National Preparedness Month is a great opportunity to spread the word about the value of preparedness, and 5.11 Tactical has taken that to heart. The company has been hosting free ABR Academy survival skill classes at its retail stores across the country — we attended one of them, and will be sharing our thoughts on it in the future. However, there are many who won't be able to make it to these classes, so the company also partnered with Clint Emerson to produce a 9-part video series full of a variety of quick preparedness tips.
As a retired Navy SEAL and author of 100 Deadly Skills, Emerson has put a lot of thought into survival skills and how to teach them to the average Joe. He channeled this into each of the nine videos, which you can watch below. Keep in mind that some of these tips will seem basic if you've been reading our publication and studying preparedness for a while — they're definitely oriented more towards beginners, but there's still some good food for thought in there even if you're more experienced.
Episode 1: How to Build a Go-Bag
The go-bag offers a foundation of basic gear for a variety of emergency situations, and it's something that everyone should have at home and/or in a vehicle.
Episode 2: How to Escape a Car Trunk
Clint explains some of your options for escaping a vehicle-based kidnapping, both in modern cars and older vehicles. This is a great skill to teach your kids.
Episode 3: How to Use a Flashlight Defensively
A flashlight is an exceptionally valuable tool, and one that's always part of our EDC gear. It's also a good resource for signaling or self-defense.
Episode 4: How to Work Out Like a “Violent Nomad”
This episode serves as a reminder of the critical nature of fitness to any survival situation. If you're clutching your side and wheezing during a disaster, your chances of making it out safely will diminish. The pull, push, rotate, and sprint approach can help you get back in shape.
Episode 5: How to Use a Pen for Self-Defense
Like Clint, we often carry a metal tactical pen. It's nice to have a writing implement on hand, and in a worst-case situation, the sharp tip can be used as an impact weapon.
Episode 6: How to Improve Your EDC Loadout
Most people think of items such as a pocket knife, watch, and pen when they envision every-day carry gear. But there are a lot of other items to consider — Clint's mouthguard is an unconventional example.
Episode 7: How to Build a Tactical Nightstand
Clint makes a good point: we spend a whole lot of time in bed. Since emergencies don't only occur during the day, it's advisable to have some quick-access gear at the side of your bed in case you need it.
Episode 8: How to Escape Duct Tape Restraints
Although this video oversimplifies the topic of escaping duct tape restraints — a task that's not as easy as it looks or sounds — it does provide some helpful tidbits. A concealed cutting tool (such as a razor blade, ceramic blade, or cord saw) is always a good resource to have.
Episode 9: How to Check for Tampering
Even if you're not an international super-spy, the thought of someone (e.g. your kids or a housekeeper) messing with your stuff while you're away is unnerving. Discreet alignment and cardinal bearings can let you know if someone tampered with your computer, phone, files, or other valuables while you weren't around.