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141 of 142 people found the following review helpful
CHAPTER 1: IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN TO ME -- examines the state of denial most of us live in regarding disasters, whether or not you can really prepare for the unknown, the types of disasters that you might experience in your life (natural emergencies, man-made disasters, and acts of terrorism), and the role that local disaster agencies provide during an emergency

CHAPTER 2: YOUR PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE NETWORK -- takes a look at the importance of communication during an emergency and the many obstacles that can keep you from receiving important information duringa crisis...plus tips for understanding the broadcasts from traditional warning systems, an list of actions that are warranted by each level of terrorist threat (green, blue, yellow, orange, red), how to make the best use of your local social network, and how technology can keep you informed

CHAPTER 3: ORGANIZE YOUR ESSENTIAL AND IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS -- provides a list of essential documents that you should have access to during a disaster, discusses accepted methods of proving your identity, and outlines vital contacts and codse you may need on hand...plus a listing of other important documents that you should be able to access if your property is destroyed, setting up a virtual safe deposit box, protecting business records, and preventing identity theft

CHAPTER 4: AVOID THE DISASTER AFTER THE DISASTER -- discusses methods for maximizing your homeowners protection, steps you can take before disaster strikes to protect your interests, what to do in case of emergency, and how to document the disaster...plus special tips for renters, dealing with trees, earthquake and flood insurance, automobile coverage, terrorism insurance, and life insurance

CHAPTER 5: PROTECT THE CONTENTS OF YOUR HOME -- outlines the steps you should take to get your household belongings in order prior to a disaster...including decluttering your home, protecting your computer and electronics, preparing a home inventory, and protecting memorabilia

CHAPTER 6: PREPARING YOUR HOUSE TO WITHSTAND DISASTER -- takes a look at steps that will help your home weather an emergency like fire damage, trees and wind damage, lightning, electrocution, flood, earthquakes...plus creating a "safety zone" around your house, controlling your utilities, protecting against carbon monoxide, and performing a "home hazard" hunt

CHAPTER 7: YOUR FAMILY COMMUNICATION PLAN -- helps you determine in advance how you will reconnect with family during an emergency...including choosing a reunion spot, establishing phone contact, having a plan when you are out of town, and the ways that various communication technologies may be affected by a large-scale disaster

CHAPTER 8: FAMILY-FRIENDLY FIRST AID -- outlines some common disaster-related injuries and the appropriate first aid techniques for each, teaching first aid to your kids, donating blood...plus instructions for putting together a first aid kit and preparing a personal medical form / medical release

CHAPTER 9: HUNKERING DOWN -- guides you through the process of seeking shelter in your home for an extended period of time...including finding a safe place, making sure you have enough of the right kind of provisions, storing your provisions, and preparing a "grab and go" bag...plus coping with a power outage, cooking alternatives, water purification, sanitation, heat and light sources

CHAPTER 10: SAFELY EVACUATING AND ESCAPING FROM YOUR HOME -- leads you through the process of preparing an evacuation plan for your home and escpae plans for different types of attacks and emergencies...including where to go, what to bring, creating a vehicle disaster kit, mapping your route, evacuating with pets, and what to do when you return home

CHAPTER 11: THE ESSENTIALS -- outlines your list of disaster preparedness tasks in priority order...an excellent action checklist

APPENDIX: FORMS -- includes reproducible forms for recording:

vital contacts

vital codes

work authorizations

home inventory

mitigation checklist

family communication plan

first aid kit contents

personal medical form

evacuation checklist
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2007
All of us, no matter where we live in the US or Canada, are vulnerable to some type of natural disaster - hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, mudslides, tornadoes, blizzards, etc. - as well as the possibility of terrorist attacks. And now we also have to worry about the possibility of the avian flu.

In her introduction, Ms. Kolberg presents research that indicates a very large gap between our awareness of the need to be prepared for a disaster and our implementation of the steps necessary to meet that need. "What accounts for this gap between awareness and implementation? Two things: instruction and organization."

The first chapter, It Could Never Happen to Me, sets the stage for the rest of the book. As we all saw post-Katrina, first responders can be overwhelmed for days or even weeks after a disaster. It is up to each of us to not be a victim.

Each chapter of the book begins with a short If I Only Knew Then What I know Now.... story by disaster survivors and ends with a box entitled What Kids Can Do. The information Ms. Kolberg provides is concise, specific, and covers such topics as hunkering down, what to pack in a grab-n-go bag, family communication, first aid and protecting your home and its contents. An entire chapter is devoted to documents - what's important, what's essential, what to have copies of, where to store originals. There are nine forms and checklists (e.g. vital contacts, home inventory) in the appendix.

This is a book everyone should read. Even if you don't implement all of the suggestions, you will achieve a good deal of peace of mind for each item you do implement!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2008
This was a nice light read but was still full of great information. I HIGHLY recommend it! It's a great comprehensive overview of preparedness, you could even call it a 'primer'. I found it to be a great book for someone just starting out. If you're experienced in preparedness that book may seem elementary to you but you also might find a few things you haven't thought of. It's certainly worth the investment

Another big plus with this title is that it doesn't lean heavily on one area or another like so many other preparedness books. I have about a dozen different titles and some of them lean heavily on food storage or off grid skills.

The type of information included does not get outdated. This is important to consider in preparedness books. I've seen several that were Y2K based (or other outdated concerns).

Each chapter has a section at the end telling how you can involve children in the process which I found quite useful. There is also an appendix of about a dozen forms that will come in quite useful in your preparedness process.

There are a few items that make this book worth holding onto long term as opposed to reading, assimilating the info, and passing it on.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2007
If you've done any research on the web about emergency preparedness, you already know much of what's in this book. It might be good for a family or individual with no prior consideration of the issue, however.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2010
I was mortified by the quality of this book. I bought it because it was supposedly one of the top five preparedness books recommended by a supposedly reputable author's post on this site.

Page 110 states "Women should use flat-heeled shoes or sneakers only in an emergency." Wait until the Nike and Merrill shoe companies read that statement. I never met a woman who wore high heels ALL of the time, I guess Ms. Kolberg does.

See page 111 where it is stated "Do not use woodburning fireplaces or stoves......to heat the inside of your home." I am a Chimney Safety Institute of America Certified Chimney Professional and I install woodstoves in residential dwellings 50 weeks a year. Just tell me how, when the SHTF do you intend for people to heat their homes, Ms. Kolberg? You tout layering clothing, you recommend propane and kerosene. Great, I am sure that when people run out of either they will be able to find an ample supply of either right in their own backyard. Ms. Kolberg justifies this preceeding statement by saying that the risk of CO2 poisoning and fire is too great. Bull. The only risk is people's stupidity of not having working CO2 and fire detectors in their homes. Do you know that every person who heats their home with a furnace or boiler has a potential bomb in their home? Having fire in the middle of your home is just not a good idea in the first place but, it is commonplace now, isn't it? In cold climates, no sane, able bodied person would not have a working woodstove in their homes.

All flues, wether they serve a fireplace, woodstove, pellet stove, boiler, furnace or gas appliance should be inspected EVERY year by a certified professional and swept when necessary. This is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. For info on your chimneys go visit CSIA.org and get an education. There is no excuse for not educating yourself when your life is on the line. DO NOT BE COMPLACENT by saying, huh, what are you talking about? My chimney has worked this way for 30 years, it does not need attention. When I hear that, I always tell them: You are right, you probably won't burn your house down for another year or two, have a nice day." In a nutshell, I was disappointed because I am detail oriented, most people probably will enjoy this book. Good forms for getting organized in the back of the book. Thanks for reading and I hope I have helped some of you to pay attention to your own safety and the lives of your loved ones. Burn safely.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2007
A lot of the information is common sense, but there were many suggestions that I had not thought of before. I would definitely recommend it to everyone, and will likely give this book as gifts this Christmas to my family members.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2010
This is a disappointing book in many regards, the most notable of which is that it has little useful information beyond the obvious. The written text itself is superficial in most areas. Illustrations look like they were drawn by a not-too-talented middle school art student. The one page Resources table, shown on page 135, contains a list of about two dozen web sites such as the Red Cross and [...] that is almost laughable; aside from various government web sites for the Centers for Disease Control and FEMA, which are listed here, there are thousands of very detailed web sites with useful information on many survival and preparedness-related topics. I would rate this book as a zero except that Amazon doesn't permit a zero ranking.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2009
This is basically a common sense how-to survival manual. Not a book that you have to read word for word, but could be used as a basic check-off list and possibly remind you of areas that need better preparation.

Definitely something that could be used for the family to prepare for disaster without chaos.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon December 12, 2011
The organization of the book is very good for disasters such as fire, tornado and earthquakes. Those are terrifying events and this book has good guidance for them.

I would have liked more on floods, civil disturbances, shortage shocks, physical protection and more. At the same time, I also have not found a book covering all these topics to the extent that I would like.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2010
I purchased this book and was disappointed with the very basic information presented. There was very insight or specific detail on how to prepare for a disaster. Most were just generalities and themes like "review your home insurance policy and document your household posessions." I was hoping for more...
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