Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,
This week’s mailbag covers an emergency water source in your backyard, how to win at poker and what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.
Let’s get started.
I still cannot close my NOC Knife; can you send me clear instructions?
— John O.
The NOC Knife is incredibly strong, and to make it as strong as possible, my team and I made it a fixed-blade knife — meaning you can’t close or fold the knife. By creating a fixed-blade knife, we can use it for many different tasks where a typical folding knife would break or fail.
I have two unrelated questions . . .
1) I have a hot tub that holds 450 gallons of water treated with chlorine. Any reason why I couldn’t consider that to be my “emergency water supply” — as long as I filter the water before I drink it?
2) In terms of situational awareness, how were you taught to defend yourself if you were attacked while in the men’s room standing at the urinal relieving yourself?? I’ve always wondered what I would do if that happened.
— John H.
To answer your first question, John, I always recommend considering your pool or hot tub as a bonus water source, but don’t completely depend on it in an emergency — it’s no substitute for being prepared.
What I mean is a treated hot tub full of water can absolutely be used as drinking water — if you use a filter. But you should also have a supply of drinking water stored in your home. I like the WaterBrick water storage system. Each unit is light, strong and stackable, so they’re easy to store.
WaterBricks also have many practical and recreational uses. Click here to find out how to get your own set of these amazing containers so you can be ready for any emergency.
Regarding your second question, John, when it comes to situational awareness in the restroom, one thing I recommend is using the urinal on the end next to the wall so you know no one can attack you from that direction.
Stay alert and pay attention to who is walking toward you without looking around too much. Obviously, you don’t want to be constantly looking at everyone in the bathroom, because it may come across as odd, but you can’t completely let your guard down.
So reduce the number of directions from which someone could attack. And if anyone does take a swing at you, remember to gouge their eyes and grab and kick the groin to get away.
How can you tell what someone’s “tell” is? I’m part of a weekly poker game and I keep getting cleaned out…
— Larry R.
The key is to pay attention to the person’s body, especially the eyes. For example, someone may start blinking a lot when they are lying, or they may look at the ground.
The best way to discover your tell is to videotape one of your poker games so you can go back and watch the video. Since you know what your hands really were, you’ll quickly discover what you do every time you lie.
All this talk about nuclear war. How should the average American prepare? Thanks for all you do.
— Bess K.
Well, Bess, when it comes to preparing for a nuclear event, you should take many of the same steps you would to get ready for other emergency situations. Most likely, if the U.S. were attacked with nuclear weapons, they would be aimed at military compounds or government buildings. The further you are from sites that might be targeted, the better off you will be.
One of the most important things to do is build up your food and water supply and be able to access it quickly. In the event of a nuclear attack, you’ll want to stay inside your home in a basement or shelter.
Don’t venture outside until it is safe to do so. While you are hunkering down, you need to put as many barriers between you and the outside air as you possibly can. Which means you should also stock up on plastic and duct tape.
You should be able to seal off a room completely for a minimum of 24 hours with all your supplies — which is why your food and water stores need to be portable. Again, I recommend checking out the WaterBrick water storage system — it’s the best way to store emergency water.