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Your Home Is Your Castle: Lessons From The Middle Ages On Home Defense

home defense castleWhen preparing for man-made or natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina where society might break down, think of your home as being your castle.

Like any castle, you must defend your home to keep it standing. Centuries ago when castles dotted the Medieval landscape in Europe, the occupiers of the fortresses would use many tactics to keep possession of them – and we could learn from them.

Castles that lacked a good defense changed hands like a see-saw, while ones that were fortified had the same family line of occupants for hundreds of years.

The ones that stood would construct defensive perimeters around the castle to keep the fight away from it, and they would stockpile the inside with water, food and supplies to outlast the attackers. They would modify the castles themselves to convert them into more defensible positions, and they would play “political games” to maintain strong alliances with other castles to transfer soldiers and supplies back and forth. They even would set up warning signs to keep potential invaders away.

Granted, we’re living in a modern age where we reside in residential homes in suburban neighborhoods or apartments in urban areas. But much of the same logic that was applied to defending the castles centuries prior can be applied to defending your home as well.

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castle 2Why would any army want to besiege a castle in the first place? Sometimes it was to gain a strategic position, but even more often, it was to collect the prize of what lay inside, whether it be arms and supplies, or a person of importance. All the same, when looters besiege your home, they will do so for the same reasons. Either your home will be in a strategic location of value to them, or they will want the prize of food, water, ammunition and other essential supplies.

A typical home is not a good defensive position, unless it has been modified by the occupier to be so. You should have defensive preparations set up in your home, such as reinforcing the doors and windows, to constructing a defensive perimeter outside the home to keep the fight out rather than in it.

There is one other key to keeping your home well-defended that you’ve probably overlooked. Think of your home as your castle, and the other homes nearby or in your neighborhood as being the other castles in the area. The most effective way to keeping your home well-protected is, well, to keep the fight away from it. This means don’t make your home a worthy target. Perhaps you shouldn’t tell anyone else that you are stockpiling essential items.

Additionally, you can do what owners of castles in the Middle Ages did. They would form alliances and trade soldiers, weapons and supplies back and forth to keep one another standing, and to maintain a strategic position over the surrounding landscape.

If you encourage other people nearby to prepare, and keep good relations with them, you can help one another during a disaster.

Not only is there a lesser chance of your home being attacked in this scenario, but when any home is attacked, the people in the neighborhood will come to each other’s aid.

What are other home defense lessons we can learn from Middle Age castles? Do you agree with the writer? Share your suggestions in the section below:  

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