Hurricane Irma: Lessons Learned

Preparedness is not a hobby practiced by the lunatic fringe in advance of a zombie apocalypse or biblical end times. Preparedness is a sensible lifestyle choice for anyone who wants to survive the array of natural disasters that strike the United States every year. 2017 was particularly brutal, with devastating wildfires over several Western states,

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Shades of the Gray Man: Blend in and Survive

Imagine that a serious crisis is unfolding right before your eyes. Almost immediately, conditions begin to deteriorate in ways few ever anticipated. Widespread panic and desperation quickly follow as the downward spiral accelerates. After careful consideration, you determine that the only relative safety lies outside the hot zone—you need to get moving right now. But

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Mad Skillz: Eight Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

Developing skills is actually a two-part process—learning the “how-to” part from a book or other resource, and then the hands-on part, where you do it yourself, get it right, and then practice the skill often. Once you’ve learned one particular skill, move on to the next.

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Danger in the Desert: Surviving a Hostile Environment

The desert Southwest encompasses an immense area. While the desert offers many opportunities, it’s an unforgiving environment to the unprepared. Always tell a friend or relative when and where you’re going and when you plan to return. Clothing requirements vary with the season and elevation. Lightweight light-colored clothing that fully covers the body provides protection

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Off-Road to Recovery: Gear for Vehicle Self-Rescue

An urban disaster or public emergency that forces an evacuation is about as real as it gets. With little or no warning, you may find yourself in the middle of a very ugly situation. If you read S.W.A.T. Magazine on a regular basis, you are most likely very well prepared—your vehicle is ready, supplies are

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Weapons of Mass Destruction: Biological and Chemical Threats

Maintain a generous supply of N95/N100 masks, which are readily available and inexpensive. Worn properly, masks help prevent the spread of infection. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, N95 masks were almost impossible to find at any price. Few things ramp up the fear factor higher than the threat of bio-chemical terrorism. While few of

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Packin’ Meat: Long-Term Preservation Primer

I am a hopeless carnivore. I love just about any kind of meat, but one of my favorite dinners is a generous serving of canned venison, combined with brown gravy served open face over oat bread, with a side of homemade French fries. Yum. I discovered this “man food” by virtue of learning how to

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Personal Survival Battery: A Systems Approach

I like to re-read books, because I’ll pick up things I missed the first time through. I’ve read some books a dozen times, and carry a couple with me constantly. I was going through Survival Guns, written by Mel Tappan in 1976, for the umpteenth time when a light bulb came on—Mel was wrong. I

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Four Came Back: Survival Trial Competition

People today are farther removed from being able to—or needing to—survive on their own more so than at any other time in history. Restaurants and grocery stores bring food and water easily within reach. Law enforcement and military personnel protect us from those who would harm us. Advanced weather instruments allow us to see approaching

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Hidden Treasure: Survival Storage

Cache (Kash), noun 1. A hidden store of provisions, weapons, treasure, etc. 2. The place where such a store is hidden. In my 26 years of public service, I’ve noticed that most “victims” had little clue they were going to be involved in a life-changing event. Whether an automobile accident, natural disaster, or violent crime,

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