With the dawn of the new year less than a week away, many prepper types, both new and experienced, are revisiting their to-do lists and setting some new goals. What better way to start setting those goals than to get out your stack of preparedness books to review for things you missed the first time through?
Of course you can also pick up a new book to gain a all-new perspective on preparedness. That is what I am doing.
With that introduction, I would like to introduce you to “Start Prepping!!: Get Prepared for Life” by Tim Young. This book is the latest entry in Prepper Book Festival 10: The Best New Books to Help You Prepare and let me tell you, it is a great book!
As Tim states from the get go, this book will teach you that preparedness is about much more
than having stuff. It is about having skills and, most important, embracing the survival mindset.
Something else he does is let us know from the get go that this book is about short term prepping which he defines as one month. I really like that he sets this expectation, and even better, lives up to it with a 10 step plan that includes detailed checkpoints so you can track your progress along the way. This is my kind of book.
In usual book festival fashion, today I share an interview with Tim, plus I have a copy of his book up for grabs in a giveaway.
Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.
An Interview with Tim Young Author of Smart Prepping!
Tell me about your book. What is it about?
The book is called Start Prepping!, Get Prepared—For Life!. The title pretty much sums up the aim of the book, which is to encourage people to start prepping.
The subtitle is “A 10-Step Path to Emergency Preparedness So You Can Survive Any Disaster” and the book follows the path in this illustration: The 10-Step Plan to Preparedness.
Prior to dealing with the first priority on the path, water, I devoted a chapter to the 27 personal and societal risks in my order from most likely to least likely. And while EMP is on the list, it isn’t number one—or even in the top 10.
Also, in addition to providing specific guidance for each step on the path, the book includes a number of preparedness challenges to help readers put into practice what they learn, as well as templates for evacuation and communications.
What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?
Much of the content is second nature to me since I live and embrace what I wrote about, but there were areas I had to research to make sure I conveyed the best advice possible.
In particular, I went to great lengths to vet out information on water purification as it relates to using water from swimming pools, waterbeds and so on. Many preppers champion using calcium hypochlorite for water purification, and I do too. But there are some deadly consequences of mishandling calcium hypochlorite. I cited two examples in the book and just wanted folks to be aware, since I rarely see those dangers mentioned.
There are a lot of books in the market on prepping. Why did you feel another was necessary?
You’re absolutely correct that there are a number of excellent books available on the subject of preparedness. However, thanks to shows like Doomsday Preppers and countless failed predictions/prophecies on the part of extremists, the concept of prepping is not taken seriously by mainstream Americans.
Where I felt there was a need was with a book that reached out to those who have yet to embrace prepping, but to do so without any of the doomsday rhetoric we so often hear in the prepping community. In other words, I didn’t want to scare folks by saying that an EMP, super-volcano or some other event that they’ve never heard of might happen, but rather wanted to show them how preparing was something humans have always done.
To convey that message, a good portion of the book delves into normalcy bias, situational awareness and the survival mindset. The more readers understand the potential devastating impact of likely disasters (job loss, house fire, natural disaster, assault) the more likely they are to take the first step into prepping.
So the message I hope that readers take is that being prepared is as sensible as carrying a spare tire in a vehicle.
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I’m a recovering corporate type, having spent a good part of my life on an airplane and running businesses. My wife and I bought a run-down 126-acre property about a decade ago and turned it into a grass-based livestock farm and artisan cheese making business.
As time went on we found our passion was in the area of homesteading and self-sufficiency rather than commercial farming, so now we’re living the life we want; rural, isolated and taking care of most of our needs.
Part of living a self-sufficient life is producing your own income, as I described in the book How to Make Money Homesteading, so I generate income through writing. My website is www.selfsufficientman.com
As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?
In our case we’re just preparing for life since preparing for a single event is a mistake, in my opinion.
If you can move to the country like we did then prepping is pretty simple—in concept. Most of what we focus on is developing and refining skills rather than storing more stuff. So we grow and make our own soaps, lotions, medicines, meats, dairy, cheeses, veggies…all the stuff we NEED to get by. We have large, stocked ponds, a septic tank, good hunting and plenty of potable water.
However, more people each day live in tightly packed urban areas, so everything I just mentioned isn’t possible for them. That’s the group I wrote Start Prepping! for.
Whether they read my book or one of the other excellent titles available, I’m worried about that group of people and hope they start taking preparedness seriously. When disaster strikes, it’ll be too late.
What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?
Well—you caught me. In the last chapter of Start Prepping! I included a 10-Step Quick Start Guide for those who didn’t have the patience to follow all the advice in the book, but had some money to “buy” some preparedness. The list was in priority order so I’ll have to honor what I wrote. Here’s what I said for #1: Water
Now, I’d approach water in two phases. 1) I’d put aside 15 gallons of water per person in my family. That’s enough for two weeks. 2) I’d purchase a portable water filter so that I could purify water from any source in case I had to bug out.
What book or movie, fiction or non-fiction, do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?
I’m afraid that I believe both Contagion & CyberStorm are fairly plausible. Contagion is a very entertaining film that we watch regularly, and CyberStorm is an engaging read. Both make me very, very happy that we left the rat race and moved to the country.
Do you have plans for another book?
Of course. I’m taking a break from nonfiction and completing a novel, which will be finished later this fall. The one-sentence summary is: In a digital world where cash is banned and life-support systems depend solely on technology, a mother fights to survive after a weaponized virus crashes the system and reveals society’s thin veneer.
I’m having a great time writing it—but it’s a scary concept.
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Yes. If you haven’t begun yet, start prepping. Today. If you have already begun, become a big brother or sister and recruit a non-prepper into the world of preparedness.
I describe ways to do that in a non-doomsday manner in the section on prepper groups in Start Prepping! but I’m sure your readers will know the approach that’s best for them.
Let’s take prepping mainstream. After all, no one makes fun when we tell the Boy Scouts to “Be Prepared,” and nor should they.
Tim has reserved a copy of Start Prepping! for this Book Festival Giveaway.
To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below. Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours. The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”. After that, each option you select represents an additional entry. There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.
The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.
The Final Word
In reading this book, one of the most important takeaways for me, as an experienced prepper, is that the new generation of prepper books is far more focused on risk analysis and personal goal-setting that the “do this first, then do that” books of four or five years ago. That means that even though a particular book is written for the beginner, it brings value to the seasoned prepper as well.
As an example, in this book the chapter on personal security and survival mindset drills down to the core instincts we must examine and hone in order to survive. Earlier books rarely delved into this topic with much more than a paragraph or two. (Note: Tim also gets into this topic in a later book, The Survival Mindset: Situational Awareness to Avoid Violence & Survive Disasters, coming up in the book festival next month.)
In closing, I encourage you to enter the giveaway to win your own copy of Tim Young’s Start Prepping! Like I said, it is a good one.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Spotlight: START PREPPING!: GET PREPARED-FOR LIFE: A 10-Step Path to Emergency Preparedness So You Can Survive Any Disaster
You don’t like to think about it, but deep down you know it can happen. Disaster can strike without warning, leaving your family without water, food, or electricity, and without medical or police support. How will you survive when that happens? How will you protect your family from threats of violence?
Buying insurance, writing wills, getting our teeth cleaned, and saving for retirement are just a few of the precautions we routinely take to mitigate risks, but most people fail to prepare for what’s most important.
They fail to prepare for their own survival.
With 91% of Americans living in places at a moderate-to-high risk of disasters and with all of us dependent on a very fragile life-support system, it’s time for you to take preparedness seriously.
When you read this book you will
- understand the 27 disasters you’re likely to face why some people perish when others don’t, and you’ll know how to ensure your family survives.
- master situational awareness and the survival mindset you need to avoid becoming a victim of violence.
- know when to stay, when to bug out, and how to implement an evacuation plan.
- learn the best non-firearm options for self-defense.
- discover the best ways to generate electricity, store water and food, and handle sanitation and medical care on your own.
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Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage
No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage. The eBook print version is available.
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