Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

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If your hotel came under attack, what would you do?

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This Week: What I would do if gunmen entered my hotel… The weapons I use in the US vs. overseas… What not to do in a hotel attack… The laser/light combination I use on my gun… And, an alternative to paracord.


The attacks last week at the Radisson in Mali are another horrific example of the unprecedented times that we live in.


And with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching many of us will be staying in hotels in the U.S. and overseas so I want to quickly cover what we can do to better ensure we have safe travels this holiday season.


First, I always stay within the third to sixth floors of a hotel. I don’t want to be on the 77th floor because that’s a long way to get down if the place catches on fire or comes under attack. Floors 3-6 aren’t so high that I can still quickly evacuate the place if I need to. (I don’t stay on the first two floors because those are the most likely to be hit by criminals.)


Second, I always have some type of weapon with me. If I’m staying at a hotel in the US I typically have a gun with me. It’ll be a Springfield 1911 or Sig Sauer P226 and it sits on the nightstand. I’ll also have a flashlight (usually a SureFire or O-Light) on the nightstand. If I am with my family, the gun will be in a rapid-access safe with the flashlight next to it.


If I am staying in a hotel overseas, I usually don’t have a gun with me. Instead, I’ll have my Tactical Pen and Micro Spy tool sitting on the nightstand along with a flashlight. Depending on what time I get to the area, I will also pick up a knife from a local store.


Whether I am in the US or overseas I always take the time (it only takes minutes) to check out the hotel emergency exits. If something happens I want to know the closest exit to my room and the next closest exit.


With my preparation done, if I were ever at a hotel and all of the sudden I heard shots ring out, I sure as heck wouldn’t run out into the hallway to see what’s going on and possibly get gunned down. I would stay in my hotel room and barricade myself behind several pieces of thick wood furniture.


In other words, you may have seen that funny picture being sent around where there’s a bomb squad surrounding a bomb and a bunch of people are in an office building with their faces pushed against the glass just a few feet away… don’t be those people.


If the building isn’t on fire, stay in your room and fight the urge of your curiosity to leave your room and put yourself in harms way. The fact is, in this day and age you could stay in your room and get all of the updates of what’s going on in your hotel from your smartphone. There’s no need to see it in person.


Lastly, don’t stay at an obvious target overseas. In other words, if you’re in a country that dislikes Americans and every American and their brother stays at the Holiday Inn in that country, then stay somewhere else that’s more low profile.


I certainly hope that your travels are uneventful from a security standpoint and that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of good food!


The Mailbag


From Seo C: Where can I get set picking-tools like you have in your belt video?


A: You can get the lock pick tools and lots of other gear from our Spy Store right here.


From Spencer S: Since I was 12 years old I have wanted to be a CIA agent. My question sir, is what is the path to get there? I have been law enforcement.


A: Law enforcement, the military, and certain languages definitely help. But the most important thing is to figure out a way to get your Top Secret Security Clearance. In other words, you can get your clearance from other agencies and then do a lateral transfer to the CIA if you can’t get into the CIA outright.


From Michoel S: I have a Glock 22. Can you recommend a good laser/light combo?


A: I like the Viridian C5L laser/light combo and that’s what I use on my home defense gun.


From Frank P: If you know of any thinner paracord laces I can buy for my dress shoes or sneakers, please let me know.


A: Paracord is thicker by nature. If you want something thinner with the same cutting abilities, try Kevlar cord. (It is a little more expensive than paracord.)


From Lucy L: Good morning, my husband is interested in your training, can you tell us the total for the full training and how many days?


A: We offer lots of different courses. You can see a full list, which also covers details of our VIP Membership, right here. (Keep in mind, the VIP Membership is only open for the next few days.)


Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

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