In this week’s Reading List: a course to build your situational awareness; planning ahead to foil a home invasion; why you need a get-home bag; securing your home in the country; how to spot a card skimmer; self defense for those who can’t fight; and a look at bugging out as a survival strategy.
Threat Awareness Workshop coming up soon!
We talk a lot about the idea of how to stay aware of your surroundings, but how many of us have ever practiced that under the watchful eye of an expert? It’s rare that I use this space to publicize something, but in this case I think it’s important that you know about Joshua Gideon’s upcoming Threat Awareness Workshop in Indiana. Joshua takes his years of training and experience in the executive protection field and uses them to teach you how to have better “situational awareness” (a term both he and I dislike, but it’s one that gets used a lot!) Through classroom study and an innovative “field exercise” you’ll learn how to spot the criminal ambush before it happens. I cannot recommend his course highly enough, and there’s still time to sign up!
“Prepping” for a home invasion
Home invasions — where two or more attackers make a sudden entrance into an occupied dwelling — are becoming more common in many parts of the country. The attack relies on surprise, speed, and violence to succeed, and once the attack has started it’s difficult to defend against. The best defense is in preparation and deterrence, and this article gives some good basic tips on the process. (I’m glad they pointed out the value of an early warning system, as opposed to an alarm system that contacts police.)
Do you have a way to get home in an emergency?
In general, I’m not a fan of the various bags that preppers think you should have. There is one, however, that I think is critical to have no matter where you live: the “get home bag”. This is a bag that you carry in your vehicle and which contains the supplies you’d need to survive roughly a day — enough to get you home. The reality is that you have a better-than-even chance of a natural or man-made disaster occurring while you’re away from your home, and in many cases it may require you to either wait out the event in your car, or perhaps even walk home. In either case, the get-home bag should contain the things you need to sustain you for that day. This article gives you the basic concepts of a get-home bag, allowing you to tailor it to your needs and environment. If you do no other prepping, at least do this!
Home security is different in the country
If you have a rural home, or are considering moving to a rural area, you need to understand that home security takes on a very different meaning than it does in the urban or suburban environment. Your focus needs to be on deterrence and early warning, because police response might be measured in hours — if it can be measured at all. The problems only multiply if you’re off-grid. Here’s an introductory article that outlines some (just some, mind you) of the things you need to keep in mind when you’re alone in the countryside.
Do you know how to spot a skimmer?
Credit card skimmers — illicit devices attached to gas pumps to steal credit and debit card numbers — are a fact of life in many areas. In fact, the ingenuity and resourcefulness of crooks placing skimmers amazes me: they actually produce devices complete with molded housings to fit specific brands and models of machines! Being able to spot one of these nasty little machines might make the difference between a night on the town and an empty bank account. Here’s some information about spotting them before they get your information.
If you can’t (or won’t) fight, what can you do to protect yourself?
Greg Ellifritz has some interesting thoughts on how people who can’t or won’t fight an attacker — whether because of physical or emotional issues — can still help to provide for their own safety. This is good information to share with those who don’t have your level of will or skill.
Is “bugging out” really such a good idea?
I once met a fellow who was born in another country and spent some time as a refugee. He told me, quite emphatically, that you should never give up your home unless it’s blow out from under you. “Never, ever become a refugee”, he said, “because then you’re at the mercy of everyone.” The modern prepping equivalent is the idea of “bugging out”: taking some supplies and heading to another destination, in the hope that you might return. In general I think this is an incredibly bad idea for most people under most circumstances. In this article, one man looks at both sides of the discussion and brings up some interesting points.
– Grant Cunningham
Opening photo: “Camelus dromedarius at Tierpark Berlin” by Agadez – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons