Today is Part six of the “Low Cost Survival Checklist” series, which was requested by Stephen of TN. I will be discussing home security essentials, personal security essentials, and the need for situational awareness and situational awareness training.
Before I get into the topic, let me remind you to go to my National Preparedness Month Social Media Post that I have made one facebook and twitter and share it for chances to win cool survival gear! Remember, I have been pushing others to share the post that I have made, so I can track all the shares, so if you share directly from the site, or in your own share or tweet, please send me the URL, so I can ensure that I get the correct count, or you can tag my facebook or twitter pages and then I will see it.
Remember, this is a reader-requested series of posts (Stephen of TN) and I do enjoy covering topics that I am asked to cover. It is a way for me to make this blog OURS, not mine. It allows me to make all of the subject matter about topics that are actually needed by the readers. Contact me if you have any other requests.
Let’s begin with the personal security essentials. Most of this is mindset:
You need to practice the use of situational awareness. You simply need to be aware of your surroundings. Every day, when I drive into work, I look for something (just one thing) that is different than the day before. It isn’t the fact that I notice the difference, it is the act of looking for differences in my surroundings that makes me notice more.
When driving with the family, it is a neat game to play to see if everyone can notice something out of the ordinary. Maybe even two or three things that just don’t belong in the picture. Maybe your spouse notices a boarded up building in the middle of town, or the children notice a guy in a suit loitering in front of a convenience store. It could be anything.
When entering a public place, you can look for the proper exits, where your areas of concealment are, where your areas of containment are. Both have their advantages. You could ask to be located to a place of better tactical advantage, or to sit where you can see all entry and exit points. All you are doing is taking 10 seconds to consider possibilities and then enjoy your stay as you normally would. If you took the 10 seconds to scan your surroundings, you will notice when something is out of the ordinary.
All of these things are training us to notice things. It trains our senses to work the way they used to before we were all in “social security.” If you don’t train, you are actually training yourself to regress and to overlook. There really is no standing still, you are either moving forward or backward.
You need some basic self-defense training. Once trained, DO NOT think that the methods taught will work. The big takeaway is to counter agressive force with much more agressive force. If someone means to push me down, I mean to (warning: ear muffs!) slam their face into the cement and wipe the floor with it. This isn’t literal. I want to become so agressive when I MUST BE that the attacker has no moves or plans. Most people are not this way, so when you are, the agressor is taken off guard which is a huge advantage for you. I am not a defense expert or defense instructor. I wish I had someone to train with, or even enough money to train more, but I have had some training and do believe in training.
I could go all day with this but I will say this and move on to home security: Do not start anything. If you think there is a way out of a situation, take it. But, if you know in your mind that the only way to defend is to attack, then do it so viciously that the other person is taken aback, and attack where the most damage is done, so there is no recovery and they are so disabled that they cannot attack you or anyone else.
Now for the Home Security Portion:
I didn’t mention it above because I will be mentioning it here. Pepper Spray is awesome for personal and home security alike. It is very cheap and is a non-deadly or less deadly weapon. Keep one on you, along with your knife and firearm when possible. You can place them strategically around the home. Good Places:
If you are comfortable with it and have trained your children accordingly, I don’t think it would be a poor idea to make the sprays available for their use.
Another cheap weapon… a baseball bat. One hidden at every bedside.
It may not be really cheap, but you need to have a firearm at home for defense. I recommend 20 or 12 gauge pumps. For the home, I like the maneuverability of a youth model. Keep self defense rounds or #4 buckshot in it. A used pump shotgun is extremely cheap for home defense and probably the best tactical, close-range weapon around when used properly.
Keep all car and house locks locked. They aren’t as secure as you may think, however. Using a buddybar on the door will work much better if they kick the door in. I saw the MasterLock version and others, but the Buddybar just seemed like a better built piece of equipment. Both got good reviews however, so you make your choice. Place the transparent 3M window film on your windows to make them almost unbreakable. Get a dog. We have one that will bark like crazy if ANYTHING is out of the ordinary, and we have a large quiet one as the inforcer. So we have the alarm and attacker. They won’t fail too often.
Security systems, security systems, security systems. Get a reasonable system, and my honest opinion is that motion sensors are more important to be placed at entry points thatn the window and door proxes, but with dogs, you have to be selective with those. Keep that sign out front. It will deter those that are not professionals, which are probably the ones that make the most rash decisions when you catch them.
Understand what is going on around you. Is your power out so you don’t have an alarm system? Was there a disaster leaving people desperate or rioting a few blocks away? These things can place you at a higher threat, and you should raise awareness accordingly.
To keep things as low cost as possible, I intentionally left electronics and such out of this post, but if you can think of using radio for security, cameras, or even more and you have the money… go for it. I wholly support that. I should say that the cameras and things have come down in price substantially.
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