Former CIA Officer Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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From Jeff H: I just read your back issue, “5 Steps to an Invasion-Proof Home”. Nicely done! I’m a medically, retired police officer with 22 years of service. Eight of those years, I was a crime scene investigator. I wanted to share with you a way that crooks can get into a home through a sliding glass door or sliding window.

I’ve heard people say one can use a broomstick in the track and cut it a couple inches short so you can leave the door/window open slightly for ventilation. The problem with this is the bad guy can get a hold of door/window on the inside and lift it up and out of the track. But, here is a remedy for this.

Open the door/ window entirely. In the top track, screw in two, pan head screws about 3/4 of the way. Make sure they aren’t too wide that they don’t impede. Then close the door/window. If it hits the screw then turn it in more until the door/window clears both of the screws. Now you can leave the door/window open an inch with a dowel rod in the track and it can’t be lifted out.

This primarily works for older homes as new windows prevent their removal when the window is partially closed.

Answer: Thank you for your 22 years of service and for this tip. This is a great idea to prevent criminals from simply lifting the window out. This is definitely something I would consider doing to first level windows to make them more secure.

From Beth W: I’ve heard conflicting things about boiling water to make it safe to drink. Is boiling really enough? How long do you need to boil the water to make it safe?

Answer: This is a great question that’s oftentimes confusing. The thing is, you’ve probably heard of cities where local authorities have issued a boil water notice but the thing is does it really make the water safe? First, if you do boil water for drinking you should bring the water to a full boil temperature for about 10 minutes. Also, remember that it may take about 30 minutes for the water to cool down from the boiling point.

Now, if you boil water this will kill viruses, parasites, and bacteria. However, it won’t remove lead, pesticides, or any toxic chemicals. In fact, boiling water that contains lead or chemicals can make the water more toxic because when boiling you actually remove water, however the amount of lead or chemicals remains the same. So, to be safe, I would purchase a quality water filter that removes bacteria as well as chemicals.

From Matt M: The federal PETS Act requires shelter cities to provide for shelter for evacuated pets, mostly for dogs and cats. Pet shelter might not be at same location as humans (some are allergic to pet dander). You need to have a picture with you, proof of rabies vaccination, vet contact info, description of the pet. They say it’s best to plan on boarding with a kennel or a vet in an evac location. What do you suggest for evacuating with pets?

Answer: I recommend preparing a bug out bag for your pet just like you should for your family. This should include food, water, medicine, and a leash. Remember that most animals will need less water than humans since they don’t need it for cooking their food. When it comes to pets the best thing you can do is to evacuate early if possible. What I mean is, if you know a hurricane is approaching, your pets should be another factor to consider when deciding when you should leave.

From Linda L: Thank you for the offer of WaterBricks! I do have one question: If stored in a hot garage, what is the room temperature at which the bricks are adversely affected?

The bricks would most likely be stored in the garage. The temperature outside the garage is about 100 degrees lately…

Answer: Ideally, you want to store emergency water in a cool, dark place, but there is no specific temperature at which the WaterBricks wouldn’t work. Basically, if you decide to store them in a garage I would consider stacking them on a pallet or some other way to keep them off the ground. In addition, if it’s hot outside you will probably want to rotate the water supply more often than if it were stored in a cool, dark place.

From Shirley T: I hear from certain people that on Sept. 23, because of a meteor that can land in the west or east coast Ocean, will wipe out by a tidal wave 1/3 of our nation. Do you think this is coming? This is called Planet X. I have survivalist friends who say go to the mountains to avoid this catastrophe. What do you say?

Answer: I haven’t heard of this and it’s not something I believe is likely to happen. However, if you were concerned about a tidal wave the most important thing to do is get as high off the ground as possible. Ideally, you want to get at least three stories off the ground in a building or some structure that is strong enough to withstand the water rush such as a building or parking garage. Remember, tidal waves can go on for hours at a time, so make sure you stay put until the danger is over and don’t assume since one wall of water has passed that it’s safe. In addition, once the tidal waves are over there will be tons of debris and contamination dangers, so you should safely get out of the area as quick as you can.

From David L: I just bought a new gun (a Springfield 1911, just like you recommended) and I need some good practice drills. What do you suggest?

Answer: You made a great choice buying a 1911, one of my favorite guns. There are a lot of different drills you can do but one I particularly like is called the mozambique drill, or the failure to stop drill. For this drill you can use a standard person silhouette target. Then you want to practice firing two shots to the center mass of the target and one shot to the head. You should practice this and then starting timing yourself to continue improving speed and accuracy. Basically, this drill is great practice for if you encounter someone wearing body armor or if two shots to the torso fails to stop the threat.

Another drill I recommend can be done with any standard target that has numbers. Most gun ranges will have these types of targets and you will need someone to help you complete this drill. The way it works is the person helping you will call out a number such as “2.” You need to find the number 2 on the target and fire one round. This is an important drill because it makes you think before shooting which we should always be doing in a real life situation.

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