Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fire in Portugal: More than 60 Dead, some trapped in their Cars while Escaping

Según la Autoridad Nacional de Protección Civil portuguesa, que monitoriza en su página web en tiempo real la evolución de los incendios, 117 fuegos arden en el país este jueves a mediodía —13 de ellos de grandes dimensiones—. A las 12.30 horas había 3.682 efectivos combatiendo las llamas en Portugal, que cuentan con 1.159 vehículos terrestres y 17 aviones. En la foto, un bombero trabaja en las labores de extinción del incendio forestal que afecta a las localidades de Couto de e Cima y Couto de Baixo en la región de Viseu.
Hi there Fernando
while some people are still recovering from the aftermath of the London fire, we have witnessed right next door, the devastating effects of another terrible fire this time in Portugal.
According to the news at least 30 people died in their cars while trying to escape from the flames (probably too late).
I think this reinforces the message of how important it is to read the (get out of dodge) situation, and is better to leave and come back during a false alarm than to lose your life...
I enclose a link (in spanish) La carretera de la muerte
Thoughts?
-Antonio
.
Hello Antonio.
Sorry for the delay in replying.
Yes, I saw the news. It’s just terrible.  This yet again goes to show: living in more isolated areas does not mean you’ll never have to bug out.
Also, know your threats. Some areas are known to be affected by wildfires, if it happened once, you can be sure it will happen again. Especially in wooded or grassy areas you have to role play the situation and imagine what you would do if it catches fire.
Watch the clip below, its just terrible.



You need a bug out plan, and a good strategy with alternative routes is crucial here.
Also car selection. I would want a truck or at least and SUV, something with AWD or 4WD so as to go off road if needed when escaping. Also a good car kit, with food, water and clothes, especially good shoes for walking.
Above all, staying informed and taking action. I believe that in this case reacting in time would have been the difference between life and death.
Yet again it’s always easy when you’re not the one trapped in that inferno and you only read the news after it happened.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

6 items to have for long term power outages


List of Items
1)1)Flashlights:
Thrunite TN12
Lumintop Copper Prince
2)Batteries
3)Gas Stove
4)Car Inverter
5)Solar Battery bank
6)Kerosene Heater

Thursday, June 22, 2017

High-Rise Dweller Escape Kit

Would you list basic rappelling gear? how many sets are needed for a family? i stay on the first or second floor of hotels, and keep a flashlight in case the electricity fails. you never know! i keep water and protein bars and toilet paper in the car. anything else you recommend? these are silly questions to people with common sense but i have none and would appreciate some advice. many thanks to you.
That’s actually a great point.
I’m by no means an expert on rappelling (and those that are please comment below). I have done it a few times though, enough to know it’s easy enough and you can learn the basic technique in one session.
You’re basically looking at four items you need, at the very least: a climbing rope, harness, carabiner and figure 8 descender. How advanced each item is and how much extra equipment you add is up to you. A helmet for example, would be considered essential safety equipment for climbing.
The good news is that if you want a basic kit, rope, harness, figure 8 and carabiner, you can have a basic emergency set for relatively little money. A harness can cost as little as 29 bucks in Amazon, a rope can go for a little over twenty. This is the cheapest stuff around but it sure beats tying a few bed sheets in a borderline suicidal attempt to escape burning to death. Even this basic kit can make all the difference between life and death.
For those living long term in high-rise buildings I would suggest spending a bit more and buying brand name such as Petzl or Black Diamond, which goes for a bit more money but you can use with confidence, even use once or twice a year in a safe location to properly practice rappelling. For rope, get proper 'dynamic' climbing rope.

We recently learned the terrible fate dozens suffered in the tower that burned in London. That example alone is good enough, but there’s also home invasions, terror attacks, earthquakes, or a shooting in your work place, anything that forces you to escape out of your residence or work place.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

So whats a traditional Match Lighter?


Monday, June 19, 2017

IPCS and Defensive shooting skills


Yesterday I shot in the local IPSC Production division competition. It was fun, got to practice a bit and (allow me to brag a bit) I did end up in first place which is always nice.
I was planning on writing this post before I knew the results though, mostly because I feel that this kind of competition, done right, greatly improves your defensive shooting skills.
A few points I’d like to make:
1)Train as you fight
Practice with the kind of gun you’re likely to carry, which means you’ll most likely compete in Production (meaning common guns with little in the way of mods or custom jobs)
The only customisation my Glock 17 has is Mepro tritium night sight. I did install a ZEV V4 race connector a few weeks ago for 25m precision shooting competition but I got rid of it. It did improve the trigger pull but it also caused a noticeable click before resetting the trigger that was driving me nuts. For IPSC I didn’t see any noticeable improvement anyway and its not allowed as a modification for Production division anyway. For precision shooting at 25 meters the Glock 17 simply isnt the gun for that kind of thing either so there’s not much of a point.
You have to be honest regarding what you are trying to achieve here. If you want to train for defense or if you just want to win competitions, which is your priority. You CAN win with your stock Glock. I did. Other shooters had nicer Sig Sauer x Fives, Tanfoglios. Do these give you an edge for the competition? Maybe, I don’t know. The shooter is the one that matters the most though, and if you are doing it for the training like I ‘m doing, you simply won’t care. Whatever your carry gun is, if permitted in the production division, that’s what you should use. Same goes for holsters, their location, mag carries, even clothes, everything should be as close to what you wear and use on normal basis as possible.
2) Different stages, skills, learning to think
The mindset aspect of how to resolve a stage is also interesting. What sequence is more effective, faster or easier. For example, if you shoot a popper that will bring up another target, then you want to shoot that, shoot another card and only then go back to the new target that popped up so as to save time. Little things like these are mental exercise for your shooting brain. The you get to practice more typical stuff of course like drawing, reloads, shooting with either hand single handed in some cases, going prone, dropping to one knee, shooting around corners. Its fun but you also practice memory muscle that adapts to potential real world scenarios.
3) Fitness
Something else IPSC reveals is how good or bad your fitness level is. Sure, some stages have more running, kneeling or other physical requirements than others, but fit people do move faster and cut time, end up with faster and more accurate reflexes as well in general.
4) Working with stress
It may not seem like much but having a small crowd behind you and someone timing you does add a significant amount of stress, especially for new shooters. This stress serves as practice. If a timer stresses you then you don’t want to know what someone shooting at you will do for your nerves. The more you practice, the better you learn to control your stress. Sport and actual fighting aren’t the same thing, but this is just like a boxer going against someone that trained self-defense moves but was never in an actual fight (even one in a ring) Believe me, the guy that stepped into a ring for a few years always beats the one that never set foot in one.
The more you practice and compete, the better you get at shooting accurately and fast.
5) Meeting like-minded people
And of course there’s meeting people with your same interests. There’s usually a number of LEO and military, but then you just have guys (and women of course) from all walks of life with shooting as a common denominator. Shooters are pretty peculiar people in some cases. I at least have a bit of a problem making friends with people I have little in common so I tend to gravitate towards people that like firearms. This social circle can mean not only friends to shoot and hang out with, but also people you can count on when you need them.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Inferno in London Tower Building: Some survival related thoughts

Cladding turned tiny fire into hell
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4605360/Cladding-turned-tiny-fire-hell.html
You probably read the news already but in case you didn’t a 24-storey building, Grenfell Tower, turned into an inferno last night. At around 1AM the fire started in the 4th floor and spread all over the building in 15 minutes. This morning, firemen were still struggling to put out the fire. So far there are 12 confirmed dead victims but there are dozens missing still.
According to witnesses, there was a baby dropped from the 10th floor that was caught by someone below and managed to survive. Ropes were made with sheets to climb down, children in flames simply jumping from the building. It must have been a terrible scene to witness.
But then we think of it from the preparedness point of view. I never felt comfortable in high-rise buildings and have avoided them all my life. When in hotels, I try to be as close to the ground floor as possible, which is actually a good habit to incorporate when booking a room.
If I had to live in one, I would get climbing gear and enough rope to rappel down. Oh sure, it sounds silly, that is until you jump out of your window to avoid burning to death. Its not just fires. I know of several cases in Argentina in which people panicked during home invasions in buildings and jumped out of the windows several floors high. What about working in one? Yes, I’d like a way out as well. Fires, earthquakes, even active shooters this is the kind of thing that can save your life in a worst case scenario. Rappelling is simple enough it can be done by people of all ages and the equipment isnt that expensive either unless you want some high end gear.
Of course you have a number of other preparedness related topics involved here.
What have I said a million times about bugging out? Its not a choice, when you have to leave maybe you do it with nothing but your underwear. Many people learned that last night. Have a plan, have a place to go if your home is no longer an option. Have a VIP bag to grab and go if you only have seconds, have a bug out bag if you can carry it.
If you read my book “Bugging Out and Relocating” you know that a small satchel with your very important papers and documents (VIP bag) is important in case you can’t carry an actual BOB because you needs to help yourself or help others evacuated. Well, last night a woman evacuated from one of the higher floors with her six children… by the time she made it outside she only had four kids left. This is EXACTLY what I mean when I say sometimes even a backpack impairs your ability and needs to be left behind, so only a small satchel can be taken.
How about having a bug out plan, having prearranged place you know you can go to and have some clothes and supplies already there? Another point I made in “Bugging Out and Relocating”, you don’t need a cabin in the middle of nowhere, sometimes all you need is to crash in your parent’s house or your sister in laws just a few blocks away. In fact being near by makes life easier for kids going back to school, going to work, etc.
These are just a few of the thoughts that crossed my mind today as I watched the news.
What we do here is important. Preparedness is important. Of course it makes life easier and better regarding the little things in life, or even some habits that have lifelong repercussions like staying in shape and eating healthy, but it also means that preparing properly makes all the difference in the world when the unexpected happens and your home literally burns to the ground in front of you.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” andBugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Monday, June 12, 2017

This is how thugs are dealt with in Brazil (Gunfight vid, lessons learned)


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Thursday, June 8, 2017

“Dad, it hurts”

Matan a un nene de 3 años que iba a comprar pizza con su papá: identificaron al asesino
Last night in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 28 year old Martín Bustamante was walking with his 3 year old son Agustin to buy a pizza for dinner. It was 9pm when two scumbags robbed them. After taking their money they started walking away, but one of them turned back one last time and shot the 3 year old that was still holding his dad’s hand in the back. He smiled as he shot the 3 year old, his father would later say.

Agustin only managed to say “dad, it hurts” before dying in his dad’s arms who was rushing him to a hospital. The loot? 15 USd for a pizza and a cheap cellphone. The killers? 14 and 16 years old.
This happened in my neighbourhood where I lived most of my life, in Lomas de Zamora.
This is why I left my country, because you just can’t live like this. Because that could have been my son and once your son is dead then it’s just too damn late to take action.

Now people are pissed, a family has been destroyed. There will be a protest tonight, and people will speak on tv, and those 14 and 16 year old scumbags will walk because the idiotic Argentine laws protected them and the corrupt politicians who are just as bad as they are don’t want to lose any votes from criminals so they wont change anything. And 3 year old Agustin will still be dead.
When we talk about survival and specifically armed self-defense the idea of killing is glorified as a transcendent event. Experts debate about people being able to pull the trigger or not and being able to live with taking another life. Those experts never lived in Lomas de Zamora. How I wish someone had shot those two scumbags. I’m sure the family of Agustin wishes so too. There’s no remorse in killing these beasts because they aren’t even people, they are worse than savage animals. This is why killing one of these bastards isn’t a solemn event but a celebration, a service to society.  One less animal out there to murder, rape and destroy lives.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I had an interesting day today: Some thoughts on survival & preparedness


So today started as a typical day for me. Got up and quickly got dressed to take the kids to school. As we are getting in the car my wife waves us good bye… only to have the wind slam the door shut behind her. This wouldn’t be a problem in most houses but we have a security door. Its metal, and the doorknob doesn’t open from the outside even if unlocked. I tried pushing the key with my own from the outside but it didn’t work with the key inserted from the inside.  I tried pushing it with my Leatherman, using the small screwdriver bit as a poking tool. I have done this successfully before with a safe key, the kind common for houses in Argentina. In that situation EDC saved the day, but not today.

Survival lesson #1 of the day was: Make sure your house is hardened against home invaders but make sure you can get in if locked out yourself.  The front door is basically bullet proof, a metal security door with poured concrete structure and masonry brick walls. The back door was also locked. It has a sliding window but also a metal grate door which was locked. It is in moments like these that you start thinking like a criminal trying to break in. If you find that doing so is easy, then you have a security problem. If not, then that’s great, just have a plan in case you get locked out. Fortunately, my wife had just opened the windows and pulled up the shutters from the kid’s rooms in the second floor. The problem would be getting up there…

So now I have to take the kids to school, we’re locked outside and my wife is wearing summer PJ’s, just to make things interesting. You know what’s funnier? Only now while I write this do I remember that I do keep an extra set of clothes for each family member in the car. I mentioned it to my wife just now and she said its too hot anyway for jeans. I’ll see about putting a pair of shorts for each one in there as well. Lesson #2: Keep spare clothes (and other supplies) in your vehicle and make sure they are adequate for the local climate.

We drive the kids to school and hope our neighbour is home when we get back. Turns out he’s not. I do see another neighbour further down the street that is already staring curiously.
Lesson #3: Although I usually prefer not having people nearby, it is true that when you need help its nice to have neighbours you can count on. I also notice that this particular neighbour was paying attention and noticed the suspicious activity in my house. He already knew who we were and no doubt had it been faces he didn’t recognize he would have called the cops.
I wave and head down there. This is a British couple. They don’t speak much Spanish but I’m ok with English. Make that lesson #4. A second language is an extremely valuable tool, for life, for employment, especially for expats, especially if you’re fluent it open a world of options with people that don’t speak your language.

As soon as they see I speak English their entire attitude and body language changes and we start talking. Turns out they’ve been living in Spain for nearly 20 years, left England looking for a better place to raise the kids and haven’t looked back since then. Their kids are all grown up now, one is a professional football player and the other one is a teacher. The woman mentions that people in England used to be more social back when she was young, but that now everyone stays in their homes and keeps to themselves. In contrasts their kids made childhood friends here with which they still keep in touch till this day. It’s nice to see that other people basically reached the same conclusion we did. My nephews had a similar experience living in London and are already looking to move elsewhere.

After talking a bit I mention the problem I have and ask if they have a ladder to get up to the window in the second floor. They do, one of those expandable ones painters use.
Now here I try to be extra careful. These are traditional Mediterranean houses, with high ceilings to keep the house fresh during summer and ceramic patio floors around it. Falling from that height means you get the famous “serious injury or death”. I know of people that have died from falling from their roofs either checking a leak, installing an antenna or God knows what else. Statistically speaking, this is the kind of moment when you don’t want to screw up.

I set the ladder properly and take my time to securely climb and open the window and move the mosquito net aside. I must have looked hilarious crawling up there. But you know, I remembered something we had done in a tactical shooting class, the correct way of climbing walls. It’s funny how all these things come back to you. One guy would position his hands, you’d step on them, grab onto the wall, step on his shoulder, pull yourself up but keeping a low profile against the edge of the wall. Arm, torso and one leg over the wall, the drop one leg over the other side, slide your body end up hanging with your hand on the other side and then drop to the floor. The “spiderman” technique, we called it. Of course it wasn’t the same here because I couldn’t hang with my body weight on the fragile window but I did keep my profile as low as possible, which helped keep my center of gravity low so as to not lose balance and break my neck. My wife was holding the ladder below. She later said the only reason she didn’t burst laugh out loud as she saw my feet hanging there in the window was that she was terrified of me falling.
  Lesson #5: Get in Shape and stay in it. I’m not nearly as fit as I would want to be. I’m not nearly as fit as I CAN be if I just stop coming up with excuses and actually get off my ass more. Make no excuses, Self-criticism is your best ally when it comes to health and fitness. Don’t be like those clowns in reality TV shows like “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”. There’s nothing fabulous about being fat. Especially for what concerns us, survival and preparedness, being overweight directly impacts your health which is by far the number one cause of early death. Not only that, it directly impacts your quality of live and it directly impacts of course your physical capabilities. How many miles can you walk if you need to make an effort during an emergency? How well can you fight to protect yourself and your family? Does your physical and fitness level impair what kind of jobs you can get and apply for?  How strong are you when you need that strength to work, move around supplies, wood, food, or like today pull yourself through a second story window? Sure enough I did it, but I could have done it a lot better and there’s no excuse for it at my age and having no health problems of any kind.

Its little events like these that remind us all the time of the areas in which we can and must improve on. If we do notice them and take action not only does our level of preparedness improve, but our general quality of life does so as well.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Monday, June 5, 2017

Must watch show in Fox News: Swamp Watch




There’s a new program on Fox News called Swamp Watch. I’m surprised they are even running a show like this. Lets see how long it stays on the air.
It will be interesting to see them keep up with who’s who and what kind of people end up in positions of power, and if the swamp is indeed being drained.
Do yourself a favour and watch this clip, its just 4 minutes. I know its politics/economy and folks don’t find it very sexy, but it explains well how politics work, in America and the rest of the world.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trijicon ACOG


Fiber, Tritium, what’s not to like?
These puppies cost some money but the clarity of the glass and construction quality is indeed noticeable.
Looking forward to trying it out and see what it can do in the range.
Cheers!
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”