Imagine coming home from work or from shopping and you find the roadways to your home barricaded. Suspected killer on the loose is all you hear from police, and by the way, you cannot go home, it is too dangerous, too dangerous for you the homeowner. You cannot get to your own home, so please turn around. You do have emergency supplies in your vehicle right?
Headlines: Alleged cop killer Eric Frein, age 31 on the loose for over 10 days and locals on lockdown in the dense forests of the Poconos in North-Eastern Pennsylvania
Imagine you get a knock on the door, and it is the police, you hear a suspected killer is on the loose, do not leave your home, it is too dangerous. You cannot go to work, kids cannot go to school, because they are closed, and you cannot go to the grocery store, and oh by the way, if you do leave, you cannot come back until the situation is resolved. How long will that take you ask, as long as it takes is the answer.
The police are combing the woods. In fact, some are patrolling your yard, peeking into your tool shed, under the tarp secured to your fishing boat and maybe even looking under the house. You cannot go out in your own yard with a weapon because the police may mistake your intentions or mistake you for the suspected shooter.
People have been shot by police who were holding items in their hands that police mistook for a weapon, and it turned out not to be so. When nerves are frayed, anything is possible and you need to be aware of the possibilities. Think first before letting your emotions get ahead of your common sense.
What happens if you hear something in the night, is it the police, is it the suspected killer. Do you go to investigate the noise with your shotgun? Will the police just see a silhouette of a person with a weapon at port arms and shoot. A dilemma for sure, and one that many of you probably have not given much thought too, until now.
What Can You Do
First, follow the instructions given to you by the local authorities. They will not change their minds simply because you argue with them, in fact they will likely arrest you if you give them too much trouble. If you cannot get home then the only recourse is to find a motel if you have the funds, go to a friend’s house, relative’s house, or if you are by yourself then you could sleep in your vehicle.
Part of any preparedness plan would have to include plans for when you are away from the house for whatever reason, and then cannot get home. A get home bag, or in some cases “a staying away from home for a few days bag” is something you need to have packed, and in your vehicle. You never know when you may need it, just ask the residents of the small community in Pennsylvania.
Sleeping in your vehicle is dangerous for a number of reasons however and is not recommended. The suspect may decide he needs your vehicle, and you being in the way of his escape, may very well end up dead. Others lurking around the area can be a problem as well, and not to mention the police may decide you cannot park here or there overnight, and while they are at it they will want to look in the trunk, or under the blankets in the back just to make sure the suspect is not hiding there.
You may be up the creek without the proverbial paddle if you are not prepared. You would need the funds for a motel and eating out and for other sundry items. If the drama with the suspect drags on you may need funds for laundry, more clothing, and personal hygiene items and so on. However, if you have an emergency bag packed and ready in your vehicle then you have some of the basics covered.
The same applies to the home. While you do have shelter, do you have enough food, medicines, and other essentials for a few days or even longer however?
While you were preparing for one crisis, another one creeps up and bites you, one that you probably never even considered.
The situation in Pennsylvania while unique in some aspects would be similar to other situations in which you could find yourself. You would prepare as you would for any crisis. However, when police are combing the woods and your property, having firearms on display may lead to a misinterpretation of intentions.
Of course, you have a right to have firearms in your home and on your person if applicable laws are followed, but a little common sense is called for as well. You know the police will be under a great deal of stress and nerves will be frayed so stalking around your property looking for the suspect would probably not be a good idea.
Heading off to the woods outfitted in camo would be another bad idea as well. You see where this is going. In these types of situations you have to assess what is happening and possibly tailor your actions based on information at hand so there are no accidents, and no miscommunications that would cause you or others injury or a night or two in the local jail.