You and your wife are sleeping rather nicely, the kids are upstairs in bed. In the fog of sleep you dimly hear a whispered comment or two outside your window. The next thing you're aware of is the front door crashing open. What do you do? If the crash didn't include screams of "Search Warrant" then you have a real problem as criminals aren't going to give warnings like that.
You and the family come home from a late night out. You unlock the front door and walk in to see the room in destroyed. Think! The front door was locked, how did someone get in? Are they still in the house? Are the cops close enough to respond? What do you do?
There's an endless set of scenarios where you need to make instantaneous decisions to protect your family. Start by planning and then by training for your responses.
Nighttime...bedroom. The number one item should be a repeating shotgun, preferably pump action with number 4 buckshot or larger. 12 or 20 gauge as you see fit. Flashlight... a real bright one. A handgun loaded with defensive ammunition. And a cordless phone or cell phone.
Evening. Always have a handgun on your person. Train with it religiously. Have a flashlight in your pocket. A one handed knife. Train to get it out and open with both hands. A charged cell phone in the other pocket.
Daytime. Once again, have your handgun on you at all times. Do you have a shotgun or carbine handy in the house? Think, plan, train.
Do you live in a rural area where your neighbors are not close by? Then a carbine may be your bedroom companion. Think about it. If the old 30/30 will drop a 180 pound buck it should do the same for a 180 pound man. Practice. Practice. Practice.
If you are in a town that has a police department, let them do the house clearing. Is any official response going to be long enough that you and your family are endangered? Make your own decision then. Remember, plan, train, train and train.
There are a few other things you are going to need. A proper mindset, decent ammo and a good lawyers number. There are also several places to get training and if you can't afford that then there are books and videos that will give you some information that must then be turned into skills via practice.
Any lawyer or book you read on the subject of selfdefense shooting will tell you ...keep your mouth closed. Zip. Nada. When you call 911.. please send an ambulance, I was in fear for my life (for their lives). Call your lawyer. Sit down and shut up until legal counsel arrives. Do not give a BA attitude to the cops or prosecutors or media or anyone. Regretful and thankful all the time.