I was alone in the house when I was awoken to someone messing with my front door. I heard the screen door open, rattle, then close. I noted the time: 2:37am. I got up, tied my robe, and set off my car alarm (with the keyfob I keep next to my bed at night). Whispering an apology to my neighbors, I grabbed my flashlight (also next to my bed) and headed down the stairs. I went though an inventory of my windows and doors, checking each one to see if they were secure. They were. The garage was secure too. I returned to the door and looked out the window to discover my intruder: My cat had figured out how to open the screen door and slam it in order to get me to come down and let her in. What I learned: I feel pretty competent and prepared!
Home invasions happen more often when people are away on vacation, at work, or otherwise not home. In the case of This Woman, she was there when criminals broke into her home when her husband was away for the night. These predators probably thought her house was empty because his car was gone.
Here are some preparation tips to prevent or deal with the situation if you are ever faced with home intruders. Think PREVENTION:
- Have a plan. Put together a drill, like a fire drill. “If this happens, then this is what I’ll do.” Plan to get out safely.
- Secure your home. It is tempting to leave windows and patio doors open in warm weather. Before you go to bed, lock all of the windows and doors. Make a habit of checking them.
- Have your car keys next to you at night. If you hear something, press the car alarm button. This is likely to panic anyone who may be inside, and it will let them know that you are there, and it will alert (or at the very least annoy) the neighbors.
- If you choose to have weapons available (Pepper Spray, Gun, Sword, Nunchucks, etc), be sure they are readily available, that you understand the laws, and that you are proficiently trained and practiced with the weapon(s).
- Stuff is just… stuff. Your life is far more important. LEAVE your home. Go to a neighbor and call the police. Get out safely!
Home invasion is rare, especially when people are home. If it happens to you, have a plan, practice your plan, and plan to get out safely and let the police handle the situation.
Be safe, Be Strong, Be EMPOWERED!