Not sure if you remember this or not, but there was a commercial on TV in the past about dog treats where the announcer asks off screen, who wants treats and the dog answers ... "Me!  I'd get it myself but I don’t have thumbs!"

Well to tell you the truth, I’d never really listened that hard to the commercial. So when I heard the dog say (okay a human’s voice for the dog) “I’d get it myself but I don’t have thumbs”.  I got to thinking – "oh yeah dogs don’t have thumbs."  Or for that matter, I didn't really realize how much we 'can't' do without our thumbs.
So, let’s have some fun (well I thought it was fun.)  Try this:

Tape your thumb down on your dominate hand (that’s the hand you used the most.)  Then try to do everything you do in the normal course of a day (don’t cheat!) or let's make it a little easier - for an hour.

Difficult isn't it? (Admit it though - it was fun or funny!)
Now the reason it was so difficult is because your thumbs are opposable. Huh?  Okay, it means the thumb, unlike the fingers are capable of being placed opposite to something.  It’s how we are able to pick up and grasp things with our hands.  The thumbs actually have different articulation then the fingers. 

This oddity, if you will, sets us apart from a lot of animals, with the exception of monkey-see-monkey-do's and their second cousins, the apes.
Thumbs allows us to do everything from grooming ourselves, to cooking (okay some of us), to holding things and opening things – actually it allows us to do just about everything we do with our hands.
Think about it. How would we text!!!  Heaven forbid!!!
So as always I wondered how we could protect ourselves by knowing just how beneficial our thumbs were in a self-defense situation.

I read about a lot of different techniques that you can use with your thumbs or the bad guy’s thumbs for in a not-so-good situation.

For instance, by locking the bad guy’s thumb back towards his wrist and elbow; with maximum force you can create enough leverage to inflict a great deal of pain and bring a person to their knees.  This could give you a window of opportunity to follow up with a knee to the groin or stomach or even take them to the ground by continuing to apply pressure to the thumb. 

Or if you find yourself in a choke-hold with someone’s hands around your throat, grab both of the bad guy’s thumbs and bend them back opening his hold around your neck.  Again with enough force, you can actually dislocate the thumbs fairly easily this way.
And there’s always the gouging of the eyes with your thumbs.  Done wrong, however, the thumb gouge to the eyes is almost useless . . . but done right, it is one of the most dangerous and effective self defense techniques.  We are not talking poke here – as in, you get poked in the eye with something.  You need to get your thumbs positioned in the inside (tear duct) part of the bad guy’s eyes holding your hands around his head like you’re holding a basketball, and using the tips of your thumbs gouge away!
Next is a martial art’s maneuver called the ‘thumb lock’.   You take the thumb nail bed and push it back into the thumb like you were going to fold the thumb.  I know you’ve seen or even had it done to you in grade school – you know when we were all learning how to inflict pain on one another? Geeze, the fun huh?

Now there is a caveat (disclaimer) disabling may very well mean destroying the joint or breaking a bone (crack - crush) - but then we are talking your life verses their thumbs.  It’s called joint manipulation.
The key to ‘thumb-wars’ is, most people are not thinking about their exposed fingers and thumbs – and – they definitely aren't thinking about protecting them. 

Your strategy, focus on what the bad guys aren’t – their thumbs.

Where is thumbkin … where is thumbkin … here I am … here I am

- Survivor Jane










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Okay we all know about the Golden Horde, right? The term affectionately used by many survivalist and preppers alike to describe the massive outpouring of people who will come pouring out from every nook and cranny from the cities into the more rural areas should a major catastrophic event occur.   Some on foot, some bikes, others pushing carts, and more in motor vehicles.  Most, unprepared for the event or their survival and willing to shoot, take/steal or kill by whatever means to care for themselves.

Then there are zombies – the undead.  The wave of zombies most known today are the blank stare monsters who are plagued by some wide spread infection (or whatever turned them into zombies) and, much like locust, descend in large numbers on your city or town; their main objective to consume – you.  

And then there is the “pandemic-sort” of zombies; people afflicted by a virus or some sort, acting much like zombies, slowly deteriorating, desperate for assistance that there may not be any – think of the movie ‘Legend’.

So now that we have an understanding of what each is, I’m wondering, are these two groups so far apart?  Oh, and by the way, I’m referring to the Golden Horde and the ‘Pandemic Zombies’ to be clear (I don’t think I’d want to encounter any Living Dead kind).

Think about it.  Both will be in large numbers.  Both are desperate.  Both are willing to take for their gain.  Both are willing to kill.  And most importantly – both will be starving.

But you say – there’s no such thing as zombies.  Well there was no such thing as H1N1 Flu (that we knew of until it happened either.)  See where I’m going? 

Think about it, if all the stars and the planets were aligned – it is theoretically possible, although extremely difficult, to create a hybrid rabies-influenza virus using modern genetic-engineering techniques.


Well let Samita Andreansky, a virologist at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine in Florida say it.   Ms. Andreansky says,  “sure, I could imagine a scenario where you mix rabies with a flu virus to get airborne transmission, a measles virus to get personality changes, the encephalitis virus to cook your brain with fever”—and thus increase aggression even further—”and throw in the ebola virus to cause you to bleed from your guts. Combine all these things, and you’ll [get] something like a zombie virus,” she said.

Also, though we (hope) dead humans can’t come back to life, certain viruses can induce such aggressive, zombie-like behavior, scientists say in the documentary ‘The Truth Behind Zombies’.

To me if it is even talked about – it could happen.

So, from what I’ve read, whether you’re talking about the Golden Horde or Zombies, you need to safe-guard yourself just as you would in any survival situation, by having food (and all the supplies that go with preparing it), water, a source for heat, medical supplies (and knowledge of how to use it) and a way to defend yourself and your home/retreat.

Warning – No uninvited dinner guests.

- Survivor Jane










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I have never been in a 'fist fight' in my life.

Nor do I have any earthly idea as to how it feels to be hit.

That's because most girls (unlike guys who wear their broken nose like some sort of badge of honor) usually do not hit one another.

Grant it, we call each other names (which can be far more hurtful) but we primarily avoid physical contact.

So, when we think 'self-defense' our natural reaction is RUNNNNNN!!!!

Which is not a bad thing.

But, what if you can't run?

What if there was no place to run?

In times like these, we need to know that girls - just like guys - are capable of fighting.

We actually have 'body weapons'.

They are; our hands, elbows, knees, head, feet and yes, even our teeth.

Think for instance, of all the things your hands can do; including your finger nails.  We can claw, dig, grab, and pinch to name a few.   

And, by using the force of our elbow(s) we can jab someone in the ribs, chest, throat, and their 'special place' (the groin).

Next your gams. A woman's legs are the strongest part of her body (probably comes from wearing those darn heels all day). Keeping this in mind, take your knee and aim it right where it hurts (yes the groin).

This one may be a little difficult but if done correctly would be very effective.  Head-butting.  Take your head and slam it right into the guy's nose. There are tons of nerves at the base of the nose – it’ll get his attention in a hurry.

Also, your feet, like your knees, can cause a lot of pain to someone, by kicking and stomping on areas such as the calf or back of their heel.

This is another difficult one, especially when we were taught during our 'Terrible Two's' not to do it.  I'm referring to biting.  With the dangers of blood borne diseases I'd have to say, I would save this one as a last resort.

So there you have it - our physical arsenal.

Now let's see where some of the vulnerable areas are on our bad guy and what to do to them.

First thing(s) that come to mind are the family jewels (the groin).  Take your strongest asset (your legs) and knee those little gems with all you've got.  Or grab and twist those sacks like there's no tomorrow.

Next, the eyes.  Take your thumb and jab it right into the eye socket and with the rest of your hand squeeze the back of his head.

Then, there is his throat. If you've ever experienced getting something caught in your windpipe you know how scary it is not to be able to breath.  Well same goes for Mr. Baddy.  Punch him as hard as you can right in the windpipe (the front of the throat).  Or, grab and squeeze the windpipe like you were going to physically rip it out.

I know some of these things sound really gruesome - and well - they are. 

But what we are talking about here is a matter of life or death.

I would strongly suggest taking self-defense classes or get some tapes on self-defense to watch.  This will help you learn these techniques.

Remember - Your body is a magnificent machine.

God don't make junk!

- Survivor Jane



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Okay.  You have been trained and re-trained in how to defend yourself - from awareness of your surroundings to self defense to weapon use and so forth.
Then when you least expected it - you are confronted with a threat of harm.
And ... instead of kicking butt, you freeze.
What the heck happened to all that training?
Why is it that instead of reacting you froze - like the time you were caught by your parents downstairs with the lights off with your boyfriend (I know you weren't doing anything - save it)?
Now, what should have happened is your survival instincts should have kicked in. 
You need to know that in times of trouble, it may be you all alone out on that big stage we call life.  It will be up to you to "perform" like your life depended on it ... because it may.  
Sure you might not do that karate kick just exactly the way you were instructed to in class by the far more experienced and seasoned instructor.  Nor will you hit your target where you intended to.  But you must react - you can't just stand there.
You've heard it called lots of things.  Remember the ol 'deer in the head-lights’ syndrome??? 
It’s like someone flips the switch and there you stand with that ‘dumb-blank stare’ thing going on.
Good news.  Just as with any and all disorders, conditions, symptoms or what-have-yous ... this is a real phenomenon.  It’s called hypervigilance.  And, it appears, is very common when placed in a defensive situation.
There are factors going on in our pretty little pea brains (that is said with love by the way) that causes us to 'freeze'.  One, is not really knowing what to do in the situation, and the other is not trusting our abilities to do it.
Remember the flight or fight (flee) thing that goes on inside of our head when confronted with danger?  That is our body's automatic response - pre-wired (no downloading necessary) that prepares us to either fight or ... well run like heck to survive.
In a slit second, your brain will analyze the situation.  And then, just like your ipod on shuffle mode, will pick a solution based on your knowledge, experience and training and respond in kind.  Our focus will be on nothing more than short-term survival.
A shot of adrenaline and other stress hormones rushed through our bodies.  And, just like a tsunami, for a short time, you are more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.  But, as a result, your ability for creative and logical thinking will be dramatically impaired at the same time. 
Both short term memory and long term memory are major factors in how you will react to danger.
If you are well-trained, the most appropriate response will be drawn from your “short term memory”.
If something happens and you aren't sure how to react, your long term memory (remember the ipod?) must scroll thought all of your past knowledge and experience for an appropriate response. 
This is where the 'freeze' part comes from - when your brain doesn’t have an answer.
How you remedy this is to practice self-defense and different plans of action. 
Remember the ol adage "repetition re-enforces"?   What this means is, the more you do some thing the more it becomes second nature. 
Our brain is like a computer.  We must program it to be able to know what to do in any given situation.
Just like you would practice your lines before going out on stage, you need to practice "what-if" scenarios. 

Play them out in your mind and use different tactics and methods in each scenario so you have "options".

- Survivor Jane










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Survivor Jane is not intended to be expert, legal or even medical advise - just one girl sharing with others.

I need you to sit up and take notice.

We are NOT alone.  And I’m not talkin’ Aliens.

Did you know that by giving out your address (which, by-the-way is on your drivers license and usually your checks among other things), or being overheard giving it out while talking on your cell phone, at a customer service desk, post office, dry cleaners,– any where you give an address, someone can use this information to your determent?

The 'bad guy' can take this information and 'plug' it in to the many internet tools available today and actually 'scopes out' your house or place of residence!

By using any number of the internet tools such as Google Earth, Google Street Maps (street views), Microsoft's's "Bird's Eye View" (which uses aerial photographs shot from low-flying airplanes, not satellites), and even with FEMA flood maps,  Microsoft TerraServer, the bad guy is able to view your home from the top, sides and even your backyard!  And that of your neighbors as well!

If your car was parked at your home at the time the photos were shot, the bad guy will have this information as well and know what kind of vehicle you drive.

What this means to you is simply this; you have got to be even more diligent in protecting yourself from harm. Why?  Because with all of the technology, our privacy and security considerations have now been thrown out the window so to speak. 

A bad guy could use the street view of your residence to case your home and the proximity of neighboring houses for a fast get away.  Or look for cars that are parked in garages or driveways worth stealing. Or, even scan your yard and windows of your home for a few potential access points (like open windows) for breaking in or, for any indication that a home has a security system.

So how can you protect yourself?   I would suggest you going to some of these sites and “see” what the bad guys are looking at when using your address with some of these tools. Look around.  All around.  Do you have things “leaning” up against the house (a ladder, trash cans, rakes – that could be used smash windows), that would make great access points into your home?  Do you have a dog?  Does it stay in the backyard during the day?  Perhaps you may want to consider moving the doghouse closer to the entrance gate in the backyard opposed to it being stuck in a far off corner (bad guys hate dogs).  Do you leave windows open in the back during the day?  Do you have “dark” areas such as shrubbery and/or trees around your yard where someone could easily hide and enter you home without being detected?   These are just a few things that bad guys will look at when “scoping” a home. I’m not a bad guy so I don’t have a mind set to think of anything else – but I’m sure you could come up with some of your own by looking around.

You need to be mindful when you give your address to someone.  Consider anyone around you and/or in line with you to be a bad guy (yes I’m afraid even the lady you were talking to in-line may be a bad guy).  If need be write/type your address and personal information on a card.  When someone “who needs to know’ asks for your address, you can give them the card and then ask for it back.  It’s not fool proof system but at least it will avoid having to verbally announce to the world your address and personal information.

Scary stuff, huh?

- Survivor Jane

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