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What to Do When the Shit Hits the Fan Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (October 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602391335
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602391338
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dave Black is an internationally recognized consultant in emergency planning and disaster response. With nearly twenty years of experience in search and rescue and as a wilderness and urban first responder, he has served as a consultant and architect of community disaster response and management systems both here and abroad.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Armed & Christian on January 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
While the author's time and experience in the field of Emergency Response is impressive, it just goes to show that expertise in one area doesn't necessarily make you proficient in another.

This book claims to be able to help you prepare for all manner of weather-related emergencies, earthquake, civil unrest, and even survive a terrorist attack.

The areas of the book concerned with basic personal preparedness (common-sense stuff like shutting off gas and electricity after a natural disaster, how to get water out of your pipes even after the main supply is shut off, and making a phone tree of in- and out-of-state contacts) and basic first-aid are thorough, and there is some useful information contained within (like the chart on water purification methods), some sections on emergency planning and personal response to natural and man-made disasters are so inaccurate as to be dangerous.

In one instance, the author runs through a food list that he claims should sustain an adult for a year, but it only includes #4 of peanut butter and #1 of dried peas, along with low quantities of dried beans, flour, dry soup mix, and pasta that are almost equally unrealistic.

The author's instruction on sheltering-in-place during an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) event is to duct-tape yourself and your family in an interior bathroom, where, he claims, you will have enough breathable oxygen for about 3 hours.

The author discourages firearms ownership, and it is clear he knows nothing about them when he claims that "9mm is as small as you should go, and anything larger than a .38 is too big.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By D. James Sceats Jr. on April 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was very disappointed in this book. I purchased it at the same time that I bought "When All Hell Breaks Loose" by Cody Lundin. I can heartily recommend Mr. Lundin's book as it was a pleasure to read and filled with useful information, while the current book was a waste of time. The authors point of reference, as a rescue worker, permeates the book, and implies some government agency will be available to bail you out, rather than helping the reader take care of themselves. This book clearly does not live up to its flashy title.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dartbord on October 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've read this book and found it to be quite useful. After reading some of the other reviews posted here, I think perhaps those reviewers were expecting something different from this book. This book is not intended for long-term apocalyptic scenarios. It is however useful for crisis that may only last a few days, like hurricanes or other natural disasters where you may be forced to evacuate. The author stresses the importance of simple preparedness like having a survival kit and extra food and water. He outlines simple techniques for surviving emergencies as well as very basic first aid. If you're looking for something to teach you how to survive in the wilderness for weeks at a time, this is not the book. A lot of what he puts forth is just common sense, but in a crisis common sense is usually the first casualty.
I do have to disagree with the one review that states the author advocates putting all your faith in government agencies to save you. Mr. Black states in the opening pages that he recommends that each person take responsibility for their own safety. He does give one chapter to various government and civil organizations that help with disaster relief but he openly criticizes many of them as being wasteful and inefficient. I think that's a criticism we can all agree with.
All in all the information in this book is sound and useful but limited. It may help keep you alive for a week or until your supplies run out. After that you'll need a new plan.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sam Adams on October 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent first look at surviving a natural or man-made disaster in an urban environment. Do not look here for information on wild edibles, constructing wilderness shelters or traps, or on the various methods of starting fire by friction. The focus is entirely on surviving in your home and city, and how to prepare for emergencies where electrical power, gas supply, water supply, and sewage removal may be shut down and you are left on your own without those modern utilities you've come to depend upon in your day to day living. The book is a straightforward, serious discussion of how you can prepare for such an event. The writing is tight and clear and there are no stylistic distractions.

The author grew up in a Mormon family that stockpiled the recommended two years supply of food and emergency essentials, and he has spent time living in primitive environments outside the United States. Following "long years in the military in intelligence and special ops", he was a firefighter and paramedic in Utah, and is now "an internationally recognized consultant in emergency planning and disaster response."

This is not a book that counsels to run for the hills with a heavily laden backpack, a compass and map, and a loaded gun. There is, then, no sense of the moral chaos and the clear need for self-protection that many survival minded people believe would arise in a "SHTF" situation. The author has an apparent faith in the appointed civil authorities, and a trust in one's local, community-network of neighbors gathering together to help one another through seriously difficult times.

Note: A "first look" is not a comprehensive look. It is simply one good place to begin. If you want only one book that tells you everything, this isn't it.
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