In the military it’s called “E&E” or Escape and Evasion, and it has to do with what to do if you are captured or separated from you unit, or an airman downed behind enemy lines. But E&E comes very much into play in “urban survival” situations too.
A home invasion, or bugging out during civil unrest takes on many of the actions and decision making aspects of an “E&E” op. Make no mistake, in a hostile civilian engagement, such as a break-in, a mugging, or kidnap situation, the bad guys are the enemy — every bit as much as in a theater of war. As the enemy that means his aim is to harm or kill you – and unlike in theater, probably your loved ones as well. That makes him a very dangerous enemy, and once you’re in his control –you’re screwed. I suggest an urban E&E Course, they are available, simply Google “Urban Escape and Evasion Class.” In such a class you will learn everything from how to escape from zip-ties, to being handcuffed, blindfolded and locked in a trunk. But here are a few tips.
“Evasion” in a home invasion situation means having a “safe room.” You need a simple code word that tells your family there is trouble and it’s time to get to the panic room. Don’t get fancy; just shout, “ESCAPE.” It works fine. Ideally it should be a room with only one defensible entrance. You should have a weapon in the room, but the most important item in the panic room is a cell phone.
Stay in the safe room with your family to defend them, especially if you are armed. Fight the urge to play hero and go off single handedly against the attackers. If you do have a gun with you in the safe room, position yourself in a far corner of the room opposite the door. This forms a “fatal tunnel” giving you the maximum amount of time to shoot because you’ll be the last thing the intruders see when they burst through the door.
Do not leave the room until the police have arrived, even if you think the intruders have left. They may be hiding to coax you out of the room and take you hostage.
If somehow you are cut off from your safe-room in you own home, or a kidnapping attempt off the streets, your window for escape is never better than during the first moments of the attack. There’s a lot of chaos going on at that moment, and the enemy hasn’t had a chance to get organized and take you to a more secure location. Once they get on their “home turf” security will most likely double and your chances of escaping greatly decrease.
In a home invasion, you may be able to buy some time and look for avenues of escape by complying with the robbers to some point, but NEVER agree to being tied-up or restrained in any way.
You have a good chance of getting out alive if your enemies never let you see their faces. But if they do, that means they don’t care, and you are likely toast. During a home invasion, if they let you see them, they probably intend to kill you after they get what they came for. If, on the other hand, they keep themselves hidden, they might mean to turn you loose when it’s all over.
So, if the bad guys don’t try to hide their identity, you probably have very little to lose by attempting to escape. If you don’t escape, you’re probably dead anyway. If you get hurt or killed attempting to escape, you haven’t lost much.
Tips and Takeaways
- Think like a criminal. If a criminal looked at your house, would it look like an easy or attractive target? Don’t leave anything of value, or status outside, trim bushes and other landscape features so there is nowhere to hide, get some heavy-duty curtains. Compare your house to your neighbors’ houses. Make sure it looks more secure than theirs. If not, your house could be targeted first.
- Prepare for everything and be ready for anything. Keep a pair of easy to put on comfortable shoes at the foot of your bed, in case you have to get up and out quickly. Keep a loaded firearm within reasonable distance of your bed.
- Stay in Shape. Being agile and fit is one of biggest advantages you can give yourself.
- Learn Some Form of Self Defense. Doesn’t matter what. You need to learn some kind of martial art. It can be something simple like karate or boxing or something more unique like Krav Maga. Knowing some kind of hand-to hand combat will give you and your family tremendous piece of mind.
- Never Open The Door. The easiest way to avoid a home invasion is to never open the door to a stranger. Use a peephole or window to see who is at your door. If you don’t know them, ask them what they need through the door. Also, carry your weapon with you when you approach the door. It won’t do you any good if your gun is upstairs beside your bed if a criminal tries to bash their way in when you open the door.
- Prepare Your Family. Prepare your family for what they’ll need to do in the event of a home invasion. Getting your kids to a safe area will be your primary focus so practice what you want them to do. Teach your kids to lock themselves in a bathroom, or other safe room, with a cell phone and how tocall 911 for help.
- Drills, Drills, Drills. You need to practice your home protection plan with your family. Also a good way to see how vulnerable your home is, is to do a dryrun as a criminal. Trying to rob your own house will help you find the holes in your defenses, and also helps to practice your safety plan with your family– just make sure they know its a drill, and don’t get yourself shot!
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