Emergency Plan Contingencies

emergency plan contingencies away from homeThe world is an uncertain place these days. We don’t need to tell you that. We don’t say it to create a panic. We say it so you will think about being prepared for just about anything, including a sudden and unexpected self-defense situation away from home. The best-laid emergency plans can’t consider every potential danger everywhere you go. You get to deal with the situation at hand, whatever that is.
If that self-defense situation away from home happens, the first decision is whether to stay or to get away. In some states, you have to show you made every reasonable effort, if possible, to get away from an intruder/assailant in order to claim self-defense. Every situation is different and no one can, nor should they, tell you whether to stay or go. The important thing to remember: master your adrenaline so you make the decisions and not your emotions.


So you’re away from home – maybe at work, maybe shopping, whatever. And you suddenly are where the bad guys show up armed for a fight. No matter how counter-intuitive it feels, staying put is sometimes the right thing to do. Criminals know the benefits of laying low. Now is the time for you to consider how sheltering in place can boost your chance of survival.

What to Do

You’re a responsible gun owner so we know you’re packing heat – even at the office. If your firearm is securely tucked away elsewhere, make sure you have quick access to it.

Now is the time to look around and make some quick adjustments so you have a more defensible position. You might not be able to do all of them. Do what you can in the moment.

  • Close and lock all exterior doors (and some interior doors) as well as windows.
  • Draw all window blinds, curtains and shades tightly.
  • If it’s dark outside, keep the interior lighting to a minimum.
  • Barricade yourself and anyone else in an interior room with an attached bathroom – if possible – and limited windows. You want at least one window in the room so you can see what’s going on outside but remember that means your assailant can see your movements, too.
  • Grab your cell phone and hunker down.
  • Call 911 ASAP.
  • Make sure you have the office medical supply kit or, if in a public place, ask if there is a medical supply kit.
  • Don’t make any sudden movements or draw attention to yourself (especially in a hostage situation).

Waiting it out is going to take a lot of self-control and patience but it doesn’t mean you’re a sitting duck. Take all the precautions the situation allows (you’ll have time for more if you remain calm). Keep your self-defense firearm locked and loaded.

On the Road

If you find yourself being tailed by another motorist, DO NOT go home. Instead, head for the nearest police department or other public place – if that’s possible. If not, keep driving as long as you can and without making any sudden movements call 911 immediately. Keep them on the line for as long as possible.

You probably heard this particular bit of advice when you were first learning to drive – particularly if you are female. It is still good advice for anyone feeling threatened on the road.

Heading home will only put your family in harm’s way. If the bad guys don’t get their way they sometimes return to the finish the job (act as if they will). Going home brings them to your door and puts your family in harm’s way. The longer you can stay away from home the better. Remember to listen to the advice of law enforcement, they are the professionals.


We talk a lot about making emergency plans for ourselves and for our families. It is true that having a plan in place will help you react better in that emergency with more chance to survive it. But sometimes things happen that weren’t planned for. Your own training, your general situational awareness, and your attention to safety can help you decide – and act – on what’s best in that unexpected spot.

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About Bret Smith

I am a long-time lover of all things outdoors. Whether hunting, shooting, fishing or just hiking and camping, I take every opportunity to enjoy nature and share it with others.

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