by Jason Hanson
On Feb 24, 2018
Sometimes it’s not easy to explain certain spy and survival techniques in writing. Which is why I included a video in my answer to the first of this week’s mailbag questions. In it, you’ll discover how to pick a lock using just two simple tools.
by Jason Hanson
On Feb 22, 2018
There are homes across the U.S. built near hillsides or narrow channels that can easily turn into a deadly mudslide — yours may be one of them. So today, I want to share four tips to help you stay safe in the event of a mudslide where you live.
by Omar Hamada
On Feb 21, 2018
Today, our resident Special Operations physician, Omar Hamada, reviewed the basics of trauma care for civilians. These skills could come in handy not only after a shooting incident, but also after a car accident or any number of other emergencies.
by Jason Hanson
On Feb 20, 2018
This week’s must-read articles cover how to stop major blood loss in gunshot victims, safety tips for school and work and the most important thing you can do to protect yourself absolutely anywhere.
by Jason Hanson
On Feb 17, 2018
In this week’s mailbag, learn how to store a secret cache of survival gear, which models to try if you’re looking for a shotgun with less recoil and how to create a simple Faraday cage out of household items. Plus, one reader offers a fantastic solution for protecting your data if you choose to use cloud storage.
On Feb 16, 2018
stay fit after 60
by Jason Hanson
On Feb 13, 2018
After a major disaster, you never, ever want to rely on the government. But that doesn’t mean you’re in it alone. Check out the first of this week’s must-read articles for a great example of a community helping themselves by helping each other. Then read on to discover when the world will run out of food, a toxic side effect of floods and how to survive a plane crash.
by Jason Hanson
On Feb 10, 2018
In this week’s mailbag, Jason reveals a road safety solution every person should have in their car. You’ll also learn the best way to loosen up stiff tools, exactly how to shoot an FBI qualification step by step and why you should have more than one gun safe.
by Jeff Anderson
On Feb 5, 2018
Preparing for a nuclear disaster should be a top priority for you and your family. Remember, it’s not the initial blast that may harm you but the fallout from such an attack. This piece from Jeff Anderson over at Modern Combat & Survival runs down five steps to prepare for a nuclear attack and includes an offer for a detailed “Nuclear Survival Guide.”
by Jason Hanson
On Feb 1, 2018
Even if you have a bug-out bag and feel ready to deal with disaster, do you also have a planned route to get out of Dodge? And perhaps just as important, do you also have a backup plan? Here are four things to consider when deciding on a bug-out route.
Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,
Scammers and thieves are constantly looking for new ways to commit crime, which means security measures must also continuously evolve to keep up.
Case in point: One reader, a retired police officer, explains how burglars have figured out how to break in through older windows and sliding glass doors — even if you put a dowel in the track.
Luckily, he’s got a solution so easy you could implement it today.
Take it away, Jeff:
I just read your back issue, “Five Steps to an Invasion-Proof Home.” Nicely done! I’m a medically retired police officer with 22 years of service. Eight of those years, I was a crime scene investigator. I wanted to share with you a way that crooks can get into a home through a sliding glass door or sliding window.
I’ve heard people say one can use a broomstick in the track and cut it a couple inches short so you can leave the door/window open slightly for ventilation. The problem with this is the bad guy can get ahold of the door/window on the inside and lift it up and out of the track. But there is a remedy for this.
Open the door/window entirely. In the top track, screw in two pan-head screws about three-quarters of the way. Make sure they aren’t too wide so they don’t impede. Then close the door/window. If it hits the screw, turn it in more until the door/window clears both the screws. Now you can leave the door/window open an inch with a dowel rod in the track and it can’t be lifted out.
This primarily works for older homes, as newer windows prevent their removal when the window is partially closed.
— Jeff H.
Thank you for your 22 years of service and for this tip. This is great advice to prevent criminals from simply lifting the window out of the track. I absolutely recommend doing this to first-level windows and sliding glass doors to make them more secure.
I’ve heard conflicting things about boiling water to make it safe to drink. Is boiling really enough? How long do you need to boil the water to make it safe?
— Beth W.
This is a great question, Beth, with an answer that’s often confusing. You’ve probably heard of cities where local authorities have issued a boil water notice, but does that really make the water safe to drink?
Boiling water will kill viruses, parasites and bacteria but it won’t remove lead, pesticides or any toxic chemicals. In fact, boiling water that contains lead or chemicals could make the water more dangerous. This is because the amount of water decreases when you boil it due to evaporation but the amount of lead or chemicals in the water remains the same.
To be safe, I suggest purchasing a quality water filter that removes bacteria as well as chemicals like the SurvFilter.
If you have to boil water for drinking, be sure to bring the water to a full boil, and then keep it at boiling temperature (212°F) for about 10 minutes. Remember that it may take up to 30 minutes for the water to cool down to a drinkable temperature.
The federal PETS Act requires shelter cities to provide shelter for evacuated pets, mostly for dogs and cats. Pet shelters might not be at the same location as humans (some are allergic to pet dander). You need to have a picture, proof of rabies vaccination, vet contact info and a description of the pet with you. They say it’s best to plan on boarding with a kennel or a vet in an evac location. What do you suggest for evacuating with pets?
— Matt M.
When it comes to evacuating with pets, the best thing you can do is evacuate early if possible. If you know a hurricane is approaching, your pets are an important factor to consider when deciding when you should leave.
I also recommend preparing a bug-out bag for your pet just like you would for any member of your family. It should include food, water and medicine — plus a leash, a flash drive with photos of your pet and documents containing proof of vaccination and other relevant information. (I also recommend having hard copies of these items in a sealed Ziploc bag.) And remember, you’ll probably need to pack less water for your pet since you won’t need it to cook their food.
Thank you for the offer of WaterBricks! I do have one question: If stored in a hot garage, what is the room temperature at which the bricks are adversely affected?
The bricks would most likely be stored in the garage. The temperature outside the garage is about 100 degrees lately…
— Linda L.
Ideally, you should store emergency water in a cool, dark place but there is no specific temperature at which the WaterBricks wouldn’t work.
If you decide to store them in a garage, I suggest stacking them on a pallet or finding some other way to keep them off the ground. If it’s hot outside, you may want to rotate your water supply more often than if you stored it in a cool, dark place.
I hear from certain people that on Sept. 23, because of a meteor that lands in the West or East Coast ocean, a tidal wave will wipe out one-third of our nation. Do you think this is coming? This is called “Planet X.” I have survivalist friends who say go to the mountains to avoid this catastrophe. What do you say?
— Shirley T.
Honestly, Shirley, I do not believe this is a credible threat. But tidal waves (or tsunamis) are a thing that can happen.
The most important thing to do in the event of a tidal wave is to get as high off the ground as possible. Ideally, you want to get at least three stories off the ground in a structure that is strong enough to withstand the rushing water, like a big building or parking garage.
Remember, a tsunami is a series of waves, so make sure you stay put until the danger is over. Don’t assume since one wall of water has passed that it’s safe. Also, once the waves have subsided, there will be tons of debris and contamination dangers, so get out of the area as quickly as you can.
I just bought a new gun (a Springfield 1911, just like you recommended) and I need some good practice drills. What do you suggest?
— David L.
You made a great choice buying a 1911; it’s one of my favorite guns.
There are a lot of different drills you could do, but one I particularly like is called the Mozambique or failure-to-stop drill. For this drill, use a standard person-silhouette target. Practice firing two shots to the center mass of the target and one shot to the head.
Once you get the hang of this, start timing yourself and continue to improve your speed and accuracy. Basically, this drill is great practice for when you encounter someone wearing body armor or when two shots to the torso fail to stop the threat.
Another drill I recommend uses any standard target that has numbers. Most gun ranges will have these types of targets. You will also need another person to help you complete this drill.
The way it works is the other person will call out a number on the target. You need to find that number, aim and fire one round. This is an important drill because it makes you think before shooting, which you should always do in a real-life situation.