If you're at a loss, think about creating a Deadly Force Ladder to help you decide how to react when faced with danger. (h/t to TheOrganicPrepper.com)
The Deadly Force Continuum
Unless you're facing someone with intentions to hurt you, it can be difficult to predict how you will react in a dangerous situation. Will you freeze in fear? Can you keep your cool and attempt to talk them out of what they want to do?
The U.S. military and law enforcement agencies throughout the country follow a standard that "[guides] their use of force in any given situation."
These policies have many names, all of which seem interchangeable:
-Deadly Force Continuum
-Deadly Force Ladder
-Escalation of Force
-Use of Force Continuum
-Use of Force Ladder
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) refers to these guidelines as "The Use-Of-Force Continuum," but even if they are referred to by different names, they all provide guidelines to help you determine how much force can and should be used against a person.
Note that before you come up with similar guidelines for yourself and your family, you must first read up on the laws in your state and country, particularly those that are about the use of weapons and deadly force.
The concept of the Deadly Force Continuum and how to apply it to yourself when faced with danger will help you avoid unnecessary violence and injuries. (Related: When faced with a conflict, here are the first things you should do.)
The personal Deadly Force Continuum
When SHTF, troublemakers won't care about breaking the law. But while the world is still relatively orderly, you will need to devise a personal Deadly Force Continuum so you can quickly decide on the most effective way of dealing with someone who trespasses on your property with the intent to cause harm.
Level 1: Once an intruder is noticed, make your presence known
In level 1, you may notice an intruder in your property who may threaten your loved ones. You can either try to escape without being noticed or make your presence known to intimidate your attacker.
Simply announcing your presence to a thief should be enough to make them run away and prevent the need for an altercation.
Avoiding a confrontation doesn't mean you are being a coward. After all, the best way to avoid a fight is not to participate in one at at all. Unless you are forced to reach for your weapon, always remain calm and attempt to reason with your attacker.