Self-Defense - Yes, this is the "guns and ammo" skill set for preppers and survivalists, but it is so much more than just that. Guns are just one tool in your personal security arsenal, and not the most important one. The first and most important tool for personal security is awareness. Awareness of your surroundings and the potential risks of your situation is essential. Situational awareness isn't just paying attention, as I explained in my article Situational Awareness and the OODA Loop. It also means knowing what to look for, and how to assess (make decisions about) your surroundings.
I do recommend that most folks own and learn how to use guns, and to carry on an everyday basis if possible (know and follow the laws in your area, of course). If you do have guns, don't just target shoot at the range. You need to take a good self-defense firearms training course. Consult with your local gun dealer - they will be able to guide you to appropriate courses, and make you aware of local gun laws.
In addition to all gun-owners taking firearms training courses, everyone in your family/group/church should take a regular self-defense course. A good self-defense course won't just cover the physical aspects of self-defense, but also give tips and advice on avoiding dangerous situations in the first place.
Learning a martial art such as karate can be a fun hobby, provide considerable health and fitness benefits. improve self-confidence, and give you a life-long self-defense skill set. I especially urge parents to get their kids involved in martial arts at a young age.
We must be concerned for the physical safety of ourselves and our families, as well as the protection of our personal property. Today, this includes protecting against identity theft which can be as devastating to its victims as any mugging or home robbery. Identity theft has become a $16 billion dollar idustry in the US alone.
Be sure to guard your personal records - driver's license & Social Security numbers, banking & financial information, medical records, etc. - as carefully and diligently as you guard your gold & silver. Be especially vigilant with your computer. At a minimum, always use a firewall, maintain an up-to-date anti-virus program, and regularly scrub your computer with one or more anti-spyware programs. Only do business online with well-established companies you know and trust.
Home Security - Both the situational awareness skills and personal security skills discussed above can and do fit into this category. However, here I am particularly talking about making your home safe - "hardening" it against criminals, looters, and other thugs, as well as protecting it against fire and other disasters. Items that fit under this skill set include anti-burglary measures such as alarm systems, cameras, steel security exterior doors, fences, burglar bars, etc. It also means performing home safety inspections on a regular basis, having fire & smoke detectors (with fresh batteries), fire extinguishers, first aid supplies (and knowledge), flashlights with fresh batteries, and other safety equipment and supplies on hand.
Obviously, home secutrity and and self-defense is a huge topic with a wide scope of considerations. Start thinking through these issues now. The protection of yourself & your family will be - IS - your responsibility.
Other related articles:
- Prepper's Guide to Situational Awareness and the OODA Loop
- Operational Security (OPSEC) - Part 1: Theory and Overview
- Operational Security (OPSEC) - Part 2: Practical Considerations
- Operational Security (OPSEC) - Part 3: Countermeasures Lots of practical tips and how-tos in this one
- Self-Defense and the Use of Force
- Gun Safety for Kids
- Fight Back! -- Defending the Second Amendment Written in 2015, it is more important now then ever
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