Having a disaster and emergency kit on hand makes as much sense as having a fire extinguisher in the home and a spare tire in a vehicle.
You should have those items with you at all times. A fire extinguisher, spare tire and first aid kit are common-sense items, but so is a reliable handgun. The right equipment at the right time can save your life. Prior training is the single, most important predictor of survival during a critical incident. Just the same, you must have some tools with which to work. I am proud that my other half recently completed a CPR course. She takes that training seriously and was excited to learn. You, too, should be prepared. On that note, the recent introduction of the Taurus First 24, a special survival kit with much to recommend, is exciting. The kit may save your life during the first few hours of an emergency.
The kit contains a .357 Magnum revolver and tools from respected makers, including Columbia River Knife and Tool. When caught in an emergency, natural or otherwise, having such a kit is a tremendous boost to confidence. You may not need the tools, but it is better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. Chances are, the tools will come in handy. Just look at the unfortunate incidents during Hurricane Katrina, or worse the New York City power outage of 1968. Besides the Taurus 617 seven-shot .357 Magnum revolver, the kit includes:
- A CRKT Sting survival knife.
- A Brite Strike flashlight with a 220-lumens bulb
- A Brite Strike APALS white, green and red emergency signal
- A fire-starter kit
- A battery caddy for 6 AA batteries
- Energizer E92AA batteries
- A 20mm spherical survival Compass
- A 550-foot survival bundle of Paracord
- A SKB waterproof/drop-proof survival case
The case itself is important because it is hard, not a soft bag, and will survive rough handling. The paracord has many uses, from strapping gear together to fixing common breakage. The compass is a must-have because you should know where you are going and where it is. The fire-starter kit is a no-brainer. The lights are a must-have, and the batteries are included. An emergency signal is a great idea because flare guns are heavy and often expensive. The flashlight is small but adequate for most tasks and portable. And the knife is a CRKT Sting.
Say A.G. Russell, and you have to immediately say “first,” because the living legend was one of the inventors of the modern knife industry. Despite all his awards and achievements, A.G. is first a knifemaker. The CRKT-production Sting, complete with a custom high-strength nylon fabric/glass-filled nylon sheath, is a multipurpose, one-piece utility knife that is just about indestructible. Hot forging is the reason the Sting is so tough. It begins life as an ordinary blank of 1050 carbon steel, similar to the alloy used in traditional Samurai swords, which is first hot forged and then precision ground into the final shape. Then CRKT applies a black non-reflective powder coat finish to resist corrosion. The spear-point blade features two razor-sharp cutting edges. The integral handle is contoured to fit a bare or gloved hand nicely and provides heft and balance, with thumb detents for grip. A large lanyard hole is provided, allowing the use of a wrist lanyard or carry as a neck knife. The Sting is a tough character that has earned its respect.
The Taurus 617 is a rugged two-inch barrel revolver chambered for the powerful .357 Magnum cartridge. It holds seven rounds. The action is smooth, and the sights are broad and easily picked up in an emergency. The First 24 kit’s revolver has been through the Aim Pro Tactical Performance Shop, where Taurus tunes the actions, polishes the chambers and finishes the revolver in durable X Coat for stellar corrosion resistance. The result is a custom-grade revolver that weighs less than 30 ounces but deploys seven rounds of .357 Magnum ammunition. Also in the hard case is a box of Hornady Critical Defense ammunition. The 125-grain FTX breaks about 1200 fps from the Taurus 617. That is serious horsepower for such a light and handy revolver. There is no better choice for a ready kit than the Taurus 617. It will come up shooting even after being stored for years. No springs are under compression in the revolver, and it will be reliable without lubrication. While it is a good idea to check the kit from time to time as a guard against moisture and corrosion, it is dirt tough, and the Taurus 617 and its corrosion-resistant finish will not corrode. The Taurus 617 features synthetic grips that protect the hand from recoil. The Taurus Magnums are surprisingly easy to use well. If you prefer, you can load the revolver with .38 Special +P loads for slightly built people or teenagers. Yes, you should train your teenagers because they should be assets rather than liabilities in an emergency. While I advocate practice with the handgun, the revolver is simple to operate. Even those who have never fired the revolver will be able to handle it in an emergency. Safety training must be accomplished beforehand, but qualified people will be able to manipulate the Taurus if they are able to use a handgun at all.
The introduction of the First 24 series from Taurus gives us all food for thought. Consider the likely scenarios, think ahead and be ready for that first 24 hours of an emergency.