When disaster situations hit, stress levels go through the roof. People worry about being able to care for themselves and being able to care for their families. Other people become afraid that people will try to take what they have and become scared. Frankly, fear abounds in disaster situations, and people start to do things which they wouldn’t normally do. Things like break into other peoples’ homes if they think that they can benefit from doing so (or if they think they need something from in that home to help them survive).
This means, of course, that if you want to keep you and your family safe, then you need to look for ways to protect your home. But too many people only think in terms of generalizations: “I’ll take a self-defense course” or “I’ll buy a gun” or “I’ll get a dog to scare away prowlers.”
These all have value, but they are tactics and not strategy. If you want to be as safe as possible, you want a strategy to survive which may use these or other tactics because strategy will help guide you as to when and how you’ll use each of these tactics.
Strategy starts with the end in mind and plans the use of specific tactics. So, the first first goal of your overall strategy is to keep your family safe. With this in mind, you would be advised to consider to swallow your pride and be willing to get your children out of harm’s way before considering conflict. Why? Because conflict can turn deadly even if it starts as simply a bravado act to show dominance. Accidents happen. You don’t want for you or anyone else to be that accident statistic.
So, your first tactic in your overall safety strategy could be labeled “Evacuation.” The second tactic in your strategy could be “Shelter” meaning that you head to this place to keep out of harm’s way whether that is a basement, a security room, or an offsite place to safely and discreetly evacuate to.
You will also want contingency tactics if your first choice tactics aren’t an option during a threat situation. It is at this point that you want to think about hand-to-hand combat training and/or firearms training. Think beforehand about what situations would warrant which type of response. You don’t want to be in the middle of a stressful situation and make the wrong choice to use potentially lethal force if the situation really doesn’t warrant that to protect yourself.
Now, think through what conflict situations that you are likely to encounter. Will an burglar or an attacker be likely to be wearing body armor or some other protective covering? Are they likely to be multiple attackers? You’ll need to consider how to set up situations in your home where you control the approach of the intruder. Figure out the most likely way that an attacker is going to enter your home, and, then, set up furniture, etc. so that you have line of site for surveillance and/or a clear shot (only if absolutely necessary) but that they cannot get to you quickly or (ideally) hide from the threat that you present.
Finally, after you’ve thought through all of these factors and set up your home so that you have the defensive advantage, you will want to practice varying scenarios over and over. Just like dry fire practice with your firearm, practicing going through the motions over and over (without live ammo or, in the case of hand-to-hand, in very slow motion so as to ensure no injury to anyone while practicing) will allow you to ingrain this strategic and tactical thinking into your neurology so that you react with more calm and, hopefully, without foolish errors in judgment.
So, with some forethought and some practice, you can reduce the threat level to your family to a minimum in even the worst disaster situations and, hopefully, keep your family safe.