Okay so by now you might feel better with a safe room added. But the most crucial piece of advice available is to have an action plan for every possible situation. Starting as professionals in the industry most all of us think only about the adrenaline rush of a good gunfight and multiple attackers coming from all corners of the street, but soon we get smacked with something most boring, but which happened to save us all at some point on duty, planning. Whether we call it mission planning, operations planning, or Standard Operational Procedures, it has one aim in focus, what to do whenever you need to do it.
Imagine driving somewhere you’ve never been before, without a GPS or any directions, and then ending up somewhere really dangerous, where you would have never imagined to find yourself in. That’s what lack of planning does. It aims you to failure, sometimes even fatal.
If we had to drive a client somewhere and got attacked, how would we react? Leave the client at his/her mercy? Run to the nearest police station? Submit to the attackers? Think about this for a while, if you were to approach your home in the middle of the night, or be woken up by a loud noise at the front door, how do you react? What do you do or who do you call? Does each family member know what to do when you give the command or does your wife run around the house swinging baseball bats while your children are fast asleep?
90% of what we do in the professional industry is planning. Why should you think of it any less? At least we have professional support in the industry, do you? Unless you have a full-time protection detail with you, then no, you don’t have that support. But nothing prevents you from creating your custom support structure.
The next step now will be to create your very own action plan. By this, I mean a simple and effective plan that every member of your family should know by heart. Whether it starts with you activating a panic alarm and your wife switching off / on all the lights, or every member gathering in a safe room.
It’s important to give each member who is able, a corresponding responsibility/task to his/her level of ability. You do not want grandma guarding the door (Unless she handles the shotgun better than anyone else), or your toddler making the call to police/reaction services.
Let’s look at some tasks that need to be covered in a security breach.
- Make sure all family members are safe and accounted for. Get every member together, you’re not shooting the next horror movie.
- Barricade yourself from the attack, you’re not Rambo (even when you’re trained to be like him).
- Make the call for assistance.
- Protect yourself.
- Treat for trauma.
How to do it:
When you’re approaching in a vehicle:
- Make sure all family members are in the vehicle. When you stopped somewhere and someone got out, get them in as quickly as possible. Unless the vehicle is being hijacked, then you want them out as fast as possible. When you have been hi-jacked, robbed, or attacked keep all your family members together, you don’t want them separately having panic attacks or running around wildly, this only increases emotional stress and risk.
- Get away from the vehicle or the threat, you can replace the vehicle, you cannot replace a family member. Rambo doesn’t get shot, because the bullets aren’t real and the knife attacks are fake. The best way to avoid or prevent an attack is to make a run for it.
- As soon as you can, phone police and emergency services, then you need to phone a family member.
- Protect yourself at all cost, make sure there are no more threats. Please remember to stay within the law, you don’t want to be arrested just after a traumatic incident. If you’re driving away from a threat, don’t unnecessarily run red lights or fly across stop streets and intersections.
- If you or any family member is injured or wounded, treat them as soon as possible until emergency services arrive or till you get to a hospital. Always remember to check for panic attacks and shock. Shock can kill you! (Send as many family members for first-aid training as possible).
When you’re approaching on foot:
- In this case, you need to call for help immediately, know who to call and have their numbers on speed dial. Try to stay calm and clearly describe to the person on the other side of the call where you are and then only what is your situation. Stay on the line if possible until help arrives.
- Try not to have each family member make a run for it separately. You will be stronger in a group than individually. If need be, the strongest individual can stay and ward off the attack while the rest moves together to safety, which should also be a designated place.
- Get to a safe place as soon as possible, the nearest neighbor, shop, police station, or friend's house if you’re too far from home. Any place with good movement or protection from attackers will do.
- Whenever you are out, always have a plan to defend yourself. If you are trained with firearms and legally own one, take it with you (if it’s always in the safe, sell it). Learn martial arts and self-defense. Use it as a last resort. You do not want to aggravate your attacker, give them what they want, and get it over with, only when you have no choice should you retaliate with force, but be ready to fight for your life and defend yourself in court afterward. Yes, I said it, give them what they want. As professionals, we know that when it comes down to having to fight, it could mean we have not done our job in the first place. Only when we tried to avoid the attack as much as possible is it acceptable to resist with force. That includes being aware of your situation and identifying a possible attack before it even happens.
- When you reach safety, again treat any injury or wounds as necessary until emergency services can reach you.
Action plan for your safe-room:
Inside your home family members might be scattered in different rooms, some might be jamming away on their headphones and others just chilling in front of the TV while mom is cooking. This scenario creates a communication problem, and you need to have a specific call that will activate your action plan immediately (an air horn works perfectly). Please discipline your children that this is not a joke and every time they make that call they should be accountable for their actions.
This action plan should be activated as soon as you suspect an intruder in your yard or home, or when your early warning system is activated and a threat is confirmed.
- Make the call for your action plan to be activated. Make sure every member knows this and communicates it effectively and clearly. Perfect practice makes perfect.
- Get to your safe-room and lock the door, security gate, and anything else that you choose to barricade yourself from the threat. Do not open up until help is at the other side of the door or you are forced out!
- Make the phone call or whatever use of communication you have to notify any outside service you choose, whether it’s your armed response company, the police, or some family members who are ready to assist.
- By now every member should know his or her role, one protects the door. Another guards the windows and the others are ready to reload or assist where needed.
- Make sure every member is treated for any injuries, watch out for shock! It can kill! At least 2 family members should know basic first-aid at the very minimum. Make sure you have medical supplies and blankets ready to treat anyone.