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.

Cell phone use in emergencies – Hints and Tips to know

emergency cell phone tips

Old cell phones can still call 911 if charged

Having a cell phone during an emergency is EXTREMELY handy, and in my opinion one of the best things you can have on you during an emergency. Being able to contact others for help during an emergency situation is one of the fastest ways to resolve your crisis.

As more and more people move away from landlines, (the CDC studies find that almost half of all US households no longer have a landline), the technology needed for contacting emergency services with cell phones has been slow to catch up. So there are some things you need to be aware of when it comes to using your cell phone during a disaster.

Everyone knows that for an emergency, you simply dial 911. (The number is 112 in other parts of the world.) Smart phones today now have a feature allowing you to use that phone to dial 911 even when the screen and other features are locked.

But what happens if you are in a situation where you cannot get a cell signal? Or worse, your battery is about to die? Here are some hints and tips to help you out if you ever find yourself in this position.

The 411 on 911 and cell phones

Despite what you see on TV and in the movies, calling 911 on your cell phone does NOT give the dispatchers your exact location. According to a 2015 article in USA Today:

Today’s cellphone system does not automatically send location data when you dial 911. After the call comes in, the dispatcher’s computer transmits a digital request to the cellphone network seeking the phone’s location. The data exchange can take seconds or even minutes. Sometimes, it doesn’t return a location at all.

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EDC Gun Review – Glock Compact

I had someone email me the other day, asking why I didn’t do a review of the Glock I carry as an EDC firearm. While I don’t carry a Glock off duty, I am sure there are plenty of folks out there who might carry it as their EDC gun.

So, here you go! My review of a Glock as an EDC.

I will actually be looking at two compact (mid-sized) Glocks. I will look at the Glock 23 (.40 S&W) and the Glock 32 (.357 Sig.) The Glock 23 is a Gen 4, while the Glock 32 is a Gen 3.

The first Glocks were produced in 1982, and started arriving in the US by 1988. There was a lot of doubt in the “gun world” about whether a plastic (polymer) firearm was worth anything. The huge success of Glock has answered it’s critics. It is now one of the most popular handguns in America today. According to Glock’s website, 65% of police departments in the US issue/carry Glock pistols.

This success was partly due to the clever and effective marketing of Glock, who sold their pistols to the police at a discount. When police departments saw how effective and well-built the Glocks were, plus the fact that Glock 17s could hold 17 rounds of 9mm, they began carrying them en-mass. This gave credence to Glock with the general public, and the rest as they say is history.

The Glock 23/32 is a polymer framed pistol and almost 7 inches in length. (5 inches high.) Its 4 inch barrel is made of ordnance grade steel, and has a nitrate finish. The pistol (Glock 23) weighs about 23.5 oz or so (unloaded). The 32 weighs 21.5 oz unloaded.
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How to know when it is time to bug out

timetogoI receive emails from time to time asking about how you will know when it is time to bug out. This is not always an easy question to answer, as many emergencies strike without warning, and typically the situation remains fluid.

I am a big proponent of riding out most emergency scenarios at home. (Click the link for more details.) I believe that if you are properly prepared and have adequate plans in place, you should be able to make it through most disasters and emergencies by staying at home.

But as I have said before, you need to have bug out plans in place as well. There may come a time when you need to get the hell outta Dodge.

“But James, how will I know when it is time to bug out?” you might ask.

bugout-traffic

Oops…too late

If you bug out too soon, you may find that the emergency was not really as bad as you first though. Hence you end up wasting time and resources.

But if you bug out too late, you could find yourself in a worse position than you were in had you stayed.

Well, here is an old adage I have used before. I wish I knew who to give credit for it. I heard it years ago and honestly do not remember who I heard it from. But I like it and want to pass it on to you.

When it comes to bugging out, I use the acronym R.E.D.O.U.T to help me know when that time has come. Hopefully this will give you some ideas as to when it is time to carry out your bug out plans.
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Safety and security tips for Uber

Uber (Uber Technologies Inc.) is an American multinational on-line transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app. This app allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. As of May 2016, the service was available in over 66 countries and 449 cities worldwide.

Uber was founded as “UberCab” by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009. The app was released the following June. Beginning in 2012, Uber expanded internationally. In 2014, it experimented with carpooling features and made other updates.

Uber processes all payments involved, charging the passenger’s credit card. Uber takes a cut for itself (which ranges from 5% to 20%), and direct depositing the remaining money into the driver’s account. This makes all transactions completely cashless. (Although riders can give tips.) So it is a great convenience for both the rider and driver!

Although Uber is considered a safe mode of transportation, there have been instances where an Uber driver or someone posing as an Uber driver have perpetrated crimes against unsuspecting clients. (And vice versa.) So I wanted to give you the latest security and safety tips that can help prevent you from becoming a victim.
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Building your own AR Revisited – Premium Build

BCM upper/Spikes Tactical lowerr

BCM upper/Spikes Tactical lower. Click for full pic

Several months ago, I wrote an article on building your own AR on a budget. (Click the link if you missed it.) It has become this site’s most popular article as more and more people take an interest in owning and building an AR rifle.

In that article, I wanted to give readers the information they would need to build their own AR 15. I tried to stick to the basics and not overwhelm the reader. I also listed AR parts that would not “break the bank”. The response was very positive.

I received a lot of email about it, asking all sorts of different questions. The one question that kept popping up was: “I want to build a quality AR and I am willing to spend more $$. Which parts would you recommend?”

Now before I answer this, I want to give a little clarification. While I have always advocated getting quality firearms (because some day your life might depend upon them), that does not mean that I believe that you always have to spend huge amounts of money to get quality. Yes, I believe that you get what you pay for. But sometimes, you can find quality on a budget.
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5 Gun Myths Dispelled

myths1If you are like me, you love watching exciting “Action” movies. Who doesn’t love a good movie scene with an exciting car chase and lots of explosions? Unfortunately, many times what we see in the movies is NOT what happens in real life. Firearms are no exception. In fact, many times Hollywood (and the public in general) gets firearms and how they really function completely WRONG.

So I thought I would take a look at 5 myths or beliefs on firearms that are either erroneous, or at the least very misleading.

#1 – Silencers are whisper quiet

If you are a James Bond fan, you have seen our hero sneak into some fortified castle, and use his Walter PPK with a silencer to quietly take out the bad guys. Sadly, this Hollywood depiction of a silencer is not accurate.

Silencers reduce a portion of the noise, this being the pressure wave from the expanding propellant gases. It does NOT reduce the noise of the sonic crack a supersonic round creates when fired.

To put this into layman’s terms, a typical supersonic round fired from a commercially available firearm is between 140-190 decibels. Variables such as caliber, barrel length, etc can change this some. But typically, this is the most common range for the sound made from firing a gun.
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