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:
Remember: you don’t have a visible halo
One of the semi-regular features Greg Ellifritz does on his blog is the “Tactical Training Scenario” — analysis of an actual event and the teaching moments that result.
In this one, a homeowner decides to help a gunshot victim he sees behind his house. A mistaken identity situation ensues, and the homeowner gets taken to the ground at shotgun-point by responding officers.
Read the story and think about how you’d handle the situation, then compare your thoughts with Greg’s.
This week in Personal Safety and Security:
Knife attacks: Fantasy and reality
The preponderance of surveillance cameras and the sharing of the resulting video footage online is a boon for those of us who study crime. In years past we had to rely on error-filled personal accounts of defensive actions; in too many cases, people just made things up. No one has enough first-hand experience in lethal encounters to come to any solid conclusions, so reality was whatever someone said in an authoritative voice — the deeper, the better.
Today, though, we can see what actually happens and how people actually respond, then tailor our training to ensure a good outcome. It’s in this spirit that the other of this article approaches the knife attack.
He looked at more than 150 knife attacks at the time he wrote this, and came to some evidence-based conclusions. It’s definitely worth reading in its entirety, if for no other reason than to dispel some dangerously naive ideas that many people have about criminal knife use.
This week in Preparedness and Health:
Flu season is coming. Get ready.
Most people seem surprised when I tell them that the flu — that common, annoying sickness many people get during the winter — kills a lot of people. How many is a “lot”? In the 2017-2018 season, it was over 80,000. In the United States alone. That’s about the same number as died from diabetes, and nearly double the number who died from suicide.
Even a “mild” flu season kills tens of thousands of people in this country. And yet, despite all of this public knowledge, people still brush off the flu as being little more than an inconvenience.
What’s the answer? Well, good prevention measures such as frequent hand washing, not touching your mouth or eyes before doing so, and making sure things you touch in public are disinfected beforehand, go a long way.
Another good preventative measure is getting a flu shot. No, it’s not 100% effective, but even when it isn’t it can substantially reduce the effects of an infection.
This article lays out the science, why immunizations are important even if you’re young and healthy, and some other things you can do to keep this coming flu season from being another deadly one.
– Grant Cunningham