Keeping your home and family safe from an invader takes a lot more than owning a gun. You need to know how to use the gun, know the laws of your city and state, and prepare your home itself in case of emergency. Below are 5 tips that if followed will help to prepare your family and house for defending against an invader or invasion. The key element of this plan is to develop the plan and practice it over and over again so you are prepared for an invasion.
Bad guys are becoming more bold and aggressive. Understanding that valuable items and softer targets are more likely located in more affluent areas they are increasingly targeting suburban homes and neighborhoods in historically low crime areas. As with most things the sage Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” applies.
- Plan it, drill it. Everyone remembers the fire drills that were practiced in elementary school. The alarm bell sounded and a swarm of generally chaotic creatures with an inclination for ignoring direction suddenly fell into line and moved to a predetermined point of safety with precise exaction. In the same vein, create a simple plan to move everyone living in your house to a pre-determined point of safety, which ideally will be a room with few exit points. Only leave the security of the room you are in if other loved ones need to be secured. Everyone should know what starts the plan . . .An alarm, a whistle, or predetermined action initiating word. Adults should plan to move the children or the elderly. Older children should move the younger ones and they should all move to a predetermined meeting point or hiding place in the room, and stay put.Using techniques similar to those the police employ to deal with active shooters is best for the solo shooter: Don’t clear every room or move tepidly through the house. Instead, move quickly and decisively to the objective point and only engage bad guys that are an immediate threat or in the way.When you call the police, tell them precisely where you and your family are located in the house. Tell them that you are armed, have received firearms training and that all your family members are safe and secure with you. Ask them to carefully and loudly identify themselves when entering your strong point. Once the plan is set, drill it multiple times. Practice. Practice. Practice.
- Have an early warning. Police response to home alarms are notoriously slow and often set as a priority right above extracting cats from trees. Forget or even disconnect that part of it, but have a good alarm system installed set to activate instantly when a door or window is breached and use it religiously so you’ll be acutely aware of the moment someone enters your perimeter.
- Prepare resources. Make sure firearms, flashlights and telephones are readily available. Waking up to an alarm, still foggy from sleep, is not the time to be fumbling with combination locks on a gun safe or scratching through your drawer looking for a light. Install quick-access gun safes next to your bed and make sure a phone and flashlight are on the night stand. Practice using them.An good alternative is a vehicle-style shotgun lock like those used by police. These can be attached to bed frames and hidden by dust covers but accessed with a hidden switch. Computer cash drawers can be purchased on eBay for peanuts and with rudimentary knowledge of electronics, wired complete with battery backup and hidden activation switch. Stash an old cell phone and charging cord in the stronghold room.Add a few bottles of water for a short potential wait. Enter the direct dispatch number for the local law enforcement on your phone and print detailed directions to your house and to the stronghold inside the house and tuck them away in your safe room. Direct dispatch will almost always function faster than 911.
- Harden the structure. A man’s home is his castle and one of the best defenses is making your castle a more difficult target than your neighbors’. Encourage the assailant to choose the path of least resistance and go down the street. Remove shrubs and plants close to the house that make good hiding points. Better yet, replace them with thorny bushes that will discourage anyone from trying to move through them.As a super economical alternative, drill 1-inch holes in the floor at the foot of both sides of the door and place pieces of steel pipe in them to secure the door at night. While not exactly esthetic pleasing, the pipes can be easily removed and the holes covered by an entry mat.
- Get Adequate and Applicable Training. Don’t let the first time you shoot your gun in the dark with a light be when a bad guy has just broken in. The fewer first time variables you experience in a real fight, the better off you will be. Numerous schools exist that provide valuable instruction and practice in night shooting, civilian room combat and scenario-based gunfighting skills. Often this instruction is provided by individuals with substantial combat experience. Many, including Asymmetric Solutions, use full-size ballistic house mock ups that allow the shooter to simulate tactical movement through the structure while engaging strategically placed targets.Also consider taking an intensive first aid course that will help you deal with a serious medical issue while waiting for the police to arrive and clear your house. Wilderness first aid classes designed to teach civilians how to care for major medical problems when help is at a distance are far more intensive and full of practical knowledge than the basic “call 911 and apply direct pressure” quickie basic first aid/CPR courses.
These steps will be met by some with the thought that, “Home invasions are rare and would never happen to me.” That, of course, is usually correct. Insurance companies are highly profitable institutions that bet on bad things not happening. Still, nearly all of us spend thousands yearly with insurance companies to prepare ourselves for those rare contingencies.
Source: Written by Grady Powell
Photo: Home Invasion