Shelter in Place: Part 1

The term “shelter in place” can be confusing, as it has three meanings. The first meaning is used in severe weather conditions; the second meaning is used when public places are under armed attack; the third (which we explore here) is used when certain toxins have been released into the air. For this current article, shelter in place means finding an interior room, the smaller the better, and taking refuge in that room. You do not seal the room or windows, as there is no time for those tasks. Sheltering is temporary.

Why Shelter In Place?

It is possible that dangerous toxins can be released, either by accident or on purpose, into the air or ground. These include chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants. If this happens, local authorities will inform the public by radio or television (or through mobile devices in some areas). It is important that you follow any instructions that are given, and that you perform the tasks contained in this article.

ShelterAt Home:

  • Lock all exterior doors and windows
  • Close shades if explosion is possible
  • Turn off heating and air conditioning and close damper on fireplace
  • Get your emergency radio, pets, telephone and emergency supply kit
  • Go into a small room, without windows (if possible)
  • Use an above ground room, as some toxins are heavier than air and will seep into lower level areas such as cellars
  • If you have time and the supplies, use duct tape to seal around windows, vents, and door cracks
  • Stay put until the all clear notice is given, or you are told to evacuate

At Work:

  • Gather all people (employees and customers) into smaller, windowless rooms that are above ground
  • Inform people it is safer to stay inside than to leave the structure. Storage closets, pantries, conference rooms work well
  • Avoid rooms containing equipment such as ventilation blowers or air ducts
  • Allow people to call their emergency contacts unless the threat is imminent
  • Have some employees lock exterior doors and windows
  • Close shades if explosion is possible
  • Have employees (preferably those trained to do so) shut down heating/AC units, fans, etc. This is especially important if the unit exchanges outside air with inside air
  • Seal vents and other openings if there is time to safely do so
  • If you have emergency kits, radios, phones, etc, bring those into safe room
  • If time permits, seal all cracks around the doors, windows, and vents that lead into the room
  • Write down names of those in the room; call your business’ emergency contact
  • Monitor radio or television for further information, all clear, or evacuation notices

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

REVIEW: American Red Cross FRX3 Emergency Radio

FRX3

One of the most common issues that people have to deal with during natural disasters is loss of electric power. Snowstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes are just three of the many reasons power goes out. While many homes have an emergency radio, few of these radios are capable of operating without some form of power—electric or battery. However, if those power sources go out then the radio goes out and it is useless. Luckily, there is another option that does not depend on external power at all: the FRX3.

RadioThe full name of this emergency device is the American Red Cross FRX3. This handy radio can be powered by hand cranking or by solar power. It contains AM/FM and NOAA settings and even has a USB smart phone charger. The unit comes with an LED flashlight, and is made by Eton Corp.

In addition to the above, the FRX3 can run on AAA batteries or run on a rechargeable NiMH battery pack which can be recharged in a variety of ways. You can charge the battery pack via a mini-USB port. This takes about two hours to charge fully or you can use the solar cell to recharge, which takes about 8 hours under full sunlight. Alternatively, you use the hand crank. Two minutes of cranking will produce enough power to run the radio for about 10 minutes or the flashlight for 20 minutes.

With full batteries, the radio will operate for about 4 hours. The radio can be tuned into any of the 7 NOAA weather channels, and it will automatically set off the alert system for your area in order to keep you updated as to what is happening in your location. The flashlight uses 3-LED lights which produce 4.9 lumen and it comes with an alarm clock and glow-in-the-dark band, making it easy to find in darkness.

A major benefit that this emergency radio offers is its low price. Units can be found in the price range of $45 to $60. The FRX3 is a good addition to any survival kit for those who want to have firsthand information during times of trouble. It is also a good option for campers, hikers, and hunters. While there are cheaper units on the market, not many, if any, have all of the features that this unit comes with. With its cell phone dump charge, you will be able to keep your phone powered up as well.

For anyone concerned with power outage issues, this device is worth looking into!

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

Prepping for a Likely Scenario

Riot

Two events took place in April of 2015 that all preppers and survivalists should note. In a sense, these events are not unique: the massive earthquake in Nepal, and the violent riots in Baltimore, Maryland. Natural disasters happen all the time it seems, and riots in larger cities across America seem to be on the rise as well. So, what is there to learn from these recent catastrophes?

First, and this is perhaps the point of this entire article, we are more likely to encounter a natural disaster or a man-made riot than we are, say, a total collapse of the economic system in the near future. This does not mean that huge problems cannot happen; it only means that, statistically, we are more likely to face a common type of event than an infrequent type of event.

TornadoSecond, we can learn that natural disasters and riots can occur anywhere at any time. In the case of natural disasters, we may or may not have any advance warning. The people of Nepal had no warning and thousands are dead. In the case of the Baltimore riots, there were some warning signs that trouble was brewing, and one of the most significant signs was the rioting that took place earlier in Ferguson, Missouri. One can assume that the next time there is an issue between police and urban citizens, more riots will erupt as well. This pattern is not going away anytime soon.

Finally, both types of events (and many others such as these) can be just as deadly as a nuclear warhead landing in your front yard. You and your family may end up right in the middle of one of these events, and you need to be ready.

There are plenty of articles online about the types of supplies you might need in order to maintain some sense of life, and there are just as many articles about survival tactics that you can use during different times of trouble. This article isn’t going to retread that ground. Instead, this material is simply to get readers thinking about those “other” types of trouble that we may find ourselves forced into.

When you think about your prepping efforts, don’t forget to consider those events that are much more likely to happen to you and your family that may not be as “interesting,” but are just as dangerous and deadly. Be aware of your local politics, keep a close eye on nature, and do what you can to be ready for any type of emergency.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

Michigan Changes Airsoft Laws

Airsoft Shot

On 12 May 2015, the governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, signed a batch of bills that will clarify and define exactly what devices the state will consider as being a firearm. This is being done for a few reasons, one of which is that it will bring Michigan into compliance with federal statutes.

Airsoft LawUnder the bills signed by the governor, airsoft-type guns, pellet guns, paintball and BB guns will no longer be considered firearms. Prior to the bill signing, they were. The governor said that the new bills will help to reduce any confusion as to what is and what is not a firearm in the state. It is no secret that Michigan has had a variety of definitions on this subject and that has led to much confusion. The bills were supported by both the Senate and the House.

The new bills are now known as Public Acts 21 through 25 and they replace the older laws. For instance, with House Bill 4151, which was sponsored by Rep. Peter Pettalia, there will be a repeal of most criminal penalties for those minors who are found in possession of airsoft guns. Other House Bills (HBs 4152, 4153, 4154 and 4156), were drawn up to define what a firearm is as they appear in state statutes. The bills were sponsored by Michigan state Reps. Jason Sheppard, Ray Franz, Brett Roberts, and Tom Barrett.

In addition, there is new language that defines what a “weapon” is in weapon-free zones (schools) and does include pneumatic guns. The new language can be read in Public Act 26 and this is one that most parents of kids who have access to these types of guns will want to read. New rules on how local governments can regulate airsoft weapons can be found in Public Act 29. Public Acts 27 and 28 now define “brandishing” in the same manner as have been defined by federal and state courts.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

Airsoft and Eye Injuries

Goggles

Anyone familiar with the news surrounding Airsoft guns already knows the bad press that these weapons are getting around America. Now, there is another problem being revealed to the public, and this problem may cause more trouble for airsoft-type weapon owners.

Airsoft EyeIt was recently reported that in 2012, more than 3000 kids were seen in emergency rooms across America for treatment for eye injuries caused by BB guns, paintball guns, pellet guns, and airsoft-type weapons. But this list is misleading, according to the study sources (Stanford University School of Medicine) in that it is almost exclusively airsoft-type guns that are causing these eye injuries. Their study suggests that eye injuries (non-bullet related) has gone up by more than 510 percent in two years from 2010-2012, and represents nearly 8.5 million injured (eye only) children.

A major reason for this is the massive increase in the popularity of these types of Airsoft weapons. The more of them that are in use, the more injuries one can expect. Also, there are no real laws requiring the use of eye protection when users are firing these weapons, and that, too, leads to more eye injuries. Lastly, the size of the 6mm round that is fired is big enough to do actual damage, even if the wound to the exposed eye is glancing in nature.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

Kids and Safe Concealed Carry Tips

Concealed Gun

As more women apply for, and get, concealed carry permits, they worry about the safety of their kids. This only makes sense. No mother or caregiver wants a child to be harmed by a firearm. This concern has caused many holster manufacturers to design safer carry methods for women. Follow the holster carry tips below for safe carry of a firearm.

Trigger Guard:

If you prefer to carry your weapon in a holster, make sure that you check the holster’s retention and trigger safety features before you buy. Many women have gone with the molded Kydex concealed carry holster or something similar. This type of rigid holster completely covers the trigger guard but also provides for superior retention (the weapon will not fall out of it).

For parents that carry (especially mothers), trigger guard security is crucial. A covered trigger guard prevents accidental discharges while taking the weapon out of the holster. Also, it prevents a child from accidentally pulling the trigger if they are climbing all over you—a common occurrence for some active kids.

HolsterRetention System:

No one, including your kids, needs to have access to your weapon while you are carrying it other than you. This is where retention systems come into play. They prevent anyone from getting your weapon without first activating the retention feature.

Some systems use push buttons to release the weapon from the holster. Others types use special molds to keep the weapon secure. When your holster has a superior retention system, you can feel free to play as hard as you want with your kids without having to worry about the weapon falling out or little fingers pulling it out of the holster.

Bag or Purse Carry:

It should be noted right up front that most firearm experts NEVER recommend carrying a loose firearm in a bag or purse. This can lead to all kinds of problems including accidental discharges. The better, and safer, option is to shop for a purse or bag that has been designed with a safe, functional holster incorporated into it. In addition, any time you are not in possession of your loose firearm in a purse or bag, someone else (like your child) can rummage in the bag and get hold of the weapon.

A good concealed carry bag will be equipped with a holster that can retain the weapon securely and will also provide for some form of trigger guard. Better quality bags will allow for fast access as well should you need to remove the weapon. Keep in mind, however, these are not child proof. A curious child, with enough time, may be able to get to the weapon.

Women today have options for their concealed weapons; invest some time in finding the option that will best fit your needs. This is time well spent.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

What is Enterovirus D68?

Sick

While there are more than 100 types of enteroviruses known to science, Enterovirus D68 is the one getting all of the headlines. This particular virus was discovered in 1962, so it is not a new virus, and, in the past, it only affected a few people. Not so anymore. In 2014, the CDC announced that this bug had appeared nationwide and was sickening thousands of people.

The vast majority of people who come down with this illness feel as if they have a cold or slight flu. However, for some people, severe cases can cause serious health issues, especially with breathing. Those who have asthma or other respiratory problems can find themselves in need of immediate medical assistance. It has been reported that teens, babies, and children (6 weeks to 16 years old) are most susceptible, and anyone who has a weakened immune system may be at risk for serious complications which can include inflammation of the heart or brain and paralysis.

A major problem with this virus is that many of those who get it feel as if they are simply having a cold. They may have a fever, cough, sneezing, and runny nose. Because these symptoms are so common, those who may be susceptible to complications may not seek medical assistance until their condition becomes serious. The Enterovirus D68 is spread the same way that the regular cold and flu is spread, meaning by coming into contact with someone who already has the virus. Coughing, sneezing, and touching contaminated surfaces are all vehicles for the spread of the illness.

Because the virus spreads so easily, those who are in public areas, such as schools, will be especially vulnerable and this is why so many younger people are getting the illness and why it is spreading so quickly across the country.

There are some ways that you can protect yourself and your family. The following tips are easy to do and they work:

  • SicknessKeep your hands washed on a regular basis. This is the best tip on this list as hand washing removes the viruses that may be present.
  • Keep your hands away from your face, nose, eyes, and mouth. Having the virus on your hand does not infect you; putting your virus-hand to your mouth, nose, and eyes will infect you.
  • When possible, avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing food and drink, especially if the other person is sick.
  • Disinfect items in your home or workplace that people touch often (doorknobs, telephones, toys, etc).
  • If you do get sick, there isn’t much that medicine can do for you. Antibiotics are not effective as this illness is caused by a virus and not by bacteria. Over-the-counter medicines such as pain relievers and fever reducers may be helpful. Rest and plenty of fluids can also help.

If symptoms you have increase or become more severe over time, it is important to get to a doctor as soon as possible. This can be especially important if you (or someone in your family) are having problems breathing.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

What is Jade Helm?

Jade Helm

It is called Jade Helm, JH, or JH15. By any name, it is getting a lot of press in the prepper world, as well as those who thrive in conspiracy theories. Jade Helm, in a nutshell, is a large US military operation that is taking place right now in America. That much is not conspiracy theory talk; it is fact. So, what is the buzz about this operation and why should you care?

The reported hub for Jade Helm is central Texas where the operation is said to be starting with planning and supplying efforts. Military personnel have been saying for some time now this operation is nothing special, just another military training exercise…nothing to see here, move along, please. Many of those who are following this particular exercise are not moving along and are demanding answers to what the government is really doing.

Soldier ShootingThe exercise will take place in 7 states (to date, some may be added, some may drop out), and will also include Air Force personnel from Eglin AFB in Florida. Pentagon personnel say the exercises are designed to help better train Special Forces personnel and those who support these troops. It is also said to be the largest single military exercise to take place on US soil.

Not everyone is buying this explanation, especially those who live in Bastrop County, Texas which is said to be the center of operations in Texas. In recent days, Governor of Texas Greg Abbott said he would deploy the Texas State Guard to watch the military to ensure that US troops do not attempt anything other than the stated military exercises. Some people believe that the military is in Texas in order to take control of the state capital or to take guns from citizens, to name only two of the conspiracy theories that are going around.

The number of stories that are going around is staggering and ranges from Russian troops being stationed in the US to be used when Obama declares martial law to missiles being staged in New Mexico to be used on Americans who resist the government takeover. So, what is the truth? At this point in time, no one is saying.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

Ohio May Allow for Unlicensed Concealed Carry

Concealed Carry

The state of Ohio is currently thinking of allowing unlicensed concealed carry of handguns in a bill recently debated in legislative committee. Ohio already has open carry laws. It the new bill makes it into law, persons over 21 would be allowed to carry concealed without having to have a permit to do so.

The measure was in the Ohio House State Government Committee and is backed by at least twenty co-sponsors. The sponsor of the bill said: “This bill simply restores Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm in Ohio without having to first obtain the government’s permission in the form of a permit or license.” (Rep. Ron Hood, R-Ashville).

The proposal is known as HB 152. It would eliminate the need to get a conceal carry permit for a handgun as long as the person is not legally prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. It also has language that would stop law enforcement personnel from stopping anyone who is carrying but has not broken any law. The law would keep in place the current permitting process for those persons who need or want to go through the process in order to have a “paper” permit.

Concealed FirearmOhio currently has almost 400,000 carry permits on file. More than 13,000 of those were recorded in the last four months of 2014.

Not everyone is happy with the new measure. Advocates for gun control are worried more people will carry if the law is passed. Many of those opposed to the bill say it will allow criminals and those without gun training to carry without anyone having any idea they are doing so.

Those in favor of the bill say it is about time that gun rights were restored to lawful citizens citing, among other things, that the new law would nullify the current requirement to attend mandatory gun safety classes. It would also eliminate the cost of obtaining a permit.

The move toward non-licensing is becoming more and more popular throughout the US. West Virginia and Montana recently tried to get approval for similar laws in March but were shot down by their Democratic governors through veto action. To date, Kansas, Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas and Wyoming have passed no permit carry laws.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

An Overview of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015

Hunter

Congress is looking at new legislation that can have a huge impact on public lands, hunting and firearms carrying. The legislation was introduced by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. If passed, there will be new rules on how the government can treat hunters, recreational shooters, and anglers.

In essence, the new bill would help increase conservation efforts for wilderness areas, while at the same time increase opportunities for hunting, shooting, and fishing enthusiasts. The legislation was introduced on 5 February 2015 and is called the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. It has bipartisan support and would reform a wide array of rules now in effect, including allowing firearms onto U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-controlled lands.

FishermanThe legislation includes 60 pages of various modifications to current federal laws on conservation, hunting, and fishing. It includes making permanent the EPA ammo exceptions for traditional ammunition. Also, states would get more authority when it comes to using Pittman-Robertson funds in order to create more public shooting ranges. Lands that are under the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service would be required to open for recreational fishing and hunting. To help ensure this happens, $10 million of annual Land and Water Conservation Funds are slated to be used building new roads in affected areas.

A big change would be that the Corps of Engineers would be mandated to accept state laws as those laws pertain to carrying firearms onto those recreational lands under its control. There have been many lawsuits over this topic in the past, and this rule change would finally clear up the confusion between states and feds. The new law, if passed, would also make it easier for small film production companies to come onto public lands for filming.

Lastly, the legislation includes re-authorization for three federal program’s conservation needs, including enhancement of wetlands and continued clean up for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As one might expect, the NRA and many firearms industry groups have embraced the reform package. Senate Bill 405 is currently on the legislative calendar awaiting committee assignment.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.