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 a small Wyoming town. I’m 200 miles from the nearest “Big city.” With harsh winters what should I do if it is impossible to bug out?

-From Tina T.

Answer: Everyone should evaluate their survival plans on a case-by-case basis and develop a plan that works within their limits.

In a situation such as yours, I would make an emphasis on preparing to stay put during an emergency and being able to hunker down for a long period of time. As you mentioned, trying to leave would probably put you at more risk.

So, I would prepare by making sure you have extra food and water storage for the long term. Of course, have plenty of propane heaters and stoves and lots of firewood.

This is the best plan anyway. Don’t leave your home unless it’s critical because your home already provides shelter and has your supplies.


What are your thoughts on signage? Do you think having signs such as “trespassers will be shot” are a good idea?

-From Danny B.

Answer: A sign like the one you mentioned basically tells people you have firearms, which is good and bad. Of course, a criminal will probably think twice before breaking into your home in the middle of the night because they know you are most likely armed.

However, the drawback is criminals will know that they can steal guns from your home so they may be more likely to break into your home when you are gone.

For example, some biker gangs acquire firearms by following people home from gun shops and then watching the house until the victim leaves. Then they can break in and steal their guns while no one is home.

So, it’s obviously up to you. I don’t have those types of signs around my house, but that’s just me.


What do you think of a laser pointer as a self-defense weapon? Like the ones people use on work presentations?

-From Taylor L.

Answer: The thing about using a laser for self-defense is that you would obviously need to point the laser at your attacker’s eyes to distract them.

Now, I’m all for using any weapon possible in a life-or-death situation. However, if you are dealing with an attacker running towards you and moving then it would be difficult to hit them in the eyes with a laser.

I would rather have a gun, knife, or tactical pen for self-defense.


If I keep my electronics, such as my cell phone, inside my gun safe, will the safe protect it from an EMP attack?

-From Jared L.

Answer: Since each gun safe is designed differently, it’s impossible to say whether it would protect your items from an EMP.

Now, if the safe is completely sealed and nothing is exposed to the EMP then it should survive an attack. As for the lock, most electronic locks wouldn’t work after an EMP.

However, most electronic locks have a backup key lock, which would still work.

Plus, many companies are creating EMP proof locks that you can add to your safe and replace the older lock.


What brand of backpack do you recommend for a tactical backpack set up?

-From Henry M.

Answer: There are tons of different bug out bags on the market but the thing is many of them come from the same manufacturer but just have different branding.

5.11 makes quality gear so I would give them a try. So does Mystery Ranch. Whenever you buy a bug out bag the first thing you should do when you get it is to load it up with all your gear and go for a walk.

You want to test it right away to make sure it will hold all your bug out gear and that the zippers won’t fail or the bag won’t fall apart. Just make sure you buy quality no matter what you do.


I work until late in the evenings and have to walk through a parking garage at night. I already carry your tactical pen. Are there any other self-defense tools you recommend carrying when a gun isn’t an option?

-From Katie Y.

Answer: I’m glad you carry a tactical pen, since this is one of my favorite self-defense tools.

Now, you mentioned that you frequently walk in parking garages and one of the best self-defense tools to carry in that situation is a flashlight stun gun.

The flashlight stun gun that I carry can be used as a normal flashlight and then in an instant it can be used as a stun gun.

Basically, you could walk through a parking garage using the flashlight (which wouldn’t draw attention) and if you were threatened you could easily push the stun gun function to thwart an attacker.

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