Harden Your Home against Intrusion

Harden Home Against Intrusion

Typically, most home doors open in. The door is attached to a frame using hinges that hold the door in places with pins. The advantages to this type of door is cost, ease of installation and the hinges are on the inside making it impossible to remove the hinge pins from the outside, and thus removing the door.

Disadvantages include the fact that the door can be kicked by intruders or blown in by heavy winds. The framing is usually builder grade lumber and the bolts are standard security measures that can be manipulated or forced to fail with little effort.

Commercial structures however, have doors that usually open out, and the main reason for this is safety. If there is a fire in the building or other emergency and people are crowded at the door, it may be impossible to open the door in, but pushing the door out can be accomplished even if you are squeezed up to the door by people behind you. Slap bars on emergency exits make it even easier to open if there is an emergency.

The government in its infinite wisdom rates barricades such as doors, fences and other barriers by how long it takes an “unauthorized” person to make entry by use of force. The longer the barricade, lock, door or safe holds up under a battering, the higher the rating, and a higher rating is better of course.

Just because you harden your doors, windows and home in general does not mean it is impossible for someone to make illegal entry however. The objective when deciding on security is determining whether the methods in place or ones you intend to put in place would hold up long enough for you either to escape, or to launch a counter offensive. Simply put most security protocols in place simply discourage, slow down or inconvenience a determined intruder.

Reversing Your Doors

In hurricane country sometimes the doors to residential homes are mounted so the doors open out. This of course makes it harder for a strong gale wind to push the door in. These types of doors are expensive to install, because a frame must be built to protect the hinges. For optimum security, the framing would be steel to protect the hinges from breaching. Pneumatic battering rams are used by law enforcement and the military to breach hardened doors like this but it is not likely your typical looter or burglar would be carrying one around.

The recess where the dead bolt rests would also be framed in steel instead of the typical wooden frame. The wooden recess that houses the deadbolt on most homes would give away rather quickly under impact allowing the door to swing in.

A door with shielded hinges makes it difficult to do a ballistic breach using a shotgun or some other type of firearm. The metal frame could of course be destroyed to gain access to the hinges but this goes back to, giving you the time to evaluate your next move. It would take time to breach a door hardened in this manner, thus giving you time to escape or set up a defense.

Windows

Hurricane shutters are not just for hurricanes. Metal security bars are popular as well, but objects can still be propelled through the grates breaching the glass. Hurricane shutters on the other hand, are designed to keep flying debris from smashing through the glass openings in your home. In the case of a SHTF situation having hurricane shutters may prevent vandalism of your glass and to keep someone from tossing a stun grenade, smoke grenade or tear gas canister through your glass openings.

Plywood would work just as well if mounted on the outside of your windows, but the sheets cannot be easily removed during the day if needed, whereas shutters can be opened and closed as you see fit. Standard window shutters that actually function by opening, closing and latching would be better than not having any protection at all for your windows.

Outside The Home

Barricades such as steel or wood fencing or even block walls are a deterrent, but like any barricade, they can be breached. The best barricade is one that is monitored. Barricades slow an intruder down allowing security personnel, or in this case you to get into a defensive posture. Fences in and of themselves only act to discourage intrusion unless they are high enough and slant out with barbed wire rolled along the top and even with all this, they are not impenetrable.

Clear Fields of Fire Are Important

If you wanted or needed to militarize your home or compound, you would need to deny intruders cover from direct or indirect fire from the compound or home. This means all hiding places would have to be eliminated. Cover would include trees, outbuildings, large rocks and vegetation that would provide cover. Any outbuildings would have to be positioned so that a shooter inside would not have a line of sight to the main house. This would take considerable effort, and in most cases not worth the effort. However, you do need to mark and monitor all hiding places.

Consider a surveillance camera system to monitor possible hiding positions along the perimeter. The system would be monitored in real time once there is an intrusion so everyone can be made aware and updated as to the positions of the intruders.

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Door Breaching Using Your Shotgun during A SHTF Situation

Door Breaching Shotgun

Breaching is simply forcing a door that is locked and/or closed, and when using a firearm to do so is called ballistic breaching. You may need to gain entry to a building or you may need an egress to escape a building, regardless of the reasons however, you do need a way to do it, quickly, effectively and safely.

In a military situation, rules of engagement may come into play so simply shooting up the door with high-powered rounds simply will not do, because of possible collateral damage. You as a private citizen may have to rescue a family member from a structure, so you cannot just start blasting away either for fear of injuring a loved one on the other side.

There are ways of doing it that reduce the chance of injury to those breaching the door and to those that may be on the other side, and there are certain rounds that are better suited for this than others.

Obviously, you want to breach the door without firing more rounds than needed. A shotgun is the recommended firearm for ballistic breaches. The objective is to destroy the latch, lock and possibly even the hinges with limited recoil, reduced ricochets and to avoid round penetration through the door.

Birdshot, slugs and buckshot can be used but with slugs and buckshot, you will have greater round penetration that could cause injury to those inside.

The military uses specialized rounds and weapons for door breaching that reduce the chance of injury to others. Once such round is filled with powder, and it is described as a metal cup, or as a door-breaching cup. The cup strikes the door at the latch, hinge or lock and the impact dissipates the energy, kinetic energy in other words. The shell is 12-gauage and the shotgun is typically “un-choked”.

The round is called a Hatton round and it contains a mixture of compressed powders, which is zinc and gunpowder along with wax. The muzzle must be pressed to the lock or hinge for best results.

There are shotguns specially manufactured for breaching for example, the Remington 870™Breacher. The shotgun fires 2 ¾ and 3″ rounds. The muzzle is adapted to allow the propellant gases to escape. The barrel is 11.5 inches long and has what is called a “standoff” that is threaded so it can be removed.

Breaching MuzzleKeep in mind when breaching a door the muzzle is close, and in some cases, is touching the door so you must have a muzzle adapter that allows the gases to escape or otherwise the recoil would not be manageable.

You obviously will not likely have access to military or law enforcement rounds or shotguns so you will have to make do with what you have. However, you can use a muzzle adapter, so the gasses do escape without causing blowback, such as the one shown to the left.

What to Look For In a Breaching Adapter

  • Flash suppression for working in low or no light so you can maintain night vision
  • Recoil reduction so you can get the muzzle back on target faster
  • Reduce smoke and flying dust/debris
  • Tighter shot pattern to enhance impact

If you have an adapter on your shotgun, you would place the adapter solidly against the component you want to destroy. The shot pattern when using buckshot or birdshot is concentrated and this helps reduce the chance of injury from flying fragments as well.

Remember it is more about the impact or the force against the door and not necessarily the round itself. The force can literally rip the hinges from the frame and force the locking mechanism to fail. Shooting a padlock in two with a round from a pistol only happens in the movies. You have to have enough force to cause the components to fail and allow the door to open or essentially be removed from its hinges.

Keep in mind you will be operating in close quarters so a pistol grip is ideal in certain situations. Keep the muzzle angled down if there is fear of injuries to others inside the structure. Typically you target the handle/locking mechanism first, because if the lock fails you may be able to simply kick in the door from this point without using any more rounds.

However, some doors are hardened against breaching so this means the hinges may have to be targeted as well and in some cases, the hinges are on the inside to prevent damage to them. Target the hinges, and allow the firearm to do its job. You have to be precise. You simply cannot just blast the door. You have to target each component in succession to be successful.

Remember unless you are using rounds designed specifically for door breaching ricochets are a real possibility as well as injuries to those in the structure. Ballistic breaching should only be used as a last resort when the lives of those inside the structure are in danger.

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Survival uses for zip ties

10 Reasons You NEED Zip Ties In Your Bug Out Bag

Preppers Do you Have These in Your Bug out Bag: Zip Tie Survival Uses

Often times called cables ties, zip ties come in various colors and sizes but keep in mind the colored ones weaken faster when exposed to sunlight. Black appears to hold up the best, but you might want a variety of colors that can be used as markers. Have a variety of colors and sizes stored in your bug-out-bag, camping supplies and make sure you have plenty around the home.

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10 Everyday Items with Uncommon Uses

10 Common Items

Once the grip on technology has been broken, you will still have to survive. Just because the tether to the Internet is broken does not mean that certain task do not have to be accomplished. The problem being of course is that in today’s world people need technology to survive, or so they believe.  However, this is not the case, so start now learning a few simply life hacks that can make your life easier in a post disaster world.

Who Knew Right

1.) Apples cut up will remove wood and cigarette smoke from confined areas. Smoke in your tent or shelter, then slice some apples and place around the area. The apples will immediately turn brown but this is ok. Change out as often as needed.

2.) Powers out and your refrigerator is damp and smelly? Cut an orange in half, scoop out the pulp and save for eating, then fill the two hollowed out shell halves with salt and place in the refrigerator. Once the salts have become damp change out, and do this until the smell and dampness is gone. Use this method for coolers and other small confined spaces to eliminate dampness and odors.

3.) Do not throw away the water from your fish aquarium when you change it out. Use the water to provide much-needed nutrients to your house or garden plants. The waste produced by the marine life is still in the water and it contains phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium, fertilizer in other words.

Aquaponics is a well-established method of raising marine life and plants together. The wastewater is automatically pumped to the plants, which in turn extracts the needed nutrients, and then the water is filtered as it passes through the soil to be used once again by the marine life.

4.) Sour milk will clean your live houseplant leaves helping to rejuvenate the cells in the leaves. Plants of course extract carbon dioxide from the air and expel oxygen. Household dust and dander and cigarette smoke as well as other contaminates will collect on the leaves inhibiting the plant’s ability to perform the much needed photosynthesis. 

Sour or stale milk contains “Casein” which is a protein that helps the cell walls in the leaves to become more efficient. Fresh milk would work but why waste it. Milk goes sour rather quickly, and probably no one can say they have never had milk go bad on them, so next time put it to good use instead of rinsing it down the drain.

5.) House and garden plants love starch and starch (used as a sugar fuel) is important for plant growth particularly if they receive limited sunlight. Houseplants often times do not receive enough sunlight throughout the day. Getting the much-needed starch is easy, simply allow the water that you boiled potatoes or pasta in to cool and then use to water your plants. Potatoes and pasta of course contain starch, which is left in the water after boiling.

6.) Fresh coffee grounds placed in the refrigerator in an open container while it is running will absorb odors and surprisingly enough leave a rather pleasant smell behind. Use fresh coffee grounds to remove damp musty smells from your cars’ carpet or any carpet by spreading the grounds evenly over the area, let set and then vacuum up after a few days.

7.) Deer eating your fruit trees and other plants hang deodorant soap bars around and run the free loaders off. Clothing you have worn can also repel deer and other animals because the smell of humans means big trouble to some chomping varmints.

8.) Crush an aspirin and mix with enough water to make a paste to stop the itch and pain from chigger bites. Aspirin paste works on a variety of other insect bites as well.

9.) Rubbing alcohol and regular hand soap applied to mosquito bites will almost make them disappear. Use sparingly and dab on with a cotton swab.

10.) Store your batteries in the refrigerator to make them last longer and for an energy boost before using let them warm up by placing them in direct sunlight.

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5 Steps to Follow Immediately After a SHTF Situation

SHTF Situation

So, whatever “it” is, its happened. You might be in shock, confusion may reign around you. Panic may set in for the general public. You? You’ve got things under control and you are reacting on autopilot to safegaurd your loved ones. Why? Because you trained yourself to follow these five steps immediately after the SHTF! Check out:

5 Steps to Follow Immediately After a SHTF Situation

 

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DIY Instant Hand Warmers

DIY Instant Hand Warmers

Sure, you can buy hand warmers in the store or online, but cost per use can be quite high and performance from those small packages can leave you wishing for more. What if we told you there was a very inexpensive way to make your own hand warmers with common products and a few seconds worth of your time? Please keep in mind when adding calcium chloride to water, hydrochloric acid and calcium oxide form, so you must be careful not to get this mixture on your skin because it can cause the skin to burn. With that being said check out this excellent video by kipkay:

 

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Ebola: What We Have Seen So Far May Be Just the Beginning

Ebola Just The Beginning

What do Charles Darwin, Linus Pauling, Albert Einstein, Lord Kelvin and Fred Hoyle all have in common? They all had committed colossal errors in their scientific studies; they all believed something to be true when in fact it was not.

“US scientists state uncertainties loom about Ebola’s transmission, other key facts about the disease need further research before any definitive answers can be found” (Reuters, 2014).

The government insists we all listen to the science when it comes to Ebola, well as we all know science has been wrong before, many times before.

“Some of the things that experts are worried about include Ebola virus penetration through “intact skin”. Medical experts know that a person can become infected if the bodily fluid of an infected person enters through a break in their skin.

What does it mean if the Ebola virus can penetrate intact skin however, in other words a person may not need to have a break in the skin for the virus to enter the body through the skin.”

Can simple contact with exposed skin allow the virus to enter the body? No one really knows, yet.

“The possibility of this happening has not been definitively ruled out, according to hemorrhagic-fever expert Thomas Ksiarek of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), who co-led a session on Ebola’s transmission routes” (Reuters, 2014).

Other experts question whether the Ebola virus can be spread by those who may not be showing symptoms. Public health officials in the United States and elsewhere insist it cannot. However, according to Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah the possibility of “subclinical transmissions” remains very much an open question.

Experts also wonder whether the “infectious dose” is dependent upon how it enters the body. Additionally, the period between exposure and symptoms appearing is called into question as well. Some believe it may have to do with what fluids a person may have contact with from an infected person. For example, is the incubation period longer if someone contacts the saliva versus the blood of an infected person?

According to Dr. C.J. Peters, who is a field virologist at UTMB estimates that “5 percent of people” can show symptoms, and be in fact infected, and ultimately pass the virus along after an incubation period of three weeks has passed.”

Another question is at what temperature patients start “shedding” the virus. This is not definitively known, said Dr. Michael Hodgson, chief medical officer of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Most believe it is when the body temperature of an infected person reaches 100.4ᵒ F (38ᵒ C). When a patient sheds, the virus is when others can become infected if they are exposed to bodily fluids.

Another question and possibly huge problem is whether the virus can survive in sewers. This question is posed by Paul Lemieux of the National Homeland Security Research Center at the Environmental Protection Agency. “Can rats pick up the virus and carry it, and ultimately spread it to humans and other animals” the question remains unanswered.

There are questions, and some claim to have the answers. However, when it comes to life and death the answers have to be correct, and some fear they may not be.

Much of what has been stated above is opinion, based on observation and certain studies, but it is well worth your time to contemplate what you have just read. What we all know is that to get the virus you have to make contact with it, so your first line of defense as stated in previous articles, is seclusion, as much as possible anyway.

The facts are if you do contract the virus you cannot treat yourself or treat a family member so your focus has to be on not contracting the virus in the first place. The reality is that you will not likely contract the virus, but the fear Ebola has instilled in your community and country is real and it can cause you and everyone else problems. Communities will react when and if someone in the community is infected with the virus and this will cause you problems that you must prepare for now.

The chances of you contracting the virus is extremely low to the point it is almost impossible but take nothing for granted and know who, what, when and where. Once again, seclusion is your best defense.

The problem with science and diseases is that they both change they both evolve over time. The Ebola virus may or may not adapt, mutate if you will, but then again it might very well mutate into something even more deadly, all speculation at this point of course, but everyone has to assume the worst case so they can at least try to prepare.

The problem is that no one knows what they do not know, and the fear is that one-day soon medical experts may say, “oops we got it all wrong” and back to the drawing board. A game changer for sure, but it has happened in the past with various other diseases and other scientific certainties that turned out not to be so certain after all.

Resources:

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/17/184775928/when-great-scientists-got-it-wrong

Reuters. (2014, November 04). Retrieved November 2014, from http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/11/04/us-scientists-say-uncertainties-loom-about-ebola-transmission-other-key-facts/?intcmp=ob_homepage_health&intcmp=obnetwork

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What Your Bug out Bag Says about You

Bug Out Bag Says About You

Contents May Reveal Your Level of Training and Whether You Are Ready or Not

You have your backpack on the floor with items surrounding it, and at first glance, it does not look like everything will fit inside. Everything must go into the bag however, because each item is needed for survival, right?

Much of the survival gear is still in its wrappers, the magnesium stick has never been used and that is a good thing in your mind. Why waste valuable magnesium playing around in the back yard with it, you will need it to make fires out in the wild.

The Ferro rods have nary a nick on them and this also pleases you, you like the fact that everything is new and ready for prolonged use out on the trail. You do have packages of matches and disposable lighters however. Research shows that a prepared person always has more than one way to start a fire.

Your hiking boots cost a pretty penny, and so you look for scuff marks before putting them in the bag. You tried them on the day they arrived, but you were worried they would become nicked up if you wore them around the yard for too long. The hiking boots need to be in perfect shape if you have to bug out, because your feet deserve the best.

Extra clothing with the tags still on them is piled neatly ready for the pack. You have a winter coat, jeans, heavy flannel shirts, underclothes and socks. You wonder if you can wrap all the clothing in your poncho or the tarp to save space. You are now trying to figure out how the sleeping bag you ordered can be strapped to the outside of the pack. The directions that came with the pack said it could be.

Ziploc bags of protein bars, MRE’s, small cans of tuna and chicken along with a portable stove are at the ready along with a 12-pack of bottled water. You also have water purification tablets, a small stainless steel mess kit, rope, metal canteen, a heavy duty fixed bladed knife, which has never felt a honing stone by the way. You also have a multi-tool, whistle, mirror, and new packages of batteries, two flashlights, gloves, hat and several bandanas still in the packaging from the store. You are ready for anything.

Your first aid kit has never been opened so you are convinced that nothing inside it has been corrupted. You double-check the list you printed off the Internet. You compare your items to the ones on the list, and it all looks good so far.

Does Any of the Above Sound Familiar?

If it does, it is not likely you will get very far from your front door. Bugging out is not to be taken lightly. It is not something to do just because some Internet blog says it is the thing to do. Survival is about making the right decisions at the right time, and for most people staying put is the right decision.

However, do not confuse bugging out with evacuation. There will be times when evacuation is needed but usually with the assumption, you will be back in a few days after the flood waters have receded, or the chemical spill from a train derailment has been cleaned up.

Bugging out implies that society is in turmoil or an attack on your city is probable and the country is in chaos. There would be other reasons to bug out of course, and so decisions have to be made based on the best information available at the time.

Bugging out from a known location to an unknown one and being able to survive in between takes skills, skills that anyone can acquire, if he or she puts in the time and therein lays the problem.

If you have not worn out a pair of hiking boots from hiking with a pack on your back and if your survival gear is not banged up somewhat from camp use then you are not ready.

Bugging out in most cases would be more dangerous than staying put. You do not want to flee one crisis only to find yourself in a worse situation. Practice is needed before you can attempt anything, and before you can practice, you need skills that can be practiced until they are second nature.

You need to wear a magnesium stick down to the nubs, and you need to break a few Ferro rods before you can even think about leaving. You need calluses on your hands from swinging a hatchet or machete, because shelters do not build themselves.

Cuts, bruises and blackened fingernails may mean you are on the right track, but you are not there yet, because when you are, you will not be sitting on the floor wondering what next.

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100+ Ways for Preppers to Spend a Buck at the Dollar Store

Dollar Store Preps

There are two things we know about dollar stores. First, they are great places to find prepping gear and supplies on the cheap. Second, they have LOTS of stuff you don’t need. Wouldn’t it be great to have a ready made prepper’s shopping list to take to the dollar store? Well, here is a great start check out:

100+ Ways for Preppers to Spend a Buck at the Dollar Store

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Bugging Out Military Mindset

Bugging Out Military Style: Using a Military Mindset

Some naturally assume that all military members are trained in advanced survival tactics such as bush craft skills and various other skills that John Rambo so famously demonstrated in the Rambo series. Actually, this is not the case however, because only a select few are invited to take advanced survival training courses. The most well known survival-training program is the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape course better known as the SERE program.

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