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#13134 - 02/24/03 10:46 PM Homeland Security Emergency Kit

So I've been looking over the "Homeland Security" website for a few days now...

They recommend some pretty expensive "survival" items, such as a HEPA air filter for a positive pressure safe room. I've also noticed they've left out a survival tool dear to my heart... a firearm. Its pretty clear to me why they left this off the list in spite of the fact that other big ticket items were included.

I've also noticed that a good knife was not included on the website either... although pliers and a "shut off wrench" were.

So here's my question:
Does anyone have any other important items that they feel should have made their list but didn't due to political correctness, etc.?

I want to be as prepared as possible and I'm suddenly not sure about the completeness of this information. <img src="images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

#13135 - 02/25/03 01:06 AM Re: Homeland Security Emergency Kit

While I agree that in an overall preparedness kit you would want a fire-arm and other weapons, and I always suspect the political motivations of any governmental official in any country, I think that there might be other reasons why weapons and home defense were not mentioned.

The focus of the Homeland security web-site is on how to prepare for a terrorist attack. Unless you are a high-level highly visible political figure you and your home are not of interest to terrorists. Terrorists will not be breaking into your home to attack you personally. They will blow up your building if you live in a high-rise. They will blow up the neighboring building. They will spray anthrax over the city from a crop-duster. You home defense fire-arm is irrelivant in all of these scenarios. This isn't to say that you don't need one but rather that you don't need one for the reasonable terrorist scenarios that you might want to prepare to defend yourself from.

If you want a terrorist scenario where a fire-arm would be needed you will rather be thinking offensively or pre-emptivly. Scenarios where you see the individual who parked the truck full of manure and Kerosene and you need a glock to take him off the street. Or perhaps where you notice that the man stepping into the nightclub has TNT strapped on his waist and you use your .45 S&W to stop him before he reaches for the detonator. Of course recommending these scenarios to the average individual on the street whilst the entire population is in a panic to prepare might make for a less safe place for us all to be living. (And vigilantism is frowned upon in America today <img src="images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> )

There are a raft of non-terrorist threats that you might want to prepare for and the Homeland security site says nothing about them. The Hurricane scenario where you want to board up your windows is not mentioned and the intruder scenario where someone has tresspassed into your house malisciously and needs to be stopped is not mentioned. These are not issues of "Homeland security" but more correctly belong on the FEMA site or the FBI site.

RANT ONReturning to my more normally cynical posture; The FBI site nor any other police site that I have seen has recommended arming yourself to protect yourself and your loved-ones. <img src="images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />. In a country as fiercely independant and individualistic and self-reliant as the US proclaims itself to be in the propaganda this is a sad state of affairs. If it weren't for a well armed populace willing to go to war against oppression we would still be paying taxes to HRMS of England.RANT OFF

Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (02/25/03 02:33 AM)

#13136 - 02/25/03 02:05 AM Re: Homeland Security Emergency Kit


I'm gonna be careful here because I don't want this to turn into a gun or second amendment discussion. If we wanna do that, we can head on over to packing.org and find plenty of interested folks to discuss it. That being said, I pretty much agree with everything you said.

I do want to point out that my listing of a firearm as a survival tool has more to do with hunting game or dissuading looters from coming onto my property. I agree that proactively dealing with terrorists could be very satisfying, but not very likely.

In this thread, I was hoping to compile as complete of a list as possible. So I was hoping to get ideas from everyone else about things that should have made the list, but didn't. Not everybody will value the same things we do (like firearms), but I'd still like to hear their ideas as a way to get me thinking about all the options.

But I did enjoy reading your post!


#13137 - 02/25/03 03:22 AM Re: Homeland Security Emergency Kit

I didn't see any mention of a heat source either for heating or cooking. Not that I would use one in a "sealed room" but it would be a good addition.

BTW: I liked the fact that they push the idea of carrying a flashlight and whistle in a couple of places on the site. Maybe they should make this part of a national campaign.


#13138 - 02/25/03 03:29 AM Re: Homeland Security Emergency Kit

A quick $.02 here on the government arming the populace. During the second world war, as U-boats cruised just off the east coast of the US, my grandfather was tasked by the Civil Defense authorities to keep the Axis powers out of New Bedford (MA) harbor. The weapons they provided him to guard against this somewhat realistic threat were a billy club and a flashlight! (My family still has both). Even then, guns were not an option.


#13139 - 02/25/03 04:21 AM Re: Homeland Security Emergency Kit

That is so true - remember Ernest Hemingway's plan when he and his merry band were sub hunting was to throw a potato sack over the U-boat's periscope and then smash the lens with a sledge hammer. It ALWAYS takes the government awhile to catch up to the private sector in embracing new technologies.

#13140 - 02/25/03 05:37 AM Re: Homeland Security Emergency Kit

OK, so you want better lists. You've come to the right place. Try Doug Ritter's lists as a place to start

One members kits

FEMA disaster library

This is an interesting piece on urban survival.

Searching the forum for BOB or bug-out-bag or Bug-in or home kit or 72hr kit will turn up a wealth of information - be sure to expand the time frame of your search, by default it will only search the last weeks posts. The drop-down control at the bottom of the search page will allow you to select searching all posts.

The general priorities are:
water (1 gallon or more per person per day)
shelter (keep dry)
food (something more than 1200 calories per day - usually more than 2400 would be good)
sanitation ( burn it or burry it and don't eat with dirty hands)
first-aid (depends upon you level of training - get trained)

These priorities will be met differrently in different situations and in some scenarios the priorities will be re-arranged. For example in an earthquake situation the first-aid might come first and in a blizzard scenario at home you might want to add fire / heat. Always consider the storage and wieght of items as well as cost. It won't help to but a 300 gallon cistern in the attic if it falls through the cieling and distroys the house while you are filling it.

If you live down-wind of an industrial complex it is pretty important to consider the hazmat situations - terrorist have no corner on toxic chemical releases. If you live near a major trucking route or rail line you are at risk for just about every haxmat situation possible. Most hazmat situations are a matter of information and knowledge. If you are informed on what has been spilled (listen to radio - preferrably HAM or emergency scanner) and know what can and should be done you will stay and go appropriately.

stay upwind and uphill is a good rule of thumb. If your house is down-wind or downhill then you should have evacuation options well planned.

What I have

15 gallons of water
lots of canned goods
enough tarps to cover my house if the roof is damaged
extra blankets
some strong rope
a bunch of zip ties
6' pry bar and a bunch of scrap lumber with nails and hammer
bolt cutters;
charcoal gril,
white-gas coleman stove
Full camping gear == BOB +++
4X4 (Jeep cherokee) with BOB in back
Duct Tape everywhere ( I have a full 100 ft in each vehicle and probably 3 more rolls about the house - I have believed in this stuff for awhile)

Strong wire coat-hangers (near as useful as ducttape)

EMT Jump kit
Leatherman always on belt (except on flights and interviews)

Basically I started with doug's kits and embellished.

I have tried to think, If ( name the scenario ) happened and I was (walking down the street; at work; at home; in my car;) how would I take care of the essentials


build it up in layers and you will always have some redundancy. For example, I packed a PSK and a FAK in altoids tins and they ride in my front pants pockets perfectly balanced. I also carry some readily accessible cord, a leatherman, a mini-bic lighter and some matches and a set of brunten survival cards in my wallet and a cell phone. This before I put on my Filson cruiser vest fully loaded with space blanket, balaclava, tarp, poncho, PDA, notepad and pen, flashlight, deck of cards, book (currently the teachings of the buddah before that "As a man thinketh") , spring loaded center-punch, match safe, whistle, mirror, bandanna, extra duffle bag, ear-plugs and eye-shades, Then I get into my cherokee with 2 gallons of water in the back along with a tent, and fully loaded 3 day backpack, automotive tool kit with jumper cables, motor oil, hand winch, duct-tape, camlock tie-down straps, tow strap, ratchet set, screw drivers, repair manual, muffler tape, coat-hangers, Transmission oil, radiator sealant, fix-a--flat, flares, emergency triangle, bright pink surveyors tape, transmission sealant, wd40, starter fluid, and ammo can full of canned food. - cheaper than MRE's though less complete nutritionally, Three band Ham handheld radio with amp and mag-mounted antenna, roll of trash-bags and roll of paper-towls and 5-10 mechanics rags, I drive to work where I always have a belly-bag stashed with trash-bag gloves, balaclava, GORP, Esbit stove, magnesium lighter, bic butane lighter, match safe, goggles, dust mask, Hank of paracord, compass, whistle, jackknife, monocular, Spare Cell phone battery adapter that takes alkaline AA cells and spare Ham radio battery adapter that takes alkaline AA cells. When at home I have all of this and above as well as similar setups for my two duaghters and my wife. Though they carry purses / sholder bags / backpacks. rather than wear filson cruiser vests.

I personally don't have any firearms and haven't missed them yet. I grew up in an inner city slum and moved out to somewhat rural New Hampshire but in all my life I haven't yet been in a situation that would have been made safer by my being armed. I am actively learning to shoot now and will be arming when I have enough experience to know what works for me. I don't think that protecting myself with a firearm is a high probablity event but I have started preparing for a lot of things lately and that is one of the events that I no longer can ignore.

Sorry about the length of the post but I got going. I probably missed some things since it came out as stream of consciousness rambling. Next time I inventory I might actually make up lists and post them.

#13141 - 02/25/03 01:55 PM Re: Homeland Security Emergency Kit
Polak187 Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: Brooklyn, New York
This is all rant:

Well reason our citizens are asked not to arm themselves is because we are not expecting full blow coastal/air invasion. If by any chance something happened it would be an action of couple of individuals whose physical characteristic and religion may be associated with and compared to similar looking law abiding citizens. You as a person, being smart would make nothing of it but people in groups have a tendency to take out their anger and frustration basing it merely on visual conformation. They have tendency to stereotype and discriminate just based on looks. It can escalate into a big problem especially in the big cities. Cops have enough to do without worrying about things like that. And to quote a conversation I had with a regular bar fly after 911.

Me: Sup Andy
Andy: Hey you made it man
Me: Yup
Andy: Man if you died I would take a gun and go by the mosque and kill
Me: Why?
Andy: They are all the same...
(at this point conversation was over since it was pointless trying to explain anything to Andy since he lives in his own little world)

Now Andy is in the wheelchair, drunk 25/7 and can't move for anything but he is a vet which gets him little bit of credibility. If Andy had a gun he still wouldn’t do anything. But substitute Andy for a semi intelligent guy whose sister/wife/mother was just killed. He watches couple of news broadcasts, maybe a war movie and out of grief can go out and do something. Yes it happened before (revenge) and temporary insanity (being unable to use logic) may be claimed. It wouldn’t be as dangerous if that was an isolated incident but when you have many people with “common” enemy it’s a very dangerous situation (Nazi Germany). Sometimes all the nation needs is a spark to turn into mob and since many loves to follow, anything is possible (remember Crown Height riots).

This brings me to the next point. I'm sick and tired of the popularity that survival is getting in the past few days. Actually it was said a bit wrong. It's good to be interested in survival but it's very bad to learn stuff from wrong sources and base your knowledge on the wrong assumptions. 2 blocks away from my work doors opened to new survival store (http://www.saferamerica.com/products.asp). It became all favorite spot for three hour lunches among executives who go there and spend easily a grand on survival supplies without any knowledge how to use them. Few of them even went as far as buying parachute escape systems. I'm just amazed how much trust they put into equipment over knowledge. I sit at my desk and look at them how after the purchase each and one of them would come with big duffel bag carrying their supplies. Guess what? It got boring after 2-3 days. So they are leaving the stuff in the car now. And there is a lot of people like that. Instead of spending time to understand the problem and learning they go out and buy the best equipment money can get in order to patch their holes in education.


#13142 - 02/25/03 03:09 PM Re: Homeland Security Emergency Kit

I would recommend at least a 12 gauge pump shotgun and a centerfire handgun of some sort. If possible I would also include a semi-auto carbine of .223 caliber. My own choices are the Rem 870, AR-15 and Glock 17 (Back in the States).

I personally view being unarmed as akin to being voluntarily castrated. I won't even debate the subject with anti-gun people. Being unarmed is just silly.

Here in my neighborhood (Brazil) we have one murder a week. Fortunately I was able to legally purchase and register two very expensive .38 special revolvers. It took me nine months to work through the paperwork. During that time I was offered many different guns including a sub-machinegun.

If Brazil ever bans the private ownership of handguns the only thing that will change will be my handgun. I'll go out the same day and buy a 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 acp. for half the price of my legal .38 special. Mac

#13143 - 02/25/03 03:28 PM Re: Homeland Security Emergency Kit

Just to clarify a few things...

A gun is not a license to behave stupidly. But unlike certain Democratic Party pundits, I think the common man is smart enough to behave responsibly. We all drive 2000 pound "weapons" to work every day and only rarely do they get misused. In the event that someone does behave stupidly, they should go to jail.

Owning a firearm, like owning a number of tools (a car, a blow-torch, an arc-welder, an electric generator, etc.) requires the observance of the appropriate safety rules. If someone is not willing to engage their brain before engaging their tools, then they have no business using those tools. I certainly advocate proper training and have little tolerance for people who just buy equipment without knowing how to use it.

Having skydived out of a plane, the thought of someone BASE jumping with an untested parachute scares the heck out of me. If it ever comes down to it, they'll probably be more of a menace to the people on the street than a benefit to themselves.

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