Emergency Travel Safe Havens

Rarely does catastrophe strikes or a threat emerge at an opportune time. This means you may be away from your home, or bug out location when it becomes necessary for you to take shelter or hold up somewhere till it blows over, the threat dissipates or you find a way to deal with it.

Safe houses are pre established clandestine facilities usually setup in relatively public or easily accessible areas. The public owner records are usually done in a way to not give away the true owner of the property to allow for more privacy and security. There is usually a high financial bar to clear to set this up and will not be an option for most people but are an example of the best possible option. These are designed for both emergency and planned stop off scenarios usually with a cache of emergency supplies.

Now some options for the average person are…

Embassies(when traveling over seas): in most cases embassies are a haven for the embassy’s citizens from the reach of the host territory in extreme instances. The grounds of the embassies are considered the soil of the embassy’s country where the host nation has no jurisdiction. They are also usually afforded a decent security detail with reinforcements not too far away if needed in case of unrest or host country collapse. Now as we have seen in an ever growing list of incidents however your home country coming to the rescue is not a guarantee and you should always expect to have to self rescue and have a plan to get out on your own.

Places of business or civil service buildings that are open to the general public as self service spaces, are minimally staffed or require little interaction with them to be present. This can range from libraries, internet cafes and churches to homeless shelters, or train/bus stations, airports, and in some short term cases hotel lobbies.

Vehicles are most effective for active evasion. They serve as transportation and temporary shelters. This can be your car or a rental car or bug out vehicle but can also be

airplanes, buses, boats, trains and so on. Each of which may have different privacy and security considerations you will need to consider.

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Urban GHB

Being crisis “proof” is a misnomer, crisis resistant is a more accurate description. Regardless becoming that way is more about your mind set, your skills, and your ability to handle stress.

Generally I recommend splitting the gear into what you carry on you and what you carry in your GHB (get home bag) In my case in the colder seasons I pull some stuff out of my GHB and put in my jacket as well. We covered EDC in a past post to this one will revovle around your GHB

GHB/GO BAG

I use a Mystery Ranch 3day assault pack right now for my GHB. It is not too out side the base line for areas in my usual life while getting the size, organization and durability that I Look for in a pack.

Water: A titanium/steel non-vacume bottle is best because you can use it to boil water if needed.

24hrs of calories: Power bars, Freeze dried food, MRE etc. For the average person would range between 2200-2500 calories. In an emergency situation or if your stuck in the elements you’ll want 3000-3500.

All black shemagh: Shemaghs offer a number of uses beyond being a scarf. In urban environments they typically stand out however and the all black pattern finds a balance to my satisfaction. I still keep it in by pack and out of site unless being used.

Backup lighter and fuel: A zippo lighter in a pyrovault with an additional capsule of fuel.

Roll of quarters: when grasped in a fist this can offer some more umph to your punches as well as can be used for pay phones or vending machines if needed

2 locking carabiners with a length of either 8mm cord or climb spec tubular webbing: This can be used for a host of reasons including creating a harness and using for escape from multi story buildings in case of fire or other incidents.

Headlamp: Allows for hands free light if needed

GPS + paper map: 2 is one one is none, this GPS should use standard batteries that you can scavenge if need be and you wont rely on having to recharge like your watch. Always have a low tech way of navigation as well and know how to use it.

Full size lensatic compass

Back up communications: This can be a beartooth, gotenna, Ham radio, a DIY Lora device like meshtastic or a combination. I currently use beartooth with Iphone but am looking into a DIY device. I also recommend having an un activated burner phone on an alternate network than your primary phone with what ever minute cards etc required to activate them in a time of need.

Change of cloths +/- a hat: Make these clothes match the base line but be different colors or shades than what you are currently wearing. This gives you quick change capability. If you don’t wear a hat bring one to throw on if needed. Bonus points if you choose clothes that can also just be added as an additional layer if you get caught in bad weather. I also carry a small compressible rain layer.

Additional assorted small escape/bypass tools:

Fixed blade knife if not on your person (check local laws)

Battery pack/spare batteries and charging cords for all devices you carry. You can also find small solar panels for recharging if you are in a blackout or more rural scenario

Faraday bag(s) for any of the electronic device in your bag as well as for stashing your phone if needed.

Headphones: Hands free comms or in minor scenarios for podcasts or music when delayed. They can also be used to appear less threatening if you appear to be paying attention to them and not the world around you.

Deck of cards or some form of analog entertainment: If stranded or delayed when traveling and don’t want to or cant run down your batteries or maybe you want to play a friendly game of cards with the stranger at the cafe.

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Phone locations can be tracked without GPS

The location of your phone can be tracked even If your GPS is turned off, and used to track your location. This is done by a method triangulating the phone using cell towers and the signal from them in called Radio Direction Finding.

Quick defense tactic to counter this tracking is a faraday bag, get yours here and support our site in the process

When your phone connects to a cell tower the cell tower generally can tell what general direction your phone is from that tower based on the strength of the connection in different directions. This is the same concept of how wildlife tracking collars have used for decades and how the FCC tracks down pirate radio stations, this is because “cell service” is really just a radio signal sent out from the tower, same as any radio station, or hand held radio just on a different frequency.

The result of this is a general direction/heading from that tower that your phone could be found. With typical cell phones now the signal sent out by the cell tower is a wide beam
that spreads out and gets weaker over distance, imagine a cone with the wide end extending out from the tower.

Now if your phone can connect to multiple towers this gives multiple directions/headings that if laid over a map would create a cross point, al be it a wide one where theoretically your phone would be located. Now the more towers your phone can connect to the more accurate the location will be because the
the area within that cross point where your phone can connect to all the towers theoretically gets smaller the more towers there are. Now in most areas your phone will connect to 1 or maybe 2 towers with the exception of larger major cities where you may connect to more.

This method can also be used to track location via Bluetooth connection. It was announced a few years ago that the UK was using Bluetooth hotspots in trashcans and other city fixtures to track “traffic patterns” by connecting to peoples phones that walk near them.

Any device that uses cell service or any radio frequency, can be tracked in this fashion, Tablet, Car, laptops, smart watches, ham radio, etc. If it has cell service or uses radio frequencies, it can be tracked by radio direction finding.

S2_Underground has a great video on Radio direction finding on their #lbry channel.

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Stop Getting Deliveries at Your Home

For the security conscious, or if you are a targeted Individual(LEO,Govt., SOF, Celebrity, etc. a habit that you should break is having things delivered directly to your home(especially in your own name). For one this links your physical address to your name.  This information is then easily accessible in people search databases who get this data from the shipping companies.

Now if you have ever had anything delivered to your home address its already out there but you can stem the damage by not taking further deliveries until you can remedy the situation later. Your name and address are still out there to find but if stuff is not coming to your house any more the possibility that someone legit would be just dropping by is much less allowing you to respond more quickly with out having to figure out if they should actually be there.

The biggest step you can take to further your home and personal security is to separate your name from your physical address, with that said this is much easier said than done and can take much more work than be covered here but the information is out there for those that want to pursue this. We will also cover this in more length in our telegram and Matrix rooms.

Back to the topic at hand, when you have things delivered to your home directly you open the door for people to have a justified reason to be on your property. This can be anything from Take out to UPS to appliance deliveries We mean everything, This means that when someone drops by unannounced, you have to then figure out if they belong there or not and if the situation is suspicious or the person poses a threat. Keep in mind that just because they are wearing a uniform of some kind does not mean they are legit.

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Disaster Ready

There is no cut and dry method for preparing yourself for any and all emergencies or life-threatening situations

there is not enough time to allow you master all of the skills needed to successfully defeat these situations either. You can However determine what skills are most likely to be useful to you in your daily life, as well as the emergencies you are most likely to encounter. As well as getting in a good mindset of never giving up and always learning ( this will come in later)

What type of person you are will partially dictate what you determine to be an emergency but for most people the true genuine emergency that most people will encounter is a medical emergency of some kind, whether trauma from a shooting, car wreck, a larger scale incident such as a natural disaster, a heart condition or someone having an allergic reaction at work.
One of the most useful skills you can acquire is medical training.

Another basic skill if you can call it that is your physical fitness. If you cant move your body around how will you get your self out of a situation if need be. Don’t forget in a real emergency no one is coming to help you it’s up to you. Get used to moving your body around. Even if this is all you do, you will be better off than most. Even in a fight, an untrained fit person stands better odds than untrained unfit person.

Next is a martial art of some kind. Now if you are really looking to fight I don’t believe you should stick to any one system as I have not found a system that is truly complete. Not all systems train weapons, not all train ground work and so on as well you might not be able to find the system you want at a convenient to you location.

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Avoiding attention in urban environments

You can draw unwanted attention to your self in an urban environment in a lot of different ways for a lot of different reasons. Most of which stem from some form of stereotype.

There are many reasons that you don’t want to be associated with one or more of these groups as well drawing unwanted attention to your self can lead to other not so pleasant scenarios.

To name a few…

CCW/LEO/Military/First Responder/Firearms

Camo
Military surplus items
Visible paracord
Tactical gear, packs and clothing(branded specifically)
Visible pocket clips
portable radios (any tech beyond a cell phone)
morale patches
Hand checking your EDC or weapons
Military or most short hair cuts.

In times of violence these people have a higher likely hood of being targeted first as they would pose the greatest threat(theoretically) to the perpetrator.

Criminal/Thug/Gang Member

hoodies
loitering individual or grouped
Small groups specifically of younger men
tattoos
aggressive behavior
hands in your pockets when temps don’t dictate it

Being associated with this group could get you increased attention from law enforcement, security guards, or you may be denied access to certain areas, or drive away average people that start to feel uneasy.

Wealthy

Jewelry
Fancy clothing
High end cars or devices

Flaunting your wealth or appearance of wealth is likely going to get you attention from thieves and criminals as you look like a prime target, especially if you are not taking any other security precautions.

Anxious Behavior

Rapid glances
Constant adjusting clothing
constantly checking your watch
staring

This can draw attention to your self in a couple different ways depending on whose attention you draw. These behaviors can mean anything from some low lever social anxiety on up to someone who is preparing to commit an act of violence.

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Threat assessment and Area Study Part 2

Once you have the area(s) figured out you need to identify What type of threats exist, It is up to you to understand your enemy (the threats) so that you can know how to best counter them Is it organized crime? Violent crime? Narcotics? corrupt government, terrorism etc. As well as which ones have the most impact on your time in the area.

There are many tools available to you that can be used to gauge and understand the threats in the area. Mainly being information. You can find much of this information online without leaving your desk. While you cannot find everything this way in many cases it will be a good place to start at the least.

Other good sources depending on if your in the area already is coworkers, neighbors, local workers or business owners, local law enforcement agencies, community networks, and of course Personal observation and situational awareness.

Once you’ve gathered as much research as you see fit, outline the various threats in your area, their tactics and techniques who the shot callers are if applicable etc.

Finally, you must determine the plausibility of becoming a victim or attempted victim of any of the threats in your area.

In short, analyze the information to predict what your enemy will do next. For instance if a serial killer only targets short blonde females, a large black haired male is not likely going to be targeted by them.

You can use historical trends, law enforcement reports, or personal research online to try and identify how your enemy (for instance violent crime) will act. Have they targeted innocent bystanders, targets of opportunity, or do they surveil the big fish targets?

Based on what you come up with from the analysis, determine possible actions they might take and how you could counter it.

be sure to identify the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How factors in order to produce the most specific profile of the threat you face. This will provide you with the info necessary to come up with a way to counter the threat (ideally).

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Threat assessment and Area Study Part 1

Don’t underestimate the power of information.

You need to understand the environment and threats in the area you are or will be in. Whether thats your home, hometown, work or when your traveling.

The first step is to identify the environment. In short you need to know your immediate situation and the various areas that your activities and needs will take you into. Where will you spend the majority of your time? What areas do you visit frequently, or work in most often? What information about these areas is available?

Take into account any factors in your area that could affect the way you go about your day to day, this could include. Geography, Terrain, Weather, Ethnic, religious, income, & age groups in the area, Political and socio-economic factors, Transportation systems and other infrastructure.

Next you must figure out how these factors could affect you. Identify any limitations or opportunities in the area. Where is the local police station? Are the police there straight or crooked? What’s the neighborhood like? Is it a safe area for criminals to operate? What is the weather typically like?

Is there more crime in certain times of the year (the summer months when everyone’s outside)? Is this crime generally located in a certain area? Is the public transportation safe and reliable? Do you need certain clothing, shoes, or gear for the terrain or weather of the area?

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Faraday bags

We are starting a series of posts covering surveillance/counter surveillance or offense and defense and the equipment used and thought of no better place to start than faraday bags.

Faraday bags are a very simple but important piece of defensive equipment that serves basically two purposes. Blocking signals from entering or escaping and device protection from outside EMFs.

They come in sizes ranging from small for your key fob for newer high end luxury cars to prevent cloning and car theft on up to full on back packs and suit cases for those needing to carry around lots of sensitive equipment. The most popular sizes though are for Phones, tablets, and laptops.

Faraday bags consist of a special fabric that blocks out 100% of wireless signals being either sent or received by what ever device you put in them. (or at least they should) you should always test your bags before you are needing to rely on them.

Some can also offer protection from EMP and other sources of EMFs that can damage your electronic devices if they are strong enough. This is where the protection category falls as well as they prevent anyone in the immediate area from connecting to your device, usually this is done over bluetooth.

They come in sizes ranging from small for your key fob for newer high end luxury cars to prevent cloning and car theft on up to full on back packs and suit cases for those needing to carry around lots of sensitive equipment. The most popular sizes though are for Phones, tablets, and laptops.

There are many reasons you will want to use a faraday bag/pouch. Ones of those cases would be….

Privacy. Placing your devices in a faraday bag cuts off and keeps anyone or thing from connecting to your device with out your knowledge. This applies if you want to avoid being GPS tracked by apps or having your phone or device wifi/blutooth hacked. Another privacy related reason is that cities are starting to place blu tooth tracking nodes through out the city to track “traffic patterns” or so they say. These nodes connect to any device that enters their range and logs the information. Even if this is for traffic patterns it would not surprise me if this is used to look up who was in an area at a certain time when law enforcement needs too. Or in relation to our previous post when a rouge employee wants to track their girlfriend

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Dodging Drones intro

Drones are quickly becoming a bigger and bigger part of everyday life. From governments to private citizens, for recreation to emergency response, and military operations. With this rapid expansion it’s only natural that criminals and their organizations have started using them as well.

This is ranging from smuggling contraband, IEDs, and illegal surveillance which can range from the neighborhood creep to high-end corporate espionage and organized crime such as recon for cartel groups and so on.

The average citizen wont likely encounter the majority of these except some form of illegal surveillance. The most common examples of this are peeping Toms, stalkers, and paparazzi for the more famous people out there. All three of these groups have been caught using drones to accomplish their tasks in one form or another. Papparazi don’t need to scale a fence or wall anymore when they run a drone from the road or side walk and get better pictures.

If you’re a high profile or targeted individual you also can’t rule out criminals and organizations that are targeting you from using drones for site recon, tailing, etc as they would be stupid not to. There is a reason that Law enforcement and the military started using drones in the first place.

The tactics used to counter a drone operation against you is going to depend on the your situation. Mainly, who is targeting you, the quality of the drone they are using, and whether you are mobile or stationary.

If a government or an organization that has access to predators, reapers, or other Nation state drone tech. You options are going to be very limited. As drones will not be the only equipment and type of surveillance directed at you. We will not really be covering this group but keep in mind that many of the tactics for other drones will still apply just to different degrees of effectiveness.

Evading surveillance by drones when you are mobile is going to be the same as other forms of surveillance. You need to break line of sight and then either hide or change direction and move out of the area without being re-acquired.

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