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Posted September 8, 2010
The best book of its kind
A few things sets this book apart from others. First, it is complete, covering all of your basic needs - 14 as the author counts them. Examples at the end of each chapter show how you actually create a real disaster preparedness plan - very helpful. The handbook also discusses topics that you usually don't find in these kinds of books, including the needs of children, the elderly, and pets.
It becomes clear almost immediately that the author has done his homework, referencing his recommendations to FEMA, CDC, or other sources. I really appreciated this because there is a lot of misinformation out there.
There are 18 chapters in the book.
Chapter 1: Lays out a case for preparing; lists many of the worst disasters in the last 50 years. Cool photos too.
Chapter 2: Presents the 14 human needs, well thought out and comprehensive.
Chapter 3: Food - Outlines a modest food storage plan. Discusses how to pull together a healthy food plan. Talks about food poisoning and how to avoid it. Also has two excellent shelf life tables (pantry and refrigerator/freezer).
Chapter 4: Water - detailed information on water purifiers, UV light devices, and chemical disinfectants. Also discusses various waterborne contaminants and natural collection methods, such as solar stills, dew collection, etc. Includes discussion of sanitation methods, including the use of toilets, buckets, roughing it outdoors, etc.
Chapter 5: Shelter - outlines shoring up your home, hardening it versus bad guys, and equipping your house with appropriate safety devices (smoke alarms, CO2 sensors, etc.).
Chapter 6: Light - discusses flashlights, lamps, lanterns, and chemlights. Shows in detail how to compare the brightness of different devices.
Chapter 7: Electrical power - good info on generators, inverters, solar/wind powered systems, and human-powered machines. A useful section on sizing a generator.
Chapter 8: Heating/cooling - Staying cool in hot weather, and warm with wood/coal stoves, space heaters, masonry stoves, etc. Also discusses emergency cooking methods.
Chapter 9: Air - Constructing a safe room, also discusses the effectiveness of respirators and air filters.
Chapter 10: Sleep - How to get to sleep when the world is falling down around you. Discusses the special needs of kids.
Chapter 11: First Aid - First aid methods for a host of injuries and illnesses. Supplies are combined into a comprehensive first aid kit - great idea.
Chapter 12: Communication - radios, telephones, email, etc. Also a list of useful disaster-preparedness related websites.
Chapter 13:Financial preparedness - Getting your financial house in order, including an emergency fund, insurance, and preparing for retirement. Interesting discussion of different scams.
Chapter 14: Transportation - Behicle issues as well as backup transportation. Provides detailed emergency roadside kits.
Chapter 15: Protection - Defend your family, discusses guns as well as other less-lethal weapons. Talks about tradeoffs of different types of weapons. Safety first!
Chapter 16: Special topics - Discusses the special needs of kids, pregnant women, handicapped people, the elderly, and pets.
Chapter 17: Support network - Advice on how to start up a local disaster support network.
Chapter 18: Trial by fire - Presents practice exercises for your family.
This book is not an end-of-the-world survival book. Instead, it is focused on preparing your family to deal
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Posted February 21, 2011
Preparedness Without Fear
It's been said that someone who has just a three day emergency supply of food, water, and other supplies is more prepared than 95% of the country. If that's true, then this is a book everyone should read, in my opinion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Without resorting to fear as motivation, and with a much appreciated and appropriate touch of humor here and there, the author does a great job outlining the 14 basic needs every human has in a crisis: food, water, shelter, light, heating/cooling, air, sleep, hygiene/sanitation, protection, medicine/first aid, communication, electrical power, financial security, and transportation. These are things most of us take for granted but it is wise to ask ourselves, what would we do if the unexpected or unimaginable hit where we live and suddenly those things weren't available for a few days or even longer?
The chapters cover each of those needs with basic information and how to develop a common sense plan according to the needs of one's family. We aren't asked to stock up a year's supply of food, especially food we would never eat except to keep from starving. The author doesn't suggest anyone head for the hills and live off the land, which is why this book doesn't include a chapter on wilderness survival. In fact, he makes it clear the book isn't meant to prepare for some end of the world scenario, but rather to prepare for what we know can and does happen: tornadoes, blizzards, terrorist attacks, hurricanes, floods, volcanoes, riots, environmental hazards, forest fires, etc.
Bradley offers advice on the best ways to store food, have safe drinking water, basic first aid instruction, alternative ways to communicate in the absense of cell or land-line phones, financial preparedness, and ways to protect oneself. The latter was something I hadn't given much thought to but while a disaster brings out the best in most people it also brings out the worst in some and we need to be prepared to protect ourselves if necessary. He also outlines a plan for creating a disaster preparedness network within one's extended family or neighborhood so that resources can be pooled to meet everyone's needs.
What I appreciated most from this book is Bradley's focus on being prepared so that we can help those around us, and the unintimidating, conversational style in which he presents the information. By the time I finished the book, I was motivated to create a better preparedness plan for my family but with a sense of calm and not fear.
This is a book I will be giving to my adult children so they can start developing their own plan for the unexpected.
Posted September 16, 2010
A Practical Book for REAL Families
This is the book I was waiting for. Up until now, emergency preparedness manuals focused too much on end of the world scenarios, but were of little use to those of us just wishing to handle bad weather, extended blackouts, flu epidemics, or financial hardship. Finally, a book has arrived to help us normal folks!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This handbook is very complete, weighing 2 pounds, and with over 500 pages. But the pages are clear and very easy to read - not long strings of boring text. Rather, there are photos, tip boxes, and tables on nearly every page. This makes it a real pleasure to read.
I highly recommend this book. Five stars!!