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May is Military Appreciation Month
Each year, we recognize May as Armed Forces and Military Appreciation Month. This month is an important time to honor military members and the difficult and important work that they do for our country. National Military Appreciation Month is celebrated every year to encourage Americans to observe the month of May in a symbol of unity. The month stands to honor both active and retired military members, including the individuals who have died while protecting the nation’s freedom. Check back each week for a blog post regarding military appreciation, including dates to observe and how you can participate.
Week 3: How you Can Participate this Month
Military Appreciation Month is a time that civilians and service members alike can show appreciation and respect for individuals who have supported their country’s freedom through military service. In addition to observing the holidays discussed last week, the month is also an ideal time to get involved in your community to show your support for the military. Many ways to get involved are free—they just may simply require your time. Consider the following ideas to participate this Military Appreciation Month:
Visit a local VA hospital. VA hospitals are always looking for volunteers or other support throughout the year. This is a way to connect with veterans and servicemembers who have worked to protect our freedom. Listening to them and hearing their stories or simply just telling them thank you could go a long way.
Send “thank you” cards. Reach out to your local VA hospital to find out the best way to do this. There are also websites online that allow you the opportunity to send postcards to active and retired military members. Showing appreciation through a written card requires little effort, but can make a veteran or military member feel appreciated and respected.
Donate to a local military charity or organization. If you are financially able and willing, consider donating to a trusted military organization. Every little bit helps. Some organizations to donate to include the Armed Forces Children’s Education Fund, Operation USO Care Package, The Fisher House, The Wounded Warrior Project, or the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services.
Bring awareness to National Military Appreciation Month. Do this by connecting with people in your community, highlighting the importance of the month, displaying a flag throughout the month as a symbol of support, and even researching the history of the United States Military.
At Bullet Blocker, we offer many safety solutions for civilians, service members, and law enforcement officials alike. One of our highlighted products this month is our Safety Insert Kit. The insert kit is a lockable and rolling case stocked with 10 16x12” NIJ IIIA ballistic panels, 1 NIJ IIIA ballistic safety vest, and reflective tape. Like all of our products, the included panels and safety vest are equipped with the latest ballistic technologies, tested to stop a 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 9mm, .45 caliber hollow point ammunition, and more. The kit is ideal for educators, administrators, religious officials, law enforcement agencies, and many others. The kit is compact and can be easily stored in a safe location until it needed to be used in the event of an emergency. Be sure to check out this month’s newsletter to find out more information about the kit.
Week 2: National Observances this Month
While National Military Appreciation Month is recognized throughout the entire month of May, there are specific days that are observed nationwide to honor military service members and their families.
Loyalty Dayon May 1st: Loyalty Day starts off the month as a day for individuals to reaffirm their loyalty to the country and recognize the history of American freedom. On this day, people recognize and celebrate their freedom, while remembering their responsibility to continue the legacy of liberty and reflect upon the heritage of American freedom.
Public Service Recognition Week from May 6th -May 12th: Since 1985, the week has been dedicated to honoring our public servants. It is a time to honor the men and women who serve the nation on a federal, state, county, and local level, while recognizing the important work they do for our communities and greater nation.
Victory in Europe Day on May 8th: Otherwise known as VE Day, this public holiday marks the formal acceptance by the Allies of WWII of Nazi Germany’s surrender of its armed forces. Each year, this day is recognized and celebrated as the anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 11th: This day is recognized annually on the Friday before Mother’s Day to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities. It recognizes the significant role military families have in keeping our Armed Forces strong and our country safe and the immense sacrifices they must make to support their spouses.
Armed Forces Day on May 19th: This day is celebrated on the third Saturday of May annually. It is a public holiday for citizens to come together and honor the military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. It recognizes all branches of the U.S. Military, both active and retired.
Memorial Day – May 28th: This Federal Holiday is observed annually on the last Monday in May. It is a day to commemorate the men and women who have died while in military service.
As you can see, there are many days throughout the month that you can show your support and appreciation to the military members that have worked hard to protect our continued freedom and security. Throughout the month, do what you can to participate in any community events that are taking place in your area, and raise attention towards the National Month and bringing light to the importance of the Military.
Week 1: What is Military Appreciation Month?
May is annually recognized as National Military Appreciation Month, otherwise known as NMAM. The month is a great time to recognize the hard work and dedicated service that military members and their families provide to protect our country. Bullet Blocker is proud to be a U.S. Veteran-owned company, and we firsthand recognize the immense sacrifice it takes to be a member of the military. Later in the month, we will discuss specific ways that you can get involved, both locally and nationwide. This week, however, we wanted to bring light to service members, the hardships they face, and the types of sacrifices they make to serve our country.
As of 2017, there were over 1.2 million active duty servicemembers, and an additional 800,000 people in the seven reserve components. 39% of these individuals make up the Army, 24% in the Air Force, 23% in the Navy, and 14% in the Marine Corps. The U.S. Armed Forces is the world’s third largest military, and has troops deployed around the globe. Since 1950, 50 countries have hosted at least 1,000 American troops, and in 2003, nearly 390,000 troops were stationed on foreign soil (RWFellingBlue.Wordpress.com). U.S. War Veterans represent 11% of adult civilian population, and as of 2010, there were 22.7 million U.S. war veterans aged 17 and older.
Not only is it important to recognize the challenges that military members face while in service, it is also important to learn about the hardships they experience while at home or after service. Just some of these issues include:
Frequent relocation. For those with kids and families it can be particularly difficult (49% of those in the Army have kids, 45% in Air Force, 31% in Marines, 42% in Navy). Not only does this affect the service members, but also their families.
Difficulty securing employment, both for the service member and their spouse. 45% of veterans report needing help finding a job (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans).
Deployments and the stress that puts on both service members and their families.
Readjusting to civilian life post-deployment or service.
Injuries (both physical and mental) that result from military service.
26% of the US homeless population are veterans (Homeless Research Institute, 2007).
Though you may not personally know a military member, it is important to recognize that there are many veterans around you—and probably living in your community! This month serves as a great opportunity to give back to the service members who fight for our nation’s continued freedom every day, and show appreciation for all that they do. Throughout the month of May, we will provide you with tips on how to participate this National Military Appreciation Month.
April is Gun Safety & Violence Prevention Month
At Bullet Blocker, we recognize April as Gun Safety & Violence Prevention Month each year. We understand that this topic can be sensitive and controversial when discussed, amid recent catastrophic events and increases in legislative attention, but nevertheless we find it important to bring light to important topics regarding Gun Safety & Violence Prevention.
Week 4: Get involved
As we near the end of Gun Safety & Violence Prevention month, this week we will discuss how to get involved within your community. As a firearm owner, you know the importance of being safe, responsible, and following the law. Following safety guidelines regarding storage & use of firearms can help to prevent gun-related accidents and help to promote safe practices among gun-owners in your community.
In addition to following safety practices and attending frequent training courses, it is important to stay up to date on gun laws. While owning a firearm is still nationally protected under the Second Amendment, laws and provisions can vary by state regarding your firearms. Seven states, for example, ban open-carry, and eight states require firearm registry. You can find an updated list of gun laws by state at NRA-ILA, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. Be sure to check back regularly, as gun legislation is constantly being introduced in many states.
With recent catastrophic events that have taken place across the nation, the legitimacy of the Second Amendment right to bear arms has been a controversial topic among the political, legislative, and social realms. As a gun-owner, it is important to approach the issue in a rational and respectful manner, while being sensitive of the events that have led to the controversy. Being an example to those around you of what a responsible, law-abiding gun-owner looks like is a great way to start. Inform individuals of the benefits and uses for their Second Amendment right and be open to constructive discussion. Taking direct action is another way to help promote what you believe in. You can do this by organizing or attending local protests, calling your representatives and giving your opinion regarding gun legislation, hosting a community event with an open discussion about firearm ownership and safety, or forming a group within your community. By getting involved and promoting what you believe in a respectful way, you can help to make changes you want to see in your community.
In addition to our variety of tactical gear, we have many clothing products to meet your needs. Our NIJ-IIIA rated Duck Jacket & Farm Coat are both great options for those who frequently spend time outdoors and desire a layer of ballistic protection. The Farm Coat is constructed of heavyweight sandstone duck and features removable ballistic panels that are discreetly placed in the front and back of the jacket to protect your vital organs. The coat is designed to store all your gear, with two interior pockets, two chest pockets and two front hand-warmer pockets. The lightweight ballistic material and the coat’s comfortable design ensure comfortable wear during long-periods. The Duck Jacket is an ideal option for the warmer months. The jacket is constructed of 100% ring-spun cotton duck and features heavy-duty zippers and triple-stitched seams to guarantee years of wear. Both coats provide NIJ-IIIA level ballistic protection guaranteed to stop a 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 9mm, .45, hollow point ammunition, and more.
Week 3: Safe Gun Storage
Over the past two weeks, we have provided you with information & statistics regarding gun violence, and practical safety tips you can use to ensure you are using your firearms safely. This week, we will continue promoting gun safety by discussing safe gun storage practices. As you probably know, controlling who has access to your firearms is a fundamental aspect of gun safety. The United States leads the world in child gun-related deaths. According to a study released by the New England Journal of Medicine, death by gunshot was the second-highest cause of death in the US among children and adolescents under the age of 20 in 2016. Many of these deaths could be prevented if firearm owners practiced safe gun storage and made their firearms inaccessible to minors or other unauthorized people. The type of gun-storage solution you should implement varies depending on what type of guns you own, your living situation, and other household members. Regardless of the method you use, it must provide an adequate level of protection to prevent others from accessing the firearms. Here are some tips related to gun storage and safety, adapted from ProjectChildSafe:
Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, gun safe, vault, or storage case when not in use. This location should be unknown to children.
Keep your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms.
Use a gun locking device that makes the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as a safety precaution in addition to a gun safe or case—not a substitute.
Always unload, clean, and place your firearms in their secure storage location immediately after use.
Ensure that all young household members know that they should never under any circumstances touch or try to operate a firearm if they find it—whether in your household or somewhere else.
Educate all household members and children about safety guidelines concerning firearms.
Follow the “SAFE” acronym regarding gun safety: Secure your firearms when not in use, be Aware, of those around you who should not have access to firearms; Focus on your responsibility as a firearm owner; and Educate yourself and others about safe firearm handling and storage.
In addition to our variety of tactical gear and clothing, we offer a ballistic pistol case designed to meet the needs of shooters. The pistol case provides ample space to securely carry two handguns, and full-size magazine pouches to protect ammunition and ensure convenient access for reloads. The interior is fully-padded, guaranteeing maximum shock absorption, and safeguards weapons from damage during transport. The case is discreet, lightweight, and easily transportable. Like all of our products, the case is constructed with the latest ballistic technologies tested to NIJ IIIA standards to stop a 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 9mm, .45 caliber hollow point ammunition and more.
Week 2: Safe Gun Handling
Whether you are at the shooting range, hunting, or on duty, following basic safety practices regarding firearm safety is essential. Last week, we introduced this month’s theme by addressing the statistics of gun violence across the nation. By following guidelines on safety, gun-owners can help to reduce the risk of accidents and crimes related to guns. A major responsibility of being a gun-owner is following safety rules that can help protect you and those around you while operating your firearm. The following tips have been adapted from the National Shooting Sports rules of Safe Gun Handling:
Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction: While this may seem obvious to most, the majority of firearm accidents could be prevented if this simple rule was followed. Never point your gun at anything you do not intend to shoot (even when “dry firing” with an unloaded gun). In the event of accidental discharge, injuries would be avoided if the muzzle was pointed in a safe direction.
Firearms should be unloaded when not in use: Only load your firearms when in the field or on the target range or shooting area, when ready to shoot. Unload your gun as soon as you are finished, well before you bring it into a car or home. Firearms should be stored in a secured place, separate from the ammunition.
Do not rely on your gun’s “safety:” It is important to treat every gun as though it can fire at any time. The “safety” is a mechanical device that can become inoperable without your knowledge.
Be sure of your target and what is beyond it: You can never take a shot back: once a gun fires, you have given up all control of where the shot will go & what it will strike. Do not shoot unless you have 100% confidence of your target and what is beyond it. It is important to also keep in mind how far a bullet will travel if it misses your target or ricochets in another direction.
Do not alter or modify your gun: Firearms are complex tools designed by experts to function properly in their original condition. Making an alteration to a firearm can make the gun dangerous and can jeopardize the safety of you and those around you. This is also a way to ruin an expensive gun and to void an existing factory warranty.
At Bullet Blocker, we offer a variety of tactical gear for storage and transport of your firearms and other gear, along with clothing products to wear while hunting or at the shooting range. Our Scorpion Bag is the ultimate safety range bag that is both large and compact, ideal to be used in the field, while on duty, or as a go-bag. Equipped with lightweight NIJ-IIIA anti-ballistic technology, the bag is sure to keep you safe and comfortable while at the range. The bag provides ample storage capability, with 4 Velcro closure pockets, and 3 zippered compartments. Nearly every compartment can be configured to carry a firearm, box of ammo, and other accessories. The bag comes in 3 color options to choose from and provides a discreet level of protection for those who frequent the shooting range.
Following simple safety guidelines regarding firearms such as the ones above is a way to ensure that you are preventing unnecessary gun-related injuries from occurring. Encourage any gun-owners around you to uphold their responsibility to using their guns safely and carefully.
Week 1: The Importance of This Month
Gun violence is a serious & pressing issue that requires evidence-based solutions. In recent years, Americans have become increasingly partisan and divided on gun ownership, in light of tragic events that have occurred particularly both within the U.S. and in other western nations. Regardless of one’s individual opinion on gun ownership, the United States has the highest gun ownership rate, at 88.8 guns per 100 residents. Many of these gun-owners abide by the law, but unfortunately, some do not, which can lead to an increase in gun violence & unintentional incidents. In 2019 alone, there have been 3,350 gun-related deaths, nearly 6,000 gun-related injuries, and 356 unintentional shootings. According to the CDC, of the 100,120 average gun injuries that occur each year, over 18,000 are unintentional. This means that at least 1 in 5 gun injuries can be prevented if proper gun safety knowledge and safe practices are implemented. According to EveryTownResearch, nearly 2/3 of all gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides, averaging 59 deaths per day. This trend is concerning particularly for children and teens, with the rate of firearm suicide for their age group going up by 60% in the past decade. This number is alarming and raises the question of how these individuals are accessing guns in the first place. Ensuring proper storage of firearms within your home is necessary and can help to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands.
These statistics are not meant to scare you nor are they meant to suggest that guns are bad and should be banned, but rather to bring attention to the dangers of gun-ownership if safe handling and proper storage practices are not implemented. Despite many recent tragic gun-related incidents and acts of violence that have occurred across the country, we recognize that there are many responsible gun-owners who abide by the law and do their part to protect the Second Amendment by acting in a conscientious manner. We believe that it is important to discuss gun safety in a respectful, unbiased way to ensure that gun-owners are upholding their rights in a responsible way. This will help to ensure that gun violence and unintentional gun-related accidents will be reduced and that lawmakers will take into account the many Americans who practice their Constitutional Right responsibly. Throughout the month, we will be providing you with tips regarding gun handling, gun storage, and violence prevention at a community level, with the intent to help you or your loved ones consider your current gun safety knowledge and practices and improve upon them.
March is Workplace Violence Prevention Month
March is Workplace Violence Prevention & Safety Month. Too often, individuals overlook the importance of workplace crime prevention, focusing primarily on their home, neighborhood, or personal safety. Because the majority of people spend a good portion of their day at work, it is just as crucial to use crime prevention techniques in the workplace as it is within your home or community. Throughout the following weeks, we will provide you with proactive tips and strategies for workplace safety to ensure that your workplace is a safe space to work for all employees.
Week 4: Protecting your Information
As we near the end of Workplace Violence and Safety Prevention Month, we will focus on another important aspect of workplace safety. In the previous weeks, we have discussed workplace violence, how to prevent it, and how to implement an emergency plan. This week, we will focus on another side to workplace safety. Not only is the physical aspect of a workplace vulnerable to crime, but also some of a company’s most valuable property: information. This month is a good time to assess your workplace’s current practices on protecting sensitive information and maintaining proper regulations.
It is important for every business, regardless of its size, to implement safety practices and guidelines for protecting sensitive information in the workplace, because all businesses receive private data or information—whether it be from employees, vendors, and/or customers. It is the business owner’s responsibility to ensure that the sensitive information remains private and protected. According to the Breach Level Index from Gemalto, 2.6 billion records were compromised in 2017. Here are a few tips to help keep your information protected while at work—whether you are the boss or an employee:
Be alert for scams. Many people know not to inquire for personal information via email. If you do get a request to send sensitive information such as bank account numbers or identifying information, be suspicious and do not send it. Always confirm who the sender is before sending information through an email.
Ensure password security. While the idea of setting different passwords for a variety of websites you use daily may seem daunting, it is an important security step. Websites get hacked all the time, leaving your information like passwords and email combinations vulnerable. Use different passwords for work that are hard to guess and change them frequently. Also, do not leave your passwords out in the open on your desk, for obvious reasons.
Protect your devices. Your work laptop and other devices contain a lot of sensitive (and valuable information). Make sure to password protect all of them, so that if they are stolen, they will not be easily accessed. Also set up tracking software on your devices so that you can locate them if stolen. Be wary of Public Wi-Fi in places that you are not familiar with. Installing encryption software on your devices can help protect your data while you are using it. This can prevent the data being intercepted by hackers.
Throughout the month, we have highlighted a variety of our products that are ideal for workplace environments and professionals. Our Executive Mobile Office is a wheeled briefcase equipped with the latest anti-ballistic technology and offers NIJ IIIA protection. The spacious case features multiple pockets and compartments with organizational capabilities to keep your belongings secure while traveling or while at work. The anti-ballistic panel is removable and only adds 20 ounces of weight to the case, ensuring comfort during use. The briefcase is ideal for workplace professionals who desire a stylish yet discreet level of protection while traveling or at work.
As Workplace Safety and Crime Prevention Month comes to an end, consider taking steps in your workplace to make the environment more secure and safe for all employees. Ensure that all employees are up-to-date with regulations and training and implement a comprehensive emergency plan to be used in the event of an emergency. Be sure to follow and incorporate up-to-date strategies for protecting workplace information. As always, it is better to prepare and not need it than to be unprepared in the event of an emergency.
Week 3: Developing an Emergency Workplace Plan
In the past, we have discussed the importance of making a household plan to use in the event of an emergency. However, making and implementing an emergency workplace plan is just as important, as many people spend a good portion of their day at work. As we have seen, emergency situations and disasters can unfortunately occur at any time, and any place. Because of this, it is important to provide your workplace with the security and peace of mind that comes with a comprehensive emergency plan.
OSHA has distributed a comprehensive publication with information on workplace emergency action plans. The guide includes information on how to protect yourself, your business, and your employees in the event of an emergency, along with relevant information and tips for specific emergencies. An emergency action plan provides the appropriate steps that employers and employees will take to ensure safety in the event of an emergency. It is important to include information on evacuation procedure, escape procedures, workplace maps, and preferred method for reporting emergencies. It is also important to include information on communication during emergencies. To find more information, read the publication here. In addition to implementing a solid workplace plan, it is also important to follow simple yet effective tips for emergency preparation at work:
Make special plans for employees who are disabled or may require additional assistance during an emergency
Keep an emergency supply kit with a flashlight, water, non-perishable food, walking shoes, and other essentials.
Have a printed list of important phone numbers listed throughout your workplace to be accessed quickly in the event of an emergency.
Practice the plan often with employees and be sure to inform new employees of all safety procedures. A disorganized response or evacuation in a true emergency can result in confusion, fear, and even injury. It is important to ensure that all employees are following the same guidelines, and remain up to date on procedures.
As we have mentioned, we offer a variety of workplace safety solutions at BulletBlocker. Our Defender Notebook Folio is a popular choice, which is a zippered portfolio ideal for any workplace professional that desires an extra layer of bulletproof protection. Using the latest anti-ballistic material and technology, the zippered folio provides the same NIJ IIIA protection found in all our products, all while adding less than a pound in weight for ballistics. The anti-ballistic panel is sewn discreetly into the genuine leather portfolio so you never have to worry about compromising concealability in the workplace. The lightweight bulletproof notebook is ideal for anyone who wishes to effortlessly enhance their safety each day at school or work.
Week 2: How to Prevent Workplace Violence
Last week, we defined workplace violence and provided you with statistics to show its prevalence across a variety of industries. The best way to prepare for any workplace emergency is to stay informed, up to date on training, and be equipped with adequate supplies and resources in your workplace. Following basic crime prevention principles and working alongside local law enforcement to protect your business are effective ways to be actively involved in preventing crime. Employers should implement security measures to prevent workplace violence and crime, including physical security and data security. Here are a few tips, adapted from HR Daily Advisor:
Limit public access to all or portions of the building
Implement a check-in or sign-in desk to screen visitors
Increase lighting on the grounds or within parking lots
Install video surveillance inside and outside the building
Implement metal detectors at building entry points
Conduct background checks on all employees
Implement policies on workplace violence prevention, weapons in the workplace, non-discrimination and harassment, and safety procedures
Create an emergency action plan, communicate it to all personnel and related agencies, and practice the plan
Provide an escort service to & from their car for employees who work late
We offer a variety of workplace safety solutions, including discrete clothing that can be worn while at work. Our Medical Lab Coat is ideal for men and women who work in the medical, pharmaceutical, or consultation field and desire a layer of lightweight and discrete anti-ballistic protection. The coat is armored with a concealed NIJ IIIA anti-ballistic liner to provide optimal safety while on-the-job. The coat’s durable fabric has antimicrobial agents embedded to prevent microbial growth and provides an exterior fluid barrier. Our Dress vest is equipped with a removable NIJ IIIA anti-ballistic panel, provides nearly 500 in2 of coverage, and weighs only 4 pounds, ensuring comfort and concealability throughout the day. The vest’s classic design is timeless and can be worn with a variety of professional workplace attire, proving to be a great option for workplace professionals.
Week 1: What is Workplace Violence?
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, workplace violence is defined as a “spectrum of behavior that generates a reasonable concern for safety from violence, including overt acts of violence, threats, and other conduct.” Workplace violence is more prevalent than many think; in fact, nearly 20% of occupational fatalities are attributed to workplace violence, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In order to reduce the risk of workplace violence, it is important to understand the four main types of violence that can compromise workplace safety. The following definitions have been adapted from HR Daily Advisor:
Criminal intent: These crimes can include robbery, shoplifting, trespassing, and terrorism. The majority of workplace homicides fall into this category as well. The perpetrator typically has no relationship to the business or its employees.
Customer or client: The perpetrator has a relationship with the business and may become violent while being served by the business. This includes customers, patients, clients, students, inmates, and any other workplace that provides services. This commonly occurs in the healthcare industry such as nursing homes or psychiatric facilities. About 3% of all workplace homicides fall into this category.
Worker-on-worker: The perpetrator is an employee or past employee who attacks or threatens another employee in the workplace. This accounts for about 7% of all workplace homicides.
Personal relationship: The perpetrator does not have a relationship with the victim. This category can include victims of domestic violence assaulted or threatened while at work, and for about 5% of all workplace homicides.
Crime is common in the workplace. As seen above, many fields of work are prone to become victim of violent crime, including the healthcare industry, law enforcement officials, sales, government workers, and lawyers, among others. According to the FBI, over 80% of active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2013 in the U.S. occurred in the workplace. Of the workplace shootings, the majority occurred in businesses, followed by schools, government sites, and healthcare facilities. Though regardless of the type of company, prevention skills can make the workplace safer for everyone involved. While prevention measures can ensure that employees will be well-prepared, they cannot always provide physical protection to use in the event of an emergency. In addition to our collection of briefcases and backpacks, we offer a variety of workplace safety solutions to keep you prepared and protected with an extra peace of mind. Our NIJ IIIA Safety Seat is one of the top-rated workplace safety solutions at BulletBlocker. It is a discrete, anti-ballistic shield disguised as a seat cushion. It is ideal for teachers, doctors, lawyers, or other individuals who desire their own personal safety barrier readily available in case of an emergency. Made with the latest DuPont Kevlar technologies, the panel is lightweight, covert, and reliable. The open cell foam cushion promotes comfort, and the non-slip straps on the exterior keep the seat in place and double as handles to use if the shield is needed. As violence in the workplace continues to rise, it is necessary to say protected and prepared for a variety of emergencies.
February is Self Defense and Personal Safety Month.
As Rorion Gracie once said, “self-defense is not just a set of techniques. It is a state of mind that starts with the belief that you are worth defending.” Throughout the month, we will provide tips and advice for protecting yourself in different situations and learning how to become proactive in your personal safety.
Week 4: The Fight or Flight Response
Self Defense and Personal Safety Month is nearing its end, but it’s importance should be recognized throughout the year. Throughout the month, we have already discussed the state of personal safety with relevant statistics on crime and the importance of self-defense, specific defense strategies, and personal protection tips for women. This week, we will discuss situational awareness, our body’s “fight or flight” response, and how to de-escalate a dangerous situation or conflict. These tips can help you to avoid an altercation before it becomes dangerous.
Situational Awareness: As mentioned in previous weeks, it is important to be aware of imminent danger or an oncoming threat before it is too late. Too often, many people believe that danger could never happen to them, but this mindset is risky. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. When you go to a new place, know where the exits are. Pay attention to the individuals around you and their behavior and body language. If someone looks suspicious or is taking an aggressive stance, this may be a sign of ill intentions. Never walk with your head down or look distracted. Know your environment.
Fight or Flight: When faced with oncoming danger, our body releases adrenaline and our natural “fight or flight” mechanism kicks in. This rush of adrenaline can negatively affect your ability to remain calm and remember your training and skills. When you aren’t prepared for an oncoming threat, you are more likely to be caught off guard and be frightened. Remember to breathe and flee the situation if possible. It is always better to escape (flight) than to risk fighting and injuring yourself. Running away may also deter your attacker and can buy you extra time to call for help.
The importance of De-Escalating Conflicts: When faced with imminent danger, it can be easy to let your fear and body’s natural response to get the best of you. Try to remain calm and aware, which can help to de-escalate a situation. Communicate with confidence and be firm without taunting or insulting your attacker, which may provoke them further. Talking can also help you stall and give you time to think clearly and find an escape route.
For years we have worked with multiple law enforcement agencies across the country to provide them with high-quality K-9 vests for their dogs. The majority of police departments rely on charity and fundraising to purchase quality K-9 anti-ballistic vests for their dogs, but sometimes the cost can fall on individual policemen and women. This year, we worked to reduce the price of our vests by 20%, and are excited to make them more accessible for police departments everywhere. We understand firsthand the hard work that law enforcement officials do, and recognize that law enforcement officials should not be burdened with a pricey vest for their dogs. The K-9 vests are still the same constructed of the same high-quality NIJ IIIA anti-ballistic material, guaranteed to stop a 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 9mm, .45, hollow point ammunition, and more. The vest provides maximum coverage over your dog’s vital organs and body parts, and yet remains lightweight at only four pounds to ensure comfortability during long periods of wear. Our vests are custom-sized to fit your dog, regardless of breed, size, or gender. We are excited to make these K-9 vests more affordable and accessible to hardworking law enforcement officials everywhere. See our newsletter for exclusive photos, and our website for more information.
Week 3: Women’s Self Defense
As we continue throughout the month recognizing Self Defense and Personal Safety, this week we will highlight an important topic: women’s self-defense. Violence against women is a major health problem and pressing issue, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Global estimates indicate that 35% (about 1 in 3) women worldwide will experience physical/sexual violence at some point in their lifetimes. This violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, emotional, and reproductive health. Violence prevention is key, and stopping the problem at the source is the best way to eliminate the issue. More and more women today are equipping themselves with the tools they need to better protect themselves and prepare for emergency situations when they may need to physically defend themselves.
In this day and age of unpredictability, it is important for women and men alike to recognize and avoid dangerous places and situations, maintain distance when necessary, know when to fight, and when not to fight. Fortunately, awareness and prevention can cover nearly 100% of your self-defense needs and help to stop an attack from becoming physical in the first place. Though it may seem like an overwhelming process, it is possible with a variety of strategies, techniques, and training methods. The following is a list of self-defense and survival strategies for women, adapted from
Black Belt (www.blackbelt.com):
Trust your instincts: if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t safe. Many of us tend to ignore the voice that tells us that trouble is coming, even though our instincts are the best detectors of dangerous situations.
Practice target denial: avoid making yourself an easy or accessible target. Try not to walk alone late at night, walk tall with your head up, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Present yourself with confidence: Criminals target victims who look weak or vulnerable. Attackers will search for women who appear to be frightened, confused, or distracted. Keep your hands free from heavy objects and avoid walking with your head down and being distracted.
Set strong verbal boundaries: surprisingly, strong verbal skills can be an extremely effective self-defense tool—one that can be more successful than physical technique. Although an aggressive confrontation can be terrifying, remain calm and be strong enough to show the attacker he has picked the wrong victim. The power of your voice alone could make an attacker flee.
Keep your physical techniques simple: During a physical confrontation, loss of fine motor skills is a major effect of your body’s adrenaline release. For that reason, complex gestures and positions can become more challenging, and the odds of effectively executing it can be reduced. Learn physical techniques that are basic, practice them often, and stick with them during a self-defense scenario.
Learning self-defense techniques from professionals is also recommended. Classes are typically offered at local police departments and can be extremely useful for long-term self-defense strategy and knowledge. At Bullet Blocker, we offer products that are designed specifically for women, such as our laptop tote, women’s cut vest, and variety of jackets and clothing. For individuals who desire a discrete product, we offer the My Kitty Self-Defense Keychain. This keychain is made of unbreakable and lightweight ABS plastic which is as strong as metal. The keychain easily attaches to your keys and can also be stored in your bag. It is conveniently disguised as a cat keychain, but can also be used as a tool for self-defense in an emergency. The lightweight and compact design ensures that it is discreet, while still being an effective tool to be used against an oncoming attacker. It is a great alternative for those individuals who don’t or are not permitted to carry Pepper Spray with them.
Week 2: Strategies for Self-Defense
As we continue throughout Self Defense and Personal Safety Month, we will provide you with practical strategies for self-defense. Last week, we discussed tips to help prevent and protect yourself from falling victim to violent crime, but what can you do when you are faced with an emergency situation? As we saw with the statistics mentioned last week, violent crime does not discriminate, and can truly happen to anyone, anywhere. Many people doubt that anything bad will happen because they live in a safe area, or because nothing bad has ever happened to them, but this reasoning is detrimental and can leave one unprepared and more likely to fall victim to crime. Regardless of the perceived risk or probability, you should still take adequate steps to prepare yourself. The best way of protecting yourself is through personal self-defense education and training. We recommend that you make it a point to enroll in a local self-defense class. Many local police stations offer free or discounted valuable self-defense courses. In addition to taking self-defense courses, there are also simple yet effective techniques that can help you to escape from an attacker in an emergency situation. The following tips are adapted from Idea Hacks:
Know the body’s major pressure points: pressure points can help you fight off an attacker without the need for strength or martial arts moves. Reaching for an attacker’s pressure point can help you fight and give you more time to escape from a dangerous situation. Common pressure points include: the knee cap, groin, ears, eyes, nose, and throat.
Keep your keys on hand: If you are walking to your car or another destination late at night, keep your keys between your ring and middle finger in your dominant hand. This can be used as a weapon If you are attacked. Self-Defense key chains like our own is a discrete yet effective way to do this as well.
Never stop moving: If you are being attacked, the worst thing you can do is stand still. Unless they have a weapon and you do not, you should always attempt to fight back.
Be loud: Even if attackers tell you not to make noise, yelling can alert individuals in the area that there is a problem, while also telling the attacker that you are willing to put up a fight. While this may not cause the attacker to immediately back down, help may come.
Learn how to escape zip ties: There are many videos online that show how you can break free from zip ties. This can be life-saving if you ever happen to end up in that situation. If your wrists are zip-tied, keep your hands in fists with your palms facing down. This way, you can easily twist your wrist to slip out of the tie.
In addition to the Self-Defense Key Chain, we offer many other products that are discrete and practical in the event of violent crime. Though the world is unpredictable, having a proactive safety product can help give you peace of mind and a defense to use in the event of an emergency. Students and workplace professionals can use a variety of our school & workplace products. We offer a discrete 3-ring binder insert that is equipped with 100% NIJ IIIA Bulletproof material. Weighing only 10 ounces, the insert is sure to fit easily into your binder without compromising on your comfort throughout the day. Our Junior Writing Padfolio is another inexpensive option for students, workplace professionals, and businessmen & women alike. The lightweight padfolio provides nearly 50 square inches of NIJ IIIA bulletproof protection. It features a premium paper pad, smartphone pouch, organizer pockets, and multiple card slots. The folio’s sleek leather design provides a discrete yet professional-looking form of anti-ballistic protection. This week, take the time to learn more self-defense safety strategies that you can employ when faced with an emergency. Doing so is a way that you can directly invest in yourself and your future.
Week 1: Prevalence, Stats, & Tips
There would not be an entire month dedicated to self-defense and personal safety if it was not a pressing issue. Despite violent crime across the U.S. decreasing .2% in 2017, it is still overwhelmingly widespread. According to the FBI, over 1.2 million violent crimes occurred in the U.S. in 2017. The amount of aggravated assault and rape offenses increased 1% and 2.5%, respectively from the previous year. There were over 17,200 murders, 811,000 aggravated assault cases, and hundreds of victims of mass shootings. According to 2015 crime rates, one murder occurred every 33 minutes, one aggravated assault every 41 seconds, and one violent crime every 26 seconds.
While these statistics may be alarming to some, they are not meant to scare readers, but rather to show that violent crime can truly affect anyone, from any community, at any time. The good news is: being prepared and equipping yourself with self-defense techniques and proactive safety solutions can help protect against devastating outcomes. However, self-defense is not just a set of techniques to be used in an emergency situation or when faced with a violent perpetrator. Instead, self-defense should be a lifelong mindset that is continually updated and revamped with new information and knowledge.
Below is a list of simple yet practical safety tips to follow that will help to protect yourself from violent crime, adapted from the National Crime Prevention Council:
Don’t walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when it’s dark out and the streets are deserted
If you are out late at night, try to have a friend walk with you until you get to your destination
Don’t display your cash or any valuable items such as your cell phone or expensive jewelry
Park in well-lit areas with good visibility that are close to walkways, stores, and other people
If you think that someone is following you, quickly switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open business or a lighted house and yell for help if they are approaching rapidly.
Always have your key out as you approach your car door and lock your car immediately.
Creating self-defense and personal safety solutions that everyone can use has always been at the core of our business. We strive to create innovative and proactive safety solutions that can be easily used for self-defense in emergency situations. Throughout the month, we will provide you with practical safety tips, self-defense strategies, and information on how to stay safe in a world where violent crime is an unfortunate reality. Along the way, we will highlight relevant products for personal safety, and provide new information on our updated K-9 product line.
January is Beginning to Prepare Month
Happy New Year from all of us at Bullet Blocker. As the commotion of the holidays subsides, the focus shifts to the start of a new year and the upcoming months ahead. This month, the theme is “beginning to prepare.” Throughout the month, we will provide you with winter safety tips, information on preparedness, and 12 months of prepping to follow throughout the year.
Week 4: Year-Round Prepping (July-December)
As January comes to an end, we will finish out the month providing you with the final 6 months of prepping for July to December. The following checklist is based off of Preppers Survive 12 Month Prepper Checklist, which is a comprehensive year-round plan for preppers to follow.
July: Protection Prepping:
Learn about the different classes of fire extinguishers.
Install smoke detectors, Carbon Monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers in central points throughout your home. Add to your security and protection checklist.
August: Water Storage:
Invest in a water filter that removes waterborne bacteria & parasites from contaminated water.
Store extra water for you and household members in water barrels or 5-gallon water bottles. Rotate your water storage.
September: Bug out Bag & Overall Preparedness:
September is National Preparedness Month, otherwise known as Prep-tember. This month is an ideal time to read a preparedness or survivalist book, or just brush up on your safety skills in general.
Start, update, or add to a Bug Out Bag (72-hour kit). Make your own checklist or use a pre-made template like the one found here.
October: Power Outage Kit & Energy Awareness:
Put together a power outage kit that includes supplies that can be used in the event of a power outage. This can include flashlights, radios, phone chargers, matches, etc.
Explore alternative energy options and resources.
Assess your house & evaluate if you have the necessary resources to live without power for a week.
November: Health & Hygiene Awareness:
Work on your hygiene supplies checklist. Stock up on toothbrushes, toothpaste, baby wipes, soap, nail clippers, a haircut kit, first-aid items, and others.
Develop a self-reliant skill such as making a bar of soap or knitting a wash cloth.
December: Supply Stock-Up:
Use the final month of the year to assess the prior months and see where there is still a need. Store up supplies such as food, water, blankets, and first-aid items.
Start making plans and goals for the next year’s prep.
Week 3: Year-Round Prepping (January-June)
Through the rest of the month, we will provide you with prepping goals and tasks to carry out throughout the year, broken down into 12 months. The 12-month format ensures that the prepping process will be easy, manageable and cost-effective—even for individuals new to prepping. The following checklist is based off of Preppers Survive 12 Month Prepper Checklist, which is a comprehensive year-round plan for preppers to follow.
January: Setting Goals & Budgets:
This month can be dedicated to planning and goal-setting. Create a preparedness supplies checklist (or use a pre-made one, like the one here). Now is the time to evaluate what supplies you have and what you need. This is not intended to overwhelm you, but instead, give you an idea of how many resources you need to gather throughout the upcoming months.
Set preparedness goals for this year. This can be tailored to your individual need based upon your experience with prepping or what you hope to accomplish.
Finally, set a budget for the year. How much can you set aside each month to add to your emergency preparedness supplies?
February: Food Storage:
This month, focus on adding food to your food storage. To start, choose non-perishable, canned foods that are packed with protein. Many popular options are canned veggies, fruits, beans, meats, and pasta sauce. Try to choose a variety of foods that offer varied nutritional value such as grains, fats, and sugars, among others. For a more comprehensive food storage guide, you can use an online template, such as the one here.
Consider adding to your kitchen supplies, such as a manual can opener and a back-up cooking method to use if the power goes out.
March: Developing an Evacuation Plan:
The importance of developing a solid evacuation plan (and practicing it) should not be understated. Get a map of your area and decide where you will go if your area receives an Evacuation Advisory.
Make a list of the items you will need at a moment’s notice in an emergency situation, such as a bug-out bag, important documents, water, etc.
Go over your evacuation plan every few months with your family & other loved ones to ensure that everyone knows what the plan is in an emergency.
April: Developing Self-Reliance Skills:
This month is a good time to sharpen your personal skills that will help you in an emergency situation. You could take a CPR or first-aid course at your local American Red Cross or develop your gardening skills and find new ways to grow produce you would usually buy from the grocery store.
Pick up a useful hobby, such as hiking, fishing, cooking, or fitness.
May: Fitness Plan & First Aid:
May is dedicated to creating a fitness plan & schedule to increase your endurance and improve your health. You could also consider getting a pair of running/hiking shoes for your bug out bag.
Join a local gym or explore and get familiar with hiking trails & campgrounds nearby. This is a free way to get exercise and ensure you are keeping up with your health.
Add to your first aid supplies, making sure it considers the appropriate amount of people in your household, and addresses any individual needs such as existing allergies and medications.
June: Communication Prepping:
Communication can be unpredictable in an emergency situation. Get a hand crank radio or HAM radio this month to add to your communication supplies.
Sign up to receive updates from your area for important evacuation notices, emergency alerts, and more.
Week 2: The Basics of Prepping
As we continue through the month of January focusing on the process of beginning to prepare, it is important to understand what prepping is. Prepping is simply preparing for the future to prevent stress and difficulty when emergency situations occur. Many people wait until it is too late to prepare and end up unprepared and unprotected in the event of an emergency. Regardless of whether you’re worried about something like an unexpected layoff, car accident, power outages, natural disasters, or economic decline, it is important that you start preparing now. The basic steps of prepping:
Prepare your home for two weeks of self-reliance and no external help or resources
Be ready to leave your home at a moment’s notice
Be prepared when away from home (traveling, school, work, etc.)
Practice and plan
Share your plan with others and recruit neighbors, friends, and relatives
Many new preppers can become overwhelmed with the amount of information on the internet on prepping, but it can be easy if you follow simple prepper rules like the ones below to keep things clear and rational:
You can’t predict what is going to happen. It is impossible to be 100% prepared for 100% of scenarios, but don’t let this intimidate you.
Prepping should not dominate your life. Spend a reasonable amount of time, money, and energy. Prepping is an investment.
Great preps are a mix of gear, supplies, skills, practice, planning, and community.
Contrary to common stereotypes and beliefs, prepping is not about memorizing lists, buying overpriced supplies, or letting fear take over your life. It is about investing in your protection, educating yourself, and preparing yourself, family, and home for a variety of emergencies that could occur. We offer a Survival Pack & Safety Kit, which includes a well-stocked first-aid kit and a variety of other necessary supplies to keep you prepared in the event of an emergency. The backpack contains a 25-person first aid kit, water bags, a flashlight, a crank radio, duct tape, tissues, and space blankets, among other supplies. NIJ IIIA rated like all of our other backpacks, the pack offers both essential supplies but also practical anti-ballistic protection while on the go.
For more experienced preppers, we also offer a Bug-Out Vest, a multi-functional and discrete vest that was designed using information gathered from preppers. It was made to pair perfectly with your other bug-out gear, so you can easily slide the vest on and evacuate during an emergency situation. Its 10 pockets ensure that you will have ample space to store your flashlight, gun, medical kit, important documents, and other bug-out necessities. Like all of our products, the vest is equipped with two NIJ IIIA anti-ballistic panels, making the vest a perfect option for safety-conscious preppers. Many people put of preparing due to a lack of time, energy, resources, or finances, but the process does not have to happen all at once. Throughout the rest of the month, we will provide you with a comprehensive list for 12 months of prepping this year. It is not meant to intimidate readers, but rather to help educate new preppers on the basics of prepping.
Week 1: Winter Safety Tips
We will start off the month by giving you practical winter safety tips that you can employ throughout the colder months. Winter storms and cold weather can be dangerous, which is why it is important to plan and prepare ahead of time. Being prepared for winter hazards ensures you will be able to stay safe and healthy during the cold winter months. The following is a brief list of steps you can take to prepare your home, car, and yourself for a variety of conditions this winter:
Winterize your home: install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows. Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls, and repair roof leaks.
Check your heating system: inspect clean fireplaces and chimneys, test your smoke detector batteries and make sure you are replacing them twice a year. Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies by installing a CO detector & learning the symptoms of CO poisoning
It is important to winterize your car as well. Keep the gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank, use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer, and service the radiator. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires
Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include: blankets, gloves, chargers, food and water, flashlight, radio, first-aid kit, among other essentials.
Sprinkle sand on icy patches in your driveway to avoid slips and injuries
Always bring an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor winter recreation
While you travel…
Avoid travel when the weather service has issued advisories. If you must travel, inform a trusted friend or family member of your route and expected time of arrival.
If you become stranded in your car, follow these safety rules: make your car visible to rescuers, move anything you need from the trunk to the passenger area. Keep your body warm by using extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers. Stay awake and keep moving your limbs to improve circulation and stay warmer. Run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe to reduce risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
As highlighted in this month’s newsletter, we offer a variety of jackets and cold weather gear to keep you warm throughout the winter months. Our falcon flight jacket is a parka-styled jacket constructed of a thick oxford nylon shell with a polyester lining to keep you warm and dry in even the coldest conditions. It features multiple pockets and has a removable lined hood. Like all of our products, the jacket is equipped with NIJ IIIA anti-ballistic material, instantly adding lightweight and discrete protection. Conveniently coming in 3 color options, the jacket is a great option for fashion-forward individuals who don’t want to compromise on safety or warmth in the cold winter months. Another popular jacket is our Flight Jacket, a classic and extra full cut jacket that has a lightweight feel that can be used in a variety of weather conditions. Its design was inspired by the original MA-1 flight jacket, used by the United States Air Force and Navy pilots for use all year. Its outer shell is constructed of 100% Nylon water-repellent material, while the interior is lined with Poly fiberfill, both ensuring you will stay warm and dry. The jacket is lightweight at 6.5 pounds with the anti-ballistic material, and it comes in 4 colors to choose from. Depending on where you live, winter can be a period marked by cold temperatures and dangerous weather conditions. Taking the proper precautions in advance to prepare yourself, home, car, and loved ones can help lessen the difficulty and stress that arise in the event of an emergency.
The Survivalist Blog - An independent blog with some pretty good articles, including quick tips on assembling your own "Grab And Go Survival Pack" also known as a "bug out bag".
Urban Survivalist Blog - This would ordinarily be too small and inactive to include in this list for having only three articles. They focus on short-term disaster preparedness, quick and easy.
You can save money with BulletBlocker by getting our Bullet Proof Panels and Inserts and fitting them to your existing backpacks, briefcases, or just about anything. We can also make custom-made panels to fit whatever you need at just $ .92 per square inch.
Updated April 1, 2019
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