Time and again, the books and manuals tell readers exactly what to do until power is restored, until help arrives in some form, or until they find their way back to civilization after being lost. But what if the lights never come back on? What if there is no help coming…ever? This long-term scenario is something that has always been lacking in survival nonfiction, until now,” explains author and preparedness expert Jim Cobb.
Have you ever wondered if one of your favorite survival TV shows or books actually become a reality? I’ll admit I’ve stayed up late a few too many nights watching Revolution and reading books about EMP attacks, but I would NEVER want that to become my reality.
It’s something most of us would rather not have to think about, but you don’t have to – Jim Cobb did all the thinking for you and went ahead and outlined a step-by-step guide for surviving long after a catastrophic disaster strikes in his new book – Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide.
He recommends if you are brand new to prepping this may not be the best book for you, but I disagree. I think this is a great overview of everything you need to take into consideration when beginning your journey. You can’t have a plan or vision if you don’t know what you’re preparing for or where to even begin.
Even for the experts out there – I would be shocked if you didn’t learn a thing or two (most likely much more).
Do Before Reading…
One thing I would recommend doing before even cracking open the book, is getting a paper out and making 3 columns:
- To Learn
- To Do
- To Buy
Then as you read the book you can fill in each of the areas as something comes up. So when you’re all finished you’ll have your very own custom survival preparedness plan!
I love the way that each chapter begins with a fictional journal entry that coincides with the theme of the chapter – it’s like you’re wrapped-up in a novel one minute, and then learning about survival skills the next.
Each chapter is packed with great tips and ideas so I’ll highlight a few of my favorite for you below…
#1 Long-Term Events: Learning From History
The book starts off with discussing some events in history – we can’t prepare for the future if we haven’t learned from the past.
Sometimes it’s hard to fathom the fact that we could ever face a major long-term disaster, especially if we’ve never lived through one. It’s easy to think nothing will ever happen, but Jim points out some potential scenarios in this chapter we should all be aware of.
When starting a plan for survival, water is definitely priority #1! You can only live about 3 days without it!
I added a lot to my – learn do buy -list after reading this chapter. I never realized how much water I go through in a day (average person is about 100 gallons), and all the different ways I could store it now and for long-term.
Unless you plan on going on a water diet (those suck – just did one), you need to store some food! He recommends getting a minimum of 3 months worth of food, and for sure learning how to grow your own.
He also briefly discusses foraging for wild edibles, hunting, fishing, trapping, food preservation, and cooking methods – survival skills that all are a must (at least if you plan on living long).
I like his recommendation for getting some medical training by sneaking into college classes – right up my alley ;) If you’re not the sneaky type, he does recommend some books to read from his own medical library.
In this chapter there is also a comprehensive list of what to put into a medical bag, medications, equipment to have on hand, birth control options (yes, it belongs in medical not recreation ;) and some suggestions for natural remedies.
It was fun to read that someone else recommended making their own poo wipes, and I’m not the only crazy person!
Besides talking about poo, this chapter also discusses options for laundry, bathing, tooth care, and waste disposal. Hygiene can often be overlooked, but it’s critical to help keep disease and infections under control.
#6 Staying Warm and Keeping Cool
I have to admit, I haven’t thought much about proper clothing – it’s so flippin’ hot in Texas who needs clothes anyways? But after reading this chapter I realized I need some good hiking boots – pronto! Thanks for the excuse to buy some more shoes ;)
It was also good to have someone back me up on the fact that you need 2 weeks of underwear! I’ve been telling my husband that for years – because if he doesn’t have enough to make it to the next laundry day that’s not my problem!
This is probably where all the guys who buy this book immediately skip too – kind of like those deer hunting books where the first chapter they read is the one on “the rut.”
Anyways, he discusses the 4 different types of firearms that people should own and how much ammo you should have to go with them.
It’s not all gun talk though, he does cover securing your home and having basic awareness of what’s going on around you.
I’ve never thought too much about what tools I would need after a crisis, partly because I think my husband already has too many! The types of tools needed after an extended crisis may be much different than the common ones we use today.
This chapter goes into what tools he recommends for – general repairs, demolition, cleaning (impressed he added this one), gardening, firewood, lighting, protective gear, power generation, & communication. I don’t think he missed a single one ;)
You need to have a little fun no matter what your situation is, so I really appreciated this chapter. I think I may actually use some of the suggestions now and go dust off some of my board games!
#10 Barter and Trade
Stockpiling items to barter never even occurred to me until last year when my friend mentioned some of the things she had stored. I’m constantly finding myself looking at items in a totally different light, and asking myself… “could I trade this for someone to bake me a cake when the world ends?”
Knowing what items to barter can be tricky, but I thought the top 10 list of items he recommended was spot on… especially the chocolate! He also mentions bartering pads and tampons, but I’ll be storing extra Menstrual Cups instead ;)
#11 Community Survival Planning
Out of everything discussed, trying to pick-up the pieces and come together as a community would seem the toughest – partly because of all the unknown you can’t exactly plan for.
No matter how well you prepare, you can’t do it alone, nor would you want to. You need others and the different skills and resources that each person can bring. This chapter jumps into the logistics of organizing the community and getting it functioning again.
Just so you know, trophy wife refugees won’t make the cut to get into Jim’s survival community, but don’t worry… I’ll let you into mine ;) You’ll just have to learn how to bake cakes, wipes butts, and do my laundry!
#12 Final Thoughts
So many people have a warped view of preppers and survivalists, so I think Jim did a fabulous job summing up what prepping is all about and why people do it…
It has been said that preppers and survivalists are “doom and gloom” types, always talking about pandemics, nuclear war, and natural disasters. In my experience, that is actually far from the case. While we may worry about end-of-the-world scenarios more than the average person, we are taking steps to make things better in the wake of disasters, rather than just throwing our hands in the air and accepting the worst as unavoidable. If nothing else, preppers are actually rather optimistic, when you get right down to it. We recognize that bad things happen in the world but believe that by preparing for them ahead of time, we can beat the odds and come out ahead in the end. – Jim Cobb
Survival Checklists & Resources
By now your columns (learn, do, buy) should be completely filled! If you may have missed something though, there is a pretty complete checklist at the end of the book as well as a suggested reading for beginning your own survival library.
Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide isn’t meant to be a complete guide, it would be a monster of a book if so, but instead it’s a great overview of the basic survival things you need to consider when making your plan. Jim really makes you think about different situations, resources, and ideas that you may have overlooked.
If you are concerned about long-term survival and want to take it beyond the basic 72 hour kit, then this book is for you. It teaches you not just how to survive, but to thrive no matter what your situation may be!
Meet the Author – Jim Cobb
Jim Cobb is the owner of Disaster Prep Consultants as well as the author of Prepper’s Home Defense and The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness. He has been involved with emergency preparedness for about 30 years. He offers more prepping advice online at SurvivalWeekly.com. He lives in the upper Midwest with his wife, 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 1 cat.
I want to thank Jim for giving me the opportunity to review his book (Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide) and would love to hear your thoughts after you have read it too (or even before – I love hearing what you have to say :)