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Cover vs. Concealment

If you are ever put in a position where you have to duck from firing bullets—let’s say that an intruder breaks in and there is a confrontation—where are you going to hide so you don’t get shot? Are you looking to take cover or are you looking for concealment? Some of you may be asking yourself if there is even a difference. The answer to that question – yes, a big one!

The difference between cover and concealment is a simple one. If it doesn’t stop a bullet, then it is considered to be concealment because that is all it is really doing – concealing your location. Cover is something that will not only conceal your location but stop a bullet as well. I don’t know about you, but if I am being shot at I would prefer to take cover and not just be concealed.

So, the bullets start, you are in your house – where are you headed? In the average house there are actually very few places that can be considered true “cover”. One common item that every house has that will provide some cover is actually your refrigerator – at least for most calibers. An AR, for example, or a .45 caliber pistol still has the opportunity to shoot through a refrigerator, but it may better than nothing – it really depends on the layout of your home. The point is this – simply hiding behind a typical wall is going to do nothing for you in regards to stopping a bullet.

The odd thing is that most people do not even think about this topic, which makes it even more important. Cover is one thing that most homes do not have much, if any. Usually there is a lot of concealment but little or no cover. Take a stroll through your house and look around in every room to see what you can use for cover in the event of an attack. Don’t be surprised if you don’t find much.

Different cover options that may be available in your home:

  • A safe
  • A freezer full of frozen items
  • A steel door
  • A concrete room
Many don’t have those options available so then what do you do?

The first thing you need to do is make a plan. If you don’t have true “cover,” your family should have a “safe room” where, if anything were to happen, you could all meet and be as protected as possible. Maybe this is a lockable bathroom with a phone – preferably one that is offset from the door “just in case”. Something allowing some form of protection like a cast iron tub would work as well. Basically, you need a place where you can all go and be safe until help can arrive.

You also need to think about the items you will need with you in the “safe room”. As I mentioned before, you need to make sure there is a phone available. Some have even purchased a track phone and simply kept this phone in their “safe room” so it is always available. You also need to make sure you have any firearms you will need with you. These are no good to you sitting locked in a safe if the safe is not in your “safe room”. A first aid kit is also an item that you may need as well as some food and water. Hopefully you will not need any of these items, but it is better to have them and not need them, than it is to need them and not have them.

The point is that you should think of all the “what-if?” scenarios and plan accordingly. You may not have the ideal set-up but perhaps you can make something work – at least until help can arrive. Being prepared – even if it isn’t the perfect plan – will go a lot farther in helping you improvise and survive than not being prepared at all.

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