If you’re anything like me, you think of your home like a castle. It’s where we’re safe, where we can defend, and where we have access to the vast majority of our food supplies and stockpile that will ensure our families thrive throughout whatever crisis we’re facing. But in an emergency, you’ve got to consider what happens when it all goes pear-shaped. What would you do if your home was breached? How would you get out, how would you evade the attackers, and where would you go in order to stay safe, and survive another day?
Get multiple escape routes
In most homes, you’ve likely got two or three access points. The front door, the back door, and perhaps an interior door that leads into a connected garage. But that doesn’t mean these are the only ways to get out of your home. Especially when the bad guys are closing in, you need to have multiple escape routes so you can always get out. Our place has a second storey, which means in all the rooms upstairs we’ve got rope ladders we can use to shimmy out the window, and the crawlspace in the attic is not only easy to get into and hide, there’s a sunlight that opens outwards to get onto the roof and a collapsible ladder that serves as a fire escape. Our basement windows are barred, but these unlock and swing open, so no matter where you are in the house, you’ve always got a way out.
Be packed to go fast
You need to make it a habit of always having your bug out kit packed and ready to go. Ours live in a closet in our garage, out of sight but always packed and ready so we can grab them and go in mere moments. The faster you can get what you need and get out of your home the better, as even just a few seconds could make the difference between escape and capture. Imagine you’ve made it to the garage and the attackers are trying to break down the door between you, while another circles around your house. A successful escape will be the result of every second you save, while ensuring you’ve got the supplies you need to either fight back with items like a strikelight or a tactical knife, or live off the land until you can safely make it to your bug out location.
Consider your vehicles
There are a variety of different vehicles we have ready to go at a moment’s notice, so we can quickly escape whoever has taken over our home.
Our dirt bikes are a good source of fun on the weekends, and my kids love the 4x4, but there’s also a practical reason for having these. They’re a quick means of escape that allows us to venture down one of the narrow tracks weaving through the woods of our property, where a car simply cannot fit. It’s a quick escape where we can’t be followed.
Our bicycles are a silent option, far quieter if we need to sneak off without being heard by the people who are invading our house. All of my kids know how to ride, and they’re quite comfortable cycling longer distances, so we can quickly put some distance behind us, and anyone who is following on foot with our bikes.
Out boat is the last resort, as it’s a little further from our home, but gives us an almost foolproof means of escape. There’s a small river running through a corner of our property, which is more than just a good resource (water), it’s a highway to escape that most won’t be able to follow on, unless they’ve got a boat of their own.
Don’t let yourself be followed
Of course, the primary destination once you’ve evacuated your home is to head to your bug out location, but please do not allow yourself to be followed. If these attackers have more on their mind than simply raiding your home for your supplies, they will keep to the search and track you down. Do not head directly to your next safe location, take a roundabout route so it’s not clear to the bad guys which direction you’ve gone, and why. Biking through wet, muddy trails leaves tell-tale signs, and even if you escape in the dead of night, the last thing you want is to lead them directly to your bug out location once the sun rises the next morning, and all they have to do is follow your tracks.
Setup a safe location ahead of time
Having a destination in mind will make your escape a heck of a lot easier, especially if you’ve already stocked it with the food, supplies and defenses you need in a crisis. I refer to bug out locations a lot throughout this blog, but they do play a critical role in your evacuation plans. Setting these up ahead of time ensures you’ll be able to quickly establish a new base of operations, without going hungry or wondering how you’ll make it through the night.
Do you return and fight?
Finally, and I believe this is important. You need to consider your next steps. Perhaps it’s safer to continue residing at your bug out location, and that’s your end goal. Or maybe you want to return to your home and fight for what’s rightfully yours. I’ve built a small armory in the area surrounding our home, and I know that while the attackers might have come initially with the element of surprise, our survival group will respond in kind to take back control and restore my home to me. That’s the power of a group, but it’s also a risky decision to make, one you can only make a call on when you’re in this situation yourself.When attackers breach your home, your reactions are what matters most. How fast you can get out of your home, how fast you can get to a safe location, and how well established you are there to either settle in, or resupply and go return the fight. I can’t tell you what’s right or wrong for any situation you may find yourself in, but if you can survive the initial breach, it puts you in a position of power, no matter what you decide to do next.