What do Female Survivalists need to do to Stay Safe
What a topic eh? Most of our guides have been geared towards guys, or guys looking after their families, which is rather fitting as it reflects the demographic here at APE Survival. But just last week I connected with one of my long-term friends, a female survivalist who has been living on her own for over 10 years now. I was particularly interested if she needed to do anything else (apart from basic precautions), because of her gender. Of course, most of her advice about basic survival strategies was the same, but there were a few pieces of choice information that bear repeating on our blog for our female readers. At her request we're going to keep her identity anonymous, and will hereafter refer to her as Margaret. Here's the gist of her advice: Now, there's many reasons you may find yourself living alone. Perhaps you're still settling down, or, like me, you were widowed far too early. Maybe you got divorced, your kids have moved out and you're wanting to live a little. Whatever. Being a woman who lives alone you've got to be careful.
Secure your homeSingle females get targeted, so you've got to be extra careful about your home security. Install security doors and windows, motion-detecting alarms and lights, and sensors so no one can approach your house without you knowing. Oh and get a couple of dogs. They're natures alarm system and provide a nice bit of friendship to anyone who decides they want to live alone, advises Margaret.
Be discreetIf you're in a small town of course everyone is going to know the spinster who lives alone, but you don't need to broadcast it, especially if you're still young. Be wary of who you tell, as a single girl all by herself is a fantasy for many stalkers. Don't encourage them, she says. You can also divert their attention. Those family stickers on my car? I used to have just me and my two dogs, but I realized this was advertising I was alone to everyone who saw me and my car. If you must have them, add a husband and a couple of kids. Or just don't put them on your car at all. Heck, I've even got a pair of my late husband's boots at the door. I don't like the delivery guys knowing I'm home alone when they come, and these small touches can make all the difference.
Be independentLiving alone is a far cry from being independent. If you really want to make it work you're going to have to get your hands dirty and learn how to fix things. When did you last change a light fitting or repair a dripping roof? Being able to do basic repairs and even improvise solutions is going to come in handy when you're living alone. I've been tackling a new project each month, building everything from a wall-mounted herb garden to a rain-catchment system on my tool shed. I just look up the specs on instructables, and get to work. The same goes for your car. If it breaks down, do you know how to fix it? I can't imagine how scary it'd be sitting on the side of the road, in the middle of the night with a flat tire. For years I relied on my husband for this, but after I got a flat coming home from the club a couple of years back and having to sit around for 2 hours waiting on AAA, I decided I needed to learn it myself.
Don't advertise your successOne big mistake I made was last year. We had a power outage for a couple of days following a big storm. Me being me, I had already installed both a wind-generator and a solar-kit. This meant I was one of the only houses in my area who could keep the lights on, and I was warm and cozy watching reruns of Friends while everyone else was huddled around their torches. Afterwards, a couple of people approached me about what I had done to keep my lights on, and I realized the grave error I had made. I was basically advertising how "prepared" I was, and while thankfully nothing bad happened, it was a stark reminder of the importance of operational security. Note: This point is relevant for every survivalist, never, ever, broadcast your success. You're simply inviting trouble should a large-scale crisis occur. Since that day, I went and bought blackout curtains for my windows, and have done a number of tests around my home to ensure the light doesn't escape (when I don't want it to of course). The next time the grid goes down, my house is going to be as dark as everyone else's, at least to a casual observer.
Learn to fight backAgain, this one is a lesson every survivalist ought to know, but Margaret says it's doubly important for single, female survivalists to be armed, and ready to defend themselves, as most opponents are going to be bigger and stronger than you.
"I'd definitely struggle fighting off a normal guy, so make sure you've got a gun and just shoot him before he gets close," she says.Now that's a rather bleak piece of advice, but it reflects a harsh truth. Knowing your way around a gun, and being able to load, aim and fire with a good degree of accuracy is a critical skill. Of course, we hope you're never in a situation that calls for this degree of action, but in my book being prepared, just in case, is extremely important. Now if you're not really comfortable with firearms, that's fine, but you will need something to give yourself an edge in a fight. Everything from tasers to pepper spray can work, but one tool I particularly like is the strike pen. It's compact enough to fit in your handbag, won't attract attention, and even has a DNA collector so once the police get involved they've got the evidence they need to track down the criminal, and get them behind bars. There's a risk to living alone, says Margaret, but she wouldn't have it any other way. The trick is to be discreet, ensure your home is secure and safe, and you've got the means to defend yourself should you ever need to. Then it's not going to be scary, as you'll be able to keep yourself safe, no matter what.