Home Invasions, Do You Have a Plan of Action? Part 2

By Lisa Metheny published on in Guest Posts, Preparedness, Survival

In our first installment, we discussed creating an action plan. Now we will talk about planning ahead in the event we are faced with an intruder.

Hopefully, your plan of action, coupled with dialing 911, has discouraged any home invader. By now, the invader has  fled, leaving you and your loved ones unharmed, although probably a little rattled. Not all home invasions turn out like that, and sadly, we do not live in a make-believe world full of puppies and snowflakes. Reality can equal danger. The reality of encountering a full-blown home invasion, by thugs who can cause you great harm or even kill you, is nothing to take lightly.

Two people with dark ski masks breaking into a home through the sliding glass door.

How would you respond if more than one person broke into your home?

Each and every home invasion scenario is different. The bad guys’ pedigree varies greatly, plus the “loot” the criminals are in search of is vast. The different potential factors make it difficult—if not impossible—to give you an exact, step-by-step, home invasion to-do list.

However, you can prepare yourself by thinking ahead and asking yourself some questions.

We all have a flight or fight instinct within us.

  • Do you stay and fight?
  • Do you try to get away or set off the alarm?
  • Do you go for your gun?
  • Will you be paralyzed with fear and incapable of doing either?

The truth is none of us really know how we would react to a situation unless we already have encountered one. As difficult as it is to imagine going through this situation, experts suggest you do just that.

Just as you would practice for a fire or tornado, you should practice an invasion drill that includes what to do when face to face with criminals. Again, the scenarios are too many to cover, and here are some of the basic things you may encounter:

  • What would you do if someone busts down the door while your spouse/kids are upstairs?
  • What would you do if you walk in on a burglary in progress?
  • How would you respond if multiple family members were in the home?

When face to face with criminals, experts advise remaining calm as your best option—if you plan to make it out alive. They also recommend a quick assessment of the situation, done in a way that does not put you in a more dangerous situation. For example:

  • Does the invader seem high on drugs or intoxicated?
  • Does the invader act like he knows what he’s doing (professional), or is he a sloppy, nervous thief?
  • Is he as scared as you?
  • Does he want to get items and get out quickly, or is he comfortable and taking his time?
  • Is there more than one person?
  • Is he using a weapon?
  • Is the invader after one specific thing, such as electronics, cash or jewelry?
Two invaders in dark ski masks and black clothing are caught in the act of stealing from a home.

If you come face to face with criminals, ask yourself if they seem to just want to get items and get out?

While you are assessing the situation, remember not to make eye contact. Most thieves know the danger of being identified. Also, unless you are highly trained with a specific set of skills and can channel your inner Texas Ranger, do not confront them.

  • Can you make a quick escape if they get distracted?
  • If so, where will you run?
  • Should you stand your ground and fight?

Again, unless you have close-quarter combat training, experts do not recommend confronting the invaders.

Now is the time to start thinking about what to do, how to answer some of these questions and how you would react to those answers. In the end, your life is far more valuable than personal property. It is important to remind everyone there is no one-size-fits-all perfect plan; every situation is different, and even the best-laid plans can fail.

Have you answered these questions for yourself? With your family? Share what happened as you walked through the questions and answers in the comment section.

Lisa Metheny is a published award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, speaker and outdoor skills instructor. Lisa holds several instructor certifications and conducts a number of women-focused outdoor seminars on topics such as archery and hunting throughout the year. She regularly teaches hunters education and archery classes and has become an advocate for promoting traditional outdoor recreation to families across the United States. Lisa is also an avid and accomplished hunter with many big game species to her credit. She is a member of POMA and former Board of Directors member as well as a member of the NRA, RMEF, MDF and DU.

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Comments (4)

  • David

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    I worked in jails & prisons for approx. 20 yrs and have seen all forms of Bad Guys & Gals… including countless hundreds of killers, robbers & thieves. Most of you would be stunned to know just how vicious and devoid of common decency / common sense some of these hoodlums are. There are people out there [adult men & women, and even teens] who would kill you & your family in a New York Minute to keep from getting caught. And certainly while not all home intruders are going to be killers, you don’t know which ones will & which won’t… so you have to treat them all the same.

    That said, I’m a stand & fight for what’s mine kind of person. I would never run or hide inside my own home. So long as the Bad Guy is still outside, they belong to the police… I’ll call 911.. but if they make it inside before the police arrive, then they are mine to take care of. My home is my castle and I won’t tolerate unwanted intruders. If they force their way in, then they are there with the intent to hurt me or my family as far as I’m concerned and will be dealt with accordingly.

    I have 2-3 locks on all the doors.. dead bolt / door knob lock / screen door latch. We usually keep them locked out of habit. I have battery operated motion detector driveway alarms near the doors that will chirp loudly inside the house and a red light will flash whenever someone comes near one of the doors. We also have several little yapping house dogs that bark their heads off at any strange noises. So if anyone were to try to bust down a door, there would be some warning… what with the alarm / flashing red light, the loud breaking of the door jams & the barking dogs.

    When I’m awake, I am usually carrying.. even at home [I live in a state that allows both concealed & open carry, so I open carry all the time .. plus I’m never far from a weapon inside my home. At night, I have a mattress mate holster on the side of the bed holding a Glock 23 w/ CT laser at easy reach. Only $12.15 from Cheaper Than Dirt!

    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/ZAA-906

    A few feet away there is a 12 gauge pump w/18″ barrel, loaded with 3″ magnum BB loads.

    I don’t want to come across as a Rambo or a George Zimmerman… it is just that of all the millions of miles of land on the surface of this ole earth, the 1,800 square feet I call ‘my home’ is something I will protect with a vengeance. That is the one place on earth that I expect absolute safety from Bad Guys.

    These days, thieves / home invaders are not only after property items, they are after cash & drugs in the home. If you are a older person… they may target you looking for pain medications such as hydrocodone. Or for a purse / wallet around the time of the month that people normally receive their Social Security benefit payment or retirement checks. You have to be vigilant all the time these days.

    Reply

  • James Riley

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    I will defend my home and love ones with my life.I carry a Glock 30-45 cal. at all times. Thank God Ohio Law makers back our right to carry.I would anyway because it is my right under our constitution.I have Yorkie alert and have secured my home as finances allow.What these bad guys don’t realize is at my age the fastest thing on me is my trigger finger and it works fine.

    Reply

  • mike j

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    The real problem is that it happens so fast and so brutal that you are caught unguard. You can be half asleep, even being in the bathroom, reading or eating, watching T.V. and bang-they tear through a door, with only a second or 2 for you to react. You barely have time to see if they have a gun, and normally that is the first thing your eyes would go to, is to see if they are holding a gun. At that point you will give them anything or give into what they want, as long as they don’t kill your family. All I say is true. Most of the time they know exactly what they want, and you had better give it to them or get badly hurt. We are not cowards but there is a sensibility that you will have to follow in order to stay alive. It is not like in the movies, so get that out of your heads. Unless you walk around the house with a gun loaded gun (cocked) at all times your chances are to submit cause they have you or your family. They are the cowards and can only get you by a quick fast attack. And that’s there true weapon (surprise).

    Reply

  • Hank Alvarez

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    Gentlemen: I don’t know where you live but some states have some really crazy firearm restrictions. I’m not really sure what they are here in California, where we live, but our home policy is if you’re in the yard it’s a 911 issue. The minute you set foot in the house I’ll take aim between your little pea brain and your crotch. Either one should stop you but as long as you’re moving I’ll keep shooting. Hank

    Reply

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