Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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I live in California and we are expecting evacuation orders because of the nearby wildfire. If I’m forced to evacuate, are there any last-minute things I should do to protect my home from looters before I leave?

-From Fernando L.

Answer: The quickest thing you can do is to double check all doors and windows are locked and set your alarm.

In addition, you may want to consider leaving a radio, TV, or even a light on to give the appearance that someone is home.

Now, if you are planning on leaving your house you need to take an inventory of everything you have inside, so 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.


Based on your advice I asked my doctor for an extra prescription of my medication to put in my bug out bag. But my insurance company refused to pay for it since it has not been the required number of days between refills. Any advice?

-From Paul M.

Answer: The best advice is to pay cash. I’ve paid cash many times before for meds when the required number of days before refills is up.


I purchased a Remington 870 shotgun for home defense. There have been a lot of burglaries in my town lately. Should I use slugs in my shotgun?

-From Ethan T.

Answer: A shotgun slug contains a single metal projectile. They are heavy, penetrate deeply, and deliver serious damage.

But, they can over penetrate so I would never use a slug for home defense.

Instead, I would consider using 00 buckshot, which is what I personally use.


I’ve watched all your training videos and I love the information you share. My question is about escaping zip ties. How do you get out of the heavy duty ones like the ones police use? (Not that I need to escape the police.)

-From Ben W.

Answer: During our Spy Course we use heavy-duty zip ties that can be found at any local hardware store such as Home Depot. In other words, we don’t train with cheap zip ties that you get at a craft store.

The thing is, the zip ties commonly used by police actually have a wire in the center of the zip tie, which is why they are so strong.

So, you wouldn’t be able to break these zip ties like the normal way you can the heavy-duty ones we train with.

There is still a way to escape them but it involves the “shimmy” method we teach at spy week.


What are your thoughts on Winchester ammo? I inherited a large stockpile of Winchester ammo from my father. It’s older but looks to be in good shape.

-From Tony A.

Answer: Winchester ammo is a quality product, and when stored properly it should last many years, perhaps decades depending on exactly how it’s stored.

Ideally, you want to store ammo in a dry, cool, dark place. You want to avoid extreme temperature swings as well.

​But if your father’s ammo was stored properly, I wouldn’t hesitate using it.


With crime surging around the country, I purchased my first gun. I would also like to get my first AR-15. Which entry level AR-15 would you recommend?

-From Brandon C.

Answer: I would check out the Ruger AR-556. This is a basic AR-15 that is very popular for those looking to buy their first one.

It’s called the AR-556 because it’s strictly chambered in .556. The rifle has a medium contour 16.10-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel, with a 1:8 twist rate.

It comes with an A2 front sight and Ruger’s rapid-deploy rear that folds away. It also has attachment points including a QD socket and bayonet lug for a sling.

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