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    We have an alarm system. No biggie, many people do. But I got to thinking about some great advantages of the system we have. Since I’m not asking anybody to use my name if they order a system, I’m not eligible for the available discount (free months of monitoring), and I have no connection with the company other than being a customer for a couple of years or so now.

    First, the basics. The company is Simplisafe (you’ve probably seen their ads on TV or elsewhere). After a lot of research (NOT because they’re advertised on Glenn Beck, Dave Ramsey, or Rush Limbaugh), we settled on their system (which included a 60-day money back guarantee). We have every door and window protected, plus a water alarm (in case of another burst hose in the dishwasher), smoke alarm, extra high-volume alarm, two keychain controls for easy setting or turning off when we come/go, and two motion detectors to cover almost all the house. Response from the monitoring company has been very fast in the couple of false alarms we’ve experienced since we got it (accidentally pressing the alarm set button due to keys hitting the remote control in our pockets, and then triggering the motion detectors). ALL sensors are wireless, and attached with the type of removable tabs often used to put things up on walls. Want to move? Pull the tabs, remove the sensors, and just replace the adhesive tabs when you get to your new place. Power outage? No problem. It’s ALL battery operated, with excellent battery life (and notice on the monitor screen what’s low or out in almost all cases). Finally, there’s no contract at all. Just pay the monthly monitoring fee ($14.99 for solid basic monitoring – far lower than anyone else we’ve found) or stop any time. Oh – and for a higher fee (still only $24.99) we get text notices the moment ANYthing changes in the system – setting/turning off of the alarm, power outage, ANY alarm including the water sensor, smoke, or other available sensors that we don’t have like carbon monoxide).

    Now the good part for a SHTF scenario. IF cell phones are still working – though that’s relatively unlikely – they use a cell phone module to communicate with the monitoring people, not a land line. So even if the power is out, and/or the land line is cut, it still works.

    But even if there’s no power, no phone, nothing except you in the dark, you still have a completely functioning alarm system in your home, because it’s battery operated (AA or CR123 for most of the sensors). You can install it quickly, and sleep well even with power out – because an ear-splitting siren will go off if anyone enters your home or even opens a door or window. You won’t get a notification to the alarm company in that case, but the police will be ineffective in the SHTF situation anyway (not that they’re all that effective now for home invasions). You’ve still got total monitoring in the worst of situations. We’ve become completely satisfied with the company. Oh – and we purchased a “refurbished” system because it still had the full guarantee on it. A couple of batteries needed replacement after about a year, but other than that, no problem. We saved considerably with that option.

    So for a SHTF scenario where you want monitoring – even motion detection, and don’t want to have wires running anywhere, this will still do the trick inside your home or shelter. Heck – you can even install sensors in medicine cabinets, gun cabinets, or whatever. And if you’ve got power and have the text-messaging feature, you can even find out if someone enters your home, kids go in the medicine cabinet, or whatever. If you forget to set it when you leave, and have the full-featured monitoring that we have, you can use your phone to set the system via the internet (we’ve forgotten a few times in a rush to leave the house for some reason, gotten across or out of town, and just pulled up the web site and activated the alarm even from another state). So while we love having a full-featured alarm system at a much lower price than all the “big name” systems, along with no contract, we particularly like knowing that when power and phone are out, we’ll STILL know if somebody’s coming into our home while we’re there. We can provide our own “protection” then.

    [Again – we have nothing to gain here because we have no financial interest in the company at all, and don’t even known anyone associated with them.]

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    It seems to me that in a SHTF condition, being alerted to a security breach in your home is cutting things way to close. I figure a 24/7 watch will be necessary with perimeter alarms.

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    We had a security system installed when we bought our present home being it was a 2nd home sitting empty during the week. Just the doors are wired. Anyone coming in via windows won’t get very far before a motion detector catches them. In our case the objective is to just scare off a low intelligence intruder when the alarm goes off. The Sheriff’s Dept doesn’t respond to private residence security alarms. Not staffed for it I suppose. The security company we use notifies the State Police instead, and it would be luck of the draw how quickly they arrived, especially in the wee hours of the night when none are on patrol. This is why I say low intelligence because a professional would know odds are on their side that a quick police response would not be forthcoming. Fortunately as noted in the past, there is little to no crime of that nature around here. The druggies seem to prefer robbing convenience stores and banks.

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