Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

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Get Out Alive

7 Items for a Roadside Emergency

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This Week: Helping a stranded mother with four young children… Makes and models of car guns… The burner phone… The E&E Driving Course is now closed… And, a pocket holster for my gun.



Last week, I was in Austin, New York City (my least favorite place), and Salt Lake doing trainings.


By the time Saturday rolled around, I was finally home and ready to go to bed early, about 8:30pm. As I was about to fall asleep, my wife got a call that my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law (confusing, I know) had a flat tire on the highway and was not too far from our house.


I got in my car and headed out to help this woman who was alone with her four young children. (She lives in Idaho and was on her way to California to visit her family.)


The woman did not have a flashlight with her, she had no roadside assistance, and her jack was missing certain pieces making it unusable. Luckily, I had my jack and flashlights and was able to quickly change her tire and then get her and her children back to my house until the tire could get fixed the next day.


Needless to say, (in a nice way) I mentioned to this woman that she probably wants to get a new jack and some other items for the back of her car in case of an emergency. Especially, since she’s alone with four kids making a long trip from Idaho to California.


Here are some of the items I suggested to her to make her travels safer…


  1. Roadside Assistance: To me, getting roadside assistance is a “no brainer.” I pay $2 a month for it and for the number of times my wife has locked her keys in her car it’s a wonder they haven’t cancelled it on us. I don’t know what AAA costs these days but I can’t imagine it’s more than $100 a year. Anyone who drives a car should have roadside assistance for emergencies.



  1. A “Real” Jack: Like the monster that lives in your dryer and always eats one of your socks, there’s a monster in your trunk that always takes pieces of your car jack. (Especially if you buy used cars like I do, something’s always missing.) I highly recommend you purchase your own jack, something more heavy duty. The jack I keep in the back of my car and that I used to change the woman’s tire is the Torin 2-Ton Black Jack. It’s not very expensive and has helped me on numerous occasions.


  1. Lantern: I’m not talking about a huge camping lantern that requires propane, I’m talking about a smaller battery operated lantern. The one I use is the Rayovac Sportsman Lantern. In addition to the lantern, have several flashlights. I use ones from brands such as SureFire, Fenix, and O-Light. I also have some of the cheap flashlights that you can buy for about $5 at any hardware store. (Yes, I’m a flashlight junkie and have four flashlights in my car right now.)


  1. Escape Bag: In the back of my car I have my “Escape Bag”, which is essentially a 72-hour kit on steroids. At the very least, you should have a basic 72-hour kit in the back of every car you own. Not only do they have food and water for an emergency, but these kits also have a way to start a fire and a flashlight.



  1. Burner Phone: In the Spy course I teach, I share exactly how to buy a “burner phone” so that you can make untraceable calls. The last phone I purchased cost me $9.88 from Wal-Mart and about $20 bucks for the minutes to use it. Now, you don’t have to make your phone an “off the books phone” but I would still get a cheap pre-paid phone and leave it in your glove compartment. Far too often in an emergency, right when you need them cell phones are dead and you can’t find the car charger for it.


  1. Car Gun: Where I live in southern Utah there are a lot of remote areas. The last thing you want to happen is have your car break down and have some “less desirables” try and harm you since you’re in the middle of nowhere. So while I always carry concealed (usually a Ruger LCP or a Springfield 1911) it’s a good idea to have a car gun if you don’t always have a gun with you. This gun could be a small pistol such as a Glock 26, or a collapsible rifle that fits in your 72-hour kit such as a Kel-Tec Sub-2000.


  1. Power Pack: Even though you (hopefully) have roadside assistance, why not save the time and get back on the road immediately if you can. If you have a dead battery a power pack can jump start your car and get you back on the road immediately. Even better for an emergency, many power packs such as the PowerAll by Rosso can be used to charge other items as well such as cell phones and laptops.


You may already have some of these items in your car, but certainly consider getting the others in case of an emergency. Especially since it’s summer and a lot of us will be taking long road trips that might take us through the middle of nowhere. (You’ve seen Deliverance haven’t you?)


The Mailbag


It’s a rather light mailbag this week, don’t forget to send in your questions and comments!



From Sam S: Please tell me where I can get the emergency bag that I was told about by Jason. Your help in this matter will be appreciated.


A: I believe you’re talking about the “Escape Bag” that I mentioned in today’s article. Full details are here.


From George G: What type of holster do you use for the gun you carry in your pocket?


A: I use a kydex holster and love it. Since I don’t know what type of gun you own, I would Google “Pocket Kydex Holster” and you’ll see a lot of companies to choose from.


From Carol P: Hello, when and where is the driving course going to be held?


A: The E&E Driving Experience will take place on September 11-12. It is held on my 320-acre property called “Spy Ranch” in Cedar City, UT. However, the course is now full and has been closed. If you’d like to be put on the waiting list for this year’s course and also notified when registration for the next course opens, visit the Spy Driving page.


From Mary T: I have designed a Personal Alarm for Woman that is different than all that I have seen in the Marketplace. I had a prototype manufactured and am hoping to partner with a company and get it into the marketplace. Would you be open to learning more about my product and “hearing” more about it? If you like the concept/design of the alarm, would you be interested in discussing partnership options?


A: I’m always interested in learning about new products. Go ahead and send me a sample for review. If everything looks good and I believe in the product and would use it then we can discuss partnership options.


Stay safe,

Jason Hanson



  • Russ Z says:

    Your information is good and citizens should follow it. The car gun (if you have ccw permit)is a great idea, but the choice could be a 9 shot H&R or similar in 22lr. If no permit maybe a flare gun (Orion 12ga orange plastic), the kit (for boaters) comes with ground flares and is lagal in most states.

  • Baron DeKalb says:

    I recently took an overseas trip and going through the security check they would not allow me to carry my tactical pen. Having checked my luggage, and leaving for an extended trip; I had to recall my brother-in-law to give him the pen. It was either that or throw it away.

  • Sean O'Rourke says:

    Just read your June 2015 Survival Letter and I love the tip about using your cell phone battery to help start a fire. I will go ahead and add a Brillo pad to my Escape Bag (as well as those of my wife and kids). I picked up the dryer lint trick back in my Eagle Scout days, but the last few years I’ve taken it a step further. I have been saving my toilet paper rolls and stuffing them with the dryer lint. The cardboard is slower to burn and it allows me plenty of time to get small tinder to light. I have a couple of these in a plastic baggie in each of the Escape Bags (as well as a cupboard full of extras in the house). Thanks for all your tips!

  • Pat says:

    Tire chain for when you get stuck in the mud or snow. I always have some in my car and they paid for themselves.

    Also a glass smasher/seatbelt cutter.

  • Phil Werner says:

    The. Sawyer water filter I have says DO NOT FREEZ. Since I am in Minnesota do I have to keep the filter in the house till I get in the car then keep it in Ihear inside and not in the trunk?

    • Aias says:

      I live by Chicago. I keep a few of the largest hand warmers I can find to help melt the water, but it’s not a quick method!

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