You Could Get Attacked, Robbed, or Killed
If you look at Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, you’ll see that safety and security are trumped only by physiological needs such as food, water, and warmth. Early primates started organizing together to gain ‘strength in numbers’ and those organizations became more and more sophisticated as human societies developed and evolved. Today, we have armies and police forces, intelligence agencies and courts, fences and locks… These are investments we’ve made as a society to keep us safe from physical danger and attacks.
Emergencies can increase the danger of attacks in several ways:
- Emergencies may compromise the ability of our armies, police, and others to keep us safe. The emergency can be so large, with so many people needing help, that the law enforcement and security resources are overwhelmed. We must also remember that police officers and soldiers are human beings, so some emergencies might impact the ability for them to do their jobs.
- Emergencies might also create circumstances where people are less concerned about the consequences of lawlessness. They may think the police won’t have time to respond. They may also be so desperate that they feel they don’t have a choice. If your children are starving, you might be willing to do things you wouldn’t otherwise consider.
These factors could result in you and your family being attacked, robbed, or killed.
Don’t Get Attacked, Robbed, or Killed.
Here are some tactics you can use to keep from being attacked, or survive an attack if you can’t avoid it:
- Concealment – If you’re not noticed, you are less likely to draw attention from bad actors.
- Don’t flaunt the fact that you have stuff that others want and need. If the power has been out for a week, you don’t want to be the only person in town with your lights on.
- Concealment may also mean getting separation between you and everyone else. If you’re fortunate to have a safe and comfortable place at the end of a rural dirt road, that may be a good place to conceal yourself in a hurry.
- Another thing you can do is minimize your movements. Stay home. When you have to go out, be discreet and try to go when no one will be watching. Be sneaky.
- Fortification – Do what you can to make your house more secure. Think in terms of layers:
- Start at the street. View your house as a robber or attacker would view it. Do you have lights? A dog? Alarm signage? Are there cameras? Does it look like someone is home?
- Points of entry – Windows and doors. Doors should be sturdy and locked. Upgrade the door hardware, and the hardware you use to attach the door hardware. For windows, consider ballistic film. If you are in an extended emergency situation, consider reinforcing doors and windows with lumber or other material. Think plywood window coverings during a hurricane, but maybe attach them on the inside.
- Inside – Do you have an inner room you can retreat to? A back door to escape through? Think about how you’d move within your house if there was an intruder who meant you harm.
- You can still fortify when you’re NOT in your home. Lock your car doors. When walking, try to pick routes that give you cover instead of walking in the open.
- Vigilance – Don’t be surprised.
- Keep an eye out for what’s happening around your house. Sometimes you’ll be able to hear whatever’s happening outside, but sometimes you may need to physically ‘patrol’ your surroundings by checking your windows on a regular basis.
- When you leave your house, keep your eyes moving and pay attention to what’s going on.
- Install cameras at your house. Make sure you buy some that will work when the internet goes down. This may mean running cables to the cameras. You will still need to provide power. If the internet IS working, you will want to have motion-detector alerts from your camera.
- Get an alarm system, and use it.
- Work with your neighbors to provide mutual surveillance – you watch my house; I’ll watch yours.
- Defense – Be prepared to defend yourself.
- First, figure out where your ‘red line’ is. Do you want to protect yourself and your family starting at the door to your house? The street in front of your house? I have a friend who was OK as long as an intruder didn’t come upstairs where the family bedrooms were located. For my home in the ‘burbs, it’s about the front door and the backyard.
- Second, figure out how you’re going to defend your red line. Typically, this means weapons. My go-to weapon for home defense is a shotgun with buckshot. I have 2 Remington 870 Youth 20 gauges. They have rounds in the magazines, but no rounds chambered. This makes them marginally safer, but more importantly, the racking of a shotgun slide is distinctive, and provides a disincentive for continuing an attack.
- When I leave my house, I have a pistol. Each of my vehicles has a pistol, and I will also carry a concealed pistol whenever it it safe and legal to do so.
- When I leave the Great State of Texas, carrying a pistol gets very inconvenient. Especially if I’m flying. Depending on where I’m going, I will sometimes bring a tactical pen. These are also not TSA-approved, but they are cheap enough to be disposable if a TSA agent notices it. I also carry a hefty flashlight in my carry-on bag.
- Get in shape. Lose weight. Get stronger. Consider learning self-defense.
- If you are going to depend on a weapon to defend yourself and your family, you should be proficient with the weapon.
- Cooperation – Strength in numbers.
- I can’t say it enough – get to know your neighbors. Talk about what might happen in an emergency. Ask them to keep an eye on your house.
- Beyond your neighbors, build a network of like-minded people nearby. This gives all of you more options for weathering an emergency – you could meet up to gain strength in numbers OR you could rally to help a friend in need.
- Escape – Get away from danger.
- Get in shape. Lose weight. Get stronger. Can you run 100 yards to get away from danger? What about a mile? What if you needed to cover 10 miles in a hurry, and carrying a load?
- Wear comfortable shoes. If you can’t run in your shoes / boots, then have an extra set of running shoes available. I keep an old pair of sneakers in the truck.
- Keep your vehicles gassed up and in good working order. Know what you’d take if you have to leave the house, and have it ready to grab.
- I’m not a big fan of ‘bug out bags’ because I think home is usually where you want to be. BUT, I DO have a ‘get home bag.’ The idea is to be ready to walk home if my truck isn’t an option.