You have got to plan how you will live. And I know that plans can blow up in the wind and be gone, but you still need a base point in your thinking to get you by. You will be leading a sort of dual life style in the near future. You will have the things to do to manage yourself and your clan but you will also have to be responsible for your security. It will be a time not seen in this country for well over a 100 years. Think of it as the old West where they had banditos and outlaws and Indians that wanted to kill and loot. Your very existence will be proof that your have the sustenance to uphold life. And there will be a lot of people who want to have your food and water. And your guns and ammo. And your medical supplies. And your wives and daughters. They will come after you in the first days of the break down. The stores in the towns and cities will get looted and plundered quickly and then the attention will turn outward. "Let's go out in the country here the food is!" And you're going to get some unwelcome, uninvited guests. And they will not be courteous and nice. As a matter of fact they will be brutal and more brutal. If possible they will burn your home down. Just takes a jar of gasoline you know. So you have to work your security detail to keep them further than they can throw, at least. I'd try for a half mile or more. There are rifles and shooters that can hit things at a half mile. You should have a few of those little gems yourself. It is a bit of the old "Arms Race" but it has it's positive side also. You want to kill them before they kill you and if they show themselves to be a hostile force then start banging away. And don't forget that they have priorities too. And if they see one of their own get their head vaporized they may decide that there are better places to hit. I'm sure it will cross their minds anyhow.
But if you meet a determined foe and they re not going to run away with a little persuasion from you, then you had better be prepared to fight like hell for a long ass day. And here is where your planning comes to the fore. You have to have somewhat hardened positions for your people to shot from. At least a decent foxhole with maybe a log in front of it. And those defenders will need water and maybe even food. God forbid they need medical attention. But you sit in a position and shot it out for a day and you will be a tired and worn out soldier. The only problem is you can't call time out and go have a cold beer and some air conditioning. You foe will not approve of this for even an instant. They will insist that the fight be taken to the conclusion that they hope will be them taking all your goodies and watching you rot in the Sun. Your job will be to bring things to a reverse of this conclusion. If you have people skilled in 'advance and cover' tactics as taught by the US Army, then you can possibly attack from your position. But unless there is a great imperative to attack and win at all cost do not fool with this move. A well entrenched force with good cover, good guns, and plenty of ammo takes at least a force FOUR times as big to dislodge it. Defense is the game you want to play. You get dug in, have a good field of fire, and let 'em come. Anyone with half a brain and a good set of binoculars can be your spotter and look out. Just don't let them get splattered because the glint of light off their lenses gave them away. Very poor form. Your watcher, spotter, whatever you wish to call them, had better have some means of communicating with your guys out there exercising their shootin' irons. If the enemy makes a major shift to try and get around your defense then your defenders need to know about it quickly and be able to react in a manner that will shift your defense in a corresponding manner. Defense is the easiest game of war but it is not without some wrinkles. Don't let your position be overrun by some maneuver that you missed entirely. There may be some veteran soldiers out there who know a thing or three and they can make things mighty tough for you if you don't stay in a heads-up attitude.
Night fighting will require lights to enable you to keep track of the attackers. And unless you are fighting the absolute dumbest bunch of brigands in the world, you will not have electricity to even turn on the wall switch and fire up the farm lights. The bandits will get rid of your electricity post haste. And that is a dirty ass trick but this is warfare and you gotta be ready when you are playing against people who want to win. If you have flares and other little goodies you should make out pretty well. If you don't then you might be in trouble.
The really neat thing is to have landscaping that forms convenient places for your attacking foes to get behind and have them mined with high explosives that you can detonate from the comfort of your home. You can go out in the morning and clean up the mess. Explosives are neat if you know what you are doing. They simplify so many things. They are a little hard to come by but can be obtained with due diligence. I think most states will let you buy dynamite if you play their silly games. Just remember that dynamite can get really touchy if it allowed to sweat. Being around sweating dynamite is bad field position. Keep it cool and dry. Always.
One of the best forms of defense is to keep the criminal element away from your dwellings as much as possible. Your barns and your sheds and your gardens should be on this list also. Hungry people who have never done without before in their lives will have the attitude that they are owed a portion of your food and supplies. And if you have the guts to take exception to this thinking then you have to be prepared to keep them back. I would not be against giving some food for a family who has a woman and kids. I would give them the food and talk with them awhile. They might be great joiners to your little clan. Just remember that women and kids can be a potent decoy and you need to look behind them to see what might be coming. The criminal element will do anything that will make their job easier and more sure of success. If you have a strong position and plenty of help manning the walls, then they will use a trick or a ruse to get inside your defenses. You must remain vigilant at all times. It is the Law of the Jungle and it will apply when the SHTF. Your attackers will not be principled men, they will be cutthroats and thieves. They wish to take what you have and they will take it any way they can. How would you like to look out your window and see some scumbag holding your child in the air and calling you out to talk. Might pinch a little. Might drive your wife to hysterics. But don't ever disarm your self for these scumbags. Never show fear. Always speak with authority.
We will talk about this aspect of survival more, in the future. I think it good to present you with some of these scenarios so that you can get my mind to be more flexible in dealing with problems. There is no hard and fast rules of behavior in fighting for you life and the lives of your family and friends. You must remain fluid and be willing to use any opportunity you are given. It's all in the name of staying alive.