You’re sitting at work when all of the sudden one of your co-worker’s shouts with a terrible shriek, “Did you hear?” He can see the confused look on your face and explains, “The financial markets just collapsed and everyone’s running to the bank and ATMs.”
By Jason Hanson
You hear commotion in the parking lot and run to your office window to see people screeching out of the lot and pandemonium occurring outside. You then run to the TV in the lobby and the local news is showing fights and riots breaking out at a bank just a few miles from you.
In this situation, and in the majority of crisis situations (no matter what the crisis is), you want to do the exact opposite of the mob of people. In other words, instead of running to the bank or the ATM machine, you want to check in with your family and make sure they’re safe.
Then, you want to head home so you can safely hunker down while people are going crazy at the bank and ATM machines. The fact is, if you’ve properly planned ahead, then you shouldn’t need to head to a bank to access money.
Personally, I believe in keeping enough cash on hand to cover my family’s expenses for one month. Obviously, this amount will be different for everyone and some people will need $2,500, some will need $5,000 and some will need more. Whatever amount you need, make sure and have a variety of bills with most of the money being in $20s.
After heading home, the next thing you want to do is gather your gear and ensure you can quickly evacuate your home if the need arises. Ideally, you will remain in your home and shelter-in-place because you’ve already got a roof over your head and food storage and water storage handy.
However, if the crisis requires you to flee your home, you want to make sure you can do it in a matter of minutes. This is why you want to be able to load your food storage quickly in a car (I use the #10 size cans) and why you want to be able to load water quickly too (I use the 7 gallon Aqua-Tainers.) In addition to food and water you should have your 72-hour kits sitting in your basement so you can throw them in your trunk.
Once you’ve gathered your gear and are prepared to evacuate, it’s critical to monitor the news. If TVs are still working you can watch the news, or you can get on the internet. I also highly recommend having a small radio in your home that you can turn on during an emergency. The radio I use is the Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio and it’s very inexpensive, costing only about $20.
At the same time that you’re monitoring the airwaves to see if you need to leave your home, you also need to be thinking about home defense since you’ll hopefully be remaining where you are at. Since I’m a gun guy, I would first make sure I was armed just in case any looters came through my neighborhood.
If it were a major catastrophe, I would also get out my rifle in addition to having a pistol on my hip. After all, if it were some crazy end of the world scenario, I would much rather rely on my rifle with a 30-round magazine than on my handgun that holds 15 rounds.
After I was armed, I would ensure all of the doors and windows were secure and that one of my family members is a lookout to let me know if any trouble was coming down the street. Depending on the level of potential danger, I might take my cars and block off the entrance to my cul-de-sac to keep people from coming down our street.
Fortunately, I’ve got like-minded neighbors who also own firearms, so it wouldn’t be hard to block off the neighborhood entrance and deter people from coming in. (This has been done in cities in past riots and saved neighborhoods from being destroyed.)
After establishing security for home and neighborhood you have to continually collect intelligence on the situation so you know what to do next. If the time comes to evacuate, you need to know how long you might be holed up at home; you need to know the danger level in your surrounding area.
I certainly know this isn’t something pleasant to think about, but people all over the world find themselves in this situation every day. You and I are blessed that we don’t, but if our time does come would you be able to go through the steps outlined above?
Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free credit card knife from Jason, visit www.SpyEscape.com
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