We previously talked about the importance of having a safety plan or defense plan for your home, but do you have a self-defense plan? Have you ever been in a situation where you had to protect yourself from an intruder in your home or stranger on the street and you didn’t feel safe? Did you know how to react in the moment to keep yourself safe?

You never know what may happen, so it’s best to be prepared and have a plan no matter what the situation may be. Strategizing and organizing a plan just in case of a home invasion or an attack while walking to your car in public is important because you are not always going to make the best decisions when an unexpected situation arises. Many times during a dangerous or unexpected situation, our brains aren’t thinking fully and strategizing the best way to handle a situation. Our adrenaline runs and causes us to react is a fight or flight manner, not always with the best clarity. Having a self-defense plan before you find yourself in one of these situations can help you think clearer and avoid putting yourself in an even more dangerous situation.

Many cities offer self-defense classes so that you are better trained and prepared physically to protect yourself from a stranger's attack. Even if you don’t have to use the skills you learn during the self-defense class, having the confidence that you are able to protect yourself can do wonders. Knowing some self-defense moves, ways to respond to an attack, and the best ways to protect yourself are crucial for people who often travel alone, live alone, or may have a long walk to their home. Taking self-defense classes is a great step towards safety and security for yourself and possibly those around you as well.

Living alone can make you more susceptible and is another reason it’s essential to take the time to create a self-defense plan. This self-defense plan doesn’t have to be overly in-depth or detailed but could be a game plan of how you can protect yourself while running errands, walking to your car, and just while hanging out or sleeping at home. It’s important to have a plan and then a backup plan in case the first one doesn’t work out the way you hoped or something else keeps you from executing your plan. You never know what can happen - the strategy you had for Plan A could be foiled by how an intruder enters your home or if your cell phone is dead, etc. If your apartment/condo will allow it, or if you can add one to your house, having a camera at the front and back door of your house can be extremely comforting and give you a heads up should you need to call the police, etc.

Always keep flashlights, batteries and charged devices whenever possible. It’s also important to scan your surroundings and constantly be aware of who is around you at all times. You never know what people's motives are, so it’s crucial to be aware and ready to act appropriately if needed. When walking to your car at night, keep your keys in between your knuckles. If you feel you may be in a dangerous situation, pretending to be on the phone can also prevent someone from messing with you.

Another great way to defend yourself is to have a small weapon that you’re comfortable with using. While you should have any weapons stored safely in a locked cabinet or safe while you’re not using them, being able to access it quickly when you need to is vital.

Taking the time to think through a self-defense plan and prepare yourself as much as you can, will help you feel more secure and could be the difference between life and death. While you can’t predict every situation and can’t prepare for everything, having some sort of plan or strategy could be vitally important when you’re in a dangerous situation.