Here is a simple guide on how to think about defending home. Reinforce: how hard is your home to get into? Is there a reliable alarm system? Is it lit up at night so you can see how out but a burglar has a hard time seeing in? Are your doors and windows locked and reinforced? Do you have enough time from initial contact to call the cops and get in a defensive posture? Defense: do you have the tools necessary to defend your home assuming a burglar is already in the house such as a gun, baseball bat, or knife? Is there a standard practice you and your family have in place in this situation such as kids go into closets and adults call for help and defend the home? Assault: How well are you able to assault through the enemy? If you are properly prepared it is sometimes necessary to show extreme violence in order to stop the threat. Always assume there is more than one threat in the house and take the necessary precautions to clear the inside and outside of your home before you assume it is over with. Withdrawal: If none of these other steps work it might be necessary to have a plan to barricade or evacuate. In this case, do you have the tools necessary to reinforce a room inside your house or escape through a window or door? It always helps to look through the lens of a burglar and exploit any weaknesses in your home. Roleplay with your family to determine any weaknesses and think of corrective actions. This should be done enough times until your family knows exactly what to do without being told.
As COVID-19 has wreaked havoc all around the world we must start planning for the worst-case scenario. I am a United States Marine who has deployed overseas and trained Marines for Combat for three years. I am not suggesting that we are in a doomsday type scenario but it always better to have a plan in place for any situation and ask yourself “what if” questions and plan accordingly.
Q: What if cell phone communication goes out?
A: Have a designated rally point that you and your family agree upon. Include up to as many family members as possible. If it gets to the point where cell phone towers are out of commission it is better to be in a large group.
Q: What if I run out of food?
A: Have a shotgun and hunting gear if possible especially in the wintertime. Animals offer the most nutrition and calorie density and will stave off hunger the longest. There are also plenty of survival foods available for sale such as canned goods, Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s), and foods with preservatives. Research native plant species in your area to see what you can and cannot eat.
Q: What if someone tries to break into my house
A: The most important aspect when it comes to home break-ins is time. This means making it as difficult as possible for them to get in. Use dead-bolts on your doors as well as door reinforcement products that are available through most major retailers. Do a perimeter check every night and check for any vulnerabilities such as unlocked windows. If they manage to get in the house a shotgun with birdshot is a good option because you don’t have to be a good shot and the rounds will not travel through walls.
Q: How do I prepare for a home confrontation?
A: Repetition creates muscle memory. Rehearse the scenario with your family and ask yourself the following questions. How long did it take me to respond? How long did it take to grab my firearm? Did my children go into a hiding spot? Was the perpetrator able to get into my bedroom before I could respond? Does my home have vulnerabilities I need to address? This is not something you do one time but something you need to practice regularly in order to be effective and efficient.