Disasters pose a series of problems for individuals and communities and one of the concerns that needs to be a priority for any family or individual is personal protection in the days after. As a crisis extends, people will become more and more desperate and will turn to looting and violence. A classic example was the looting and violence that took place following Hurricane Katrina. There were even examples of law enforcement officers participating in the looting. If you simply believe nothing will happen to you in a disaster, you will never prepare and will be beset by the sudden and overwhelming violence in the days after a disaster.
Make plans to attend a self-defense class at least three times a year, so you can get the feel for extreme physical contact. Trainers know how to simulate real world situations and you will overcome your hesitation to inflict harm upon someone who is a threat. Self-Defense skills must encompass you and your family as well as, your property as a whole. Avoiding confrontation is always the best option and to do so you must project confidence and show that you are ready. Criminals look for the easy targets, people who appear unaware or unprepared. The only way to project confidence is by being prepared and by having certain skills and knowledge.
Be Cautious In Who You Trust
Being prepared is important but having a large stockpile of emergency supplies can make you a target and not necessarily a target for looters. Neighbors, friends and desperate strangers may feel they have to do what is necessary to provide for their families and in times of a crisis, some may turn to violence so building self-defense skills is part of disaster preparation.
Avoid advertising you have a stockpile of supplies. Some people may believe it is their duty to inform others and to help others prepare and/or to convince others to prepare. However, you must be aware that so-called friends and neighbors will be under a great deal of stress. Survival sometimes is simply a matter of who is properly prepared and has developed some self-defense skills.
A Good Defense is A Good Offense
Before you begin however, you must know the environment you are defending; a good offense plays a role in any self-defense situation. You must have situational awareness, and this is of particular importance if you live in an urban area. Know what is around you and map out various escape routes, keeping in mind some may not be available during the disaster, so have a backup route, and always assume you will be on foot.
Inspect your dwelling and acquire materials such as plywood sheets and two by fours to cover/conceal windows and certain doorways. Your objective is to make it as difficult as possible for an intruder to gain entry. Unless you are specifically targeted once, an intruder realizes the difficulty in gaining entry they may very well move on.
Stay Fit to Survive
Practice a healthy lifestyle because once in a survival situation you will be performing physical tasks that you may not be accustomed to because you will not have the benefit of modern conveniences. You must be fit to defend yourself.
Self Defense Tools
You should have personal protection devices and know how to use them such as firearms, stun batons, stun guns (stun guns require close physical contact for use), mace and pepper spray. Stun batons can in some cases, extend up to 48 inches. You want to prevent anyone from making physical contact, so having a stun baton extended will prevent someone from making contact.
What steps are you taking to better defend yourself in a disaster?