Two Disasters Strike Close to Home

  • Beau Doboszenski, Owner/Lead Instructor

  • Originally published March 1st, 2018

I've lived through two disasters in the last two weeks.

It started last Friday afternoon, when an impaired driver crossed the median and crashed into another vehicle before careening into my car head-on. While I feel very fortunate because the situation could have turned out much worse than it did, my car was damaged beyond repair.

And today I watched my neighbors’ house burn from a fire started by an unknown cause, leaving the house completely gutted and forever changing the lives of my neighbors and their four young kids (who, fortunately, escaped without injury).

This training newsletter is usually focused on critical defense skills, typically involving a handgun, but the two most likely emergencies you’ll experience are due to fire or medical issues. If you truly want to protect yourself and your loved ones, you can’t just jet over to the range for a quick shooting session and call it a day. You need to be prepared for whatever might threaten your security.

What have you done to get ready for fire and medical emergencies? You probably have fire alarms up. We all know how to dial 911. But when you really think about it, do you know how to be most effective in an emergency?

Here's a few things to do right away to make sure your home and your family are prepared in case of disaster.

Fire Emergencies

Ensure that you have working smoke alarms in each sleeping area and major thoroughfare of your home. Once you have them set up, test them annually.

Batteries die. Smoke detectors expire and fail. Pick a time of year, once a year, and put on some hearing protection and go through the house testing each of your smoke detectors.

Pre-plan a primary and secondary escape route from your home and PRACTICE it.

As we always say at DMT, your brain will only do what you've taught it to do. If you haven't practiced something, you won’t get the desired results when it counts. Your fire emergency practice should include your whole family. If you have kids, turn it into a game and see who can get out first.

Fire Ladder.jpg

Have a set meeting point outside that is far enough away from the house that you won't be in the fire, but not so far that it takes too long to get there. 50 to 100 feet is plenty. Once you're there, do a head count and touch everyone as you count and say their names. If you're missing someone, DO NOT go back in or you might also become a casualty.

Remember that you need both a primary AND a secondary means of escape. If you can't get out through the primary path, go to the secondary, even if that means going out a window. Products like this wall mounted ladder can make even second story escapes possible.

Have a Go-Bag ready.

I live in the frozen north. It's nice out today, and I don't need more than a flannel, but a month ago it was 10 below zero during the day and colder still overnight. Imagine that you need to evacuate your house in the middle of the night in that weather. How long will you last before you've swapped smoke inhalation for frostbite?

Pack your Go-Bag according to your situation and time of year. It should have defensive tools, cash, important documents and information stored on an encrypted hard drive, critical medicines, clothes appropriate to the environment, etc. Just a little advanced preparation and you'll be able to evacuate with what you need to function in those next critical hours following a house fire.

Medical Emergencies

Know CPR.

Cardiovascular Disease is one of the top killers in the United States. Knowing basic CPR can be a serious lifesaver. If you haven't done a certification course, look up the Red Cross or other similar training agencies. In just hours, you can be certified and prepped to save a life.

Get a trauma kit and know how to use it.

In my recent car accident, I was fortunate not to be trapped in my car or have open wounds, though others involved in the accident were not so lucky. Fortunately, I had a trauma kit in the trunk, which I got out to help the others. Aside from putting on nitrile gloves I didn't need to anything else before the paramedics arrived, but I was prepared just in case.

For every DMT training session that includes live fire, I’m prepared with a trauma kit including tourniquets, pressure dressings, occlusive dressings, and more. It doesn’t cost a lot to put together a good kit, but quality training will cost you. And if you don't have quality training, it could cost someone else. Go to a good trauma medical course like the one we offer at DMT, which will bring you as close to a real life scenario as possible. Keep watch on the training calendar for the next event coming up.

Prep the scene for the arrival of EMS.

Medical emergencies can be chaotic. For my car accident, more than a dozen personnel were on scene, and more still for my neighbors’ house fire. Try to help make their arrival easier if possible. In your home, turn on the lights, unlock the doors for entry, and put away any pets that could hamper the EMS response. In medical emergencies, there's something called the Platinum 10: that's the 10 minutes paramedics have on scene with a seriously injured person before they need to head toward trauma care. Help the EMS make those 10 minutes count by staging the area for them.

For real life experience dealing with emergency situations, be on the lookout for our next Tactical Trauma Medical seminar, which we've had to postpone till later this spring. Nothing will prepare you better than actual experience in a high stress situation.

Otherwise, for more detailed information on preparing for fire or medical emergencies, check out the brief segment from the Home Defense Rifle video series below.


If you want to see the full emergency planning session, packed with critical information for preparing for medical, fire, and violent threat emergencies, I recommend you purchase Home Defense Rifle. This video series not only gives information on prepping for emergencies, but you’ll learn how to best use a rifle to defend your home. 

Just a couple days ago, a man in Illinois used a rifle to stop a knife-wielding attacker from killing a neighbor. In Texas, a man used his MSR to end a church massacre. And just look at this picture from a Daily Mail article. Imagine this crew of four broke into your home – do you think a handgun would be enough to stop their invasion?

Buy Home Defense Rifle, or come to our weekly Foundations Rifle training every Monday, and be ready for any emergency.