I love your blog and book and have read every word of both. They are the ultimate advice for preparedness! My question is about parking outside and maintaining security when going to and from my car.
Like Argentina, the US is in mid-latitude and during the winter here, the sun comes up late and goes down early. When I go to work, it’s dark, and when I come home from work, it’s also dark. I have to park my car outside both at my home and at my work. I’m wondering what is your advice about personal security going to and from my car? I do carry a concealed glock pistol (I am a law enforcement officer) and I have an older car with some dents that I don’t think would be too desireable for anyone to steal or carjack. I’m also usually carrying a heavy EDC bag. Mine is an M90 Swiss military backpack that is filled with extra food, water, hat/gloves, rain/wind gear, lots of ammo, medications, etc.
Do you have to park your car outside or do you have a garage? What is your advice for those who park in garages as they enter their garage and close the automatic door behind them? What types of incidents have you heard about when people are robbed or assaulted as they are getting into or out of their cars?
Thanks for all your advice, Ferfal! As one who has experienced societal collapse, you are the number one source for realistic, down-to-earth preparedness info! I also enjoy your perspective on Argentina’s political environment since I see the US following the same path. It’s getting crazy here with the new National Defense Authorization Act which takes away US citizens Bill of Rights. At least we still have our guns which will be our last chance to defend our other rights!
Hi Greg, glad you like my book and blog. Also guys, keep in mind I’ve been posting a good amount of videos on youtube (check for themodernsurvivalist channel) Between those three and the forum you have a good amount of resources to round up your preparedness plans and share ideas with like-minded people.
Seems you’re doing things right. You’re armed which is good. Maybe if you haven’t had one already, you might want to take a focused shooting class on fighting in and around vehicles. They can be pretty handy if you ever find yourself in that situation. A powerful Fenix or Surefire LED light (+200 lumens) is a nice addition to check in the shadows, you may want to add once to your pack. My friend GregMcGee offers some very nice ones (+800 lumens!) that I’ve reviewed in Youtube. Those would be perfect and affordable too.
Your car isn’t the latest, flashiest model so that’s good. Many robberies and carjacks occur because the vehicle is of the luxurious kind or brand new, and bad guys quickly relate that to a wealthy potential victim.
I’ve been in both situations, both had to park outside and on other times I had both a gate and garage door, so I would open both with the remote and close them quickly. The extra layer of defense provided by the gate is very nice to have. You also want a motion detecting light that floods the general garage area as you (or anyone else) approaches. These are the exact same things burglars prefer to avoid.
In either case you have to be careful when approaching your home. If there’s any suspicious vehicles or people around don’t ever risk it and get used to playing it safe: keep driving around the block and approach again later. Don’t ever shut down that gut feeling that is telling you something is wrong. When I parked outside I mentally prepared myself for a possible attack. Even if careful it can still happen. A car can speed towards you, a bad guy with a gun can hide in the shadow, bushes, behind a tree, you never know. I would tell myself that someone would indeed pop up and I would be ready to start fighting, just like you’re ready to start shooting in action shooting sports, you know those seconds before you hear the beep of the timer. Then the attack wouldn’t come, and I’d relax once the door was shut, safely inside. It does sound paranoid, but it’s the only way in which you’ll be ready. Get hit while daydreaming, thinking of a girl you’re dating, or what the wife asked you to get for her and you just remembered you forgot. Have that in your mind during that precise window of opportunity criminals usually take advantage of and you will not be ready to retaliate an attack. It’s the moment when you’re most exposed, so be ready for it just in case.
When leaving I would first look out the window to see anything suspicious, then when leaving do it as safely but yet as quickly as possible so as to reduce that window of exposure, that moment of vulnerability as much as possible.
Coming back home I would lower the windows, in case I had to shoot. Glass wont be stopping bullets anyway, and I’d rather shoot with the windows down. Why not keep them down all the time? Because in places like red lights someone may try to snatch something from your vehicle or shove a gun inside. Also they tend to throw rocks at you on the highway and the glass may be enough of a barrier to save your neck. Some people with tinted car windows prefer to keep them up at all times so as to not let the bad guys outside know whats going on on the inside, what your actions are or even how many people are inside. Its your call and it depends on your personal situation. There’s no right or wrong answer. I know of at least one case where that saved a female police officer’s life. A carjacker knocked on her car window with his gun, and the tinted glass prevented the criminal from seeing her draw her gun and shoot him right in the face, killing him where he stood!
Should I park inside or outside? Again, I know people that do both, did both myself. Generally if the automatic door is too slow, speed is preferred so its better to risk leaving the car outside and hurrying inside. Then again in high crime areas they’ll pick your car clean little by little. That actually happened to me when I was without a garage. One day they would break in and steal the speakers. A couple days later they’d steal the lights. They didn’t take the car because I had one of those safety bars that go in the wheel but anything that they could take with a screwdriver was stolen little by little. You may not want to suffer that and prefer to park inside.
Another important point. Call your wife or some other family member or friend a couple minutes before you arrive. That way they can keep an eye on you from the inside and call the cops if they notice anything strange or warn you about strange activities outside and tell you to not come close for a while.
Hope that helps,
Join the forum discussion on this post!
(CAREFUL: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IMAGES)
I don’t know if you have ever heard of Dennis Tueller but in 1983 he wrote an article in SWAT magazine entitled “How Close is Too Close?” The article discusses how someone armed with a contact weapon such as a knife or club can close with and attack a police officer from 21 feet away in the time it takes the officer to draw and fire his weapon. Here is a link to the article, an interview with Dennis Tueller, and a video showing what happens when you underestimate a guy with a knife. Note how the officer with the AK climbed over the fence to the same side as the guy with the knife and that he didn’t have his rifle at a ready position. After stabbing the officer with the AK the suspect then chases the other three officers stabbing them. Trying to run away didn’t work too well for the officers. Sometimes it is better to stand your ground and fight it out especially if you have a weapon. The officer with the AK should have stayed on the other side of the fence which would have at least slowed if not prevented the suspect from attacking him. All the officers should have had their weapons drawn and ready to shoot the suspect if he attacked. While encircling the suspect forces the suspect to divide his attention to what is behind him it also creates a situation where if the officers have to shoot, they risk hitting each other if they miss or the bullets pass through the suspect. Since I don’t speak Spanish maybe you can briefly explain what is being said.
Very interesting, thanks for the links.
The video basically shows a women that went to file a complain against her ex, the ex being the madman that later attacks with a large knife, at least a 10 inch blade. The knife looks like a facón or verijero like the ones used by Argentine gauchos (think cawboy but with a dagger rather than a gun), though it could be a simple large “chef” knife which is of similar blade shape. Either way, it’s a large knife with a narrow tip that penetrates very well.
At first what you hear being shouted in Spanish is “don’t get so close”, obviously someone realized the danger of the situation. Too bad the cops didn’t follow the advice. What you see then is the officer with the AK trying to use a baton. Awful idea. The mad man stabs him just once, puncturing the right lung and killing him. The other two officers survive after some time in the intensive care unit. The mad man was shot four times and died as well. He was drunk according to the news reports I found of the incident. Once he attacks, what you hear being shout is “matalo, disparale”, which means kill him, shoot him.
Lack of training cost this officer his life. A baton is not the weapon to be used against a mad man with a dagger. Keeping his distance and covering him with the AK, he should have shot him as soon as he moved and failed to comply. Not go after him with a baton.
This sort of incident is fairly common in South America. I know a police officer that has some experience with knife wielding country folk. He told me he’s far more afraid of them than punks with guns. Always keeping a safe distance, always being very alert and careful not to upset them. If one of these gaucho folks feels disrespected, you’ll have to put him down, and chances are he´s not going down alone so he´s always very careful in these country parties where countrymen with knives abound.
Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight was it?
The other two survived by pure miracle.
Join the forum discussion on this post!
Notice how the events I’ve described previously in numerous times are occurring more often in USA as well. More violent home invasions, better organized and often taking advantage of intel, either because someone spoke too much or because of someone that accessed the property previously because of legit reasons such as maids, contractors, etc.
Similar to what we’ve seen here, the level of violence is clearly increasing, not only that, but some of the old “codes” have been lost. These days criminals don’t hesitate in torturing children, something that used to be disapproved in general by professional criminals.
Las week in the small town or Miramar in the province of Buenos Aires, a 10 year old was killed by two criminals that broke into his house. The child ran to hide under the bed but they soon caught him, beat him and hanged him.
Its for this reason that I insist so much on security. Times in USA and world wide are getting more dangerous each day.
Tension follows rash of home invasions by masked attackers – Houston Chronicle
The crews of bad guys bash down doors in the night or early morning hours, wearing masks and carrying guns as they stalk their victims.
Such teams have attacked Houston-area homes at least four times in the past two weeks, most recently on Thanksgiving evening. Their attacks have left three people dead and a boy missing a finger.
“I’m not nervous. I’m waiting,” electrician Robert Young said Friday as he clutched a military-style assault rifle outside his home, a few doors down from the scene of the latest attack in the 12000 block of Dermott.
The normally quiet neighborhood is thick with pine trees, sprawling lots and concern about what might have motivated the attack.
“I have got my guns ready,” said Young, fresh back from Iraq, where he did electrical contracting.
Authorities said they’ve seen an increase in home invasions recently, although statistics were not available because of the holiday.
Attackers often target residents they think are either drug traffickers who stash cash in their homes, or immigrants, particularly from Asia or the Middle East, who run small, cash-based businesses.
“These guys are violent criminals,” said Franceska Perot, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “You see them now more prepared – ski masks, zip ties (handcuffs), firearms. They basically have a plan when they go into these homes.”
Usually the criminals have a tip from someone who is in the home or has been there.
The attackers are said to hope their victims are at home so they can intimidate them into handing over drugs or cash instead of wasting time tearing into walls or tossing furniture.
The ATF has arrested multiple teams of invaders, often specialists with reputations for helping disgruntled traffickers attack rivals or former partners.
Former Houston drug dealer Rogelio Gonzalez testified during a trial this year that robbers disguised as police officers barged into his residence and pistol- whipped him in front of his terrified family.
Home invasions occur regularly, and authorities concede they don’t know about all of them. In those where nobody is hurt and a drug dealer gets ripped off, nobody may call police. (Read the rest)
Given the positive feedback I got, I did a final video wrapping it up and including a few final concepts.
With home invasions becoming more common in spite of the record decrease in crime across USA, there are a few things people should keep in mind.
Defending yourself against criminals without weapons is like trying to make a cake without eggs or flour. If you follow any of the advise in this blog one of the things you probably have is a gun, hopefully its not too big to maneuver inside close quarters. If you don’t have a gun, a large pointy chef knife will have to do. Get one of these if you cant legally own guns in your current location. Besides the gun (or knife) there are certain items that are very desirable to have at hand. A tactical flashlight, hopefully something powerful like the previously reviewed MTE lights that have 1000 lumens and a cell phone in the bedroom. You may want to add body armor to that list. Yes, its expensive but then again a) Its probably worth around half of the gun in your hand b) It increases your survival rate to 80% (give or take) when facing attackers armed with handguns.
Home invasions and attacks to your household can vary significantly. The following list is an estimation for most typical incidents. Adjusting and adapting as needed is important but this will give you a general guideline to think of.
1)React. If something woke you up at night, if something got your attention, react to it. 99% of the time its nothing, just another house noise, the cat, the wind, etc, but you have to act on all of them because its that 1% that you react for. It gets to a point where you jump out of bed/your seat immediately. One thing that must be avoided at all costs is freezing, the inaction, staying still after hearing a sound to see if you hear it again. You must react, not wait.
2)Go for the gun and flashlight. Grab your weapon and light (don’t turn it on) immediately. Sometimes you have a few more seconds, sometimes you don’t. React as you would in a worst case scenario. If the gun is in a safe near the bed, remember to open it before going to bed. The firearm should be ready for use, within immediate reach but still out of the reach of children. Children should be trained not to touch your firearms but don’t ever count on that alone.
3) Regroup the family. This will depend on how many family members there is, their age and the house floor plan. The objective here is to get the family together in a defendable position, usually this would be the master bedroom. If you can clearly hear intruders breaking in then wake the wife and have her go get the kids while you stand protecting the corridor where the attackers are coming from. Once you have all the family members accounted for in a room, only then can you consider the potential intruders. This seems obvious but is very important. Too often people confuse their own family members with intrudes with disastrous consequences.
4)Once you have everyone in your room, if you feel you have a couple more seconds you can put on your body armor vest. If you still hear noises, now is when the wife or yourself should be calling the police.
5)Here is where people will have different opinions and the possible correct actions are as many as individual scenarios. When everyone is accounted for and the police has been called you can either hold your position in the room or go check out the noise. The textbook says don’t go clearing a house on your own. Solo house clearing is suicide if you go by the manual, but then do you want to wait until your attackers completely break in and risk a gunfight in your bedroom with your wife and kids? In some cases, say you hear attackers kicking the door down, making yourself noticed and warning them that you are armed may send them away as I explained in an incident that occurred to my dentist. In that case, that was enough. What if its not? Then you have the legal and moral ground to defend your life and your family. In other cases where someone sneaked in you might want to surprise the home invader using your flashlight, this will also work towards positive identification. Even with all family members accounted for staying in a room until told its safe to come out, you simply never shoot before identifying. It might be a drunk buddy, stoned neighbor, friend of your kid’s friend that crashed in the family room couch, NEVER shoot before identifying. Check for weapons as well. A gun or knife means you shoot, you don’t risk it. At indoor ranges your life is clearly at risk and you’ll be lucky to survive if he attacks with either one, a knife being just as dangerous or more so than a gun at such distances.
The situations will all be different, in some you’ll want to move stealthily, in others made yourself noticed, in some stay put with your family and in others take the fight elsewhere if it comes to that. This is just a bare bone guideline. Be armed, have the minimum tools, account for all family members and don’t ever shoot without identifying first.
As America keeps getting safer according to statistics, violent robberies and home invasions where they didn’t occur before are becoming more and more common. Such a strange occurrence, still it’s better to be ready for it.