The terrorist attacks in Paris Friday night should serve as your final wake-up call. If you didn’t think this brand of barbarism was coming to Europe—and if you don’t think it will eventually hit the United States—it’s time to pull your head out of the sand. I started preaching preparation in 2008 following the Islamic extremist attacks on Mumbai, India. That assault lasted three days and included 12 coordinated attacks.
On Friday, three groups of terrorists planned coordinated attacks across Paris that included suicide bombers and gunmen. Police report that 129 people were killed and more than 359 were wounded. Would you be ready for something like this? What would it take to ensure that you not only survive, but prevail? If you haven’t thought of this, now is the time. At the bare minimum, you will need the following in order to survive:
The Proper Mindset
First and foremost, you must understand that these things happen. If your first response is denial, you will lose valuable time that could be used to save your life and the lives of your loved ones. Be prepared to react quickly. Situational awareness means more than just looking around. Identify exits, retreat routes, choke points, and potential cover. Start thinking about what you would do if someone launched an attack near you, or—worse yet—against you. Your role is to fight effectively. That could mean an effective retreat is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Ask yourself, “What would I do if…” This is not paranoia, it is preparation.
A Personal/Family Protection Plan
With the proper mindset comes a good personal protection plan. What will your family do if the phone system is interrupted? How will you get home to protect them if your usual route or means of transportation is denied to you? Your personal protection plan needs to be a multi-tiered system that addresses the major elements of your life. No one can provide you a pre-made plan. Every family is different. But there are some universal elements you must consider. Train every responsible person in the use of firearms and ensure they have an understanding of your plan. Discuss the elements of your plan with every member of your family. If you have young children or grandchildren, find a way to present this information in a manner that does not cause undue alarm, but stresses the importance of what you are doing. Acquire the supplies and materials needed to implement your plan.
A Means of Personal Defense
If you think you can fight back effectively against a violent attacker without a firearm, you are fooling yourself. When you get proper training, a firearm is the most effective means of personal protection. Not every incident will require that you fire your gun, but that decision goes back to your mindset and planning. When it comes time to defend yourself, you will need immediate access to a defensive firearm, ample ammunition, and the training to properly use that firearm. There is no time to waste. If you are not currently armed and trained, start making arrangements to get armed and trained as soon as you can.
A Personal/Family First-Aid Kit
You may not be in a position to fight back, but you may be in a position to render aid. What would you do if, as the result of an attack, you or a family member was injured? Do you have the training and equipment to provide immediate basic trauma care? Your personal first-aid kit should include a tourniquet, pressure bandages, and surgical sponges. We are not talking about treating blisters on a hiking trip. You need a means to treat bullet wounds and severe bleeding. There are many good trauma kits on the market. Get a kit, understand how to use it, and keep it accessible.
Information is the key element to effective self-defense. Now more than ever you need to accept the idea that you could be caught up in the center of something you might not be able to comprehend. Denial will kill you. The time to prepare has come. You will not be given the benefit of a warning. You will need to act immediately. Are you ready?
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