Friday, December 25, 2015
Book Review: Countdown to Preparedness
With the New Year is fast approaching, I hope many folks will make getting prepared & building self-reliance their resolution for 2016. My article A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End may be useful to you, as may How To Get Started Prepping / Building Self-Reliance (two ways to think about the same topic). If you want a more detailed, step-by-step approach, I recommend Countdown to Preparedness by Jim Cobb, which I review here:
Jim Cobb, in his Countdown to Preparedness: The Prepper's 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness, outlines the most complete, easiest to follow, step-by-step guide to prepping for disasters that I've seen. There are lots of disaster preparedness books on the market, some really good, others not so much, but none break down the preparedness process into a "do this, then do this, then do this..." outline in as a complete and systematic way as Cobb does. Follow his steps one-by-one for the next year, and you will be better prepared than 98% of the population for disasters of any kind.
Another positive aspect of this outline is that you can control the time it takes you to prepare. Follow his outline a week at a time, and you'll be extremely prepared within a year. Want to get prepared quicker? Then just double up on the weeks, doing two at a time, and you'll be extremely prepared within six-months. Want to get ready still faster? It will take some dedication and sacrifice, but you could do three weeks (or even four) at a time and be extremely prepared in only four months (or even three).
Even if you've been "prepping" for years, this book makes a great review of your preparedness, as you can quickly read through each week and see how your preps stack up against Cobb's recommendations.
As the name of the book suggests, Cobb walks you through a year of preparedness one week at a time (so, 52 chapters + introductory and wrap-up sections). Each week, he gives you lessons and tasks for that week, a "prepper savings account" goal for that week, a water storage goal, and a food storage list for each week. Don't worry, the goals for each week are practical, not "pie-in-the-sky." He also includes many other lists throughout the book (basic supplies, tools, hygiene, first aid/medical supplies, get home bag contents, evacuation bag contents, etc.) meant as suggestions to get you started thinking about what you need for your circumstances.
Much of the goals and tasks are meant to be cumulative over all 52 weeks. By that I mean that each week adds up, so you're not doing all of, for example, your food storage in one week. Rather, you acquire your food storage a little bit each week, so that over time you end up with a good supply of stored food stuffs.
The book is more than just lists of supplies to acquire. Examples of some of the tasks Cobb assigns each week includes decluttering your home, talking with your family about prepping, making extra money, planning and planting a garden, learning first aid skills, dealing with any medical and dental issues you may have, firearms training, networking with other preppers, and making bug-out plans, among many others.
You can find Jim Cobb's Countdown to Preparedness on Amazon. He has several other books out. I also own (and like) the Prepper's Long-Term Survival Guide and the Prepper's Financial Guide. (Ordering books through the links on this website helps support this website - so THANK YOU!).