Bug Out Bag Essentials : What to Pack

Some people ask me, “Why a 72 hour bug out bag?  Why not a week, or just a few hours?”  Well, the reason is this:  In a disaster scenario, like a flood, tornado, hurricane, or earthquake, first responders are likely going to be completely overloaded with large fires, collapses, etc. of large commercial buildings or heavy traffic downtown areas.  It is highly possible you will have to fend for yourself for a minimum of 3 days.  So the idea is to have enough stuff to keep yourself alive for 3 days and give you the necessary time and possibly tools to get what you need to survive longer if need be.  It would be pretty cumbersome to have to carry around enough stuff to survive for a week or more when all you really need to do is survive long enough to find more water or food.  Remember, in a disaster, you are going to have to rely on yourself and your family to stay alive, you can’t just wait around for emergency personnel to come do it for you…you may be dead before they can get there. Continue reading “Bug Out Bag Essentials : What to Pack”

Knowing Your Environment – A Parking Garage

Today we’ll talk about knowing your environment. More specifically, a parking garage. In a crowded urban setting, like that of a downtown city, parking garages are utilized enormously. Yet with all things that are practical in our society, come many aspects that are more a risk aversion than a helpful solution.

Part of “knowing your environment” is knowing its weaknesses. Be assured that those that wish to do harm, will do so by exploiting these weaknesses.

So what are the risks of a parking garage. Well, for one they are hard to maneuver in. Larger vehicles will have it’s maneuvering capabilities extremely limited due to the tight space. So getting into and out of a parking structure can be difficult, especially if you are having to egress in a hurry. Secondly, they are not as secure as one might think.

Limitations of Movement. Most parking structures have an entrance and exit that is easily accessible on foot. Meaning, someone who wishes to do harm doesn’t need a vehicle to access said parking structure. Regardless of whether of the not the gate is manned by security or building personnel (as most are not nowadays), a person on duty are usually there to process payment for the garage and will not question much less stop someone from entering the structure on foot. This is because many parking structures offer access to adjacent buildings, via elevator or stair access. This is limited as most of them are one way access doors for either maintenance of employee use. If you happen to be in a vehicle, most exits are right next to the entrance. If someone wished to trap someone in a parking structure, all they would have to do is take out the entrance/exit and bingo, you have trapped vehicles and people. This creates a highly limited capability of movement.

Visibility is very limited in parking structures. Tight corners and driving lanes diminish vision as it does movement. Lighting is placed and positioned for driving and not security. If a person is on foot, they can utilize the bad lighting to their advantage. Because of the lighting, even if a parking garage has security cameras, unless they are equipped with night vision, they will be limited in their surveillance ability. Also, because of the tight spaces and corners, a cameras view will be limited by blind spots and darker areas.

In retrospect, parking structures are in place for convenience and dealing with the problem of overcrowded parking lots. Looking at them from a security stand point, they are not very secure nor practical.

Body Armor basics

Body Armor Basics.

In a combat situation knowing your gear and knowing how to utilize that gear to its max potential can mean the difference between life and death.

Basics of Body Armor

Knowing the limits – body armor comes in a plethora of ratings, but the N.I.J. (National Institute of Justice) test body armor and place it on a rating scale that ranges from II, IIIA, III and IV. this is the industry standard and is also used in England. Both the English and American institutes that test body armor are considered “ideal” and so the rating system is used throughout the world.

Soft Armor – Kevlar level II- this will protect you from 9mm 124 grain FMJ all the way through .357 magnum 158 grain SJSP level IIIA- this will protect you from 9mm 124 grain FMJ- .44Mag 240 grain SWC GC

Hard Armor – Steel or Ceramic level III- this will protect you from 148 grain 7.62x51mm NATO Ball level IV-this will protect you from 166 grain .30-06 M2 AP (Armor Piercing)

In knowing the limits of your body armor you must know that it is not a catch all. most plates are typically 10 inches by 12 inches, that leaves a whole lot you “you” exposed to enemy fire. Always remember that gear is not to make up for lack of training but to supplement the training you already have.

Using Body Armor: Body armor is heavy, bulky, hot and cumbersome, as many of my L.E. and Military friends already know. The time to start using it is not the day of needing it, when it comes down to it you need this to be a second skin, you need to be able to run, jump crawl and climb in it. Doing any of this normally will gas most of us right now. Most people I know that have body armor, have it in a plate carrier, stored in the closet. They haven’t touched it in the last few months but to show off to a few friends. While I’m glad they have it if the need arises (and I do believe it will), when push comes to shove, I hope they are up to the physical demands that it takes to save there own life if the situation comes a knocking.

All I’m trying to stress is after you make the investment of purchasing the body armor, also make the investment in your health by being physically fit and capable of wearing said armor. REMEMBER, it’s maximum potential is based on YOUR maximum potential!

What armor is right for you?
What type of body armor is right for you? I’ve been asked this quite a bit in the last few years and my answer is always the same, “how much weight are you willing to carry?”. I myself am more partial to the steel plates by Infidel Body Armor. Yes they are heavier than ceramic plates, but they are also thinner and allow you a much more natural bio mechanic movement when walking, crawling- and running. This is because the weight is closer to your center mass, it gives you a slimmer profile, which makes it easier to drive with a full combat load out.

In conclusion, it is my belief that body armor should never be sacrificed unless in the most dire of circumstances. Where mobility and maneuverability are absolutely imperative to you keeping you alive whilst on mission.