Links

MARTIAL ARTS LINKS

Schools that include Pekiti-Tirsia in their curriculum:

Inosanto Academy (CA)
Kenpokan (Hannover, Germany)
Maelstrom Martial Arts (Vancouver, BC)
Minnesota Kali Group (FMA/JKD, Thaiboxing, Silat, Grappling and others)
New York School of Filipino Martial Arts (NYC)
Pekiti-Tirsia Hungary
SPS SCUDO (Frosinone, Italy)
Texas Kali Association (TX)
Railside Mixed Martial Arts, Congers, NY (several styles including Pekiti-Tirsia)

Forums:

Pekiti-Tirsia section of FMATalk.com

Other Martial Art Links:

Dog Brothers Martial Arts (Full contact stick fighting)
FMA Frequently Asked Questions Site
Francis Fong Academy
Historical Armed Combat Association
(Historically accurate western swordsmanship)
Irish Stick Fighting (Historic use of the shillelagh)
No Nonsense Self Defense Marc MacYoung
Princeton (NJ) Academy of Martial Arts (FMA/JKD)
Progressive Martial Arts of Australia (FMA, JKD and Thaiboxing)
Realfighting.com
San Miguel Eskrima
Solis Martial Arts, Inc.
Kane Academy
Heartland School of Eskrima and Self-Defense (Northern Idaho)
Hertao Self Defense

FMA SUPPLIES
Kombat Instruments Limited (sticks, stickbags, practice knives, fencing masks, etc)
Stickman (Polycarbonate sticks)
Edges2,Inc
I&I Sports – Has folding trainers (hit search for “folding knife”)
Keen Edge Knife Works
Nok’s Contact Knives of ThailandA Tooth From A Tiger’s Mouth Book on traditional Chinese medicine by Mataas na Guro Tom Bisio

LEGISLATION

AKTI The American Knife and Tool Institute. The “NRA” for knife users.
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action (Information from the premier gun rights organization in the U.S.)

IN THE NEWS

General:

FEMA.gov: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Stratfor: In-depth intelligence reports of current events

U.S. State Department Travel Pages:

Travel Warnings (long term conditions)
Travel Alerts (short term conditions)
Travel Warning for Philippines

ARTICLES

Survival Gear & Supply links.

This is a reprint of an article that originally appeared in the PTI newsletter in 2001 and 2004. I recently had several PTI members ask for a copy, so I’ve undated the information and reposted it here.

Note: Emergency preparedness and disaster supplies have become more mainstream in the last few years. Items that at one time could only be found at “survival” stores can now be found online (I’m a member of Amazon Prime and get free two day shipping on many items) or at your local Walmart or Costco (if not in their stores, then on their websites and shipped to your local store for free.)

SURVIVAL GEAR & TERRORIST ATTACK

By Tuhon Bill McGrath

Copyright 2001, 2004, 2012 William R. McGrath

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

Many of the survival articles I read from the 1970’s up until 2000 (when the last survival magazine went under), concerned themselves with wilderness survival should you get lost while outdoors. The focus of these articles was on things like building a shelter, starting a fire or finding food when stranded in the wild.

I enjoyed these articles because they reinforced and built upon many of the things I learned in the Boys Scouts. Oh, there was the occasional story about how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, but 90% of the articles dealt with things that could be used by any weekend camper. Survival kits of the time contained fishhooks, fire starters and water purification tablets, things you might need if lost in the woods. Things changed on 9/11/01.

Now my survival concerns deal more with how to get out of a burning building than with how to start a fire in a snowstorm.

Survival after a terrorist attack is more likely to be an exercise in E & E (evasion and escape) than it is the classic “lost in the wilds” survival situation. You will be looking to get to a place of safety while traveling through territory that should be known to you. For example, on the morning of 9/11/01 many New Yorkers faced the problem of getting from their jobs in lower Manhattan to their homes in the suburbs without mass transit and during the confusion that followed the terrorist attacks.

Later, stories emerged of people running through choking dust and smoke and others trying to find their way through dark buildings in which the power had failed. There was even an incident in which World Trade Center workers managed to escape after their tower was hit by escaping from an elevator trapped between floors. After forcing open the elevator doors they found a multi-layer gypsum board wall that they could not kick through. Since none of these NYC office workers had a pocketknife on them, a window cleaner used his metal squeegee to dig their way to safety.

In forming your preparedness plan you should ask yourself these T & T (terrain and travel) questions:

1.  What are the likely terrorist targets closest to my home?

2.  What are the likely terrorist targets closest to my workplace?

3.  What potential danger zones or traffic bottlenecks lie between the two and what are the alternate routes around them?

4.  If both home and work become dangerous, do I have a backup safe-house prepared with a relative or friend?

5.  What are the potential danger zones and traffic bottlenecks from work/home to the safe-house and the alternate routes around them?

6.  Which human assets (friends/family) do I have available to help during an emergency?

Let’s look at some specifics.

The March 11th 2004 train bombings in Madrid by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists led to the election victory of the opposition party in Spain (this party having promised to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq).

Since then security experts have been warning of a similar attack on U.S. soil prior to the U.S. elections, the terrorists hoping to pull a “Madrid” here.

The Democratic National Convention is being held in Boston as I write this (summer 2004)

The Republican National Convention will be held August 30th through September 2nd in Manhattan. These obviously, will be prime target dates for Islamic terrorists.

The first step in my own survival plan is pretty basic-I don’t plan on traveling to New York City while either convention is being held. I mention both conventions, though I don’t think the Democratic National Convention itself will be hit. If Al Qaeda truly intends an attack in the U.S. to bring about a “regime change” here, then the Democratic Convention would be the last place they would want to hit. However, thinking tactically, they might hit New York while the Boston convention is going on, trying to instill fear in the U.S. and “show” the current administration as ineffective.

If I still lived or worked in NYC, I would take my family out of town on “vacation” during the convention weeks.

This is not to say that other high profile targets around the U.S. will be safe during the conventions. Terrorists might strike a sports event in California or a mall in Minnesota, figuring such a location would be less well protected than NYC or Boston during the conventions.

Islamic terrorists would like to top the death toll from the 9/11/01 attacks, but several smaller attacks, scattered around the country, would be easier to carry out then a single large attack.

If no attacks occur at the time of the conventions, then the whole period between September 3rd and the national election on November 2nd becomes a target period (with special concern on 9/11 & 10/11). Targets may include any place where groups of people congregate such as trains (as in Spain), buses (as in Israel), subways (as in Japan), nightclubs (as in Bali) and shopping malls (as in Israel) and chemical plants.

Travel bottleneck areas such as bridges and tunnels and landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty are also targets (two Iranian embassy employees were recently expelled from the US for taking suspicious videos of such potential targets in NYC-not the first time this has happened with Iranian embassy employees).

If it’s possible for you to avoid such areas prior to the election, I would do so.

Power plants and water supplies are also prime targets, so we must consider how to cope should these be hit. Starting a forest fire would be a high damage/low risk strike for terrorists as well.

On a side note: The Homeland Security Dept. has said that it is paying particular attention to foreign airlines because of the concern that terror groups will attempt to infiltrate their men as pilots or other airline employees in countries whose security is not as stringent as the U.S. Therefore this is not the time to take a trip overseas in my opinion.

What follows are some possible items for your E&E survival kits. This list was made with input from friends with experience in Special Forces and police tactical teams. Here is something that should keep you awake at night. If you find an item on this list on the extreme side, consider that those most in the know on the subject of what can go wrong, were the ones who tended to give me the most extreme suggestions for supplies and tactics.

Overall, keep in mind the focus here is on getting out of danger and to a place of safety. While reviewing this list you should add or subtract things as appropriate to your needs. For my own kits, I work under the assumption that, no matter where I am traveling from or too, I will have more than just myself to care for and therefore carry a bit extra.

Your gear will be in several kits. Your “A” kit are the items you keep on your person. Your “B” kit is a small travel bag. The “C” kit is in your car and the “H” kit is in your house. The purpose of the small A and B kits are to get you safely to your larger C kit, and the purpose of your C kit is to get you safely to your big H kit. If you take mass transit to work, you may need to add some items from the C kit to your B kit. You should also partner up with a friend or relative farther away from your nearest danger zone and agree that if a problem occurs in your area you can pack up and go to their “safe house” and they can do the reverse if need be.

A KIT: I will use my own A kit as an example. It contains the items I try to have on my person anytime I step out of my house. Most items are either in my pants pockets or on my belt, so that if I take off my outer garment (vest or jacket to conceal my firearm), I still have them with me.

1.  An extra set of car and house keys separate from the ones I use day-to-day.

2.  Small flashlight. I have two Photon lights. I keep one of these coin-sized lights on all my key rings. I also have a 250 lumen LED flashlight in a pocket of my vest or jacket.

3.  A stout pocketknife (or two). When traveling via commercial airlines I carry paramedic shears.  9 out of 10 times airport security has checked them out, seen the blunt tips, and handed them back (the tenth time I had to give up the $3 shears, but a backup pair was in my checked luggage).

4.  Emergency Cash & 4 quarters (exclusive from whatever is in my wallet). In the event of a blackout many stores may be running on a cash only basis as they won’t be able to take credit or debit cards without electricity.

5.  Leatherman Wave tool (I have a small wrench and screwdriver set as a substitute for air travel).

6.  Cell phone.

7.  Two large bandana type handkerchiefs.

8.  Several 10′ lengths of paracord.

9.  Compass. Bronton and Sununu make good ones (Silva used to be the gold standard, but the ones being imported into the US now are cheap models from China).

10. Bic lighter, firesteel and Ronson torch lighter (the latter is forbidden to have on you on aircraft).

11. Handgun & extra magazine. Most states offer concealed carry permits to their citizens, so this is an option for most of you reading this article. You can’t carry this last item on board a commercial aircraft, but an unloaded handgun can still go in the checked luggage as long as it meets certain airline packing requirements and you can legally carry at both ends of your trip.

12. Identification, cash, credit cards & up to date family photo (with separate photo of child. I know people who automatically take a photo with their cell phone of their young children’s faces and clothing before each family trip).

B KIT: These items will fit in a daypack or nylon attaché case. My kit includes both pure survival and travel/convenience items:

1.  Stainless steel water bottle. Even if you use a hydration pack as your daypack, a small bottle to transfer and boil water will still come in handy. I like the Nalgene/Guyot design bottles, but Kleen Canteen also make quality models. If I had to pick one size of water bottle, I would go with a 1 quart bottle, as this makes it easy to use water purification tablets (most of which are made to use with 1 qt of water per tab).

2.  Small first aid kit. Iodine. Squeeze bottle of gelled alcohol. Latex gloves. Small packs of Tylenol, Advil, Benydril, Sudafed. Pepto-Bismol, Neosporin, Tums, Small tubes of sunscreen, insect repellent wipes, liquid antibacterial soap. Extra moleskin bandages (For foot blisters, if your feet are your main means of transport out of a dangerous area, then you had better take care of them). Small vials of UrgentQR wound coagulant. Gatorade packs (for treating shock victims. The first aid books suggest 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp baking soda to a liter of water, but I wouldn’t travel through airport security with a home made, unidentified white power if I were you). Potassium iodide tablets.  This will help protect the thyroid of those under 40 years of age (by 40 you should have enough iodine naturally in your system) in the case of fallout from radiation in the event of terrorists detonating a conventional bomb with nuclear material attached, i.e. a “dirty” bomb. See FDA website for dosage).

3. Energy/protein bars. Trail mix. Beef jerky. Small pill bottle of multivitamins.

4. LED headlamp and extra batteries. A headlamp will keep your hands free to do other jobs.

5. Thick leather work gloves.

6. Several feet of duct tape (this will fit nicely wrapped around an old plastic gift card). Tube of superglue.

7. Folding hack saw. (in checked luggage when flying). I’ll also include a small folding wood saw if I have room. The Bahco Laplander is a highly recommended saw, but I have also gotten good results from Corona saws and they are easy to find at Lowes and Home Depot.

8.  Small space blanket (I like the ones from Adventure Medical) and disposable plastic poncho.

9.  Map of local area.

10. Notebook, pen, red permanent marker. (Notebook has phone contact list in case cell phone goes).

11. Extra cell phone battery (Radio Shack has backup models good for one hour that cost under ten bucks)

12. Quality needle compass (to backup the small one in my pocket).

13. Extra sun and reading glasses.

14. Candle. Cotton balls in film canister with rubber from bike inner tube. Firesteel fire starter.

15. Plastic whistle (Storm makes the supper loud one I use at seminars).

16. Gallon Ziploc bags with paper towels & toilet paper.

17. Metal camping cup with packs of hot chocolate and instant oatmeal.

18. Small AM/FM/WEATHER band radio with battery.

19.  Sheath knife (or paramedic shears when flying). I like Mora knives for light weight carry. For heavy duty work, in carbon steel I like Condor brand and in stainless I really like Fallkniven.

20. I also take a walking stick with me if there is a potential for a long walk (or a short walk through a bad place).

* The next items are for when I am in a hotel.

21. 50’ to 100’ of climbing rope with a climber’s carabineer tied at each end (I know it sounds “James Bondish” but I’ve had some training in repelling and the ability to get just two floors lower can make the difference between life and death in a fire).

22. Small pry bar to open jammed doors or windows (stored in my checked luggage when on a plane). If you are in an earthquake prone area, a pry bar is a must. Even a small quake can jam a door. In the event of fire, check a door for heat before you go though it. If the top of the door feels hot on your side, it’s probably really hot on the other. If you can’t open a door or get through the jam on either side, the area above the door is often a weak spot.
23. Dust mask and goggles. The people who escaped the World Trade Center collapse still had a sand storm of black dust to deal with as they fled the area.

C KIT: This is divided into two parts. Part 1 has your car specific supplies.

1.  Car tool kit, Siphon. Jumper cables. Gas can.

2.  Obstacle removal tools. Thick leather work gloves, large folding saw, axe, crow bar, rope, shovel, machete, extra heavy nonconductive rubber gloves. Recovery strap.

3.  ABC rated fire extinguisher (kept where you can reach it from driver’s seat).

4.  Engine Oil. Antifreeze, wiper, transmission & brake fluid. Funnel. Spare filters. Roll of paper towels. Rubber mat. A 3 or 5 gallon water bottle make from an opaque BPA free plastic. If all you can find is a clear plastic bottle, make sure to keep it protected from the sun to keep the plastic from leeching into the water and to prevent the growth of algae.

5.  New and inflated spare tire and rim. Fix-a-flat (kept in the passenger compartment because it won’t work if cold). Jack with chain and hooks. Tire iron. Flares. Workpants.

Part two is a camp kit that goes into your car for long trips. Use a backpack and leave room for the contents of your daypack.

1. Change of clothes (as much as possible, stay away from cotton next to your skin in cold weather). Underarmor makes great underclothes for both cold and hot weather. Thorlo or Smartwool hiking socks. 60/40 poly-cot milspec BDUs pants. (All clothes are stored in a large heavyweight trash bag inside the pack).

2. Seasonal outerwear. Gore-Tex rain jacket. Nylon pancho. Wool will keep you warmer than Polar-fleece if it gets wet, but fleece is lighter and less expensive, (polyester fleeces can melt if exposes to flame, where wool will just turns to ash). Wool cap. Boonie hat. Winter gloves.

3.  Stainless steel or BPA free polycarbonate water bottle. When leaving water in a car in cold weather, leave some airspace to compensate for ice expansion. Among canteen sized water carriers polycarbonate bottles and the bladders of hydration bags hold up well. Leave some extra air in a metal water carrier or it can burst. Change water every three months in cool weather, monthly when warm.

4.  Hiking boots (tied to outside of bag).

5.  Thick leather work gloves (yes this is a third pair, trust me you’ll need them).

6.  Cloth repair kit (including large sewing needles and Kevlar fishing line).

7.  Large sheath knife & knife sharpener. I have a Becker BK-2 in my kit. For sharpeners, I carry a mill file for machetes and axes and a diamond rod for my knives.

8. Toiletries kit & paper products.

9. Sleeping bag. If buying a new bag, I would look at US military bags or Wiggys brand. Wiggys pack small, hold up to damp conditions better than goose down and are nearly as warm. In the summer I carry a polar-fleece sleeping bag liner wrapped in a heavy weight rip-stop space blanket. I also carry a Therm-a-rest camp pad.
Wiggy’s Sleeping Bags

10. Larger item first aid kit with Quickclot Battle Pack wound coagulant. Each month you should check things like alcohol wipes and ammonia inhalers because liquids and even bandage adhesive can dry out quickly in the heat of a closed car.

11. Full roll of military duct tape. 100 feet of paracord.

12. Steel camp grill or small camp stove (because of the fuel, I tend to only add the stove in winter). Stainless steel cook kit and utensils. I usually bring regular food when traveling, but you might also consider Lifeboat survival bars from Mainstay or Datrex. These high calorie bars can take the heat of a car trunk far better than MREs.

13. Waterproof Tarps. Rope.

14. Paperback novel.

15. Hiking staff.

*What about water filters/purification tabs, you ask? When moving though an area that is anywhere near human population (as most of us will be when going from work to home), your water filter may need to filter out more than harmful bacteria and viruses, it must remove hazardous chemicals & fuel oils as well. After a terrorist attack, I would seek to travel fast by bringing my own water with me. If you still want a water filter for camping, then the Katadyn Combi Pluse is a good, full service model. The Katadyn Extreme Water Purifier Bottle is a good small model for cleaning already “clean” water that you still don’t trust from public fountains and the like. If you may travel through an area with chemical free water and could make use of water purification tabs, then Aquamira make a good product that has several advantages over other products of this type.

H KIT: Home kit. The good folks at Special Forces estimate that only 1 in 10 would survive if they tried to live off the land in an emergency. Therefore, your survival goal is to get home and stay at home if at all possible after a terrorist attack.

1.  Stored food. I keep bagged or boxed staples like white rice (lasts longer than brown), dried beans, dry soup mix, pasta, powdered milk, etc. in new aluminum garbage cans set off the floor on blocks in my basement (the cans protect the items from the occasional mouse that wanders indoors during cold weather).  On shelves I keep canned items like Spam, corned beef hash, canned soups and desserts like canned fruit cocktail. These are things we eat around my house anyway, rather than specialty storage foods like MREs. I keep enough on hand to last for one month if we ate only those items. This might be more than you would need after a terror attack, but I have relatives who live closer to danger zones than I do and they have a standing invitation to come to my house in times of trouble. (Many of my SF friends suggest keeping a much longer supply of food and water. Bio weapons should clear within two weeks, but a dirty bomb can deny access to an area for years; so you’ll have to decide what is most likely for your needs in your area). I do know of some people who keep supplies of MREs on hand, but this entails having a “survival meal day” once a week  or so to keep supplies fresh. Not a bad idea, if you can get your family to eat the things (most of the entrees are of a similar quality to Chief Boyardee canned pasta, while the deserts are not bad at all.) Most of my “regular” stored food will last one year in the cool of my basement.  I write either the expiration date (as X 7/15/05) with a red perma-marker on the can if it has a date listed, or the purchase date (as P 6/12/04) if it does not. If you have young children, don’t forget comfort foods like cookies and candy. A little goes a long way in making a hard time easier for little ones.

2.  Water. We use well water at my house for everything except drinking (and could do this in a pinch), so we would be less effected by a terrorist attack on a public water supply than most people.  We buy six pack boxes of one gallon bottles of water for drinking and if I needed to leave home in an emergency these a box or two of these bottles would go with me. One gallon per person per day is the amount most survival guides suggest to store at a minimum, but my Special Forces friends say that two gallons per day is more realistic. Based even on the lower figure, I would need to keep 90 gallons on hand for a one month supply for my family of three.  Instead of this, I have split my emergency water supply between bottles and a water filter/purifier. To conserve water, I also have stored paper plates & cups, plastic utensils, and disposable cleaning products like baby wipes and paper towels. (If you need to store a large amount of water Walmart has a water storage kit with 55 gallon drum made of food grade plastic at a good price
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Augason-Farms-Emergency-Water-Storage-Kit/21776414  ).

3. Power. After a winter storm left us without power for a week, I got an electric generator. In an emergency this will keep the power going while we eat the perishable food in the refrigerator and keep the furnace running in cold weather. You don’t need a whole house unit to power essential items (especially if you run them one at a time for short periods). You should figure out now what appliances you can run off an extension cord and which are hard wired into your house current. When my furnace went down on Christmas Eve one year, we set up some electric heaters in our house, one in the basement to keep the pipes from freezing and two on the main floor of our home to keep us warm (we only had one on hand, so I had to hunt down the extra heaters late night on Christmas Eve. Thank God for late holiday shopping hours at Home Depot and Lowes!).

4. Warmth. In addition to the usual blankets, I have a sleeping bag for each member of the family. If winters are cold by you, (and you don’t have a generator, but do live in your own home and can afford the installation) a woodstove is a good backup heat source. If you live in an apartment, be careful of kerosene heaters, as they will cause a fire if knocked over.  If you must use one, then have a safety plan of how and where to use it and keep an ABC rated fire extinguisher nearby. Don’t forget to keep the room well ventilated as, by their nature; kerosene heaters are eating up oxygen as they operate. Invest in a battery powered CO2 alarm and keep it in the room while the heater is operating.

5.  Large first aid kit. Quart bottles of first aid liquids like alcohol, witch hazel, contact lens saline solution (this is plain saline which is good for eyewash and irrigating wounds), etc.

6. Toiletries. I have extra items in this category, mainly so I will miss the same crowds at the warehouse stores who rush in to buy pallets of toilet paper before every winter storm (not that I have anything against buying toilet paper by the pallet, I just don’t like crowds).

7.  Non-electric board games and playing cards (watching bad news on TV all day can be demoralizing, plus you’ll need something to pass the time if the power goes out).

8. Window replacements/barriers. If a window is broken at midnight during a winter storm it helps to have these items already on hand. 5 mil clear plastic sheeting (found in the paint dept of Home Depot) and rolls of duct tape. In addition, if terrorists hit a chemical plant or explode a tanker truck in your area and evacuation is impossible, seal off your home by duct taping the plastic to home openings (windows, doors, fireplace, attic vents, etc). Wind and sunlight will disperse, break down or at least significantly weaken, most airborne hazardous chemicals in a few hours. By that time, authorities should know what chemicals were released and should be broadcasting over local radio what your next steps should be.
Back up cook stove. If the power goes out, I have a charcoal barbeque grill and a cord of firewood. In addition, a two burner Coalman camp stove and propane tanks allow me to cook indoors.

S KIT: My S kit is fairly simple. It’s the things from my home that I would take in the event I needed to leave my home quickly. A few large duffle bags stored next to your H kit can carry your storage food, camp bedding, toiletries, etc. The need for the S kit is obvious if your safe house is a cabin in the woods, however it will also be important if your safe house is a friend or relative’s home. Your S kit goes with you so that you will be less of a burden on their supplies. If I lived in an apartment building in a target zone, I would store my H kit supplies at the safe house and automatically go there in times of trouble.

Other things to get you prepared:

1. Batteries & bulbs. In firearms instruction, the changing of a magazine before it has reached empty is called a “tactical reload.” I would do a tactical reload of all batteries in flashlights, smoke alarms, radios, etc, at the start of an emergency before they have fully lost power. I also keep spare bulbs equal to the number of lights in my home.

2. Vehicle. Take your car to your mechanic and tell him to prepare it for several long road trips you plan on taking soon. If anything is even close to failing, have him replace it. If your car comes with a “donut” spare, I would replace it with a full size tire and rim. Get in the habit now of not letting your gas tank fall below half full and keep your tank toped off during any high risk periods.

3. Communications. Cell phones networks were down for a time in NYC after 9/11. Do you have backup plans? Older phones that get their electricity from the phone line itself will often still function during a power outage, since the phone lines are separate from the local electric company’s power lines. If the phones do work, then the flood of calls coming into an area will sometimes jam the circuits while outgoing calls will still get through. Text pagers may work when voice lines are jammed.

4. Choose and talk to potential “safe house” people about your emergency plans.

5. Choose a rendezvous point for adult family members to meet in the event they can’t go home. It will be from this rendezvous point that you travel to the safe house.

6.  If you have kids in school, consider pick up options. If both parents work far from home, can a friend or neighbor pick the kids up? Most schools require that the parents list any person authorized to take kids from the school before they will release them. In what type of emergency would it be safer for kids to wait at school? If so, how late can they stay there? In large disasters the schools should hold the kids for parental pick up, but you should check with the school to learn its policy for different emergency levels. What are your options in different scenarios?

7.  Where are your home’s gas and water shut offs? Does your home system need any special tools to shut off utilities or water heater/furnace?

8.  Have emergency cash on hand. Many bank ATM systems shut down shortly after the 9/11 attacks as people withdrew cash. In addition, most businesses will not be able to accept your credit card during a power outage.

9. Take a home first aid course and buy both a basic and a wilderness/survival first aid book.

10. Anytime you enter a building, know your exits. Outdoors, plan your escape routes.

WEAPONS:

You will notice that I have made no mention so far in this article of long arms such as rifles or shotguns. That’s because, if you need to travel after a terrorist attack, you will need to travel fast and light while drawing as little attention to yourself as possible. I have long guns in my home and understand that they are far better than a handgun in a major firefight, but getting from point A to point B as quickly and quietly as possible requires keeping a low profile.

Imagine the reaction from police or National Guard troops should they spot a civilian hiking along a road armed openly with a firearm after a terrorist attack. That is why I like a handgun for protection in our post-terror attack scenario.

If you recall the days immediately following 9/11/01, violent crime in New York City fell to nearly zero. Most Americans pulled together or, at the very least, were so stunned by the unfolding of events that they had no time or inclination for wrongdoing. My hope is that Americans will again all pull together during any future terrorist attack. Does that mean that I can’t imagine any circumstance where a rifle, shotgun or carbine won’t be needed after a terror strike? No, here are two:

Riots & violent protests. If I worked in an area that had a history of rioting in the recent past I would consider keeping a shotgun, carbine or semi-auto rifle at work to help get my co-workers and myself to our cars and out of the area; if sitting tight and waiting out the riot indoors was not an option (as in the case of widespread arson). Of course, this is dependent on a long gun being legal and allowable at work, (such as if I owned my own business or worked for a liked-minded small business owner).

Home invasion. You have to wonder how many criminals thought to themselves after 9/11/01, “If I knew that was going to happen, man, what I could have done!” Rapes, robberies and other mayhem will be on the minds of many criminals preparing to take advantage of the confusion following any future terrorist attack. The pistol caliber carbine or semi-auto rifle are the preferred weapons of SWAT teams, primarily because of the greater accuracy under stress that a long gun offers over a handgun, even at the close ranges normally encountered inside a building. Should some stranger come to your door unexpectedly after a terrorist attack, a good general plan might include having the largest male in the house answering the door, armed with a handgun behind his back, while a second person with a carbine provides cover farther into the room. If home invasion is a concern of yours, I would practice possible responses to this situation with training weapons before you have to do it under the stress of a real attack.

You should also ask yourself the following questions. How secure are all the entrances to my home? Are deadbolts on all the doors? Are all doors and door jams strong enough that they won’t give in to a few strong kicks? Can I see the area around the door from inside the home? If not, can I mount a convex mirror (the kind used to exit blind driveways) opposite the entrances to my home?

A final word:

The war on terror is going to be a long, drawn out conflict. We must face the reality of being in a constant state of war for the foreseeable future and take the necessary precautions.

Regards,
Tuhon Bill McGrath

Novels: www.TheSwordofFire.com
Blog: http://theswordoffiresaga.com/
YouTube channel: tuhonbillmcg
Facebook: bill.mcgrath

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