Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Last week, I wrote to you about situational awareness; the idea of being aware of what’s going on around you, so that you are not caught off-guard in an active shooter or other dangerous situation. Being aware of the potential of violent criminal activity can be your greatest defense against it, simply because it had the potential of eliminating the few seconds that it takes for you to switch over from a “peacetime” mentality to an “action” mentality.

That few seconds, when people are surprised and are not responding effectively is extremely important to any violent criminal. That’s when they gain control of the situation, because they are the only ones taking any action whatsoever. Seeing what’s about to happen, before it does, at least partially takes away that advantage.

But there’s another part that needs to be dealt with; that of taking action. It’s great to know that something is about to go down and not be caught bee surprise, but then what? You’ve got to know what you’re going to do; how you’re going to react and how you’re going to turn the situation around so that you are the one who comes out victorious.

This means having a plan of action; a plan for how you are going to counter the actions of the bad guys and bring what firepower you have to bear in an effective manner. You need a bit more than just drawing your gun out of its holster and starting to shoot.

In fact, you need a plan of action for everywhere you go; or at least the places you go regularly. Whether you ever use it or not, you need to look around each place that you frequent, asking yourself the following questions?

  • Where can the bad guys come in from?
  • Where can I sit/stand, where I will be able to see the entrances and anything that’s going on?
  • Where can I move to, in order to have a clear field of fire?
  • What is available that can provide cover or concealment?
  • What escape routes are available?

Those are the basic pieces of information you have to have, in order to develop any sort of plan. Of course, that’s not all the information you need, but it’s likely to be all that you will have.

I say it’s not all you need, because you need to know something of the bad guys’ actions as well. But that’s not something you’re going to find out beforehand. So what you’re going to have to do is stipulate various actions that they could do and make your plans according to those stipulations.

Don’t limit your thinking here. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking they’ll walk in the door with guns blazing. While that is a possibility, it’s not the smartest one on their part. While criminals aren’t generally known for their vast intelligence, many of them are clever. So they will seek whatever advantage they can find. Advantages that come from doing things like the unexpected.

One unexpected action might be to walk into a restaurant, sit at a table and order a meal, before getting up and trying to rob everyone in the place. Another unexpected action would be to split up, so that you can’t confront them all at one time. Still another would be to block the exits before taking any action.

So your plan or plans need to take into account these sorts of variables. Based upon the answers to your questions and the possible actions you can see the bad guys taking, how can you move, where can you take a stand from and how can you confront them, in order to be the most effective?

The other thing you have to take into consideration I the innocent bystanders that are also in the same place you are. If the criminals are merely interested in robbing a store or restaurant, along with its patrons, they’re going to choose someplace that’s got a lot of customers. While that increases the risk to them slightly, it also increases their potential take; making such a move worthwhile in their minds.

But there is always the possibility that those innocent bystanders will panic and react in an unexpected manner. The worst of these would be to run across your line of sight, right at the moment you are about to fire. Should such a thing happen, the chances of accidentally hitting or even killing an innocent person are unacceptably high.

That’s why I mentioned the idea of moving to a good vantage point to engage the bad guys from. To me, a good vantage point is one where I can engage them, with minimal risk of harming anyone else. That means getting out of the crowd and making sure that the crowd isn’t between me and my target.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider here. If you wait until the moment of truth to think about these things, it will slow you down. Developing a plan, hopefully one that you’ll never have to use, could be just what you need, in order to have the tactical advantage you need to come out on top in such a situation.

And like always, keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Chris and Dr. Rich

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