I commend you on taking the step to be prepared and responsible for the safety of your family , far too many people believe 911 is their savior...
this is taking nothing away from LEO's , I was in that profession myself... but many things can happen to you and your family during the time it takes
an officer to arrive on scene, and none of them are good.
The 1st thing that you need to understand is MINDSET , when I recieved my MCMAP instructors class , we were given a T shirt that read "One Mind , Any
Weapon" while I already understood the concept from learning about "weapons of opportunity" in my combat training , it sort of reaffirmed everything.
You need to understand that YOU Ma'am are the weapon, whatever you may have in your hand at the time is the tool. Since I'm a trigger puller of course
I'm going to be an advocate of firearms for self defense , man with gun beats man without gun 99 out of 100 times. I'd reccomend taking an NRA "First
Steps" pistol or shotgun class , they'll teach you safe handling of firearms in a setting that caters to new shooters. My bump in the night gun is a 9
shot Mossberg 590A1 Pump with a TLR-2 Light/Laser, everyone has different needs though , there is no 1 size fits all firearm.
Now that firearms are out of the way, I'd say your #1 security measure will be your lighting , doors and windows. Criminals are animals of opportunity
, and if your home is the most well lit (lights facing AWAY from the home) and you have no bushes or shrubs in front of your 1st floor windows ,
they'll usually seek a house that's less of a risk to enter. Make sure you have solid core doors on all of your entry/exit points and reinforced
frames , also have deadbolts on your doors and have a decent lock on there (AND USE THEM) I don't care how "Nice" your neighborhood is, criminals know
that the "Nice" neigborhoods have all of the "Good" stuff in them, your doorways are your first (and in some cases) your last line of defense. Make
sure you keep your windows locked as well. If you have any sliding glass goors you can buy a "Charley Bar" or depending on how handy you are, you can
go to Home Depot and make one out of a 2x4.
I'd also reccomend getting a monitored alarm from a reputable alarm company, make sure there is an exterior audible alarm with a strobe to aid in
drawing attention and signaling police and neighbors. If you can't afford an alarm , pick up some ADT or Brinks stickers from EBAY and put em on your
doors and windows or one of those small signs that go on your lawn.
There really is no replacement for having a canine companion , not so much for their skill in attacking an intruder, but for the senses that they
have, their noses and ears are far more keen than our own and they're instinctive they'll alert you to a disturbance well before you would pick it up
on your own, if you even noticed at all.
Now to your PLAN! If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Say the wolf is at your door RIGHT NOW, and kicks it in?... what do YOU do? , Where do
the cubs go?... What is your partners role? You wanna know what's going to happen, you are going to freeze, and I'll leave the rest up to your
imagination. You need to have a plan and that plan needs to be rehearsed until its instinctual , everyone's plans are going to be different... heres
my example. If a home invasion were to occur , my wife and kids are to haul ass to our bedroom which has a solid core door and a deadbolt , they don't
come out of this room PERIOD , there's 72 hours worth of provisions in my BOB by the safe , so they're G2G for a while. She gets 911 on the horn and
grabs her gun and positions herself and the kids on the far side of the room using the dresser as cover and no one else makes it in the room , unless
it's me giving her a safeword , or it's verified by the dispatcher that its the good guys, she'll let dispatch know that I'm armed and my location and
description. My Job is to position myself at the end of the fatal funnel off to the side of the staircase and ensure no one makes it up and to the
bedroom. I'll yell down that I have a gun and the police are on their way, You won't be seeing any room clearing or badguy hunting on my part, the
only VALUABLES I have are My wife and kids, everything else can be replaced. I've got other contingencies for other scenarios but they're all similar.
Now to the part you've probably been waiting for, GUN ALTERATIVES!!! no to be anticlimatic but I have no definitive answer for you, Baseball Bats,
Machetes, Iron Skillets all work well but at the end of the day to survive combat you need to pit your strongest weapon against your enemy's weakest
point and repeat until he's no longer breathing or he's no longer a threat (whichever comes first) then you do the same to his buddies. If I've got
nothing at hand then my thumbs will be well past the 2nd knuckle into his eye sockets , sorry to be so graphic but If that mental image makes you
squimish then you need to reevaluate your mindset, this is your families life you're saving, there shouldn't be any "Limit" to the level of violence
you're able to escalate to, I promise you that the guy you may be doing that to had similar things lined up for you if he had the chance, you just
happened to get there first.
Now as a palate cleanser of all the violence, hate and malcontent I've shared with you I give you THIS!
C'mon, what's cuter than a Bunny Puppy sandwich?
edit on 17-8-2011 by EyesWideShut because: I forgot The OP was a lady so I changed some of the gender info. Sorry OP =)