Happy Birthday to the Urban Survival Chick!

Some people believe birthdays are a great time to reflect on what you have accomplished and celebrate your life.  I say they are just another excuse to get out to the shooting range and have some fun.

I don’t throw big parties or soirees for my birthday because that is not important to me, but it is nice to see the people closest to me go a little out of there way to do something special on my birthday.  My man Jorge hit the jackpot and gave me one of the best gifts in the world.  He took me on a little trip down memory lane.  Check out the graphic he created celebrating my 35th birthday and our relationship.

Birthday Wish from My Boo

From the salsa floors to the shooting range we have done everything together.  Oh yes I do have a sentimental side and I remember the exact moment when we were dancing in this picture.  I cherish those early days.  I also cherish the days we spend now at the firing range doing our tactical training, getting dirty outdoors, and working two man team drills!  Our survival and tactical training has made our relationship stronger.  I know he has my back, and he knows he can count on me to stand beside him if someone threatens our family.

Men if you are an avid shooter convince your ladies to go to the range with you.  Ladies, if you still haven’t experienced a day at the range learning firearms safety and shooting fundamentals you must get some training ASAP!

If you would like to find out more about my upcoming Firearms training courses click here!

Whatever you do, get some good quality firearms education and keep up your training on a regular basis.  It makes a great Birthday present. Trust me I know!

To Your Surviving and Thriving,

MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick

General James Mattis Words of Wisdom!

No warrior was ever created without a master.  A teacher who showed them the ropes and helped them step into their manhood, or womanhood. 

As part of my morning spiritual ritual I like to reflect on what my masters have taught me while I put on some black face paint, wrap a bandana around my forehead, sharpen my knives, and meditate.

Here is a quote from General James Mattis, USMC.

Genral James Mattis Quote

These are words to live by for sure.  As a warrior and strong individual who is preparing to survive dangerous situations you must have the ability to react and put down a threat that could come at you at any given moment.  You can respect people and their individuality but you don’t have to be friends with everyone.

I assume everyone is a potential criminal.  From the old man crossing the street with a cane to the professional looking woman wearing a business suit.  You never know who or what might pose a threat to your family.  Don’t get sucked in by social norms that dictate you have to say “Hello, how are you?” to every Tom, Dick, and Susie.  Criminals will try to catch you off guard with small talk and get close enough to attack you. 

Don’t let yourself get caught off guard by being the NICE guy or gal.  Remember what General James Mattis said, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

To Your Surviving and Thriving,

MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick

Bass Pro Shops are like a Second Home to The Urban Survival Chick!

My students ask me where I get my survival gear all the time.  I tell them that Bass Pro Shops are definitely at the top of my list.

USC at Bass Pro

I can literally spend hours there and walk out with bags full of stuff.  I feel like I am a kid again opening up my presents on Christmas Eve when I shop there.

Now I get to by myself big girl presents like gun safes, knives, camping gear, boats, ATVs, camo patterned clothing, and more.

They have over 50 locations across the United States & Canada. If you don’t have a Bass Pro Shop near you, check out their amazing inventory at  http://www.basspro.com.

Happy Shopping!

To Your Surviving and Thriving,

MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick

Urban Survival Chick will be at the Baker 2 Vegas Run April 13-14, 2013!!

It is time for the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay!  This big racing event has been called “The longest law enforcement foot pursuit in the world.”  It is a big fundraising effort for the training programs led by the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club.

The race happens this April 13-14, 2013 and goes from Baker, CA all the way to Las Vegas, NV.  It covers 120 miles, 20 stages, and has over 8,000 runners from all over the globe competing to be the fastest team. 

Actually all these teams are in pretty good shape, so it is safe to say you don’t want to start trouble in their hood because they will chase you, track you down, and catch you without even breaking a sweat!

This is last year’s group picture with my team from the Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station.

Baker To Vegas Group Pic 2012

The rows are not perfectly straight but yours truly is standing in what I would call the 3rd row about 5 people in form the right hand side.  I am standing next to the handsome Mexican guy with the beard.

The most important reason for being at the race is to make sure all the runners and event staff are safe and healthy.  These determined men and women run along the highway in the desert heat, under the sun, against the wind, and over challenging terrain. 

The race legs don’t always have cell phone reception so the race team members set up radio antennas so we can communicate with each other using our radios.  Over 200 running teams and 20,000 volunteers come together to make this event happen.

I use my HAM radio to help coordinate the exchange of the baton between runners at each stage of the race and communicate the runners’ progress to our command center.  

If you don’t have something like a Baker To Vegas Challenge Cup Relay Race in your area look for another law enforcement organization you can support.  They do really important work for our communities.

If you are looking to get your HAM Radio License and you are in Southern California I have a great resource for you.  Just send a message to Mary@UrbanSurvivalChick.com and I can get you details for the next class.

To Your Surviving and Thriving,

MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick

PoliceOne.com Gun Control Survey Says Cops Support Armed Citizens

PoliceOne.com just released the results of a powerful gun control survey.  They polled over 15,000 law enforcement professionals from all different agencies.  Want to know what real cops think about gun control?  Here is what the survey says!

Richard Fairburn of PoliceOne.com reported the following results in an analysis of the survey responses:

“When asked their opinion of the statements of police officials who say they will refuse to enforce more restrictive gun control laws, 71 percent judge the refusals to be favorable or very favorable. Only seven percent of the responding officers view the recalcitrant Chiefs/Sheriffs’ statements as “very unfavorable.”

Taking the enforcement of restrictive gun laws a step further, 62 percent say if they were a Chief or Sheriff they would NOT enforce the new laws. This question garnered an “unsure” answer of 20 percent, but a shade fewer than 18 percent said they would enforce such statutes.


The other standout takeaway, cited both by Ron Avery and Dan Marcou, is our overwhelming belief that the best defense against gun crime and mass shootings is an armed citizenry. A whopping 91 percent of those polled support concealed carry by honest/screened citizens.”

For a breakdown of the full survey results click HERE.

If you like to read statistics and graphs like I do then you will have fun with this article.  This is another hug win for the pro gun community.  Share this article with the pistol protesting pansies in your area.  They can’t keep denying real statistics like these!

To Your Surviving and Thriving,

MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick

Colorado Sheriffs Protest New Gun Laws Before Obama’s Speech!

In Colorado El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa led his fellow Sheriff’s and rallied the crowd protesting Colorado’s new Gun Laws.  They called this rally a “pre-buttal” to Obama’s Denver visit where Obama was set to speak in support of the tougher gun laws.

Kim Nguyen and Alan Gathright of TheDenverChannel.com reported the following:

DENVER – More than a dozen Colorado sheriffs spoke out Wednesday against additional gun control measures as President Barack Obama visits Denver to tout Colorado’s newest gun laws.

Sixteen sheriffs held a noon news conference at Denver’s Fred Thomas Park, calling it a “pre-buttal” to Obama’s “advocacy visit” at 3 p.m.  The rally was about a mile from the Denver Police Academy, where the president  met with law enforcement and community leaders to discuss the gun control package recently signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“We are here to provide a voice to the millions of honest, law-abiding Coloradans who were ignored by their governor as well as by the majority (Democratic) party at the State House,” Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith told a crowd of gun supporters, who whistled and shouted “Yee-HAW!” as the uniformed sheriffs stood in line, some holding up an American flag.

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, gun magazines
For more on this story click here.
These Sheriffs deserve a salute!  They are actually upholding the duties they were charged with and protecting the rights of their citizens.  Thank you to these fine men and women for speaking publicly in support of the second amendment.
To Your Surviving and Thriving,
MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick

School Districts Across the Country Are Arming Teachers

ABC News is reporting that a Texas school district has approved teachers being armed with guns to protect their students.

Now they are not saying the teachers can just walk into a gun store and start carrying on campus. No, the teachers have to follow standard firearms purchase procedures and get trained and qualify for a concealed weapons permit.

This is exactly what the NRA was demonized for after the infamous Sandy Hook incident, and what millions of Americans believe will make our schools safer. So it is happening in school districts across the country but where is the national media attention now? This will hopefully inspire other school districts to do the same. Our children all deserve equal protection under the constitution. The video report is below.

Ben Waldron wrote the following: “Educators in a Texas school district will soon be permitted to carry guns in the classroom, assuming they get approval from the school superintendent, pass a training course and obtain a concealed-handgun license.

The Levelland Independent School District, which is about 30 miles west of Lubbock, instituted the policy in response to last year’s deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as well as the shooting at the Aurora, Colo., movie theater.

“How do you describe a tragedy like that? It’s devastating,” Levelland ISD Superintendant Kelly Baggett told ABC News, referencing the Sandy Hook massacre. “It absolutely instilled fear in all of us and made us take a hard look at where we are with our safety and security.”

You can read more here.

To Your Surviving and Thriving,

MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick


What Type of Handgun Should I Buy?

When people find out I am a firearms instructor the questions about guns start flowing.  Even before they take a class with me they start to wonder “What type of firearm should I get?”

           That is definitely a personal question.  Your choice of firearms should be based on what you intend to use it for and what feels good in your hands.  You may want to use your firearm to carry a concealed weapon with the proper permit of course, then a more compact style gun would be appropriate.  If you want it for home defense you may carry something a little larger at home.  There are styles of handguns better for competitive shooting if you are looking to get into the shooting sports.  Let’s not forget about our hunters out there.  Hunters will have their own favorite firearms depending on the animal they are hunting.   Handguns come in different sizes and calibers so my best advice for you is go to a gun range and rent several different models and calibers and see what feels best to you before you make a commitment to any gun.  Don’t just start out with a revolver or a .22 caliber because people tell you it is easier or better for women.

          I personally like my Glock 17, it is a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol.  That is what I train with most of the time.  I have other calibers but my Glock 17 is my preferred pistol.  Glocks are very reliable and used by 70% of law enforcement agencies nationwide.  I would not go with a revolver because that limits the number of rounds you can use.  A 9mm pistol is great because the ammunition is less expensive than .40 or .45 caliber ammunition so that makes training more cost effective.  Also, the stopping power of a 9mm round is not that much different than a .40 caliber, especially if you train well and are a good shot.

          Whatever you chose has to feel right to YOU.  Don’t invest in a firearm blindly based on someone’s recommendation.  And don’t just stop at the purchase.  Getting some good quality training is essential.  An untrained armed citizen is about as effective as a fancy lawn ornament to deterring crime.  Without the proper training you are more likely to cause an accident and hurt yourself than prevent a criminal from hurting your family.   Also plan on investing in a gun safe.  Whatever happens with your gun is your responsibility.  So you should have a secure way to store your firearms that is easily accessible to you.  Quick access safes for the nightstand are good if they are bolted down.   If all you are purchasing or own is one or two pistols then a small gun safe is fine.  You can get into larger heavier safes when you expand your collection.  Make sure you read up on the laws on firearms storage, firearms transportation, and gun use for home defense and personal defense for the state or area in which you live.

         If you already own a gun at home and are starting to build your collection duplicate what you have already so you can use the same parts in case something breaks or wears down and needs replacing immediately.  It is important to have duplicates in case you get into a shootout with zombies trying to break into your home and your husband runs out of ammo because he is not as good of a shot as you.  That way you can just toss an extra magazine to him.  Remember two is one and one is none so have backups for your backups.

         Whatever gun you do invest in learn how it works, how to take it apart and clean it.  You don’t have to become a gun smith, just get well versed in the guns you own or plan to own.  Your guns need maintenance just like your car.  They run better when they are well taken care of. Do your research and make an educated decision.  

          If you have any personal experiences or questions to share please post them.  Positive comments and constructive discussion are welcome.  

To Your Surviving and Thriving,

MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick 

Essential Items to Include in Your Grab & Go Bag and Bug Out Bag!

Better safe than sorry. A major emergency or national crisis could happen at anytime and when you least expect it. Don’t be an unprepared victim! Here are the categories of items you should have in your “Grab and Go Bag” or “Bug Out Bag.”

The good news is you can prepare by getting a grab and go bag or bug out bag together.  But where do you start, what should you pack?

I do an in depth presentation on this in my workshops but here is a quick and dirty run down of what you should include in your BOB to get you started.

At the bare minimum you should have something to cover what I call the “Survival Seven: Food, Water, Fire, Shelter, First Aid, Security, and Communications.”

1. Food should come in nonperishable form like canned goods, MREs or meals ready to eat, protein bars, meal replacement shakes, nuts, trail mix etc. The food you pack should give you enough calories every day to sustain your energy so your brain can focus on what you need to do to stay alive and get back to your family.

2. Water can be carried in bottles, little emergency packs, or you can use hydration packs like the “Camelback”.  Your water should be portable. If you don’t have water on hand at least have containers to carry water ready so you can fill them up later.  Also, make sure you have ways to purify your water like some type of filter, a fire source to boil your water, or bleach.

3. Fire is important as it can keep your body warm to prevent hypothermia.  You will need it to boil and sanitize your water, and heat food to the right temperature so it is safe for consumption.  You should carry several ways to start a fire. A lighter is great but you have to know how to get old school and use a hand drill or bow drill.  What if your lighter runs out of fluid and you missed the ideal high point of the sun’s trajectory to make fire with a piece of glass?  The point is to have redundancies built into your pack and practice with all those different methods available to you before you actually need them.

4. Shelter is important to protect you from the elements.  It can come in different forms like tube tents and sleeping bags which can easily be carried in a pack and don’t take up much space when they are folded well.  You also need to learn to look for natural shelters like an abandoned vehicle, little alcoves or caves, maybe turn a canoe or little boat upside down or on its side for cover.  Those emergency blankets they wrap runners in after a marathon also come in the form of an emergency sleeping bag that you can slip your entire body into so you can keep warm and dry. That is what your shelter should do for you.

5. First aid is self explanatory. Not only do you need to have the standard band aids, ointments, gauze, etc but you need to have the training to deal with wounds and emergency first aid.  Also carry antibiotics if you can get your hands on them, any prescription medications you might need desperately like insulin or blood pressure pills. It goes without saying that you should get some advanced emergency medical training or tactical medic training.  You may encounter injuries or wounds that a basic first aid kit simply won’t cover.

6. Security, well that is one of my favorite topics.  In a SHTF situation you will need firearms and ammunition.  I would definitely carry a firearm myself for protection.  If you are not comfortable carrying guns or using firearms, and you haven’t trained with me or had other good quality training, then you shouldn’t be using guns because you are a big liability.   A handgun is a great tool for personal protection.  Long guns like rifles and shotguns will be very useful for hunting and putting food in your belly.  Other adjuncts like pepper spray, knives, flashlights, are necessary security elements.  Of course your mindset and level of awareness are the most important things you carry with you because you are ultimately the weapon.   The tools you carry are just tools.  They don’t work by themselves.

7. Communications are vital to your survival.  You absolutely must maintain a way to communicate with other people and receive vital information.  You can have things like FRS radios, HAM radios, satellite phones, battery operated or hand crank radios, and police scanners.  If phone lines are down you wont be able to call your loved ones or check the internet for information.

Emergency kits are meant to be portable.  By all means don’t use that empty box of copy paper in your office as an emergency kit container.  I have consulted with families that put their survival kits together after the last major natural disaster and they bring me this box of disorganized junk.  The box is old, falling apart, and has nothing more than a bottle of water, some extra clothes, a single blanket for the entire family, and some beef jerky.  That is not good enough for you.   Get a good bag of some kind like a backpack or hiking pack with strong straps.  Your “Grab & Bo Bag” should have at least three days of supplies because they are meant for quick access in case of a truly unexpected and unplanned emergency.  Your “Bug Out Bag” will be a little larger and should have at least seven days worth of supplies.  You should place one in your home for each member of your family, at least one in the car and one in your office.  Make sure you go through your kits and update them every six months.

Share your thoughts and comments here.  If you have been to one of my classes and seen my Grab and Go bag and Bug Out Bag demonstrations let me know about your progress.

To Your Surviving and Thriving,

MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick

Home Depot is the Enemy, NOT the NRA!

I get sick and tired of hearing people ignorant about firearms quoting gun crime statistics that don’t make any sense.  The anti gunners continually ignore facts and real crime statistics, and lie about guns being the cause for our society’s demise.  They even believe associations like the NRA are the evil enemy and that is just plain wrong. 

We need to set the record straight!

If the anti gun nut jobs really love statistics then they should focus their energy on boycotting Home Depot because in 2011 more people suffered death by hammer than by a firearm. 

Please educate your neighbors and friends that don’t know enough about this.  I know the anti gun crowd can be irrational and fanatic but maybe this visual I found on the internet will help make the point.

To Your Surviving and Thriving,

MaryAnne Morcos, The Urban Survival Chick