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:
Behavioral Cues: a different approach to situational awareness
Those of us who’ve spent time in the defensive training world know that most everyone is fixated on hardware — the gear that’s fun to shop for, buy, and play with. But the reality is that most people (probably darn near all people) would make themselves safer by making better decisions than by buying a new gun.
You can’t make decisions without information, and this article looks at the information that can be gleaned from behavioral cues. It’s an excellent introduction to the topic, and I highly recommend reading it, thinking about it, and reading again. It’s much better than the tired old “head on a swivel” and “watch your six” junk you get from most shooting schools.
This week in Personal Safety and Security:
What about your doors?
Some of the best “bang for the buck” security measures you can take is to reinforce the doors into your house. It’s really not hard, and not terribly expensive, to do so. Since most intruders come through the door, making it harder (or even impossible) to easily get in will help deter all but the most committed attackers.
This article gives a pretty good overview of the things you can do to harden your doors. I’ll take one exception with the author’s advice: 3” screws on the strike plate simply aren’t enough. Depending on exactly how the door was installed, it’s possible that a 3” screw won’t engage enough of the house frame to really make it harder to enter. Most people “in the know” recommend 4” as a minimum, with 5” being preferred. Make sure they’re installed in both the strikeplate and the door hinges.
Also, one door many people forget is the one into the garage. Make sure it’s solid core (too many aren’t) and that it receives the same reinforcement as the outside doors.
This week in Preparedness and Health:
Don’t rely on old wive’s tales when treating snakebite!
Since we’re getting back into outdoor and hiking season, the risk of snakebite is increasing. When I was a kid, it was common wisdom that the best way to deal with snakebite was to use a razor blade to make incisions through the bite marks and suck out the poison. In fact, outdoor first aid kits usually had a little kit with the razor blade, some antiseptic, and suction cups for that purpose.
Today, thankfully, we know better. We know that a very large percentage of snakebites are “dry” — no injected venom, and thus little danger. We also know that even if the bite has been envenomated, there are better ways to handle the situation than carving into the victim like a Thanksgiving turkey!
This article gives some good medical advice on what to do and what not to do if someone has been bitten by a snake.
– Grant Cunningham