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  1. Good point on checking the laws, but you may be better off checking directly with your state’s official web site. For example, the Cabela’s document shows that a license is required in Massachusetts, but that changed last year – you can only buy pepper spray from a licensed firearms dealer, but you only have to be 18 or older – you no longer have to have a firearms license to buy it.

  2. Keeping a handgun in your vehicle, where legal, is a good alternative, especially where your employer prohibits weapons in the office. I’d also suggest deliberately taking different routes home to familiarize yourself with alternative routes in the event of a route closure. I’ve commuted anywhere between 2 and thirty miles one way to work during my life. The get-home strategy changes with distance and intervening terrain.

  3. Regarding the Breath of Life mask, can anyone discuss it’s effective protection against phosgene, fluro-phosgene, cyanide and all the other poisons that are toxic in parts per million? I read the specifications but I have not yet searched for the typical/expected concentrations of the many toxins formed by burning plastics, fabrics, finishes, etc. If anyone has practical knowledge of what level of protection is needed it would be appreciated.

  4. I’m not sure about specific toxins, but their web site has some good info on the specifications:


    You can also contact them directly if you want to find out more specifics. I selected them as a solution after a lot of research based on my requirements of effectiveness, price and portability, but your specific needs may be different.

  5. I would suggest that having more than one get home bag is useful. I have a bag that stays in the car, a bag that stayed in the bottom drawer of my office desk(it was heavy on snack foods after getting snowed in at the office for four days), a bag I carry hunting, and a bag I tote around when the grand kids are with me.

  6. Maybe you mentioned it but I didn’t see it, but don’t forget toilet paper. I also keep a small package of wet wipes, cornstarch powder for chafing and even a small tube of diaper creme if its really bad. Sounds dumb I know but it works.

  7. Maybe you mentioned it but I didn’t see it, but don’t forget toilet paper. I also keep a small package of wet wipes, cornstarch powder for chafing and even a small tube of diaper creme if its really bad. Sounds dumb I know but it works.

    1. cornstarch works ok, but this stuff works far far better than anything I know for chafing or rash, some places this is called Sudocream, has lots of zinc in it and rapidly heals chafed and very sore red / cracked skin, can be used to hydrate the skin and heals blisters , or facial rash ,any mother with a small baby uses this stuff, did I mention cheap ?, put this in your go bag.


  8. My focus was on someone that commutes to work either walking, biking or on public transportation, but I agree that if you have the resources and storage capability, multiple GHBs make a lot of sense.

    Some TP/wipes are probably a good idea – I should have also recommended that you use an available bathroom before heading out 😎

  9. A small locking keybox from Lowes has already relieved many family key emergencies. Check them out. We put it convenient to the door. All mechanical, resets to a new 4 digit pin quickly. If someone needs the PiN we can text it and change it afterwards. No more drilling locks or damaged doors.

  10. Whatever you choose to do, do it quickly. In major events there is a “shock” value. I was in Boston on 9/11. When the second plane hit, my company ordered an evacuation. I thought for sure it would be absolute horror driving home. Nope. People were so numb and shocked, they actually let cars cut in front of them, and no one was beeping. (In Boston car manufacturers might as well build cars with the horn permanently on).

  11. Re: ‘Do it quickly’ – I agree, but I would also qualify that with ‘do it appropriately’. That’s why I emphasized gathering intelligence and staying up to speed on what’s happening in your area. For example, if your city got a tidal wave alert it might make sense to hole up on an upper floor and wait for the wave to recede before heading home.

    +1 on horns in the Boston area, but I would add that manufacturers should also get rid of turn signals, since no one uses them 😎

  12. I have COPD. I am more afraid of pepper spray than a gunshot. With proper medical attention I might survive a gunshot. Hit me with pepper spray and I can’t breathe. DRT.

    Pepper spray in some instances is a lethal weapon.

    1. Indeed; something you can walk a long way in; something you can RUN in. Anyone who’s been in the military will tell you one thing; have the best footwear you can get. Compromise somewhere else!

  13. Note that people respond to pepper spray differently. Anyone that has been through the CS chamber in basic training can tell you that (if they still do it). Some people freak and start ripping at their face, some will run like crazy until the smack into the nearest object, some will puke, some will laugh at it and be near unaffected, and some will become extremely, and I mean extremely, violent. Try to avoid using if if you can, but if you have to then be ready for all.

  14. 100% agreed on the quality footwear. I think what you need will depend a lot on things like the distance you have to cover, time of year, type of terrain and what you can afford. Most young people I’ve met that live in cities tend towards sneakers for casual shoes and, if they’re into outdoor activities, a decent pair of hiking boots. The problem a lot of them will have is justifying spending money on a quality pair of boots to leave in their office/college for emergencies.

  15. A cane (medical device) is a Very effective defensive weapon. And as a medical device cannot be taken away from you. In any environment! But, be prepared with an explanation (story) of why you need it.

    1. Good point re: a cane. If you’re going to take that approach I recommend you look for some martial arts training in your area that can help you use it for maximum effectiveness.

  16. Just a comment about the bag…remember to pack as light as possible….too many tools, liquids, etc will weigh you down. You don’t need to haul a gallon of water if you have a life straw for example. Weight will slow you down, etc. I work 27 miles from home and to get there would require about an 8 hour walk (I have tried it 3 times in the past year). In my rubbermaid tote in the back of my SUV, I keep a small skateboard that I found at a garage sale….may not be quick transportation, but quicker than walking. Stay safe out there everyone!!

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