Why is it that crises mostly strike at night when you are most vulnerable and least prepared to act? Due to the recent super-storm Sandy, millions lost power in a flash. It has now been weeks rather than days, and I am hearing that it may be December or even January before power is returned to many. Stories of looting and roving gangs are both rampant and under-reported. Pressure is always put on the media to keep the lid on and not breed panic. Terrified homeowners actually do not have to concern themselves about poor media coverage because in a disaster situation public power systems will be out, rendering signal delivery impossible.
Consider how you would protect your family in that setting. My guess is that for most citizens the cold sweats would break out literally in minutes as recognition sinks in that no disaster planning has been done, no personal safety audit has been conducted, and no firearms have been purchased to deal with home invaders and looters. There is always tomorrow, right? Disaster planning is an unpleasant task and inertia is a powerful foe. Both time and money are part of the equation.
I have spent over a decade researching personal security and conducting risk audits for my own family, relatives and friends, most of whom are now in pretty good shape, with my farm-based family and friends in the catbird’s seat. This is not the case, however, with over 95% of people I speak with away from my family and friends. I am barraged with questions when it becomes clear that I am deeply involved with personal security. The most-often-asked question is which gun should I get first. I have a variety of firearms to meet many contingencies. No single firearm is perfect in every setting. Given this caveat, my first choice is a flexible, multi-purpose, inexpensive, Henry Survival .22 semi-automatic. (henryrepeating.com) What a great little gun. Debbie and I own four Henrys and will soon be adding to our arsenal (MSRP $275 in black). The stock is ABS plastic. The receiver and the steel barrel are Teflon coated. Since 1959, the Henry Survival .22 has been the choice of U.S. Air Force pilots who need a small caliber rifle they can count on if downed.
If you find your family in the sort of first class disaster situation I write about, you will be looking at round-the-clock security over the full perimeter of your property. This means a team approach and multiple weapons for each team member. You’re looking at the full gamut of planning, preparation, and execution (PPE). At the top of my list for owing the Henry is its ease of use for every member of your family. A well-taught fifth-grader can deal with this light-weight, light-kick .22.
The Henry breaks down into three pieces and quickly packs up into its waterproof stock. The compact Henry is perfect for taking on camping trips or using at home as a personal protection firearm. The gun weighs 3.5 lbs. and is 16-½ inches long and is sold with two eight-round magazines (stock up on extra magazines) that also pack into the stock. My choice of ammunition is the Stinger .22LR from CCI. (Cabelas.com). You’re looking at copper-plated, hollow-point rounds (you will not want to have hollow points in your car traveling through storm-ravaged New Jersey). I buy the ammo in 50-round plastic boxes. Among the many advantages of a .22 round are its light kick and low cost. There is no such thing as too much ammo. In a disaster setting, ammo is a defensive must in quantity as well as a currency. Your gold will not get you far in such an environment, but ammo is always in strong demand.
OK, you’re off and running with a terrific family firearm. Remember, each member of your family needs to take the NRA’s handgun safety course as a place to start in educating your family on personal defense.