Reading, that is. I recently picked up the book 52 Prepper Projects: A Project a Week to Help You Prepare for the Unpredictable, by David Nash. I’m not exactly reading it cover-to-cover, but glancing at it from time to time, gleaning little bits. I’ve got to say, I like the premise: it starts fairly simple, and things build up in complexity week by week.Even at that, there’s only a few things I’d class as “difficult” towards the end (converting lawn mower engines into generators, and the like).
A few pros: they give “shopping lists” for each chapter. A couple of things–inexpensive things, mostly–to toss in the shopping cart each week. They also provide a “to do” list for each chapter. Each of these, again, build from week to week. As an example, here’s the Week 1 list:
- 1 gallon water (for each person)
- 1 jar peanut butter
- 1 large can juice (for each person)
- 1 can meat (for each person)
- Hand-operated can opener
- Permanent marking pen
- Pet food, diapers, and baby food, if needed
- Find out what kinds of disasters can happen in your area. The easiest way to do this is to talk to your local emergency management agency, but you can also research local history at the library or the local newspaper. This will help focus your preparedness activities by letting you know what threats are realistic and which are not.
- Date each perishable item using a marking pen.
Now, I like all of the above. It’s reasonable, rational, and overall a good place to start. Where things break down, at least in the parts that I’ve read, is in relying on the reader having a clue. This isn’t always the case–if you’re just starting out in getting gear together, as seems to be the premise of this book, you don’t necessarily know what to do for certain things. Example: Project 1 (week 1) talks BoBs. It also breaks out the BoB (Bug Out Bag), the INCH (I’m Not Coming Home), the GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge), the GHB (Get Home Bag), the EDC (Every Day Carry), the IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit), 72-hour kits, and the military “Line Gear” system. That’s all great. As to what to put in to them? Nothing concrete. In fact, their recommendation: “put together a 72-hour kit to get you by until you finish your incremental disaster kit” (that being, ultimately, some of the stuff you’re buying each week). Then they suggest taking one weekend, and turning off the power and water, and live off your kit, to see how it works. All generally good ideas–but what, in very broad terms, should be going into the full disaster kit, whichever acronym you decide to use?
So, I’ll call this generally worthwhile, but maybe better as a second book on the subject, rather than a first? I haven’t really found anything objectionable–the authors are really good about not going hyperbolic “OMG, the world’s going to end, it’ll be like Mad Max!”. Overall, I’d give it 4 stars out of 5.