My Single Most Important Life-Saving Tip

Dear Reader,

I just got a phone call from a close friend of mine. The first words out of her mouth were, “What is going on in this world? Do you think I’ve done enough to prepare?” Her questions were in reaction to the recent police shootings and the terrorist attack that just occurred in Nice.

She continued, telling me she’s got a bad feeling something isn’t right, and that she fears more horrible atrocities are imminent. Then my friend asked me again if there was anything else she needed to do to prepare. She also asked what steps I’ve taken recently to ensure my own family is prepared and protected.

I assured her that she’d taken more action than the vast majority of Americans to ensure the safety of her family. After all, I know she has at least a 90-day supply of food, which is the minimum any family should have. And you’ll want to gradually increase your stockpile to an entire year’s supply of food. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds, especially if you rotate through your food. That way you’re eating what you’ve stored and replacing it, and the food’s not sitting on a shelf collecting dust for the next 30 years.

I know my friend also has ample water stored, enough for her family to survive for one month without having to leave home. As with food, it would be nice to have a year’s supply of water saved up, but that’s not practical unless you own a home the size of Bill Gates (I do not). So I keep a one-month supply of water on hand. There are dozens of ways to build your water supply, from acquiring plenty of bottled water at the grocery store to using the 7-gallon Reliance Aqua-Tainer or the stackable WaterBricks. Decide which water storage solution works best for your home, and then take the time to organize your supply. If there comes a day when you need to hunker in place, you’ll be glad you followed this simple advice.

Besides food and water, I know my friend owns plenty of guns and ammunition, as do I. For a home invasion scenario, I have a gun on my nightstand in a rapid-access safe. I still have young children, and I am adamant that every gun I own must be locked up. The gun sitting in the safe right now is a Sig Sauer P226 loaded with Speer Gold Dot ammunition. For a more serious situation — looters, rioting, a complete breakdown in social order — I have my AR-15 rifle. If there’s a mob trying to kick down my front door, the AR-15 is my gun of choice to protect my wife and kids. I also have several extra 30-round magazines stored in an MTM Tactical Mag Can — a nice ammo case able to hold more magazines than you’ll hopefully ever need.

Even though both my friend and I are prepared to survive at home with plenty of supplies, we certainly leave the house every day and continue to live our lives. So before we hung up, she asked me, “How can I stay safe while going about my daily routine?” This is what I told her:

The single most important thing you can do is keep your head up. Don’t bury it in some electronic device. The invention of the smartphone is every criminal’s and terrorist’s dream, because people pay zero attention to their surroundings when using one. They’re unable to see the threat until it’s too late. I realize keeping your head up won’t save you in every scenario, but in many instances, you can see danger in advance and have time to escape.

Having my head up and not buried in a mobile device has saved me on numerous occasions, including from an attempted carjacking and mugging. In fact, I take my own advice so seriously that — believe it or not — I’ve actually never sent a text message. Not one. I use a flip phone so I don’t put my life on the line by checking Facebook repeatedly or drooling over the dinner someone posted on Instagram.

The bottom line is we live in a time when people commit unimaginable acts against each other. But if you take the time to prepare and value your life enough to pay attention to your surroundings, then you can go about your day with peace of mind, which is exactly what I do.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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