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(1) A few rechargeable lights located strategically around the house are invalu- able in an emergency. This Pelican is very bright and practically indestructible. (2) You should always have a few safety tools in your vehicle. The Spyderco Assist knife has a rounded tip to aid in seatbelt cutting while the handle houses a carbide glass-breaking tip. The SureFire E2D Defender is a super bright LED light with a crenellated Strike Bezel and scalloped tailcap is a weapon unto itself. The Cuma Ram Tactical Pen lets you fill out your grocery list then im- mediately defend yourself from an attacker. (3) This custom Robar Glock with SureFire X400 light/laser, Novatac hand-held flashlight and cell phone are my minimum nighttime defense tools.


have at least one spare magazine for it. Since the number one cause of handgun malfunctions is magazine related, you are setting yourself up for failure if you don’t always have at least one spare. A few other things to consider


are Tasers, air horns, sirens, pepper sprays and even wasp spray! If you’ve ever used wasp spray, you know that it is designed to spray a narrow stream out to 20'. A dose of this in the face is pretty painful and discouraging and a little easier to clean up than pep- per spray. Taser International makes great tools for civilians as well as law enforcement. Their C2 model is de- signed not to look like a firearm while being extremely effective at incapaci- tating a human up to 15' away. What to do with all this gear? I’m


not saying you should have everything I’ve talked about but even a couple of pieces of gear are hard to carry when you’re only wearing nightclothes. A simple bag or fanny pack is a great way to keep everything organized and in one place. This makes it easy to grab and carry in an emergency. A vest is another great option. Nu- merous companies are making multi- pocket vests that work nicely for this purpose. Whichever method you choose, you need to take some time to practice with it. You should be able to find each piece of gear by feel and without looking for it. In addition to having this stuff


close at hand in the middle of the night, how about during the day when


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you are up and around the house? Evil doesn’t always wait until nighttime to come calling. If you don’t carry a gun on you at all times, you may want to consider having some safety equip- ment stashed around the house. If you choose guns, there are numerous safe companies that make small units you can hide in closets or even cut into the drywall and secure between studs. A few cans of wasp spray left around won’t raise any red flags and are easy to get to — the same with flashlights. Keep a couple in key locations around the house. I have a couple recharge- able units mounted on the wall as well as battery powered ones in drawers or on shelves.


Fortification Now that you have your personal


security covered, what about fortify- ing the castle? There are the usual ob- vious things you can do such as good door and window locks, an alarm system and peepholes in the exterior doors. But have you considered a se- curity camera system? You can buy them at any warehouse or electronic store for a few hundred bucks. They usually come with four to 16 cam- eras and a large, digital hard drive. These are a great way to deter crime as well as provide evidence to the po- lice. I would put a camera facing all potential entry points to your house as well as covering the driveway and street area. Another thing to consider outside is your landscaping. Trees and shrubs look nice but they also provide


hiding places for unsavory charac- ters. Keep them trimmed down so it is easy to see anyone attempting to hide in them. Finally, don’t forget the outside lighting. It amazes me how many homes I see without any lights on at night. Remember, like the cock- roaches they are, crooks don’t like the light. You should have several lights on at night all around your house, not just on motion sensors. Motion lights are good to use with higher intensity bulbs when you really want to blast the light. Vehicles are another area you


need to have a plan for, several in fact. What do you do if you are in an accident and trapped inside? Or broken down on a lonely back road in the dark? Once again a couple of good flashlights are a must. The usual roadside safety gear such as flares, jumper cables, tire repair and basic hand tools are always good to have on board. But really, what would you do if you are trapped in an overturned vehicle and the doors won’t open? Or you child’s seatbelt is locked and you can’t get them out of a burning car? A window punch and a seatbelt cut- ter should be considered mandatory equipment for all your vehicles. Many knife companies are making rescue tools with these features and more. A final lesson to consider is to


train your family to always be aware of their surroundings. Pay attention to the shady character in the trench coat going into the same convenience store as you and decide to go the oth- er way; don’t take the shortcut home through the remote stretch of woods; and above all else, always follow your instincts. The idea of having a Family Safety Plan can seem daunting, silly or even paranoid. The truth is, it may just save your lives, and as any parent knows, there is nothing more valuable than our family’s safety. *


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