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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Guest Post: Some considerations if you must live in a City By Northern Raider

© 2011 Northern Raider

Choose a place that does NOT have public footpaths or alleyways to the side or rear of the property. You don’t need a path that raiders can use as a path to your home from whatever neighbourhood they crawled out of.

Don’t buy a house close to the local shops, AFTER TSHTF and the scum have finished looting the shops they are going to notice the nearby houses. Don’t buy near petrol stations either as they will constantly attract scavengers and the fire / explosion risk is just too great.

Don’t buy a house on main roads or on streets that refugees will travel along to escape the city, nor should you choose a house than can be overlooked from roads or paths passing by at a higher elevation.

Ensure house has large water tank in loft, if not you need space and containers to cache water in cool, dark space.  You would also be wise by installing a diverter trap to your rainwater guttering to catch and store rain water in a garden butt.

You need a garage that is totally secure and big enough to keep your BOV and its extra kit in.

You will need a spot in the garden AWAY from the house to store petrol and propane containers, it will need to be well ventilated but under cover away from the elements.

You need at least a 2 meter fence around the sides and rear of your property to keep prying eyes out.

Ideally you need garden space to grow supplementary foods such as tomatoes, rabbits, chickens etc.

Also if you are considering growing your own food and / or using solar panels the houses needs a south to south west facing aspect.

If possible you would benefit from a pond to keep edible species of fish in. Fruit trees are another plus point in most gardens.

You REALLY also need garden space to COMPOST waste food, Space to BURY HUMAN WASTE safely and space to INCINERATE other rubbish ideally at the furthest  point in the garden away from the house.

You NEED and independent source of heat for your home that is not reliant on piped gas or electricity, wood / coal burning stoves being the best option, obviously you will need a suitable approved type of chimney to suit. Only cook / heat with dry wood (less than 20% moisture) and preferably cook/heat after dark so scavengers don’t simply home in on the smoke from the chimney.

Don’t forget you will also need covered but ventilated space to store your firewood in.

You NEED a well concealed place to cache extra food and medical supplies that neither raiders nor officials will easily find.

You need suitable drapes / shutters / window coverings to “” BLACKOUT”” your house after dark so as not advertise your presence to scavengers who will soon notice one illuminated house among dozens of unlit ones.

You have got to be upwind in the predominant wind direction for your area so that places like waste tips, hospitals, shopping malls, sewage works, nuclear power plants etc don’t blow pathogens downwind to your home after TSHTF.

Don’t buy a house on a flood plain especially the type found in some areas of the UK that require electrically operated pumps to keep the area dry, Parts of the Somerset levels, Norfolk Broads, East Anglia and London for example.

In many places City suburb communities were built in the early 20th century UK that are downstream of Victorian and Edwardian water reservoirs, You don’t want to be living in the shadow of such a structure that will fail sooner rather than later because man is no longer maintaining it.

If you live in an apartment block you need to find a way to access the roof to grow supplementary foods and to tap into the communal water tank, providing its got a flat roof of course. You also need to ensure that at all time you have multiple fire escape routes.
(The commonest reason for fires in apartment blocks comes during power outages when people try to improvise cooking / heating devices and set fire to the building)

Light em Up! The Flashlight as a Self-Defense Tool

When it comes to choosing a weapon for self defense, a flashlight is typically not the first thing that comes to mind. However, when used correctly, it is an amazing tool for personal protection.
In this post I want to share some of the advantages of carrying a flashlight for personal protection as well as what to look out for when purchasing one. Given the many advantages, this should be a part of everyone’s EDC (every-day carry) gear.

Advantages of a Flashlight for Personal Protection

  • There are No Restrictions: The great thing about flashlights is that, as of now, they are legal to carry in every state here in the U.S. as well as abroad (as far as I know). This is particularly advantageous for those living in nanny states where they’d arrest you if you were found carrying a chopstick.
    There is also no restriction on carrying a flashlight on airplanes or in other areas where handguns are commonly prohibited (such as the post office). Given the way things are going here in the U.S. however, I wouldn’t be surprised if flashlights get added to the list of restricted weapons.
  • Flashlights are Discreet: Flashlights in and of themselves are very discreet. If a flashlight were to drop out of your pocket or bag in a public area, it wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. Contrast that with the reaction you’d get if your knife, or worse, handgun were to drop on the floor as your sitting in a subway car – yeah, not good. Unless you have one of those 12-inch flashlights with razor-sharp beveled tips that more resembles a medieval mace than a flashlight, then you should be good.
  • Disorientation Factor: Especially at night, there is something about getting a wallop of lumens hitting you square in the eyes that can mess with your orientation. Have you ever been pulled over by a cop and have him shine his Maglite in your face? It’s disconcerting; and meant to be so. Many confrontations and potential attacks can be thwarted by simply shining a bright flashlight in your would-be-attackers eyes.
  • Effective Against Animals: Animals, even more so than humans, become disoriented and confused when a bright light is shined in their eyes. When using really bright lights (100+ lumens) animals often react by running away.
  • Illuminates Threat Areas: No other personal protection tool has the ability (except perhaps Night Optical Devices) to illuminate a low-light area. Since human predators like to use the advantage of the cover of darkness when lying in wait, a flashlight can remove that advantage and disrupt their attacks.
  • Provides a Tactical Advantage: When coupled with other self-defense weapons, a flashlight provides a great tactical advantage. Not only does it illuminate threat areas as mentioned above, but it can blind an attacker which can disrupt aim and focus. From the attackers standpoint all they see is a wall of light and a dark silhouette behind it (that would be you). This not only masks your position but will mask any weapons you may be holding such as a knife, baton, or pistol, providing you with that tactical edge you need to come out alive.

What to Look for In a “Tactical” Flashlight

Here are my recommendations when choosing a flashlight for personal defense:
  • Palm Sized: You want a light that is convenient to carry with you at all times. Your 500 lumen “mace” will do you no good if it’s under the seat of your car when you’re caught alone on a dark street.
  • At Least 100 Lumens of Light Output: 100 lumens causes significant pupil constriction and a “blinding” aftershock due to momentary retina burn. It will even cause momentary blindness in daylight. This allows sufficient time for a surprise attack that will cause your attacker to think twice about continuing.
  • LED Bulb Type: LED bulbs last significantly longer than incandescent and cause less battery drain.
  • Rugged Housing: You want a light that is sturdy enough to stay lit even if dropped, kicked around, manhandled, or used to deliver a blow. Typically look for those made from mil-spec hard anodized (Type III) aluminum which will be very strong and very light.
  • Waterproof: You want to buy a flashlight that is sealed on both ends with rubber o-ring gaskets. This will keep out water even when submerged.
  • Established Brand: Flashlights, like any other tool, can break down with time. Be sure to buy one that is from an established brand and stay away from the cheap knock-offs. That way when you need replacement parts, they’re only a call away. In fact why not buy some replacement bulbs, o-rings, and batteries ahead of time. This way, you’ll have them when you need them.

Recommended Tactical Flashlights

Here are a few tactical flashlights that I highly recommend:

A Demonstration

For those not familiar with the newer LED “mini” flashlights, here’s a few pictures demonstrating the size and light-output difference between a standard 4 D-Cell MagLite and a SureFire E2D LED Defender (both with batteries at full capacity):

Size Comparison



Brightness Comparison

This was around 11pm from about 50 feet from my barn. Even though the MagLite is a bright flashlight, it doesn’t hold a candle (pun intended) to the SureFire:

4 D-Cell MagLite SureFire E2D LED Defender

Additional Resources

  • CandlePower Forums: For those interested in learning more than they ever wanted to know about flashlights, check out this forum. It’s filled with a slew of highly-knowledgeable torch junkies.
  • SureFire True Stories: Here are some true first-person accounts of military personnel, LEOs and civilians who had to use their flashlights to defend themselves against attackers of both the two-legged and four-legged variety.

Related posts:

  1. 5.11 Push Pack Review

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