Archive for the ‘What would you do if…..’ Category

A recent article was published in the Wall Street Journal regarding how higher economic status may be linked to unethical behavior.  It quotes a study that was conducted by Berkley.  Here is the full study.

So why should us urban survivalists care about what people think about those in a higher economic status?  Because, you may be one of them; or be PERCEIVED as one of them.  Again, so what, why should you be worried?

We at Zenshin LLC, do not care much for politics, be we care about and study human behavior.  Our last post was about surviving a gang attack and the victim of that attack was described primarily as a driver of a Range Rover SUV.  The news outlets focused not on the victim as a person but on his status (what he was driving).  All you need to do is keep track of the talking heads and there is a serious trend to demonize those that have money.  Again, we do not care if this is justified or not, but it does add to the possibility that one’s socio-economic status may now be a factor in determining whether you are targeted individual.

Those who have money just are not helping.  Take this rich girl for example. She basically says “Let them eat cake.”  Well, we know what happened to the last person who said that.

RS_RUA4139.jpg

She went on a rant that went viral about how she is sick and tired about being put down by poor people.  Here is her rant.

So I ask you, when there is a black-out or a natural disaster and a mob forms because they felt they were left behind and not treated fairly because they are poor, who are they going after?  Other poor, left behind, disenfranchised people?

So where do you fall in all of this?  Check below to see (2010 statistics).  Note, half of this nation’s wage earners make less than $34,338.  That is potentially a lot of angry people going after the top 25%.  If you are in the top 25%, I would worry.  The top 1% can afford to get on their planes and get out of dodge.  What are you going to do, get in your Range Rover SUV?

percentage earners

This YouTube video recently had over 11 million views.  It discussed how wealth is perceived and what it actually is.  The general population actually thinks there is greater equity and they are better then they really are. Now, with videos like this, people are now being educated on where they stand on the wealth inequity scale.  Over 11 million people watched this video. It’s not going to be pretty.  The question is, what are you going to do?

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We left off with the topics of:
Fleeing a mob via a motor vehicle
Surviving a gang attack alone and/or while protecting loved ones

These two parts of the motorcycle attack are the most difficult.

Fleeing a mob via a vehicle should be easy.

Whether your attackers are on foot or on motorcycles, the combat formula applies. The rule of combat is “all other things being equal, the bigger stronger person wins.” So it should be easy, the car wins. You can flee by simply driving away or if your attackers are stupid enough to get in your way, use the mass of your vehicle and run them over. Unfortunately, this is why urban survival is different then surviving in the wild. In the wild you have to worry about these types of animals:
bear

In the urban environment you have to worry about these:

motorcycle wife

The victim of the motorcycle attack in NY fled after he was attacked and as per news reports ran over one of the motorcyclists.  Here, the attorney for that motorcyclist run over by the victim comforts the wife of the motorcyclist while announcing a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed against the victim driver.

So, it’s not that simple if you consider that if you flee one attack you may have to face another.  You may want to consider the phrase “better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6.”

Surviving a gang attack alone and/or while protecting loved ones:

To survive a gang attack alone and/or while protecting loved ones, you have to consider the psychology of combat, your physical abilities, your fighting capabilities and the environment.  At Zenshin LLC, we teach that there are typical psychological responses both the aggressor and the potential victim display.  If you can interrupt that learned response you have a great chance of disrupting the attack long enough to escape.  Of course, being physically fit is important, more important is knowing what your physical limitations and  strengths are so that you can increase the odds that you will make good combat choices.  Above, I stated the rule of combat is “all other things being equal, the bigger stronger person wins.”  There is a second part of the rule that says, “although it is possible to change that outcome with skill and environmental factors.”  Train everyday and when you are not in combat, practice how your environment may help you.

The planning you do now may help fend off all types of animals that may want to do you harm.

Ever since the motorcycle gang attack in NYC

motorcycle attack

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57606470/new-video-of-nyc-motorcycle-road-rage-attack-shows-men-kicking-suv-driver/

people have been discussing how such a thing could happen and how to prevent these attacks from happening again.

Here at Zenshin LLC we analyze these attacks with a view toward survivability. We assume that these attacks will occur, it is just a matter of when. The news is full of examples. This is just the latest one.

In our Psychology of Combat series we discussed briefly how understanding the psychology of the gang can be used to protect yourself. You can read that post here.

This motorcycle incident is a very specific act but illustrates the several ways in which we have to focus our attention when dealing with mobs. In this case these subjects come up:

Driving through a mob
Being attacked while in a car
Fleeing a mob via a motor vehicle
Surviving a gang attack alone and/or while protecting loved ones

Driving through a mob is the easiest to discuss.  It’s simple, don’t do it.  Drive over to the side of the road and yield to the mob.  Look for the best possible location to move over.  Keep in mind, some places are not conducive to protecting yourself.  Be aware of where you go at all times and where you can exit if necessary. Do not allow them to engage you.  The most important thing is to keep moving.  If you keep moving they have to move with you.  This means even just driving 5 miles an hour, moving back and forth, in circles or in reverse.  They will have difficulty dragging you out as long as you are in motion.

So they caught up with you and they start attacking the car.  In this instance, they smashed the windows and punctured the tires.  How far can you drive on flat tires?  Pretty darn far!  So keep going!  As the mob starts smashing the windows you have to assume they are going for you next.  The most important thing to remember now is to ensure that the doors are locked.  If the doors are locked they can’t drag you out.  Hopefully, you are still moving so it would be that much more difficult.

Check out our next post for ideas on fleeing a mob and surviving a gang attack while protecting your loved ones.  In the meanwhile ask yourself this question….What do you have in your car to protect yourself and your family?   Comment with your answers and why you have what you have.

Be safe

AED sign

One thing that differentiates urban survival from wilderness survival is the availability of technology.  If you find yourself in a situation where you need to help a loved one or you just want to be a Good Samaritan, would you know what to do?

You can certainly take a great CPR course….

If not, you can at least try out this great AED simulator.  Thank you to my friend Ted who sent this to us.

So, go ahead…..give it a shot……. AED Simulator

Warning:

The video below is a security camera view of an actual unprovoked attack on a 16 year-old girl in the UK.

The victim was interviewed after the attack and gave this account.

The perpetrator was subsequently arrested.

This girl is an innocent victim and did not deserve what happened to her.  Given that the attack was caught on tape, it gives us a rare opportunity to learn from it. So now we can discuss both the actions of the perpetrator and the victim.  This does not mean that I believe the victim is any way at fault. The only one who is at fault is the person who perpetrated this crime against her.

There is one constant to predicting human behavior.  A person’s past behavior is a good indicator to a person’s future behavior. There are of course some exceptions, such as when a person strives and works on their own personal growth. Most people, unfortunately do not.  So when we have opportunities like this to dissect a crime between one victim and one perpetrator, we take it.  Knowing a little bit of history between the victim and the perpetrator allows us to predict what may happen in the future to others under similar circumstances.

For instance, the victim recounts the interaction between her and the perpetrator before the attack.  This interplay, whether conscious or unconscious, led the two of them to the end result.  Although there may not seem like a lot of interaction to analyze here, there is.  Unfortunately, discussing it all will take up more space than would be permissible in this blog.  However, we can look at one very crucial time in the attack and analyze it.  The moment just before the perpetrator attacks.

Slow down the video (you can press pause a few times). Look at what happens as the perpetrator comes within a few feet of the victim.  What does the victim do? (it’s okay, go back to the video.. I’ll wait).

She clutches her handbag……….  What does this mean?  It means she was aware of a danger prior to the  physical encounter.  She may not have actually been conscious of this danger but she reacted to it by protecting her possession, her purse.  Remember what I said earlier about human behavior?  The victim throughout her life probably had many more experiences protecting her property then her physical self.  So when she felt a danger, she did what she had learned to do, guard and protect her property.  That is why at Zenshin™ Urban Survival Training we teach the Psychology of Combat.  We teach our students to identify and pay attention to their unconscious driven behaviors that often help them “see” a danger before they are consciously aware of it.  With this extra time, we then teach them the best way to react.  Although this was an unprovoked attack, the victim had some time to react.  She did… she clutched her purse.

What would you have done? What are you doing to prepare your loved ones in the event this happens to them?

It is said that a person will not survive more than:

Three minutes without air,

Three days without water, and

Three weeks without food

As we continue to honor National Preparedness month, let’s look at how we can prepare for the possibility that we will not have sufficient air to breathe as a result of a natural or man-made disaster.

The most obvious urban survival technique is to invest in a good respirator, hood or “gas mask.”  There are many commercially available ones out there but because you are all good urban survival consumers as a result of reading my blog, I will not go into detail about them.  I would rather discuss what to do if you are caught without one.

Okay, you are in your  home or apartment and the emergency response system comes on notifying you that as a result of an explosion nearby, the air around you is toxic.  For this scenario, you have determined it was not safe or it was too late to get out of the area without a respirator.  First, get to the room furthest from the exterior, seal off as much of the area as possible, then consider constructing a homemade mask so that you can make your escape.

If you do, please know that your homemade gas mask is of course, only a temporary solution that will not be as effective as commercially made gas masks. However, they are better than using a simple towel pressed against your face. Homemade masks will, most likely, only protect against the most common gases used in chemical warfare. Against smoke, some other gases and carbon monoxide, they will be ineffective. Moreover, homemade masks will only be as effective as they are airtight. Your homemade mask must fit securely around the head so that air is unable to slip inside (except through the breathing canister) or else chemical agents can also get through.

So here are two possible homemade gas masks you can try.

1. The bed sheet method:

Cross-stitch together two 12-inch squares of bed sheets or similar fabric. Put a layer of baking soda between the two sheets before sewing them together. When you need the mask, simply dampen it and hold it firmly over your face while exiting the area contaminated by gases. This provides temporary protection and is not intended for any lengthy use.

2. The swimming cap type:

I think this type is a modern variation of the 1942 gas mask made by the American Women’s Voluntary Service

American women’s voluntary service-1942

Use a swimming cap, oriented backwards and upside down, for the face covering. You’ll cut holes in the cap for both an eyepiece and for the breathing canister apparatus. Secure these pieces with tape. For the eyepiece, use a see-through, celluloid box, the sort used in women’s facial powder boxes. For a snug fit, the cut hole should be slightly smaller than the box. For the breathing canister use a can with both the top and bottom cut out. Over both ends of the open can you’ll fit wire screen mesh. Old fashioned, wire-screen flyswatters will work, but you can also use screen door material. Inside the canister you’ll need the actual gas mask filter. For this, use handkerchiefs stuffed with charcoal (you can get at pet supply store or make your own by burning coconut husks) and soda lime (old fashioned mom and pop drug store). With elastic, create straps across the back of the mask to hold it onto your head.

Although the masks are to be used for a very short period of time, it will give you enough time to escape to a better place. You may even want to try making one now.  Having said that, I still recommend you go buy one.  I hear Canada has a bunch that they can’t sell….. really!

Kayaking Preparedness

In honor of preparedness month coming up, I decided to expand my knowledge base and take on kayaking.  Although kayaking may primarily be thought of a wilderness survival skill, there are many waterways around our cities and the skill of kayaking may come in handy if you need to get off an island, like Manhattan, in a hurry.  During the attack on 9/11 many people were trapped by the edge of the water and were rescued by good samaritan boaters.

So I signed up with Mountain Valley Guides in Cornwall on Hudson, NY and Bill was my guide/instructor for my three-hour tour.  Yes, I really did sing the Gilligan Island theme several times.  Mountain Valley Guide’s instructions were to bring only things you do not mind getting wet.  I emptied out my pack and brought only my snacks, my EDC and insect repellent.  What else could I really need?  I didn’t want to lose anything in the river that I would miss, so I left everything else behind.

Bill was a great instructor, he explained the mechanics of rowing a kayak, the procedures in the event we rolled out and how we were to communicate with each other on the water.  We rowed to several points of interest on the Hudson river and beached so we could have a snack and others in my group could go for a swim.

Unfortunately, as I exited my kayak, my sandal broke and I had to walk on the rocky shore barefoot.  I looked at what I packed to ascertain if I could repair my sandal. Nothing on my EDC could be used to poke a hole in the sandal to repair it.  It really didn’t matter because I didn’t bring my paracord bracelet so I didn’t have any cord to repair the sandal.  Ugh, I made the rookie mistake of assuming I didn’t need my basic kit!

I asked Bill if he had a multitool and he whips out the biggest Swiss army knife I have ever seen.  Well it helped poke a hole in the sandal bit I had nothing to fasten the straps together.  Once again, Bill came to the rescue with some cord and I repaired my footwear.

My McGyver moment

Lesson learned.  We take the time to put together our personal kits and we should trust that we made the right decision.  Although we always need to balance what we carry with us; there are people out there who carry tons of “needed” equipment, we should always assess our needs based on any given activity or environment.

If you haven’t taken a class/tour on kayaking, I highly recommend it.  That little boat may be your only way out someday. In addition, it is a really fun activity!