Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

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Do You Have an Electronics Kit?

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This Week: The list of items to keep in your home or car… Electronics… Don’t try and fly with the credit card knife… Ceramic knives… And, why I don’t care that Uber rides are tracked.


Those that know me know that I’m not a huge fan of electronics. I don’t use a smartphone and I don’t have an iPad or iPod or whatever the latest gadget happens to be.


I prefer to check my email and do all of my work on a laptop and when I’m not working on my laptop I don’t want to be bothered with “dings” coming from my phone tempting me to check email every two seconds. I realize that I’m in the minority when it comes to this and that most people couldn’t live without their iPhone or being able to quickly respond to their latest text message.


So, whether you happen to be like me or happen to always have the newest iPhone or iPad, I do recommend that people consider putting together some type of electronics kit in case of an emergency. This isn’t a kit that goes in your bug out bag but is a kit you keep in your home or car and makes life much easier when you do need your electronic devices for important activities.


For example, several cars these days come with built-in outlets that you can directly plug a tablet or other device into. However, if your car doesn’t have outlets in them you may want to check out the Stanley Fatmax 140 Power Inverter. The Fatmax plugs into your cigarette lighter and it looks like a regular wall outlet that’s in your home so you can plug two devices into it. People who need constant power for medical devices should definitely check into getting something like this.


Another piece of gear to consider is a portable battery charger. I happen to use a RAVPower Portable Charger. This charger is rather large compared to others but it can easily charge my laptop all of the way and several smaller devices too. Plus, it comes with numerous adapters for different cell phones and tablets so you can charge almost any device imaginable.


In case the power is out and all you’ve got to work with is the sun then you should look into small solar panels for charging purposes. Years ago, these panels cost a fortune but you can now get quality panels for less than $100 that will charge phones and tablets. One such set of panels is the EnerPlex Kickr IV.


This is a set of four panels that is very rugged and made for hiking and camping. It folds up rather compact and weighs less than a pound so you can throw it in a backpack and know that you’ll have power (as long as the sun is around.)


Don’t forget about having good old-fashioned batteries with you too. The batteries that I prefer are the Panasonic Eneloop batteries that are rechargeable. According to Panasonic, these batteries can be recharged over 2,100 times so they’ll probably last you a lifetime.


Another nice feature of these batteries is that once they’re charged they can hold 70% of their charge for up to 10 years when not in use, which means you can keep these batteries in your car for years without having to worry about them.


I know there are numerous other gadgets that you can throw in an electronics kit but the list above can get you started and give you some ideas of what you may want to add to your own kit. Since the rate of technology is lightning fast these days I can only image the electronics we’ll have five to ten years from now.


The Mailbag


From Rick O: Key West TSA confiscated my card knife. I thought you said it was legal? I will miss it.


A: I’ve flown all over with the Tactical Pen but not the credit card knife. The credit card knife is a real knife and definitely not allowed on planes. (You can get another credit card knife for FREE, right here. Just don’t try and take it on planes again.)


From Greg H: In this week’s Mail Bag there was reference to “Personal Safety and Intelligence Operators course” where do I find information regarding this course?


A: At the moment, this course is only being offered to corporate clients. However, I am in the process of doing an ‘open enrollment’ course that is more affordable to individual customers. I will send out an email once it is ready to go.


From Deward S: I just came back from a class on security at our local college. The instructor had been with the sheriffs’ office. He showed us the ceramic knives that you see advertised on the TV commercials. He stated since there is no metal they are not able to be picked up on scanners like at airports. These knives are fixed blades and very sharp. Your thoughts please.


A: Yes, he is correct, but some companies have been including metal shavings in their ceramic knives so people can’t get them through security checkpoints. You would need a metal detector to test it and see if your blade was really 100% ceramic. (Of course, don’t go anywhere illegal with it.)


From George P: I did not see your books listed under the products and training tab. Do you sell the books through your website or should I go through a book retailer?


A: I do sell the book through my website. Click here to get the book along with several free gifts as a thank you.


From John T: I’m not an Uber shill, but your advice on not using Uber seems wrong. The Uber rides are fully tracked with a paper trail of the driver and passenger, GPS location tracked 100% of the time, etc.


A: You are right that they are tracked, but that doesn’t do me much good if I’m dead because I got into an Uber vehicle driven by a criminal. All it means is they’ll find the criminal faster, but I’ll still be dead.


Stay safe,

Jason Hanson


  • Matt says:

    Hi Jason-Loved your book and love your blog. I am a retired police detective and current private investigator. In regards to Uber, you are correct-it is not a good idea. I did an internet search for “Uber Background check” and from their own site found this in very light colored and small font at the bottom: “* Uber’s screening process does not require fingerprints, Live Scan, or the DOJ/FBI databases. For more details on our screening process, read our safety blog post…” A background that does not include fingerprints is immediately substandard. I imagine their using one of those “nationwide background checks” you see advertised online or only checking the driver’s current state of residence. I can tell you from personal experience, even the State run databases available to PI’s are not always corect-I’ve seen known criminals’ crimes not appear on them. The only true, effective background check is via fingerprints and even that will miss some minor crimes (such as disorderly conduct, harassment, etc). Keep on preaching, no Uber!

    • Jason Hanson says:

      Thank you for the information. I recently found out the background check Uber does costs them about $1.85 and is a complete joke. The only reason they do it is for publicity purposes so they can say their drivers passed a background check.

      Stay safe!

  • Harold Shindel says:

    I was in Israel and visiting the ‘wall’ I was carrying your folding knife as well as a Swiss Army knife
    I was stopped at the Security Check point leading to the plaza area…;
    There was no problem with the Swiss Army Knife I was able to carry it further into the area
    There was a problem with the folding knife. According to the police (who were called by security)
    this type of folding knife is illegal in all parts if Israel and the knife was confiscated

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