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We all start off our lives living in bliss and thinking the world we live in is perfect. Then as you leave your younger years behind and start into your early teens you learn that’s not so much how it is. You learn of human history and wars that have ravaged the world through the ages. You start growing up more and more then you see the world is not as you saw it as a child. You go to college and start a family as you progress. You watch as your generation is overtaken by the next and hope that the wars never reach your homeland.

One day they will and it may not be something like Red Dawn or a repeat of past world wars. Maybe it’s just a stupid mistake of a perceived threat and next thing you know nukes are falling. It could just a simple repeat of past natural disasters like a sun spot wiping out all electronics in the world, or maybe we are drilling for oil, then come across extinction level virus or bacteria. That has been shown recently with finding never before seen bacteria in fracking waste by scientists. All in all, my point to prove is from time to time civilization has been in dire straits that almost ended life or just topples a country or government.

What do I pack in my bug out bag?

With all that thought on history, a lot of people prepare for disaster to strike and build themselves BOBs and stock up at least 72 hours worth of resources like food and water. What would you do if it was longer than that or you faced a serious crisis that took the world to its knees? When I think of bugging out or bugging in respectfully, I think of a crisis that would be something more like a WROL scenario. What would you need in a situation like that. Would the food you stored back get you through or the water you stocked up last the entire duration?

Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stoves with Piezo Ignition – 11$

What do you need to think about carrying in your bug out bag to help you survive? You need to think about what is needed to keep you and anyone with you alive. To start off you’ll need a way to make any water you come across safe to drink. It’s a good idea to carry a water filter or multiples. Acquire a sharp knife or two. Remember 2 is 1 and 1 is 0. Knives can help with crafting weapons and utensils. You could buy some camping gear to cook on and you can make a penny stove to cook with as long as you have fuel for it. I find 91% alcohol works well.

Another way to cook is make a gasifer stove (see below). It works with anything organic that is flammable but wood is the preferred fuel. If all else fails build a fire and take a clothes hanger, make a loop with it, wrap it in wet newspaper and cook on that. I heard it works well if the ink is not poisonous. That covers hydration and cooking.

How are we going to eat?

Well in the earlier stages of this scenario you’ll come across canned foods and foods preserved so they last a while but as time goes on these things will go out of date and/or be used up. So in this time it’s a smart idea to grow food. Learn now how to do that. For a while animals will also be a source of food, but in time will be scarcer until humanity declines enough for animals to reclaim the cities and forests. Next comes how to defend yourself, and family if they haven’t opted out of life.

You need to know a few self-defense techniques.

It would also be a great idea to learn how to use a bow, spear, slingshot, and such since bullets and smokeless powder will disappear in time. In the same sense firearms will not last forever even if you had a million bullets. Your gun will need to be cleaned and oiled. Metal will wear down and parts will break with you have a small chance of finding replacements. This is why learning a little self-defense is better than nothing.

What about medicine?

When there is only you and whoever is left of your family how would you treat infections? What about animal bites, broken bones from falls, or a fast killer dehydration from diarrhea. You should at the least get some first aid training and have some medical supplies in your survival pack. I mean if your near a city maybe you can find antibiotics or pain medications in a pharmacy. Probably not when its been looted by others trying to survive too. Willow bark is what aspirin was derived from and many plants are natural antibiotics…

So what all I was trying to do with this article is convey my perceived SHTF scenario to you guys. I feel a lot can be accomplished in small SHTF scenario like hurricanes, floods, and natural disasters with a 72-hour bob but when I think of bugging out or in I’m thinking of TEOTWAWKI.

  We all start off our lives living in bliss and thinking the world we live in is perfect. Then as you leave your younger years behind and start into your

 

There has been a lot written about using an air gun for a SHTF situation. Which caliber to use, the type of air gun, cost of ammo and so on and so on.

Well, after reading all those articles and doing some deep thinking, I came up with what I think is the best type of air gun for SHTF that will serve you the best. Now this is not a must have. You must weigh you own needs want’s and physical ability to find the air gun that suits you best. Those are the factors that will help you make the right choice.

Factors to consider before purchasing an air gun for SHTF

A factor that most people don’t understand is that when your using an air gun to hunt is the difference between an air gun and a powder burner. Both an air gun and powder burner depend on energy to take down game. The difference is how this energy is delivered.

A powder burner does this by a combination of mass (bullet weight + velocity) to transfer a large amount of energy to game to take it down. Heavier bullets and greater velocity allow you to take down large game at distances over 100 yards and depending on the size of the game, out to 1000 yards. This creates a large wound cavity with hyodrostatic shock causing damage to the tissue and taking down the game animal.

An air gun depends more on penetration than shock to the game to take it down. The energy used to do this is measured in foot pounds. The higher the foot pounds the greater your ability to take game down will be. There are two main types of air guns that should be considered for a survival situation; break barrel or PCP.

PCP stands for Pre-Charged Pneumatic. This is an air gun where the air that is used to propel the pellet is compressed externally. This air is compressed using either a special mechanical or hand compressor to reach up to about 3000 psi . The pro side of this is that you can send a heavier pellet down range and take down larger game. PCP’s have taken game the size of American bison, buffalo quickly and humanely. Also a lot of PCP’s have a magazine that allows you work a bolt for fast repeat shots. On the con side you will have to buy at a minimum a means of compressing the air and a portable air tank if you want to extend hunting time.

Break Barrel: On the other hand, if you are using a break barrel you charge it by “breaking” the barrel , thereby cocking it. This compresses the air or the gas in a gas piston type, then you load a pellet and then you’re ready to shoot. Your effective range is shorter due to lower foot pounds delivered to the game animal.
With a break barrel, you can take small game such as rabbits, squirrels and dove out to about 30-40 yards. Your effective hunting success will depend on the environment you’re in, range to the animal pellet choice and your skill level.

The pros of using a break barrel are it’s cheaper to buy and use. Once purchased all you need are pellets and you’re shooting. No additional equipment needed. A con is the size of the game you can take and the range you can be effective in taking this game. Another con is that a break barrel is a single shot, you miss and you might spook the game as you re-cock the gun. Your physical strength is a factor when choosing between a break barrel or a PCP. The break barrel requires more physical dexterity than a PCP. Using a PCP that is charged requires average strength and dexterity to pull the trigger and load the magazine. The break barrel requires you to cock the gun which can be difficult if you have physical limitations.

In my research, I have come across a new break barrel that claims to be the most powerful production break barrel available. This is the Hatsan 135 QE Carnivore Big Bore in .30 caliber.

Hatsan BT Big Bore Carnivore QE Air Rifle air rifle

Some of the specs are:

  • Caliber 0.30″
  • Max Velocity 550 fps
  • Muzzle Energy 30 ft/lbs
  • Barrel Length 10.6″
  • Overall Length 47.2″
  • Shot Capacity 1
  • Cocking Effort 50 lbs
  • Barrel Rifled Yes
  • Front Sight Fiber Optic
  • Rear Sight Fiber Optic
  • Scopeable Weaver & 11mm dovetails
  • Trigger Two-stage adjustable
  • Buttplate Rubber
  • Suggested for Small game hunting/target practice
  • Action Break barrel
  • Safety Automatic
  • Power plant Gas-piston
  • Function Single-shot
  • Body Type Rifle
  • Weight 9.9 lbs
  • Shrouded Yes

This is a robust air gun that will meet your needs in most situations, either hunting or a SHTF situation.

When used as a hunting gun the first thing I think you should do is decide if you want to use a scope or not. The gun comes with open sights. This means you can use it straight out the box. Open sights mean you can acquire the target a bit quicker and they are less likely to be knocked out of alignment.

Do you need a scope for your air gun?

A scope on the other hand lets you place your shots a bit more precisely. It also helps if your eyesight is less than perfect. A scope does add cost to the purchase and while modern scopes are well made, you will get what you pay for. If you put a cheap scope on the gun, it will cost you twice as much as you will end up buying a better scope. Make sure you get a scope that is rated for use on air guns. This is due to non PCP air guns having a double shock when firing. While a gas piston may not cause much damage, it’s best to check with the scope manufacturer before purchasing.

Once you choose between open sights or a scope, your next step is to find the best pellet for the air gun. While it will shoot any .30 pellet, it will be more accurate with certain pellets. The only way to find the best one is to buy several brands, go to a range and sight it in. You need to do this no matter which type of sight your using. This rifle also has an Integrated Sound Moderator (Shrouded). What this does is to reduce the sound of firing down-range. Depending on how close your neighbors are you might be able to practice in your backyard. Make sure you check before shooting and make sure your not violating any local or home owners association rules

Ok, your air gun is sighted in, you’re got the pellet your accurate with, so what can you hunt with the rifle?

Depending on your state you may be able to hunt game up to deer size. Now you will not be taking deer at 200 yards. That is way beyond the capability of the rifle. For most deer size game I would not go much farther than 50 yards. If your state has a feral hog problem this rifle will work on hogs also. Treat it as if your bow hunting. For smaller game like squirrels and rabbits, I would add about another 20 to 25 yards.

Shot placement is very important when hunting, it’s even more so when using an air rifle.. Head shots are the most humane way to take most game. You should be able to place most shots in a dime sized shot group before you go hunting.

So there you have it, my idea of the best air gun for a SHTF situation. Is it the most powerful? No. Nor is it the most accurate air rifle you can buy. Are there other calibers that can be used? Of course. They are just not as versatile. This is one that will do most of the jobs you need it to do at a cost, ease of use and maintenance most people can afford. As with any tool, the more you practice, the better you will become in its use.

  There has been a lot written about using an air gun for a SHTF situation. Which caliber to use, the type of air gun, cost of ammo and so on

 

One of the most stressful situations you are likely to encounter in a SHTF event will be the struggle to get to a place of safety. This could be the not-so-simple matter of getting home, or the even more challenging matter of bugging out to a distant place of refuge. If you think about it, it doesn’t really matter whether your destination is 5 miles away or fifty. If you don’t have a clear understanding of how to reach your objective – that is, the routes and terrain (urban, rural or natural) that you will confront – then you are trusting to hope and luck; neither of which qualify as a strategy for survival.

There are several critical aspects to developing a get-home or bug out route, but the first two are planning and confirming. In other words, you have to identify and analyze routes, and then you have to gain a level of certainty that they will serve you reliably under conditions that will very likely be beyond your control.

If you were confronted with a traffic blockage during your daily commute, your first inclination might be to access a mapping tool on your smart phone to help you find a secondary route. But, if the grid is down your handy mapping tool will be useless. SHTF conditions, such as civil disorder, congested roadways, road closures, blockades, lack of fuel or weather conditions, could force you to abandon your preferred route. Without planning, you may have no idea about suitable alternatives – unless you have already researched and confirmed the alternate routes.

You can define, in advance, a primary route and a series of alternate routes that will give you the best chance to reach your destination if you have the right tools and learn how to use them. I am specifically referring to the use of Google Earth, which uses satellite imagery from Landsat. The value of this imagery is that you can examine surface features in great detail, locate roads and trails that do not appear on regular maps, identify sources of water that are not dependent on electric pumps, to name only a few benefits.

Let’s take a high level look at a hypothetical bug out route between an arbitrary point of origin “A” and a destination “B”.

In this example, the tan line on the left is a highway route that spans 65 miles between the origin and destination. This would be the obvious choice for travel, enabling you to reach the destination in about one and a half hours through mountainous country. But what if the highway has been barricaded at a critical choke-point and nothing is getting through?

The green lines show a secondary route that follows 2-track roads to the same destination. Taking the left leg of this route will span a distance of 54 miles, while the right leg will take 55 miles.

The blue line shows a 12 mile stretch of perennial stream flow that could be used if a bug out group was on foot. Several other route options are available, but are omitted for simplicity.

A thorough analysis of the river route with Google Earth will reveal that the gain in elevation is a steady 54 feet per mile over this distance. That is important to know if you are on foot. The green routes will show elevations that range from 2,200 feet to nearly 8,000 feet, with significant (+/-) changes in elevation over very short distances of travel. In other words, this is mountainous terrain and there is a lot of steep ground between A and B.

Let’s take a closer look a small portion of the 2-track trail:

This image identifies just three of many sources of water along the route. It is important to note that only one of these sources appear on USGS Topo maps and two of them are not obvious, even with satellite imagery. So, why are they shown in the photo? They were identified by a detailed inspection of the route. Each source of water is tied to a specific GPS location. In fact, any location on Google Earth can be referenced using standard coordinate formats. The point is that you have to know where these important resources are located beforehand so that you can incorporate them into your route.

Sources of Game

Here is a closer view of the “river route,” which reveals useful information at a moderate viewing altitude

This 2,000 foot segment of surface flow identifies just a few of many game trails, as shown by the yellow lines. Deer and other wildlife can be found here (and at numerous other locations along this stream) throughout the year. Trails are easily identifiable by zooming down to a lower level of “eye altitude.” Analysis of the imagery revealed the game trails, but knowledge of the type and abundance of could only be established by on site verification.

Route Hazards

The warning symbol shown in the above image shows a (very real) area that needs to be either bypassed or approached with caution. Once again, you cannot determine that kind of knowledge by simply looking at a map.

An even lower level view of this segment also reveals that you could be hiking in waist-deep water if your route is confined to the stream. I have hiked this area numerous times and know that spring–fall seasons produce a deep canopy of tree cover along this stream. I also know that water flow can be fatally high during heavy monsoon and winter storms. In other words, a photo image is worthless if you cannot apply direct knowledge to the route.

The next image continues with a portion of the green 2-track route, but includes anecdotal information about ways to identify potential navigational hazards that can lead to wasted time and fuel.

Beginning on the left, I have placed a warning symbol that shows a dead-end 2-track road. The center hazard symbol indicates a trail that needs to be avoided because it leads in a direction that adds distance (and time) to the route. I could have added a dozen or more hazard symbols along this portion of the trail to identify 2-track roads that need to be avoided. Why go to the trouble? You may want to share your Bug Out album with other members of your group, and they may be hours or days behind you. Importantly, they may not know the route as intimately as you do.

There is another vitally important reason for sharing your bug out route: It says “This is where I will be. If I get pushed off this route, I will always strive to get back to it. Look for me there!”

The next image shows a hiking trail that can reduce travel distance by several miles if you are on foot, rather than in a vehicle. As you can see, it is rendered with a 3D perspective that provides a better understanding of the terrain.

I have annotated the starting elevation of the trail (lower left) and the elevation at the crest of the mountain. There is an overall gain of 1,120 feet to the crest, followed by a drop of 806 feet where the trail joins up with the 2-track road on the right. Route distance is 2.65 miles versus six miles on the 2-track road.

The last image, below, shows the level of detail that you can obtain. In this instance, the “eye altitude” above a frozen water catchment is 370 feet. A portion of the bug out trail is shown along the bottom of the image.

From a practical standpoint it is possible to maintain excellent image quality on Google Earth to as low as 300 feet above the deck. Images begin to degrade below that level, although you can do some very good analysis at lower levels once you gain experience with the tool. Remember however, that at very low viewing levels, the field of view will be limited. For example, at an eye altitude of 300 feet, you will be viewing an area that is approximately 350 feet on the east-west axis by 250 feet on the north-south axis. If you intend to build a photo library using such a low-level, the 55 mile route would require more than 1,100 images! That is entirely unnecessary. All you really have to do is work at an eye altitude that provides the level of detail that you are comfortable with. There will certainly be instances where you want to zoom in on an important location or feature, but that shouldn’t be necessary in most cases.

It is important to understand that satellite images are not depicted in real-time. Google Earth updates individual image panes periodically and could be anywhere from a few weeks to two years old. Is that important? Not really. Highways, county roads, forest trails and buildings don’t move and they certainly don’t disappear between image updates.

As you do the research to build your own Bug Out library, don’t worry about the image date that will be displayed at low levels. Google will update it when they have some economic reason to do so. And when they do, I guarantee that nothing of importance will have changed.

Getting Started

There are only four things that you need in order to develop a bug out library of images:

  • A home computer with Internet access
  • A downloaded copy of Google Earth (it’s free)
  • A method of transferring images
  • A smart phone

Pre-load your routes of travel for various bug out routes into your GPS.


Beyond these basics, all that you need is the motivation to learn how to navigate Google Earth. There really is no limit to your ability to annotate important information. Any location or feature that is important to your safety and survival can be identified and documented on the image.

Leveraging Value

Once you have built your library, I would urge that you incorporate a fifth item to your survival tool bag, and that is a handheld GPS device. The value of this unit is that you can pre-load important coordinates from the bug out routes that you have developed from satellite imagery. The images on your smart phone will be static; that is, you can view them, but you cannot interact with them.

As I’ve said in previous postings, there are many ways that you can get pushed from a desired route. Regardless of the distance, a GPS unit can tell you precisely where you are, where you want to be, as well as the distance and direction of travel required to get back to the preferred route on your smart phone library.

It is well beyond the scope of this article to teach anyone how to use Google Earth. That is something that you must do for yourself. My objective is to illustrate what you can achieve with this remarkable tool once you have learned the basic navigation skills. The bottom line: There is no reason to be lost or uncertain about your position relative to a desired route.

  One of the most stressful situations you are likely to encounter in a SHTF event will be the struggle to get to a place of safety. This could be the

 

I have grown up and lived in the suburbs of Phoenix, AZ almost my entire life. For anyone who is not familiar with Northwest Phoenix, this means I grew up in the desert. We lived in track homes all the while being within a stone’s throw (literally) of undeveloped, uninhabited, and unending desert. Every time the surrounding wilderness would become developed, we would move further out-of-town (and so the cycle continues today). It was against the back drop of the unrelenting heat and the unforgiving desert that I would learn my first courses in survival.

One lesson I have learned from my parents and now encourage my children to participate in is being an Outdoorsy Kid. It didn’t matter if it was after school or during the summer time my brothers and I would often hear my mother say “Go play outside.” Whether this was for her sanity or ours (or both) we didn’t know but we also didn’t care because we had a blast running around doing whatever we wanted in the Wild West. We spent the majority of our free time outdoors…even when it was 120 degrees outside (don’t call CPS, we had a hose in both the back and front yards and sometimes popsicles!!).

Water is essential

I learned in my youth that water is essential. In Phoenix the summer temperatures can rise quickly. Sometimes when you get into your car that has been parked outside for hours the heat will take your breath away.

CamelBak Classic Hydration Pack

As we explored deeper into the surrounding desert we spent greater amounts of time away from readily available water sources such as water fountains, the kitchen sink, or my personal favorite, the hose in the front yard. We began freezing half full water bottles at night and filling them the rest of the way in the morning before our next adventure. The water would stay cold for hours. We would find larger bottles and experiment with those trying to find the perfect balance between size and how easily we could carry it on our bikes.

When we joined scouts our parents purchased us a Camelbak (which we thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread). It wasn’t very often one of us didn’t have that bright blue mouth piece clinched between our teeth while outside playing football or baseball or riding bikes. We learned from a young age that we needed to have water with us if the fun was going to continue.

While it seems like a “no-brainer” that water is requisite for roughing it in the outdoors, you’d be surprised by how many individuals neglect this important part of survival. I can’t tell you how many times inexperienced adults try to jump into prepping/camping/“outdoorsy stuff” as if it’s a fad and end up with heat exhaustion or heat stroke all because they thought a 2 mile hike in the Arizona summer would be easy and fun. This is a lesson my brothers and I already learned long before the age of 12 and one we have never forgotten. Today we all have clean water storage sources for “on-the-go” situations. I never leave the house without a water bottle.

Become acquainted with wildlife

Playing outdoors introduces you to wildlife that would otherwise go unnoticed. I remember trying to chase down lizards, snakes, coyotes, roadrunners and once a pack of wild donkey (yes, the desert wilderness in northwest Peoria has wild donkeys). We learned quickly what snakes and lizards could be caught and which of our reptilian friends we should avoid. Through trial and error we learned to pick up large stones so that the rock is in between you and whatever animal/insect you thought might be hiding underneath. We learned that if you heard the heart stopping “rattle” from a Diamond Back Rattlesnake that you ought to run in the opposite direction. We learned that although the outdoors is fun the wildlife that survives in such harsh and tough conditions do so by being harsh and tough themselves. You might consider me a “nervous nelly” but when I see inexperienced campers/hikers stopping with their children to admire a rattle snake I can’t help but think “Are you stupid or just not from around here?”

It would be impossible for me to tell you the emotions I felt as a 12-year-old getting my first Shotgun and going out with my dad to hunt dove and quail. I learned to hunt for food, to respect the wildlife around me, and to never shoot at or kill animals just for fun. I learned that edible was a relative term and that finding edible animals could be the difference between starvation and a feast.

Learn how to build and breakdown

We loved building Forts out in the desert. Sometimes we would lug our shovels and picks out to the desert and dig a pit for our fort. Afterward we would have dirt clod wars, throwing clumps of Arizona dirt at each other or neighbors. We learned that at about 6 inches to a foot deep we would have to work together to get past the hard desert clay. Many times our forts need to be built upward. We learned simple “granny” knots would “knot” do (see what I did there…with the word Knot?).

We built “lean to’s and A-frames and box frames using lashing techniques. We saw that if you wanted a fort or a shelter to last more than an hour or two, you needed to apply the proper knots (clove hitch) to your lashings.

Aside from building we learned to breakdown those things we built. I remember one evening we wanted to show our father some of the forts we had built. As we traveled to our latest edifice, we all passed prior forts that we had dug or built that were still erected or half torn down. My father was extremely angry to find out that his sons had been out littering the desert with his tools, lumber, and camping supplies. Needless to say, we spent the rest of our night filling in pits and untying blankets and lumber from trees. We learned that being in the outdoors is great but it is our responsibility to clean up after ourselves…even in the outdoors. My father taught us to “Leave no trace” and that when you run out of rope it is absolutely not acceptable to use your father’s extension cords.

Learn to maintain equipment

It got to the point that in order to have more time playing and less time traveling to our destinations we needed to start riding our bikes. At first when playing in undeveloped land there are no paved or forged trails. Unfortunately while riding our bikes in the wilderness we popped A LOT of bike tires. My mother got fed up with buying new bike tubes every week so she purchased us a tube patching kit. This saved both time and money and it was small enough to fit in our backpacks along with a hand help bike pump.

Outside of fixing flats we learned to maintain our bikes; repair damaged chains, correct crooked handle bars, and tighten brakes. We learned that no matter what your equipment is, you should know how it functions, what tools you need to fix it, and how to maintain it. In any survival situation your equipment comes second only to your knowledge and experience. All the knowledge in the world won’t start a fire or fix a flat tire without tools. While I don’t ride bikes any longer I apply the same principle to my survival equipment, my home, and my vehicles.

Many lessons learned

We were not the most avid campers, we didn’t go hunting every year, we were definitely not professional bushcrafters, but we did learn what we needed to. My parents believed in letting us develop in the outdoors. I would be hard pressed to list every lesson I learned being an “Outdoorsy kid.”

You might be thinking that what I have just listed are “common sense” ideas and that everyone knows these things out of the womb, but I would beg to differ. When I see today’s youth (I am involved with the youth at church, and am a Scout Master for the local troop) I am shocked at the lack of outdoor/survival knowledge they possess. I have observed first hand that children are like sponges and can adapt very quickly to survive and even thrive in difficult situations.

As human beings “survival” is burned into our DNA, however we need to be careful not to snuff out that fire of survival in our children. Yes, the outdoors can be a dangerous place, yes, your child will get scrapes, bumps, and bruises…maybe even a broken bone or two. But when the SHTF I’ll bet you wish someone knew how to build a fort out of seemingly nothing, or that you knew to pack extra water and keep a clean supply at the ready, or that some wildlife and their specific environments ought to be avoided. Let your children learn these lessons in their youth, let them fail when playing and building forts rather than failing as an adult when they don’t know how to change a tire, or when they get laid off at work, or during the next economic downturn, or city riots, or fire, or flood, or plague, or famine, or war, or invasion, or… the list goes on.

This knowledge I have shared is, of course, specific to me and my environment. You might live in the boonies or even deep in the urban parts of your city. Whatever your situation whatever your environment, you and your children need to know it. You and your children need to understand the potential dangers and potential saviors of your environment. Whoever you are or wherever you are, let your kids be “outdoorsy kids,” you’d be surprised how much intelligence they gather.

  I have grown up and lived in the suburbs of Phoenix, AZ almost my entire life. For anyone who is not familiar with Northwest Phoenix, this means I grew up

The mantra of Guns, Bullets, and Beans is a reasonably common one but bullets go both ways. Almost everyone who has served in active duty involving gunshot injuries or has been involved in treating them will tell you never to engage in a fire fight unless you have no other choice. Rather than focusing on building a fortress to defend your supplies it is safer to build a home you can walk away from without compromising your supplies or getting on the wrong end of a gunshot wound.

Rule One: Do not get shot.

Rule Two: Get shot in a leg or arm without any bone involvement.

Rule Three: If you have to be in a fire fight make sure you kill them all before they can return fire.

I have never been shot and I have only had two guns pointed at me but I have nursed a fair number of shot ICU patients over the years. In SHTF things will be different and trauma care for shooting patients (I dislike the term ‘victims’ as it implies powerlessness) needs a hard look at especially if you live in an area of the world that has a lot of armed people around you. This article will have some biology (science is fun!) and I am not talking about body armor or types of ammunition (not my specialty but here are penetration estimates. If Pat uses them there will be graphic photos and I hope these will not trigger anyone but knowledge is power.

The article is long and I am not going into lung, abdominal, brain care as basically you are likely dead. Please look up lung injuries as knowing what tension pneumothorax, septic shock, and paralytic ileus are good ideas.

Basic Field Care if you are Shot

Avoid being shot again. Disengage and get to the safe area. All home and bug out locations should have a stocked and safe area away from the main buildings that is believed to be safe in the event of an attack.

A wounded man is helped to get away from gun shots Picture: AFP

Do not scream “medic!” or “I’m hit!” There is a fire fight going on so do not give tactical information to the enemy or distract your side. Everyone on your team is a field medic and has practiced for this so no one helping you needs to be screaming for help either. You and/or they deal with it until after the fire fight. Stay off the radio until the fire fight is over and give no tactical details if summoning help. “Jimmy I’m at X and I’d like to see you” is better than “Jimmy! They shot me in my leg. It hurts. I need help now”

Look for the entrance area and check if there is an exit area. Survey yourself quickly for other injuries. Entry wounds can look insignificant and exit wounds can look dramatic. The actual issue is what was in the way and what is happening beneath these entry and exit points.

Exit wounds can look dramatic

Cover the wound’s entry and exit points with thick cloth or blood stopper bandage as soon as you can. Limit the blood flow by partial or a full tourniquet if you have knowledge to safely use one. Blood looks dramatic and it is hard to assess the amount. Pulse rising, blood pressure dropping, consciousness failing are signs of massive blood loss. Without intravenous infusions and/or blood transfusions you will likely die. I know some are prepping to give blood transfusions but this is a really dangerous and specialized intervention. Giving a basic intravenous of normal saline (0.9% sodium chloride) is simple and easily learned. Both are illegal to use but not to learn unless you are a medical doctor.

Leave this initial thick pad on no matter how wet it gets. Add more and do not remove any. I do not feel a blood clotter like the Israeli Bandage should be applied at this stage unless you have several in reserve. If you have one only consider using it after the next phase of care or buy more than one. Technology keeps evolving but if you use it can you remove it without an Operating Room?

If possible elevate the wound above your heart. This lowers the blood pressure locally and should decrease bleeding. Realistically it probably will be easier to raise your heart above the wound site.

If bone is injured splint it as it is for transport and apply the initial pad over the splint.

If it is not an abdominal injury drink as much water as you can and keep drinking one pint an hour. Sports mixes are a good idea as well. If abdominal you will likely die but stay nil by mouth (NPO) as you might get lucky and abdominal trauma is always worse if you take anything by mouth.

It is going to get painful quickly so use the brief pain-free period to move away from the bullets and get to safety.

Basic Field Care if you are the Medic

Yeah! We won and all the bad guys and girls are dead. As in all First Aid situations assess the area for possible threats prior to giving care. Any snipers waiting as your team-mate was screaming for help giving away his location? Has the shooter who did the hit been dealt with or are you next? Consider dragging the injured away from the scene before doing anything else.

When safe have a look and verify if they are alive or just barely alive? If dead or barely alive then do not waste time, energy, and supplies.

If you can see bits of their bowels, chances are slim for survival.

Reasonable signs of potential viability are that they are conscious and can talk to you in sentences. If they are able to do this has the wound caused abdominal contents to become free?

Sorry but without a surgeon and a good hospital/surgical set up your friend’s dead if you can see bits of their bowels. Brains oozing out of the wound, eyes, nose, or mouth are equally untreatable in SHTF so do not waste supplies on a futile attempt.

Then follow the steps you would take if you had been shot. Starting to go beyond these in the field is just not a good idea. Get them to the safe zone.

Safe Zone Preliminary Care

Everyone in your group should know how to do this as you might have to do it for yourself.

Emergency War Surgery: The Survivalist’s Medical Desk Reference

Unlike every film you have ever seen getting shot is extremely painful and shock is likely for the pain alone even if blood loss is minimal. Get calm and practice deep breathing techniques to slow and steady your breathing and your heart rate. If you have alcohol available do not drink it if you are shot. If you are the medic have a small amount. Seriously, I have a small bottle of brandy in my kit for me to swig if I am facing a major injury and it can also be used to sterilize instruments and your hands.

Okay. Now what are we facing here? If they are unconscious check for other wounds as there are many cases where the obvious and none fatal wound gets all the care while the insignificant and overlooked wound slowly kills the patient.

Strip them naked. Use scissors or a knife but get them fully naked unless they are conscious and are sure they have only one wound. Even so I am stripping them and doing a quick body search. Note where all the wounds are and where you see swelling and bruising. Is this survivable? If there is flank and/or side deep bruising from an abdominal wound likely means the spleen is damaged if on their left side or the liver if on their right side. Frankly they are going to die unless you can do surgical repair which is highly unlikely and is highly skilled. Wounds that go through the body are more survivable than those where the bullet remains inside but a through shot going through the deep abdominal area or chest is likely not one you can treat. No worries they will die quickly from blood loss or lack of oxygen.

If the decision to treat is made then clean the area around the wound and your exposed arms and forearms with something. Clean water if that is all you have or use the remaining brandy to clean your hands carefully. Soap and water is awesome hence having a stocked safe area previously set up for major injuries away from the areas likely to be in a fire fight is a good move. You can use multiple different liquids but the aim is to pour the external stuff AWAY from the wound and never towards it.

Having done that move them onto a fresh laundered sheet or have one placed under them. If possible have the room warm to avoid cold shock but you need the area naked to do this care. Avoid using beds as they are too low and the mattress will be ruined. A massage table or a folding plastic table is a good idea.

Using a powerful flash light (have a head lamp if you cannot get an assistant) pick out and remove everything you can see in the wound that is unattached to the patient. Clothing and bullet and bone fragments have to be removed or infection will occur for sure.

Now reassess blood loss. Is it arterial (bright red maybe but you can see it pulsing) or venous (dark for sure and steady stream)? If arterial use a tourniquet between the wound and the heart if possible, get sterile gloves on, and go in. Find the sight of bleeding and suture it. This can result in limb loss but most arteries can be sealed and blood flow can take alternative routes. At a pinch you can seal it with a hot piece of metal from a fire but frankly you likely will have the patient die of shock. This is not the movies. Still I’d consider it for a wound in a limb that cannot stop bleeding no mater my digging around in there.

Yes you can use back powder but only if it is a limb and the bleeding cannot be stopped. This will hurt and inflict a severe burn on top of the other injuries.

Set bones if you can and have to at this stage. The wound is as clean as you can get it and you have flushed it out with loads of cooled boiled water after adding a bit of salt. 0.9% sodium chloride is normal for the human body but flush it out a lot until most of the bleeding has stopped. You have removed every bit of dirt, clothing, and bullet you can see in there. You have stopped all major bleeding. Doing this on yourself is unrealistic despite the movies so everyone in your group needs to know how to do this not just the doctor or the nurse. They might be the one shot.

Start broad spectrum antibiotics and ensure 3-4 liters so fluid intake a day. Use the intravenous if you have to but keep them hydrated.

Broad Spectrum Antibiotics:

  • Amoxillin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Gatifloxacillin
  • Streptomycin
  • Tetracycline
  • Chloramphenicol

If bone involvement it is very important to use a broad spectrum antibiotic to avoid issues later on with chronic bone infection. If you have antibiotics then use them if the wound penetrated deep into the body. Hopefully their tetanus is up to date especially if soil has entered the wound which in SHTF is likely from clothing in a fire fight. Antibiotics will not help tetanus and it basically kills people horribly.

Ongoing Care

Evacuate them to a hospital with a trained doctor as soon as possible. If you can do this within 60 minutes you dramatically increase their chance of living. Okay if you cannot then try this!

Wound Care

If the outside of the dressing is clean and dry and there is no obvious smell, swelling, or severe pain then leave it on for 7 days. Do not peek!
Change the dressing using clean materials if sterile ones are unavailable. Laundered sheets work fairly well for this so have a supply kept aside for health care use. Unopened packs of baby wipes can also be considered very clean. Wash your hands and arms well with soap and water before and after giving all care and especially wound care. You do not need a face mask but do not breathe into the wound even if you are wearing one. The outsides of face masks are extremely contaminated and the human mouth is as well even if you floss frequently. Use cooled boiled salt water to soak and dressing that are stuck and take them off gently.

If the wound is bulging or leaking pus (yellow smelly stuff) then remove one or two sutures and let it be open to drain. Be aware that 7-14 days afterwards this can occur and the entire wound site might burst open. Flush everything with loads of cooled boiled salt water and attempt to push gently back into the body and then suture really well. Probably will die but worth a try if you have got this far. Open it carefully being sterile if possible and remove obviously dead tissue and wash everything out. Have a good look for any debris you missed the first time you treated this. This is a wound infection and needs 12-24 hour dressings until it heals (once or twice a day). Change the antibiotic given if you can at this point.
Do not use triple antibiotic cream, honey, or anything inside the body. Just don’t ever no matter the temptation. Flush with cooled boiled water and if open and you need to pack it use cooled boiled water-soaked sterile gauze.

General Care

Use limited bed rest. However sick they are turn them every 1-2 hours in bed and get them up in a chair as soon as possible and totally ignore their complaints about this. Immobility kills. Keep them hydrated well and use higher protein foods if available. Add a stool softener into the mix early on if they are immobile. Metamucil works fine if used early on. Let them rest a lot and avoid strain on the wound area but also make them feel useful. They can cut up clothing for toilet paper and other chores so make them earn their keep.

They will out of commission for a long time so have stored food available and firewood and drinks they can reach even in a weakened state. You might not be able to do this for them.

The mantra of Guns, Bullets, and Beans is a reasonably common one but bullets go both ways. Almost everyone who has served in active duty involving gunshot injuries or has

Whenever I read through posts and articles on the Internet, I am surprised to see that many people don’t seem to realize or understand that the paradigm of civilian OPSEC is dead…

So what do I mean by that?

Example One:

Let’s examine a family that is acquiring a bunker, for instance, which they intend to have buried in a semi-remote location. Let’s assume they have acquired a small piece of land off the grid somewhere and that location is where the bunker will be buried in the ground.

The logistics of building the bunker involve money changing hands (credit cards, checks, etc.) so there are many records that document the delivery and ownership of the bunker. Then you have the delivery crew and the men who install the bunker, all of whom have personal knowledge of the bunker’s location. Of course, as the massive bunker is traveling down some road on its way to its final resting place, people and neighbors located along that road will see it pass-by, and assuming it’s going to a remote location, a sight such as that will be sensational to the few inhabitants of any remote area. All of these people communicate with other people, and word will spread, whether you like it or not. Most people today have cell phones with cameras, and they take all kinds of pictures with those cameras…maybe even a picture of your bunker (or some other sensitive intel). All of those pictures are easily accessed by many Gov. agencies, and on top of that, because most cell phones have GPS tracking integrated, the exact geographical location of where each photo was taken is associated to the photo.

Who else might be watching or listening? Who knows, could be anyone these days…how about this!

And I could go on, and on…with numerous more examples.

In areas where there are zoning ordinances, you must apply for permits before you can bury anything in the ground. Inspectors from the local regulatory agencies will show up to take a look, and even if everything is legit, they talk and have friends who may also hear about your plans. You can’t get all of these ancillary observers to the event (transportation and installation of the bunker) to sign a non-disclosure agreement. And even people, who sign these agreements, sometimes spill the beans. In the event of any serious disaster, one or two of these people might even be in a position to make it to your bunker?

Example Two:

Let’s assume that you are building your own backyard bunker, and using the ‘Great Escape’ method for hiding and relocating the dirt that you are removing from your backyard so that the neighbors and zoning guys won’t realize what you’re up to. And maybe in this example your kids accidentally slip-up and mention the bunker or the dirt issues, etc? OSPEC deteriorates over time and people (especially children) can and do slip-up and sometimes unintentionally mention something that arouses the curiosity of the neighbors or their children and then it’s not long before the Cat is out of the bag. Of course the neighbors have friends and it’s not long before they are in the informational loop as well. And of course everyone uses the telephones and Internet to communicate everything from business information and transactions to idle gossip…. ‘yea our neighbors are building a shelter in the backyard’.

Example Three:

John and Mike are on the telephone (cell phones) talking about their preps, and of course, their exact geographic locations are known. Maybe they mention the guns they have (‘gun’ is a keyword), or the fact that one of them has a bunker (‘bunker’ is a keyword) and so forth. Of course the entire conversation is being monitored and analyzed using keyword algorithms on a super-computer in real-time, and the data is then complied and allocated into the files on John and Mike (in real-time), adding to all the other information in those files. Sounds like Sci-Fi?  It’s not!

Sadly the real terrorists are winning… they now have us (American’s) looking are each other…. like a witch-hunt!

Certainly there is value in obtaining intel that precludes any terrorist attack. And if we loose some portion of our privacy to prevent such attacks, that trade-off may be worth it, but that’s a separate debate, and not the point of this article. The point is however, you really have little of no OPSEC, modern technology is reducing that tactic into obsolescence. (Note; I am not suggesting that OSPEC tactics are ineffective against everyone; the tactic may have some value against low-tech threats, such as local burglars, etc.)

But that’s not even the full extent of surveillance on private citizens… NSA also has it’s own super-computer that‘s on steroids!

Here’s the funny part that makes me laugh when I hear Preppers talking ‘OPSEC’ … here we have the world’s most secretive hi-tech agency, the NSA, engaged in the classified, top-secret operation of building, installation and operation of it’s ‘top-secret’ (OPSEC) super-computer facility… and even WIRED MAGAZINE knows all about it!!!

So how much more secretive are your operations over those of NSA? If you’re actually better than they are at OPSEC, maybe you should consider a $100K/yr. job with them?

Of course then we have manned-aircraft, Drones and Satellites overhead that have a multitude of surveillance technologies onboard enabling them to hear what you say and read the 12 point typed text on a piece of paper in your hand.

Numerous non-Governmental agencies have similar less sophisticated technologies that are nonetheless, more than up to the task of hearing and seeing almost everything you say and do inside your home, in your car, in your backyard, in the mountains, on the phone and on the Internet. The movie the ‘Minority Report’ is no longer just Sci-Fi either… a similar technology is already being used today:

http://rt.com/usa/cops-patrolling-facebook-for-predictive-policing-103/

For instance, if you bury a bunker, it can be seen using IR thermography technology that is now ubiquitous overhead in our skies.

Applying logic and thinking in terms of simply being an informed American Citizen who just wants to stay alive in the event of some natural or man-caused disaster, what is a reasonable approach in light of the realities today?

In my opinion, the bottom-line is this:

There are really just two choices:

One:

For those people/Preppers who are unwilling to plan ahead to relocate away from harm (risks and post-event conflict) prior-to or just after a disaster, and who instead intend to remain sheltered in-place, those people must promote prepping to ‘everyone’ around them. In a serious disaster, the people who are not properly prepared and who become desperate post-event survivors (the ‘Un-Prepped’, as I call them) will pose the greatest problems and risks for any remaining authorities (crime, looting, etc) as well as to those people who have prepared and cannot realistically be expected to feed and/or care for dozens, let alone thousands of desperate people, who are likely to be violent.

If the Government would get-behind Preppers in advising people to maintain reasonable amounts of Preps (more than FEMA’s ridiculous ‘3 days of food and water’), then the numbers of Un-Prepped people in any post-disaster scenario will be significantly reduced, thus reducing the risks for average Americans who are just trying to survive. This would also minimize the problems for authorities who are faced with the monumental tasks and risks of dealing with millions of desperate Un-Prepped people, post-disaster.

Just look at Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina and it all becomes so evident… FEMA’s recommendations for Americans to maintain of “3-days of food and water” per-person is just wrong, and that recommendation must be immediately modified to reflect the needs as seen in real-life situations!  Four-weeks worth of food and water per-person is in my opinion the absolute minimum!

Preppers need to support each other and support the efforts of anyone (including TV shows) trying to normalize the Prepping trend. Preppers must reach-out to their representatives and local agencies using all forms of communications and make this argument, now, while there is still a chance to make a difference!

Preppers are ordinary everyday Americans, looking to protect themselves, their families and their American lifestyles. They are not ‘domestic terrorists’ simply because they have done the math, and see that FEMA’s guidelines are just obtuse.

Short of this happening (a general conversion of Americans to a ‘Prepared’ mode), given the current risks posed to everyone (Government included) by The ‘Un-Prepped’ (desperate post-disaster survivors), the only other effective option for survival is Plan B;

Plan B:

Plan ahead and adopt a survival paradigm that will relocate you, your family and friends (if possible) to a safe location, far beyond the reach of the ‘Un-Prepped’.

My book, ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) details one such paradigm, which has been proven.

In the end, the odds of your survival in any disaster and during any long-term post-disaster scenario are in your own hands. Making an informed decision now, can make the difference between life and death.

Fair Winds & Seas!

Whenever I read through posts and articles on the Internet, I am surprised to see that many people don’t seem to realize or understand that the paradigm of civilian OPSEC

The universal truth when dealing with traumatic injuries is that whether from effective treatment or loss of supply, all bleeding eventually stops. Having the knowledge to treat major bleeding can be the difference between life and death at any time, but especially during a disaster when emergency responders may be delayed or not available at all.

The two major components of stopping blood loss are knowledge and equipment. While the principles outlined here are not new by any means, it is important to point out that over the past 10 years of active combat overseas, the technological advances made in the practices and equipment used to stop bleeding have been remarkable. None of the information provided below is a substitute for formal training. It is encouraged to seek professional training and only operate within the scope of your expertise.

Types Of Bleeding And Classes Of Hemorrhage

There are three types of bleeding (hemorrhage): arterial, venous and capillary. Arterial bleeding is caused when there is damage to an artery that is carrying blood directly from the heart. It can be summed up as bright red bleeding that spurts with every heartbeat. Venous bleeding is from a damaged blood vessel that is carrying blood back to the heart and is usually a darker red with a steady flow. Capillary bleeding comes from the smallest vessels in the body and is characterized as oozing.

The severity of hemorrhage is divided into classes to define the amount of blood loss and serve as a guide in treating shock caused by the loss.

  • Class I Hemorrhage: less than 750 mL (<15 percent)
  • Class II Hemorrhage: 750-1500 mL (15-30 percent)
  • Class III Hemorrhage: 1500-2000 mL (30-40 percent)
  • Class IV Hemorrhage: greater than 2000 mL (>40 percent)

When conducting medical training, a good way to obtain a grasp on the severity of bleeding and the classes of hemorrhage is to mix water, red food coloring and cornstarch to make fake blood. This mix can then be measured into the desired amount (i.e., 500 mL to represent Class I Hemorrhage) and poured onto various surfaces to gain an idea of what it looks like when a casualty is injured and is bleeding onto the pavement, dirt, floor, etc.

Hemorrhage Control Methodology

Tourniquet: A tourniquet is composed of three basic components; the strap portion, windlass (crank) and a retention system. The critical aspects of treatment with a tourniquet include appropriate size, proper placement and effective pressure. A commercially manufactured tourniquet will meet appropriate size requirements. Improvised tourniquet standards are outlined below. Proper placement of a tourniquet mandates that the tourniquet be on the injured limb, above the wound at least 2 inches and preferably over a long bone (the thigh or the arm above the elbow). Effective pressure will be achieved when the windlass has been turned until the bleeding stops. If the situation allows, dress the wound with bandages after the tourniquet is in place.

It is recommended that once a tourniquet is in place that it not be removed. It is also possible that if one tourniquet is not effective, another one can be placed above the first. The goal should be to do what it takes to stop the bleeding and minimize blood loss.

Note that a tourniquet should be used only in the event that there is bright red bleeding. This is bleeding that is continuous and from an artery, usually indicated by a spurting action from the wound. If the bleeding can be controlled by any other available means, a tourniquet should not be used.

Wound packing: Packing a wound can be done with many different materials, but the principle remains the same: Place a dressing into the wound to completely fill the wound cavity and initiate clotting of the blood. After a wound has been packed, a bandage should be placed over the wound packing to help apply pressure and hold the packing in place.

Direct pressure: There are many dressings that are specifically made to work as a pressure dressing. The ideal scenario would be to employ one of these dressings, but a pile of napkins held firmly in place with pressure from your hand can be effective in stopping bleeding if no other resources are available.

Combination: In the most severe circumstances, a combination of the methods outlined above should be used. An example would be an amputation, where a tourniquet must be used but additional wound packing or pressure dressings will be effective in assisting with controlling the hemorrhage.

Equipment

Common equipment items used to treat and control hemorrhage include:

Having a tourniquet in your IFAK could save your life.

Tourniquet: There are a variety of commercially produced tourniquets, including:

  • SOF-T (Special Operations Forces-Tourniquet)*
  • CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet)*
  • Pneumatic Tourniquets
  • E-MAT Emergency Tourniquet
  • MET (Military Emergency Tourniquet)

*Tourniquets of choice for the military.

Effective tourniquets are not limited to the commercially produced variety, however. Improvised tourniquets have saved countless lives on the battlefield, during disasters and from injuries caused by accidents. Improvised tourniquets can be constructed from several materials and can be a cheap alternative to commercially manufactured products. Materials that can be used for improvised tourniquets include:

Tourniquet strap (should be at least 1 inch wide): bandana, T-shirt, belt, bag strap, cravat (triangular bandage), etc.

Windlass: sticks, wrench, stapler, ski pole, pipe, dimensional lumber, etc.

Retention system: To retain the windlass after it has been tightened, there must be something to hold it. This can be as simple as a piece of rope or can be something like the plastic ring off of a Gatorade bottle. The key here is to remember that if the tourniquet is not kept tight, it is not effective.

Trauma dressing: Trauma dressings have evolved greatly over the last decade. Many of them consist of a gauze pad that is attached to an elastic wrap of some variety. Some of the more popular bandages include:

  • Emergency Trauma Dressing (Israeli Bandage)
  • Blood stopper Trauma Dressing
  • Dyna-Stopper
  • H-Bandage

Gauze and elastic bandage: For wounds that may not be severe enough for a tourniquet or when hemostatic agents are not available, using gauze packed into the wound and then wrapped tightly with an elastic bandage can be extremely effective. The most popular combination is 4-inch Kerlix packed into the wound and wrapped with a 6-inch ACE wrap.

Quik-Clot is also useful in stopping blood loss.

Hemostatic agents: These agents are typically the product of choice to place into wounds before they are packed to increase the chances of clotting and stopping major bleeding. The list includes gauze, sponges, pads and pouches.

  • QuikClot*
  • Chitosan Dressing*
  • Celox*
  • ActCel

*Products of choice for most law enforcement agencies and the military.

It is important to note that tourniquets are not currently viewed as a last resort piece of equipment. Current practices make use of a tourniquet a first step in the treatment of severe extremity hemorrhage. They are also very applicable in civilian medicine. The victims of recent mass shootings as well as the Boston bombing victims have had their lives saved by the quick application of a tourniquet.

Previous schools of thought determined that placement of a tourniquet would certainly lead to damage or death to the tissue in the area, but extensive research has shown that tourniquets can be in place up to eight hours in some circumstances without definitive damage occurring. Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3) guidelines that are used by the military, law enforcement and government agencies clearly state that if life-threatening bleeding is identified from an arm or leg, the immediate action to take is to place a tourniquet on the injured extremity to stop the bleeding.

At the end of the day, there is no replacement for definitive trauma care at a medical treatment facility. We do not have the luxury of always choosing where injuries occur, though, and oftentimes it is the hunting, skiing, hiking, camping and other accidents that happen in remote locations that can have the highest risk for loss of life. Having the knowledge and equipment necessary to stop the bleeding can save a life.

The universal truth when dealing with traumatic injuries is that whether from effective treatment or loss of supply, all bleeding eventually stops. Having the knowledge to treat major bleeding can

 

The right to bear arms in America remains strong. But it behooves individual gun owners and employers to keep up with the ongoing legal and political caveats in their respective areas. Company policies and state and federal laws are all bound to clash when enacting concealed carry rules for employees. There is also the matter of providing peace of mind to workers who do not carry firearms. The following guidelines will help shape concealed carry rules for your individual company.

Law vs. Policy

Maria Ivette Ros was fired from her job as a Wells Fargo branch manager in Oldster, Florida, in 2014 for carrying a concealed weapon into the bank. The company has a strict policy against employees carrying firearms onto the premises, with the exception of security personnel. Ros filed a lawsuit in state court claiming her Constitutional rights were violated. Wells Fargo argued it is not a government entity, but a private company that can make its own rules pertaining to firearms. It’s unclear how the case was adjudicated, as court records indicate it was dismissed with prejudice in August of 2014.

The Ros case would have provided a blueprint for employers in right-to-work states like Florida that also strongly adhere to Second Amendment precedent. Know the laws of your state before writing concealed carry policies. Several states have adopted “parking lot laws” that allow employees to carry concealed weapons in their vehicles while parked on company property. States like Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Texas either have no laws addressing the issue or specifically prohibit employers from enforcing anti-concealed carry policies.

Most state laws pertaining to workplace concealed carry are fairly straightforward. But in states like Kansas, Kentucky, and Wisconsin where the laws aren’t as clear, it’s best to consult a Constitutional attorney before writing your policies.

Safety First

The General Duty Clause contained in Sec. 5 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires all employers to provide “a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” Education and accountability are key for compliance to OSHA’s broad safety rules.

Inform all employees of your intent to enact concealed carry policies. Clearly, state in a memo why you’re enacting the policy and how concerned employees can address said issues. One oft-repeated concern among pro-gun control advocates is the “assault rifle” fallacy. A great way to educate and bridge those gaps is showing them how false that label is.

Visit an online gun library and point out, for example, a Ruger Mini 14 versus an AR-15. Emphasize that both are semi-automatic, use .223 ammo and have 30-round magazines. The only difference between the two is that the previous looks like a BB gun, while the latter looks much more menacing. Conveying this type of knowledge about firearms will also put skeptical minds more at ease.

Follow Examples

An aviation insurance firm in Georgia enacted a company policy earlier this year that requires all employees to obtain a concealed carry permit. Once they obtain the permit, the company owners give them Smith and Wesson handguns just as other employers provide computers, office supplies, and coffee in the break room, local news station WSB-TV reported. The company owner said the policy was enacted as a result of a crime surge in the metro Atlanta area. Georgia law grants civil and criminal immunity to employers who comply with guns-at-work laws, which of course is more reason to consult an attorney beforehand.

Belly bands make a good concealed holster for some people.

Speak with those who already have policies in place. There’s no substitute for real-life experience when it comes to drafting and enforcing workplace gun policies. No database or easily accessible list of employers with current concealed carry policies exists, but rifle clubs and shooting ranges are the best places to get word-of-mouth information like this.

More General Guidelines

Laws and safety supersede everything else. When drafting your policies, there are some basic elements that should be included:

  • Proper channels for employees to report threats, intimidation or harassment should be clear, confidential and easily accessible.
  • Potential disciplinary action for employees who violate any part of the policy should also be included.
  • Security personnel or other measures that limit access to your parking lot should be considered for companies that allow concealed carry in cars only.
  • Human resources personnel are encouraged to involve law enforcement when terminating employees with known tendencies of violence.

An armed workforce deters criminals from interfering with your day-to-day business, but doing it the right way ensures you stay out of the courtroom and keep your employees happy at the same time.

  The right to bear arms in America remains strong. But it behooves individual gun owners and employers to keep up with the ongoing legal and political caveats in their respective

 

Unwanted as they may be, emergencies do occur and they are never planned. Amid the chaos that reigns during a natural, technological and even human-caused disaster, there’s a high chance that families become separated. While adults may deal with such a situation easily, children will surely have problems adjusting to the unique challenges that finding your loved ones may present. Here are some helpful tips for preparing your children for family separation in the case of emergencies and disasters.

There is a multitude of situations when children may become separated from you, their siblings, their teachers or their caregivers. But first, what should you teach your children about disasters?

Preparing Your Children for Disaster Situations

There’s a delicate balance that you must strike between telling your children enough to keep them safe but not so much as to alarm them. Ideally, you should have several such conversations with your kids and begin by describing disasters as occurrences that may cause damage or hurt people. Start by telling them that even smaller events, such as storms or power outages, may have grave effects if families are not prepared.

Also, calmly speak to them about the things that happen during a disaster, for instance, phone lines not working and electricity outages. That’s why they should always have certain items on hand and know where to seek help: firemen, policemen, paramedics and other emergency officials are there to help and your child should feel safe enough to approach them.

Create a Family Disaster Preparedness Plan

It’s paramount that all members of your family know what to do in the case of an emergency. The Red Cross and FEMA recommendations suggest that all household members take part in the discussions. Make sure that all members understand when emergencies occur, the different types of emergencies as well as how each member responds in such a situation.

Choose rendezvous points that anyone can reach: right outside your home in the case of a fire or a specific place in the neighborhood if you must evacuate as well as an out-of-area location if you’re not together. Remember that it may be easier to call long-distance in the case that local phone lines are overloaded, so make sure that every member of the family calls in with your out-of-town contact to let everyone know they’re safe.

Make sure to discuss everything in detail, including evacuation routes, final destination (be that a hotel/motel, a friend’s house or an out-of-town relative) and contingency plans. Having an emergency preparedness kit is the whole family’s responsibility, so make sure to plan what your kit should contain and periodically check that everything contained therein has not exceeded its expiration date.

Having Self-reliant Children Even When Separated

A familiar situation is a situation that your child will better deal with. So practice, plan ahead and keep your children informed. There are some things that your children should carry with them at all time or should know the whereabouts of:

1. An emergency ID card

Ask yourself the following question: in the event of an emergency, if you are separated from you child, do they have an item that would tell a rescuer who your child is, whether or not they have any food or drug allergies and other relevant information? If no, consider preparing an emergency ID card or bracelet. Of course, you’ll think that most children undergoing treatment for specific medical conditions already wear medical alert bracelets. But there’s other valuable information such as their names, address, home phone number, parents’ names, emergency contact information, as well as distinctive features.

2.Emergency contact information and useful phone numbers

It’s safe to assume that children will be frightened during emergency situations. That means that the likelihood that they won’t remember their parent’s phone number is also high. Make sure that your child always carries a list of emergency contact information such as parents’ names, telephone numbers, out-of-town emergency contact information, social security number, home address as well as the names and contact information of nearby relatives to call if no one is reachable.

3. Cellphone with power cord and extra battery

Nowadays, even five-year-olds own smartphones, so you’d only be packing an extra battery and the power chord. However, it’s strongly advisable to include a second, old-generation phone in your kid’s emergency school bag: their batteries last a lifetime and you can save important phone numbers in the phone’s memory in advance.

4. The whereabouts of their emergency stash

Many preparedness-savvy parents have packed an emergency kit or backpack for their children and it is stored in their locker. Make sure that your child knows where that particular emergency stash is located and how to get to it.

5. The whereabouts of your caches

I know many families who have also stashed, hidden or buried small caches of essential survival items along specific routes, including their children’s travel route to and from school. Explain to your child where those caches are hidden and make sure that they understand that the items are to be used in emergency situations only. Granted, it may seem extreme, but you never know whether such a preparedness item cache won’t offer your child the supplies they need.

6. Have a family password

Picture the following situation: a stranger walks up to your child and tells them that mommy or daddy asked them to pick them up from school and take them home. Your children should be well prepared for such situations: have a family password that only family members know. In the case of an emergency, make sure that the person taking care of your children knows that password.

7. Teach them the way home

                                        Teach your child how to get home.

Take the time to teach your child their way home: you can either print a simplified map of the area and walk together to and from school for several consecutive days to make sure they’ve memorized the route. It’s a good idea to also provide alternative routes. Either way, this strategy serves a double purpose: you’ll know they have multiple options for coming home and where to start searching for them.

8. Know how and when to dial 9-1-1

Your children should also know when to dial 9-1-1. It may save their lives, the lives of others or even your life in the case of an emergency. But this requires you to explain what 9-1-1 is and when they should call there. Also, make it clear to them that they should first be safe before dialing 9-1-1: in the case of a fire, for instance, they should first leave the house and then call 9-1-1. Teach them what to say, what information to include and practice different scenarios so as to reduce anxiety in the case of a real emergency.

Remember that children depend on a daily routine, so when that routine is interrupted, they may become anxious. Take your child’s fears into consideration when planning for emergencies and play games so as to overcome them.

  Unwanted as they may be, emergencies do occur and they are never planned. Amid the chaos that reigns during a natural, technological and even human-caused disaster, there’s a high chance

Many people have become invested in the survivalist lifestyle as of late, and who could blame them? Every day you hear about another terrifying development in the world at large, whether it’s a threat of natural disaster, war, or simply some sort equipment malfunction that causes large scale destruction. The truth is that it’s very hard for families to feel any sense of peace or security in this day and age. These intangibles are hard to come by in a time when most people can’t even trust their next door neighbors.

For this reason, doomsday prepping has become quite attractive to those who want to be ready for anything. This includes occurrences such as natural disasters, economic collapses, and just about everything in between. One thing we can learn from the state of things today is that anything can happen at any moment, and those who are prepared for disaster will have a real advantage over those who are not.

Ordinary People Performing Extraordinary Feats

For the most part, doomsday preppers are just ordinary people. Often they have families, and they genuinely fearful for their children’s future given the ever increasing instability present in the world. Preppers are comprised of various age groups, social statuses, political beliefs, and all ethnicities and philosophical outlooks.

The common thread amongst preppers is that they actively take precautions in the event of a disaster. This can include things like floods and tornadoes, enemy attacks with biological weapons and similar tactics. The disaster needn’t be on a large scale to be threatening. Smaller scale disasters, which are more common due to the shifting economy, as well as odd weather patterns causing adverse conditions, can also be devastating.

Doomsday prepping is a lifestyle that is available to anyone who isn’t afraid of a little hard work and sacrifice. While we frequently hear of exorbitantly priced shelters and bunkers, this isn’t always the case. For a relatively reasonable sum of money, you can create your very own safe haven in the event of an attack, and this shelter can include all the items necessary to your survival until the initial threat subsides.

Shelter the Things You Love

Underground bunkers are quite popular with the survivalist set, and creating your own underground shelter is much more attainable than it seems. A bunker can be constructed for a relatively reasonable price. All you need to undertake the task are basic construction materials and some elbow grease. You can also enlist the help of a professional if you are unsure of how to go about constructing a safe and secure bunker on your own. There are many cost effective ways of building a bunker, it may just require a little research on your part.

The next step is to purchase supplies. Fortunately, most of the food you will need to buy is rather inexpensive. Canned items, like fruits and vegetables, are able to be purchased in large amounts for very little money. For this reason, when stocking your underground bunker you should definitely consider buying food in bulk. Foods such as rice, beans, and other staples are also available at extremely affordable prices. You may even want to consider stocking seeds to be used for planting when the time is right.

Water is equally important. Fresh water should be plentiful, but so should the means to purify unclean water should your source become depleted. This can be accomplished through chemical means, such as iodine tablets, or by purchasing a water purification system. Boiling water is also an option, but this can be difficult if you are left without the means to do so.

Clean Air is Crucial to Survival

While much is said about keeping adequate food and clean water supplies, little is ever mentioned regarding the quality of one’s air in a survival scenario. All over the world, terrorist groups and the like use biological and chemical weapons as a means of waging war. The effects of these weapons are long lasting. Chemical weapons typically have a faster onset, while biological weapons can cause untold suffering for years to come.

If you choose to go the underground bunker route, air purification should be a top concern, along with food and water. Bunkers tend to have insufficient ventilation, which can actually be beneficial depending on the air quality outside the bunker. However, insufficient air flow can be a detriment to those subsisting in a bunker, and can negatively impact health, as well as general quality of life.

For this reason, it’s crucial that air purification is part of your survival plans. An air purifier can be extremely beneficial to those in such situations. These devices can filter the air of harmful chemicals and agents, allowing you and your family to breathe easier, no matter where you may be. This is especially important if the disaster scenario is ongoing. You’ll want fresh, clean air at your disposal, and this can be afforded by an air purifier.

Don’t Forget an External Power Source

In order to be a fully functioning survival unit, a power generator is a must. Batteries are important for smaller items, such as flashlights and radios. But to power large items, such as the aforementioned air purifier, as well as things like cooking implements, heating systems, and other vital needs, you’ll need a larger, more reliable power source. Generators are great in this respect. A portable generator is the ideal, as you will be able to take it with your should your bunker become compromised.

Expect the Unexpected

Real safety is hard to come by these days for many reasons. Unrest is a fixture all over the world, due to economic collapses, brutal governments taking advantage of their citizens, as well as fringe groups threatening the very fabric of society. You can’t take risks like these lightly, given the state of the world today. Doomsday preppers face these risks head on through their various prepping methods. By being prepared for unforeseen circumstances, preppers can rest assured that they have a sound plan to follow in the event of unmitigated disaster.

Many people have become invested in the survivalist lifestyle as of late, and who could blame them? Every day you hear about another terrifying development in the world at large,

Since I started prepping, my days to varying degrees are filled with a sense of expectation that wanes or increases with current events and trends. My reason for prepping was and remains to be able to protect my family from disasters whether man-made or natural in origin and it is that goal that causes me to look to the future for warning signs. Some days I see problems just over the horizon and others the risk is further away. The sense of something in our future never leaves but the intensity changes.

If you consider yourself a prepper you may have had similar thoughts. In the beginning there was for me a greater sense of urgency to get ready, but as I have learned and gathered supplies, that urgency has relaxed a good bit. I chalk that up to actually being prepared at some level and the comfort I gain from knowing if something does happen, I have a lot of bases covered already. It seems that I start each year with a reasonable belief that it is all going to tank “this year” only to be sitting at my home at the end of the year with my family safe from any disastrous EMP, a pandemic that ravages the planet or an economic collapse that destroys our wealth and throws everyone into a second great depression. I am not depressed or disappointed in this fact, don’t get me wrong but time passing does have a way of making me recheck my priorities and reevaluate my personal prepping plans.

I think there are 4 key survival concepts that every prepper should work on at all times to place you in the best possible position to survive anything that happens. These are Water, Food, Shelter, and Security. If you have these four bases covered, you will be so much better prepared to survive anything from a flood, hurricane or Global pandemic. We talk about all of these survival concepts on Final Prepper, but there is one topic that comes around frequently that generates a substantial amount of debate so I wanted to write an article that focuses on Security.

There are a lot of opinions on firearms as defensive weapons. There are also numerous laws and regulations that govern what you may be able to legally purchase. I believe that all things being equal, the best defensive weapons you can own are firearms and with that I mind I want to discuss what I recommend everyone have if you are considering a firearm as part of your preparedness strategy.

What are the best prepper guns?

A shotgun makes a great first firearm for a prepper.

If you can legally own firearms I believe that there are 5 firearms that make up a well-rounded prepper battery of arms. With these 5 firearms, you will be able to deal with situations that we routinely talk about in a breakdown in society. Even if you never go through any disaster, having these firearms will benefit you in terms of security and firearms generally do not lose value, only appreciate so they are an investment that pays off in multiple ways.

I have listed the weapons below in priority order. If you can only afford one weapon, you should buy the first one on the list and add to your arsenal as your budget/resources allow.

  1. Shotgun – If you can only have one single weapon for home defense in a collapse scenario, I recommend a shotgun. Shotguns are easy to use, the ammunition is reasonably cheap and they can pull double duty as both defensive weapons and hunting firearms. In terms of price, shotguns are cheaper than pistols (generally) and can be purchased a lot of times without the same background scrutiny that you get with other handguns.
  2. Semi-Automatic Rifle – Also known as “Assault rifles” by anyone trying to demonize guns. A semi-automatic rifle is simply one that automatically chambers another round when you pull the trigger. For the weapon to fire again, you would need to pull the trigger again. Civilians cannot buy fully automatic weapons so to compare these rifles to what the police or military has is not accurate on one side. They do have many advantages though and when we think of a semi-automatic rifle for a prepper there are two that are the most common. Those two options are the AK47 and the AR-15. When it comes down to choosing which one to go with like anything on this subject there is a lot of debate, but for me personally I believe the AR-15 is the better of the two for a variety of reasons. Either one will work fine and you should have one.
  3. Full size pistol – Again, another topic that causes a lot of arguments but for the sake of inclusion I will say a 9mm, .40 or .45 would work equally well as your main defensive pistol. I am not talking about a concealed carry firearm here as I deal with that in another article. This is the  nightstand gun that can also be used as your backup weapon in the event your main battle rifle (semi-automatic) is unavailable for some reason. I do not recommend only having a pistol but I think they are great to have and compliment the other firearms nicely.
  4. Long Range Rifle – The shotgun is perfect for close range. The AR-15 will definitely reach out to several hundred yards, but you likely won’t be engaging anyone at that distance. To go further 400-600 yards or to take large game animals I would go with a .308 or a .30-.06. Some will say you can simply purchase an AR chambered in .308 and kill two birds with one stone. That is one solution but it comes down to preference and who is shooting the rifle. .308 certainly has more of a kick than a .556 or .223 round.
  5. Small game Rifle – For me this is a .22 rifle. I would not buy a .22 pistol unless I was purchasing this for a younger child or for plinking (practice). A .22 will actually kill larger game and even humans as many will argue but I would not count on that as my main weapon for defense. It is great at taking small game though and the ammo is still much cheaper than any of the other options.

Boston T. Party – Gun Bible is a great resource for choosing your survival arsenal.

Is there a best gun for home defense?

There are arguments for shotguns, pistols and even Semi-automatic rifles as your home defensive weapon and it really comes down to what you have, what the threat is and where you are in your home at the time in relation to the weapon. I have all of the items above but my home defense plan is different if I am in bed as opposed to out in the kitchen. It also depends on whether we are in a normal situation like now or in the middle or wide-spread riots and looting.

If I am in bed and someone breaks in, I won’t grab the shotgun or the rifle, I would go for the pistol. Now, that is because I have one in close proximity and I am comfortable using and firing this particular firearm. If I didn’t have any weapons at all, I would still purchase a shotgun first and that would be my home defense weapon.

Shotguns are more forgiving with aim and this could help you in a high stress situation. Now, before anyone starts beating me up on that comment let me clarify. A shotgun is going to shoot what you are aiming at so I am not trying to say that you can just wave it in the general direction and actually hit someone, but shotgun pellets spread. If you aim at a person, the spread of the shot will more likely hit them even if your aim is a little off. Naturally, you need to practice with any firearm you have that you are planning to shoot. If you have in mind the potential for shooting someone who has entered your home you need to know exactly how this deadly tool works and become proficient in hitting what you are aiming at.

There are always considerations for penetration in a home since our walls are made from sheet-rock and not concrete, but this applies to any firearm.

How much ammo do I need?

How much do you plan on shooting and how confident you will be able to purchase more ammunition when you need it? We are starting to see a return to normal on ammunition availability and cost but any upcoming legislation could change that again. When the last ammo shortage hit you were not able to easily find many of the most common calibers and what you were able to find was much more expensive. I had the benefit of having plenty of ammo stored up so I didn’t need to purchase anymore. Had the end of the world happened, I would already have full stock of ammo for each of my weapons, but I started stocking up years ago. I have recommended ammo storage amounts listed on another article.

You should also consider an inventory system that you can use to set targets and track your own personal ammo storage amounts. This will help with budgeting as well as give you a clear idea of what you need to purchase if you have some extra money.

Now it’s your turn! What do you think are the best prepper guns to own?

Since I started prepping, my days to varying degrees are filled with a sense of expectation that wanes or increases with current events and trends. My reason for prepping was

 

One of the many books I have related to the concepts of Preparedness and Survival is Strategic Relocation. Mr. Skousen is a political scientist, by training, specializing in the philosophy of law and Constitutional theory, and is also a designer of high security residences and retreats. I had heard about Mr. Skousen several years ago when I purchased another of his books The Secure Home which I plan to review later.

I purchased my copy of Strategic Relocation in May of 2012 and wanted to give a review of the book and my thoughts on its usefulness as a resource to Preppers. I plan to do the same to many other books I have purchased along the way as I continue to build my library of reference material.

Strategic Relocation was rewritten in 2011 and expanded to 400 pages. I did not have the original version but this new version is a treasure trove of data for anyone looking to either better understand where they live and the potential threats they face or the Prepper who wants to move to a new location.

The book is broken into sections dealing with information from a high level going down into finite detail on the various countries and ending with each State in the US. The first section is called “Essential Criteria” and covers big picture information as related to the concerns of your average Prepper. Mr. Skousen takes this opportunity to present his worldview, makes the case for what he is saying and I must admit I agree with him on virtually every point. I think that this section is a great overview to the reader who needs to be sold but may be redundant for someone who I expect knows what the subject matter of the book at large is for. Nevertheless, I think there is a lot of good information in this opening section and it may offer something to people that already consider themselves Preppers

 

After setting the stage for why you should be considering your relocation options, Mr. Skousen goes into Geography and Climate. Strategic Relocation explains the benefits and risks of each facet of climate and how it could impact your decision on where to relocate. Earthquake and Volcano data is presented on a global scale so you can see how your location stacks up against the competition. Politics, Crime Rates, Standards of Living even potential War gaming from Mr. Skousen’s perspective. Strategic Relocation finishes off the first section of his book with an analysis of different countries and geographic zones titled “Selecting a safe Country”.

Section two offers more detailed information on climate, taxes, Nuclear Plants, Missile silos and the political environment of the US. The final section is a state by state analysis and rating. For each state, Strategic Relocation offers between 0 and 5 stars for its relocation rank. Spoiler Alert!! California and New York are not the highest rated states.

Each state’s page offers general information on Climate, Cost of Living, Private Land Availability, Building Permits, Food Production, Heath, Politics, Urban Planning (Agenda21), Taxes, Corruption, Gun Liberty, Homeschooling and Military targets. There is some really good information here and Mr. Skousen does an excellent job of presenting factual information he has backed up with data. The book is packed with maps and diagrams. The nail in the coffin are his “Strategies for Populated Living Areas” where he tells you what areas to avoid and “Retreat Areas” where he shows you almost to the highway boundaries where to move if you have to move to that state.

This book offers a ton of information and I am glad I purchased it. In doing so, I already knew, in general terms some of the information covered in Strategic Relocation. For example, no one in their right mind would want to relocate to New York City if you are planning on putting yourself or your family in anything remotely resembling safety.

What I did learn was a lot about my state and the neighboring states that I didn’t know. I learned that one state over held a much higher potential for retreat security so I was able to adjust my plans. This book is also highly valuable if for example I am forced to move to another state due to a change in work. I can use this resource to plan where I should move to and what to stay away from.

In terms of a resource for Preppers who want to gain valuable intelligence into virtually all areas of the globe and succinct guidance on where to move, this book is for you. I highly recommend you get a copy for yourself.

  One of the many books I have related to the concepts of Preparedness and Survival is Strategic Relocation. Mr. Skousen is a political scientist, by training, specializing in the philosophy