When you think about surviving a disaster, you probably have this image in your head of you and your family surviving off the land in the middle of a deserted forest or maybe you have been lucky enough to be able to hang out at home. The neighborhood is silent and it is just you and your family. Unfortunately, this is one of those fantasies we cook up because we have seen a lot of movies. In reality, it is very unlikely you will be the only survivors in your area. It is also very unlikely that every survivor was prepared to live through the aftermath of a catastrophe and that every survivor is an upstanding citizen who will leave you and yours alone.
Alas, we must talk about personal safety in a survival situation. It is more important than food, water or shelter. If you are not safe, you are not going to have a need for the other three things. How you stay safe and keep your family safe is totally up to you. The following are some options you have and the pros and cons to those options.
Knives—These are common weapons because of their multiple uses. You can use them to hunt, make shelters, cut wood and as a security device. They are lightweight and you won’t have to worry about a knife running out of bullets. However, if you are planning on using a knife as your security weapon, you need to consider the possibility of getting injured in hand-to-hand combat. To wield a knife, you will have to be within inches of your opponent, which is extremely risky.
Guns—This is often the weapon of choice for preppers because it allows them to keep their distance from an attacker. The gun can also be used as a threat. Most people will stay away from anybody who is flashing a gun with the threat of using it. Unfortunately, guns are only effective if they have bullets. You will need a supply of ammunition and if you are on the run, boxes of ammo can be awful heavy. Guns are also loud and may draw attention when you don’t want it.
Tasers—Tasers are pretty effective and allow you to take down an attacker without getting close. However, you will need batteries to keep your taser operational. You also only get one shot to hit your target. You will need additional cartridges to fire another shot. In the grand scheme of things, tasers should be your last resort.
Other people—Animals already know this; there is safety in numbers. Take the time to research and find a group of people you trust that you can band together with in an emergency. This may be your neighbors, your family or people you have met through various survival interest groups. Take the time to get to know these people to see if you would feel comfortable putting your life in their hands. A ragtag group of bandits is less likely to attack a group of armed or unarmed people than they would a single family holed up in their house.
Personal safety is often the last thing people think of when they go about prepping for survival. It should be a top priority. You have to be able to protect all that food, water and the other supplies you are stockpiling and you certainly have to keep your family safe.