Chance favors the prepared!

James L

A former outdoor survival instructor, James currently works as a police officer in a suburb of Oklahoma City. James has over 20 years experience in law enforcement, and is also a certified police trainer.

Safety and Security Tips for Craigslist

Craigslist security tipsMillions of people worldwide use Craigslist to buy and sell products and services – from appliances to zombie preparedness products, visitors can also find services such as housekeepers, babysitters, and job opportunities. While most transactions occur safely and legitimately, criminals may use Craigslist as a vehicle to commit a wide range of crimes, including robbery, identify theft, sexual assault and even murder.

About Craigslist

Craigslist is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, items for sale, items wanted, services, and discussion forums. Craigslist became a web-based service in 1996 and expanded into other classified categories. It started expanding to other U.S. cities in 2000, and now covers 50 countries.

Craigslist was founded by Craig Newmark in 1995 as an email distribution list to friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A Few Interesting Craigslist Stats:

  •  Total number of local Craigslist sites – 700
  •  Number of countries that have a local Craigslist site – 70
  •  Number of Craigslist daily queries worldwide – 50,000,000
  •  Total percentage of all Craigslist revenue that comes from adult service ads – 33 %
  •  Number of new classified ads that are published on Craiglist every month – 40 million
  •  Number of used car ads viewed on Craigslist – 9.2 million
  •  Number of page views Craigslist gets every month – 20 billion
  •  Number of Americans who use Craigslist each year – 50 million
  •  Number of job listings posted to Craigslist each month – 1 million

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EDC Gun Review – Smith and Wesson .380 Bodyguard

bodyguardSome might call me a “Gun Nut”. I prefer the term “Firearm Aficionado!” But I thought I would combine my love of firearms with my love of writing and blogging. So to begin this endeavor, I decided I would start with a review of my old backup, off-duty, EDC pistol; the .380 Bodyguard by Smith and Wesson.

I purchased the Bodyguard wanting a backup pistol for my Glock 23 as well as something I could easily carry off-duty. I looked for something light weight and easily concealable. The S&W Bodyguard fit that bill. The fact that it had a built in laser sight by Insight was a bonus.

The laser is activated with a button on both sides of the gun frame. You hit the button for on, again for pulse, and a third time for off.

The Bodyguard is a hammer fired, double action semi-automatic pistol. The slide is stainless steel and coated in Melonite, while the lower frame is polymer. It came with a single, 6 round magazine with a flared bottom plate for better gripping ability.  (Gun has a 6 +1 capacity.)

The barrel on this gun is 2.75 inches, with the total length of the gun at 5.4’ and weighs about 12 oz.
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More Crime Prevention Tips from a Veteran Cop

crime prevention,As a youth, I was actively involved in the Boy Scouts, which is where I learned the importance of being prepared. “Be Prepared” is of course the Boy Scout motto. That mindset transitioned with me into my career as a law enforcement officer.

As a police officer, I teach people the importance of being prepared and staying safe. Not necessarily for the end of the world, but how to protect themselves from crime, or how to be prepared and what to expect should they find themselves a victim of crime.

Chances are that at some time in your life you, a family member, or a friend has been a victim of a crime. It is a very unfortunate part of not just our society, but our species. Because of that, I want to convey some general tips and steps you can do to protect yourself.

The most important tip is to always be aware of your surroundings. Stop texting for a moment and take in what is going on around you. Criminals prey on those who look lost, distracted, and/or weak. So pay attention to your environment. Appear confident. Act like you are in control and are moving with a purpose. Don’t look like an easy target!

There are tens of thousands of muggings and assaults every year in the US. I mentioned that remaining alert and paying attention to your surroundings is a good way to help prevent being attacked. Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:

  • When exiting a building heading to your car, have they key you need to unlock your door already in your hand. Don’t be distracted at your car by fumbling around in your purse or pocket for your car keys.
  • Criminals look for victims that appear to have money or valuables. Avoid wearing flashy, expensive items. Or at least be discrete with them. Carrying large sums of money is not a great idea for obvious reasons.
  • Avoid using ATMs when alone and/or at night. If you need to use one, try to find one in a busy area like a grocery store. Thieves HATE witnesses!
  • Stick to well-populated areas. If you are visiting or new to the area, try to learn about the area before venturing out into the unknown.

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Firearms for Preppers Part II – SHTF

planandprepared, firearms for preppersThis is Part II of Firearms for Preppers series. Be sure to check out Part I if you missed it!

In my article Firearms for Beginners, I talk in general about needing at minimum, one long gun and one pistol for a long term survival scenario. The long gun you can use to hunt and to defend yourself at range, while the pistol is a great backup weapon and is many times better suited to self-defense in very close quarters.

But now I want to go into a bit more detail. I want to be a bit more specific. Of course, a lot of what you need depends upon your situation. And that could vary greatly from person to person. But overall, much of what I say will apply to everyone regardless of their situation.

Ok….so you need a long gun and a pistol for a long term disaster scenario. But what kind of pistol? What kind of long gun? Should you stop with just two or gather more? Well, let’s discuss that.

I have seen many articles from various prepper sources taking it a bit further, saying you need a good rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol. Some even go further and say that in addition to those you also need a .22 rifle as well. A few will even say that you need backups of all of those. I cannot argue with any of that logic as I subscribe to it myself. If you have the funds available, then I would absolutely tell you to go that route.

Now I know my situation. I know what my long term plans are. You need to acquire firearms based upon what your plans are should you find yourself in a long term survival situation.

Are you bugging in or bugging out? How many people are in your group? How well trained are these folks? These are questions only you can answer. But to give you some ideas, I’ll give you some examples based upon my plans.

I live in a large suburb of Oklahoma City. So I have firearms for self-defense based upon a city setting. I prefer a pistol and shotgun for urban use. Yet if I had to bug out, I have a rural homestead on several acres I can go to. I have firearms (rifles) I could use in a self-defense scenario in a rural setting as well.
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Firearms for Preppers Part 1 – EDC/Self Defense

Glock 23, prepper firearms

My duty weapon, Gen 4 Glock 23

I received an email from a visitor, asking me my thoughts on firearms/weapons for preppers. I had already thought of doing some articles on  this subject. It has to be one of the most popular topics amongst “the prepared”.

It is fun to talk about, and it’s a subject I thoroughly enjoying reading and discussing. (Here is a link to a previous firearms article I wrote for people new to firearms.)

I have several firearms, and the majority of them have a role they play both at work and in my preparedness. I also have a few are “fun guns” because I enjoy the shooting sports.

When it comes to “prepper” firearms, I break it down into two categories:

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Clothing you NEED to be prepared

coat, survival clothing, emergency clothing

Warmest coat I have ever owned

Interstate 40 is the 3rd largest highway in the United States, running from Wilmington, North Carolina to Barstow California. Part of it used to be the old historic Route 66 that was popularized in the 1960s with a song and TV show. And I-40 runs right through my city where I work.

I have lost count how many times I have been called to assist with motor vehicle accidents on that interstate. At least 4 that I can remember were fatality accidents. (ALWAYS wear your seat-belt.) But what sticks out to me the most is just how often I came across people who simply were not dressed appropriately for the weather conditions outside.

So many times, when the outside temp was barely above freezing, (or colder) I’d pull up on an accident. Based upon the speeds traveled, the vehicles involved were usually damaged enough that they would not start. The people were not always hurt or not hurt very badly. But so many times the drivers and passengers did not have adequate clothing.

I always asked them the same thing. “Where is your coat?

“I didn’t think I’d need one because I was only driving a few miles.” Or “it WAS warm inside my car” were the typical replies.

Normally, I would have been nice enough to let them stay warm in the back of my patrol car. But for many years, I was a K9 officer. I had no back seat as it had been replaced with metal bars/plates and a carpet for my loyal companion. And he was NOT nice enough to let anyone sit back there with him.

With all of my equipment I kept in the front seat, I had no room to place freezing passengers. (On the plus side, I never had to transport prisoners.)

Within a few moments a backup officer would arrive on scene, and the unprepared would cram into his/her back seat. People learned the hard way that they could not rely solely on their car’s heater or AC unit to keep them warm/cool. They should of had a backup plan.

Next to your need for oxygen, maintaining your core body temperature is the most important survival aspect you will face. Having a shelter from the elements is the number two priority in my opinion. It is more important than water, food, guns, or gear. Your clothing is, in a sense, a part of your shelter. What you wear and how you wear it could be the difference between life and death.

Over the past few decades, we have seen an increase in clothing made from synthetic materials. But sometimes it can become confusing as to how the material would be a boon or a bane in an emergency situation. So let me break down the main types of clothing/bedding material out there.

Cotton

A very popular material on the market (at least in the America), cotton is hydrophilic. This means that it transfers sweat from your body to the material, causing it to become wet. Once cotton is wet, it feels cold and loses almost all of its ability to insulate. In the winter time, the saying is “Cotton Kills”.
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