While home invasions don’t happen every day, it’s imperative you prepare for a situation like this so you’re not caught off-guard. It’s not a pleasant subject to think about or even prepare for – but it’s necessary.
Many people plan for crises by stockpiling food, water, and coming up with a basic plan; however, a lot of people to forget add preparing for a home invasion to that list. The truth is, the likelihood of a home invasion goes up after a crisis or after a disaster like a tornado, flood, or hurricane. Thieves looking for quick cash, or criminals intent on doing harm know homes and families are most vulnerable after a situation like this – so they take advantage of it. Just look at what happened after Hurricane Katrina or the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Lack of preparation, even for an uncommon situation such as these, ended in tragedy and great loss for many families and businesses.
So in this article we’ll cover 4 tips for preparing for a home invasion. These guidelines will help prepare your home, your family, and yourself in the event of a home invasion. But make sure that any plan or preparation you do is tailored to your specific needs.
1 – Plan and Prepare!
The first step to any preparation is proper planning. Proper planning will help keep you and your loved ones alive. This step is critical before a crisis takes place because it allows you to respond to a situation with a prepared response/course of action, instead of panicking and possibly making things worse. Flight-or-fight stress can either be used as a productive driving force or a of a potentially deadly panic reaction – and planning and preparing will help make it productive.
Planning also allows you to obtain resources and learn how to use them before a situation comes up.
Start by learning your local laws – this is critical. Most states have some sort of self-defense law in place such as Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” statute. But it’s important to know and understand the specific ordinances in your location. Make sure all of your personal conceal/carry weapons permits are up to date and easily accessible. If you wind up having to use deadly force against an intruder to save the lives of your family, this will ease any attempted civil or criminal backlash from other parties.
Get adequate training in the use of your firearm, along with others in your family. The first time you fire your weapon should not be when intruders are firing at you. If you have sufficient practice and understanding, you are more likely to remain calm, even under fire.
Know the plan, teach it to every member of your family, and drill; then drill again. Ensure that your children can give proper information to authorities and help younger siblings or elderly/infirm family members get to safety if need be.
2 – Make a Designated Safe Room
A safe room is ideally an outfitted walk-in closet (or similar space) where you and your family can retreat to safety. A safe room – even if breached by intruders – ensures that they have to fight you on your terms instead of theirs. Here you can control variables that you can’t otherwise, such as direction of entry.
A safe room should have only one means of entrance and exit, and that door should be fortified/strengthened as much as possible. You may choose to use a solid metal storm door. The room should contain a secondary phone in order to call police in case there is a situation that leads to looting (like after a natural disaster). The police may not be able to respond immediately (if at all) during a full-fledged riot, and this gives your family a safe place to stay and a location to defend until help arrives.
Your safe room should also contain a secondary weapon and ammunition. Remember that any shots fired at you are likely to come through the door. Therefore you should plan to situate your family accordingly, in the corner farthest away from the entrance.
Have a simple “alert” word or phrase that can signal to your family that they need to get to the safe room as quickly and safely as possible. “Escape” is ranked highly amongst experts, but any word or short phrase will do. Just make sure it is simple, easy to remember, and that you and your family have practiced using it.
3 – Prepare Your Home
Make sure all of your windows and doors are locked! This is obvious advise but some of the benefits aren’t so apparent. While this will not stop someone who is determined to enter your home, you are much more likely to hear them breaking in than you would be if they come in through an unlocked door or window. Proper locking mechanisms are important to preparation as well; a deadbolt provides much more safety than a simple doorknob lock, and security door bars offer added protection.
A well-trained dog is an excellent early-alert system, but many homes cannot have or do not want an animal. However, the illusion of a dog on the premises can be as much of a deterrent as an actual animal. Placing a large dog bowl on the front step with a “Beware of Dog” or “I Love Rottweilers!” sign around the property will make your home appear less accessible.
Planting thorny plants underneath windows makes those windows more difficult to enter, as well as providing chances to scratch and gather the DNA of any potential intruder for later identification. Plants such as Chinese Holly are easy to care for, attractive, and serve this purpose marvelously.
Proper firearm safety and storage is a must, but it is always helpful to have multiple storage locations. If the only place you store your gun is a safe near the front door, it may be inaccessible in the event of an invasion. A weapon near your bed, another in your safe room, and a third at one other predetermined location in your home will prevent you being unable to reach your protection.
4 – Check and Recheck
Once you have everything in place, don’t leave it and trust it to be ready when the need arises. Check your safe room regularly on a monthly basis, and fix problems accordingly. Continue to practice with your firearms, and always clean weapons after use to ensure proper firing. Have drills periodically to make certain that everyone remembers the proper procedures.
Remember, the way you prepare for a home invasion may have similarities to how other family’s prepare but you and your family will have unique needs and a different home layout. So be sure you prepare for a home invasion while considering your unique circumstances. Use what we listed here a great starting point but you also need to do some critical thinking/planning and adjust your plan accordingly. Most important though, get started now. With reports of riots and home invasions continually on the rise, now is the best time to prepare for the unthinkable. Stand ready to defend what matters.
What do you think?
Do you have any other helpful tips? Have you ever lived through a home invasion? What would you recommend to others to help them prepare?