In Part 1 of this series we discussed the importance of having a personal Emergency Action Plan, Evacuation, and Self Defense. In Part 2 we are going to discuss the actual tools you may need to defend yourself or family if you get trapped in a scenario like this.

It is almost irrelevant if the situation occurs in a home invasion at your residence or in your school or office. The tactics and weapons you use will vary little.

Evacuation– Regardless of whether you are in your home during a home invasion or at school or work when a crazy comes calling, you must GET OUT. Someone needs to get out of that building and get the cops rolling. The killer Cho knew this when he planned the Virginia Tech massacre. The very first thing he did was chain and lock the doors shut. Not one student tried to break out windows to escape. GET OUT! Get out by any means possible. Break down a door, break out a window, do whatever it takes. During the slaughter at Luby’s Cafeteria, one brave citizen hurled his own body thru a plate glass window to escape, freeing many others. This is life and death. Break anything you have to escape.

Parents, teach your kids that it is OK to break doors, locks and windows to escape in an emergency. Teach them to do so without your permission and get out of the house and run to a neighbor. If only one of you can escape and call the police, the end result will be far better.
Sheltering in Place-When evacuation is not safe, you may be forced to hide. Choose a room that has a lock on the door if possible. If not, turn over furniture and jam the door closed. If it has windows in the door, cover them with paper or clothing. Turn the lights out and stay away from the door.

Signaling police– If you are barricaded in a room with exterior windows let the police know your location by placing a large note in the window. Keep it simple. Use the letter V for victims and the number. Something like VX5 for victims x 5. The police will be there soon. If the room is close to the ground, don’t wait. Break out the dang window and escape.

Environmental weapons– If you are not armed with a firearm, you still have options to protect yourself even if your attacker has a gun. One of the most sickening things I see in these situations is young, strong, healthy people cowering under the desk and crying for Mommy on the cell phone instead of FIGHTING BACK. At Virginia Tech, a whole room full of young athletes simply lay on the floor and waited for execution. If ALL of them had attacked the shooters instead of hiding, there would be far less loss of lives. They did what they had all been taught to do. That is DUCK AND COVER. That is certain suicide.

All around us there are every day items we can use in an emergency. Here are a few to think about;

•    Tables & Chairs- If your attacker has a contact weapon such as a knife or club, you can pick up a chair and use it like a lion tamer to shield yourself. A large table can be use to trap them against a wall. A large or long table can be tuned up on end and used as a barrier or shield.

•    Things that ensnare- Belts, rope, coat hangers, duct tape, electrical cords are very valuable. They can be use quickly to tie door knobs closed, trip, choke or restrain an attacker

•    Things with an edge-Screwdrivers, scissors, knives, keys can all be used to good effect

•    Impact weapons- The edge of a hard coffee cup, a key board, laptop, coat rack, or fire extinguisher can be used in self defense. Go for soft spots such as the eyes, temple, side of the neck. Strike hard and don’t hold back.

•    Things with a point- If you don’t have a knife or screwdriver, make use of a pencil or pen or other pointed object. Ram that thing as deep as you can into his eyeball, neck or wind pipe. It will be gross and awful. This is a fight for your life. There will be no time to hesitate until is over.

All of these tactics and weapons will be most effective if everyone in the room ferociously attacks the attacker instantly. Even if he has a firearm, he can only shoot at a couple of people. He is not expecting all of you to come after him like wild animals. He is expecting you to cower and hide. Everyone should go after him all at once and overwhelm and subdue him. Employ selected weapons if he continues to fight. You are either going to win this or you are going to die!

Once the attacker is subdued or dead, everyone else should escape and get the police in there. Once the police take control, console each other. Give first aid to others until EMS arrives.

The things I am talking about here have been taught to Israeli school kids since the 70s. It is high time Americans learned to fight back too.