Quick Test to See if You Can Really Protect Your Family

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protect your family infographicIf you’re reading this article, then chances are pretty high that you are already a prepper. The chances are even higher that being prepared to protect your family is at the top of your list of priorities.

In this article, I’m going to ask you a few simple questions to see if you really are prepared to protect your family in a crisis or if you’re making the mistake of putting “all your eggs in one basket” so to speak.

What do I mean by this, you might ask? If you think that protecting your family is only about how well stocked your gun safe is, I’m sorry to say that you’d be mistaken.

The questions I’m going to ask you on this test may be simple but they are VERY IMPORTANT! It’s also very important that you understand that the strategies and techniques you choose to protect your family with may be entirely different than those that I choose. You alone are responsible for protecting your family so by all means, don’t feel like you have to do everything the same way I do.

Everyone’s situation is different and I’m certainly not going to tell you what you need to do to protect your family. I am however, going to ask some hard questions that will hopefully cause you to take a good close look at your personal family protection plan to see if there are any holes in it.

A lot of times, preppers tend to think in terms of a “doomsday” scenario when it comes to protecting their families. The reality of life is that you are much more likely to be put in a situation where you will have to protect them during the regular course of life than in a serious wide-spread crisis.

If you only have one planned method of protecting your family, chances are you’ve already failed this test. Those who are really prepared will have a multi-faceted plan to protect their loved ones in life or death scenarios.

Something that is very important to keep in mind is that it’s possible that someone may just plan on slipping into your house at night to steal some electronic devices that they can flip for a quick buck. If you happen to catch them in the act, a simple burglary can quickly turn into a violent and even life-threatening encounter.

With that in mind, let’s get started!

1: Are You Doing a Good Job of Deterring People Who May Want to Do Harm to Your Family?

By this I mean, does your home look like an enticing target to a burglar or does it look like it is well protected? Having basic security measures in place such as motion lights and prominently placed home security signs may make your house less attractive to a potential home invader.

Another thing to consider is the decor of your home. Do you enjoy lots of sunshine so you have huge windows with no curtains? This may fit your personal style of decor but it also lets anyone who walks by your home see that your 60″ flat screen TV is right there in your ground-level living room.

On the other side of the coin, if you have young children, do you have curtains with colorful puppies and kittens hanging in their windows? If you do, you may want to consider changing to something that doesn’t shout, “HEY, THIS IS MY CHILD’S BEDROOM” to potential child predators.

2: Do You Have a System in Place to Detect When Your Family Actually Needs Protecting?

Ask yourself this, would you know if there was an intruder in your house during the middle of the night if you were sleeping? Believe it or not, it’s quite common for burglars or even predators to make entry into homes without the homeowners having any knowledge whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I personally know someone who was burglarized during the night and he slept through the entire event! Luckily for him, they were just there to steal things but that’s not always the case.

A good home security system is one example of a way of detecting that there is a threat in your home that needs your attention. Perimeter alarms around your property are another example of a way that you can receive an early warning that you might need to jump into fight or flight mode.

3: Are the Rooms in Your Home Strategically Located so You’ll Actually Have a Chance of Protecting Your Loved Ones?

These next questions are some that people often tend to overlook. Is your master bedroom on the top floor of your house? Are your children’s bedrooms on the main floor near all the entrances? These are some very serious questions.

If someone is able to gain entry into your home during the night and the first bedrooms they come across have your sweet little children asleep in them, while you’re on the top floor sound asleep, this puts you at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to protecting them.

I don’t know about you but I would personally prefer to have the rooms in my house situated in the exact opposite order. By this I mean that I would prefer that anyone who was able to break into my home would have to pass my bedroom before they could get to any of my children’s bedrooms.

This brings up another important question. If you’ve made the decision to try to protect your children by having their bedrooms on the top floor, do you have a ladder laying on the side of your house that a predator could use to make entry into their rooms? This might sound like a stupid question but I see aluminum extension ladders laying on the sides of people’s homes quite often. Since they’re big and bulky, people often don’t want them taking up space in their garage so they leave them outside. In my opinion, this is a huge mistake!

4: Do You Have a Backup Method of Calling for Help in an Emergency?

Experienced burglars or predators will know that if they wake you up, the first thing you’re probably going to do is call 911. Unfortunately, they also know that many home security systems are connected to your home’s telephone landline. If an intruder took the time to cut your phone line before they made entry into your home, would you have a way of calling 911 for help?

A good habit to get into is to always have a phone next to your bed. This includes both a landline and your cell phone. This way, if you hear a “bump in the night”, you can get the police heading your way immediately. If your cell phone charger is on the nightstand next to your bed, and your landline has been cut, you’ll still have a way of calling for help.

Here’s a handy tip: Get into the habit of keeping your car keys on the night stand next to your bed at night. This way, if you think you hear an intruder, you can hit the panic button on your keys to sound your car alarm. If it’s a false alarm, the worst that might happen is you could wake up your neighbors. If, however, there really is an intruder, hearing the alarm may be enough to convince them to turn around and run. I personally would rather scare an intruder off using this tip than end up in a violent encounter.

5: Do You Have the Necessary Gear to Protect Your Family from a Threat?

I know that a lot of prepping websites write about firearms but I’m not going to. I certainly have nothing against them but this is one of those topics that I keep to myself about. What I will say is that I think it’s important to have some type of effective “force multiplier” readily available so that you can protect yourself or your family should the need arise. How you choose to do that is entirely up to you.

6: Would You Really Be Proficient in a Life-Threatening Situation with Your Personal Protection Gear?

Whatever type of force multiplier you plan on using to protect your family, you need to be very proficient with it.

During an actual home invasion, your adrenaline will be pumping like crazy! Whether you want to believe it or not, you’re probably also going to be scared. If you’ve only practiced using the gear that you plan on protecting you and your family with a few times, the combination of fear and adrenaline could significantly inhibit your ability to actually protect your family when it really counts.

If, on the other hand, you have practiced so much that you developed muscle memory, your chances of effectively using your personal protection equipment will be greater.

7: Do You Have a Safe Place in Your Home for Your Family to Hide In?

We’ve all heard the term “fight or flight”. When it comes to protecting your family, there’s no shame in realizing that fighting may not be your best option. I personally believe that it’s entirely possible, and likely, that you could encounter a situation where your best option is to gather your family and barricade yourself in a safe place until the police can arrive.

Many people have installed “safe rooms” in their homes for just such an occasion. I’m personally a very strong advocate of this strategy. Regardless of how much personal protection gear you might have or how well you are trained, the smart choice may be to lock yourself and your family in a safe place so that you can live to fight another day.

Only you can make this decision but as for me and my family, we could care less whether an burglar steals our TV. Our primary priority is keeping our family safe and if that means letting someone sneak off with our television, so be it.

8: Do You Have a Way of Escaping to a Safer Place?

All serious preppers have a “bug out plan” in place. Part of having this type of plan is discussing (ahead of time) when you will actually leave your home to retreat to a safer location.

Next, let me take a minute and present a scenario for you. Let’s assume that a doomsday event were to occur and you found yourself in a situation where your home was suddenly going to be overrun with looters and marauders.

I don’t think I would be alone in saying that most preppers would prefer to bug out without anyone in their family being injured. How you go about doing this is completely up to you but it might not be a bad idea to have some way of escaping without those who would intend to do you harm knowing that you had even left.

This could be via a secret escape hatch through your safe room, a hidden backdoor, or something else. The main point is that if you attempt to escape and you are pursued, there is still a risk of someone being injured. On the other hand, if you are able to quietly slip away without anyone knowing that you left, your chances of making a safe getaway are much higher.

Let Sum Things Up

It’s my sincere hope that this article has helped you to realize that protecting your family in a life or death situation isn’t just about who has the bigger stick. Our most highly trained military forces realize that having a well designed plan in place and knowing that there is a right time to retreat is all part of being properly prepared.

In closing, let me ask you this, “would you rather have one option when it comes time to protect your family or several?”

Please think long and hard about how you plan on protecting your family from an impending threat. Being able to think strategically and leave testosterone or pride out of the decision-making process may mean the difference between life and death.

How Did You Do on the Test?

I’d really like to know how you did when it came to answering the questions on this test. Please take a minute and leave a comment in the box below and tell us all how you did.

Disclaimer: I feel like I should mention that it’s possible to do everything I’ve suggested in this article in addition to any other measures that you plan on taking and you and/or your family members could still be harmed by an intruder.

Remember, there are no guarantees in prepping. All we can do is prepare the best way that we think fits our personal situation and “hope” that our preparation pays off.

3 Responses to “Quick Test to See if You Can Really Protect Your Family”

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  1. Chris says:

    I did well on this test, but I’d like to point out some things..

    I think there’s more to #1 than making your home look like a fortress, instead of like a good target. Notice, we agree that someone is looking for a good target, whether it is to rob you, or harm someone. You can also make your home look ‘uninteresting’, in the hopes an attacker/burglar’s attention is drawn to a much more interesting home up the block. Just as removing things from windows and room interiors that scream “A kid is in this room!”, you can make the home’s exterior look less shiny and pricey, to give many burglars the impression you don’t have nice things to steal.

    I favor this approach, because, when it comes to prepping, there’s the reverse logic, that, the house that looks like a fortress probably has treasure inside worth getting.

    So, my home doesn’t have a fresh coat of paint, or a nice car parked outside, or boxes for high-end electronics down by the road waiting for trash pickup. My windows do not contain fancy curtains, and there are no nice toys in the yard. It’s also favorable if your home is neither at the end or head of the street. Burglars will be casing your neighborhood. It is at the beginning and end of the street that they will be most alert for targets, as well as when they near turn-offs to other neighborhoods.

    I also believe that self-defense comes first, even when families are involved. What I mean by that, is that you need to include and involve the family in your plan. Have them move to a certain location, if they feel in danger. This location can be your room, or a ‘panic’ room, or even a neighbor’s house. Showing them how to climb out windows in the event of a fire also shows them how to slip out of the house when intruders are present. Coordinate your defense plan with your family, and don’t just ‘do’ for them. Self-defense coming first is about getting them to participate in their defense as much as possible.

    With regard to being ready and proficient in the act of defending home and life, that is not something you can just read about, or mentally prepare for. You have to train, and train, and train. The fight/flight response is actually not true. It’s fight/flight/freeze. When you train yourself, you direct your mind more toward the part of the response you want to happen. You can condition yourself, for instance, to always run from trouble. There are many people, bully victims for example, who condition themselves to always freeze and let whatever happen to them. Training and conditioning are vital in self-defense, and prepping, because they direct you away from undesired results. Knowing you can throw a punch isn’t enough. You have to throw that punch, consistently, every time you want to throw that punch. Even when you’re scared, uncertain, and under pressure of worry about where your loved ones are.

  2. Vetmike says:

    A complex subject with no easy answer. I think the very first thing one should do is ask themselves honestly just to what extent they are willing to go to protect their family. And be honest. The time to decide is not when the horde is climbing over the fence.

  3. BillC says:

    In terms of reducing your home as a target, there are ways to thwart intruders without it being too obvious, like seeing surveillance cameras mounted on the eaves.

    First is to look at your home from the street and identify places that will hide you from view of anyone passing by. Large shrubs, especially near windows give nice privacy but thieves can hide from view between them and the window while they try to get in. Keep your privacy by trimming the bottoms of the shrubs up about 2.5 – 3 feet so legs and crouching figures have no concealment. Keep the tops of the shrubs to 5 feet max so a standing man is easily visible. You can also plant deterrent bushes near windows. Plants like Holly bushes or thorny bushes like Roses or Pyracantha will make it easier for them to go elsewhere.

    For doors, replace hinge screws with screws at least 3.5-4″ long so they bite into the wood studs behind the door jamb. It’ll make the door sturdier. Likewise use a solid wood door and use 2.5-3″ screws on its hinges. Repeat for the lock strike plates on the door jamb. Or utilize one of the new steel reinforcing kits to stregthen the locking system. The weakest point of the door is around the knob. There’s only about a 1″ wide section of wood covering the lock’s bolt. And it’s thinned down by the hole for the bolt in the door. Reinforce with a wrap-around brass plate.

    Glass windows next to or in the doors should be replaced or at least backed by sturdy polycarbonate to prevent breaking to reach in and open the door. Regular windows in your home should be lockable. You can alarm them with inexpensive battery powered alarms. These can be mounted with Velcro to allow you to alarm a partially open window in warm weather.

    Put a padlock on any exterior circuit breaker panels. This prevents thieves from shutting off the power to alarm systems and any Internet/VOIP phones or cordless phones. One trick some thieves use is to cut your main breaker then wait somewhere to see if a resident looks outside or comes outside to investigate. If no one shows up in 10-15 minutes they’ll go inside.

    Telephone lines can be protected by half-round metal wire covers with flanges that allow you to screw them into the wall over the wire.

    Nighttime security can be enhanced with solar powered motion-detecting LED lights mounted under the eaves near windows and doors. Don’t forget to alarm and light the small garage door on your home too.

    Automatic garage doors can be vulnerable too. They don’t need a transmitter, just a coat hanger or wire hook. Most aluminum panel roll up doors can be pushed back near the top of the door frame. The thief then inserts the wire hook and probes until he either catches the manual-pull release rope or the lever for the release. Once that is done the door opens by hand. Use a small cable-tie (“zip tie”) to secure the lever to the gear-slider body. It’ll break if you yank hard on the cord but it has to be downward to break the tie.

    Hopefully this helps a few folks secure their homes a little better.

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