Prepper Book Festival 8: The Survival Savvy Family

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Prepper Book Festival 8: The Survival Savvy Family

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Have you or someone you know ever thought “Why prepare? I live in a safe area and nothing is going to happen to me or my family”?

I am 100% certain we all have had similar thoughts at one time or another but then, upon reflection, saw the light.  We now know that being prepared is like having the very best insurance that money can buy.  That is because being prepared means that we will survive should a disaster come knocking on our doorstep.

With that introduction, I would like to present this week’s entry in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival is The Survival Savvy Family: How to Be Your Best During the Absolute Worst by Julie Sczerbinski.

The Survival Savvy Family - Backdoor Survival

Julie is a wife, mom, and a popular blogger in her own right, and she has written a book for anyone and everyone who has ever asked:

If my family had to evacuate where would we go?

How would we have managed if our tap water was contaminated?

What would I have fed the kids if we were stuck on the Atlanta interstate for 10 hours like thousands were during a winter storm?

What exactly goes in an emergency kit?

Good questions, right? In the Survival Savvy Family, Julie writes about family preparedness with a heavy emphasis on the family emergency plan.  Right from the get-go, she poses family discussion questions that once answered, will formulate the basis for that plan.

Of course, there is more.  There are tons of worksheets, checklists, what Julie calls “Be Ready Quick Tips” that contain useful information on all sorts of topics you may not think of.

Julie has set aside a copy of her book for one lucky reader but first, enjoy the interview and learn a bit more about Julie, the person, and of course, her book.

An Interview with Julie Sczerbinski, Author of The Survival Savvy Family

Tell me about your book. What is it about?

Survival Savvy Family is a guide to help families create an emergency plan.

In it, you’ll find information on topics such as, food and water storage, medical and financial readiness, how to be ready away from home, natural disasters, house fires, home invasions, and even how to keep your children safe in the neighborhood, at school and online.

There are templates and checklists throughout the book to make the planning process less overwhelming. I believe it’s a perfect book for new families, families who are just getting started on their emergency plans or for someone who resists becoming prepared because they have the image of a “doomsday prepper” in mind.

What type of research did you have to do while writing this book?

All types. Everything from interviewing suburban moms about their concerns to consulting government and national organizations, like the National Fire Prevention Association, to drawing from my own personal experiences.

How long did it take to write?

Five whole months and when I say whole, I really mean whole! I pretty much dropped everything else going on in my life and chained myself to a desk. I’m thankful my family was so understanding about the writing process.

Every book, fiction or non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?

Living ready for an emergencies, big or small, is a wise idea and there is a way to plan for them without feeling overwhelmed.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Besides being the author of Survival Savvy Family, I’m the creator of the preparedness/self-reliance blog,

I’ve been described as “mainstream” by other preparedness bloggers and I think that’s because I fit in to the mold of average suburban mom. (Well, except, I don’t drive a minivan.  I’m a Super Target-shopping, Starbucks-drinking, Coach purse-carrying mom of two kids who attend public school.  My family lives in the suburbs of Charlotte, NC and our weekends are usually spent at various soccer fields around the city.

After our “awakening” and our decision to live more self-sufficiently, we purchased a small cabin on 13 acres in Virginia mountains. It’s a great place to learn back-to-basics skills and we are slowly turning it into a permaculture homestead.

As an author in the survival, prepping, and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

I wouldn’t say I’m preparing for one particular event. What concerns me is the accumulation of several. I think the world is changing and the future holds real challenges like reduced resources, increased natural disasters, failing economies, etc. Where we are headed is going to be a lot different from where we’ve been.

I believe the best strategy for facing these challenges is becoming as self-sufficient, or self-reliant, as possible. By doing so, I hope give my family with the best chance for a safe, healthy and prosperous future.

What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?

Just like I begin in the book, I would start with the actual tangible family emergency plan. Grab a pen and paper, get the family together and determine what you need be ready for. Discuss the different emergencies and write down what actions you need to take, what supplies you need and what skills you need to deal with them.

What book or movie, fiction or non-fiction, do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?

I’m really not into the apocalyptic genre, although, I did enjoy the books, William Forstchen’s One Second After and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

I am a documentary junkie because documentaries show us what’s already happening. Some of my favorites are: Money for Nothing, Inequality for All, Farmageddon, Food Inc., Tapped, Vanishing of the Bees, and The End of the Line.

Do you have plans for another book?

I wouldn’t rule out writing another book, but no, I don’t have one in the works right now.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

I’d just like to encourage anyone who is thinking about getting started creating a family emergency plan to get started. You may think like I used to, “I’m too busy and chances are something like that won’t happen to us anyway.”

Yes, most of the disasters are low probability events, but all of them are high impact events. Are you willing to gamble with your loved ones’ well-being? Do you want to be caught in a crisis situation with your children, thinking “if only I had planned for this.” ?

Taking the steps to plan ahead and be ready is the responsible thing to do—especially when you have little ones depending on you.

The Giveaway

Here is the part you have been waiting for because I know you are going to want to have a copy of the print version of Julie’s book. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

The Survival Savvy Family is a book about family preparedness with a heavy emphasis on families with children. There is no doomsday and no fear-mongering; just common sense information that is presented in a conversational manner.  While reading it, you might imagine Julie sitting across the table from you at Starbucks and chatting as you drink some coffee and munch on a scone.

Whether you are just starting to prepare or an old pro, you will find little gems in this book that will help you along the way.  Please enter the giveaway; I just know that you will love this book!

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!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight:  Survival Savvy Family: How to Be Your Best During the Absolute Worst

Author Julie Sczerbinski is just like you. She loves her family. And she worries about their well-being. Disasters, from natural to financial, concern her. But unlike most of us, she has a plan. And now, so can you.

Smart, upbeat and direct, Survival Savvy Family helps you to be your best during the absolute worst. This thorough and handy book covers the basics–a family emergency plan, what to include in an emergency kit, tips on food and water storage–and the complex–natural disasters, house fires and home invasions.

Find out how easy it is to plan for the unexpected without being overwhelmed. You can help your children stay safe at school, in the neighborhood and online. Learn to take control before chaos hits. Become a Survival Savvy Family.


I carry my portable survival kit whenever I leave the house.  The nice thing about it is that it fits neatly in a pocket, day pack, glove box, or handbag.  If you are interested in more details or need assistance building your own kit, see 8 Essential Items: The Perfect Portable Survival Kit.  In the meantime, here are some items you should consider carrying with you as you travel near and far.

BIC Classic Lighters (12): A dozen full-size BIC lighters at a bargain price with free shipping.

Paracord Lanyard:  I prefer a paracord lanyard over a bracelet because I can use its clip to attach my whistle as well as other items that I may want to add from time to time such as a second flashlight, a Swiss army knife, pepper spray, or a flash drive (thumb drive).

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: One of my readers (James) claimed that these work great. So I bought one. Then I bought another.  All told, I have 8 of these spread out in drawers, in my emergency kits, the car, everywhere.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife: This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.

Windstorm Safety Whistle: This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.  I love my cheapie whistles but this is the one I would depend on for wilderness survival.

Lavender Essential Oil:  This is the Swiss army knife of essential oils. My favorite lavender oil is from Spark Naturals.  Enjoy a 10% discount with code BACKDOORSURVIVAL.

Rectangular Tin with Window: I found this tin that is very similar to mine.  Chances are you have something similar already that can be repurposed for free.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  Too large for a pocket kit but important to have with you is the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter.  At only 2 ounces (in weight), the LifeStraw is suitable for a backpack or bug out bag.  It is easy to use and requires no chemicals to remove a  minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


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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57 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 8: The Survival Savvy Family”

  1. My purse is my EDC, but unless I start naming items in my purse, that’s only 1. There’s also the clothes on my back and the specs on my nose!

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