The big one has hit. The power is out and it’s not coming on anytime soon. With our dependence on technology this is a scary thought.
Take away all the tech we use every day and focus on just one simple, and old aspect of our industrial prowess…light.
We have mastered a means to harness light and to light our homes and our cities. As humans, we are not nocturnal by nature. We rely on our ability to see more than anything else and when that ability is hampered we are weaker and more vulnerable.
With the country being powered down you can imagine people are going to be scared and desperate. Society is only 9 meals away from devolving into anarchy, and without tech, the food trucks aren’t running.
Fighting and defending yourself during the day will be hard enough, imagine doing the same in the middle of the night?
You not only have to defend yourself, but your family, your home and likely your supplies. In a civilized society, I would let a criminal take my TV rather than kill him. However, in a catastrophic event a thug taking our survival supplies is tantamount to killing our family. So, this I will defend.
Fighting in the darkness is a challenge, but with the right combination of training, equipment, and know-how you can succeed in defending your home against adversaries in the night.
Planning For a Night Attack
If you have a family you should make a plan of what to do in the event of a night based attack. The plan should include every member of the family and what their role should be. Depending on your family’s composition and the maturity of the individuals, they could each have a firearm and be prepared to defend the home.
With younger children, one parent should gather the kids while the other addresses the threat. The plan needs to be understood and rehearsed. It’s hard to give specific plans out because everyone’s family and home is different.
I’ll show you my simple plan as an example:
It all starts with someone attacking by kicking down a door, shooting through windows, breaking a window, or I detect a threat moving towards my home.
Either my wife or I yell “Intruder, intruder, intruder!”
This is the signal to start the plan. My son knows he needs to stop, and lay down on the floor wherever he is. This places him in a position that keeps him safe from gunfire.
My wife gets low, crouching or crawling and secures my son. I react to the threat with force…a lot of force.
The key to a successful defense is stopping an attacker’s momentum and turning them back. So when I respond to a threat it will be with unrestrained prejudice, gunfire and violence.
My goal is to stop the attack through force, deplete my enemy’s ability to attack, ruin their momentum and destroy their morale.
My wife will secure my son and move to a safe place. Most likely the nearest bathroom due to how they are placed in my home and their lack of windows.
She is also armed and the last line of defense for my son. We hold these positions until I am absolutely positive the threat is dealt with. We then have a code phrase we use to ensure the other knows it is safe.
Night Vision Devices
Night vision can be an excellent tool to have in any survival scenario. Night vision comes in both traditional and thermal types.
Quality night visions systems are expensive. But they are well worth it.
Night vision devices can be divided into different generations from 1 to 4. For home defense the lowest generation I could recommend would be Gen 2.5 or 2+.
Anything lower than that would be difficult to use indoors and have a very low effective range. Generation 3 would be the best to go with, but you are looking at least $2,000 for a quality Gen 3 device,
These devices need ambient light or infrared (IR) light to function at full capacity. Moon and star light give them the clearest and brightest picture. Night vision goggles, monoculars and scopes all function better outdoors than indoors.
When used inside a home night vision devices should be combined with an IR illuminator of some kind. These devices produce an invisible light that is only seen through night vision devices.
This gives you an invisible flashlight that allows you to see in close to complete darkness. You can have these devices mounted to your night vision device, or even mounted to your weapon. I believe they are a complete necessity when using a night vision device.
Night vision should be paired with an IR laser system on a fighting weapon. An IR laser can be equipped to your long gun or handgun and give you a very easy way to aim your weapon. Again, an IR laser is another gadget that gives you an invisible point of aim.
Trying to use your sights, or even your optics is nearly impossible while wearing a night monocular or goggles. These lasers make it possible to put rounds on target rapidly and accurately.
A night vision device mounted to a long gun is one option, but these are better suited for being used outdoors. Indoors they kill your peripheral vision and require you to hold your rifle to your shoulder at all times.
They are great if you are defending a stretch of property like a ranch or farm though. Adding some magnification to a night vision optic makes it easy to spot and deal with potential threats.
With night vision, you need to practice using and moving with it. You lose depth perception and it takes some training and experience to learn to move while wearing a set of night vision.
A little practice with night vision goggles goes a long way, and it’s good to continue your training and practice. Practice using your night vision and weapons inside and outside as well.
Weapon Mounted Lights
The tactical world really recognized an individual’s need to be able to fight at night during the War on Terror. Weapons and lights evolved to work together, and this has led us to the current state of weapon mounted lights.
Most modern guns are equipped with a rail system of some type, most commonly it’s a picatinny rail. These rails allow you add accessories to your firearms and to prepare you for defending your home at night.
I believe all weapons dedicated to night time home defense should be equipped with a weapon mounted light. A light on a gun not only allows you to see, but also to help you identify a threat as a threat.
You can accurately establish that the dark shape moving in your is in fact a threat, and not a cat knocking a lamp over.
You want to buy a high-quality weapon mounted light, don’t settle for a $30 piece of Chinese junk.
You may not be able to replace it if it breaks, and it may have to stand up to rough weather, harsh temperatures and the recoil of a weapon.
If you are on a budget I suggest the Streamlight TLR 1 or TLR 3 for home defense. They are powerful enough for use inside the home and affordable enough to put on every weapon you own.
The TLR 1 is great for both handguns and long guns and there are options that allow you to use a pressure switch for a rifle. A pressure switch is a small pad that turns the light on when pressure is applied. A wire runs from the pad to your light and you can position the light in one location and the pad in another.
The TLR 3 is best suited for handguns, but in a pinch, can be tossed on a rifle or shotgun.
Defensive Light Techniques
1. Flash Method
One technique you can use is the flash method of using a weapon mounted light. Keeping the light on all the time as you move through your home will give your position away as you approach your threat. This makes you a massive target. Flash use is just turning the weapon light on long enough to see the area and shutting it off. Most weapon mounted lights have a temp switch that will shut the light off when you release it.
2. Bouncing Light
You wake up in the middle of the night… you hear something rustling in the kitchen. Your significant other is asleep, but you have a teenager across the hall.
Is it a threat you heare? Or is it a teenager raiding a Tuna MRE for the M&Ms? You need to investigate, as you move to the kitchen you can see someone moving, but can’t see who it is.
One issue safety issue with weapon mounted lights is when you point the light at something you are pointing your gun at it.
There’s a good reason that one of the most important rules of gun safety is never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot. To avoid this problem scenario, you can ‘bounce’ the light.
You have to identify a surface near the potential threat/hungry teenager. You will want to bounce light off that surface to identify what’s going on.
You flash the light and the bleed and reflection from the light will shine on your subject. If it’s a threat, it’s less than a second away from being dealt with…if it’s a hungry teenager you should grab some M&Ms and give them a talking to about safety.
3. Handgun and Handheld Light
If a handgun is your defensive weapon of choice you should have a weapon mounted light, but a handheld light can also be used. This prevents you from having to point your weapon at a friendly from the get go.
You also get the added benefit of being able to hold your light away from your body.
A flashlight can act as a target for a waiting attacker. If you move the light off the centerline of your body and an opponent takes a shot at the light, you may escape unharmed.
If you have a handgun mounted light and a hand-held flashlight you can use the handheld light to distract an attacker. You can leave it on and set it in place, making your attacker think you are remaining motionless. It makes a great decoy to draw the focus of an attacker.
Night Sights and Optics
One final defensive option is equipping your weapon with optics or sights that can work in the dark. These may not be superbly useful with night vision, but with flashlights, or in simply low light situations they are invaluable.
Night sights are iron sights that have been modified with a glowing material to make them visible as it gets darker. These help you maintain sight picture in low light situations.
These sights are made primarily for handguns, but rifle night sights, and shotgun nights also exist. I do recommend you install night sights on handguns that will be used for defensive purposes.
For low light situations, there is nothing better than a red dot optic of some kind on your rifle or shotgun. Red dots are incredibly easy to see in low light situations and give you an accurate means to hit a target in close range, low light situations.
A red dot equipped long gun transitions between day and night shooting effortlessly.
Many of these systems are even night vision capable and have low light settings. You can mount a night vision monocular behind the optic and use them together.
Instead of having to swap optics for day and night usem you can mount and dismount a night vision monocular as necessary.
Own the Night
The key to protecting your home in the dark is owning the night. You need to plan, equip yourself, and prepare yourself for defensive encounters at night. The first step is knowing that it can happen and understanding when society gets desperate that people will become violent.
None of this gear is useful if you don’t train with it. The more you sweat now, the less you’ll bleed down the road. As a prepared prepper, you will be a target, and within an EMP attack you could easily be stuck fighting in a low light situation.
Realize it, recognize it, and do something about it.