by Jason Hanson
On Jun 19, 2018
In this week’s batch of must-read articles, we’ll delve into the debate over our right to genetic privacy, you’ll discover where the drought is this week, plus learn how to eliminate over 20 different garden-variety insects — and more.
by Jason Hanson
On Jun 16, 2018
In this week’s mailbag alert, you’ll discover an essential apparatus that lets you drink clean water from anywhere, the best gas mask to buy if you wear glasses, the first thing you should do if someone you love has been kidnapped — and more.
On Jun 13, 2018
In Part II, you’ll discover 10 ways to protect your home from an unruly mob… nine ways to ensure your children or grandchildren stay safe even if you get separated… and one of the most underrated preps you can do right now that will make your life a whole helluva lot easier in an emergency.
by Jason Hanson
On Jun 12, 2018
Today, you’ll discover what tools you’ll need for basic home repairs (including one that may surprise you), nine ways to upgrade your garden for a better harvest, the four most likely causes of a grid-down scenario (and the worst mistake to avoid) and more.
by Cade Courtley
On Jun 11, 2018
In the SEAL teams, during mission planning and rehearsal, we would train for the best-case scenario and plan for the worst. In every operation, this included a “NO COMMS” plan. Here’s how to make one for your family.
by Jason Hanson
On Jun 9, 2018
In this week’s mailbag, I’ll reveal my No. 1 self-defense weapon that’s perfect for the whole family. One of my readers even gave one to his daughter. You’ll also discover how to get that meddlesome browser Chrome off all your devices, the easiest way to avoid being a victim of identity theft and more.
by Jason Hanson
On Jun 8, 2018
A good survival knife isn’t hard to come by, but it’s easy to get bogged down by all the choices out there. Today, Jason Hanson runs down the nine components of a quality knife to help you make sure you get your money’s worth.
by Cade Courtley
On Jun 6, 2018
Camping, hiking, fishing and rafting are all healthy and very gratifying activities. But at any moment you could find yourself in a situation that is potentially life-threatening. Today, you’ll learn what you should do if you must cross a body of water — be it a pond, lake, stream or rushing river.
by Jason Hanson
On Jun 5, 2018
You are especially vulnerable when you travel. Unless you pick up one of the TSA-approved self-defense and survival tools listed in the first of this week’s must-read articles. I’ll also share the No. 1 piece of travel gear I never leave home without.
On Jun 4, 2018
Our friends over at 4Patriots have put together a fantastic report detailing the top 12 mistakes people make when putting their disaster preps in order. Today, let’s take a look at the top three prepping mistakes you DON’T want to make.
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.