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Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient when the Unexpected Happens Paperback – July 23, 2008


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Frequently Bought Together

Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient when the Unexpected Happens + The Prepper's Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing; Spine Lean edition (July 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603420355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603420358
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With the assumption that many of us have a false sense of security... assuming that technology will prevail or that some government agency will bail us out in a crisis, this extensive guide gives detailed, down-to-earth advice on what to do when disaster strikes, be it a house fire, an ice storm or biological terrorism. Aided by charmingly retro illustrations vaguely reminiscent of a 1940s air raid brochure, Harrison (Another Place at the Table) presents her OAR system for preparedness—organizing, acquiring and rotating supplies—and techniques to safely and even comfortably survive any kind of emergency. She shows how to prepare for a short-term crisis: building a supply of food and water; preparing first aid and evacuation kits; planning communication and a family meeting place in times of crisis. She also presents long-term strategies for self-sufficiency: eliminating debt and securing a supply of cash in your home; planting a garden, canning food and making cheese; replacing an inefficient fireplace with a woodstove; building a solar oven. Harrison shows that learning to do it yourself, besides providing some security in an increasingly insecure world, brings less obvious but perhaps equally important benefits: an incredible sense of self-sufficiency and independence. And pointing out that family preparedness can build community, she reminds readers, crisis can bring out the best in people, or the worst. Strive to be one of the good guys. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

With the assumption that "many of us have a false sense of security... assuming that technology will prevail or that some government agency will bail us out in a crisis," this extensive guide gives detailed, down-to-earth advice on what to do when disaster strikes, be it a house fire, an ice storm or biological terrorism. Aided by charmingly retro illustrations vaguely reminiscent of a 1940s air raid brochure, Harrison (Another Place at the Table) presents her "OAR" system for preparedness—organizing, acquiring and rotating supplies—and techniques to safely and even comfortably survive any kind of emergency. She shows how to prepare for a short-term crisis: building a supply of food and water; preparing first aid and evacuation kits; planning communication and a family meeting place in times of crisis. She also presents long-term strategies for self-sufficiency: "eliminating debt and securing a supply of cash in your home"; planting a garden, canning food and making cheese; replacing an inefficient fireplace with a woodstove; building a solar oven. Harrison shows that learning to do it yourself, besides providing some security in an increasingly insecure world, brings less obvious but perhaps equally important benefits: "an incredible sense of self-sufficiency and independence." And pointing out that family preparedness can build community, she reminds readers, "crisis can bring out the best in people, or the worst. Strive to be one of the good guys." (2008)
(New York Times)

Kathy Harrison's Just in Case is an ideal preparedness guide for families.  It is a must for the bookshelf of anyone that is serious about being prepared for emergencies.  - James Wesley Rawles, Editor of www.SurvivalBlog.com, and author of Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse

(Newsday.com)

“Her wisdom is delivered in a tone of pioneer optimism.” (7/31/08)


“She’s not a survivalist nut case….instead, she’s a rather ordinary homeowner and parent who wants to be able to take care of her family.”

More About the Author

Kathy Harrison is the author of Another Place at the Table and One Small Boat, books that chronicle her experiences as a foster parent. She is a national spokesperson, touring and giving lectures, for both foster parenting and family preparedness. She has appeared on The Today Show, on Oprah, and in NPR interviews. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

This is a very good book, well organized and written in a family-friendly style.
Laurel
This book is a great for those who want to get prepared for life's unexpected emergencies but aren't sure where to start.
Amazon Customer
I borrowed this book from the library and found so much good info, I had to have my own copy.
J. Goss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Meghan on April 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent! It is the first realistic book on preparedness I've come across for anyone with children, or anyone who doesn't necessarily relish the idea of taking to the woods to live primitively at the first whiff of trouble. Instead of impractical, expensive ideas like stocking a bunker full of MRE's - often recommended by others but completely unaffordable if you have a large family, and what kid would eat that stuff anyway? - she shows how to stock up an abundance of food that your children will actually eat without busting your bank balance to $0. I have an entire section of my home library devoted to living off the land & preparedness-type books, but I find myself turning to "Just In Case" more and more as I take practical steps to prepare my family for whatever may come. I would recommend this book for anyone, but it's particularly helpful for moms or dads trying to plan for the future while still having to pay the bills in the present.
Update: I'm back on Amazon to buy another copy of this book...lending it to like-minded friends is dangerous, like me you might never get it back! So though this copy will be for me I'm sure I'll be buying more for gifts as other friends start turning to my library for info. This book is great and I am uncomfortable not having it on my shelf.
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397 of 440 people found the following review helpful By Gail Rhea on October 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author has the right idea in that we should be prepared for various situations "just in case" and wrote an easy-to-read book full of mostly excellent information, but Kathy Harrison should have quit while she was ahead.

The book's strength is in home preparedness for the beginner, particularly food preparation, recipes, and storage which comprise more than 50 pages of the nearly 230-page text. However, if you have a carport instead of a garage, don't have a basement, live in an apartment, or rent, you need a lot of imagination to adapt her advice to your living arrangement and you'll need to accept that parts simply aren't going to work.

Where the author fails is in areas away from the house.

For my first example, the car repair kit on p. 87 inexplicably includes window washer fluid, a PINT of oil, and engine coolant. However, if a vehicle is well-maintained as she advises, there's absolutely no need to waste valuable space on storing these items in your vehicle. Surely, barring vehicular damage, nothing more than gas and air for tire pressure is required for the length of time she advocates preparing, which is as short as three days to as long as a month or two. And, what's the point of having only a pint of oil especially when oil is typically sold by the quart? You're much better off utilizing the space for things you really need, like drinking water.

For another example, the wilderness travel hiking kit on pp. 175-176, she unfathomably recommends a folding camp grill and mess kit, omitting any mention of food other than snack foods that don't require heating or cooking.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Auntie Claus on December 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 UPDATE POST-SOUTHWEST GRID OUTAGE:
I bought this book almost 3 years ago in Virginia, where it applied very well. However, if you had picked this book up in, say Southern California a few weeks before the power went out in the whole Southwest recently, you probably would've have found the book's unrelenting focus on Northern winters frustrating to say the least.

In Chapter 10, Loss of Power, despite saying "There will likely be no advance warning of impending grid failure beyond the rolling brownouts that are now a common summer occurrence in much of the country", the chapter is devoted to power outages in the context of a harsh winter: keeping pipes from freezing, thawing frozen pipes, and restarting your heating system when power is restored (all of which came in handy our first winter in Virginia). If you move on to Chapter 12's two pages on dealing with 'extreme heat', hoping to find something that applies there, you'll find advice like "if you don't have air-conditioning at home, head out to find it. Malls, libraries, and other public air-conditioned spaces can be good places to hang out when it's sweltering outside" which doesn't help at all. The wildfire section could be so much better -Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month is much more informative and specific when discussing avoiding landscaping your yard with fire hazards (like palm trees, the individual branches of which will sail away, on fire, to light up houses blocks away). She suggests this: "connect your garden hose and lawn sprinklers. Turn them on and position them to wet your roof and fuel tanks.
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91 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn L. Baker on August 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
DON'T BE SCARED, BE PREPARED, A Review Of Kathy Harrison's "Just In Case"

[...]

As we mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the horrors of a ravaged New Orleans and Gulf Coast and as the residents of those areas again wait breathlessly to see where the volatile Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna are headed, a review of Harrison's third book, Just In Case: How To Be Self-Sufficient When The Unexpected Happens is especially timely.

Kathy Harrison and her husband Bruce live in Western Massachusetts and have spent many years parenting hundreds of foster kids, and in fact, in 1996 were named by their state as Foster Parents of the Year. Kathy has devoted her life to caring for homeless, abused, and neglected children, and has written two other books before Just In Case entitled Another Place At The Table and One Small Boat. That's why, unlike most preparedness books, this one is supremely family-oriented, born in the heart of an ordinary mom who simply cares about the safety and well being of her family.

As we mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the horrors of a ravaged New Orleans and Gulf Coast and as the residents of those areas again wait breathlessly to see where the volatile Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna are headed, a review of Harrison's third book, Just In Case: How To Be Self-Sufficient When The Unexpected Happens is especially timely.

Harrison notes that this book is not about long-term survival and emphasizes that her "objective with this book is to offer access to the kind of crisis information that will be helpful to ordinary families in extraordinary situations." Therefore, she hasn't offered directions for making shoes or clothing or hunting and skinning game animals for food.
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