From Dennis W: Is there a way to call someone using someone else’s phone number? Lately, I have been getting a lot of calls where when I call back the number has been disconnected.
Answer: Unfortunately, this is a common way scammers will trick you into answering their phone calls. There are multiple apps that can be used to spoof a phone number. Essentially, someone can call your phone and make any number they want appear on the caller ID. For example, I once received a phone call on my phone from my own number. In other words, the phone in my hand looked like it was calling itself, which obviously isn’t possible. However, it’s very tempting to answer the phone call since you want to know who it is. Personally, I only answer phone calls from numbers I know. If it is someone that really needs to get a hold of me they will leave a message and I will call them back.
From Pat C: I have a Generac generator that takes over in an emergency, it cost big bucks. Now the problem. NOISE. It can be heard around the block. In an emergency, I don’t want people coming over because they know I have a generator and they can hear it. I have complained to Generac, but they cannot make it quieter. Their response is “too bad.” Does anyone else have this problem? What can I do to quiet it?
Answer: When thinking about buying a generator the amount of noise it puts out should be one of your main concerns. However, if you already have a generator set up and it’s too loud there are a few options. First, make sure the generator has a quiet muffler installed on it. Next, consider building a sound dampening enclosure around the generator. Obviously, this can be expensive but it might be one of the most effective ways to reduce the noise. Make sure your generator is sitting on a rubber type pad, which will reduce vibrations and noise. Lastly, use common sense when using the generator. If looters are roaming your streets looking for someone with power, it’s probably not a good idea to fire up the generator at that moment.
From Stan D: Is it ever a good idea to bug out by boat? Depending on the emergency obviously, bad idea for a hurricane, but I live near the marina where I keep my 26-foot Pearson Ariel. If there are mobs and looting, wouldn’t I be safer on the water?
Answer: I would say bugging out by boat would be a great idea since the majority of looters or criminals probably wouldn’t have access to a boat. However, if this is your plan I would make sure you have plenty of supplies stored on the boat as well as a plan of where you will go. Clearly, you need to dock somewhere eventually so make sure you have a well-planned path to restock your supplies. Of course, as you mentioned, make sure to check the weather so you don’t head out to sea in a hurricane.
From Kira M: You mentioned keeping valuables in a safe you can bolt to the ground. What companies do you recommend? I don’t want something that’s too expensive, but I don’t want to sacrifice security…
Answer: One of the less expensive options I would check out is the Stack-On Personal Security Safe. This sells for about $100 and is roughly 19″H x 13″W x 13″D and weighs 60 lbs. In other words, it’s not a huge safe yet it can be bolted to the ground. Another option to consider is the SentrySafe Water/Fire Resistant Safe. This is more expensive and sells for about $275 but gives you the added fire and water protection. No matter which save you choose I would stick to some of the better-known brands such as Stack-On, SentrySafe, and Liberty.
From Chris P: There was a headlamp you all had a while back. Is it still for sale?
Answer: The headlamp is one of my favorite pieces of survival gear since it’s so critical in an emergency. The fact is, whether you are setting up a tent in the dark or are bugging out and need to carry a firearm, having your hands free will make a huge difference. I recommend having multiple headlamps in your survival gear for each family member so you can still move or do whatever is needed even in the dark. Also, we are all out of headlamps right now, but can send you an email once they are back in stock.
From Nathan A: Can you give me a checklist of the things I should do to close up my house in the event of a forced evacuation? If I have to leave and I don’t know when I will be back, how do I protect my home from criminals and bad weather?
Answer: If you are planning on leaving your house you need to take an inventory of everything you have inside. What I mean is, you should take your cell phone and video record the entire house. Basically, walk through the house and identify every item including TV’s all the way down to plates and cups. The more video you have the better, since it could potentially be gone when you return.
In addition, you want to board up windows and doors to prevent anything from coming through. Make sure you install plywood that is at least 1/2-inch-thick and ensure it covers the entire opening because even a little gap can wreak havoc.
Lastly, unplug everything in the home including appliances and move them to the highest point in the house that you can reasonably do so. Also, right before you leave shut off the power and water to the home. Ideally, you want to make your house as unappealing as possible to criminals.