One week ago, Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern seaboard with full force. A day earlier I saw people stocking up on taco mix and beer at the grocery. I was there to buy some crackers because I wanted a snack, my prep work for the storm had been completed long ago – my linen closet stocked with water, canned goods, a crank radio, batteries, candles, and a Bug Out bag or two.
When a weather advisory happens, most people plan for 48 hours without power – they think of the pending time at home as a party where they hunker down and drink with friends or catch-up on reading (something Bookriot readers were prepared to do) for the day or two off from work.
But sometimes the post-weather disaster is worse than we think. I’ve been homebound without power for a week due to an ice storm, lost in the woods, and as many scientists point out, this “once in a century” meteorological event is going to become even more common.
Some people make a daily practice out of being prepared. Preppers know that stocking up the day before a blizzard is not the best plan and not every emergency is going to be weather oriented. Politics, biology, there are a lot of causes for “The End of the World as We Know it”; when the looting starts or the wildfires inch closer is not the time to be plotting an escape route.
Follow the suggestions in these books and you won’t have to fight over that last case of water or wait in line for two hours to by a snow shovel. And remember, when the power is out, you have plenty of time to catch up on that TBR pile…
How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times – James Wesley Rawles
Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit – Creek Stewart and Jacqueline Musser
Just because you have a lot of canned food to sit out a power outage does not mean every disaster will allow you to shelter in place. You need a bag ready to go when you are forced to evacuate. I have several bags – one is for a weather evacuation to a hotel, one is for getting home from the office on foot, one is for hiking out of the city and surviving the elements. What you put in your go bag(s) depends on your potential needs and can mean a world of difference between surviving or joining the body count. *WARNING* You need to keep your Bug Out Bag light without leaving important items out, individual needs may vary.
Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: A Guide to Building Shelters in the Wilderness – Daniel Carter Beard
A number of events may run you from your home without the advantage of a friendly couch or hotel. Maybe you got lost on a hike and night is setting in. Maybe you had to flee your hometown after an invasion. Whatever the reason may be, one of the first things you’re going to do is build shelter. Maybe it’s a one-night place to rest before continuing your journey. Maybe it’s a new home. Regardless, you want a shelter that actually shelters you, not one that leaks or lets a snake crawl into the sleeping bag with you. *WARNING* the book is over 100-years-old, some of the language is….dated and not particularly politically correct.
The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide – Linda Runyon
Yummy as tacos are, they are not a great long term meal option. During an extended emergency you need to be eating practically – food needs offer good nutrition for your circumstances and it needs to last. But what happens if relieve doesn’t come? Eventually you will run out of all those canned goods or MREs. Not all of us are lucky enough to have our own sustainable garden and may need to do some scavenging for our food. We know enough not to pick wild mushrooms, but what about other plants – do you know which ones are actually diuretics or are poisonous when eaten raw. Don’t assume you can just go out in the woods and pick some greens, learn which ones are safe to eat! (See also You Can Can!: A Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Canning, Preserving, and Pickling, with 100 Recipes by Better Homes and Gardens so your gardening or gathering efforts don’t go to waste). *WARNING* Canning improperly can lead to botulism. Make sure to carefully follow advice and don’t eat out of cans with bumps in them.
The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook: Keep your loved ones healthy in every disaster, from wildfires to a complete societal collapse – Joseph Alton M.D. and Amy Alton ARNP
During Sandy the power went down at NYU Hospital and patients had to be evacuated. There’s no guarantee that emergency personal will be able to get to you, particularly if things get bad enough. While no one is suggesting you chop off someone’s limb like Rick Grimes does in The Walking Dead, knowing how to tie a splint, it is good to know how to transport an injured companion or treat hypothermia when there is no qualified medial help available. The book also makes suggestions of youTube videos for additional information, good resources BEFORE the lights go out. *WARNING* Until the end of times, this book should not replace the advice of your doctor.
The Zombie Survival Guide – Max Brooks
After making it to safety, building a shelter, and growing your own food, do you really want things to end by way of reanimated corpse attempting to eat your brain? Didn’t think so. *WARNING* Zombies don’t actually exist…Yet.