Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Inadvertent Emergency Preparedness Drill. PASS.

So there I am the other night, sound asleep in bed. It's the early hours of the morning and full dark, both inside and out. At the foot of the bed, Murphy is asleep in his dog bed, no doubt dreaming of getting into mischief.

Suddenly I'm awakened by a noise. It was a faint noise, but it was something not natural to the Lair at zero-dark-thirty. Then I heard a voice talking quietly, followed by more sounds, as if someone was moving around.

Murphy hears it too. He's sitting up, taking his cue from me. He's growling softly, but not charging off through the house. Good dog.

In the dark, be feel, I pull my leg on, then swing out of bed and grab hold of my Remington 870 shotgun, the one with the Surefire light on the fore-end. When I get up, Murphy gets up and starts down the hall with me. I still hear the voice, only now it sounds like two people conversing. From the sound of it, I'm estimating that they're outside at the far end of the house. I'm also thinking that there's a good chance that it's neighbors or the police because they don't sound like they're trying to be very quiet now.

Then it dawns on me. I'd gone to bed hours ago after watching some live-feed video on line. Apparently I'd never disconnected from the streaming source after that video had gone dark and now the feed was active again, broadcasting live coverage of a political demonstration a long way away. It was those voices that I heard talking and in the background was heavy equipment knocking down barricades--the sound that I perceived here as things being moved around or people stumbling in the dark outside.

I sigh and make the shotgun safe, then sit down to watch the feed for a bit before going back to bed.

As I reviewed this, though. I realized that it had been an excellent test of my defense plans and ability. This wasn't staged; I was awakened from a dead sleep and really believed for a moment that there were real intruders present. From the look of it, Murphy did, too. So even though it wasn't a real threat and it was over in less than thirty seconds, I got to see first-hand how I respond to one, and all-in-all, I was pleased.

1. I heard the sounds and woke up.

2. I got my leg on in the dark and armed myself in less than ten seconds. I also knew what condition the shotgun was in because I've practiced enough with it over the years. I didn't have to check it or fumble with it--I was ready and able to use it without consciously stopping to think about it.

3. I know know that Murphy will also respond, but in concert with me and not by just running ahead barking his fool head off. He stayed close by me as I advanced, and other than his low growls, he stayed quiet. Good dog.

4. As I moved, I assessed. In looking back, I also moved tactically through two doorways as I've been taught, and I didn't lead with the weapon and make a gift of it to any bad guy who might have been waiting on the other side. I was just stopping at a place in the house where I'd have cover and good visibility of much of the rest of it when I figured out what the noise was. Again, this wasn't thought out as much as it was conditioned reflex built up from many hours of mental role-play and actual practice. I'd done this before as training (because I do train like this in my home, as should you) and I did it instinctively while still foggy without having to think about it on this night.

5. No one got shot. Not even the computer.

Yes, it was a mite silly being drawn out of my nice warm bed, but I got a real good look at how I will probably respond to a similar event in the future should one occur. And now I'm more confident that the response will be smooth and appropriate and that Murphy and I will at least start out as a team should it not just be the computer next time.

So do you have an emergency plan? And if so, when's the last time that you've physically or mentally rehearsed it?


  1. Good to know it all came together. Unfortunately, each time I've been awakened by voices it has gone something like this: "Ummm. Something's different...What's different...? I hear voices... From inside the house... There shouldn't be voices inside my house...Oh! It's the phone answering machine!"

  2. Great job! Although I thought the noises from the live feed would have sounded different =).

    I have a different plan but I have one. I, if at all possible will defend in place. I have all my angels of fire with appropriate backstops, good cover and concealment, old cell phone on charge, a landline phone, and uh, not a 870 but the Winchester *cough* mossberg Defender handy.

  3. Hope you rewarded Murphy for his goodness!

  4. I've had occasion to practice every so often because of some bump in the night. Its usually something the cat did. But on occasion it is some pair of idiots who decided to have a conversation out on the street at 2:30 in the morning. I hate those idiots.

  5. Last Saturday night... and my plan is basically the same, minus the dog and leg issue... It was two neighbors talking loudly outside my apartment door.

  6. Too bad. Computers deserve to be shot.

  7. Rem 870 and Surefire forend...sounds as though great minds think alike!