Category: Terrorism

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.

The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.

The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.

A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask

This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.

M61 Finnish Gas Mask

The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.

ADVANTAGE 1000 CBA-RCA Gas Mask

The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.

There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.

By My Family Survival Plan

How To Survive a Plane Crash At Sea

How To Survive a Plane Crash At Sea

Your worst nightmare and first thought upon boarding a flight (or even purchasing the tickets) is not to crash! It’s a possibility. One that you have to come to terms with. There is no such thing as a 100% safe flight, like there is no such thing as a 100% safe walk in the park. Disaster can strike at any time and any place. The chance of a plane crash however, studies show, it’s not that high. And even when it happens, a large portion (even 100%) of the passengers on board survives.

But as long as the slightest chance of danger exists, best be prepared. Follow all the procedures and unwritten rules in order to help your chances of survival. Crashing in water is serious business, and even if you survive the crash, the struggle is far from over.

The main concern though for surviving a crash at sea is to survive the crash itself. The numbers are good in this case, showing that about 95% of the passengers involved in plane crashes survive the initial plane crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Experts have agreed that in order to improve their chances of survival, passengers should be adequately equipped for survival. The clothes you’re wearing in the moment of the crash could make the difference on whether you survive or not. “Imagine having to run away from a burning plane. If you have to do that, how well are your flip-flops going to perform? How well are your high-heeled shoes going to perform?” asks Cynthia Corbett, human factors specialist at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Recent studies and research have proven that the passengers sitting behind the wings of the plane are more likely to survive the those sitting in front of it by well over 40% and that the seats situated near the exit row are the safest on the plane.survivors

After the impact with the surface of the water, the first 90 seconds are the most crucial. It’s essential to keep calm and react swiftly, greatly increasing your chances of survival. NTSB reports that because of overcoming panic or crippling fear, many crash victims are found placed in their seats, with their seat belts still on. Others just sit back and wait for instructions until it’s too late. Cynthia Corbett says that knowing what to do and how to cope in such a scenario is imperative. Act accordingly to survival procedures and don’t wait for instructions. They might never come and it will cost you dearly.How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage

Surviving the open sea is next and it’s the real struggle. Plane crashes at sea present special circumstances than other types of crashes, because the survivors face the adversities of the open ocean, whether they’re alive in life rafts or floating on pieces of debris on open waters. The life raft is the best survival tool for a plane crash survivor lost at sea. They are equipped with medical first aid kits, some drinking water, flares to help you signal your location to passing planes or boats, and a canopy that serves as shelter from the burning sun or incoming rain. It will greatly reduce the fatigue you face, as you can float at ease, without having to constantly kick the water, burning energy and attracting sharks. The bright colors and shape of the rafts might also attract fish and birds, which are the best source of food available. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), life rafts are mandatory for most commercial aircrafts that fly extended over-water operations (distances of over 50 miles offshore). However, if aircrafts don’t fly above 25,000 feet and provides life vests for everybody on board, the life raft ceases to be a necessity.

Fully-inflated life raft

Getting into a life raft doesn’t mark the end of all your troubles. You still have life threatening situations to overcome, dehydration and starvation especially. The human body can go for weeks without food, but only for days without water. Some have been known to survive even over a week without it, but it all depends on individual overall health and general temperature and humidity. You can rely on the surround faun (fish, birds, amphibians) as a source of sustenance. According to Dr Claude Pintadosi (professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Centre), most of the animals found offshore are safe to eat, because toxins among them is a highly uncommon thing. The flesh of the animals is a great source of protein and minerals, while the blood can be drunk fresh. Harvesting and drinking rain-water is also a good method to stack up on vital fluids.

Hypothermia is the main reason for concern, especially if you find yourself in waters of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can fight hypothermia as long as you’re in a life raft. Simply remove the wet clothes and cover the victim with dry pieces of clothing blankets. For crash survivor that’s permanently in contact with the water, hypothermia is fatal. Contrary to popular belief, sharks are the least of your worry.

As long as you’re not bleeding in the water in order to alert and switch on their predatory instincts, there is very little reason to fear and actual shark attack.

If you ever happen to find yourself in such a situation, don’t be surprised: it happened before, and it will happen again. Just keep calm, keep your wits about you and most likely you’ll survive to tell the tale.

by My Family Survival Plan

Will The Biggest Blackout In American History Be Eclipsed By Cyber Attack?

Will The Biggest Blackout In American History Be Eclipsed By Cyber Attack

During a hot summer day in August 2003, the lights went out across much of the Northeast and Midwest United States and the Canadian province of Ontario. It was the biggest blackout in American history, all triggered by nothing more than an overloaded, overheated power line in Ohio which sagged down low and hit tree foliage.

A ‘software bug’ in a control room alarm system failed to warn operators to re-distribute power which resulted in a cascading massive widespread grid failure.

Not long ago, power company executives gathered in Washington to discuss the reliability of the electric power grid. The major topic of discussion> Cyber attack

While the 2003 outage was much more widespread than the Northeast Blackout of 1965 and affected an estimated 10 million people in Ontario and 45 million people in eight U.S. states for up to several days, power company engineers worry that a cyber-attack could bring an even bigger blackout than has ever happened before.
The following are a few excerpted quotes from a conversation between David Greene and Tom Gjelten (NPR) with Mark Weatherford (former DHS cybersecurity), Michael Assante (NBISE president, cybersecurity expert), and James Fama (Edison Electric Institute) who revealed more substantiation for the emerging threat facing of our power grid… Cyber Attack.

Weatherford:

“Now we can remotely manage devices via the Internet. So instead of putting somebody in a truck and having them drive a hundred miles to a substation in the middle of the mountains somewhere, you remotely manage that.”

“And then, really to no one’s fault at the time – we didn’t realize it – but didn’t think a lot about the security and the insecurity of doing that.”

Assante:

“If you go to engineering school, you’re not taught about cyber security as part of becoming a power engineer.”

Gjelten:

“The cyber threat. This is a new concern in the power industry, this idea that the electric grid could be shut down by hackers. Here’s what’s changed, two things. First, more of the equipment that makes up the electric grid – from the generators to the transformers – is now operated by computers. Mess with the computer, and you can turn the lights off.”

“When a computer is connected to the Internet, a good hacker can generally a find a way in. This is the new disaster scenario for power companies.”

“The concern now is that a really sophisticated cyber attack could cause a blackout bigger than anything we’ve ever seen.”

The loss of our electrical power grid. While most can deal with losing power for a few hours, if faced with life without electricity for several days, a week, weeks?, or longer?, then life as we know it will be disrupted beyond one’s wildest imagination.

We as a modern society have EXTREME dependence on the power grid. Electricity. The risk and consequences of losing electricity are so enormous, that every single one of us should consider the ramifications — even if only for a few days. If you begin to think about the consequences of a long term blackout, you might scare yourself into taking some serious action…

Think about it…

By Ken Jorgustin

How To Survive Chemical Warfare – Part I

Australian infantry small box respirators Ypres 1917

Although chemical weapons have actually been used since ancient times (for example the Chinese used Arsenic Smokes in around 1000 BC), the era of chemical warfare arguably began with WWI – almost exactly 100 years ago.

It is important to note that the rules of war are ultimately written by the perpetrators: Despite the fact that the Hague Declaration of 1899 and the Hague Convention of 1907 forbade the use of “poison or poisoned weapons” in warfare, more than 124,000 tons of poison gas were produced by the end of World War I. The French were the first to use chemical weapons during the First World War, using the tear gases ethyl bromoacetate and chloroacetone. This was followed rapidly by the development and use of chlorine and other gases by all sides and WWI even became known as “The Chemists’ War” as a result. [1]

A total 50,965 tons of pulmonary, lachrymatory, and vesicant agents were deployed by both sides in WWI, including chlorine, phosgene, and mustard gas. Official figures declare about 1.3 million casualties directly caused by chemical warfare agents during the course of the war. Of these, an estimated 100,000-260,000 casualties were civilians. [1]

The effects of chemical agents can be persistent: They’re still clearly visible in Vietnam, 40 years after the USA sprayed the deadly Agent Orange that had such hideous effects on millions of people.

Are things really different now? It’s questionable that we are any more civilized. There are more stringent legal measures in place and great steps have been made to prevent the use of chemical agents. But since when did you ever come across a terrorist who played by the rules?

I think the risks of this happening to you are pretty small over all. So it’s best not to freak out. But also, don’t think that this is just a thing of the past. Sarin was used in an attack in the Ghouta region of the Rif Dimashq Governorate of Syria during the Syrian civil war in 2013. Varying sources gave a death toll of 322 to 1,729. [1]

It makes sense simply to learn a little about it and be prepared.

genetic defects

The first thing you need to know is how to detect a chemical attack, so you can prevent contamination or decontaminate in time.

Wilderness Survival says “the best method for detecting chemical agents is the use of a chemical agent detector. If you have one, use it. However, in a survival situation, you will most likely have to rely solely on the use of all of your physical senses. You must be alert and able to detect any clues indicating the use of chemical warfare. General indicators of the presence of chemical agents are tears, difficult breathing, choking, itching, coughing, and dizziness.”

Also, they advise us to use our sense of smell to detect chemical agents. Chlorine is obvious – it smells like bleach. Phosgene smells like freshly cut hay or grass. Mustard gas has an odor resembling mustard plants, garlic, or horseradish. However note that Sarin is odorless.

Some agents are similar to mist or have specific colors like yellow, green or even red.

Mustard gas leaves oily patches on cars and buildings and Yellow Rain is noticeable in the form of small yellow drops on the ground, on cars or trees.

young victims
photo source : flickriver.com

Beware of rashes, irritations and burns on the skin. If you feel like scratching parts of your skin repeatedly and the feeling does not get away, or if you see an unusual color or spots on it, wash with soap and water immediately. If the symptoms are severe, get to the nearest hospital right away.

However, some agents are very hard to detect. In this case, your smell won’t help you in any way. But you can observe your surroundings, to see if there’s something unusual going on.

We’re also still at risk of chemical agents washing ashore from 20th century dumping, a shocking practice. This really happened. For one example – after WWI, most of the unused German chemical warfare agents were dumped into the Baltic Sea, a common disposal method among all the participants in several bodies of water. Over time, the salt water causes the shell casings to corrode, and mustard gas occasionally leaks from these containers and washes onto shore as a wax-like solid resembling ambergris. [1]

ki4u.com, Nuke Prep Expertise & Solutions, makes a list of the things we should watch out for:

  • Dead animals/birds/fish:Numerous animals dead in the same area.
  • Blisters/rashes:Many individuals experiencing unexplained rashes, bee-sting like blisters, and/or watery blisters.
  • Mass casualties:Many persons exhibiting unexplained serious health problems ranging from disorientation and nausea to breathing difficulty, convulsions, and death.
  • Unusual metal debris:Unexplained munitions like material, especially if liquid is contained. (No rain recently.)
  • Unexplained chemical odors:Smells may range from fruity to flowery to pungent/sharp, to horseradish/garlic-like to peach kernels/bitter almonds to new mown hay. It should be noted, that the smell would likely be completely out of sync with its surroundings. (I.E. The smell of hay in an urban area.)
  • Low-lying clouds:Low-lying fog/cloud-like condition not explained by surroundings.
  • Definite pattern of casualties:Casualties distributed in a pattern that may be associated with possible agent dissemination methods.
  • Illness associated with a confined geographic area:Lower rates of illness for people working outdoors versus indoors or indoors versus outdoors.
  • Lack of insect life:Normal insect activity is missing. Check ground/shore line/water surface for dead insects. Also look for dead animals/birds/fish.
  • Unusual liquid droplets: Many surfaces exhibit oily droplets or film. (No rain recently.)
  • Unusual spraying:Unexplained spraying of an aerosol or liquid by vehicles, persons, or aircraft.

References:

[1] Wikipedia – Chemical Warfare

9 Martial Arts Systems For The Survivalist

9 Martial Arts Systems For The Survivalist

Physical strength, endurance, flexibility, adaptability, and mental discipline are all attributes of a true survivor. Unfortunately, they are also attributes that are often neglected by the average survivalist. The popular assumption is that if you have sizable food storage and can shoot straight, you are ready to rock-and-roll. Reality has some harsh lessons for those with this mindset. The first and most important weapon in any prepper’s arsenal is his own body; strong, healthy, and well taken care of. If a person’s body is left to decay, no amount of gear is going to save them in the middle of a crisis situation…

Hand-to-hand combat training is sometimes treated with cynicism amongst preppers who have spent all their lives enraptured in the world of firearms. The common retort is “Why use my hands when I have my Glock…?” Indeed. Why should we? Perhaps because one day we may not have a weapon in our possession during a dangerous circumstance. Should a survivalist simply give up because he loses his gun or he runs out of ammunition? I think not.

The concept of survival in the midst of collapse and calamity is not necessarily dependent on having all the right tools at all the right times. Sometimes, you have to improvise, and the only tools you can always count on are your hands, and your (hopefully well oiled and attuned) brain. Martial Arts training hones and refines these assets to perfection, and also teaches the mind to deal with the stresses and fears associated with combat. In fact, 95% of success in martial arts revolves around learning to accept the idea of someone trying to kill you, so that you can move past the terror of the scenario and deal with it calmly and logically. Adrenaline, tunnel vision, and unchecked emotion are the true enemies in any fight. We defeat ourselves long before our assailants ever touch us.

Another concept within martial arts that I find fascinating is the philosophy of Bushido, which is often mistaken as a brand of Eastern religion. Instead, it is a kind of warrior’s code; a way of dealing with adversity in one’s life. Struggling with obstacles whether self created, or created by others, requires balance and the ability to take control of the problem and apply one’s own terms instead of the terms other people try to set for you. It is about leading the battle, instead of being led, while staying true to your conscience. In the end, we should feel no need to prove anything to anyone but ourselves. Traditional martial arts still contain elements of Bushido within their methodology, and I believe such practitioners are some of the few people left in the world who operate on a legitimate warrior’s code; something we desperately need in our culture today.

I have studied multiple forms of martial arts for over 26 years, and have found many methods that would work well for the worst survival situations, and plenty that would be utterly useless. When I started my training classes for Liberty Movement individuals and families in Northwest Montana, my idea was to combine all the strategies that I felt were intuitive, easy to learn, and quick to utilize. My goal was to help students to become physically capable of self defense within a very short period of time, without running slapdash over important factors like mental strength and intelligent application. I feel that the program has done very well so far. The following is a list of styles that I use in my curriculum…

Shotokan Karate:Shotokan is a Japanese martial art using movements derived from defense methods common in Okinawa and streamlined for easier application. At first glance, Shotokan seems stiff and impractical, but this is not the case. Shotokan training is extremely intense, and the sparring matches can be brutal. Deep stances and sharp strikes train the body to hold ground even against a larger opponent. Shotokan practitioners can take physical damage unlike any other style I have seen beyond perhaps Thai Kickboxing. As the student advances, the stiffness disappears, and their strikes become coldly logical and precise, almost like a killer robot…….no….seriously. Shotokan is a perfect foundation art for beginners in self defense. If they can handle this style, they can handle anything…

Thai Kickboxing: Thai is world famous for its fast devastating steamroller type strikes and the ability of its practitioners to take a hit and keep on going. For a crisis situation, it is imperative that the survivalist be capable of absorbing and moving past the pain of a fight. In the street, it may be a matter of life and death, or it may be a drunken adolescent brawl. In a SHTF scenario, it will ALWAYS be a matter of life and death. There is no such thing as a hand to hand fighter who can avoid every attack and come out unscathed. Plan on getting hit. With the heavy arm to leg blocks of Thai Kickboxing that act as a kind of self made brick wall, along with devastating leg sweeps and knee breaks, this artform is perfect for the dangerous possibilities of collapse.

Western Boxing: It’s not an Eastern martial art, but Western boxing teaches incredible punching power. Eastern martial arts focus on speed in order to inflict damage, but the bottom line is that Western boxers hit harder because they assert more body weight behind their punches; I have seen it, I have felt it, and I have dealt it. Of course, it is more important to learn speed and timing before learning to hit hard. The most powerful punches in the world are useless if all they do is sweep the air. Western boxing is an incomplete fighting system, but a fantastic addition to the survival martial artist’s repertoire.

Jiu Jitsu:Jiu Jitsu is a grappling martial art from Japan, though you wouldn’t know it by the way the Brazilians have commercialized and franchised it. Jiu Jitsu is indeed the flavor of the decade for self defense, and though I feel it has been way overhyped, it is an incredibly effective style for ground situations. That said, let’s be clear; Jiu Jitsu is actually a very limited fighting style, especially when you’re not in a cage and you are confronted with more than one attacker. Survivalists should learn grappling techniques so that they know how to defend against takedowns and return to their feet. In a real combat situation, you NEVER try to go to the ground on purpose. Multiple opponents will decimate you within seconds while you are trying to put a choke hold on the guy in front of you. Add a knife into the picture, and purposely jumping into close quarters with the intent to “grapple” will be a death sentence. Successful fighters will always combine Jiu Jitsu with other artforms in order to round out their abilities.

Hapkido: Hapkido in my view is the perfect antithesis to Jiu Jitsu and any other grappling art for that matter. It should be at the top of every survivalist’s list of fighting methods. Hapkido focuses on joint locks, joint breaks, using centrifugal force, pressure points, eye gouges, throat attacks, etc. Generally, it is very difficult for someone to grapple with you if you break their fingers, wrists, hyperextend their knee caps, or crush their wind pipe. One twisted wrist could put a dedicated grappler or wrestler completely out of commission, which is why you never see these methods used in the UFC. The fights would be over quickly, and the sport’s flavor would be lost. Knowing how to counter grappling using grappling is fine, but knowing how to utterly disable a grappler is better. As a survivalist, it is important to learn both.

Eskrima / Kali:Filipino in origin, Eskrima and Kali revolve around stick and knife training, and some of the deadliest blade wielding martial artists on Earth are known to originate from these styles. The point of practicing the Filipino arts is not only to learn to attack with edged weapons, but also to defend against them. Knowing how armed assailants, trained and untrained, will move to harm you gives you a distinct edge. Understanding the motion of a knife strike allows the defender to create or close distance effectively, while timing arm and wrist locks to reduce cuts and control the knife hand before serious damage to your body is done.

Taekwondo: A Korean style, Taekwondo has received a bad rap over the past few years as an “ineffective” martial art, but usually this criticism comes from people who have never actually practiced it. Like Jiu Jitsu, it is a style limited to a very particular range of attacks and scenarios. Taekwondo focuses on kicks to the extreme. Sport Taekwondo is not a practical measure of the style’s use, and this is where its tainted reputation comes from. The truth is, Taekwondo has the fastest and in many cases the most devastating kicks in the world. The use of kicks depends on the mastery of the fighter. If he is fast, and precise, then his strikes will make his opponents feel like they’ve just been hit by an oversized utility van. If he is slow, and unfocused, he will be tackled to the ground like a rag doll and pummeled in an embarrassing manner. That said, one well placed kick can crush ribs, crack skulls, and knock an opponent into dreamland before he ever knew what hit him.

Jeet Kune Do:Created by the venerable Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do’s philosophy is to adopt what works, and set the rest aside. It is essentially a combination of the short range tactics of Wing Chun combined with the long range tactics of Japanese and Korean styles. Jeet Kune Do’s goal is to be a truly complete martial art, and so far, it has proven itself in this regard. If you can only practice one style of self defense, this should be it. Some people attribute the adaptation methodology in self defense to MMA, but really, it was Bruce Lee that pioneered the idea of studying multiple styles and modernizing martial arts. Because of his efforts, the offensive and defensive capabilities of Jeet Kune Do are astounding, and perfect for the survivalist delving into the world of hand-to-hand.

Ninjitsu:When I was a kid back in the 80’s, the ninja was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I think the allure of it was its simple mythology; if you could learn martial arts, and get your hands on a black mask, you could be a superhero. No need for radioactive spiders or genetic mutation. You were a man – in a mask – with badass fists of fury, and that’s it. Of course, the portrayal of ninjitsu has become so cartoonish that people today scarcely believe it is an actual martial art. In fact, it is, and a very deadly one. The brilliance of ninjitsu really dwells in its “think outside the box” mentality. There is a sort of cleverness and unpredictability to it that makes it so dangerous. Ninja’s in feudal Japan were assassins, but they were also the guerilla fighters of their age. The combat methods of ninjitsu revolve around surprise, and misdirection, which are factors that always work in the survivalist’s favor.

There is no way around it. The Martial Arts make a survivalist better at his job, which is to thrive in the very worst possible conditions. It’s not just about fighting; it is also about developing a fighting spirit. Beyond the utility of self defense, as survivalists we must strengthen our inner world as much as our outer shells. It takes time, and patience, and a willingness to struggle. Any person who masters a martial art has not only shown a dedication to his own physical prowess, but he has also proven he has a mental toughness that will carry him through any catastrophe. That kind of toughness is a rare commodity in America today, and when found, should be greatly valued and encouraged, especially by the Liberty Movement.

By Brandon Smith

www.shtfplan.com

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