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Emergency Preparedness for Escape and Protection

Saturday May 4, 2013 | BY |
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Today’s preparedness topic is personal safety. In the case of a disaster, there’s nothing more important to take care of yourself and your family first. Once your home is secure, then it’s time to focus on other people in the community to assist — or get the heck out if the scene is really awful.

It’s my hope that any event I encounter in my life is one where the community can come together to help, not one where we have to be on our own. (On top of that, I honestly hope I never use all the stuff I have for escape and protection except for when I’m camping, but you never know.)

There is a ton to cover here and it’s wide reaching. In my explanation of what I’ve done to ensure our own personal safety in the case of a disaster I’m going to talk about escape, protection from the elements, and self defense. I’ll also discuss weapons, guns and how we’ve made our decisions about these controversial items.

(Note: In case you’re wondering why I’m writing about this stuff and not “health,” please read this article here.)

Let’s start with something easy…

Escape from Home

When in a disaster situation, it’s up to you and your family to either stay tight or get out of the house and/or get out of town.

First up, you need a plan of escape from the house and you also need a plan of attack when it comes to getting out of the vicinity. I have to admit, while our plan is fairly solid for getting out of the house, it’s a little shaky for getting out of town.

Getting out of the house can happen a few ways, by climbing out onto the roof then down the deck or front of the house — or just simply going downstairs and out either the front door, back doors or a window along the way. We still have an escape ladder if needed.

Getting out of town is a little more challenging. I have a few items to help if needed, but I want to learn more about urban escape before I’m confident about our escape plans.

Here are items I have for escape…

Escape Ladder — Like I said in my first post, I have an escape ladder from our last apartment that was three floors up. Our home now is only one story and an attic, so there’s much less distance to the ground. This makes my much happier to know that there are multiple routes for escape in case of a partial collapse of the home or fire. I doubt we’d need to use this, but I have it upstairs just in case.

Leather Gloves — I have leather work gloves that we keep downstairs in case we need to put our hands in areas where there is broken glass. It’s not optimal that they’re downstairs, but their also filled with chicken poo from cleaning the coop, so it’s kind of a trade off.

Baseball Bat — I keep a baseball bat under the bed. One for protection, but second to be sure I can break through any of the skylights we have in the attic where we sleep. I’ll talk more about the bat when it comes to protection, but it has multiple uses — obviously. (Hudson and I could use it for tee-ball as well, LOL.)

Mini Axe — My uncle gave me a mini axe a while back that I still have. This also could break through glass if necessary, and may be able to cut through a beam if I needed to move it for escape. It would take a ton of work to get through anything with it though, so my hope is that’s never necessary. Like the gloves, I keep this downstairs.

Mag-Lite — When I got the Mag-Lite, I didn’t realize just how versitile it is. I listed it in my first article, but I’m going to list it here for two additional uses. You can use this — already with batteries — upstairs when the power is out to help escape. I could also use it to break a window if necessary. Finally, it could be a last resort for protection. In fact, I really need two. One for upstairs and one for downstairs.

I’m sure there are other things I could keep upstairs, but I think my biggest first manuver is to bring the mini-axe and the gloves upstairs in case I need to climb over glass upstairs or break through something — though I wonder how much the mini axe will do. I also need another Mag-Lite. (I’ll purchase one, likely before you read this article, LOL!)

Escape from Town — Or Neighborhood

The cornerstone of escape is a bugout bag. A bag that you can grab that’s packed and ready to go when something happens. I have a bugout bag packed, but I can’t say I wouldn’t need to review what’s in it and add more things in case something goes down. Regardless, I’m happy about having it and have a collection of other things that we’d need to bring with us in case we need to really get out.

Roll Top Waterproof Backpack — I have this bag packed and ready to go. It contains a bunch of these items listed below as well as some food, water, medical and communication items as well. I was surprised at how much stuff this bag can hold and still be relatively light.

We also have an additional camping bag that we’d use in case we need to get anywhere further than a few miles with the intention of sleeping outside of the home.

Rain Panchos — Essential for Bay Area weather in the winter. I have about 4-5 in the bag and another 20 or so in the house.

Head Lamps — I got some serious headlamps from the outdoor store here in Berkeley. They’re high-quality LED lamps that last really long with AAA battery power. I also have an additional one that I got from the hardware store I worked at years ago. It still works and could be used for an additional person in our party. So far the only use for these was lending one to a friend for her trip to Equador.

Waterproof Hand Journal — I think I was reading an article by Mike Adams that talked about a waterproof hand journal and how important it could be. I agreed and got on. Just need a waterproof pen.

All in One Utility Tool — This tool is attached to the front of my bugout bag. This could be essential for so many uses, so it’s a must have.

The one that I linked to was actually stolen from me in our move, so I replaced it with another. This one though seems nice and solid.

Mini LED Flashlights — I got two of these to put on our bugout bag as well. These are great when you need something small or don’t have the Mag-Lite.

Glow Sticks — Great tools for providing additional light, lighting a pathway, or going to Burning Man — just kidding about that last one. They last long — about 12 hours.

Military Compass — Just in case I forget which way the Bay is. I really got this one because every guy who’d been in Boy Scouts feels like they need one.

Three Man Tent — We already had camping equipment, so I’ll run over what we have here. We have a three person tent that we could easily pack in that larger camping bag I explained above. I’d hate to have to camp somewhere in the woods in this area in the time of a disaster — which is why I also have self defense items — but this also could be used for shelter in our yard if our home is no longer safe to be in.

Zero Degree Sleeping Bags — It doesn’t get too cold in the Bay Area, but we have two sleeping bags we could use — definitely for the baby.

Camping Mats — We have camping mats too that would make it cozy to sleep on the ground, but if we needed to go fast, these would take up more space than necessary — I consider them luxury that wouldn’t be needed during disaster time.

Tarp — To put under the tent if it were raining or the ground was damp.

Waterproof Dry Packs — These are in addition to the waterproof bugout bag. These are great to partition things off or to give to someone else if they need to run supplies that have to stay dry. You can keep food in them as well. There are three sizes, but they are much smaller than I thought by looking at the picture on Amazon.

Solar / Crank Flashlight — In case we run out of battery power for all flashlights, we can use this crank / solar light.

Gas Can — In earthquake-land, it’s important to have your car’s gas tank relatively filled. If you don’t, or you need gas, a gas can is a good thing to have. You can also use this to transfer gas from one place to another.

Gas Siphon — In case you don’t have gas, you can always get some… (This would be a worst-case scenario.)

Marine Battery Charger — If you need to keep your phone and other electronics charged, you can open up your hood and get power right from your (or someone’s) car.

Again, I don’t think I’m entirely prepared for a get-out-of-town escape, but we have the beginnings of it. My biggest concerns are the fact that I don’t have everything in one place, I’m not a great camper, and I just don’t know what to expect. Also, there’s no gaurantee there will be any way to escape from the Bay if there is a disaster.

In this section, I didn’t cover food, water and cooking which I did cover here, so just note that many of those items would come with us as well in some form or another. I’m not going to cover them here again.

Self Defense

Self defense is a touchy issue. I want to be prepared for any type of conflict that may put my family in danger, but I didn’t want to go overboard.

I’m not much of a fighter, so I’d likely run before I’d engage in conflict — I ultimately think, in most cases, this is the best approach anyway. Also, I think the appearance of being armed or able to protect myself is a good portion of protection. And of course, avoiding any areas that may be dangerous may be the most important to staying safe.

After a few discussions, Annmarie and I decided NOT to get a gun or any kind for protection. In fact, I was leaning towards it before the shootings in Newtown, CT. I grew up in the town next to Newtown and when we visited friends who live there and in Sandy Hook for the holidays a week after the shootings, because that hit so close to home, I was finally convinced of the damage guns can do in a non-self defense situation.

I’m not intending to open up a gun debate here. We’ve made our decision based on our comfort level of what is in our home. With that said, I’m not opposed to sane, responsible, and trained people owning guns — in fact some of my friends fit into this category. (You might be one of those people too.)

So here’s what we got as a compromise…

Storm Whistles — You can hear this whistle from a serious distance away. It’s a great way to call for help in you are lost, trapped, or being attacked.

Baseball Bat — I have this for self defense, but also for escape. Annmarie and I decided on a few different types of “weapons” instead of a gun. This was one. I keep this one under the bed.

Fighting Utility Knife — This knife could be used for self defense or for plenty of other “in-the-field” uses.

Shoulder Harness Knife — Again, a concealed knife that I would much rather use in the field than in any violent confrontation. This one looks pretty bad-ass, so I’m hoping someone would just assume I know what to do with it and choose someone else. At least that’s my hope, LOL.

Tactical Slapper — This thing is pretty lethal. It’s much heavier than it looks and could really be pretty dangerous. Most of the people who reviewed on Amazon said they used this guy when they were walking their dog at night, so I figured it could be great for Annmarie when she’s out walking in Berkeley and then possibly in an emergency situation. She brought it out to dinner once with her girlfriends and they all were envious — so at the very least it’s a good conversation starter.

Self Defense Kitty Key Chain — This keychain will make your attacker thing you’re just a sweet cat lover, until you jab it into their belly. I got one of these for Annmarie, I doubt she’ll ever need to use it, but it’s a comforting thing for her to have (for both of us.)

Tactical Gloves — These, like the leather gardening gloves, can be used to get through areas with glass, but also be used if you need to be in combat. Again, I don’t want to be in combat, so I imagine they could double as work gloves.

Mag-Lite (Again!) — This may be the most versitle thing I’ve purchased. All it needs is some sort of knife on it, an area for food storage, a built in water filter, and a way to print money and it could be the most valuable tool ever known to man. Obviously, you can use this to hit someone if necessary.

Fire Resistant Safe — When we decided to get some of these knives, Ann and I decided to keep them in a safe. So we bought this one. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. Inside, we also keep important documents. I hesitate to keep cash here, since that is obvious, but we’ll put some in there as well as in other places (unnamed.) Also, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, they’ll ship this 90 pound monster to you for free.

Silica Gel Pack — This is something you put into your safe to keep documents dry. Do not eat. (LOL)

Fire Resistant Document Bag — I bought one of these on Amazon since it was suggested to me. When I got it, I placed our documents in it and then into the safe. A few months later, we were traveling and I needed Hudson’s birth certificate so I opened the safe and pulled it out of the Document Bag. Once I did, I noticed that it felt like I had run my hand over a bunch of fiberglass. That was when I realized that the bag was made of fiberglass — and that it was poorly designed. It was more than a day before I was relieved of the fiberglass itching, so I would not recommend the bag I bought.

In terms of self defense, the biggest issue for me and my family is training. I have very little combat training outside of my high school football days — which would likely be relatively useless. So our next step is to learn some self defense skills — as well as how to use a knife in combat situations. If we don’t, the protection we do have, could become dangerous to us.

Where Do We Stand Here?

Overall, I think these categories are the ones we’re least prepared. I think we have some of the tools, but we’re lacking in our organization of them and have less knowledge of how to use them. It’s my hope that we’ll be able to be around a community of people — since earthquake is our most likely threat — where there is safety in numbers. At the same time, we’ll still be taking a few classes to ensure we’re not completely in the weeds when it comes to self-defense.

Your question of the day: Would you fight or run in a conflict situation?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

34 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Renata says:

    “I’m a lover, not a fighter. ”

    I think you have some awesome points and information to share Kevin and I don’t think anything is over the top that you have mentioned.

    Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Good souls have nasty things happen to them sometimes. However, that being said. It does help to be prepared with some kind of weapon for reasons to break yourself free from being trapped such as a knife or a hammer or bat of sorts. But to have a weapon incase there are people who are out to cause harm to you or take from you your own food or water…. I am on the fence but I lean towards not doing this. Here is why….. everything is energy. If you truly are vibrating at a higher frequency of sharing and caring and connected to your intuition or internal guidance…. I think and believe on a deep level you will have that internal GPS to steer you away from any dark energy or attack in a negative or deadly manner. Such as, chaos can happen around you but you won’t be harmed. Kinda mystical but somehow I’ve been there and done this before. I believe in times of chaos whatever you are vibrating… such as you are vibrating love and caring and sharing you will hook up with that like energy in other beings / people. Learning to stay calm and listen to your intuition and have a plan in place to meet others who are of like minded caring and sharing minds … that is your best defense over a knife or bat or gun or other weapon. Just my thought. There will be many scared and unprepared people in times of chaos who will freak out and do bad things they normally would not do to survive.. however, I believe your inner knowing will lead you away from that negative energy and towards similar helpful people whom you can trust and work together with. …. You can’t take my word from it, but try to just listen to your gut and follow your instinct and intuition…. connecting with that right now, zoning in to your intuition could save your life in disastrous events. Connecting you to the right people and stearing you clear from danger and harmful people and events. PEACE. (Hope that is not too woo woo … but we all have intuition there for just that reason and I use it often in my daily life)….

  2. Ani says:

    Hi,

    Folks living in California may need to leave if the mess crossing the ocean is very toxic if they live close to it. One farm where I get some items from has even expressed concern to all his customers because of questions they have asked him. Like everyone else, he does not know what is going to happen but knows that he and everyone else in California will soon find out.

    Lots of food comes from California. So, how prepared do we need to be. Maybe you could cover this too in your preparation plan.

    Thanks……..

  3. Lee Wenzel says:

    I enjoyed your preparedness for escape with lots of laughter,LOL, My best medicine. Thanks for sharing. I took a look at an advertisement about what to have in case of an emergency situation and after about 1/2 hour of telling me the bad condition our country is in this guy wanted money for his list of 25 things and I finally went off the page. Maybe we should just let you tell us. I’m actually a spiritual person and I thought it would be good to stand still and wait on the Lord. You know, like let my guardian angels swoop me up and take me to a place of safety, feed me like they did Elijah by the brook, or have a little cup of flour, vase of oil and one small container of water and when needed God can keep refilling it as needed. Faith is really light weight and can be taken with you wherever and whenever. If confronted with violence stand still and let the shield of faith knock em flat!
    Lee (Leona)

  4. wendy green says:

    we are also interested in prepping and have made tracks down that path. as far as self defense, we have knives, a stun gun, pepper spray, etc…but there is nothing better than some good locks and a big dog. oh and good karma. :)

  5. J Rose says:

    The SOG Multi-Tool is awesome. One-handed use of the pliers and you can tell its quality

  6. Owen says:

    Wow, Kev … ahm … where do you live again … Syria, Mali, Johannesburg or Afghanistan?

    So glad that citizens in civilised countries don’t need all that you’re advocating.

    I live in Australia (another civilised country). We’re fine:

    a. Unless you need a gun (e.g. farmers, professional hunters, certified sporting-club shooters), you can’t have one,
    b. Nation-wide we are served by first-rate military and and wholly professional police, ambulance and fire-fighting services, and
    c. Nobody running the country believes the world was created (literally) in six days.

    Yep, it’s a common-sense country. No need for escape plans here.

    OJ

  7. Liz says:

    Sorry people, but I’m a gun advocate. I believe it will be a very necessary tool in the prevention of much harm to my family in the upcoming apocalypse.

  8. Zyxomma says:

    Of course, the answer is run, when that’s feasible. There are times it isn’t. I’m trained in internal Chinese martial arts, and have used my skills when called upon. Health and peace.

  9. Walter Smith says:

    Do you have a sharpener for your hatchet and knives.

  10. Pam says:

    We are “seniors” (I am very short) and there is no way we can fight off anybody who is stressed, crazed from a disaster, and not in his “right” mind. So we thought about how we would handle that type of situation. We opted for training and guns. What would be OUR chances of “stabbing” someone who is pointing a gun at us…? Do we learn knife-throwing? We would really have to hurt a person with a baseball bat (with the first hit — at my height, probably the knees – LOL) so that he could not come after us. What would be our chance of getting the first hit/punch/spray where you need it–especially on a moving target–and with anything hand held or within arm’s length. Does spraying mace in the belly button or under the arms count? (LOL) What if there were 2 or more persons? (We are not ninjas, so spinning, kicking, punching and flying through the air to knock out a gang of 5-10 is out for us!) Taking precautions, training, using your wisdom and intellect, and knowing your abilities and limitations can give you the best edge and preparedness you need. With that being said, I’ll still do a lot of serious praying!

  11. SANDY says:

    When i first read your idea of being prepared i thought great idea there is nothing wrong with having some necessaties on hand in case of emergencies, it’s a positve thing if it puts your mind at ease. after reading this post it really feels like your coming from a place of fear and the more you focus on this the more fear your likely to generate. having the responibility of a child does change your propective on things but you need to remember that your a role model for your children and even if they know nothing of these preparations they will still pick up the feelings of living in response to fear. of coarse it would be best if you could let go of these fear based ideas you have, but if you can’t do it where your living now maybe you should consider moving somewhere that you would feel safe. Just the thought of carrying a keyring around for self defense would be enough to make someone beleive that dangers could be lurking around each corner. I wish you all the best in finding a balance between being a responible parent and living life from a space of love not fear. It’s a tricky balance that each of us have to find for ourselves.

    • Gerry says:

      There seems to be so much chaos, hostility and danger in the world that although in the past I abhorred and avoided weapons, I confess I have been considering taking lessons to learn how to properly handle and care for a gun.
      However, seeing Sandy’s comment:
      “Just the thought of carrying a keyring around for self defense would be enough to make someone beleive that dangers could be lurking around each corner. I wish you all the best in finding a balance between being a responible parent and living life from a space of love not fear. It’s a tricky balance that each of us have to find for ourselves.” caused me to reflect that living in fear breeds even more fear.However, turning ablind eye to reality of the world in which we live might also be unwise.
      Where, indeed, is the balance?

    • Amy Flynn says:

      I agree with Sandy. Exactly what I was thinking. Being prepared is wonderful, it is a smart idea. But realize that you can NEVER EVER be prepared enough. Things will run out. The real preparation is WITHIN YOUR HEART. Don’t believe me? Read on.

      People do NOT seem to realize that they are POWERFUL Beings. And what you focus your attention and dwell upon you GENERATE or create. Ever wonder why when things are crappy they seem to get crappier? It’s because you keep focusing and paying attention to how crappy they are while trying to “figure out how to fix them”. You can NEVER generate or create something better by focusing on what is it’s opposite.

      And if you don’t believe that this works in the area of survival — you are DEAD (likely!) wrong! Fighting is resisting something/someone. Resistance causes persistence. They will KEEP coming at you, more violently than before. More and more of them. So unless you want a string of murders weighing upon your heart and spirit (which they WILL, don’t fool yourself into thinking you will not feel the impact of taking human lives!) you don’t want to be killing people. You also take a good chance that you will be killed before you kill someone else. You are immersing yourself in and surrounding yourself with VIOLENCE energy and you will experience violence, this is certain.

      I work in the field of energy. I channel it, see it, heal with it, change matter with it. YOU have the same abilities I have, but you need to DEVELOP them. Unused abilities lie dormant. You learned to speak didn’t you? If NO ONE showed you how to develop this ability, you would be uttering no sound or grunts. What I can do — YOU CAN TOO.

      I am going to relate 2 “violent” life threatening experiences and how they were resolved PURELY WITH LOVE. Love is an ENERGY FIELD .. a FORCE .. it is NOT a mushy-gushy feeling. GET OVER THAT and learn about the most powerful force in the Universe.

      1) While in college I was jumped at 8pm one night on campus when no one was around, by an exchange student from Saudi Arabia having a NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. Looking into his eyes there was NO ONE HOME – he was having a psychotic break. Talking to him (although I knew him) was OUT of the question! He knocked me down and straddled my chest with a sharp knife pressed into my throat. I did NOT panic. Instead, being an energy adept, a very powerful force took over, the force of Love (some call it Source) and literally held this man in the space of Love. I was not consciously aware of words being spoken, just pure energy. I experienced very powerful feelings of Love, Peace and believe it or not joy. Once the energy receded and I returned to my normal consciousness (I was not UNconscious, it was an altered mind-energy state) the man was standing very peacefully by my side. Calm, quiet and waiting for me to take his hand and lead him back to his roommate who then had him returned to S.A. where he went into a mental hospital for 8 months. I AM 100% CERTAIN IF I RESISTED OR TRIED TO FIGHT BACK – I WOULD NOT BE WRITING THIS COMMENT TODAY.

      2) While walking in Manhattan, NY, in dangerous areas (It was a lovely day and I had taken the bus in and did not want to take a cab, preferring to walk, even though I knew I had to walk through some risky areas) 2 men started following me. I heard their footsteps. I sped up. They sped up. They were gaining on me. Their legs were longer and faster, I knew I could not outrun them. So I STOPPED. I embraced the inevitable which was that they would catch up with me. I turned around and waited. One came up, shouting intimidating taunts and trying to scare me. I did not know if they wanted to rape me (I am female) or rob me or both. I HAD NO FEAR – I was in the space of Love. As the guy reached me, I beamed to him the biggest most loving smile that came straight from my heart. He did not expect that and lost his rant for a moment. I took that opportunity to ask him how he was. He did not expect that. (Realize I was doing ALL of this from 100% space of LOVING acceptance of ALL.) His friend was 1 block back shouting encouragement and instructions and egging this guy on. He got more intense when he saw him pause. I discovered that this guy was from Philadelphia and he and his friend took the train up to NYC to score some money for their families. This guy was married with 3 kids and a wife. From a VERY LOVING and SINCERE space I told him I understood but to really look and see if his being in jail or living a life of crime was the most loving thing he could do for his family. He realized it was not and believe it or not he was moved to tears. He had been feeling that Life did not care about him, so in response he was not caring about Life (anyone’s – his or someone else’s). Now he realized that he DID care and he decided on his own in that moment to get back on that train and go home to his family. There was a better way. He thanked me, profoundly grateful. He was now NON-VIOLENT and turned around and walked right back to his friend and told him he was going home. His friend went berserk, but he kept on walking.

      IN BOTH SITUATIONS – IF I HAD RESISTED OR FOUGHT BACK – I WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD OR INJURED AND LEFT.

      I am NO different from YOU. Violence begets violence. Peace begets Peace. Both are DIFFERENT energies. One cannot beget the other. They begin within YOU. Your mind, your heart.

      Humanity does NOT have to become violent if food shortages and economies collapse. Humanity can become COLLABORATIVE AND CREATIVE instead. But the difference begins in the heart and mind of each one of us. Yo WILL (guaranteed!) attract into your experience the exact match for the predominant energy that you carry in your mind and heart. It does not work any other way. I strongly encourage you to choose LOVE over FEAR for the sake of YOU, your loved ones, our planet and Humanity. The power resides in YOU.

      • EvaD says:

        That was beautiful, Amy Flynn, and I agree 100% with you. I’m not sure I could do the same as you, or feel the same way, but I’m sure that we should teach our children your lesson and not a fear-based one.
        Thank you for your insight.

    • freecycle says:

      Sometimes fear is from the realization of reality. Google a few things and start putting the puzzle together!…chem trails, Illuminati, EMP (electric magnetic pulse), MK ultra, underground condos. one world gov’t, FEMA camps, civilian displacement camps, martial law, Monsanto, seedless foods, GMO foods, RFID chips, mark of the beast, VIPR training, the training of the military to go after their own citizens, Chinese troops in America, Obama Closing Air Defense System, sandy hook conspiracy, Agenda 21, Arkansas Whitehouse. And this is not everything…its just the beginning.

  12. Nancy says:

    Hello Kevin,

    I am wondering where Jonny 5 comes in all of this. Do you have any measures set to take him with you? A crate, a blanket, water, food, rescue remedy etc… If you are committed to preparing for emergency’s, then hopefully your companion animal is included in the preparation.
    Although I do believe in being prepared, there is also that element of thoughts, feelings and emotions that attract negative experiences into our lives.
    Be prepared physically, but do the work metaphysically as well.

    As for the question of the day, if by running I keep myself and my loved ones safe, then that is what I would do, but if not, I will fight to protect myself and my family (including animals, when necessary).

    Stay well and healthy,
    Nancy

  13. Cirsten says:

    What a horrible place you must live in. I can’t even imagine how it must be to feel a need to prepare myself for bad things coming with baseball bats and knifes. Would you really be able to swing that bat at somebody or stick a knife into somebody? Even in self-defense?
    I’m a middle aged woman living in Europe (Netherlands, Germany and Denmark). I’ve travelled quite a lot and I’ve lived in nice places and not so nice places, but except for one instance, where I had to run, I’ve never been in a situation I could not handle with anything else then a sharp look and a raised voice. Okay, I’ve been down a few dark alleys in my younger years with my keys in my hand and the single keys pointing out between my fingers, so I could hit an eventual attacker, but that was plain stupidity on my side. I hadn’t to go there or I could have taken a friend. Or a cab.
    What I mean is: Don’t prepare for all kind of bad things to happen. They most likely never will. Apocalypse? What apocalypse? That’s crazy peoples talk. It is okay to find out how you can get out of your building in case of fire and it is okay to have some medicinal coal in the house in case your child swallows something poisonous, but having a baseball bat under the bed and huge knives and even guns in the house? It is more likely that some intruder finds the weapon or takes it from you and shoots you or even that your child finds the weapon and plays with it and shoots somebody.
    Don’t obsess about all the bad things that can happen. And most of all don’t make your child feel that it’s a dangerous and scary world it’s living in.
    Take some sensible steps to protect yourself and your family. If there are burglaries in your area, install an alarm that can be seen and heard and has a connection to the police. If you live in a place where there are home invasions, get yourself a panic room. If you live in a place with frequent hurricanes, build a shelter. If you live in a place where a flood is likely to happen, get yourself a boat and a way to get on to the roof. Those are sensible ways to prepare yourself, but don’t start a race about who has the biggest knife or the biggest gun. America has very sad statistics when it comes to violence and killings. Don’t become a part of those statistics.

  14. Linda says:

    Kevin,

    I think you are not over the top yet…lol.

    I have friends who have gone over the top and I can no longer be with them, as their whole lives have become about survival. We are alive now and I chose to live life to it’s fullest.

    Anyhow, your list is very good and being a black belt, I’d suggest that Anne Marie gets into a women’s self defense class. Make sure it’s for women, as they teach things from a woman’s physical and mental perspective.

    Best to you and your family, Linda

  15. Cirsten says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Whether or not you’re over the top probably depends on, where you’re living, and getting children makes most people worry more.
    What a horrible place you must live in. I can’t even imagine how it must be to feel a need to prepare myself for bad things coming with baseball bats and knifes. Would you really be able to swing that bat at somebody or stick a knife into somebody? Even in self-defense?
    I’m a middle aged woman living in Europe (Netherlands, Germany and Denmark). I’ve travelled quite a lot and I’ve lived in nice places and not so nice places, but except for one instance, where I had to run, I’ve never been in a situation I could not handle with anything else then a sharp look and a raised voice. Okay, I’ve been down a few dark alleys in my younger years with my keys in my hand and the single keys pointing out between my fingers, so I could hit an eventual attacker, but that was plain stupidity on my side. I hadn’t to go there or I could have taken a friend. Or a cab.
    What I mean is: Don’t prepare for all kind of bad things to happen. They most likely never will. Apocalypse? What apocalypse? That’s crazy peoples talk. It is okay to find out how you can get out of your building in case of fire and it is okay to have some medicinal coal in the house in case your child swallows something poisonous, but having a baseball bat under the bed and huge knives and even guns in the house? It is more likely that some intruder finds the weapon or takes it from you and shoots you or even that your child finds the weapon and plays with it and shoots somebody.
    Don’t obsess about all the bad things that can happen. And most of all don’t make your child feel that it’s a dangerous and scary world it’s living in.
    Take some sensible steps to protect yourself and your family. If there are burglaries in your area, install an alarm that can be seen and heard and has a connection to the police. If you live in a place where there are home invasions, get yourself a panic room. If you live in a place with frequent hurricanes, build a shelter. If you live in a place where a flood is likely to happen, get yourself a boat and a way to get on to the roof. Those are sensible ways to prepare yourself, but don’t start a race about who has the biggest knife or the biggest gun. America has very sad statistics when it comes to violence and killings. Don’t become a part of those statistics.

    Cirsten

  16. Susan says:

    Please consider that everytime these “preppers” provide a list and there is an automatic link to Amazon, that they are getting a financial benefit in some way (On one hand, I always appreciate it when people tell you where you can buy stuff that they use but I think we should also consider whether we really need this stuff). Better to not run up your credit card and better to look for creative ways to survive. Also, be careful that any purported weapon that you are carrying will not get you in trouble with the law for “carrying a concealed weapon.” Even if stores sell these items, like pepper spray, they can be illegal for you to carry. I know, bizarre but true (a letter to your legislator might be in order). The kitty key chain does look like a great idea and design but I would be concerned about it being considred a weapon and perhaps in violation of the law (check with your local police department and get the name of anyone you speak to, including their badge number and make sure they see a picture of what you are asking about). One thing that always appears to be missing from prepper conversations is how we can work together to survive. It seems there should be more talk about how groups of people can band together to help each other.

  17. Susan says:

    One more thing, if you folks in California (and elsewhere in the U.S. because that is where a lot of our food comes from and because we should care about what happens to the people in California) are really concerned about the toxic radiation coming from Japan on to the shore of California, why aren’t you ringing the phones off the hook of your senators and representatives? There was a recent documentary about eliminating hunger in the United States and the main point, as far as I’m concerned, was that legislators don’t make it a priority because the American people haven’t made it a priority. The squeaky wheel gets the oil was the message from the interviewed legislators. CALL, WRITE AND CALL, WRITE AGAIN! We should be doing town meetings on this issue. Lets not wait until it hits the shores of California to try to address it. Please!

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has

    (attributed to Anthropologist Margaret Mead but supposedly disputed as to whether the quote came from her per Wiki).

  18. faith says:

    Why are you writing about this on your blog? Because it is “FOOD FOR THOUGHT!” and that is exactly what you feed us. Information, things to ponder, ways to discuss things together in an environment that is usually pretty safe and open minded. (comment section)

    I find it all fascinating..from your perspective, how much thought you put into it and what the other readers say.
    My question when I read all of it is..

    Whose been watching to much Walking Dead? Just wonderin’! haha

    I just saw some research pointed out that when societies start fearing, getting nervous, have economy or war issues..zombies become more popular..hahaha..I find that hilarious with all these vampire, zombie, werewolf shows, books, movies out now.
    Just sayin’ :)

    Good Luck! You will find your comfort zone. Being a new parent, living in an urban environment with the statistics that is does for some crazy environmental hazard to occur..I think you are totally legit in your thought processes.

  19. Irene says:

    I live on a farm with a herd of dairy animals and horses , big dogs and lots of poultry . I never leave the farm except for a few hours . That said , a situation where the army is searching house to house would make me bug out if I had any warning what so ever.
    The highschool had a terrorism drill a few months ago and attendance dropped not only that day but for the rest of the year . Several seniors refused to graduate or even attend the school because in Montana we believe terrorism drills are preparation for false flag killings and most folks just don’t buy that schlock . Anyway , gun sales have increased , the shooting range is busy and I know several short classy ladys who carry derringers and the like in their purses just in case the car gets stuck and a bear notices .
    I was once saved by a passing motorist from a bear attack because he had wire cutters and loud gun that scaired the bear away. I was tangled in barbed wire and his gun made the bear step away from me and the wire cutters got me free with minimal bloodshed . I carry a very loud not too powerful pistol and I would try to frighten a threat before I shot because my gun really isn’t powerful enough to kill a bear and It would only cause a mortal wound at close range with perfect accuracy . I’m pretty sure if I shot a bear it would be pissed off and kill me , same with a cop . That is why we call the police bears .

  20. tammy says:

    Thank You for bringing this topic up. I have felt alone with my ideas of being prepared for disaster—nobody wants to look at the dark when our culture is so focused on the light. I’ve seen grocery store shelves empty in 2 hours and people in a panic for food and water. Nobody is immune and there is nothing wrong with being prepared.

    I have a couple things to add:
    Herbal Tintures
    Activated Charcoal
    Iodine
    Oil of Oregano

    Peace to All and May we all be safe.
    Tammy

  21. LynnCS says:

    I was interested in the pancho and the waterproof tablet. I expected a 3-4 dollars cheapie. $20.oo each! Wow, that bag could add up fast. If the big one hits, you’re not going to go downstairs to get anything. A back pack is going to have to have it all in one place for at least a few days. Each person needs to have his/her own. Maybe that’s been discussed and I missed it.

    Being attacked isn’t my 1st concern, it’s more likely that you’ll have to walk out of a collapsed building with what you have on your back and the shoes on your feet. I have been a police dispatcher and learned that the likelyhood of being attacked is small and the likelyhood of getting a weapon out and killing an attacker even smaller. I am an old girl, but would have no problem killing someone who would do me harm.

    All these cute weapon-ish things are mostly useless at a time of attack. Always get away if you can and never let them take you to a secondary place. The whistle is your best bet and screaming might get you killed, but going with them surely will.

    I have also been on a site where a house had collapsed into the street on top of the cars. It still had the children in it and the caretaker. They all lived, but others I saw, weren’t so lucky. Even grabbing your bag is iffy. One key is to have a safe place somewhere on your property, perhaps a trash can in ground or not, (consider drainage) where some good shoes and water and dried foods can be stored, as well as the poncho and a few personal items, as a secondary go to spot.

    I like all the elaborate ideas and products, but the 1st 15 minutes after a tsunami warning, an earthquake or fire, or any other immediate, urgent rush to save your life is going to mean the ability to walk or run with a baby in your arms and/or helping an older person.

    A lot of the preppers are in a state about the State invading them. This country was founded on the premis that we had the right to resist that. Having said that, it’s not the 1st thing I think of when I think of an emergency. 1st things 1st. It can get pretty overwhelming to think we are going to need to carry all that stuff on a dead run uphill. On the other hand I can see the value of imagining setting up camp in my back yard indefinitely. The trash can in the ground with the bottom cut out, set in gravel will make a possible outdoor toilet. Lots of things to think about.

    One of the best things is to prepare to have no trash pick up. We have to start thinking about not creating trash. Hmmm!

  22. tsimitpo says:

    I’m not big on using guns domestically, although when I was younger I had a lot of fun with them out in the “wide open spaces” of our beautiful country.

    On the other hand, in every time of history that guns were taken out of the hands of the general populace – almost always for the purpose of “public safety” – governments left with no opposition to do whatever they feel best have committed horrendous atrocities against “non-favored” classes of their people.

    It’s a fearful thing when the “servant” (government) wins an arms race against its “master” (the people).

    That’s why I believe it’s a civic duty for a people loyal to a free and sovereign republic (as in accordance with that little contract called the U.S. Constitution) to not only work together but to be armed to defend ourselves and our neighbors against acts of tyranny like warrant-less arrests and convictions without a public trial.

  23. Bea says:

    Hello Kevin,
    I really enjoy reading your blog about nutrition….and supplements….. but I think that I missed something ….why do your write now about emergency, escape, fight?????
    Please explain what’s going on?
    All the Best
    Bea

  24. LuAnn says:

    I would like to be prepared in either case. (I am a good Scout) (:
    Try looking into Krav Maga. Excellent self defense trainings.
    Remember, if you have a survival food kit to rotate it out and use it up periodically before expiration dates and resupply promptly.
    I hope we never have to use our defenses but we hope to be prepared in any case!

  25. Satori says:

    We just need to make sure every single one of family members know where they meet up in a case of natural disaster. For my family, 1st place is our house, then the large park 3 miles from our home. You maybe lucky if you find yourself at home when an earthquake happened. In reality, many people will stuck at their work that is maybe 30 miles away from their home. Nobody knows if driving is possible or cell phone is available to use. So a map is very important too.

  26. Daniel says:

    You might also consider face masks for dust and particles. On the order of survivability: You can hold your breath for minutes. Then you can go for days without drinking water, and weeks without food. I also looked up Bushcraft and added that as a kit foundation. My reasoning was based on what sort of bare minimum survival items do you need to survive outdoors? I got a few knives and a hatchet, tarp, paracord, fire starters, a few multipurpose containers, multitools. I built out from there with other camp items, first aid, katedyne water filter, solar charger, etc. I’m not done with my kit but at least now I have some basic prep. I got the itch back in November (2012 craze?). I look at it as storm/weather/natural disaster or short term social unrest preparedness. If SHTF in any major way I’m not so sure I want to stick around to fight over resources with people and scrap it out. Still debating on the gun. Morbid humor here: just need one bullet for when all hope is lost…

  27. Mark says:

    While plan ‘A’ is probably to hunker down in place, if you have to evac, you need to know a variety of routes. Stay out of the Caldecott (tunnel) and Carquinez (bridge). Travel out of the East Bay will be genuinely snail’s pace. Have multiple options for each cardinal direction (though you needn’t worry much about West unless you are taking a boat.)

    Understanding your choices, understanding the consequences, and deciding where you draw the lines for yourself is what responsibility is all about. That is what being prepared is all about too. I respect your decision not to arm up beyond your comfort level, nobody should. What differs between people is where that comfort level lies. Others shouldn’t be critical of your choice just because your level is different from theirs.

    For self defense training, and to understand what you are dealing with if confronted by violence, I highly recommend Tim Larkin’s Target Focus Training program. Go to a couple days of training if you can, it will better equip you to understand, avoid, and not fall victim to violence than my eight years and two black belts worth of martial arts did. You alone are responsible for you and your family and nobody else will live with the aftermath of what you encounter on your own path but you. Understanding your choices, understanding the consequences, and deciding where you draw the lines for yourself is what responsibility is all about. Making that decision ahead of time is what being prepared is all about too.

    Living healthy, living awesome, living responsibly

  28. Ruby Heath says:

    The trickiest part in assembling a bug-out bag is food: we must pack items that are nutritious, filling, light and compact, and have a long shelf life. Failure to pack food wisely will most likely mean hunger and vulnerability to illness. If you have trouble choosing and preparing food for a bug-out bag, try Food Insurance . They have products that are designed to meet food storage needs.

  29. Chris says:

    Thank you for doing this for us. We are responsible for our own and our family’s welfare. This list and the helpful suggestions of the other reviewers will help us attain the peace of mind we need.I plan on taking from it what I feel will benefit us.

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