Tag Archives: survival

Where to start with school security.

Old School_House_
Old School_House_ (Photo credit: Total Mayhem)

Fact of the matter is. If you are serious about school safety 99% of them need to be torn down, re-designed and re-built. The days of “walk into your local school house/open and welcoming design” are gone….IMO a start would be:

-A buzzer opened door that leads directly into the school is BAD. People WILL need to come and go from a school for many legitimate reasons. What schools should have is what many PD’s have. A front desk area where you can do routine tasks through bullet-proof glass. If you need to come in to see admin you get buzzed into the admin area which is separate from the school area. If you need to get into the school proper you are let in from there.

-Exterior door and ground floor window glass cant be breached by some kid with a rifle.

-Interior classroom doors are always closed and locked during class…and the doors are “unkickable” and designed so that a person with a gun cant break out glass and reach in.

-Someone in the school, be it a full time SRO, a trained guard, or trained staff needs access to a weapon as an emergency tool.


where else would you rather be?

Cover of "The Book of Eli"
Cover of The Book of Eli

A good post recently went up over at Straight Forward in a Crooked World. Matthew talks about the differences between a “go bag” and a “bug out bag”. He says this about the notion of “bugging out”.

Despite all of its darkly romantic notions bugging out presents far larger issues than staying put. I have tools, vehicles, defensible structure, multiple firearms, ammunition, reloading capabilities, food, clothing…..resources.I’d much rather stay, live uncomfortable for a time, fight when and if I have to than run-fight-survive.

I agree 100%. While the macho image of the Hero wandering the Post-Apocalyptic landscape, living off of the land and surviving at all odds has kept a lot of gear manufacturers in business, the reality of survival is quite different.

Take a read.


oddball gear you may not have heard of

Vietnam war-era P-38
Image via Wikipedia

I harken us back to the day of the C-Ration. The days when hungry GI Joes had to open their canned pork-n-beans with what was arguably one of the Army’s greatest inventions. The P38 Can Opener.

It’s official designation is ‘US ARMY POCKET CAN OPENER’ or ‘OPENER, CAN, HAND, FOLDING, TYPE I‘, but is almost always called a “P-38” which it supposedly acquired from the “38 Punctures” required to open a C-Ration can.

I have carried one of these little gems on my key-ring for years and have an extra stashed away. It’s well worth the buck or so to pick one up.

survival preschool:evaluate a casualty

To this day. Almost 20 years after basic training. I can still remember the chant some E7 taught us to help us remember the steps in how to evaluate a casualty. Over and over again he had us chant: RESPONSIVENESS, BREATHING, BLEEDING, SHOCK, FRACTURES, BURNS, CONCUSSION, RESPONSIVENESS, BREATHING, BLEEDING, SHOCK, FRACTURES, BURNS, CONCUSSION, RESPONSIVENESS, BREATHING, BLEEDING, SHOCK, FRACTURES, BURNS, CONCUSSION…..
(X about 100)

Ahhh the Army. They sure have a way of hammering stuff into the brain cells.

Now. First Aid is a very important skill to have. This is not to be construed as professional advice and it is not thorough information in the least, this is simply the framework of steps needed to perform a basic first aid evaluation. For HOW to do what is required to deal with these steps, get some training from a qualified instructor. In a nutshell:

First off, always evaluate the scene for hazards. You will do nobody any good if you wind up down next to the person you were trying to assist.

RESPONSIVENESS: Calmly, and in a loud voice ask “ARE YOU ALRIGHT? HEY! ARE YOU OK?”. Gently tap or shake the person to see if he/she is conscious. If the person is conscious ask them questions about what happened, where they are injured etc. This info will help but you will still need to do the remaining steps. Conscious or not..have someone (i.e. point at someone and TELL them) call 911.

BREATHING: For this purpose, “breathing” will cover respiration and pulse. Determine if the person is breathing. If not open the airway, check for pulse and start CPR if necessary.

BLEEDING: Check for bleeding and treat with direct pressure, pressure points and/or tourniquet as necessary.

SHOCK: The rule of thumb I was taught was “if the face is red raise the head, if the face is pale raise the tail.” In general, the commonly taught shock treatment is to place the casualty on his back upon a blanket or something to insulate him from the ground. Loosen the casualties clothing and elevate the feet so that they are above the level of the heart. Depending upon the persons injuries there are alternate positions but you will have to research those yourself…I’m just giving the nut n’ bolts as I recall them here. Keep the casualty from getting too hot or cold by shading or covering him.

FRACTURES: Stabilize the head and spine. DON’T MOVE the person if you suspect a spinal injury (unless this is a crashed on a desert island scenario).  Look for fractures.  Open (bone sticking out) fractures may have to be treated as “BLEEDING”. The basic treatment is to splint in place.

BURNS: Remove the person from what is burning them without getting burned yourself. Put out any flames. Remove any clothing around the burn BUT don’t peel away stuck fabric…cut around it…then loosely bandage.

CONCUSSION: Look for cerebrospinal fluid that may be leaking from the ears and/or nose. Look for unequal pupils. If the person is displaying any of those sit them down or lay them on their side and watch them till help arrives. If they loose consciousness go back to step one and start over. Maintain an airway and support the  head and neck.

As I said earlier. This is just a framework. You may come across someone on fire. Obviously you will have to skip right to the BURN part. If after the person is extinguished he/she is yelling in pain, then obviously the RESPONSIVENESS, BREATHING steps can most likely be skipped. However, if at some point the person looses consciousness you may very well have to go back to the top and start over. Be sure that when help arrives you tell the medicos what happened and what you did to help.

For more information visit THIS SITE.


survival preschool: shelter

A working knowledge of how to construct an emergency shelter is an important survival skill. I found this nice video that shows how to construct one.

The spruce root as cording was an interesting tip. Although I would have to get better at my tree identification skills to make that one work. I know its a pine/evergreen.

Spruce Trees
Image by sandy richard via Flickr

An important point made by the instructor is the necessity of a good axe. I don’t know how many campers or hikers routinely carry one due to the size and weight, but it may be a good idea to consider what you would use for the purpose. Those cable saws are nice..I have owned one or two but they certainly are labor intensive and time consuming to use.

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survival preschool: fire starters

I recently attended an entry-level wilderness search and rescue course taught by some State Forest Rangers. At one point in the class the discussion turned to gear and equipment and a Ranger spoke about starting fires. He mentioned a fire starting device I had never heard of before (which isn’t unusual, I’m no expert in the stuff), cotton balls impregnated with petroleum jelly. Here is a video:

Pretty impressive. The cotton, once prepared is even semi-waterproof and will light and burn after a soaking.

The Ranger suggested taking some large-bore drinking straws cut to size, melting one end closed over a flame, stuffing the cotton into it and then sealing the other end (be careful not to ignite the cotton). This gives you a longer term,individual use, waterproof storage container that keeps the cotton from drying out. When you need to use it you slice the straw open, fluff up the ball and light it.

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