Every Day Carry Planning – Step Two: Plan Reasonable Responses to Perceived Threats

by October 25, 2010 10/25/10
3 of 5 in the series EDC Planning

Today we’re going to get into the third installment of our five part Every Day Carry series that suggests a structured approach to creating EDC kits for the home, our vehicle, our place of employment and to be carried on our person.

In the previous installment, a security threat assessment was conducted for three limited areas of interest: crime; vehicle breakdown; and severe weather. Using my lifestyle as an example, these three “vertical slices” were examined in detail to show how the process I’m suggesting can help create kits that are useful to respond to what we reasonably believe to be serious threats to our well being — matters that threaten our security, safety and health. (For an overview of the suggested analytical process, see the first installment in this series.)

In this article, I’ll take each threat element and create what I consider to be reasonable responses. The purpose of knowing the likely responses is to help us determine what tools, resources and supplies will be needed to effectively respond to the threats. This will form the basis for selecting candidate tools, resources and supplies for inclusion in our every day carry kits.

Steps in the Process

In order to complete this part of the analytical process, I’m first going to organize the threats according to where they’ll likely present themselves. My organization corresponds to discussions in the security threat assessment, and falls into three categories: in town; on the road; and, at home. This approach will naturally lend itself to organization of the contents of the kits that we expect to carry on our person, at work, in our vehicle, and at home. The noted exception in my analysis is “at work” since I work out of my home and rarely find myself in a place of employment other than my own home office.

As part of my response planning, I’ve tried to organize the responses in the order in which I would complete them. For example, in a confrontation with criminals, my first responses would be avoidance and evasion, and my last response would be defense with force. Think of this as a type of mental exercise or table top training. If I sequence my anticipated responses, I’ll be better prepared to respond more wisely instead of reacting wildly without any sense of sequence.

As an option, one could assign a sense of urgency or priority to each response action to help prioritize assembly of items in the kits that are associated with the responses. I’ve elected to omit this step, as I believe most individuals will assemble the kits immediately instead of accumulating tools and resources over time. For those desiring to scale down rather large kits, one could use a priority scheme as a way of identifying the most important items, and thereby settle on a “reduced version” of an every day carry kit.

For example, my response to crime includes calling for help and using defense with force. This will likely lead me to carry a firearm and a cell phone. My sense of urgency would have me much more concerned with having the capability to deal with an adversary with force rather than calling for law enforcement, so my prioritization would suggest leaving the cell phone at home and keeping the firearm at my side. I’m one of those people who recognize that police require several minutes to respond, often when you only have several seconds to keep yourself from becoming a victim. I’m happy to let someone else with a cell phone call law enforcement.

So, get yourself a cup of coffee, and let’s dive in to see how I organized and sequenced my planned responses.

Location, Threat and Planned Responses

What’s presented below, organized by location, is a list of security threats that are underlined. Following each threat is a set of planned responses, each in the order that I anticipate completing them. As you’ll see from the beefy list that follows, even looking at just three narrow examples from my life, the list of responses quickly grows into something quite long.

In Town

Multiple armed adversaries — avoid encounters; seek refuge from adversaries behind locked or barricaded doors; call on others nearby for assistance; contact law enforcement; stop adversarial action with reasonable force; address wounds/injuries, if any; contact emergency medical personnel if necessary.

Stranded in town for three days — seek shelter with friends, commercial establishments, community facilities, and in my vehicle; obtain adequate food and water; obtain required medications; contact others regarding my status; stay aware of changing circumstances that could allow me to resume travel; maintain morale.

Flying debris — seek shelter within vehicle, buildings, and around engineered structures.

Deep and swift moving water — avoid draws, underpasses, and water collection areas; seek higher ground; seek second and third story stairwells and hallways in houses and buildings.

On the Road

Multiple armed adversaries — avoid encounters; seek refuge from adversaries behind locked or barricaded doors; call on others nearby for assistance; contact law enforcement; stop adversarial action with reasonable force; address wounds/injuries, if any; contact emergency medical personnel if necessary.

Stranded on the road (locally) for three days — call friends for assistance; seek shelter with friends, commercial establishments, community facilities, and in my vehicle; obtain adequate food and water; obtain required medications; contact others regarding my status; stay aware of changing circumstances that could allow me to resume travel; maintain morale.

Flying debris — seek shelter within vehicle, buildings, and around engineered structures; address wounds/injuries, if any; contact emergency medical personnel if necessary.

Deep and swift moving water — avoid draws, underpasses, and water collection areas; seek higher ground; seek second and third story stairwells and hallways in houses and buildings.

Extreme heat in my inoperable vehicle — set up window shades/reflectors; seek shade from nearby trees and overhead structures; create shade if exposed in open terrain; promote cross breezes by rolling down windows, opening doors and optimizing orientation; stay hydrated; limit activities during the heat of the day.

Extreme cold in my inoperable vehicle — periodically utilize the vehicle heater if engine starts and runs; layer clothing and outer wear, top and bottom; keep hands, feet and head warm and dry; maximize solar gain by day; minimize vehicle and personal heat loss by night.

Destruction of my vehicle while on the road a great distance from home — investigate repair or replacement of vehicle; determine availability of alternate transportation; contact others regarding my status.

Damage to the windshield of my car such that only slow travel is possible — use limited visibility through windshield to travel slowly on shoulder of road until a safe parking spot is reached; contact insurance company; contact windshield replacement services.

Delay of travel on the road for several days — seek shelter with commercial establishments and community facilities; obtain adequate food and water; obtain required medications; contact others regarding my status; stay aware of the status of vehicle repair that could allow me to resume travel; maintain morale.

Exposure to harsh weather while restoring my vehicle to service — employ suitable outerwear to protect against wind, rain, and blowing snow; layer clothing to protect against cold weather; create shade or wear sun block during hot weather; limit activities to brief periods to minimize exposure to the elements.

Failed headlights — check fuse box for source of circuit failure and replace blown fuse; test bright headlights for operability and readjust them for temporary use if operable; delay travel until daylight; use flashlight, ambient light and slower travel on shoulder of the road until a safe parking spot is reached.

Failed heater and defroster — set to defroster setting and high heat, and vent rear windows to encourage natural flow-through ventilation across the inside of the windshield; minimize conversation to reduce interior condensation; use a rag or paper towel to absorb condensation from the interior of the windshield.

Temperature extremes inside my operable vehicle (due to failed air conditioning) — roll down windows to expel hot air; use evaporative cooling to augment cooling effect of moving air.

Vehicle stuck in snow drift — rock the vehicle out; dig a path out; use traction assist devices on your wheels; use traction assist devices under your tires; contact other motorists to help push or pull you out; contact friends and neighbors for assistance; contact commercial services to get towed out; wait for road clearing equipment to clear a path and help pull you out.

At Home

Multiple armed adversaries — seek refuge in the home; contact law enforcement; call on assistance from neighbors; stop adversarial action with reasonable force.

Stranded for three days — contact others regarding my status; stay aware of changing circumstances that could allow me to resume normal activities away from the house; continue with normal activities around the house.

Flying debris — seek shelter in the basement away from windows; contact others regarding my status; stay aware of changing circumstances that could allow me to resume normal activities around the house.

Extreme cold without electricity — start a fire in the wood stove in the kitchen; dress warmly; light candles for supplemental light at night; run the generator on an as-needed basis, not merely for convenience; contact others regarding my status; monitor indoor temperatures to ensure that indoor plumbing isn’t at risk of freezing; drain indoor plumbing to below grade if indoor temperatures cannot be maintained at or above 40 F; keep garage door closed to support insulation on the north side of the home; move egg and drink storage indoors if contents of refrigerator in the garage are at risk of freezing; stay aware of changing circumstances that could allow me to resume normal activities with electricity.

Interruption of the food supply for three days — plan food consumption from freezers, refrigerators, pantry, garden, greenhouses and chicken yard; contact others regarding my status; stay aware of changing circumstances that could allow me to resume normal activities away from the house; continue with normal activities around the house.

Interruption of the fuel supply for three days — continue to use fuel from bulk storage tanks; become familiar with the cause and extent of the fuel supply interruption to determine when travel outside the local area can be undertaken with confidence; continue with normal activities around the house.

Interruption of the supply of merchandise for three days — contact others in the event that crucial supplies aren’t available in the home; stay aware of changing circumstances that could allow me to replenish household supplies; resume normal activities around the house.

Interruption of natural gas for one week, and possibly up to two months — use electric stove top, propane stoves and turkey fryer, and wood stoves to heat water; use electric heaters, propane heaters and wood stoves for area heat in the home; contact others regarding my status; stay aware of changing circumstances that could allow me to resume normal use of natural gas; continue with normal activities around the house.

Interruption of water for one week, and possibly up to two months (due to failed electricity) — practice conservation methods to minimize water usage; set up water catchments from the roof; create an emergency hook up to feed the 240 volt well pump from the generator; get drinking water at the grocery store, possibly one outside the region affected by the power outage; fill gasoline containers from bulk fuel storage to keep the generator running when needed to charge up the pressurized water storage tanks; contact others regarding my status; stay aware of changing circumstances that could allow me to resume normal activities when the electric power is restored; make use of emergency water storage within the house such as toilet tanks and water heater.

Destruction of my home (from severe weather conditions) — address immediate medical needs; address secondary threats from fire, explosion, electrocution, and flooding; protect exposed possessions from the weather; secure emergency food and water supplies, and other essential tools and resources; seek shelter with friends, commercial establishments, community facilities, and in my vehicle; contact my insurance company regarding the loss; contact others regarding my status; seek medical care as necessary; stay aware of changing circumstances that could suggest additional severe weather; draft a near term and long term recovery plan to ensure continuity of business, employment and other obligations.

So, there you have my list of anticipated responses to three types of security threats. Your list of responses will likely be different, as your situation and circumstances will be different from mine. As they say, “results may vary.” And, this is one of the powerful features of the structured thought process I’m suggesting: it allows you to create every day carry kits that are responsive to what you perceive as threats, what you determine to be reasonable, and as suggested by your lifestyle and personal situation. Keep in mind that the point here isn’t to get the right answer; it’s to get an answer that’s right for you and your family.

The Next Steps

Now that I’ve identified my anticipated responses to what I perceive as security threats, I’ll use the fourth part of this series to list the tools, resources and supplies necessary to effectively implement the responses highlighted above. Since the list of threats and responses is rather large, I’ll only select a few threat and response sets to use as examples.

After I have a list of tools, resources and supplies, I’ll sort through the list to determine which of the items will likely not be readily available to me when I need them. Those will be the items that I’ll want to have as part of my every day carry kits.

The fifth part in this series will show how to allocate the tools, resources and supplies across my various every day carry kits, and offer suggestions for how we might keep each of the items handy without necessarily having them piled up in one bag, box or pouch. If the analysis is well organized, it should be relatively easy to assign items to my person, my vehicle and my home.

I know the analytical process suggested in this series is a bit tedious, but I think you’ll find it useful for determining what’s essential and useful in your particular situation. It also provides us with a means of identifying unnecessary items that we might already be carrying. To do this, we simply run the process in reverse to see if we can justify an item based on a likely response to a reasonable threat, where we believe that the item is necessary but won’t likely be available for us to use unless we include it in our kits.

About the author: Clair Schwan is a managing editor at the http://www.Self-Reliance-Works.com and also hosts www.Frugal-Living-Freedom.com Both sites are dedicated to helping people live a more self directed lifestyle through wise decision-making, being better prepared, and getting skilled up to face life’s challenges.


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