

Most people breaking into your home want your supplies and belongings, not you. If you can't keep them out of your home, you can at least avoid a direct encounter by getting yourself and your family into the safe room.

A safe room doesn't have to be elaborate like in movies or built to withstand something like a nuclear blast. If you don't have a lot of extra space, build a small, undetectable room in your home with enough supplies for several days or a week.

Visit for more tips on how to keep intruders out of your property.

Watch the video below to learn how to boost home security with wood barriers for your windows.

This video is from the SHTFPrepping101 channel on

More related stories:

Home security tips: Top 12 defensive plants that can help deter trespassers.

Protect your property with these natural and man-made barriers, fences and fortifications.

A guide to securing your homestead’s perimeter (while observing the law).

Sources include:

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