From Jerry L: How about some advice for those who have no way to hike anywhere. If we can’t get to where we have to go by car, it’s live in place. I live in Tucson, AZ. It’s 111 degrees today, I’m 74 years old, and there is nowhere to go that makes any sense except Mexico or Phoenix…
Answer: Everyone should evaluate their survival plans on a case-by-case basis and develop a plan that works within their limits. In a situation such as yours, I would make an emphasis on preparing to stay put during an emergency. As you mentioned, trying to leave by any other means than a car would probably put you at more risk. So I would prepare by making sure you have extra food and water storage for the long term. If leaving by car isn’t an option than you really have no choice but to hunker down and survive at home. (This is the best plan anyway. Don’t leave your home unless it’s critical because your home already provides shelter and has your supplies.)
From Lowell L: The gas cap is another great place to put a GPS tracker. Most people never think to check there even though they hold it in their hand every time they get gas.
Answer: You’re right that’s another place to consider when looking for a GPS tracker. Depending on the vehicle, you can open the gas cap without access to the vehicle and simply hide the tracker. Even though you remove the gas cap often you probably wouldn’t think to look for a tracker in the cap. However, next time you fuel up you may want to double check the cap.
From Jim B: To protect your bug-out location you might also place something that will let you know if anyone entered your cabin or if anything had changed enough that you could observe it through a scope and check it out before you approach too close to the cabin…
Answer: I recommend installing a simple security system with motion detection or even a trail camera that is motion activated. Another simple tool is a doorstopper alarm, which would be moved out of place if someone entered through the door. As far as checking to see if anyone has been in your bug out location I would first walk around the exterior of the building to look for any signs of entry such as a broken window or kicked in door. Also, consider looking through a window to see if anything has been moved around or something appears out of place. This would be difficult to do from a distance with a scope but you would at least be able to see a broken window or open door before entering the building.
From Ray: You mentioned storing ammunition. Does ammunition have a “shelf life”.
Answer: While ammunition doesn’t technically have a shelf life, there are two aspects that can go bad, the casing and the powder. The casing can rust, causing jams and other malfunctions. The powder can become damp and unreliable, which may also cause malfunctions if it fires at all. Properly stored, ammunition should be good forever. This means keeping it dry.
From Nils M: In your book you have a few free offers like the keychain and credit card knife. How do I claim these goodies?
From Mark W: Have you heard of a new free app called Phone Guardian? It’s supposed to keep your location anonymous and protect the data on your phone. Supposedly, beside being free, there is no advertising and no in app purchases either. Sounds like it would be great if it really works.
Answer: It might work fine, but without proper testing you may be putting yourself at greater risk. There’s not enough data on the product to make an educated guess. Ultimately, the way attacks are generated, no system is impenetrable and this may simply lull someone into a sense of false security so I probably wouldn’t use it right now.
From Stephen C: Thank you for the timely advice. What about the idea of just not immediately running for an exit in a similar venue and waiting for police and others to secure the area? Any pros or cons to this strategy?
Answer: This is a complicated decision that needs to be made on the scene. While staying out of the way of the trampling masses is always a good idea, it’s impossible to know if there will be any secondary attacks or effects. In the case of the Ariana Grande concert, it would have probably been best just staying out of the way. However, 9/11 is an example of when you need to get out of the area as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this.