SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Some experts estimate a person can be bound, blindfolded, thrown into the back of a car and taken away, all in less than a minute. How would you get out of that kind of situation? If you can’t answer that question, you may need Eric Michaud.

He’s the guy who could very well teach you the skills needed to escape a disaster like an earthquake, a fire or even a situation when the basic systems we count on from day to day, like cell phone service, just stop working.

Michaud started Rift Recon, a school for would be escape artists, as a way to pass his skills along to folks like you.

“If an earthquake happens, if there’s a riot, there’s a fire, if there is a robbery and basic systems aren’t working like, if BART shuts off the cell phone, what do you do?” Michaud said. “I was trying to find a way that could meet people’s budgets and also their extreme needs.”

Michaud’s old job was working for the Department of Energy, specializing in nuclear security research. Now he pours his knowledge into teaching one, two and three day courses through his company.

The courses cover everything from lock-picking, disguising yourself in a crowd, and breaking free from common restraints such as handcuffs and zip ties. On the last day of class, students get put to the test and are kidnapped by Rift Recon staff. They must use their newly acquired skills to get free.

That is no easy task since Michaud’s team of consultants and teachers is made up of former CIA, military and computer and hardware hackers.

“We never have anyone teach anything that they’ve never done in the field or an expert at,” said Michaud.

The next Bay Area class will be held in December of 2014.

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