I really need to get more of a bibliography going up here. It’s something my wife does well on her blog, but I haven’t talked about here. My plan is to therefore put up reviews of books then link to them on the side. Let’s jump into review numero uno!
The Prepper's Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster
I came across this book as a recommendation from Amazon on my Kindle account. It was affordable and I decided to pick it up, mostly because I get asked at times by people, "How do I start prepping?" I knew going in that I wasn't necessarily the target audience, but I figured, what the heck, I'll give it a try. I could not have been more pleasantly surprised.
The book's formatting groups action items by topics. The categories are as follows: Getting Started, Financial Readiness, Water Needs, Food Supplies, Ready Your Home, Personal Health and Safety, When the Power is Out, and When You Have to Get Out. Each of these is broken out into areas of specific actions that can be taken, skills to learn, and items to acquire. The book caps off with a conclusion and a list of resources for further follow up. At 224 pages, it doesn't take long to get through. The paperback appears to be standard size, though I have the Kindle version myself. This might change
The introduction lays out the point of the book very succinctly. Everyone who preps started somewhere, so can you. It took me a while to realize that the author, Bernie Carr, was a woman as these books are so often written by men. The writing style and approach were part of the tip off which was confirmed by comments deeper in the book. I mean this entirely as a good thing as the book is written to be very useful and focused on real life, day-to-day needs. The focus is less on security, collecting a lot of guns, and defending what you have; instead it gravitates towards the no-nonsense, easy to do things that will help you out in a variety of situations.
Each of the book's topics has solid, well categorized action items underpinning it. Instead of most books in this genre which load you up on information but little to do with it, Carr gives you very specific, deliberate items that feel attainable. Well, most of the time. There are a few times when she goes into a bit of a laundry list, such as acquiring specific skills, and others when the action item is very broad. The assumption here is that you will pursue more information on those topics yourself. While some might find this annoying, I think it is impossible to expect a book of this nature to go into too much detail. I found the information presented was more than enough to get you going down the right path in any area. Even as someone who's been at this for a while, I found a fair bit of meat here and items I'd never thought about (like draining my water heater for more drinking water!)
Carr does a good job of sticking to her original intent of providing real life benefit. There is very little in the way of explanation about what might go wrong and more focus on how to prevent and cope with it. This book will not scare you into preparing, but instead make the prospect of prepping itself less scary. Her tone and approach have a broader appeal than many books in this genre. She does move quickly through personal security (firearms are covered in 2 short paragraphs) but that is an asset, in my opinion. She avoids alienating a portion of her audience by suggesting further research elsewhere. I also like the fact that she comes through as knowledgeable without seeming a know it all.
For me, the final endorsement of a book needs to be whether or not I would recommend it. Not only would I recommend this book, I would suggest it as the very first book a budding prepper should own. For those already on the path, this book can act as an excellent yardstick to see where you are and where you want to be. In short, buy it!