February is Self Defense and Personal Safety Month.
As Rorion Gracie once said, “self-defense is not just a set of techniques. It is a state of mind that starts with the belief that you are worth defending.” Throughout the month, we will provide tips and advice for protecting yourself in different situations and learning how to become proactive in your personal safety.
As we continue to recognize February as Self Defense and Personal Safety Month, this week we will focus on safety strategies that could save your life. A few years ago, Forbes published an article with suggestions for safety that could be beneficial when used correctly in various situations. The following list of suggestions has been adapted from the article.
- Set the home address on your car GPS to a fake address—not your actual one. In the event that someone breaks into your car, they could use your GPS home location to figure out where you live and rob your home.
- Keep your car keys on your nightstand. Many key-fobs have a panic alert button that will cause the horn to blast and headlights to flash. This could save lives during a home invasion by scaring intruders away, and also helps to alert neighbors that an emergency situation is unfolding.
- Be careful about the information you choose to share on social media. Avoid publicly posting “check-ins” to distant locations, or sharing about events/vacations that include the whole family being away from home. This lets people know that your house will be vacant—and a prime target for robbery. Limit the personal information you share or update your privacy settings to ensure that only close friends and family have access.
- Be aware that cameras are recording everywhere. Block people’s view of your hand when typing in alarm codes, PIN numbers, etc.
- Before walking to your car in a parking lot, take out your keys and carry them with you. this reduces the amount of time it takes to get into your car, reducing your chance of an attack. Additionally, a key can serve as a makeshift weapon in the event of an emergency.
In addition to implementing safety strategies like the ones listed above, it is also beneficial to equip yourself with the right gear. At BulletBlocker, we offer a variety of products to help keep you safe and your mind at ease. Our backpacks are a great addition to your safety practices. One of our most popular, the Guardian, is a lightweight and comfortable backpack built with NIJ IIIA anti-ballistic protection. Its adjustable and ergonomically designed straps stabilize the bag to provide all-day comfort, ideal for students or commuters who wear backpacks for extended periods of time. The pack is designed to hold your belongings with ease and efficiency, with multiple compartments and ample storage space. The backpack with the anti-ballistic panel weighs in at less than five pounds, ensuring all-day comfort.
Following safety strategies like the ones listed above can put you at an advantage in the event of an emergency. It is crucial to invest in yourself and your personal safety by keeping up with the latest emergency preparedness and self-defense strategies.
As people go throughout their everyday life, they often don’t expect the unexpected. One may find themselves in a situation that seems perfectly safe until suddenly they realize they are in the presence of danger. In these situations, it is necessary to have a plan of action to take and a defense mechanism prepared well in advance. According to the NY times, violent crimes (including homicides) rose for the second consecutive year in 2016. Violent crimes increased nationally last year by 4.1%. These statistics illustrate the importance of developing self-defense strategies to use in the event of a sudden emergency. Though it is easy to put off protective strategies with the mindset of “that would never happen to me,” or “I live in a safe area,” it is important to keep in mind that crime and violence can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone.
Caltech Security published a crime prevention article with precautions for personal safety. Below is a list of common strategies to follow to maximize your safety and minimize the risk of becoming a victim:
- Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you, regardless of the time of day, and especially when in an unfamiliar area
- Avoid dark and vacant areas, and use well-lit routes if possible. If you ever feel like you are being followed, move to a well-lit or populated area immediately and call for assistance.
- Park in well-lit areas. Avoid parking in secluded parts of a lot.
- Trust your instincts. If someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable, get out or get away as quickly as possible.
At BulletBlocker, one of our most popular clothing products for discreet protection is our Gabriel Ballistic Base Layer Compression Vest. Created by one of our finest engineers, the vest is the most concealable piece of body armor on today’s market with a NIJ IIIA rating. Whether an undercover task-force member, a silent operator, or a private citizen wanting an ultra-concealable piece of body armor, the Gabriel BBL gives you the tactical advantage you need with the lightweight comfort you deserve. Each Gabriel is custom built and its sleek design leaves a nearly invisible footprint under most garments, giving you instant protection and reassurance that you will be safe in any emergency situation.
As we begin the month of February, consider the steps you can take to better prepare yourself for emergency situations in terms of self-defense and protection. Now more than ever is a great time to invest in yourself and your personal safety.
January - Happy New Year!
As we enter into a new year, we want to take the time to thank our valued and loyal customers and express our appreciation for your business. We are excited to see what this new year will bring. Throughout the month of January, we will focus on providing introductory tips for prepping and safety, including a 12-month guide to prepping for this upcoming year.
Week Four: 12 Months of Prepping (Months 9-12)
The theme of January is survivalism and beginning the prepping process. We have dedicated the past two weeks to discussing the first 8 months of the year in terms of task breakdown and supplies to buy. This week, we will wrap up the guide by focusing on months 9-12, following the article posted by Back Door Survival with guidelines for year-round prepping.
Month 9 – September:
Tasks: Follow up on efforts to organize your family/neighborhood/community. Conduct various emergency drills at home and within your community. Additionally, swap out stored medications with new versions. Review your prescription medications and add those that are missing from your first aid kit.
Supplies to buy: Extra batteries for flashlights, duct tape, and an additional 3 days of water for each person and pet within the household.
Month 10 – October:
Tasks: Become earthquake ready by taking steps to secure appliances, shelves, cabinets, and drawers to prevent them from falling or opening during an earthquake.
Supplies to buy: Take this month off from purchases.
Month 11 – November:
Tasks: Exchange work, home, and emergency contact phone numbers with neighbors for use during an emergency.
Supplies to buy: Packages of paper plates, napkins, eating utensils, and paper cups
Month 12 – December:
Tasks: Check your water and food supplies and rotate if necessary.
Supplies to buy: Expand your food supply by buying more non-perishable products, and heavy work gloves.
One of our new and most popular clothing products is our Fortress Fleece Vest. The NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Fleece vest is a high-quality, high-performance vest made from ultra-soft polyester fleece. It is manufactured entirely in-house, and customized to fit your unique measurements for maximum concealability. Its modern materials and features make this vest ideal for men and women of all ages. When fully zippered, the stand-up collar seals in warmth for optimal insulation and comfort year-round. The vest also includes two interior gun pockets (with an internal strap to hold down the barrel or slide. Whether you are a hunter, hiker, commuter, or student, the Fortress Fleece is very versatile and perfect for anyone who desires light-weight anti-ballistic protection.
Week Three: 12 Months of Prepping (Months 4-8)
Last week, we focused on how to prepare during the first 3 months of the year. Throughout the rest of January, we will continue to provide a list of tasks and supplies for each month of this upcoming year to help you begin the prepping process. This week, the focus is on months 4-8, still following the article posted by Back Door Survival with guidelines for year-round prepping.
Month 4 – April: Tasks: Review and organize your storage area so everything is properly contained and labelled. Ensure that containers are well marked/dated. Pack warm blankets, sleeping bags, socks, and other gear for cold weather conditions.
Supplies to buy: at least a 7-day supply of critical prescription medications. Stock up on special household accommodations this month such as supplies for pets, infants, or elderly family members.
Month 5 – May: Tasks: Make at least two photocopies of important papers/documents and put one in your emergency storage space, and one away from your home. File an electronic copy of your important documents on a portable flash drive. Talk with neighbors/community members about organizing a local preparedness group.
Supplies to buy: Cleaning supplies, including: liquid dish soap, liquid bleach, hand soap/hand sanitizer, and disposable gloves. A portable AM/FM radio with batteries.
Month 6 – June: Tasks: Check to see if stored water/food has expired and needs to be replaced. Find out about specific disaster plans at your workplace/school
Supplies to buy: 6 rolls of paper towels. One box of face masks per person. One box of granola/protein bars per person.
Month 7 – July: Tasks: Take a first aid/CPR class at your local American Red Cross facility. Show family members where and how to shut off household utilities.
Supplies to buy: Adult/children’s vitamins. 1 jug of juice per person. A fire extinguisher, pair of pliers, and 100 feet of paracord.
Month 8 – August: Tasks: Make a small emergency preparedness kit for your car. Include food, water, a blanket, and small first aid kit.
Supplies to buy: One weeks’ worth of dry cereal or instant oatmeal per person. One box of large, heavy-duty garbage bags. One box of crackers per person.
At BulletBlocker, we offer a wide variety of backpacks that can be a perfect addition to your prepping storage space, or can be used as your emergency bug-out bag for your household, car, or workplace. Our Everyday Backpack in particular is one of our top-rated backpacks, as it provides a discreet layer of lightweight anti-ballistic protection and provides enough storage space to meet all your needs. The pack is made of Duralite Ripstop & Waffle Weave, a grid-textured nylon fabric that has a water-resistant backing to protect belongings in wet weather. The anti-ballistic panel only adds 20 ounces of weight to the backpack, ensuring a comfortable and lightweight fit for long-term wear. Its roomy main compartment opens wide for easy packing, and the organizer compartment contains multiple pockets for storage. It is the ideal option for students, commuters, travelers, or those on the go throughout the year.
Week Two: 12 Months of Prepping (Months 1-4)
Last week we posted recommendations for making New Year’s resolutions with a focus on individual safety and emergency preparedness. Over the next few weeks, we will provide a month-by-month plan for this upcoming year in terms of prepping. Whether you are just starting out, or you are an experienced prepper, we will include useful tips and recommendations that will apply to everyone. There are many barriers that individuals face when starting the prepping process, such as a lack of time, finances, or support from loved ones. Despite these barriers, it is important to break down the task of emergency preparedness into smaller steps and make a “roadmap” with a monthly to-do-list, tasks to complete, and items to purchase. The goal of this is to make the prepping process less daunting and more manageable over time. Back Door Survival posted an article with guidelines for 12 months of prepping that we will closely follow in the upcoming weeks. This week, we will focus on the first three months of the year.
Month 1 – January:
Tasks: Take an inventory of supplies you already have on hand. If you have not already done so, date your cans of food and water containers to keep track of when you bought them.
Supplies to buy: Stock up on water and food this month. A rule of thumb is to store at least 3 gallons of water for each person and pet in a household. If you are buying canned meat, stew, or pasta meals, stock up on at least 5 per person. Also buy a hand-operated can opener and bottle opener, and two flashlights with batteries if you do not have them already.
Month 2 – February:
Tasks: Change your smoke detector’s batteries and test them. If you do not have any, purchase and install smoke detectors. Additionally, make an inventory of your household contents for insurance purposes.
Supplies to buy: Toilet paper (3 rolls per person), family-sized first aid kit, canned vegetables (4 per person), sanitary napkins (2-month supply)
Month 3 – March:
Tasks: Conduct a household emergency drill. Establish both a local and out-of-state contact to call in the event of an emergency and ensure that every household member knows how to reach these individuals.
Supplies to buy: 3 cans of canned fruit per person, and a 3-day supply of food for individuals who have special dietary requirements. An optional item is a large plastic tub or bin for food/emergency supply storage.
As we move into the colder winter months, consider purchasing one of our many popular jackets or coats. Our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Farm Coat is a great option for work or leisure. Its heavyweight 100% sandstone duck conveniently comes in 3 different colors. The nylon lining is quilted into an artic-weight polyester insulation to keep you comfortable, while the rib-knit storm cuffs and soft corduroy collar lock in the warmth. Designed to hold all your gear, this coat offers two inside pockets, two flapped chest pockets, and two front hand-warmer pockets. The split-back with bi-swing design guarantees comfortable wear and the pleated elbows promise ease movement on the job. For women, a more stylish and versatile option is our NIJ IIIA Falcon Flight Jacket. It is constructed of an oxford nylon shell and polyester lining for superior water resistance, while the soft faux mouton-lined hood, storm flap, and cuffs are designed to keep you warm in the coldest conditions. With multiple pockets and reinforced elbows, this jacket is both practical and rugged. It conveniently comes in 4 different colors to please a variety of styles.
Week 1: New Year’s Safety Resolutions
This week, the theme is setting New Year’s resolutions. According to Forbes, more than 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions at the start of every year, usually with the intent to lose weight, eat healthier, or spend less money. Though out of the millions of people that set these resolutions each year, only about 8% of people actually follow through with them. Setting resolutions can be fun and motivating, but can be difficult to attain if they are not practical or realistic.
As we enter into 2018, consider setting resolutions and goals that aim to improve your preparedness skills and safety knowledge. These goals should be specific and measurable so that you can hold yourself accountable throughout the year. The Bug Out Bag Guide published an article with resolution suggestions for the new year with a focus on preparedness and survivalism. The first resolution is to make an emergency bug-out plan. We provided guidelines for making your own comprehensive bug-out plan in previous weeks, but you could also download this bug-out template and fill it out in under an hour. If you have already made a bug-out plan, consider reviewing it and making adjustments as necessary. The best way to figure out its strengths and weaknesses is to continually practice it. As discussed in previous weeks, practicing your plan before an emergency occurs is one of the best ways to stay prepared. Another resolution is to help at least one person you know become more prepared. This could be a friend, family member, or neighbor who has expressed an interest or curiosity in prepping at some point. Taking the opportunity to sit down with others and discuss the importance of survivalism may not always be the easiest conversation, but it allows those around you to understand your perspective and gain an appreciation for why you choose to prepare.
Another recommended resolution is to make a bug out bag filled with basic survival items such as food, water, medical supplies, and other necessities to be used in the event of an emergency. If you have one bug out bag at home, consider making a second bag for your workplace or vehicle, as emergencies can occur at any time or place. If you have already made adequate bug-out-bags, consider reducing their weight by at least 10%. Even the most experienced preppers could find it useful to periodically check their bags and assess what needs to be changed to save weight and space. Finally, it is most important to plan to take action and follow through. Even the best resolutions and intentions are useless if they are not followed by actions. Preparedness is a long journey of change and improvement, and there are always more skills to learn and more tools to master, regardless of how experienced one may be.
Our bulletproof backpack panel inserts are a great way to keep the whole family safe and protected while at school, work, or travelling. Having the peace of mind that your loved ones are protected and safe is crucial. The discreet panel inserts come in two standard sizes, but can also be customized to fit your own backpack’s unique dimensions. They covertly make your pre-owned item bulletproof by offering Level IIIA anti-ballistic protection while remaining compact enough to fit into your purse, notebook portfolios, or backpack. This classic product has remained one of our most popular, as it is an inexpensive and versatile item ideal for a wide population. Its discreet design can be swapped effortlessly into different bags without ever compromising on comfort or concealability.
As you ring in the new year and start to reflect on the months ahead, consider making resolutions that will be beneficial to your own safety and well-being. Preparing starts with the simple decision to invest in yourself and safety. As Cavett Robert once said, “character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” Have a safe and happy New Year!
Survival Community Blogs and Resources SurvivalistBoards.com - Extensive, friendly and educational. Just about anything you could want to know about everything related to disaster preparedness, contingency planning, and large portions of what is also associated with LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) is on file here. Health, Fitness and First Aid is one section, Wilderness Survival, Hiking and Camping is another. Urban Survival to Farming, Gardening and Recipes - feature everything from how-to's to lists of things you will need and want. There's active conversation and debates on many topics, most of all you will find it to be a very friendly site more respectful of others than you're likely to find on any political forums. Think you are alone in your concerns? No.
SurvivalBlog.com is dedicated to family preparedness, survival, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency. Written by author and former military intelligence officer Jim Rawles, his site is viewed in over 100 countries. Lots of very good information - hundreds, if not thousands, of posts.
The Survivalist Blog - An independent blog with some pretty good articles, including quick tips on assembling your own "Grab And Go Survival Pack" also known as a "bug out bag".
Urban Survivalist Blog - This would ordinarily be too small and inactive to include in this list for having only three articles. They focus on short-term disaster preparedness, quick and easy.