Former CIA Officer Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

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Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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From Malcom R: What are some home security tips for a ground-floor apartment? I can’t afford bars on the windows and my landlord doesn’t allow dogs. I put a security sticker on the door, but I feel like I should do more.

Answer: When renting, you are limited in the security measures you can install since you don’t own the place. With that being said, I would consider a home security system that doesn’t require a contract and one that doesn’t require a lot of hardware installation. For example, I would look into SimpliSafe, which you can remove if you end up moving out of the apartment. If you don’t want a security system I would try a doorstopper alarm, which creates a very loud alarm if someone opens your door. Another thing to consider is putting a piece of wood in the sliding door so that it can’t be opened. In addition, you should install a quality deadbolt lock such as Medeco or Schlage if your landlord will allow.

From Lisa B: All this talk about water filters… What about good old iodine tablets? They’re way cheaper. Don’t they kill all the same stuff and make the water OK to drink? Plus, you need iodine in your diet so two birds, one stone…

Answer: The question of filtering water vs. treating water really depends on what your situation is. Basically, if you are drinking water from a high mountain river than the water is probably pretty clean and you could simply use iodine tablets. However, there are a few different reasons why I prefer using my SurvFilter to get me fresh drinking water. First and most importantly, in a survival situation chances are that I would be drinking from a dirty water source that may have floating bugs or other nasty things. If I just treat the water with tablets I’m still going to have the floating bugs and other dirt. Second, iodine tablets take at least 30 minutes to treat the water before it’s safe to drink. In a survival situation I want to be able stop and drink water immediately at the source because I may need to keeping moving. Overall, I think a filter provides the best way to provide clean drinking water.

From Marta K: Do you recommend carrying a baton as a self-defense weapon? I received a collapsible one as a gift, but I want to know what the disadvantages are.

Answer: A baton is an effective weapon but it’s not my number one choice for self-defense. The thing about batons is you have to deploy them, usually by swinging out the collapsible part, which can take time and strength. In addition, depending on the state you live in batons can be illegal for citizens to carry. So make sure you check your state and local laws regarding carrying the baton.

From Alan T: My 10-year-old wants to take karate. Is there a specific martial arts discipline you recommend for kids? I want her to learn real self-defense skills, not just choreographed fight moves. Thanks, man. From one dad to another, you do an awesome job. Keep it up.

Answer: One of the best self-defense courses in Krav Maga because it’s great training for real self-defense situations. Now, some Krav Maga instructors don’t teach children but I would check with Krav Maga instructors in your area and see what they recommend.

From Desmond H: I’m in the market for a good shotgun. My wife told me I should ask the expert (she means you).

Answer: Please tell you wife thank you her support and I wish my wife thought I was an expert on more topics. The shotgun I own and recommend is the Remington 870. This is a no frills shotgun meaning its pretty standard but it serves it’s purpose and you can find different versions of the 870 depending on what you want. Frankly, this is one of the most popular shotguns and is commonly used by law enforcement, which is why Remington has sold over 10 million of them. Another thing about the 870 is that they can be purchased for around $400, which is a good price for a quality shotgun.

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