When you think about survival, you may have this idea in your head that you and your family members are the only people in your neighborhood or in the wilderness that have survived some horrible event. You have to know that the chances that only a handful of people survived are slim. There is some strange, cosmic reasoning that always allows some of the not-so-nice people to survive. Those people are going to be alive right along beside you. You won’t have the luxury of calling the police and having the bad guys hauled off to jail.
You are going to have to deal with them. It is a scary thought, but it is a sad reality. People who didn’t prep are going to be desperate. They are going to want what you have and are going to do whatever they want to get it. You have to be prepared to defend yourself, your family, your home and your supplies.
Your mind may have automatically made the jump to stockpiling guns and ammo. While that would certainly help defend your property, you need to do more than just store these items in some gun safe to be pulled out in case of emergency. You need to practice shooting. If you are comfortable with it, you need to show every family member how to properly hold a gun, load it and shoot it. We live in a culture where Hollywood has kind of glamorized guns and many kids and adults are not aware of the dangers of actually using a gun.
Teach your family to shoot and make sure they can hit the broadside of a building. In an emergency, survival-type situation, they may only get one chance to disable their attacker. If the attacker gets to them or their weapon, it can very well be used on them.
Knives are a horrible option, but if it is all you have, you better learn how to use it effectively. Ideally, you would want to avoid getting within arm’s length of an attacker. Anytime you are that close, you are probably going to suffer an injury as well. A minor injury in survival can quickly become life-threatening. There are some self-defense classes you can take that will teach you how to protect yourself against a knife attack. You must assume the attacker is armed. Keep knives on hand, but look for another option.
These are gaining in popularity. It gives you the distance you need to stay out of your attacker’s reach, while providing enough juice to disable the attacker. You will have to be within about 15 feet of your attacker to effectively shoot them with the taser. You can buy tasers online along with holsters for under a $100. The only issue with a taser is you get one shot. You can reload another cartridge, but if your attacker is within 15 feet, it is already too late. If you cannot get a taser, stun guns are an option. But, like the knives, you would have to be within reach of your attacker to stun him or her.
These small canisters are easily stored on a key chain or attached to a holster on a belt. Mace isn’t going to take out an attacker, but it is going to make them scream in agony and temporarily blind them, which is what you need to get away. Pepper spray isn’t quite as effective, but it does make it difficult for the attacker to breath. However, you are just as likely to inhale some of the spray and could send yourself into a coughing fit. Cover your mouth and nose while you spray.
Any good self-defense instructor will tell you your best option is to run, not stay and fight. You want to get away from the bad guy. You are not a Hollywood stuntman who can take a gunshot, stabbing or a serious pummeling and simply brush it off like it never happened. In real life, those things hurt and could very well render you unconscious or dead. Avoid a confrontation at all cost. You may end up being the victor in any hand-to-hand fight, but it is next to impossible to believe you would not suffer some kind of injury. A broken hand, nose or a cut of any kind will make survival very difficult.
The following are some things you can do to try and avoid a confrontation.
- Stay out of populated areas
- Hunt or look for supplies in the wee hours of the morning, between 3 and 5 am
- Stick to the shadows and wear dark clothing
- If you are with a group, walk in a single file line against a building, this will diminish the “crowd” look and you won’t stand out as much
- Avoid confrontation, stay quiet and blend in with a crowd and make your escape when it is safe to do so
- Don’t flaunt what you have, if you have to go out where others are likely to be, dress the part; rub some dirt on you and do your best to look hungry and disheveled
Survival is already going to be tough. You don’t want to deal with anymore stress than necessary by trying to fend off attackers. If you are hunkering down at home, keep it low key. Cover the windows and doors and do your best to keep quiet. If you are in the wilderness or forest, move away from the pack if you don’t know them or trust them. However, there is safety in numbers. If you can find a group of people you can trust, hang out with them. Keep in mind; large groups are easier to find and will likely be targets for bandits. You will be forced to adjust your situation as necessary. By hyper-vigilant of your surroundings and never become complacent.