Item Pre-Positioning Part 1: Night

My definition of pre-positioning for emergencies: The act of placing and orienting certain items in such a manner as they shall be accessible to the intended user(s) as fast as possible under situations of distress or dire need.

Well, that’s a mouthful. Basically, make sure you can get what you, need when you need it. They need to be at a natural distance, easily reached from multiple positions, angled appropriately, quick to access safely and put into action immediately and effectively, the works. It’s not going to be perfect. Nothing is. That’s why part of effective pre-positioning is conditioning yourself to be able to access and use your items under any conditions. That’s not the gist of this post, though. I’m going over some of my emergency items and where I place them in relation to myself and if applicable, family members.

To start off with a time-neutral area, yes, I am armed while in the bathroom. Besides sleeping, these are the times when you are most vulnerable for obvious reasons. It may seem weird, but weird and alive is a pretty good compromise I’d imagine. As I place my handgun (my current carry gun) either on the edge of the bathtub or on top of the reservoir for the “throne”, I orient it for the most natural grip if reached for with the closest hand while also taking into consideration the direction of the muzzle. I live with neighbors on on the other side of some drywall, and it is always pointed away from them. It’s not as hard as it might seem, even using a DeSantis pocket holster with an obstructing flap that pretty much cuts off access from one side of the handgun (I do like the holster and I’ll discuss it more next week). My everyday/minor emergency bag is also in the same place regardless of time of day, if I’m not currently wearing it.

At night, the nightstand is where most everything I need is. My handgun is outside of the holster and placed on top of it to provide appropriate tilt and elevation. It is oriented to angle the muzzle outside of a high window where there is nothing but dense treetops. Unfortunately, that means I must access it with my non-dominant hand. However, it is a natural distance away (about 60-70% arms’ length) and I make a habit of sleeping on one side to more easily access it. The reality, though, is that a lot of us toss and turn in the night. No matter – I always know where it should be and which hand to use. My plan is to put it into action immediately if necessary, and if not, transfer it quickly to the dominant hand. Then, after I have it secured, I reach for the spare magazine that is right next to it. My handgun is always fully loaded with a round in the chamber. The spare mag is perpendicular to the line of the muzzle and laying flat, but other than that, it’s good that it’s nearby and in the same place.

The rest of my emergency defense stuff is the flashlight, which is vertically placed near the muzzle end of the firearm out of the way of the muzzle, and my glasses, which are removed from their case, always in the same location and ready for me to put on if I have time. My cell phone is on top of my alarm clock, although it could replace my alarm clock if I wanted it to. It would be nice to have, but I don’t consider it immediately critical. Telling someone you’re in trouble comes after you have secured the time to tell them in the first place, and then returning to securing the rest of the time until whoever is supposed to help you arrives, if they arrive at all or in time to do anything meaningful. Notice that shorts or trousers are also not on the critical list, but it can be helpful to avoid embarrassment to second responders. In my this post, I mentioned some non-emergency items I keep in my expected daily wear.

What about some more of the non-emergency night stuff? In addition to the flashlight on the nightstand, I also have an LED lamp that can help me locate anything on top of the stand and provide some illumination. It’s a very small lamp and takes up almost no space at all, which is why I like it. It is important to note that I can reach for everything I need in an emergency with my eyes closed so this level of illumination isn’t critical. I also have a wireless house phone separate from its stand near the alarm clock. My favorite nice-to-have item must be a pen and pad, however. It’s great for writing down the ideas that pop into your head when you really should be sleeping, and I tend to do my best thinking like that. In the next post, I’ll talk about where I place my things during the day or whenever I’m about the house.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow, and stay safe.
-DH

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~ by demonhide on June 13, 2013.

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