Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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A few of my co-workers have recently been followed home from work. The police believe its multiple cars working as a team to follow employees. How do I tell if I’m being followed when they’re using more than one vehicle?

-From Walt W.

Answer: The answer is to run the world’s simplest Surveillance Detection Route. Just start taking a bunch of random turns and see if anyone follows you. Also, don’t use your turn signal so they won’t see it coming and it will be very obvious if you’re being followed.

Also, use one-way streets if you can, as this helps flush out anyone following you.


I’m a retired female with no living family members. I’m fully prepared to bug out during an emergency. But I have nowhere to go. What is the best place to go if I have no options?

-From Laura B.

Answer: You could go camping in a nearby national park or somewhere in the woods.

However, there are two things you need to take into consideration which are, is it a busy camping season? And will the disaster that forced you to leave reach the campground?

Camping is a good solution for a short-term bug out scenario.

For long term, I would buy an inexpensive piece of land and put a shipping container on it. It doesn’t take much to turn a shipping container into a habitable place.


Carrying a firearm is not an option for me. Therefore, I carry a knife with me everywhere. Yet I was told last week that if I pull out my knife in self-defense that it would be illegal. Is this true?

-From Michael E.

Answer: Most laws regarding knives are similar to gun laws. What I mean is, you can’t pull a gun out and point it at someone and the same would go for pulling a knife on someone… unless you are in fear for your life or serious bodily injury.

Since I’m not a lawyer, I would recommend contacting an attorney in your state who could explain the specific knife laws where you live. Knife laws vary from state to state. And the laws can be very specific in the length of the knife and how you carry it.


What is your opinion on using a cane for self-defense? I take mine everywhere I go so I figure this would also be my self-defense weapon. I have taken it on flights, in courtrooms, and more than a few bars. And yes, my limp comes and goes.

-From Rob M.

Answer: You bring up a great tool that can blend in easily in many places. I love the cane as a self-defense tool.

The thing is a cane can be used in many different ways such as hitting or using the hook end to grab someone. Also, there are different types of canes like ones that are made from fiberglass or aluminum. These would hurt.


I live in Northern California outside San Francisco. We are overdue for an earthquake. Experts predict we will see one that will kill thousands of people and ignite numerous fires. I live near a large dam. My concern is that the dam will fail. How do I prepare for this?

-From Janice A.

Answer: There is no good answer, except the obvious of evacuating the moment you think something isn’t right. If there are tremors, get in your car and far away from that dam.

I realize this is easier said than done since we can’t predict the exact moment an earthquake will hit.

However, I would begin preparations now to evacuate at a moment’s notice. (Get your bug out bags ready so you can quickly flee your home.)

Have a plan in place of where you will go and how you will get there. What roads you will take and how you can avoid bridges. Roads will be damaged so keep that in mind.


My wife and I updated to a newer car. It’s not brand new but it has a built-in garage door opener. The dealership programmed the garage door opener for us. My concern is that this is a major security issue. If they could do it that easily, so can criminals.

-From Kenneth T.

Answer: You are right that it would be simple for a criminal to drive through a neighborhood and push the opener and see if any garage doors are synced with the same opener as the car.

Unfortunately, garage doors are oftentimes an easy way for criminals to access a home so I would opt out of using the universal door opener in the car.

Also, if you need to make sure your garage is secure you can put a padlock on the inside of the door track. But you would have to remove it every time you wanted to open the garage door and that would clearly be a pain.

So, I’d just go “old fashioned” and get a car door opener that is not programed via the car.

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