For years, my wife and I had a pretty simple arrangement in the case of a home invasion. We’d both grab our guns and flashlights from the nightstand, dial the police, and stay put. But then, we moved out of our apartment and bought a house. My brother came to live with us. We had a baby. Our simple plan needed modifying.

Make sure you’re all on the same page.

First, the adults sat down and discussed what the best course of action would be should something go bump in the night. We realized that three armed adults moving through the house to confront a possible intruder might pose more of a danger to one another than the intruder would. We’d have to determine where everyone was going to be. So we considered the floor plan of the house, what natural choke points existed, and decided who would go where if the alarms went off.

Sometimes the best plan is the simplest.

We arrived at the conclusion that it would be best if my brother would stay put in his room, and only leave it if we called to him. My wife and I, coming from the same room, would be better able to coordinate our movements. She would head to my daughter’s room, and I would guard the hallway, the only approach from the rest of the house. Simple, but effective. Detailed plans are the first to derail in times of stress or panic.

Consider the costs.