If there was only one book I could recommend to people just getting started with emergency preparedness, this would be it. Author Peggy Layton has really done her homework and crammed a ton of great information into this relatively slim book.
The first chapter discusses different categories of supplies necessary for short-term emergencies, such as car kits, emergency shelters, cooking needs, and evacuation plans. The next details water purification and storage. Layton then goes into the logistics of creating a complete food storage plan. Details are shared, coming from hard experience, on purchasing items and storing them for long-term use. She then provides many recipes to be prepared using stored foodstuffs.
However, I think the book really provides value through the inclusion of checklists. Each main category of supplies, from food to emergency lighting, has a separate checklist of recommended items to be stored. This is great for someone new to disaster planning. It is easy to go through each list and determine what is needed for each person’s individual circumstance. Sure, one could instead do all the research on their own and compile their own lists. But, here it all is under one cover and for considerably less than $20.00 pretty much anywhere.
This isn’t necessarily the end all, be all book for planning for extreme long-term survival. But, when one is just starting out, baby steps are necessary. This book will take you by the hand and show you exactly what you need to do to get your family on the road to being prepared for short-term emergencies. Further, much of the information can be readily expanded upon for preparing for emergencies lasting more than three months.
What I really like about this book is the total lack of alarmist rhetoric. By that, I mean there is no discussion of terrorist attacks, nuclear war, or EMP bursts. Rather, the focus is just on being prepared for whatever life might throw at you. This would be the perfect book to give to family and/or friends who just look at you as being the family loony.
At the time of this writing, the book is available on here for under eleven dollars. I’ve also found it in all the major brick and mortar bookstores.