Here in North Carolina, we are beginning to get out from under Hurricane Florence. I am very fortunate to be inland enough that all we got was heavy rain and moderate wind. Many are far worse off than us and my thoughts and prayers go out to them. When news of Hurricane Florence began to spread I was in the Czech Republic with CZ doing the factory tour and media day. I was halfway around the world when folks began to prepare. Since I was so far away there was little I could do but I took some solace in knowing we, at my house, stay at a certain level of preparedness regardless of outside situations.

I have a few rules we try to live by so as to keep ahead of the curve, so when the general public begins to panic due to lack of supplies we don’t get wrapped up in that rush as badly as some. I try to keep at least three weeks of nonperishable canned food on hand including animal food as well as a can opener that does not rely on electricity. I know that sounds like common sense but it was some years ago we lost power for a week or so and so many folks could not get their food open due to all their can openers ran off electricity. Don’t get caught taking amenities for granted. You are responsible for all the living critters in your home, not just the folks. Of course, the staples we all hear about such as water, batteries, medicine, stocked first aid kit, flashlight, candles, oil lamps, fuel, cell phone charger, generator, toilet paper, clean clothes, and so on. Now I am not going to rehash all that list as we all have read numerous articles on the subject but I will point out the time to prepare is not a week before the disaster, but to keep necessities on hand and fresh stock rotated in.

One subject I have noticed is avoided often on the subject is firearms. During trying times such as days before and after a disaster the criminal element can and will become motivated. This is illustrated when stores are being looted, people are being robbed, and homes are being invaded. While we all should remain vigilant during times of crisis it is even more important to keep your eyes open and take no chances.

I am not here to tell you what sort of firearm to keep on hand, as you know your comfort and skill level far better than I, but I will share some I favor. You will notice most of the firearms I like for home/self defense have a factory threaded barrel, as I believe it is paramount to suppress the report on a firearm that may need to be used in haste. Also, the ability to mount a weapon mounted light is very important. You will need to consider that power may be out, while we all keep a quality flashlight around if you were need to deploy your defensive firearm being able to illuminate the area is a must.  Consider capacity, reliability, stopping power, and controllability of your choice. While handguns are fine, a good rifle is a better option in my opinion. While it may not be feasible to carry a rifle all the time, at least have one close at hand that all friendlies are reasonably proficient with. Regardless of what you choose be sure it is reliable, accurate, in good working order, and you have plenty of ammunition on hand. These are just my opinions and you may feel different or contrary. If that be the case, that is just fine but it is worth opening the discussion so we can help one another. It makes my heart swell with pride as I see Americans coming together to help those in need. While we have our differences it is great to see many of us looking past those to come together and support each other. If you are one who refuses to help someone due to a difference in opinions, well shame on you for being shallow when we are all brothers and sisters in the end.

Much of this applies to everyday life, when good turns to bad you will be your own first responder, be sure you are up to the task.

A few reviews I have posted on firearms I see as solid options for self/home defense

Barnes Precision Machine 7.5″ SBR 5.56×45.   

Dan Wesson Discretion 

CZ P-01

CZ P-07

Sig Sauer P320

Hi-Point 10mm Carbine. 

Hi-Point 9mm Carbine. 

Charter Arms Bulldog. 

Ruger Mini-14

Streamlight TLR-1 HL

When things get tough, remember a cold silencer makes a fine field expedient toilet paper holder.

By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

3 thoughts on “You are your own first responder.”
  1. Absolutely Hunter! Being prepared or getting out of the situation, as in the case of these hurricanes, where massive rain fall and flooding are possible or almost unpredictable!

    I had boarded up my home and we left my location, for Hurricane Katrina to pass, but after wards I was able to get back into my location as they cleared the roadways. We were without power from the power company for 30 days. My generator served my mom and dad’s house and mine at 3 hours at a time to maintain the freezers and refrigerators and well pumps. This was made better as my brother came in from AL with two generators and 6 – 5 gallon gas cans. So that kept that supply of food in good shape for us but it cost us about $600 each in gasoline. Each day I spent cutting trees up, clearing the area around the driveway and house. So very lucky that only one large pine hit the house but damage was minimal because it got caught in a small oak tree. I continued this cleaning and burning of the trees for 30 days. Each night I would boil some water on the propane stove to warm my bath water, (water heater was electric and not enough watts from the generator). After my bath I added washing detergent to the bath water, tossed in my work clothes to clean them. Then they were hung out to dry on my makeshift close line.
    After the power was restored we had several families that came live with us because their home were destroyed and not habitable. Because some of my family was still working with the fire dept., they got first dibs on FEMA campers to live in. I had 3 FEMA units here for two years plus. It helped that I had place to tie into for electric, water & plumbing that I could tap into for the septic tank waste where they place those campers.
    Stay prepared and know your limitations and blessings!

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