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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban disaster survival guide
I wrote a review of the earlier edition of this book, which can be seen here: [...] Relatively little has changed in the new edition, and my earlier review remains valid, so I will not rehash it here.

What's new in this edition:
- better chapter on food storage, with a table of shelf life of various foods
- new chapter on urban gardening (which is...
Published on December 6, 2009 by Alberto Vargas

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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not focused enough
These books seem to be either for beginners or for more advanced people, and deal more with "everyday" disasters (where you have to survive between a few days and a few weeks) or with long-term disasters where you have to survive for the long-term (like collapse of government). This book is a disappointing mishmash of each of these. So while it has a lot of useful...
Published on March 5, 2010 by Todd


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban disaster survival guide, December 6, 2009
By 
Alberto Vargas (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
I wrote a review of the earlier edition of this book, which can be seen here: [...] Relatively little has changed in the new edition, and my earlier review remains valid, so I will not rehash it here.

What's new in this edition:
- better chapter on food storage, with a table of shelf life of various foods
- new chapter on urban gardening (which is interesting although slightly strange)
- updated lists of recommended products and websites
- slightly reordered chapters, and minor edits here and there

After reading quite a few survival books and online resources, I find this to be the best book for preparing for Katrina-style disasters, meaning temporary but very disruptive, especially in urban areas. I live in a disaster-prone urban area and I find this book useful. The author covers various natural and man-made disasters.

The next best alternative to this book is the LDS Preparedness Manual for members of the Mormon Church, which you can find for free online. The Mormon guide is in some ways better than this book. It tends to focus way too much on food storage (although it covers plenty of other topics) - and it is not as convenient to read as this book. If you are interested in this topic, check out the LDS Preparedness Manual since it is free.

Bottom line: Highly recommended to city dwellers. It will help you get prepared for potential disasters.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not focused enough, March 5, 2010
By 
Todd "Todd" (San Mateo, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
These books seem to be either for beginners or for more advanced people, and deal more with "everyday" disasters (where you have to survive between a few days and a few weeks) or with long-term disasters where you have to survive for the long-term (like collapse of government). This book is a disappointing mishmash of each of these. So while it has a lot of useful information, I think beginners won't find this book very useful because it's not focused on beginner issues, and it will be very hard to prioritize. Advanced people won't want to wade through the basic information to get the parts that are more advanced. People preparing for short-term disasters don't need information on long-term survival, like building trench latrines, and people preparing for long-term disasters don't need information on storing short-term supplies of food and water, etc.

One example - the section on shelter. It addresses 3 options - a tent (I didn't need a book for that idea), a geodesic dome (I don't know what it is and am pretty sure I won't build one, but this book wouldn't help me anyway, since it doesn't actually tell you how to make one, though it did inform me that they use them at Burning Man...) and how to live on the streets in a city or in abandoned buildings (I got this book so I wouldn't have to live on the streets!). It completely omits other shelter solutions, like using things available in nature or that might be salvageable or in your emergency supplies. The Lighting, Power and Heating section has good information on hand crank lanterns and solar, but somehow doesn't discuss fire making at all, and also spends a page on how to make a wind turbine, which obviously isn't for the beginner or short-term emergency. The sections on food and water, on the other hand are good and have good basics but don't deal with long-term food and water needs.

The section on earthquakes has some good practical advice about how to prepare for an earthquake (slightly more sophisticated than bolt stuff to the walls, but still common sense stuff) and how to handle the immediate aftermath, but there is not much specific information on what supplies you might need that are different than the generic disaster kit or how your preparation should be different (for example, where should you keep your disaster kit, since an earthquake is particularly likely to render your house unsafe). So the section is good, but not comprehensive (though obviously not every specific disaster section could be comprehensive). I imagine the sections on other specific disasters is similar.

Because there's such a mishmash, you have to be fairly knowledgeable to plow through all the information to decide what is practical and what isn't. To put together a "proper" emergency preparedness kit according to this book would probably cost $10,000 or $15,000 and would require that you have a spare 2 car garage to store it all. There are some good ideas here, but this book alone won't prepare you for a disaster and can't be used to prepare a basic, solid emergency kit unless you already have quite a bit of knowledge and really need more of a reminder and some suggestions.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for the novice on Emergency Preparedness, May 26, 2010
This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
I'm a complete novice when it comes to Emergency Preparedness and I highly recommend this book. For the reviewers who are complaining about the book not being able to focus on information for the novice or information for the advanced, I think they are viewing it through the wrong lenses. The people who are making the complaint already have the mindest for Emergency Preparedness and the knowledge base to differentiate the information. This book is for beginners and novices who are walking around thinking water is always going to be running and atm machines are always going to spit out cash and electricity is a natural right and not a service. This book is a wake up call and I strongly recommend every family to purchase it immediately!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Well Thought Out - From An Expert On The Subject, June 27, 2010
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This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
I have read a couple preparedness books like this recently, and this was head-and-shoulders above the rest of them. The content very well thought out, and presented by an expert among experts on this subject (see his Wikipedia article at [...].). But, the content alone isn't the only thing that sets this book apart from other titles on the topic. It is also very well organized, editted, and polished ... which isn't just gloss. This makes it easier to read, understand, and easily flip back through for use as a reference material. After reading it, I ended up buying 3 copies of the book to give out to some other people ... just because it was so good I wanted other people to get their hands on it, even if I had to pay to do it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The book desperately needs an index., April 7, 2012
This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
The book desperately needs an index. The checklists are reasonably good, but if you want to find out more info on any specific item you'd better be good at skimming because there is NO index to guide you to more info. I have the "Expanded and Revised Edition", 2009. The book directs you to PreparednessNow.net to download checklists but they must have lost or sold that domain name because there are NO checklists there, it's just a "come-on" site for other advertisers. The book is still worth the cost for the good ideas you can get from it.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another almost useless "survival" manual, March 10, 2011
By 
Vicki Smith "Val J." (Nowhere, Nevada- sometimes!) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
Having a ranch/farm in a remote location, 20+ miles off-grid, I have become somewhat of an expert on survival/self reliance myself. I know what works- and what doesn't. Mr. Edwards is another urbanite making a living writing books on subjects that he has little real knowlege of. He reccomends many very expensive, brand-name products- I wonder if he received free samples, or some payment for such flagrant advertising! While there are a few good tips in his book- and a few good sources for supplies, if a family of 4 were to follow his reccomendations, they would spend MANY thousands of dollars every year on food alone! And- need to rotate and use it, every year!
For less money than he reccomends spending on a one-year survival plan, I bought 640 remote acres, and developed a "home away from home"- complete with a hidden, safe, four year supply of staple foods and spices, that will safely store for 20-30 years.
Stick with the LDS Preparedness manual, and the J.W. Rawles book- they are far more practical, for a real family, who wishes to prepare for emergency situations. I'm sorry I wasted the $12 on this book.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emergency preperations, October 23, 2009
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This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
This book has it all. Anyone who thinks they may every face any disaster should have this book in their library. It covers every thing from man made to natural emergencies. Being an insturctor fromer instructor in emergency preperation this book is a perfect text on the subject. Higly recommend.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Expert Info, May 28, 2011
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This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
I have been displaced by the 500 year flood in Iowa '08, and go through ice storms and power outages every single winter. I have bought, read, and reviewed a few urban disaster preparedness books now, including Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family by Arthur Bradley, When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes by Cory Ludin, and even The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse by Fernando Aguirre.

Those are all great books, but if you want to buy just one, I suggest this one. It has the basic info of Bradley's book, less psychological prep than Ludin, and may be easier to conceptualize for people living in the US than Aguirre's book. I felt that this book was really practical and to the point like Bradley's book, but much more pared and succinct. It also had information that was lacking in the other books that I was curious about like sanitation, as well as practical information that you should know in every day life, like how to escape from a fire. I also felt that Edwards, as the founder of the non-profit International Preparedness Network, was really an expert in urban disaster preparedness.

My .02 on the less than five star reviews: I agree that some of the info was extraneous, like the suggestion on building a dome house, but that was just an idea and it was brief. The woman who brags about living on her ranch "off-grid:" this practical book is not for you. Everyone else: yes you DO need to know how to escape from a flood, a collapsing building, or fire. It's a whole lot more than "duck and cover."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK -- mostly for urban apartment dwellers, September 5, 2011
This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
There's nothing wrong with putting books into the hands of people who need the information. In America's case, the people most vulnerable to a disruptive event are the people stuck in large urban areas.

Surburban folks and country people typically are better prepared for inevitable problems, having more room to store things and having the space and time to plan. Since people who live in the cities tend to be young, single, and without a large support network, urbanites do not have the benefit of the more settled lifestyle away from the city, and the maturity that goes into planning and caring for property and family.

Anyway, this book is geared toward that young person living in the city who relies on mass transit and has no food cushion stockpiled. Electricity fails, flood waters rise, and this person is helpless. The book talks the reader through the steps to take NOW, before disaster strikes, and why relying on the government's emergency response will make the reader just another victim.

Good section on personal defense, good information on what to pack in a go bag, good ideas for planning escape routes and why sometimes remaining in place is best. The author, Aton Edwards, thinks global warming is among the top real dangers; it's easy to discount him as a crackpot based on this, but give him a chance. There is not much here for a mom like me -- this is too basic for my needs. Not enough on personal defense and how to teach your children; not enough on school lockdowns; not enough on defense against animal packs after a disaster.

Nice checklists; I'll keep looking for a book that better meets my needs.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware - SLOPPY SLOP, January 30, 2010
This review is from: PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance) (Paperback)
This book has thorough lists of survival tips for emergencies. One of those things, probably or greatest importance to me, is building a sound emergency pack to carry on my back. Since I live in a big city I want my pack to be accessible and light, so I can move easily. Mobility is the most important thing to me, while utility comes second. Everything in my bag should be able to serve more than one purpose to ease the load. There are some basic items that the author has great suggestions on- a folding moutain bike, Nightstar flashlights, Nuwick 120 hour candle- but the more I delved into Chapter 4, the more troubling it became. I found, while making extensive lists of everything in Chapter 4 and pricing them out, that this book is LOADED with typos and sloppy research. For example, in the First-Aid Kit lists there are two items back-to-back that do not exist. "Libucaine" is not something I can find on Google, however "Dibucaine" is anti-itch cream used for treating hemorrhoids. Just below that on the list is "Starr Optic drops" for ear pain and wax. This is not an item I can find on Google. "Otic" refers to the ear, so I assume this is an ear drop solution. If this wasn't enough, I sent an email to the publisher to complain about their sloppy research and editorial skills, and I discovered that they have a history of publications with colorful apocalyptic topics. I expected there to be more books about first-aid, survival, and disaster. I encourage you to research the website before you buy the book, to make sure this is a company that you want to support. [...]

I will be looking for a military survival book very soon. But first, I need to finish this list!
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PREPAREDNESS NOW!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) (Process Self-Reliance)
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