How to Prepare Your Family Against a Home Invasion


( – Home invasions most often occur when everyone is out of the house. That said, there are instances in which a burglar breaks into the home while an individual or family is inside. It’s essential to prepare for a potential invasion scenario in order to protect the family.

The most important step is to decide on a plan of action to implement while awaiting help. A solid plan will raise the chances of surviving a home invasion. Let’s start with a few critical considerations.

Law Enforcement Can’t Be the First Line of Defense

Homeowners can’t necessarily count on the police as their first line of defense in a burglary. There’s simply not enough time for law enforcement to arrive before the thief’s work is done. Homeowners must think and act quickly to keep themselves and their families alive.

Occupied or reduced law enforcement often correlates with increased lawlessness. If civil unrest is taking place nearby, law enforcement will be concentrated in those areas, leaving outlying homes and businesses vulnerable. Police and emergency services may also be reduced, delayed in getting to the home, or unavailable altogether if there has been a large-scale disaster in the area.

Create a Home Invasion Survival Plan for the Family

In order to create a survival plan for a home invasion, it’s important to designate jobs, safe spaces, and escape routes for each member of the family. Here are some of the basic decisions to make ahead of time:

  • Make sure everyone knows to call 9-1-1 and designate that job if possible. If the appropriate person is unable to make the call, ensure the others know to take on the task.
  • Consider coming up with a code word that only immediate family members know. Only use this word during practice runs or if a real home invasion occurs.
  • Designate a primary and secondary exit strategy and practice getting everyone out of the house along these routes.
  • Choose a safe room to hide in if it’s not possible to get out of the house in time. Outfit the safe room with a lock that engages from the inside, and make sure to have items available to barricade the door. Consider storing self-defense weapons and a few days’ worth of survival supplies in the safe room.
  • Decide how to get any children out of the home. Train older children to assist in making sure everyone, including younger kids, gets out of the house or to the designated safe area.
  • If there is a gun in the home, ensure it’s easy for the adults to access. All adults in the house should know where firearms and ammunition are stored.

Once the plan is established, it’s time to rehearse so that everyone knows what to do should a real home invasion occur. Being caught off-guard by a burglar without a rehearsed plan is a recipe for heightened danger.

Additional Considerations

As terrifying as a home invasion is, there are additional steps to consider in order to stay alive. In the following video, How to Survive provides a list of basic know-how to help individuals and families live through a home invasion. Take a look:

Here are a few steps that could help a family stay safe during a robbery in the home:

  • Don’t let fear take over. Fear can make it difficult to make strong decisions during a dangerous event. It’s important to stay as calm as possible and to keep the family calm.
  • Get away from the house if possible. Getting out of the house and away from intruders is the best bet for surviving a burglary. If possible, follow the escape route and get to safety.
  • Avoid hiding in the master bedroom. According to How to Survive, most people store their valuables in the master bedroom. Therefore, it’s the first place an intruder will look for valuables.
  • Don’t confront the burglar(s). Most burglars don’t want to encounter a homeowner. Burglars prefer to rob a home when there is no one inside. They’re counting on the residents to be gone while they steal valuables. If a burglar and a homeowner face off with one another during a robbery, the situation can quickly escalate into life-threatening danger.
  • Carefully position for firearm use. If armed with a gun, choose the best corner of the room opposite the door. This will offer the best position and viewpoint if it’s necessary to open fire on an intruder.
  • Let the police give the all-clear. In the event the family is barricaded in the safe room, call 9-1-1 to report a home invasion. Attackers may still be in the house, even if it’s quiet. Stay put until the police arrive and give the all-clear.

When using a firearm during a home invasion scenario, it’s important to avoid “fatal funnels” that limit movement and cover, such as doorways, hallways, and stairwells. To learn more about fatal funnels, check out our article here.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

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