Book Review: Prepper’s Home Defense

13 Dec

I just finished reading Prepper’s Home Defense by Jim Cobb. I purchased the book on Amazon, and for $10, I think it’s a great buy for preppers. The book reads quickly and is unique in that it’s about home defense under “post collapse” situations. If you’re ex-Special Forces or SWAT or worked in security planning, you’ll probably know everything in the book. The rest of us will certainly pick up some knowledge that can help us if we’re ever forced to defend ourselves and our homes.

Two things I especially like about the book are that it is realistic and that I couldn’t find any really bad advice. That’s rare for defense books. Two other books I have near me as I write this review are an older edition of the USMC Hand-To-Hand Combat Manual and Kill or Get Killed by Rex Applegate. Those are great books too. Each one, though, has some nonsensical advice.

While the USMC book is overall excellent it perpetuates the myth that by hitting somebody in the nose, you can drive bone splinters into their brain. Martial artists and doctors can explain why this doesn’t work. Kill or Get Killed is a police book. It’s great but it has some disarming techniques guaranteed to get you shot full of bullet holes.

The problem is that almost none of us (maybe nobody) has enough actual experience in lethal hand-to-hand combat to absolutely weed out all the nonsense. So bad advice permeates self-defense literature. Cobb’s advice is basic, but it’s solid.

One example of Cobb’s excellent advice is about age-appropriate self-defense. He gives us the case of a four-year-old child. That child won’t have the power to disable her attacker. Hitting the attacker in the n**s will only enrage the attacker who will probably pummel the child out of anger. At that age, Cobb wisely recommends the child focus on things like screaming and trying to run away.

Experts often have to decide whether to tell people what they want to hear or what they should hear. I feel Cobb tells readers what they should hear which is a credit to him. No high-flying face kicks. You’ll fall and crack your head open. Training a family pet to be a lethal guard dog isn’t the best idea. Knife fights aren’t romantic. And, Cobb says we can’t rely on our Ninja throwing stars of death.

The book probably won’t appeal to the new breed of ITGs, or Internet Tough Guys planning to beat back hordes of mutant zombie bikers with their nunchucks (properly called Nunchuku as Cobbs corrects us). It will appeal to average guys who want to learn more about protecting their family under extreme circumstances.

Moderate preppers will benefit the most from the chapters about basic security planning, structure hardening, and perimeter defense. This said, as a moderate prepper, I don’t believe I’ll ever need some of the information. I don’t think I’ll ever need to worry about “sniper target selection” and don’t anticipate running a patrol or a foraging “excursion.” I have a couple of sandbags, but have them to keep Rhino ramps from sliding. I don’t believe things will get so bad that I’ll want to bring sandbags into the house to stop enemy fire. But if things ever did get that bad, I’ll be glad for the information in Prepper’s Home Defense.

Cobb has an excellent website at SurvivalWeekly.com.

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In a horrible story, a man pushed another man in front of a oncoming subway train. Here’s something I bet most of us haven’t prepped for: What Should You Do if You’re Pushed Onto Subway Tracks?

Here’s a good basic article about turning off your utilities:
Nuts & Bolts with Nick: Getting To Know Your Home Utility Shut-Offs

This is a well-thought out article about risk. It talks about severity and frequency as two factors to think about. The Zombie Apocalypse would be severe, but unlikely. A nasty snowstorm, much less severe, but much more likely.

Prepsteading? (article on TNgun.com) The idea is to be as self-reliant as possible, to reduce the impact of disasters.

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In general, I don’t discuss political topics in this blog. Those are just too tangent to the topic of prepping. But, it appears there’s a hidden plan to attach a national law creating an online sales tax to the newest defense authorization bill.  This creates a private organization led by politicians which would have authority over collecting online sales tax for the states.

This is interesting because there is a new political push to ban online ammunition sales, although it appears to have little or no support from the American people.

Some states like Tennessee have a special tax on ammunition. And, in Chicago a fellow by the name of Toni Preckwinkle waned to tax ammo to reduce crime. Now these things probably aren’t related. But, it looks like the perfect mechanism for tracking online ammo sales and reporting them to some hidden authority. Companies selling ammunition online would fall under the authority of this new tax organization.

What does this mean? Prepare to pay sales tax next year when you purchase ammo or any other taxable products online. Bummer.

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Even if the government isn’t tracking you online and trying to scare you, criminals are. Here are some links about a new “Ransomware.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/technology/for-pc-virus-victims-pay-or-else-665240/

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-57553975/ransom-payments-on-rise-for-malware/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2230545/Viruses-disable-hold-computers-data-ransom-making-criminal-gangs-5M-year.html

What is Ransomware? Criminals abroad claim to be some official police agency, like the FBI. They claim your computer has been engaged in some illegal activity and demand that you pay a bogus “fine.” The hackers disable your access to your PC. Everybody should learn how to protect themselves from online fraud. Backup your important data. Learn how to do a “safe-mode” reboot and run antivirus or anti-spyware programs to remove malicious code.

If you turn on your PC tomorrow and your PC is frozen by a malicious hacker, what is your plan to restore your system? Do you have a boot disk and some virus/anti-spyware removal software on a CD?

***
Camera OpSec. The founder of McAfee antivirus was recently arrested. How was he found? A photo of him was taken with a iPhone 4S and posted online. It contained this information: “Latitude/longitude: 15° 39’ 29.4 North, 88° 59’ 31.8 West,” at 12:26 p.m. Monday.” A Google Maps search showed he was standing by a pool when the photo was taken. Preppers concerned with “operational security” should be careful not to post pictures online taken with a cell phone if they contain embedded “metadata” that will reveal the location of the photo.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/12/oops-did-vice-just-give-away-john-mcafees-location-with-this-photo/

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-12-04/business/35624999_1_iphone-data-smartphone-hacker

***
Here’s a neat site I stumbled on:
http://makestuffwithyourhands.com/
He makes arrows, chain mail, knives, ear rings, and fishing lures. Ear rings and fishing lures, strangely enough, somehow, seem to go together!

And for the extreme tech-savvy do-it-yourselfer: Build Your Own Predator Drone

***
This story is about one of those needless firearms accidents I wrote about in the book. A father accidentally killed his son. He removed the magazine from his 9mm pistol, but failed to clear the chamber. As I wrote in the book, you really need to understand the basic operation of a semi-automatic pistol before you carry one. Accidents like this are too frequent.

***
Watching the new documentary about the Dust Bowl, I learned about one more American water source that could be in peril in the next thirty years. The Ogallala Aquifer supplies 40% of Texas’s water. It supplies about 80% of the population above it with drinking water. Conservation initiatives  are underway. Without improved irrigation methods, conservation, and with growing demand, it’s frightening to think that in thirty years, Texas cities could run out of water.

Well, that’s it for today.

Charlie P.–author, The Prepper Next Door

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