Preparedness Lessons from Executive Protection (pt 1 of 2)

by David Morris on January 26, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my famous and popular SurviveInPlace.com course–a vital resource for anyone who wants to prepare for disasters and who thinks they might have to interact with other people after a disaster (yes…this means you :) .  This week, we’re going to do the first of a 2 part series on preparedness lessons from executive protection.  This is very meaty, valuable stuff and you’re going to like it.

After my first son was born, it struck me JUST how important my role as a protector was. When it was just my wife and me, I knew she could handle herself with or without weapons. But when our tiny, innocent son was born, my need to be able to protect my family went through the roof.

As a result, in addition to other empty hands and firearms training, I went through 70+ hours of formal executive protection training that helped refine my skills as a protector, a planner, and as a prepper.

If you’re not familiar with “executive protection,” it is another term for bodyguard, except that bodyguards are traditionally hired “by the pound” and executive protection specialists have skills and training WAY beyond simply throwing their weight around. The use of the phrase “executive protection” became popular in 1970 when the White House Police Force was renamed the Executive Protection Services. When they again changed their name to “Secret Service Uniformed Division” in 1977, the phrase “executive protection” went into wide use in the civilian sector.

There is a huge overlap between the disciplines of executive protection and preparedness. In fact, the job of a skilled EP (executive protection specialist) is 95-99% preparation and only 1-5% reaction. There are several lessons that have been paid for with the blood of others that we can benefit from…not only after a disaster when we’re in survival mode, but tomorrow when going to work, the store, or to see a friend.

Most of the proponents of “be your own bodyguard” are only interested in fighting, but the best professional bodyguards plan for, identify, and avoid trouble more often than they “go loud” and have to use violence or lethal force to protect their subject.

One of the best examples of this is the US Secret Service. President G.W. Bush received approximately 3000 threats per year during his presidency. President Obama received about 30 per day or 11,000 per year initially, but quickly dropped back down to “normal” levels. With all of the threats, credible threats, and planned attempts that have been made on our leaders, the last one that was semi-successfully pulled off was in 1981. (I’m not counting the airplane or rifle “attacks” on the White House as being even semi-successful)

To continue that example, we’re not going to focus on the handful of times that Secret Service had to go loud and eliminate the threat of a potential assassin…we’re going to focus instead on what they did the other 60,000 times to keep our presidents safe. Specifically, we’re going to focus on the skills and thought processes that the Secret Service and executive protection specialists use to avoid trouble for them and their subjects/protectees/principals.

Fortunately, most aspects of executive protection are not very complicated. They become complicated by the sheer number of simple things that executive protection specialists must do right. The sooner you start practicing a few of these skills and disciplines, the better you will be at them and the quicker you’ll be able to add on additional ones.

You will have one HUGE advantage over executive protection specialists—when they go on the job, it’s normally because their principal either has an active threat against them, or because they have a high profile and are a good target. When you go “on the job,” it’s to protect yourself or the ones you love. There’s no immediate threat, and you get to learn on the job.

With that, let’s look at some of the practices that bodyguards do to keep their principals from being attacked.

One of the things that bodyguards do is to look at places where they know their principal will be and find the best spots to do surveillance and/or attack from.

Let’s take your home as an example. If you can, pull up an overhead shot of your house from maps.google.com. You’ll have the option of viewing your house as a map or as an overhead picture. Choose the overhead picture option, zoom in to the 2nd or 3rd highest setting, and print it out.

You might need the help of someone who knows some computer trickery to make this happen. Since you can’t print satellite images from Google, you have to do a screen capture (Prnt Scrn), copy it into a word processor or graphics program, change it into landscape mode, and THEN print it out. It will look better if you have a color printer, but I print out on black and white and it’s definitely usable.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of figuring out this method, you can simply take a piece of paper and a pencil and draw out your house and the houses around you. It doesn’t need to be fancy…the whole purpose of this is to train your brain.

Next, mark every place on the map that you can see from a door or window from your house. This will end up being a series of overlapping arcs. I like to shade this area in. The reason this is important is because anyone who wants to see a door or window on your house will have to be in this shaded area. From an executive protection standpoint, it means that anyone who wants to surveil or cause harm to the principal will need to be within these arcs.

The way that I use this information is that I look at our house through the eyes of a burglar or home invader. Where would I need to be to have a clear view into the house? Where would I need to be to see when the occupants are turning off lights to go to bed? Where would I need to be to see which occupants are coming and going? Where would I need to be to see whether or not they lock the door or set an alarm when they leave?

Then, if I see people in those places that I don’t recognize, I immediately take note of them. I don’t panic or get freaked out. I just take note of them. I regularly write down license plate numbers or discretely snap pictures with my phone. If they’re sitting in their car on either side of the street in front of my house, I’ll drive or walk up to them and ask them if I can help them.

Please understand, I don’t have any specific threats that I’m concerned about. I’m just aware that home invasions happen 8 times more often than house fires and I want to protect my family. I don’t invest much time or effort in doing this, but I have the peace of mind of knowing what’s going on around me and any strangers in front of our house know that they’ve been seen, acknowledged, and could probably be identified in a lineup if they decided to do anything stupid.

When dealing with predators who are simply looking for easy prey, being acknowledged is oftentimes enough to cause them to move on to another area.

Another example, is spotting someone sitting in a van right next to your car in a parking lot. I’ve helped film scenarios built around this and we found that a lone man could easily shove a lady into a van, incapacitate her, shut the door, restrain her with pre-cut duct tape or zip ties, get in the driver’s seat, and drive off inconspicuously in under 15 seconds.

So, if you’ve got a situation where you find a “creepy” person or people in a van next to your car, you can walk on by and approach from a different angle to see if you get a better feeling, get in your car from the other side, or, if possible, ask security to walk you to your car.

Alternate Exits: This is a simple one, but vital for executive protection specialists. When you go anywhere, always try to quickly pick out multiple conventional (doors) and unconventional (windows) exits. In the movie, “Fireproof”, Kirk Cameron’s character finds himself trapped in a burning house and hacks through the floor and crawls out through the crawlspace to escape. It’s not important that you don’t walk around with an axe to hack through floors—what’s important is to train your mind to see egress possibilities around you.

The reason for exiting could be a gas leak, accidental explosion, terrorist attack, fire, earthquake, robbery, active shooter, or simply avoiding someone who might cause an unnecessary confrontation.

Weather planning: A good executive protection specialist will not only take care of their own needs for inclement weather, but their principal’s as well. For our family, this means that I have stocked our cars with extra clothes for myself, my wife, and our kids. It’s nothing fancy…but it’s in place.

Redundancy and contingency plans: Redundancy and contingency planning are key principals, whether you’re doing executive planning, running a company or key project, doing activities in the back country, or just day to day life. Here are some specific areas that executive protection specialists focus on that you can benefit from.

  • Contingency meetup plans. As an example, “If we get split up, we’ll come back to this location every top-of-the-hour and half-hour and stay here for 5 minutes. If we don’t meet up after 3 hours, we’ll meet at home.”Or, “If an earthquake or similar event happens and we don’t have communications, I’ll pick up our son from school and we’ll all meet at home. If neither of us can get home or it’s untenable, we’ll post a note if possible and meet at Joe’s house. If that’s untenable, we’ll post a note if possible and meet at church.
  • Contingent communications plans. These could be cell phones, radios, whistles, or “If local phone service goes down, we’ll both get in touch with your sister (in another part of the country) by all means possible (phone, voice mail, text, email) and use her to get back in touch with each other
  • Have Primary, Alternate, Contingent, and Emergency (PACE) routes to your destination
  • Have PACE plans for medical care. I know where the hospitals are in my city. I also know where private surgical centers are, veterinarians, fire departments (Paramedics), veterinary supply stores, EMT supply stores, and basic drug stores like Walgreens…particularly in the parts of the city where I spend the most time.
  • When I travel to other cities, I spend about 5-10 minutes before I leave and find where these resources are located near where I’m going to be. I probably should memorize addresses, and phone numbers and/or write everything down like I would on a protective detail, but simply having a picture in my mind of where facilities are puts me WAY ahead of the curve.

On the topic of medical care, EPs who have medical and especially advanced trauma training are in higher demand and get paid more. Likewise, get all of the medical training you can justify and keep the supplies you need close at hand.

I don’t spend a ton of time on this. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that the simpler I keep my habits, the more likely I am to keep them as active habits.

Match the baseline. Everywhere you spend time has a “normal” or “baseline” look. Taking on this look is called, “becoming the ‘grey man’” and the discipline is called “cover for status.” At a dress ball, it may be formal wear. At the beach, bikinis, Speedos, and other swim attire are the norm. At a park in the summer, it might be shorts and light weight shirts. At that same park in the winter, it might be heavy coats, hats, and gloves. Wear any of these four outfits at any of the other three settings and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.

As a note, this can happen in a situation where you have to stop at a gas station on the way to a formal event, which, is another reason to plan ahead as often as possible.

In executive protections, there are basically two ways that you can go…overt and covert. Said another way, either look intimidating or look invisible by matching the baseline.

As a bodyguard for yourself or your family, it’s normally better to be the grey man and stay invisible. You can do this by not wearing excessive tactical clothing, using your peripheral vision to scan the room, and not acting like you’re on edge all of the time. Just try to look as lost and confused as everyone around you. If a situation arises where you need to let someone know that you’re “switched on,” then that is still easy to switch into that mode.

Cover for status is also an important tool for identifying threats. Who doesn’t belong? Does the kid with the droopy pants and the puffy coat and the crooked ball cap smoking in front of the 7-11 at noon on July 4th fit in? Or is there a possibility that he’s looking for a victim?

“Cover for action” could be called the twin sister of “cover for status.” Cover for action is having your appearance match your actions. Climb a utility pole with shorts and a t-shirt on, and someone will probably call the cops. Get out of a utility van wearing jeans, work boots, a tool belt, hard hat, and climbing gear and nobody will even remember seeing you climb the pole.

Ask someone their date of birth, social security number, sexual habits, and other private medical questions in a mall, and you’ll get slapped. Put on a nametag and hand someone a detailed survey on a clipboard with a 10c bic pen tied to it in a doctor’s office and they’ll tell you more than you REALLY want to know.

If you notice people who don’t have a cover for their actions, take it as a sign to pay closer attention to them.

Next time, well cover more, including funnels and channels, obfuscation, one of my favorite improvised weapons that are legally REQUIRED to be everywhere that you can’t have a “weapon”, driving, and more.  In the meantime, if your interested in learning more strategies to incorporate Executive Protection into a preparedness lifestyle, I’d suggest that you check out my SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course.  In addition to covering all of the basics of preparing for disasters, it also goes into some advanced topics such as tactical movement to and from barter/trade situations after a breakdown in civil order.  The course is a true treasure for people ranging from newbie “preppers” to lifelong Special Ops guys trying to pass on a lifetime of experience to loved ones.  To learn more, check it out at http://surviveinplace.com

What are your thoughts on “living as a bodyguard”…either of yourself or of familiy members?  Are you currently or have you done EP work in the past?  How has it carried over to your everyday life and what lessons can you share with others?  Let us know by commenting below.

If you liked this article, please “like” us on Facebook, share the link by email, Facebook, or Twitter, and tell your friends.

God Bless & Stay Safe,

 

David Morris
www.SurviveInPlace.com

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jonathan C. Havens PPS
January 27, 2012 at 6:59 am

David,
Well written article, and extremely useful information to share. I have a background in EP as well, and extremely interested in preparedness. We are all our kids’ bodyguards.

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+5 Vote -1 Vote +1Jennifer
January 27, 2012 at 7:12 am

I really liked the article. It had a lot of interesting information and new tactics. What concerns me though is the overall message to it was “pay attention to your surroundings”. This should be common sense but we (America as a whole) are so wrapped up in our own little worlds, rushing to get from place to place, and having our noses burried in our iPhones that we need to be reminded of this on a daily bases. I am very observant when it comes to shopping, walking in a dark parking lot, etc. It never occured to me though to put a lot of thought into my home though. I always considered it a safe place; a place where I am most comfortable so I let my guard down and don’t pay attention to the possiblity of danger around me. Great information, thank you!

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1bill
January 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

the key phrase in your comment is “consider it a safe place”. That is how most people fell about everywhere they go. We all need to get rid of that mindset (pay close attention to the local news and we know it is not a viable minset). It takes training and repitition.

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1richard
January 27, 2012 at 7:13 am

You are using a lot of what I would make reference to as common sense.

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Vote -1 Vote +1JJM
February 4, 2012 at 9:59 am

Not much ‘common sense’ exhibited any more. Essential reminder to those of us who have grown complacent.
I notice the obvious changes and potential dangers and have more recently found myself taking more interest in surroundings as I rush around.

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Vote -1 Vote +1kevin
January 27, 2012 at 7:22 am

very well put

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +11LessonSelfDefense.com
January 27, 2012 at 8:01 am

When eating in a restaurant i try and have my back to the wall and face the entrance, just in case someone comes in that looks out of place, I can keep an eye on them or leave with my family. David Morris, can we post your articles on our own sites with a link back to you? Coach David

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1armyprop
January 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

David,
David I just passed my level III and IV security and personal protection certifications here in Texas. After all of the money I have spent, I plan on going to ESI soon, it dawned on me that as a EPO I may be away from home a lot. What are some ways that you would plan on as contingency’s to get back if SHTF? This question pertains to anyone who travels frequently. I live by the the “rule of Three’s” , All of my plans have several redundancies built into them, but I am really trying to wrap my head around getting home from a place far away. I look forward to your advice. Thank you

Jarrod

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Cody S. Alderson
January 27, 2012 at 9:08 am

Hi Dave,
Great info. You give out more solid info for free than I see at some places that charge for it. I hope that more people every day realize that you need to earn it somewhere in order to keep giving out this level of free stuff. I hope those same folks sign up for the subscription stuff so you can keep on learning and sharing.

I posted this entry of yours on my facebook page and I think I’ll mention it on the website too. Good information.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jeff
January 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

There’s much to be said about being “the gray man”. I’ve been a private investigator for over 15 years and have thousands of hours of surveillance time, most from my vehicle. I have a number of magnetic signs (real estate, traffic survey, home inspection, ect.) that I place on my various vehicles when on site. My presense is rarely questioned because it appears I “belong there”.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ron G
January 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

Dave, I enjoy your articles and I am learning so much that I never consider before.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Martin
January 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

David, another great article. Being retired, I spend most of my time on the ranch. Each morning prior to going out to the barn, I open the blinds and look over the area between the house and the barn. Not a move out the door until I have scanned the area. I’m not a bit paranoid, just carfull.

I also have EP experience. Part or my responsibilities on the police dept where I worked was VIP security whenever the president or other high profile people came to town. Worked alot with the Secret Service on both pre plans and site security. One thing we always had at every location the VIP went to was a ‘safe room’, a place we could get the VIP into quickly in the event of the SHTF.

I have one in my house also. It’s in the basement, all concrete including the ceiling and with a steel door. My wife and daughter knows if TSHTF, bring the guns and the phone in and lock the door. Again, preparedness is the key to survival.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Joe B
January 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

Excellent article! All of this is basic commen sense to an observant individual. 99% of the population is not. Redunance, preparation, training, and a very discipline mindset is the key to survival.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Tom
January 27, 2012 at 11:50 am

Dave, I appreciate the useful and free information you provide. I will purchase your business side when I get past the leaner times proved free by the idiots in charge. Thank you !

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1John Lindsay
January 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

great stuff. I have a feeling that soon we will have to put this information to work. If Obama is re-elected the America that we love and live in will be just another 3rd world country with fighting in the streets.The have’s will be fighting off the ones that want for free. This is so sad. However, this country boy and family can survive.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Michael G.
January 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I hope you’re wrong about things going down the drain; I truly do. But I think you’re more right than many would like to admit. I still have some preps to do, and I do what I can. I’m not really a country boy, but my roots are from the South (old Virginia), and before that, a Highlander. I think you know what that one means…
God bless…

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dan
January 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Hi David,
Great article for those who take responsibility for themselves instead of thinking that someone else will do it for them or that it won’t happen to them.

Just like you, when my first child was born I realized I had become hyper alert. Not twitchy or edgy, just aware. I started training to be able to defend myself both physically and mentally to protect myself and my family if I ever had to.

Your comments are right on par with a lot of what I’ve studied and are on point without too much information. Great intro to the subject for your readers. Well done.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Tom
January 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Great, as usual. One thing people should consider doing around their homes and normal bases of operation (work, school, shopping, church, etc.) is to “survey” the roads and other PACE considerations during and/or after a major storm (rain, snow, whatever). Note the passage conditions, where you vehicle(s) can and can’t go, terrain status, etc. Same thing after a large power outage: who has it, who doesn’t, who gets it back fastest (hint: in most places it seems areas that share the grid with hospitals or police stations get theirs back first). One could map out such areas and plan routes that will be most suitable under various conditions. Yur idea of knowing the locations of hospitals, etc. is excellent, adding “urgent care centers” and emergency shelters (to locate or avoid) might also be good. The only problem with your posts and info: it highlights how much work I have left to do ;-)

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+5 Vote -1 Vote +1tim
January 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

you need to get a small dog to watch your house and kids preferably something like a beagle. they are trustworthy around kids,fairly cheap to feed and will bark like crazy if a stranger comes around. my very old and fat beagle backed the electric meter reader all the way to the street when he tried to cut across the backyard where he didn’t belong. you can’t stay awake 24/7 and a good hound dog will investigate any strange noise.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Michael G.
January 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I’ve got a 4 year old Sheltie that will do that too. Sometimes she lets out a deep growl, and I’ll look at her and say: “Did that come out of you?” She scares me with it, and she knows I love her.

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1JeffHTX
January 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm

My wife and I live in a single story home on a small farm in rural Texas. We are far removed from the big city, although within 12 miles is a big town. Should civil unrest strike our country as many predict, those living in the country will be fending for themselves, as the big town’s police force and the county’s Sheriff will be tied to protecting folks in the town. I expect there will be a few groups of scondrels, roaming around the back roads, causing mayhem, destruction and violence, but the country folk, who are prepared can defend their homes and properties until order is established. A couple of suggestions are in order for those of you who do live in the country. Military minded people know what “Shaping the battlefield” means. I won’t go in great detail, but before the TSHTF, one needs to study the area and forest around the grounds and think about where to create obstacles to force people to go where you want them to go or to slow the scondrels when they enter the area; Where are the most likely “avenues of approach”? Where are the “Fields of Fire” locations? Which covered positions from your yard or house window can you observe and engage interlopers? Since “they” might try to attack your home at night, where would you place remote lighting equipment that would blind their vision and give you a clear view? Which out buildings, trees or terrain block your view of the areas they may use to come to close for comfort or safety? How much dirt or sand in a box will stop a .308 rifle bullet at 100 yards or 50 feet? I hope my ideas give you food for thought and helps to get you thinking.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Michael G.
January 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Thanks for the information. Some these I’ve already done. But I do have one question: What exactly is meant by “‘Shaping the battlefield’”?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Kitty F
June 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm

MIchael G. Please re-read Jeff’s WHOLE post, and you see what he means by “shaping the Battlefield” Look at your yard or property as a Bad guy would, where they would hide, what they could use against you and what you could do to counter those problems. I’m not even a military person and I got it. go rent Home Alone and think imaginatively.

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Sue the frugal survivalist
January 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Since home invasions are more common than house fires, a couple house dogs with a dog door to the back yard would provide a real deterrent. We live in a “gang area”, and homes around us have been targeted and robbed. However, not one of our neighbors with a friendly, but protective, canine house pet was affected. Our dogs sleep with us and let us know immediately when something unusual is going on outside. A strange car on our street at night, someone on the sidewalk outside at 2 a.m., anything that is not normal sets them off. Our tiny dog has great hearing and will alert the big dog whose bark is quite intimidating. We’ve lived in this neighborhood for thirty years, always slept with our dogs, and never had a break in or theft. I believe dogs are the best burglar alarm and they are very protective of their loved ones. However, dogs chained or kenneled outside are unable to help protect you and their barking is easy to ignore. We had neighbors who were robbed while their outdoor pitbulls, trapped in the back yard, were unable to scare off the thieves.

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Vote -1 Vote +1JJM
February 4, 2012 at 10:17 am

My mixed Lab/Retriever is my primary alarm and is extremely protective of my sons (even threatens me!). No dog door however, as hers would be large enough for someone to squeeze through.

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Vote -1 Vote +1dog
January 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

david, again thanks very much for the great advise and information. i still have alot to
learn but making progress.
gb.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Pat
January 28, 2012 at 6:07 am

David-
You are always spot on. You hit home runs every time at bat. Thanks a lot for everything you do. Keep up the good work!

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1okiewife
January 28, 2012 at 9:32 am

We have had our 5 year old daschund for about 2 months, and he alerts us every time someone comes in the yard. He stays inside except for his short trips out for “necessary” functions, and sleeps with us. I find myself sleeping much better with him on guard. A barking dog is a great security investment.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Michael G.
January 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Good article. I look forward to following posts and articles.
Some of these things I’ve already done. Some I know how to defeat (though I’m not trained to do so). But I’ve already done them.
Home defense is in “belt” format. My dog ‘alerts’ so do I.
There is much more I could say–but won’t at this time.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Lenny W.
January 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm

As a widow of a military pilot, I had all the protection I needed when he was alive. But, alas, he passed, and I find myself alone, running a business late at night, and living in a less than desirable part of town due to the economy and the loss of the income he contributed to our lives. Recently I’ve taken up sea kayaking, and as part of the learning curve have had to learn about self-rescue and preservation under adverse conditions. This was a natural stepping stone to self-reliance in the event of SHTF and I read avidly the information I find on this site. It’s interesting to me that the people I meet that seem to have the knowledge and skills to survive SHFT all seem to be loners, or tight knit family groups and yet have so much valuable information about survival. I have yet to find any group or organization in my area where these kind of people gather, so I’m considering starting a group with the purpose of sharing the knowledge. Perhaps the Church of Steel and Ink. A church in the sense of a social organization, ink in the sense that the written word is very powerful and leads to communication and sharing of knowledge, and steel in the sense that it will definitely take a ‘steel’ attitude to survive SHFT. And if needed steel seems to be one of the best defense weapons components. Thank you for all the info. made available here. And good luck to us all.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Sandee
February 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

What part of the country are you living in. I’m in the Houston area.

Send an email, we can talk.

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Vote -1 Vote +1JJM
February 4, 2012 at 10:28 am

Lenny / Sandee Good discipline to not invite many as to level of prep. Good to share thoughts with like-minded and beginners.
West Houston, Bear Creek jjmnav (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

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Vote -1 Vote +1Peggy
January 28, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Does anyone have any helpful information for people with disabilities and the elderly on how to prepare to survive. thank you all

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Vote -1 Vote +1Michael G.
January 28, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I find myself in both those areas–more older than disabled (though I break rather easily). I too would like to learn what I need to do to be a better boy-scout.
Please help.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1gena
February 2, 2012 at 2:36 am

I’m also somewhat elderly and disabled, bad back, hips, legs, etc. Not too strong, AND I rent, meaning I cannot make some of the necessary preparations due to conditions of my lease. I do have dogs, have always felt that while someone might be able to take a gun from me and use it on me, they cannot do so with my dogs, and most thugs are more afraid of a woman with dogs than a woman with a gun.
I have managed to accumulate some stock of food, cooking materials, medical supplies and I am taking your course and am going to add some of the items you mentioned in lesson Five which I received today as soon as I can. I’m doing as was suggested and adding items gradually whenever I go to the store, picking up one or two extra of usual items, so as to accumulate without being overly conspicuous. My income is VA and Social Security disability which, of course, would immediately stop upon any major national disruption, so I’m trying to gather some basics that I don’t need myself but which will make good barter items. I have bought non-hybrid garden and herb seeds, and one of the next items I plan to buy will be more 5 or 6 gallon buckets if I need for a time to grow veggies indoors.
I live alone but keep a minimum of 35 gallons of water stored with capability of storing 50 gallons more at moments notice, plus the place I live in is on well service and septic tank usage, but do have a portable toilet with disposing supplies and emzymes, lot of biodegradable soaps and detergents, one of those small hand cranking washing machines that you power yourself and can do small loads of clothing items or whatever. I have 100 hour candles, other candles, flashlights with batteries, flash lights that are solar powered, and flashlights that can be recharged by winding, extra batteries, a scanner and a marine band radio, but no FCC license, and a couple of emergency radios with alternative charging methods for when all batteries have been used up. I have a zapper cane (one million volt stun gun), pellet gun with armor piercing pellets, even a sling shot, but no real pistol or rifle, or training in how to use either.
Not sure what else I would need, other than probably gun(s) and some training in how to use them. I was living in a situation in another town where I was advised for safety to carry the boss’ shotgun, but was told incorrectly, I found out later, how to use it. The little button I had been told was the thing to turn the safety off and on, in fact, would have ejected the shotgun shell, probably ending up with me being killed with no defense at all. You do need someone who knows how to use them to teach you how to use them correctly if you are really going to bother carrying or expecting to defend yourself with a gun.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David
January 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm

I Love what you are doing! Now is the time to help as many possible with as much ‘meaty’ info without cost to them! God has got your back, David, with these selfless posts!
Please stay in heath!
Superdave

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Vote -1 Vote +1Franklin
January 29, 2012 at 10:32 am

Very timely article.
How is it that protection for the Australian PM was unable to deal with the aboriginal protestors on the 26th? For the life of me, I can’t understand how security for a western leader could fail to properly foresee and respond to any possibility. I don’t have all the facts admittedly, but the entire incident reflects very poorly on the Australian national government in my opinion.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1gena
February 2, 2012 at 3:02 am

I had been checking out the area in which I currently live since we had had a bad storm a week or so ago and the usually dry creekbed one has to go barely over in order to get out of here was flooded. I had seen that there is an alternative exit but that the owner had put a gate in front of it and one of the neighbors had had the garbage collectors move a large dumpster in front of it, which would make it darned hard to get out if it became absolutely necessary. I asked about that and was told it was against the owner’s deed restrictions to allow tenants to use that exit. I still plan, next time the garbage collectors come to ask them to move it to where in a real emergency people will be able to use that exit, because if the stream flooded with the relatively small amount of rain we had last week, we could be totally unable to get out of here if we had even a moderate flood. And I do not believe in an emergency they could forbid us to use an alternative exit to get out of here. Of course, with it blocked it also keeps people who don’t belong in here from coming in that way, but I think the risk of not having an alternative way to get out is more dangerous than the chance of strangers coming in, since people apparently come and go all hours of the day and night with the current unmonitored entrance. I have been up during the night a few times lately and have noticed there is an abnormal amount of traffic in this area in the middle of the night and had mentioned to some of the neighbors that traffic in this secluded of an area, at those hours, to the amount I’ve noticed it, indicates to me there is probably some drug activity somewhere in the complex, apparently down the road from the part I live in. Not very many people in this small an area would be going to work or coming home from work at 2 or 3 in the morning. Somethings going on. And I had noticed one fellow who moved here not too long ago who looked pretty much like a druggie, middle 30′s with flowing unruly hair and then all a sudden had a crew cut and very clean shaven, so figure he might possibly have had a trial he had to appear at. This area is so secluded and for the value moderately priced it would be an ideal place for people to live and or hang out if they wished to avoid detection from the law and carry on illegal activities. Another reason it might make a good place not to be noticed in times of civil disruption so long as the druggies’ friends don’t come here to hide out in said possible times of civil disruption. I have been scoping the neighbors since moving here to see if there might be any I could group up with to work together if the need occurred, and to be honest have not really found any yet I consider to be very trustworthy and so none of them yet know about supplies, etc, that I have built up. I just have things stored, for the most part in closets and storage bins which if asked, I just say contain nonseasonal clothing and/or old books or magazines. Too many of the neighbors, I’m discovering have either serious drug or alcohol problems to consider trusting them with too much information.

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Vote -1 Vote +1david VS Goliath
February 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm

After ten years of training in the special service force including intel, I am now too aged to be at my peak for playing these parts responsibly. Combat in the field or urban areas is demanding and only for the prepared. The command post exercises for SSF included VIP body guard for high ranking officers like a major, colonel up to the King of Norway. I specialized in the outdoor arctic environment. The most fun I had one year was actually using helicopters to locate the homeguard in Norway, following ski tracks not yet covered by snow, buried in snow caves in the mountains. I had to rappel off the skid falling through the tarp cover while firing blanks with an SMG. They could hear us of course….but still a shock when you land inside their relatively small cave. I took the whole bunch prisoner & not one had time to reach for a weapon. There was one huey that crashed that year. Another year it was nothing but tactical withdrawl to the rear as part of an anti tank platoon using skidoo (LOSV) towing two toboggans for supplies & the T.O.W. system. No fresh food for over two weeks, very little sleep, as low as 30 below or more, with the Brits SAS as enemy. One guy discovered waterboarding first hand when he was taken by surprise at his guard duty. When it was over I slept a personal record breaking 18 hours, woke to make a yellow mark in the snow, back to sleep for another four hours waking hungry as a bear out of hibernation. Today I could never physically handle those conditions for that long. Besides, I was only a section commander that had to put up with young platoon commanders that liked to play with what was at their disposal like kids toys in a sand box. Aside from the usual ole hurry up and wait.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
February 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Thanks for the great article. I have quite a lot of mixed martial arts experience, more even than that required for a masters degree. As such, I constantly find myself sizing up crowds and picking out the threats especially in public places. The hardest part of EP for me is blending in. I’m 6′-3″ and 190 lbs, not the biggest guy but I stick out more than most. I have found that I blend in much better when I wear baggy clothes and slouch a little bit…not the posture of a warrior. I also try not to look at people too closely until they are comfortable with my presence or altogether unaware. After a few minutes in a room you can really tell who is uneasy and a possible threat.

I really want to buy the Survive in Place set but my wife doesn’t get it. We have the food and guns etc…but not the knowledge. I’ll keep at it.

thanks again,

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Kara
February 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm

David……great article…..great info…many thanks

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Vote -1 Vote +1Aross
February 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

Executive Protection: Neat information, surprisingly, much of which we learn simply by fostering our protective parenting skills. Always thought I was a bit odd, even paranoid in this respect, so many people i’ve known don’t tend to their families to that level. Now I consider it to be careless. What we can never know is how often these instincts may have actually protected our family because we don’t get the results of both scenarios. Trust your instincts, rather than status quo, and err on the side of caution. God gave you instincts for a reason!

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Vote -1 Vote +1John Auld
February 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm

David,
I am a reasonably fit 72 year old living in a tiny one-room apartment. I have accumulated supplies and equipment for… whatever happens this year. But I am prevented from owning firearms, so I am trying to find a substitute weapon for all contingencies. Recently, I narrowly averted a confrontation with a thug in the parking lot. After that, I acquired a “zipstick” baton, but feel that it has several drawbacks. Without the lanyard ( something difficult to use very quickly) the weapon could easily be jerked from my hand. Additionally, heavy winter clothes could protect from the force of the blow. Do you have any recommendation for an effective and legal self-defence weapon? I have read stories of pepper spray being mostly ineffective unless it is delivered exactly in the face, and what about numerous attackers?
Any information would be appreciated. Please use the address: barmielad@yahoo.com
Thank you,
John A.

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