So not too long ago my wife and I were watching Train to Busan, a Korean zombie movie. There’s nothing like a zombie movie to get yourself thinking, and ask yourself, What If? As I watched one zombie horde after another smash through windows and doors to chow down on helpless panicked people, I looked around my own house and asked, What If…
A horde attacked my house.
Which then led to other questions.
What would I do if some stranger tried to enter my domain?
How would I protect my family?
If your home is your castle, then mine is in a pretty sorry state — in defensive terms. I realized I needed to change the way I thought about our home security.
By the end of the movie I was convinced it wasn’t too far off with what’s currently happening: a declared pandemic, riots and looting in major cities, people in masks, and the police being held back by politicians.
There is tension in the air, like an oppressive cloud overhead, and many people I’ve talked with agree that it feels like modern society is on the verge of collapse.
If you haven’t taken steps to turn your home into a fortress, now is the time to begin.
An internet search on home defense reveals a wealth of information on how to secure your home. Much of it is the same info: lock your doors, upgrade your locks, secure your windows, install a security system, use motion sensor lights, store your firearms in a long gun safe. All of it’s good, practical advice and will help maximize your home defense. But I want to focus on another area of defense, also key to fortifying your home.
Fortress of the Mind
Defense begins in the mind. Before you fortify your house, you need the right mindset. Just as you should train your body, you should train your mind. Every event, every experience you have begins and ends in the mind. There are countless stories proving the power of the mind, where people survive the worst situations through will power.
We all have our routines, they make life easier. Yet, we allow complacency to set in, and we often don’t pay attention to our surroundings.
How often have you returned home late at night and walked into the darkened interior without a second thought?
Know one knows your home and surrounding area like you do. But how often do you run through scenarios in your mind involving an intruder? How aware are you when something is out of place?
Tips for Increasing Awareness
Fortunately situational awareness is something you can practice and train yourself in. Awareness is vital to defending your home. Though, this is a topic which deserves a deep dive, I’ll just mention a few techniques to start you thinking about awareness in the context of fortifying your home.
If you’re anything like me, my ability to memorize is scatter shot at best. For example, I’m terrible with numbers, they just don’t stick in my head. On the other hand I’m fairly good at recognizing faces, but I’m likely to forget a name.
As with developing any skill practice is king. One thing you can do is Act Things Out, which is kind of like building muscle memory. By this I mean ask yourself What If questions to generate possible scenarios on defending your home. Walk around your house, inside and outside, talk to yourself, imagine how you would react. Preparing for scenarios before they happen will increase the positive outcomes if bad situations ever occur. By walking through scenarios you are memorizing your actions, hardwiring them so you won’t waste precious moments thinking about what to do.
Another technique is rhyming. It’s not just for little kids anymore. The rhythm of rhyming is a powerful memory tool. The ancient viking skalds used alliterative techniques to remember entire sagas. As you’re fortifying your home, creating plans and so forth, apply rhyming jingles to important details you want to remember. Plus it’s helpful in training your kids for emergencies.
When it comes to memorization you can either focus your practice on areas you know are your weakest, or you can build upon your strengths. No matter where you start the ability to memorize will increase your awareness.
2. Go For A Walk
Take random but regular walks around your neighborhood. This helps you build a bigger picture of awareness as you familiarize yourself with people and vehicles in your area. Not only will this activity help you protect your own home, but you might just be able to help your neighbors at some point. If you have a dog, well, nothing looks more natural than a leisurely dog walk, where you can practice situational awareness.
3. Assess Vulnerabilities
Walk the perimeter of your house and take note of any obvious vulnerabilities and signs of weakness. Those will be the areas you want to concentrate on first as you fortify your home. Remember Helm’s Deep in the Two Towers movie? The little drainage culvert was the one weakness that led to the collapse of the fortress. Always assume a clever enemy will find a way in, and do your best to prevent it.
There’s actually quite a bit to learn on developing situational awareness, more than what is covered here, but it is a skill to study, learn and practice. The thing is, you can practice awareness at any time and any place. The more you practice, the more natural it becomes. Awareness is key to defending your castle.
In sum your home is only as strong as you are. Mentally fortifying yourself, your family, is the first step in actually turning your home into a fortress. What does it avail to secure your home if you don’t practice scenarios, if you’re oblivious to your surroundings, if you don’t know your areas of weakness? Start with those things and you’ll ensure your home is secure. And watch zombie movies to spark your What If ideas.
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