Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Preparedness | Personal Security


After viewing a streaming event in LA where Mr. Michael C. Ruppert was a guest speaker, I was struck by the three words that he told everyone to remember.  Prepare, prepare, prepare.

With the market's erratic behavior on top of the current disaster in Japan that unfolds hourly, it's time to address one of the main issues of preparedness when facing systemic industrial and economic collapse.  I will be addressing the current events in Japan but for now, I want to focus here at home as our media is focused on points east.  There are valuable lessons to be learned from Japan in how to prepare for other things happening under our noses in the US.

One thing that Mr. Ruppert stressed upon the crowd he addressed was what to expect in what will undoubtedly be called an 'economic tsunami'.  His concern is the rise in civil unrest that will occur when lack of basic resources becomes the next inconvenient truth America awakens to.  As oil prices continue to rise, we will see a decline of Western cognitive dissonance.  Whether you feel this is good or bad makes no difference to reality, but a very stark line will be drawn between needs and wants - then shock will set in.  Now if you think people fighting over televisions at Christmas was bad - it will be nothing compared to people fighting over loaves of bread.  Once store shelves become increasingly bare, whatever civilized behavior you may be accustomed to could take a dark turn down the road to Jerry Springerville.  The United States public at large is simply not as calmly enlightened as the Japanese public - especially when you consider the religious fervor and 'smile or die' optimism running roughshod over reason in this country.  Even as we see the worst unfold in Japan, we can learn valuable lessons in humanity through their calm example.

As much as I like to think that the best in people arises during times of great pressure - I must be a realist and therefore have concerns about public and personal safety.  I decided to seek out a knowledgeable friend to address some questions regarding personal security.  Mr. K.D. Wheeler is a 20 year veteran in the protective services industry, a former bail enforcement agent, private investigator, and former United States Marine.  His word is one I can trust as a friend and former serviceman who continues to uphold an oath to the constitution which remains unshakable.  He also shares my concerns and agreed to answer some questions.


Personal Security Q n A with Mr. K. D. Wheeler

First thing that comes to mind for me is home perimeter security.  Depending on how large the property is, what things should be kept in mind and is there specific gear/technology available that you would recommend for home security?

In our post 9/11 world there are many options for commercial and home perimeter security systems.  The technology being used ranges from motion & heat sensors to fiber optics.  I've only had experience with government facilities when it comes to perimeter security systems (microwave systems) and these are far too exotic and expensive for home use.  You can check in your area for what systems are available for home use.  It will be a system that will use motion/heat sensors in a horizontal field with a coverage area of 40-80 ft.  These can be used in a combination with security cameras and connected to your home PC or DVR.  The cost would range from moderate to very expensive depending on the bells and whistles and if you're using one of the many home security providers like, ADT, Brinks, etc.  If you are technically proficient, you can design and configure your own perimeter system using the same options mentioned before.  At this time there is nothing available on the market that I would recommend above all others.  It really comes down to what you are willing to spend.

In regards to personal security - there are many people who may be uncomfortable when it comes to talk about weapons.  Especially for women.  Education is key to comfort levels - are there books or seminars available that can help or is a 'hands on' education the best route?

Although firearm sales have tripled in the last few years, there are many people who are extremely uncomfortable with weapons.   There are books available on the subject, but I would recommend taking a training class when it comes to all firearms.  States that allow a concealed carry license also have a firearms safety class.  These are usually included with the concealed carry course, but most are stand alone classes that are provided by your state for a relatively small fee.  I would also recommend taking a close combat class.  Theory and class work are all fine and good.  Familiarity with your firearm is one thing, practical application is quite another. 

These classes are moderately expensive ranging from $250-$1000 and usually last for a few days to a week.  Courses will cover everything from positions, reloading under fire, situational awareness, low light shooting....all of the circumstances that one would encounter in the real world are covered in these courses.  There are many independent instructors available and the NRA has them as well.  There are also courses that are tailored for women.  Check to see if they are available in your area.  If you are contemplating purchasing a firearm, safety and proficient use of it are paramount.  Courses are available for hand guns as well as rifles.  Most accidental firearm shootings are because gun owners were unsafe with their weapon or panicked and shot a loved one.  Do not add to these statistics. 

Very good advice.  What types of personal protection do you recommend for those just contemplating home security?

Do a threat assessment on your personal safety.  Think of the areas you work and live in.  What types of crimes occur in those areas?  Do you live in an urban environment, suburbs or rural?  All of this and more comes into play when thinking of personal protection.  If you do decide to purchase a home security system, get what you pay for.  Home security systems are passive.  Meaning they only work when the bad guys have broken in.   The response will be an alarm and then your security provider calling you and/or emergency services.  Depending on what package you order, a security officer may respond as well.   The most practical personal protection is being aware of your environment.  Do not throw money at the problem, by purchasing a home security system, firearm, taser, mace or self defense class if you are not going to actually follow through and become proficient with it.  Most Americans live under the illusion of security.  They purchase a weapon, buy a security system or take a martial arts class for a short time, then become bored with it and drop it.  When a crime does occur or personal safety is at risk, most people panic and become a victim.  

Take all of this into consideration when it comes to personal security.  What are your concerns and needs?  You can start by programming your local precinct or police dept into your mobile phone as well as 911 (speed dial).  Do the same if you have a home phone.  Call 911 and when the operator answers tell them you are simply running an emergency check and want to verify that your name and home address is what the operator has listed on their display.  Insure all doors and windows are secured.  Invest in dead bolt locks.  Do a key count.  You would be surprised how many people have "extra" keys floating about and who has them.  When it comes to personal security I recommend the K.I.S.S. system...Keep It Simple Stupid.  Be aware, be alert.  Make a checklist of pros and cons before spending the money on a security system or purchasing a weapon.  

What kind of gear is necessary to stock up on in regards to maintaining or cleaning a weapon? Are their home alternatives to market products for maintenance that you can suggest?

If you have purchased a weapon you most likely have the equipment to maintain that weapon.  You will need a gun cleaner/lubricant/preservative and bore cleaning brushes.  Personally, I use Otis Technology Cleaning Kits.  It's a small cleaning kit that can be used for handguns, rifles and shotguns and has all of the equipment you will need to maintain your weapon and is very inexpensive.

Right now, inexpensive is good so we appreciate that advice.  Getting to the nitty gritty - when a person is faced with an intruder or threat - I know a million things go through a person's mind.  Having survived an attack several years ago; my first instinct was just to 'get the hell out'.  Is there really any kind of mental preparation or home training for that?

Another excellent question and no, there is no home course you can use.  Humans are higher functioning animals, but animals nonetheless.  When confronted with an intruder most people panic and become submissive.  It's instinctual, fight or flight response.  You have limited options.  If confronted and you can escape - run!  If it is personal property the intruder wants, throw it down and run, it can all be replaced.  Your life, however, cannot.  If the intruder wants to do you harm and you cannot escape - fight, scream, yell!  Make as much noise as possible, fight as hard as you can until you hurt your attacker and can then escape or disable your attacker until they are no longer a threat.  

This is not a movie or TV show.  You will not suddenly have Bruce Lee-like fighting ability or quick draw skill with a weapon.  If you have the option to escape, do so.  If you have no other choice,  then fight as if your life depended on it - it just might just depend on it.  Criminals count on your panic and fear.  Use any weapons you have at hand and run to the most public area around you.  It doesn't sound cool or brave, but it is the reality of the situation.  

I can agree that breathing is a better choice than cool or brave.  When it comes to weapons specifically, should choice of home defense be separate from say, hunting weapons?

Actually not at all.  A weapon is a weapon is a weapon.  If you have a firearm and are safe and proficient with it's use, use it.  I must put in this disclaimer that all firearms should be safe and  secure.  This means unloaded and placed in a gun safe or with a trigger lock.  Personally, I do not have children and I am proficient with weapons, so they are stored in a convenient area, loaded and ready for use.  If you have children at home or loved ones in your household that are unfamiliar with firearms, this should not be the case.  Safety, safety, SAFETY.

What's a good rule of thumb for stocking up on ammunition?

A case of the ammunition you use for your specific weapon should be more than enough.  Unless you are a survivalist or stocking up for an end of the world scenario a case of ammunition for range use is fine.  I would like to add that if you have a handgun, and it was purchased for personal protection, spend the money and buy jacketed hollow point (JHP) over ball ammunition (FMJ).  Ball ammunition is best used for range qualification and target practice, while hollow points will be your most effective choice to carry in your firearm.

Weapons may not be an option for everyone so I believe it is a good time to be physically fit.  Do you recommend any self-defense training courses that would be of benefit?

There are many self defense systems.  Each has its pros and cons and some are more esoteric than they are practical.  Each practitioner will sing the merits of their system.  That being said, if I had to pick a system, it would be Krav Maga.  My reason for this is that the system is built upon efficiency and brutality.  Again, K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid.

Last question is a "what if" scenario:  If you had to pick up and leave with a moments notice and all you could take was one backpack, what 'must have' items would you have ready to go?

The must have items I would have in my backpack would be :

Water - Several bottles.
Food - Dried jerky, MRE's, Dried fruit and/or Trail Mix.
First Aid Kit
Medications if needed.  
Flashlight with batteries.
Hunting knife
Lighters and water proof matches.
Mobile phone and charger
Compass

All items should be packed in water proof storage (zip tight sandwich bags if nothing else) and your backpack can be packed ahead of time and ready in case of emergency.  Your backpack should be efficient and lightweight. The Marine in me suggests that you replenish your emergency backpack every 15-30 days (perishable food & water. Batteries every 90 days.)

My sincere thanks to K. D. Wheeler for sharing his expertise. If there are other questions regarding personal security that you would like to see answered, please feel free to ask them in the comment section below.  I will pass them along to Mr. Wheeler and update as time permits.  I have listed items (as well as links throughout) and research material below that will help you assess your personal security needs.  As a rule of thumb, it's best to have knowledge and tools and not need them than to need them and not have access to them at all.

Please remember to keep Japan and its people in your prayers. 



   

3 comments:

  1. Keith, brother, iodine tabs and the cardinal rules in training. 1. Train as you fight, and you'll fight as you have trained. 2. When the moment arrives, and things go south, you will NOT rise to the occasion, you will revert to your default level of training. AT

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah yes, I did over look the iodine tablets. Thanks A.T. The old maxim is still true, you fight as you have trained. Thanks brother.

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  3. Follow up to the iodine tablets; Keith informed me that iodine tablets kill bacteria, viruses and giardia (microscopic bacteria in water) which would be helpful to carry without the weight, bulk and cost of a water filter.

    ReplyDelete

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