Welcome to your Hump Day Reading List!
This is your refuge from the impersonal Google and FaceBook algorithms that seem to run our lives these days. Instead of a machine deciding what you’ll see, I personally go out and look for great articles that actually have value in the quest for greater personal and family safety.
From all of the articles that I find, I weed out the “fake news” and those that don’t have direct application to some aspect of preparedness. Then, to fight the growing scourge of information overload, I distill everything down to what I believe to be the three most useful articles you can read right now, explain the context of those articles, and identify any bias so you can trust what you read.
It’s a more personal, more targeted, and more efficient way to get the information you need!
Here’s what I’ve found for you this week:
This week in Defensive Training and Gear:
What to do when the police arrive
The aftermath of a defensive shooting is a chaotic time. Whether you’ve called the police or the police have been called on you, very soon you’re likely to face flashing lights and drawn guns.
You think they can tell you’re the good guy (or gal) and that they’ll be anxious to congratulate you on your success, but it doesn’t work that way. All they know is that shots have been fired, that they need to secure the scene, and then work to determine what happened.
It’s in this confusion that mistakes can be made. The wrong person (meaning you) might get shot by responding officers. It’s important to understand what the police will likely do and what you can do to make sure you’re safe — physically and legally.
This article from Range365 explains both the dynamics of the post-shooting response and what you should do to ensure a positive outcome. Anyone who has a firearm for protection should read it.
This week in Personal Safety and Security:
A hard look at car break-ins
The author of this article is quick to point out that his data set, taken from YouTube surveillance videos, is not statistically valid and therefore may not reflect reality. I can say that, from the many such articles I’ve read, his numbers aren’t very far off. I also think his analysis and conclusions are spot-on.
The fact is that the vast majority of car break-ins happen to unlocked cars. Greg Ellifritz, a police officer whose work I occasionally share here, has kept a tally of the car prowls on his watch and finds that in some periods of time the number of “owner-assisted” break-ins approaches 100%.
This is especially troubling when you consider the number of people who keep guns in their vehicles. I read a story recently where a fellow kept a rifle in his car and went away for a week or so — having intentionally left the vehicle unlocked. (As I recall, he told investigators that he “never” locked his car!)
There are two lessons here: First, never leave valuables in clear view. Second, LOCK YOUR VEHICLE. Yes, even when it’s in your own driveway. In the absence of a strong motivator (I.e., something they can see) it’s very likely that thieves will, on encountering the locked doors, simply move on to easier targets. After all, why would they go to the trouble of breaking into your car when your neighbor’s is likely unlocked?
This week in Preparedness and Health:
Keeping foods from spoiling
One of the precepts of preparedness is to have a “buffer” food supply; that is, have enough of the food you normally eat on hand to see you through a certain period of time without resupply. Ideally this should be a year’s worth of food, but not everyone has the space or the finances to accomplish that goal. Still, even three to six months of food is more than the vast majority of people have and is a good intermediate goal.
Even though the total amount of stored food will vary, some items get stockpiled in greater quantities than others. Oils and fats, for example, aren’t usually used in great quantities; as a result it’s very easy to stock several years worth in a small space. While most people don’t realize it, those oils and fats can go rancid — sometimes surprisingly quickly.
This is an excellent article that looks at keeping these cooking necessities, what their life expectancy is, and how to maximize that life.
– Grant Cunningham