Planning is a crucial component in maintaining the safety and security of your home. However, you must also keep in mind that nothing ever goes exactly as planned. The same holds true for even the tightest home-security plan.

Years ago, my SWAT team was dispatched to raid a drug house. Raid planning was extensive; everything seemed to be in order. We were going to approach from the back, open the gate and hit the front door.

As we approached the gate, our point man came to a stop. The gate was padlocked from the inside. We had to loop around and go through the yard on the other side to hit the front door. Fortunately, the raid was still successful.

Roll With It

Your home-security plan needs to be able to flow as situations change. It must also be workable for your particular abode. We can NEVER predict the actions of another human being. Situational changes may cause you to deviate from your original plan in real time. Sure, you have YOUR plan, but the criminal doesn’t often agree to go along. Make your plan fluid, and be prepared to go off-script.

Get Everyone on Board

One of the worst mistakes is to not involve other capable family members in developing the plan. While you may have the expertise, you can’t think of everything. Other family members are the end users, so they should get a say. They need to be fully aware of the plan, help craft the plan and believe in its ability to keep everyone safe. My son is five now, but someday he will become a key component in our home-defense plan.

Post-Disaster Home Defense

During a recent tornado warning, I grabbed an AR-15 and several mags and brought them to the basement with us. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters and plan to shelter in place, make sure your shelter area includes access to defensive rifles or shotguns. Be sure you maintain an emergency food and water supply. You can never know the extent of your stay, the damage in the aftermath or to what lengths others will be willing to go.

Arriving Home to Forced Entry

Most often, people come home to open doors or forced entry. Don’t try to search by yourself — especially if an alarm has been tripped. Establish a defensive perimeter behind your vehicle or other cover and call the police. Let them know you are there and outside. Then, let the professionals conduct the search. Stay on the line with the dispatcher and make sure you have no weapon visible when police arrive. This can help prevent mistaken identity.

Less-Lethal Defense

Your home-safety plan should also include less-lethal options such as a Taser, OC or an impact device. Not every threat to your safety is a lethal-force threat, at least at the outset.

Rely on the USCCA

If you accept that you may someday be forced to use deadly force to defend yourself, plan to belong to the USCCA for 24-hour protection and support. In a lethal-force event, call the USCCA Critical Response Team immediately after calling 911.