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My Earthquake Personal Protection Tools

My Earthquake Personal Protection Tools

My Earthquake Personal Protection Tools

Last week we had a 5.8 earthquake in the DC area. I realize that to people out in California that’s nothing, but on the east, we’re not used to that sort of thing. I happened to be on the top floor of a building at the time and to tell you the truth I thought a bomb had gone off.

I exited the building rather slowly (as everyone else ran past me) because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a terrorist attack and someone wasn’t waiting outside with an Uzi. Once outside I was surrounded by hundreds of people milling around on the streets, with a few of them so upset they were crying.

Quite frankly, there was very little damage and it wasn’t really that bad, but I was amazed at how people overreacted. I looked around on the street as people we’re freaking out and thought to myself, “there are hundreds upon hundreds of people out in the city streets right now. Had this been a ‘real’ earthquake it would only have taken one or two ‘punks’ to set off looting or some type of riot.”

Why Society is So Fragile…

It was a good reminder how fragile society is and how most people these days are not prepared for any disaster or even any adversity at all in their lives. For instance, during the earthquake, I was in the terrible state of Maryland because my wife goes to law school there.

This means I wasn’t carrying a gun at the time, but I did have my knife on me, my tactical pen and a 72-hour kit close by. As I looked around at people crying and panicking I felt confident knowing that I’d be able to defend myself and escape if chaos started breaking out.

Of course, I would have had my gun on me if I had been in Virginia at the time, but we all know there are plenty of places we can’t carry a gun and that some days people even forget to put their gun on before they leave the house.

The Tools You Need…

That’s why, at the very least, I recommend you have the items I had on me the day of the earthquake. First, get a quality pocketknife with a clip. I prefer the Benchmade brand of knives. Second, get a tactical pen. I carry mine everywhere (airplanes included) and know if I ever have to use it, the person on the receiving end is going to be in a world of hurt when I’m done with them (if they’re alive at all.)

Lastly, have a 72-hour kit close by, at your work or in your car. You never know if you’re going to have to abandon your car on the highway and hike several miles back to your house, or if you’re going to have to seek shelter for a period of time. Either way, if you’ve got food, water, and protection (my 72-hour kit also has a tactical pen, a collapsible steel baton, and a fixed blade knife with a sheath, in addition to food and water) then you’ll be better off than the majority of Americans.

The bottom line is, most of society is not prepared, which means they freak out when any disaster at all occurs, which puts all of us in danger. So if you can legally carry a gun, then you absolutely should have one on you. If not, have the other items I mention above, especially the 72-hour kit.

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  • DarylD

    Good article! I have a GHB (Get Home Bag) in the vehicle and my briefcase is “readied” – just in case. Fortunately, I am usually able to have a defensive firearm available. I had, during a fire drill, one lady ask my why I grabbed my (Maxpedition) bag. I asked her if she remembered her purse. I knew the answer already as she realized real quick that she hadn’t and didn’t bother to press me further. My maxpedition serves as my briefcase and holds “other articles” of interest.

  • Adamsdennis1209

    Good article and advice, thanks. My back yard is the New Madrid fault line. I believe I’m fully prepared (supply wise) for a major earthquake. However, if my house falls I may never be able to reach my emergency supply’s in the basement. Not to keep all my eggs in one basket, how about some advice / suggestions on CHEAP external storage areas, taking into consideration humidity, water, mold, ventilation, freezing environment, etc. Thanks again.

    Dennis

  • Van Phillips

    I heard that Washington claimed it was Bush’s “Fault”, but that the rest of the country found out it was our founding fathers rolling over in their graves.

    Seriously, Jason it is good advice!  I have one 72 hour kit for everyone living in the house, and put mine in the car in the winter.  Just having access to fresh water would have been good when Alice drifted up the East Coast.

    And, for those of you who are wondering where you can get a 72 hour kit – check with your local Red Cross.  Most have survival “backpacks” that they sell as a fund raiser. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5J6U2OIXVCRGKMY4DLVE45KPQ AriKona

    “…waiting outside with an Uzi.”  More likely an Ak-47.
     
    Well, it was a “real” earthquake, but obviously not of the magnitude to impress you.  Had it been, you probably would not  have had the good fortune to walk outside, but would have been extricated by the first responders. 

    In the initial phase of an earthquake, my thoughts are not on the use of deadly force to protect myself or where I put my 72 hour bag.  It is concerned with survival of the moment.  Having seen, although not personally present (thank God), the effects of a seismic event only 1.0 Richter greater in amplitude than your ”event”, the prevention of death by falling or caving in of buildings is somewhat more prevalent in one’s thought processes.  In the aftermath, society and the degree of urbanization determine the amount of looting and further man-made destruction. Since we live in America with a propensity of people looking for “diversity” rather than assimilation, the likelihood is that someone will be present who believes that there is nothing wrong with looting.  To them I say, “Look elsewhere, for today  if you make up your mind to take from me my property, you have made the decision to give your life in trade.”

    Seriously, it would be virtually impossible to prepare for every type of emergency you could be involved with so, evaluate your chance of each threat, prepare in a rational manner for such threat(s) and continue to live your life without paranoia robbing you of even a single moment of joy. 

    “Be prepared, but don’t walk around scared.” 

    Water and food for 30 days, a small generator and the gas to run it and enough ammunition to stop the ATF from invading your home (Disclaimer: This may require access to weapons grade Plutonium.) ;-).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E6IBM22GG5ATON4ENFAZCZ7YRA Peter Griffin

    Great article Jason.
    Your right, many people overreact to the littlest of things. Our societly has basically become a bunch of pansies. It’s an over dramatic response to anything that happens.
    Our grandparents hat more guts.
    Being in Va. I always carry, as does my wife. We have 3 days of water at all times & dry stores of food as well as a generator & fuel. Bug out bags are always in all my cars (just in case).
    These are the lessons I learned after going though 9/11 at the WTC. Hopefully many more will take it to heart.

  • Carl T.

    Watch the Twilight Zone episode “The Shelter”.  Can find it on Netflix.

    • Civilian75

      I’d add “Jerico”.  Very well made!

  • Anonymous

    One item that might be added is a 12ga flare gun (such as Orion) with flares – could do double duty as an emergency-use weapon. Legal everywhere. Costs about $60 (plastic flare gun and 4 flares)

  • Carolinaprospector

    I have a 5 day kit in my car with 2 quality fixed blade sheath knives, food, water, baton, compass, water purification tabs,  small amount of rope, trash bags along with several other items in a back pack.  At home after witnessing what happened to the people in the astro dome in New Orleans, I increased my survival supply to 30 day supply.   I know that it takes more time for the government to respond to a major disaster than three days. 

  • Anonymous

    good 411