2014 Home Invasion US Occurrences: 1,266,218 (estimated)
Before a Home Invasion
First and foremost, educate yourself on your risk by looking at history. Local crime maps are usually available from police or sheriff offices if you cannot find them online. Evaluate your home security and identify possible points of entry. Many home intrusions are done by people you may know and have general knowledge of the layout and targets for burglary. Here are a few tips that can help prior to an invasion:
- Plant thorny shrubs around windows.
- Get a dog- they are one of the best deterrents for intruders. Even decoys such as empty dog bowls, dog bones, and beware of dog signs can help.
- Fortify your entryways with kickplates and door stops.
- Install an alarm system. Popular brands of alarm stickers and placards work well as a deterrent.
- Designate a safe room, have a word you can shout to direct people to it in your house like “safety room” or “hunker down.”
- Consider keeping a weapon in your safe room, preferably a firearm you are thoroughly trained on in a safe.
- Practice your plan for what you have decided to do during a home invasion with your family at least annually.
- Do not broadcast your habits and vacations on social media.
During a Home Invasion
Keep your cool and try to discern how many intruders there are and what they could be looking for. Be aware that it may not be just a burglar. Avoid confrontation and maintain quiet if possible until you have a good understanding of the situation. Use good situational awareness to regain control of what is happening. Many invaders can be scared by loud directions to leave, the sound of a pump shotgun, or a shout that you are calling the police and/or have a weapon. If the intruder leaves, call 911 if available and report the break in. If they do not leave, you may not have an intruder that is not at a point where they are listening to reason. They could be under the influence of drugs, extremely emotional, or afflicted with stupidity. You will need to make a decision on what is best at this critical junction, preferably while calling the police if you are able. Defend yourself and your family with weapons if needed, or escape your home if you believe yourself to be disadvantaged.
First 72 Hours After a Home Invasion
Call the police, if available, and offer as much assistance as possible to catch the criminal if need be. Criminals often string together crimes to reduce overall exposure, and you may be able to help prevent a home invasion. Reassure and comfort your loved ones as the experience was likely traumatic for them. Write down everything you noticed about the intruders. Take pictures of your home and any damage to it or damage to your possessions. Temporarily repair any damage to entryways. File a police report and insurance claim if needed. Reflect on the lessons learned, and make plans to shore up any weak points to prevent a future break in.
2 Weeks After a Home Invasion
Follow up with the police and your insurance claim. Complete the plans you developed to bolster weak points in your home protection plan.
Long Term Effects of a Home Invasion
Stay aware of local criminal activity. Continue to evaluate your weak points and practice your plans.
Home Invasions during SHTF Scenarios
Looters and other people meaning to acquire your stores or cause bodily harm can try to enter your home during catastrophic events.