Here are several tips for making it out alive and even how to avoid being targeted for a home invasion in the first place.
In a collapse of society, realize this -- the crooks are coming. Here's how to be ready before they get to your home -- and then scare them off when they do. Congratulations -- you just escaped with your life.
2) In the event of a home invasion, beforehand establish a "safe room" in your home for your children, where your wife and kids can flee to at the first sign of forced entry. Outfit the door with a dead bolt lock, that can be easily locked as the last person enters. Have a secondary plan for family members in distant part of the home to escape out backdoors and windows with pre-planned routes to get to neighbors' homes (and hopefully phone police). If more than one member of the family can handle a firearm, having a firearm kept in a lockbox in different rooms of the home may mean that at least someone in the family is able to get to a firearm and use it (but they must truly be capable for this to really be counted on in the heat of the moment).
3) Security experts recommend having a code word that when said (or shouted) tells one another to run for the safe room. It can be a simple word such as "ESCAPE" or a simple phrase, "GET TO SAFETY".
4) Days in advance, place a heavy piece of furniture in your safe room, that can be slid in front of the door. Have one or two 4x4 lengths of lumber inside your safe room as well, that can be used to provide leverage against the heavy piece of furniture in front of the door, and also the far wall. That way, if the door is kicked, it doesn't budge easily. Be aware that a good kick could force these 4x4s through the drywall, on the far wall. With that in mind, have a piece of 3/4 inch plywood also in your safe room. Leverage the ends of the 4x4s against the plywood so that the force from any kicks to the door is diffused over a wide area, and doesn't result in the drywall caving in that the plywood rests up against.
However you do it, fortifying the door so it's not easily kicked down will buy you time, should home invaders discover the room your family is hiding in with your family.
Now, while your wife and kids are locking themselves in that room, you can go into action -- defend your family with whatever means are at your disposal.
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Warning: Many home phones operate off television or dish services nowadays; wires to these can be easily cut outside your home, which means your home phone won't work (should home invaders cut the line), and you won't be able to call police. So, have a secondary cell phone plugged in and charged in your safe room, as your go-to phone in a home invasion. Make sure that young children have your home address memorized, as they will have to provide it when calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone.
An additional step to protect your home land-line: Install a dummy phone box outside your home with dummy wires leading from it. Then, specifically for the actual phone box, use a shrub or better yet, some kind of external vent to disguise and or hide it's existence. (You'll have to let the phone company technician know it's whereabouts, if the phone company is ever out for a service call, but don't explain why it's there -- what if one of the technician's colleagues is a crook after hours? Better safe than sorry.)
5) Have a small hidden safe or lock-box inside your safe room, where you can keep a handgun, that you can get to quickly. Practice running to the room, and unlocking the safe, and retrieving the gun, and being ready to fire through the door, should the home invaders make their way into the room. Have a spare key hidden in the room to this lock box, or a combination lock that is easily entered.
Be sure not to fire at police, who may show up in the next 5 - 15 minutes, after 9-1-1 has been called.
6) Consider having a "pump" shot-gun as back up or even your go-to firearm. It's said that the well-familiar sound of a pump shotgun being "pumped" (loaded), can put fear into intruders. Go to the back window, open it, and fire two shots into the air. This may be enough to scare off intruders.
7) Whether you have a shot gun or not, stay in your safe room until police arrive. Unless they've heard gun shots or know you're inside the home, invaders may not realize that you're in your safe room while they go through the rest of your home, collecting valuables.
Yes, you may have the legal right to shoot -- but what if you can scare the robbers away without having to shoot anyone? What if these are just some teenage burglars, who have no idea that you are inside with children? Again, you may have the legal right to shoot, if you feel your life is threatened, but why not try to scare them away first?
Here's another item to keep in your safe room, for this purpose: A bull-horn. Bull-horns are sometimes used on boats to communicate with people on land, because of how loud they magnify a person's voice. They've also been used by police in situations like crowd control and at sporting events to announce scores or race results to people in the stands.
With your bull-horn, you can speak through the door, shouting, "I have a gun and I'll shoot. Leave the house immediately. This is your final warning. The police have been called. My neighbors are being notified." ... Continue to repeat these words.
But what about the more violent, brazen robbers, who have broken into your home, armed with their own firearms, confident that they can take the life of any resistance they encounter?
Though there are a fewer number of truly violent, fearless home invaders, they are out there; they are dangerous.
If you want to be prepared for this kind of home invasion, a specialized dead bolt and fortified door frame, and a heavy-duty door, are going to put up a lot more resistance to kicks, than a typical bedroom door might. As stated above, have a heavy piece of furniture that can be slid in front of the door also, and lumber that can be used to leverage the furniture against the far wall, so it doesn't slide, preventing the door from being forced open.
If you're sure it's not the police coming to your rescue, shoot through the door. Previous to this, wave your family out of sight of the door, just in case these home invaders shoot their own weapons through the door, at you. Move your family to the least likely area of the room for bullets to strike.
1) First quiet your family and listen, to be sure that home invaders have entered your home and they're not still outside looking for a place to enter. (Caution: They may suspect you're inside the home, and moving silently, looking for you).
2) Open your back window and scan the property, looking for anyone who might be hiding out. If you don't see anyone, you can take your chances and make your escape.
3) Your wife can go out the window first, and you can hand a child out to her, and then finally flee also. Have a planned escape path in mind, that leads through the rear of the property. You may have to force aside a couple boards on the back fence; so have 3 - 4 boards that are not nailed at the bottom; they only look nailed from the outside. Put these boards back in place, behind you, so that home invaders (who may be searching for you), don't see the escape path you've taken.
1) Don't run to the next door neighbor's home... the invaders might not be after your belongings, they may actually be after you, especially if these are people who have been watching you, and are seeking something of specific importance, or are there to take you as hostage. So keep running... flee to a neighbor's home a few houses down, if you can. Put as much space between you and the home invaders as possible, so that you're not heard as you seek help from a neighbor.
Put a large dog bowl on your back porch. Would be burglars would likely choose a better house, one that didn't have the dog bowl. Can that work on your front port also? Maybe hanging a really large dog collar and leash along with a sign that says "My Best Friend is a Rottweiler" (here are several Rottweiler security signs to choose from) will be enough to drastically reduce your chances of a home invasion or even just a burglary taking place. (If you're a fan of pit bulls or another security dog, you can probably find security signs for these other canines as well).
Many crooks who show up to case your house will simply look for an easier house elsewhere.
To increase the effectiveness of this actually working, the more you can make your home look like you have a canine living there (even if you don't), the more likely potential home invaders are to be scared off. If the only dog bowl you have is on the back porch, and they simply show up at your front door and come through that way, your decoy won't work in this case. They'll never see it.
Consider putting multiple canine decoys around your property to scare off home invaders and burglars, and also within easy eye sight inside your home should someone look through a window or glass door. That could include a large dog bed, large bag of dog food and a few large canine rubber bones (chew toys).
Even better -- why not actually have a trained guard dog? For those with the means a trained guard dog could be a good deterrent to a home invasion (and make a good friend and new member of the family on top of that).
Rioters, looters, and criminals are likely to go after homes, and my heart goes out to the families likely to suffer from beatings, rapes, and murder across the landscape.
My advice: Pray for guidance on just how much self defense if any God would lead you to take. Let's face it -- in a dangerous world God can protect us but as the Bible shows that's not always the case -- sometimes we are burned by our inactions and or poor decisions and parents have seen their children suffer because they have not taught them situational awareness and defensive strategies for countering danger.
Knowing that these dangers are coming at some point in the coming years I recommend readers prayerfully consider tactical training -- not only may your tactical training one day protect your immediate family, but you also may be able to help other neighbors who have been targeted by crooks for home invasion or worse.
Purchase a bull horn with a siren you can sound in an emergency.
Install a home alarm system that operates on a back up battery. Even if the grid goes down, your home's localized siren could alert neighbors that intruders have entered your home. Have a portable security device (key fob) carried on you at all times that will immediately activate your home alarm when pressed (not all alarm companies offer this feature, so choose one that does).
Invest in several canisters of police strength pepper spray and store in areas of your home that can be quickly accessed in an emergency -- if you or other family members are being chased or pursued, spray directly at your attackers and you can immobilize them long enough to get to safety.
Keep a portable battery operated spot light in different areas of your home that you can shine out of windows at any nighttime prowlers. Knowing you are awake and alert inside may scare off most prowlers before they have entered your home.
Install motion activated solar powered lights around your property; the motion of a human triggers these security lights to come on automatically -- proven deterrents.
Caution your children on the dangers of home invasion and how to respond tactically by sounding a safety horn or siren (or activating your home's alarm system so a siren sounds), seeking out pepper spray and using it correctly, calling 911 (if available), retreating to a safe room, and even using a fire arm in an extreme life or death situation.