Category Archives: Security

Finding a First Gun for the Lady in Your Life

The following is a guest post submission from Milton Zane about some of the areas that should be considered when looking for a first gun for the lady in your life. While the points are geared towards helping a spouse, girlfriend, family member, or loved one find a firearm that is a good fit for them, the same points could be considered when finding a gun for yourself, or anyone for that matter.

How to Find the Perfect First Gun for the Lady in Your Life

Americans are carrying handguns in record numbers, partly because of concern for personal safety and partly as a display of a constitutional right that is being threatened. In 2011, Gallup found that 23% of women owned guns, up from just 13% in 2005. As many as 43% of women report having access to a firearm and many more have expressed interest in learning more.

While protection is one reason for owning a firearm, it is hardly the only reason. Though gun sports have traditionally been dominated by men, more and more women are beginning to take part in recreation that involves firearms. If you are looking to purchase a firearm, for a woman in your life, then consider the following tips while shopping to ensure that you get one she will like.

Picture Credit: En.Bloguru.com

Price

Like any item you purchase, quality can make a huge difference in levels of enjoyment and satisfaction. A good handgun will cost around $500, while a shotgun or rifle may cost substantially more. Purchasing a cheap firearm ensures that it will never be used and that the person you give it to will be put off of guns for a long time to come. Buy a high quality, well-designed firearm to ensure hours of pleasant, engaging use.

Ammunition and Caliber

In a similar vein to the above point regarding the price of the firearm, consider the price of ammunition. In this case, you want ammunition to be affordable so that the gun can actually be used. So, consider things like the 9 mm over the .45 because of the difference in the price of ammunition. The equation is simple; buy an expensive, quality gun that uses affordable ammunition. In general, the smaller the caliber, the cheaper the ammunition. As an added benefit, smaller caliber firearms tend to have less recoil (kick), which makes for more appealing to use.

Try It

You may want the firearm to be a surprise, but the person who is going to use the gun really needs to hold it to make sure that it fits her hand, is easy to manipulate, and is comfortable in terms of weight. If you have to be creative, tell her that you are shopping for yourself, but get her involved by asking for her opinion. Listen carefully to the things she tells you and then buy the gun that she likes best. Once you have found the firearm, you can always purchase it online from a site like Guns America to save a little money.

Size

If this is a firearm that is going to be carried to more than just the shooting range, then you need to consider how she will tote it around. Will it be in a holster or will it be in a handbag? Where the gun is carried will help you decide how large and how heavy it can be. In general, purses can only handle smaller guns while you can get away with a larger gun if it is to be carried in a holster.

Believe

No matter how you wrangle with the tips above, don’t forget the most important point of all, which is to buy a brand you believe in. If you know that a certain manufacturer makes a top notch firearm, then don’t be afraid to violate one or two of the guidelines above to get what you know will work. This gun is something that is likely to last a long time, so make the effort to get one that is worth keeping.

Milton Zane is passionate about firearms. He enjoys writing about different types of guns, safety, and proper care.

The Clock Is Ticking…

Tomorrow is the last day of the month and that signals the conclusion of the offer for a free month of training from Pulse O2DA Firearms Training. As an Army combat veteran and someone who has an extensive amount of firearms experience, I sometimes fall into the mental trap of thinking I know everything I need to know about carrying and using a firearm. Obviously this is not true and it is a fact that has been driven home as I have watched the training videos and reviewed pages of materials in the Pulse O2DA Training Armory over the course of the last month.

In addition to expanding my knowledge of firearms techniques and employment, I truly appreciate the Armory for how the materials are easy to understand and are broken down into bite sized pieces. This keeps me from feeling like I am choking on massive amounts of training that I cannot fully grasp all at once. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the programs at Pulse O2DA Firearms Training, take the time to click here and sign-up for The Prepared Ninja Pulse O2DA Armory complimentary one month membership. If you have checked out the Armory and didn’t sign up, consider checking out a free month and get some of the best handgun, shotgun, rifle, and warfighter training available on the web.

*Once you follow the link, click register and select the Prepared Ninja option to get your free month.

Guest Post: Ninja-Like Home Security

Ninjas Can’t be Seen: Nor Can a Well Placed Home Security System

Home security often brings to mind a little sign in the front yard that says, “This Home is Protected by…” while stickers in the front windows offer the same warning. However, many of these homes have no security in place whatsoever. These homeowners think a mere sign will offer necessary deterrent for would-be burglars and home invaders. If I know many of these signs are bluffs, then you can guarantee that criminals know it too.

Good security for your home is composed of tangible elements, intangible elements, and the implementation of both. Often the best home security measures are ones that are only known by the homeowner. So lose the signs and use these ninja-like maneuvers to protect your most important investments: your home and your family.

The Tangibles

This division of home security should be easy to discern. It is the physical manifestation of steps taken to make your home impenetrable involving materials used and the placement of them. Here are some tips to get the ball rolling.

Home Security System- The technology is so good and prices so low that it’s hard to find reason not to invest in a wireless home security system. You can stream your cameras straight to mobile devices wherever you have service, get updates anytime doors are locked or unlocked and receive alerts of fire or gas leaks. These alarm systems will automatically contact authorities when the home is breached and even allow the user to control lights and the thermostat remotely.

Implementation- Position cameras where they aren’t visible to intruders until they’re already in frame. Place the main hub in a place not visible through any windows. A great place for this would be inside a coat closet. Window alarms should also blend into the design of the home. Stealth is crucial to good home security because it doesn’t tip off the criminals they’ve been made or allow them to circumvent security measures.

Deadbolts and Door Codes- Door codes and deadbolts make it even harder for burglars to enter homes or buildings. Criminals are looking for the easy score. Make it more trouble than they’re willing to deal with.

Implementation- All exterior doors should be dead bolted. With a little time and research this can be a great DIY project. Don’t buy a cheap deadbolt and don’t forget to make your exterior windows impenetrable too. They are often the most vulnerable points of entry. Window break alarms are a good supplement to your security system.

Flood Lights- Motion activated flood lights are great for alerting you if any action is going on. No burglar likes to be lit up in the middle of a break in. These are inexpensive investments that provide a great deterrent.

Implementation- Try to cover as many points of entry as possible. Focus especially on exterior doors and limit shrubbery near your house so they have no room to hide.

The Intangibles

The intangibles of a well secured home are not always as apparent. They are steps you can take in addition to the physical security system that you have set up protecting your home. Some of the additional steps that you can take to make your house less attractive than others for an attempted break in include:

  • Get a dog- A dog that barks isn’t always a bad thing. Train him to bark at the right things.
  • Think like a burglar- Once you get into the mindset of someone who might violate your home, you can protect it better.
  • Keep a well-manicured lawn- Exterior upkeep and pride show a burglar that you probably take steps to keep your home safe as well.
  • Every house has its thorns- If you do like the look of shrubs next to your house then make sure the bushes by your windows are full of sharp thorns. Enough said.
  • Don’t show off- Keep your expensive car in the garage and don’t gold plate your driveway. Basically don’t give criminals motivation to crawl through that rose bush to get to your window.
  • Neighbors as home security- Sometimes your best resource is still your neighbors. Help each other out and look out for one another’s home.
  • Inform your family- You can install the best security system and still have it fail if you and your family members aren’t on the same page. Have home safety be an ongoing conversation.
  • Think of your unique situation- Every home is different. Use these tips as a starting point and don’t be afraid to improvise. You know what is best for your home so do whatever is necessary to protect your home as a ninja would: without looking like you’re trying.

Another Safeguard Armor Giveaway!

Safeguard Armor is running another giveaway for their Facebook Fans! For those of you who are interested in adding a set of body armor to your preps, here is your chance. Safeguard is giving away a GHOST™ Bullet, Knife Edge and Spike Proof Vest just like the one seen below.

The GHOST™ Covert Vest is extremely lightweight and has one of smallest carrier designs in the world. Don’t let its size fool you as it still offers the wearer up to level 3A ballistic protection and can be upgraded with edged blade and spike protection.

All of Safeguard Armor’s protective panels are made from 100% Kevlar!

The giveaway vest includes NIJ Level 2 and KR1 Stab and Spike Protection!

To be entered all you have to do is:

1. Go to the Safeguard Armor Facebook page.
2. Share the giveaway post.
3. Like their page. That is it!
The winner will be selected at random.
The giveaway closes on the 15th of November 2013. Good Luck!

Make sure to stay tuned for an exciting announcement later this week from The Prepared Ninja and Safeguard Armor!

How To Make An UNwelcome Mat

Security requires a constant effort that not only involves keeping a watchful eye on your property, but also maintaining practices that mitigate the risk of loss or damage. It usually helps to have good relationships with friends and neighbors too. There are many crimes that are prevented or cut short because of having a neighbor or passerby notice that something is out of place. An unwelcome mat is a door mat that consists of a mat with a grid of nails or screws with points upward as a deterrent. It is typically a passive measure that can be taken to not only protect your property from human intruders but curious wildlife as well. It is a suitable measure for an occupied property as well as a remote location such as a vacation home or bug out property.

Photo Credit: Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission

Step 1 – Decide what to use for the base of the unwelcome mat. This could be a piece of plywood or even a rubber mat like the ones used in gyms and horse stalls. Typically, the thicker the mat, the better.

Step 2 – Determine the size of mat that you would like to put together. The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife recommends a 4 foot by 4 foot mat for a single doorway or a 4 foot by 8 foot mat for a double door entry.

Step 3 – Measure the thickness of the mat material to determine the length of nails or screws to use. The spikes extending through the mat should be about 3/4″-1″ above the top of the flat surface of the mat. An unwelcome mat will require approximately 25 nails or screws for each square foot of size.

Step 4 – Install the nails or screws in a grid pattern, approximately 2″ apart. It can be easier to put nails or screws into the mat if a pilot hole is drilled first.

Step 5 – Place the unwelcome mat in your decided location. Ensure that it cannot be moved easily or flipped over by securing it using nails or screws. If the unwelcome mat is going to be placed somewhere other than a porch, it can be secured using landscape spikes or tent stakes.

While this is not a standalone security system, an unwelcome mat can be a simple addition to a comprehensive system designed to deter both human and animal invaders. Along with being simple and easily made, an unwelcome mat can be placed almost anywhere making it very versatile.

Disclaimer: Make sure to check all applicable laws, regulations, and rules to verify that the use of unwelcome mats is legal. It is also likely that in an effort to avoid liability, a sign warning visitors of your unwelcome mat should be posted. Of course, if things go in a southern direction, it may not matter how legal it is.

Giveaway! SafeGuard Stealth Body Armor

SafeGuard Body armor is giving away another set of their Stealth™ Body Armor to their Facebook fans. The giveaway starts today and runs through the 14th of August. The Stealth™ armor features:

  • 100% DuPont™ Kevlar® Armor Panels
  • CoolMAX® Outer Vest Carrier
  • NIJ Level II Ballistic Protection
  • KR1 Stab & Spike Protection
  • Overall Weight = ~2.5 kg (Depending On Size)

This is a great opportunity to add to your preps! For an inside look at the SafeGuard Stealth™, check out the review I did.

To enter the contest:

  1. Go to SafeGuard Armor’s Facebook Page.
  2. Share the Stealth™ Giveaway post.
  3. Like their page.

The winner will be selected at random.

Closing Date: August 14, 2013 Good Luck!

Stealth Body Armor

The Social Media Data Mine

I recently stumbled upon this infographic from Distinctive Doors that outlines how burglars are using social media to obtain information about people, their habits, and the best times to commit their crimes. It is interesting to see how the internet and social media has made it easier to connect with friends and loved ones while the flipside is that it is also easier for criminals to obtain information to make crimes less risky and safer. Don’t miss out on the information towards the bottom on how to help secure your home.

How Burglars Are Using Social Media

 

Surviving The Ultimate Doomsday War

In the cataclysmic events of the end of the world, even the average civilian would want to keep him or herself thoroughly protected from the intense danger. It’s not just about arming yourself with a weapon, but it’s also important to have efficient body armor for defense. There are plenty of things to consider when trying to find the appropriate body armor for you.

The Highest Level of Protection

Being that there are different classes of bullet proof vests, and the lower classes of vests don’t protect against the stronger threats that could be out there, it’s important to get the highest class that’s available to you. Not all bullet proof vest manufacturers will indicate what class their vests are, so it’s important to make sure that it is clearly indicated before you purchase.

In a doomsday war, there is definitely going to be extreme threats that are all around. It’s paramount to keep the head protected in these conditions. A ballistic helmet would be most suitable for this. These helmets are capable of repelling some powerful gunfire, and they come in several different sizes and styles to fit the taste of any wearer.

In the U.S., the best body armor complies with the standards of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). If it does not, then it’s not a good choice to purchase.

Armor for Civilians

Unless you are someone with special connections of some sort, you won’t be able to get the same body armor that law enforcement and military personnel have. The armor that a regular person can buy is limited, but there is still a nice selection to choose from. My friends at SafeGuard Clothing offer a range of civilian body armors online so don’t panic, we can protect ourselves as well. It’s illegal to have some types of body armor in some jurisdictions, but it wouldn’t matter much with the end of the world approaching. If you are concerned with compliance of the law, check with your local jurisdictions.

Protection for the Kids and Pets

It doesn’t have to stop with the protection of the adults in the apocalypse, there is also body armor available for the beloved kids and pets as well. This armor is made of the same material and is just as capable as the armor that’s made for adults.

For the kids, body armor can come in an assortment of styles and sizes. There are even stylish backpacks for kids that are bullet resistant. As for the pets, body armor is designed for the larger breeds of dog. Law enforcement canines are commonly outfitted with bullet resistant armor, and the same is available for your pets.

The Safest Precautions

To survive the Ultimate Doomsday War, the best thing to do would be to find sufficient shelter. It’s important to know that body armor does not make someone invincible, although it does provide solid protection for the wearer. The best thing to do would be to stay sheltered and avoid the outside danger.

How to Prepare Your Household for a Power Outage

How to Prepare Your Household for a Power Outage

by Ben Thatcher

Everyone can remember the media outrage following Hurricane Katrina; New Orleans became a hotbed for violent criminal behavior long after the event. Catastrophes, natural and otherwise, that destroy our power sources and leave us in the dark elicit an ugly and familiar behavior in some: looting and theft. And while few natural disasters meet the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, any event that takes away our power can leave us instantly exposed. Even those of us prepared with a home alarm system lacking an alternative power source can be invaded the moment our power fails. Here are a few tips to prepare your home for safety the next time you experience a power outage at home.

1.    Have a plan ready with your family

Before a power outage happens, the best step you can take to make sure your family remains safe is to have a plan prepared. This includes:

  • plenty of unrefrigerated food
  • a water source/supply
  • an emergency kit including flashlights and medical supplies
  • reserve clothes and bedding
  • at least one alternative source of power

Your family should have a plan, including common routes and meeting locations. If anyone becomes lost, they should where to find everyone. Another important aspect to assess in your plan is how long your household can survive in case the power outage is for an extended period of time; there should be a predetermined day in which you leave when you pass that number of days. If you have a nearby neighbor you trust, make arrangements with them. In survival situations, there is always strength in numbers.

2.    Prepare different sources of light

For most criminals, a dark house equals an exposed house. It provides cover, allows easy access to your home, and indicates that any security measures you’ve equipped are likely now unplugged. Deter criminals and maintain your sanity by keeping plenty of alternative light sources somewhere specific that every member of your family is aware of, like a pantry or storage closet. Oil/battery operated lanterns, long-burning candles or fireplaces are potential ways to keep your home alight enough to deter crooks targeting a seemingly vacant defenseless home. Keeping motion sensing lights hooked to a generator at night for your lawn is an excellent precaution.

3.    Limit access to your home

To prevent criminals from invading your doors and windows, limit your access with some simple modifications. Install a screw on each window that limits how far they can be opened to a few inches. Make sure your doors are of a sturdy material, and equipped with secure locks and deadbolts. Preparing your property with a sufficiently tall fence (six feet minimum to deter people) and a locked gate will definitely benefit you in a power-outage. Last but not least, never leave equipment out on your lawn that could be used against you in an attempted break in, such as tools, blunt instruments, or ladders.

4.    Take caution with generators

While investing in generators for this kind of event is smart planning, make sure your use of the generator is equally smart. Using generators in-doors is extremely dangerous and can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, you should keep generators far from windows or doors where the poisonous gas can seep in. It’s important to follow the directions provided with your unit to avoid possible electrocution or damage to your wiring, and never refrain from contacting a professional to lend you a hand if you’re unsure while installing or using a generator. Solar generators are an excellent long-term source for electricity during power outages, though should be used sparingly; focus on lighting and communications devices foremost. They can be expensive − unless, of course, you make one.

Keeping these tips in mind, your family will feel much safer during a power failure. Even if you’re fortunate in not needing all of your supplies or plans readied for the occasion, the peace of mind your family will have knowing what needs to be done in case the worst happens is a priceless boon.

Ben Thatcher is a DIY home security guy who writes tips and tutorials helping people defend their homes. He lives on a ranch in Idaho with his loving wife and enjoys spending his time watching college basketball and freelancing on the web. He currently writes for Protect America.

Win SafeGuard StealthPRO Body Armor

SafeGuard Body armor is giving away a set of their new StealthPRO™ Body Armor in celebration of the release of this new product. The StealthPRO™ armor features SAPI Pockets inside (Front and Back) for Hard Armor Plate Inserts! So You Get All The Benefits of The Breathable and Comfortable Stealth­™ Vest With Extra Level 4 Rifle Protection.

As SafeGuard states, “Basically We Have Created the Ultimate Covert Bullet Proof Vest!”

The winner of this contest will win a StealthPRO with Level 3a Vest With Additional Stab, Spike Level 2 Protection AND Two Level 3 Polyethylene Plates!

Available in Black or White.

To enter the contest:

  1. Go to SafeGuard Armor’s Facebook Page.
  2. Share the StealthPRO™ Giveaway post.
  3. Like their page.

The winner will be selected at random.

Closing Date: 28th June 2013 Good Luck!

Gear Review: SafeGuard Body Armor

I had the opportunity of recently receiving SafeGuard Body Armor’s Stealth Vest for review. Based on the fact that the vest I would be reviewing was both ballistic and edged blade protection, I expected something that was a little on the bulky side. This was not the case. My initial impression of the Stealth Body Armor could be summarized as,

An awesome piece of equipment that combines the technologies of ballistic armor with stab protection into one lightweight and comfortable to wear set of body armor.

My experience with body armor is extensive and I have had the opportunity to wear several different models from multiple manufacturers. The Stealth armor exceeded my expectations in every aspect. Some of the notable features of SafeGuard’s Stealth body armor include:

  • 100% DuPont Kevlar armor panels.
  • CoolMAX outer vest carrier.
  • Light weight, just over 5 lbs. (depending on size).
  • All SafeGuard Armor comes with a 5 year warranty.

The vest I was sent offers NIJ ballistic level II and HOSDB edged blade protection level 1 with a retail price of $476. So what kind of protection do you get for your money?

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) defines level II protection as:

Type II (9 mm; .357 Magnum)
Type II armor that is new and unworn shall be tested with 9 mm FMJ RN bullets with a specified mass of 8.0 g (124 gr) and a velocity of 398 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1305 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .357 Magnum Jacketed Soft Point (JSP) bullets with a specified mass of 10.2 g (158 gr) and a velocity of 436 m/s ± 9.1 m/ s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).
Type II armor that has been conditioned shall be tested with 9 mm FMJ RN bullets with a
specified mass of 8.0 g (124 gr) and a velocity of 379 m/s ±9.1 m/s (1245 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .357 Magnum JSP bullets with a specified mass of 10.2 g (158 gr) and a velocity of 408 m/s ±9.1 m/s (1340 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

The edged blade protection standard used by SafeGuard is the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) of the United Kingdom also known as the Center for Applied Science and Technology (CAST). They are considered the leading global authority on testing methods of stab and spike protection for body armor.

Level 1 edged blade protection is defined as:

An E1 Strike Energy of 24 Joules +/- 0.50 or 17.7 FT/LBF +/- 0.36 and an E2 Strike Energy of 36 Joules +/- 0.60 or 26.6 FT/LBF +/- 0.44

So what does this mean?

There are two required levels of testing for stab protection. The first level (E1) is equal to a maximum allowable edged blade penetration of 7mm or 0.28 inches. The E1 level is limited to 7mm or 0.28 inches as a result of research that indicates penetration to the body by edged blades at this depth is unlikely to result in internal injuries to the body’s organs. The second level (E2) is equal to a 50% increase over the energy exerted for the first level. The E2 level is limited to a maximum allowable edged blade penetration of 20mm or 0.79 inches.

SafeGuard Stealth concealable body armor is incredibly comfortable. I followed the easy to use sizing guidelines outlined on SafeGuard’s website and the result was a great fitting vest with little fuss. Following the sizing guide also resulted in a vest that fit well while sitting, standing, driving, and did not interfere with carrying a pistol both concealed and while being openly carried. A major benefit that the SafeGuard armor offers over many other designs is the one piece, t-shirt style collar versus the typical velcro attachment shoulder pieces that tend to either fold up on themselves, dig into the shoulders, or sometimes both.

A note on concealable body armor…it is only as concealable as the accompanying articles of clothing allow it to be. The wearer might need a larger size shirt or overgarment in order to maintain the concealability of body armor. This helps maintain the single greatest advantage of having concealable armor, no one knows you are wearing it!

I will say that the Stealth armor is very effective in terms of protection and comfort regarding concealable armor. However, I was disappointed to see that the Stealth does not have the option of inserting a trauma plate. If this set of armor were to be used for undercover work or the user was in a position where they would be relying on the Stealth to protect them against multiple rounds or maybe rifle rounds, you could end up on the short end of the stick. That point aside, if I were looking for a set of concealable body armor, the Stealth by SafeGuard Armor would be on the top of my list.

*Ensure that you take all local, state, and federal laws into account if you are considering the purchase of body armor for personal or professional use.

**For more information about NIJ ballistic protection standards see the Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor (NIJ Standard-0101.06)

History Repeats Itself!

I wholeheartedly believe that history does repeat itself. The only way to prevent this is to alter the course of current events. As it was once said…

If you have doubts, consider this account as it appeared on the Facebook page of ReadyAim Bid.com:

For anyone who doesn’t think that their guns will be next, and that it’s okay for those evil, black “assault rifles” and “95 round clips” that just inflict maximum damage and are designed solely for killing to be banned, here’s a story for you. After World War II, a writer came up to an educated German priest who had spent the end of the war in a death camp but managed to survive, “How could your people have let this happen”?

The man said, “When they came around in 1934 and rounded up the guns and radios with short-wave capability to get international broadcasts, I didn’t complain–I had neither. When they came around in 1936 and rounded up the Jews, I didn’t complain, we’d all been told the Jews were the cause of economic collapse after the first war. When they came around and gathered up the handicapped, Jesuits, homosexuals and intellectuals in 1940, I even agreed with much of what they said. After they banned the Catholic church in 1941 it started to hit close to home. Finally when they came around for me in 1944 it was too late”.

Any of you who have a gun of ANY kind and you want to keep it: if you don’t stand up for people with “assault rifles”, just like in Britain now, there will come a day when you have to get your weapon checked out from the police station on certain days. As the minutemen said, “If we don’t hang together, we all hang separately”.

I do not know if this is true or not. But even if it is just a story, there is a lesson to be learned here.

Will you be a part of the change? Or will you wait until they come for you or your guns?

AR15 @ RAM Armory (1 in Stock!)

Just a heads up to anyone that is looking for an AR15 platform rifle in 5.56mm NATO. There is a DPMS Oracle for sale (NEW) over at RAM Armory. This is an optics ready AR15 for only $799.99!

Direct link is - http://www.ramarmory.com/DPMS-Oracle-AR-15-5-56-223-16-p/dprfa3-oc.htm

Revolutionary Security Innovation

Have you ever wondered how you might be able to extend the capabilities of your security system? Or if there was a good solution for safeguarding a piece of equipment without incurring obscene costs? The solution is here and it costs less than 30 bucks!

.22 Caliber Mini-Sentry Trip Wire Alarm

Effective 24/7 Security for Preppers and Survivalists

The Mini-Sentry trip wire alarm can be used to protect large areas or individual items. It can be used on pastures, fences, roads, gates, vehicles, equipment, tools, supplies and more.  A distinct advantage to a trip wire alarm with the loud crack of a gun shot is the trespasser or thief knows that you are aware of their presence and location, and that you are serious about security.

The Mini-Sentry is tiny, easily concealed, uses a loud, readily available, inexpensive .22 caliber blank, is constructed of machined brass, galvanized and stainless steel and is coated in a flat black finish.

The Mini Sentry can be installed temporarily with a zip tie, string, tape or wire, and more permanently with screws For additional information on protecting your loved ones and property, go to: http://minisentryalarm.wordpress.com

Check out a YouTube video demonstration of the Mini-Sentry:

NOTE: The author in no way was/is being compensated for this article. I just believe this is an awesome and highly effective piece of equipment!

Best of The Prepared Ninja 2012

Looking back at 2012 makes me realize that it was quite a great year. While there are always some things that I wish I would have accomplished, I don’t have any complaints (in my personal life). For the country, not everything was a success…the elections I would not consider the highlight of the American dream last year. The United States Olympic team did a great job in London, even though they were forced to wear uniforms that were manufactured in China. I guess the point is that you can’t win at everything. With many thanks to all of the great readers out there, The Prepared Ninja enjoyed quite a successful year as well. Here is the top five posts that TPN had to offer in 2012:

1. 21 Things A Burglar Won’t Tell You - The economic and employment situation in America these days is, well…less than ideal. This is making life increasingly difficult for a growing number of individuals and families as the months tick by every year. To combat their money problems, many have taken the approach of doing whatever it takes from working odd jobs to going on government social programs and some have even gone as far as becoming criminals to make ends meet. This new breed of criminals is in addition to your other run of the mill burglars and crackheads that are out there breaking into houses. The following things you should know in order to protect your home but you won’t ever hear them from them from a burglar.

2. Do You Own Forever Foods? - I recently came across an interesting tidbit on the Mother Nature Network about forever foods which I found to be quite intriguing. The premise of forever foods is that certain foods as long as they are properly stored, can literally last for decades. Even after they have been opened! While they might not literally be foods that last forever, they are likely to last far longer than the average person would ever feel comfortable using them. Like all foods, normal storage practices such as placing items in a cool dark place and in air tight containers should be utilized.

3. “Roughing It”…Overcoming Toilet Paper Shortages - A lesser focused on area of preparing for the end of the world/the apocalypse/zombie invasion often involve things that we as Americans take for granted such as having toilet paper to clean up after…ourselves. There are essentially two options, stock up on so much toilet paper that you never run out or come up with the best possible substitutes. This post will serve to highlight some of the best possible substitutes for T.P. that I was able to identify.

4. 11 More Things A Burglar Will Never Tell You - I was so inspired by the post, 21 Things A Burglar Will Never Tell You, that I decided to come up with 11 more things that a burglar would not like for you to know. There is not a source for these ten items other than my mind and the recollection of certain items from previous training and lessons learned. Hopefully they will prove useful, thought-provoking, and perhaps even a little entertaining.

5. North America’s Top Ten Wild Edibles - Whether it all hits the fan some day or not, food is an everyday necessity. Ideally, as preppers, most of us will be adequately prepared if there is a tough time. Factually speaking though, even if you are prepared with a decent amount of food stores, wild edibles can stretch the amount of time that your stored food will last while also adding fresh vitamins/supplements to your meals. If for some reason you, your loved ones or friends are not prepared with appropriate stores of food, wild edibles may be a primary source of food for you during a food shortage. This makes finding, properly identifying, knowing which parts are edible, and how to prepare wild edible plants a must for anyone who plans on surviving in good times and bad.

Thank you all for taking the time to read the best of 2012 and making last year an outstanding one for The Prepared Ninja!

Crime After The Theft: How Burglars Turn Your Stuff Into Cash

By Kevin Raposo of SimpliSafe Home Security Systems

Ever wonder what happens to a home burglary victim’s valuables? We all know that burglars aren’t burglarizing homes to furnish their own home. They’re looking to cash in on their new found booty, but how are they turning your valuables into cold hard cash? We previously had the chance to sit down with a real-life burglar who gave us the lowdown on some inside trade secrets and how to ultimately improve your home security. We thought it would be a good idea to bring him back for another Inside The Mind of A Burglar series, and he’s agreed to give us some more information on what happens to your valuables after a burglary.

Hi, it’s Bob again, your local neighborhood burglar!

Sorry for the hiatus, the summer months are my busiest!. You wouldn’t believe the season I’ve had!

When SimpliSafe asked me back for information for this upcoming article, I thought to myself: “Sure, why not? My last article didn’t seem to be bad for business.” So here’s a little insight into what happens to your stuff after a burglar strikes!

Here’s what happens to your valuables after the burglary:

There is one simple reason I’m breaking into your home: to turn your valuables into cash. I mean, I’m not doing this for my health. This is my living and something needs to pay the bills.

So, you’re wondering where a burglar takes your stuff to convert it into cash. There are a couple of options out there, but we’ll start with the obvious:

The Pawn Shop

Usually one of my first stops after successfully breaking into someone’s home is the pawnshop. I will never go to a pawnshop in the same city of the home I broke into. The last thing I need is someone looking around their city’s pawnshops for the stuff I stole from their house.

Depending where I am, I have good connections with a few shop owners. They know the type of stuff I’m bringing in is not legit. Pawn shops are not the same as they used to be. Back in the day, you could walk into pawn shop, hawk your items, collect your money with no questions asked. Nowadays, you need an ID with every sale. Fortunately for me, I’ve found a way around this: a fake ID.

Some of the stolen items I take into a pawn shop are jewelry, electronics, collectibles, musical instruments, and tools.

Craigslist & Ebay

This can be a valuable resource for me at times. Sometimes, I run into items that I’m unable to sell at a pawn shop, so I take to the internet. There’s always a buyer in cyberspace. The best thing about this is that I never have to provide an ID, and the owner of the item never runs into it at a pawn shop. It’s essentially one of the safest and best options out there. It’s worked for me countless times!

Fencing Operation

This one is rarely known to regular folks like you. A fence is someone who knowingly buys stolen property to later resale. Some of the most common fencing operations you see out there are pawn dealers, mom-and-pop shops, and organized crime groups.

Here’s how it works: They give me a grocery list of items they need, I got out and burglarize homes until I have everything checked off their list. I go back with the items they have requested and they pay me. It’s as simple as that. They demand, I supply. The reason why I prefer dealing with a fencing operation is largely due to the fact that I know what items are hot and what I’ll get top dollar for. This eliminates me wasting my time driving around to pawn shops, or posting items online for sale. The fence does all middleman work for me.

Drug Dealers

There are some burglars out there who give us “professionals” a bad name. I’m talking about the thieves who steal to support their drug habit. These guys aren’t very good at what they do, but hey, they do get the job done, most of the time.

These guys have it somewhat easier or harder depending on how you look at it. The drug-seeking burglar is looking to convert your valuables into cash so they can score a high. Sometimes, they don’t even have to find a way to get cash out of an item. They’ll simply barter or trade with their drug dealer for the drugs they need. The dealer in turn uses his large organized crime network to turn the goods into cash.

Bob’s Final Thoughts

So there you have it, that’s what happens to your stuff if your home is ever burglarized. Tons of people are looking to profit from burglary, and that’s not even including me. A lot of people buy stolen goods without even know they are doing it, and many don’t even really try to find out, which just makes my job easier.

There is a wealth of information about home security that is available from Kevin and SimpliSafe Home Security. Make sure that you follow the link to SimpliSafe and get smart on solutions to keep you and your loved ones safe at home!

This article was reprinted with permission from SimpliSafe Home Security Systems.

Travel Safety Checklist

Safety is a constant concern for almost everyone, especially with the current state of the world. There are places though where most people feel more comfortable. Being at home or at a loved ones house for example. It seems safe to say that a good percentage of people feel most vulnerable while they are traveling or in a foreign environment (which usually goes hand in hand with traveling). I am no different myself and have as a result of this insecurity, developed some practices that have served me well to ensure my safety as I travel. These practices have come from instinct, experience, my military training, and others from personal research that I have conducted. They have been compiled neatly into a checklist so that hopefully they can be of help to you all as well.

 Prior To Traveling:

  • Clean out your wallet. Remove any items not needed for travel and those that could be used for identity fraud.
  • Ensure that you have the correct directions and check local road conditions if driving.
  • Double check reservation information if flying, going by train, or other travel means.
  • Check the weather at all locations where you will be traveling for the duration of your travel to ensure that you have all of the appropriate clothing that you will need.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary at home. Include your travel arrangements and hotels where you will be staying.
  • Check your person and carry-on bag for anything that might be construed as a weapon. For an updated list of prohibited items see www.tsa.dot.gov.
  • Have a current emergency contact form left with your supervisor if the travel is work related.
  • Arrange to make regularly scheduled check-in calls at home and at work as appropriate.
  • Make sure your passport is current and not too close to the expiration date.
  • If you are going overseas: Photocopy the contents of your wallet, passport and visa. Include passport-sized photos of yourself in case you need to have it replaced. Make a list of the overseas contact numbers for your credit card company. Make a list of all embassies. Keep copies in your carry-on bag and in your checked luggage.
  • Make sure your medical coverage is effective in all areas that you will travel to including overseas. Bring all prescription medication in original containers. Bring copies of any prescriptions you need, this includes glasses or contacts.
General Recommendations:
  • Keep a low profile. Dress and behave conservatively.
  • Do not wear clothing with American logos.
  •  Keep $30-50 and one credit card in your wallet or purse when traveling. Store the balance of your credit cards, traveler checks, and cash in a money belt or similar item worn under your clothes.
  • Clothing that exhibits expensive labels or brand markings has the potential to make you the target of an assault or robbery.
  • If you have military or distinctive identification that could make you a target do not carry it in your wallet.
  • Lock all luggage. Do not place anything on your luggage identifying your nationality.
  • Vary regular travel routes by changing travel times or using different roads.
  • Avoid areas where you are likely to be victimized. These include crowded mass transit stations, tourist attractions, market places, festivals and marginal areas of cities or towns.
  • Don’t use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets. Try not to travel alone at night.
  • Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
  • Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers. If it can be avoided, don’t discuss such matters in public either.
  • Beware of strangers who approach you, offering bargains or to be your guide.
  • Move with purposeful strides. If you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. When possible, ask directions only from individuals in authority. Generally, families or women with children are the safest persons to ask for directions.
  • Know how to use local pay telephones and have change to do so. Consider cell phone service that works in the country you are traveling in. Obtain local /international calling cards.
  • Learn enough of the local language so you can communicate your need for help, the police, or a doctor. Carry a list of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • If you are confronted, don’t fight back. Give up your valuables. Fight only as a last resort.
  • In nightclubs and restaurants locate the functional emergency exits before any emergency.

Airline Travel Safety:

  • Select an airline with a good safety record. Your travel agent will have this information.
  • Try to schedule direct flights.
  • Wide-bodied aircraft typically are the preferred airframe to travel on.
  • Arrive at the airport early enough to clear security, at least 3 hours prior to flight time for international flights and 2 hours prior to departure for domestic flights.
  • Verify that ticket or gate agents have taken the correct coupons of any paper tickets and returned all coupons that you will need for later flights.
  • Verify you have received a baggage tag for each piece of checked luggage and that the tag matches your destination.
  • Keep your passport and any paper airline ticket in a zippered pouch of your carry on bag. Always return them to the same place.
  • Clear the check-in area as quickly as possible and move into the secure part of the terminal.
  • Report any suspicious activity to airport security or flight attendants immediately.
  • Watch your belongings as they go through the X-ray screening machine. Make sure you watch the bags as they enter the machine and then pass through the metal detector in time to pick up your bag as it clears the machine. If the person in front of you stops or fails the screening test, do not allow your belongings to go through until the path to retrieve them on the other side is clear. Most laptops and purses are stolen at security by teams of thieves.
  • Place carry-on bags in overhead storage across the aisle from your seat so you can see if anyone is trying to open them during the flight.
  • To speed response time in the event of emergency and to avoid the possibility of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) use of sleep aids and alcohol should be avoided.
  • Traveling in natural fiber clothing is more comfortable for some and tends to be more fire resistant.
  • Upon arrival use hotel provided transportation where possible. If you take a cab, select your own taxicabs at random. Don’t take a vehicle that is not clearly identified as a taxi. Compare the face of the driver with the one posted on his or her license. Once seated in the cab insure doors are locked, position yourself so you can see the drivers eyes in the rearview mirror should they fall asleep while driving.
  • If you are being met at an airport make sure the placard used displays a number of your selection and not your name. When asked, the person holding the number sign must be able to tell you your name. Kidnappers copy names on signs and stand closer to the entrance than legitimate drivers.
Hotel Safety:
  • Stay at reputable hotels and motels. The large, western Hotel chains usually have adequate security. Select a hotel that allows you to take different routes to your destination if possible.
  • Ask for a second story room at a motel. Ground floor rooms are more susceptible to break in. Staying on the second floor also makes it easier to escape if there is a fire. Try to avoid staying above the third floor in any country without a modern and well-equipped fire department. Never stay above the seventh floor.
  • Check the windows and doors to make sure they are secure including the lock on the door of an adjoining room.
  • Read the fire safety instructions in your hotel room. Know how to report a fire. Be sure you know where the nearest fire exits and alternate exits are located. Count the doors between your room and the nearest exit. Do the same for an alternate exit. This will allow you to reach the exit if the corridor is dark or filled with smoke. Consider traveling with an emergency escape hood.
  • Don’t open the door to anybody unless you are familiar with him or her. Talk through the door without opening it. Hotel door chains are practically useless.
  • Keep your hotel door locked at all times. Meet visitors in the lobby.
  • Do not leave money and other valuables in your hotel room while you are out. Use the hotel safe. Do not leave business documents, especially proprietary material, in the room unsecured.
  • Let someone know when you expect to return if you are out late at night.
  • If you are alone, do not get on an elevator if there is a suspicious-looking person inside.

Traveling At Your Destination:

-By Car:

  • When renting a car, choose a type commonly available locally. Choose a model with a good safety rating. If possible, ask that markings that identify it as a rental car be removed.
  • Get the latest model available, make certain it is in good repair and that it has emergency roadside equipment. Always wear seatbelts.
  • Pick a car with power locks and windows.
  • Select a car with an air conditioner. This will allow you to drive with windows closed. This prevents items from being snatched from inside your car.
  • Check the car every time that you do not have direct eye contact with the car.
  • Try not to park your car on the street overnight. If the hotel or municipality does not have a parking garage or other secure area, select a well-lit area.
  • Keep all doors locked while driving.
  • Don’t leave valuables on your seats while driving or when you park.
  • Travel using different roads.
-Choosing The Best Road:
  • Drive on a main road.
  • Travel roads with more than one lane.
  • Prefer roads that are close to a police station.
  • When driving use the rearview mirror to detect any cars that may be following you.
  • Be aware of the location of safe-havens such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals.
  • Pay attention to any unusual objects on the road (road blocks, cars stopped on side roads).
  • As much as possible, avoid driving at night.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Don’t exit your car if there are suspicious looking individuals in the area.
-Public Transportation:
  • Check the Consular Information Sheets to find out if a country has a pattern of tourists being targeted by criminals on public transportation.
  • Only take taxis clearly identified with official markings. Beware of unmarked cabs. Chose them yourself and at random.
  • Avoid mass transportation at night. Spend the extra money and take a taxi.
  • Robbery of passengers on trains along popular tourists routes is a serious problem. It is more common on overnight trains.
  • Do not accept food or drink from strangers. It may be drugged.
  • On overnight trains, lock the sleeping compartment.
  • Do not be afraid to inform the conductor or other official if you feel threatened. Police are frequently assigned to ride trains that have been targeted before.
  • The same type of criminal activity found on trains can be found on public buses used by tourists.
How to Handle Money Safely:
  • Separate your cash into two portions. Keep some of the money in your wallet and the rest in a belt or separate place on your person. If you have a purse carry it in front of you, over your shoulder across your chest, hold on to it with your hands and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse-snatchers.
  • Beware of pickpockets. Anyone can be a pickpocket. Generally, a pickpocket will use an accomplice to distract you while your pocket is being picked. A common ploy is to have an accomplice bump into you but anything that will distract you will also be effective.
  • To avoid carrying large amounts of cash, change your travelers’ checks or withdraw money from  an ATM, as you need currency.
  • Do not flash large amounts of money when paying a bill. Make sure your credit card is returned to you after each transaction. Check periodically for unauthorized charges.
  • Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money. Do not change money on the black market.
  • If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police. Keep a copy of the police report for insurance claims. After reporting missing items to the police, report the loss or theft of credit cards, traveler’s checks, airline tickets and your passport. This will be much easier to accomplish if you have remembered to photocopy the contents of your wallet and if you have written down the overseas contact numbers of your credit card companies. Contact the local embassy or consulate to replace your passport.
Travel to High-Risk Areas: 
 
If you must travel in an area where there has been a history of terrorist attacks or kidnapping or that is the subject of a State Department traveler alert, be sure you:
  1. Register with the U.S. embassy or consulate upon arrival.
  2. Do not discuss personal matters and your itinerary with casual acquaintances or strangers.
  3. Leave no personal or business papers in your hotel room.
  4. Watch for people or vehicles following you.
  5. Remember the golden rule of counter-surveillance; if you see the same person or vehicle two times, separated by time and distance, you are probably being followed. If it happens three times, you are being followed. Contact the local police and the nearest embassy or consulate for guidance.
  6. Refuse unexpected packages.
  7. Check for loose wires, packages or other suspicious objects around your car.
  8. Check under the car when you park. Note the presence of any object under your car when you return.
  9. Be sure your vehicle is mechanically sound in case you need to resort to high-speed or evasive driving.
  10. Drive with car windows closed in crowded streets. Bombs can be thrown through open windows and it is easier for an assailant to enter your car if the window is open.
  11. If you are ever in a situation where somebody starts shooting, drop to the floor or get down as low as possible. Do the same if you are in a building and you hear an explosion outside. Often, people will rush to windows after a blast in order to see what happened and are killed as the pressure wave, moving slower than the speed of sound, blows out the windows. Don’t move until you are sure the danger has passed. Take cover behind or under a solid object. If you must move stay as low as possible.
Hijacking/Hostage Situations:
 
Generally speaking, the most dangerous parts of a hijacking or hostage situation are the beginning and, if there is a rescue attempt, the end. Terrorists are typically are most volatile during the initial moments of a hijacking. Make every attempt to remain calm and alert. The following recommendations are from the US Department of State. These recommendations are under review in light of the events of 9/11. For the most part it is recommended that these guidelines be adhered to unless and until it becomes apparent that the hijackers intend to use the aircraft as a weapon. In that event, it is necessary to resist at all costs. I would also add that if the hijackers are only using boxcutters and are outnumbered 40 to 1 by the passengers, that overpowering the hijackers by force is likely to be in order but must be decided by the hostages that are in the situation themselves.
  • Do not resist. Follow their demands and make no sudden or threatening movements. Do not fight or try to escape unless you are certain of being successful.
  • Force yourself to remain calm and prepare yourself mentally, physically and emotionally for the possibility of a long ordeal.
  • Do nothing to bring attention upon yourself. Avoid direct eye contact with the hijackers and do not obviously observe their actions.
  • Initially, do not attempt to use a cell phone to call for help. Later, a cell phone may prove invaluable.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages. Consume little food and drink.
  • Cooperate with the hijackers. Do not complain or be confrontational.
  • Expect to be interrogated. Answer questions directly but don’t volunteer information or make unnecessary overtures.
  • As the situation becomes less volatile, you can make reasonable requests for personal comforts such as going to the bathroom or getting something to drink.
  • If you are taken hostage for a longer period of time, try to establish a rapport with your captors, avoiding confrontational subjects such as politics in favor of universally understood topics like family.
  • Try to keep your mind active and try to exercise regularly if possible.
  • Eat what they give you, whenever it is given. You have no way of knowing if your food or water will be withheld later on.
  • If you are a religious person, pray earnestly and often. Don’t become despondent. People are looking for you and are trying to get you safely returned.
Remember the key point is to make a potential aggressor’s job more difficult. A serious criminal or terrorist will watch his or her target before attempting his crime / terrorist act. If they see that you are not an easy target, they will most likely move on to someone who is.

While I was putting this post together I recalled a piece from earlier this year that Bryan Black and the gang over at ITS Tactical put together about luggage security that definitely applies here and would be worth your time to check out.

Sources: Global Security Group, Rotary International, ITS Tactical

How To Make A Book Safe

I saw this video from The Daily Prep on YouTube and thought that it would be something that would be valuable to pass along. It seems like a fairly straight forward project and an old hardback book can be acquired at a low cost or free from a friend, library sale, thrift store, university, or school. Besides a solid book, all you need is white glue and a razor knife and you will have an extra hiding place that will fit in almost anywhere. This is a great addition to a home security plan. Check out the video and if you like what Dan has to say make sure you leave a comment for him and subsribe to his YouTube channel.

What is the best homemade hiding place that you can think of or have created?

Got Ammo?

I just want to start today by saying that I wish I would have thought of some of these ideas first but unfortunately I did not. I am cheating a little bit today by using a few YouTube videos to get my point across but I am not sure that I could do a better job. It is important to highlight the importance of properly storing ammunition as well as stocking up on enough ammo for the firearms that you own. Check out these videos for some great ideas on ammo storage and stockpiling:

An awesome idea to discreetly store ammunition -

Here is a great idea to store ammunition for longer periods of time -

Here are a few thoughts on the philosophy of stockpiling ammunition -

It’s Friday! Word On The Web

I have decided to test out a new format and make the “Word On The Web” a regular in the Friday time slot. If you have any feedback it would be greatly appreciated. Just leave any feedback in the comments section. So without any further ado, here is this weeks word on the web!

Take the Test to See If You Might Be Considered a “Potential Terrorist” By Government Officials by George Washington on ZeroHedge

A piece that touches on a very serious subject but also was a bit entertaining in my opinion, George Washington himself points out that, “There have been so many anti-terrorism laws passed since 9/11 that it is hard to keep up on what kinds of things might get one on a “list” of suspected bad guys. We’ve prepared this quick checklist so you can see if you might be doing something which might get hassled. The following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today.”

If You Can’t Protect It, You Don’t Own It from The Coming Depression Blog

This almost seems to be a conglomeration of blog posts but I felt that it contained a sizable amount of pertinent information about home defense. The article contains information on security measures in a disaster, the best firearm for a child or first time user, best firearm and pistol for home protection, ammunition selection, assault rifles/long-range weapons, and a few other firearm related topics. I found that the article was thought-provoking and that reading it was time well spent.

21 Facts About America’s Decaying Infrastructure That Will Blow Your Mind from The Economic Collapse Blog

This piece I found very insightful into the problems that our country is facing with our unmaintained infrastructure and the fact that the United States is literally falling apart. The first four sentences of the article really set the tone when they say that, “You can tell a lot about a nation by the condition of the infrastructure.  So what does our infrastructure say about us?  It says that we are in a very advanced state of decay.  At this point, much of America is being held together with spit, duct tape and prayers.”

Gold Is Manipulated (But That’s Okay) from Lew Rockwell by Chris Martenson

Chris Martenson interviews Mat Stein about his book When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency and the personal resiliency measures Mat recommends for almost everyone to consider.

Some of the things covered in this interview also cover Mat’s, “universal advice for developing basic preparedness – a 72-hour kit covering the basics needs for living, an emergency plan for your family, lining up local and out-of-town contacts, etc. – and discusses specifics on what gear to procure and steps to take in unexpected emergencies.”

The Natural Route to Pain Relief by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition

In this article Tess covers some of the great ways to naturally relieve pain without putting toxins into your body. She’ll ask you if you’ve, “Got a headache?  Here, have some Tylenol! Did you pull a muscle exercising?  Motrin might help! Pain happens, and there’s a pill for nearly every pain. But what happens if the pharmacies are closed? There are other options besides popping a pill – give these methods a try!”

I hope that some of these links are helpful to you or at a minimum provided a new resource for you to find additional preparedness information.

If you have a preparedness link that is useful or a prepping website that you rely on to make sure you are ready for anything, please share it with us!

Are You “Safe”???

Guns, precious metals, jewelry, important documents, family heirlooms, and cash are all things that are valuable. These are also items that most people have as part of their emergency preparedness plans or every day life. Items that are valuable are also susceptible to being destroyed by disaster, taken by thieves, lost due to negligence or because of some various other reasons. As a result of these risks it is important to be protected and avoid loss, right? So what is the best way to keep your valuable items safe? A safe of course!

There are many different manufacturers of safes out there but not every safe is created equal. Also, keep in mind that not every safe is designed to protect the contents from every potential threat. Because of these factors, ensure that you conduct your due diligence and that any safe that you consider buying will meet your needs and expectations.I will confess here and now that I am a Glenn Beck junkie. Whether this makes me more or less of a person remains to be seen but what I can tell you is that the man uses Liberty Safes which he claims to be amazing. Never one to just take one person at their word, I went to the Liberty Safes website and watched some of the videos as recommended by Glenn and all I can say is, WOW! These safes are incredible. Check out these videos (They will also help with the due diligence process I mentioned.):

Obviously if you have an arsenal of weapons, a stockpile of cash, and one of a kind heirlooms then having a safe is somewhat of a no brainer. But what if that does not describe your situation? The Liberty Safe Company also has the following list of items on their website that some of their customers keep in their safes (it may help you decide if a safe is the right decision for you):

  • Birth Certificates
  • Cash / Extra Checks
  • Video Equipment
  • Gold / Silver
  • Stamp Collections
  • Coin Collections
  • Business Records
  • Art Collections
  • Tools
  • Fishing Rods
  • Portable Stereos
  • Tax Records
  • Software
  • Book Collections
  • Jewelry / Diamonds
  • Computer Disks
  • Family Silver
  • Genealogy Records
  • Account Statements
  • Baseball Cards
  • Firearms
  • Stocks & Bonds
  • Wedding Photos
  • DVDs / CDs
  • Diaries & Journals
  • Family Heirlooms
  • Insurance Papers
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Family Videos
  • Wine
  • Fur Coats
  • IPODS / Electronics
  • Expensive China
  • Keys
  • Tickets / Passports
  • Laptop Computers
  • Archery Equipment
  • Collectable Figures
  • Deeds / Contracts
  • Musical Instruments
  • Film Negatives

Having a safe itself is not likely enough to ensure the security of your valuables. If you watched the video of the pry test, you likely noticed the fact that when the “thieves” were breaking into the safes that they placed them on their backs to successfully get into them. One way to avoid allowing thieves this option is to bolt safe to the floor. Since most home burglaries are over in seven minutes or less, bolting your safe down also helps prevent it from being carried off during a burglary.

It is also important to keep in mind that if you do have a safe, it might be worth making an effort to disguise it. There is the assumption that if a safe is there, valuables are there. In addition to this assumption, it is widely publicized that there is less faith in the banking system these days which has resulted in more people keeping cash on hand at home. If a person can see a safe in your home or business it might be the temptation that pushes them over the edge and turns them into a thief. Disguising your safe can make you a hard target instead of a soft target as we always called it in the military. The best ways that I can think of hiding larger safes like the Liberty Safes is to keep it in a closet behind some clothes or inside of a large cabinet.

If you have some insight on the best safes for preppers, how to disguise a safe, or anything related please make a comment.

Prepare Your Dwelling For Unrest & Disaster

In the event of civil unrest, societal collapse, or  times of disaster there will undoubtedly be a number of threats that the population will be forced to deal with. It is absolutely impossible to accurately predict what the threats will be. What I am confident about is that regardless of the cause of unrest or collapse or what the disaster is, the result will be widespread threats to the population and could take the form of utility outages, food shortages, martial law, or bank runs. I am also confident that pain and suffering can be mitigated by prior planning and action. Probably the single greatest advantage to planning now to respond to these threats is that most preparations can be made far in advance of any unrest, collapse, or disaster and that many of the preparations that are made for social unrest or societal collapse can also be used to protect a home during a natural or manmade disaster as well.

Photo Credit: Boston.com

Every area has its own unique elements that must be kept in mind and the best way to approach this is through the use of population zones which are based on the density of the population in the local area. Population density zones are broken down into urban, suburban, rural, mountain, desert, and coastal zones. Special considerations should be given to each zone as follows:

Urban – The urban area is likely to be the one that is most desired to be avoided during the difficult times of unrest and disaster. There is a higher probability of martial law being implemented but at the same time, due to the population density, the urban area is most likely going to be the center of any assistance activity that is available. The obvious question is, I have made preparations so that I do not have to rely on others for assistance so why would I need to put myself in this position? My response to this would be that in difficult times, those are seen never getting any sort of assistance are likely going to be targets because it is obvious they have a great amount of resources at their disposal. Even if getting assistance is a facade, it may be imperative to maintaining the persona of being in the same state of need as everyone else. This brings up another benefit that lends itself nicely to the urban landscape and that is the “grey man” theory or the theory that a person that acts and looks the same as everyone else must not be any different from the rest of the population.

Special planning considerations will need to be kept in mind when evaluating egress routes from urban areas. Some concerns regarding urban routes include tunnels that go under bodies of water or underground, bridges that are part of the route that could be damaged or blocked, and areas where damaged buildings could be blocking the roads.

Suburban – I see suburban areas as being a potentially dangerous area. The reason that I say this is that many suburban residents feel comfortable where they are and will choose to stay right where they are (bug in) if something were to happen. At the same time, those that are trying to get out of the urban areas will be moving into or through the suburban areas. Concurrently, anyone who might be trying to move from the outlying areas to the urban areas to seek assistance or to rendezvous with family will be moving through the suburbs also. It is a result of all this activity that creates such a dangerous suburban environment in my opinion. In such a tumultuous time, it seems reasonable that desperate citizens that are in transition in these areas might target suburban residents as sources of food, shelter, weapons, or other supplies/life support items.

Rural – There are many advantages to a rural environment but there are also some disadvantages. It is advantageous to live in the rural environment in the event of chaos and unrest because there is not often rioting and in fact, this type of activity is almost nonexistent in the rural areas. Rural houses tend to be spread further apart from each other which creates additional stand-off space from each other making rural homes easier to defend and see when people are approaching. Because of this same distance from “civilization” rural homes could be targeted by thieves, murderers, hordes of rogue hungry wanderers, and other generally terrible types which most would consider a disadvantage. The rural environment also generally has fewer law enforcement officers that are required to cover larger territories than their suburban and urban counterparts which makes them more likely to be overwhelmed during tough times. Fire and emergency medical personnel in rural areas are often primarily volunteer forces which may significantly reduce if not completely eliminate their availability in times of unrest or disaster.

Mountain – The mountainous regions can offer a tactical advantage for defending oneself in times of civil unrest. It is much easier to defend yourself from the high ground against an opposing force on the lower ground in comparison to fighting a force on the higher ground from a lower point. There is a concern with bad weather and mountainous terrain. In the event of heavy rain or snowfall, it can be very difficult or even impossible to get up or down mountain roads as a result of mud slides, slippery conditions, or washouts. Fallen trees can also make a mountain road unusable as a result of a complete obstruction. Another concern

Desert – A common characteristic of desert areas is that they are often found in low-lying areas and are therefore prone to flash floods. As a result of this risk, residents in a desert region should consider maintaining a supply of sandbags to facilitate a faster response in the event of a flash flood. The advantage to the desert environment is a lower propensity for the roving band of outlaws AKA “golden horde” in the event of societal collapse because of the lower population density and fewer resources available to sustain life.

Coastal – One of the unique environmental circumstances that residents of a coastal region have to be concerned with is the threat of hurricanes and tsunamis. Sandbags can be placed to protect your home from flooding if it is located in a low-lying area but as part of your evacuation plans you should also know the minimum distance that you will need to move inland in order to evade the dangers of a tsunami. Another concern for coastal residents is if unrest or collapse were to occur and rioters were to move in a manner that would block coastal residents egress from their homes, they may need to plan to escape the region via the water.

Preparations that every person should make for their shelter regardless of where they live:

  • Designate a safe room. An ideal location for a safe room will be in the middle of the house and it should not have any exterior doors or windows and will also only ideally have one interior door.  If it is not possible to have a safe room on the interior of your home, the second best option is a room along an exterior wall that does not have an exterior door or window. Most people think of a safe room as being a place to go in the event of a storm, which is true, but  it is also a good location for a family to fall back to if there is a home invasion and they are all able to make it there.
  • Have enough exterior grade plywood on hand to completely cover every exterior window and door in the dwelling. Unless all of your pieces are precut, you should also keep a circular saw handy. The one alibi to keep in mind with this option is that if you lose power you will need a generator in order to make the saw work.
  • Keep an ample quantity of exterior grade deck screws on hand to attach the plywood securely to your dwelling outside of the exterior doors and windows.
  • Store contractor grade plastic sheeting and duct tape in enough quantity to completely seal around the interior side of all exterior doors, windows, and vents.
  • A razor knife or utility blade should also be kept in close proximity to the plastic sheeting and duct tape so that you have an easy way to cut the sheeting and duct tape. Also have plenty of replacement blades for your cutting implement.
  • Store at least some sandbags at your home regardless of whether you are in a flood plain or not. While sandbags are excellent for deterring flooding, they are also great for use as a barricade or shielding from ballistic projectiles.

*Disclaimer – Ensure to consult all local laws, codes, and regulations before taking any action to secure, harden, or fortify your home or any other structure whether it be due to civil unrest, societal collapse, natural disaster, or the zombie apocalypse.

Don’t forget to help fill in the blanks or enhance some of the points that were already made by making a comment of your own in the comments section below.

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From AmmoLand:101 Reasons Why You NEED An “Assault Weapon”

The following list of reasons why you need an “assault weapon” is written by Evan F. Nappen and was posted today on AmmoLand. I thought it was too good not to share and in an effort to memorialize this great list on the internet forever, I decided to quote it directly.

AmmoLand, 7/26/2012

101 Reasons Why You NEED An “Assault Weapon”

By Evan F. Nappen, Attorney At Law

“When I was Counsel to the NJ Coalition of Sportsman I wrote this piece for the April, 1991 issue of the THE GUARDIAN which was the group’s newsletter.

It was later published by Harper’s magazine. Here is an updated version as the issue is being pushed again by the blood dancing anti-gunners.

A question we are all tired of hearing in the so-called “debate” over so-called “assault weapons” is, “why does anybody need one?” Here is the answer once and for all.

You need an assault weapon—

  • 1. to help continue the American tradition of citizen/soldier.
  • 2. for recreation.
  • 3. to collect military small arms.
  • 4. to get quick extra shots at more game while hunting.
  • 5. to get quick extra shots at the same game while hunting.
  • 6. for more fun plinking.
  • 7. to defend yourself against a street gang.
  • 8. to defend yourself against mob violence.
  • 9. to defend yourself against looters.
  • 10. to shoot in a Civilian Marksmanship Program competition.
  • 11. to shoot in an “Action Rifle” or “Practical Rifle” target match.
  • 12. to assist the police in an emergency (e.g. 1966 Texas Tower Sniper incident, citizens assisted with M1′s).
  • 13. to help defend the country from a foreign invasion.
  • 14. to help defend the country from an internal takeover.
  • 15. to help the firearms industry remain economically strong.
  • 16. to pay the federal tax on guns that goes to aid wildlife.
  • 17. to encourage further research into new firearm technology.
  • 18. to save time while shooting.
  • 19. to have increased reliability in functioning.
  • 20. to have a longer lasting firearm.
  • 21. to have a less costly/ more affordable firearm.
  • 22. to have an easier to manufacture firearm.
  • 23. to have an easier to repair firearm.
  • 24. to have an easier to take apart and clean firearm.
  • 25. to have a more versatile firearm.
  • 26. to own a highly weather resistant firearm.
  • 27. to appreciate the evolution of firearm technology.
  • 28. to defend your business.
  • 29. to defend your home.
  • 30. to defend your boat.
  • 31. to defend your camp.
  • 32. to defend your ranch.
  • 33. to defend your farm.
  • 34. to defend your family.
  • 35. to have reduced recoil when shooting.
  • 36. as an investment.
  • 37. as a military souvenir.
  • 38. as a hedge against inflation.
  • 39. because criminals statistically prefer revolvers over all other firearms.
  • 40. to have a more psychologically intimidating firearm. (often the mere presence of a firearm will stop a crime)
  • 41. to own a firearm least likely to be used in a crime. (less than 1% are assault firearms.)
  • 42. to own a firearm which purposely functions slower than other firearms thereby reducing recoil. (e.g. Remington 1100.)
  • 43. to own a firearm used in Olympic competition.
  • 44. to appreciate the mechanical genius of firearm designers.
  • 45. to have a firearm which uses external magazines.
  • 46. to shoot at the National Matches at Camp Perry.
  • 47. to reject anti-gun bias.
  • 48. to challenge “Big Brotherism”.
  • 49. to protect yourself against a pack of feral dogs.
  • 50. to own a firearm better for the physically handicapped.
  • 51. to save all firearms by not giving in to “salami” tactics.
  • 52. to do trick shooting (e.g. multiple aerial targets).
  • 53. to shoot military ammunition. (Inexpensive surplus)
  • 54. to be part of an armed populous, creating a tactical disadvantage for any potential enemies.
  • 55. to familiarize yourself with your country’s military rifle.
  • 56. to familiarize yourself with a foreign country’s military rifle.
  • 57. because they are interesting.
  • 58. to hang on your wall.
  • 59. to shoot clay targets.
  • 60. to shoot paper targets.
  • 61. to shoot Metallic Silhouettes.
  • 62. to exercise your constitutional rights.
  • 63. to exercise a natural right.
  • 64. to exercise a civil right.
  • 65. to exercise a fundamental right.
  • 66. to exercise an inalienable right.
  • 67. to exercise a human right.
  • 68. to defend yourself after a New York City-type blackout.
  • 69. to defend yourself against a Miami-type riot.
  • 70. to defend yourself after a St. Croix-type hurricane in which both officers and escaped prisoners have run amok.
  • 71. to avoid a “Tiananmen Square” in the U.S.
  • 72. to own a firearm in common use and therefore protected under the Heller decision.
  • 73. to protect livestock from predators.
  • 74. to show support for political ideals of the founding fathers.
  • 75. to own a firearm designed to wound rather than kill (according to the Dir. Of the Wound Ballistics Laboratory).
  • 76. to own a firearm not readily convertible to full automatic.
  • 77. to own a firearm with that “shoulder thingy that goes up.”
  • 78. to own a “state-of-the-art” firearm (e.g. FN SCAR).
  • 79. to own a “turn-of-the-century” firearm (e.g. Borchardt).
  • 80. which is more pleasant to shoot (lighter and less recoil).
  • 81. because all of your other firearms will be banned next.
  • 82. to own a firearm which is difficult to conceal.
  • 83. to own a firearm which the media glamorizes.
  • 84. to own a firearm which might be banned.
  • 85. to own a firearm which is banned.
  • 86. to own a firearm that is no frills and practical in design.
  • 87. to own on of the most mechanically-safe firearms. (e.g. Uzi).
  • 88. to own a firearm that is a “work of art”.
  • 89. to own a Valmet M-76 which the BATF says has no sporting use.
  • 90. to own a Valmet Hunter which the BATF says has sporting use.
  • 91. to own a firearm that made history (e.g. M-1 Carbine).
  • 92. to shoot a firearm that made history.
  • 93. to own a firearm that can be dropped and still function.
  • 94. to own a firearm that can be coated in mud and still function.
  • 95. to own a firearm that can be dunked in water and function.
  • 96. to own a firearm that can be frozen solid and still function.
  • 97. to own a firearm that can be buried in sand and still function.
  • 98. to be a prepared member of the unorganized militia as defined in the US Code (10 US Code Sect. 311 (a)).
  • 99. to distinguish between an object and its misuse.
  • 100.because you believe in freedom.
  • 101.if YOU say you need one. In America, an individual’s need should not be determined by the state. There are approximately 100 million firearm owners in the country. That’s 100 million more reasons for owning any firearm.”
If you can think of any more reasons that you NEED an “assault weapon”, please leave a comment below.

11 More Things A Burglar Will Never Tell You

I was so inspired by the post, 21 Things A Burglar Will Never Tell You, that I decided to come up with 11 more things that a burglar would not like for you to know. There is not a source for these ten items other than my mind and the recollection of certain items from previous training and lessons learned. Hopefully they will prove useful, thought-provoking, and perhaps even a little entertaining. So without any further ado, here are ten more things that you will not hear a burglar tell you:

1. It was nice of you to leave the extension ladder for me to use out behind the shed. Getting up to those second story windows is much more difficult without it.

2. If you think that you can run down to the gas station “real quick” and not have to worry about completely locking up because you will only be gone 10 minutes, you’re wrong. I can tear your place up with a quickness and there will be twice the damage if my “business” partner comes along with me.

3. It was not a coincidence that I knew you and your family would not be home. I used to date your daughter so I’ve got your schedule and habits memorized. You haven’t missed a high school football game in the last two years. Go team!

4. Broken glass is no fun to clean up so I understand why you don’t lock your car doors. I am desperate enough to try to get into your car though and most nights I just go around trying cars doors until I find the ones that are unlocked. Why make so much noise when you were so kind anyway! By the way, if you think cleaning up broken glass is no fun…wait until you see what is in store for you with the police department and insurance company!

5. I appreciate your untrimmed hedge; it gives me great concealment while I try to pry your window open.

6. The mail service is great because they tell me all that I need to know. When your mail is stopped during your vacation, the delivery driver goes right past your house without even slowing down. By the afternoon of the third day I will be ready to strike. No one in America goes three days without at least getting one advertisement.

7. Leaving your guns on the top shelf of the closet makes them easy to take with me. I don’t mind though because I know a guy called ‘Boogie Man’ who will buy any gun that I bring to him. He pays cash and never asks questions. Of course, you could always keep your weapons in a gun safe.

8. Hanging all of your keys by the garage door really makes it easier for me to take your ATV’s. Not to mention that I will have a copy of all of your extra keys. It is true that you can always get your house locks re-keyed. But what will you do when I come back tomorrow night and take your cars? 

9. As a burglar, do you really think I am worried about being respected? Sometimes I will do whatever it takes to achieve my objectives, even if it means breaking into your house while you or your family are at home. I am not bulletproof though and your 2nd Amendment rights might be your best bet in making sure that I do not stay a threat.

10. Just because I am your cousin does not mean that I will not steal from you. Drug addiction is not a joke. It would be better for both of us if you helped me get into treatment instead of offering to take me into your home.

11. Have you ever heard the saying that locks are only good for keeping honest people, honest? There is a whole lot of truth in that saying!

Please feel free to make a comment and add any additional things that a burglar would not be willing to share.

21 Things A Burglar Won’t Tell You

The economic and employment situation in America these days is, well…less than ideal. This is making life increasingly difficult for a growing number of individuals and families as the months tick by every year. To combat their money problems, many have taken the approach of doing whatever it takes from working odd jobs to going on government social programs and some have even gone as far as becoming criminals to make ends meet. This new breed of criminals is in addition to your other run of the mill burglars and crackheads that are out there breaking into houses. The following things you should know in order to protect your home but you won’t ever hear them from them from a burglar.

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..

5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. ( Find it at … http://www.faketv.com )

14. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

16. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.

17. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

18. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.

20. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.

21. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Please leave a comment below if there are any additional tips or tricks that can be added on how to avoid a home burglary. It would be greatly appreciated if you did not add your name to a story of a crime that you committed! : )

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs http://www.crimedoctor.com and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.