Prepper Book Festival 13: The Journal Series

Learning from survival fiction is one of my passions although I do recognize and accept that many of the scenarios are quite extreme. Still, as a prepper that is continually challenged by the pursuit of knowledge, I keep reading and keep playing the “what if” game in my own mind.  One of the best series of books for doing so is Deborah D. Moore’s The Journal Series.

If that name sounds familiar, it is because you were introduced to Deborah a couple of months back when her cookbook was featured In Prepper Book Festival 12.  Many of you came out in droves telling me about her Journal Series and how wonderful these books were. 

The Journal Series by Deborah Moore | Backdoor Survival

With that introduction, I am pleased to present the first three books of The Journal Series along with another fantastic interview with Deborah. 

But first, let me tell you a little bit about her books.  The series hero is actually a heroine (and I know from your comments you are thirsty for more survival books where the protagonist is a woman).  Allexa is pretty much an ordinary gal, doing her job as the emergency services manager for a small town. When I say ordinary, however, I mean prepper-centric ordinary, like someone else we know, right?

The story unfolds as a diary which chronicles a series of  events and the decisions made to get through a wide variety of disruptive events that turn both Allexa’s world and the country upside down.

This week’s giveaway is a special edition of The Journal Series that includes three books, Cracked Earth, Ash Fall, and Crimson Skies.  Three copies are up for grabs so there will be three winners!  Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Deborah D. Moore, Author of The Journal Series

Given your background, knowledge, and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?

ADAPTATION – things will NOT go as you have planned. Think of it this way: if you’re following a set/worn path and a large tree fell, blocking your route, what would you do? Go around of course, that’s adapting to the situation, and it’s a critical skill to have.

LEARN to read a compass and learn to read the sky. Pay attention to your surroundings. I can smell rain coming, odd as that may sound. I live in the woods; I listen to all the different sounds and the birds… they will tell you much.

DON’T DEPEND ON ANYONE – While it’s good to have faith, it can be fatal or at the least disappointing. If your very life depends on something, then YOU should do it: it’s called paddling your own canoe. This really should be #1.

What would you purchase if you only had $500 to spend on preparedness supplies?

This is really difficult! $500 doesn’t go very far these days.

If you’re looking for advice, long term, storable food is always a good choice. For myself, I would stock up on heirloom seeds, and heavy plastic to build a greenhouse (the actual structure can be scavenged).

Do you feel totally prepared and if not, what prep area concerns you the most?

No one is totally prepared.

SECURITY – I’m single and live alone. It’s impossible to be on guard 24/7. Hopefully, if TSHTF, one of my sons can make it here. Two is better than one; three is better than two. That being said, I am of the belief that there CAN be too many in certain circumstances. At some point, you will have a major conflict of personalities that will cause problems and distractions, either one can be deadly to the group as a whole.

To what extent does your family participate in your personal preparedness efforts?

No one in my family participates in MY efforts, however, most of them share my views and beliefs and prepared themselves to one extent or another. It’s my friends that I’m more concerned about.

What work of fiction do you feel gives the best portrayal of what could happen in real life?

HA! That’s easy: My own books, The Journal Series. I went to great lengths to make the story line and all that happened as real and as plausible as possible, and I think that’s what most readers take away from them – the realism.

Other than mine, I would have to say Alas, Babylon; Lucifer’s Hammer; Earth Abides, these are what got me started.

If there was a disruptive event and you had to evacuate, what non-fiction books or reference manuals would you take with you?

I would have to say Where There is no Doctor and Where There is no Dentist, would have to be my first choices, plus maps, lots of maps. Most everything else I have in my head, although that doesn’t do anyone besides me, any good.

Do you have anything else, such as an announcement, message, personal experience, that you would like to share with the readers on Backdoor Survival?

From personal experience: You can’t prepare tomorrow for what happens today.

And for those who feel that preparing is a wasteful or useless venture, I would like to share my brother’s favorite quote concerning prepping: “I’m prepared to be wrong. Are you?”

I would also like to announce that The Journal: Martial Law (book #6) is near completion and should be available in a few months.

The Giveaway

Update:  The Rafflecopter technical issues have been corrected!

Deborah has reserved three copies of a bind-up of The Journal Series, Books 1-2-3, in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.  There will be three winners.

A special word about the giveaway question/comment:  Please read the question and respond accordingly, even it the answer is “I don’t know”.  This week’s question is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM MST Tuesday with the winners notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winners must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

One reviewer on Amazon said, “If 5 is the top rating, these books deserve a 10”.  I would have to agree.  I love the diary/journal format and I love Allexa for who she is and what she tries to accomplish.  I also like that Deborah herself is a prepper of the highest order.

Finally, I do encourage you to also take a look at  A Prepper’s Cookbook.  You will find it is much more than a mere collection of recipes. It is also about life off-grid, and living sustainably.  The garden, the animals, and even a quiet walk in the woods are shared in such a way that you really want to get to know both the person and the lifestyle.

For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #13: Books to Help You Prepare.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye


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Spotlight:  The Journal Series (Book 1)

Allexa Smeth has believed in being prepared ever since she got caught up in a grocery store mob hours before a big snow storm in Detroit. Many years later she’s living a quiet and peaceful life in a remote region of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and still preparing. This serves her well when a horrendous natural disaster rocks the entire country and brings all shipping to a halt, leaving many without food and other necessary supplies.

In her small town of Moose Creek, Allexa serves as the little needed emergency manager, but is called on when many start to feel the effects of the food and gas shortage and they don’t know where else to turn. The nearby county seat is overwhelmed and leaves Allexa to handle the problems that arise on her own.

As the winter progresses, more and more issues come up for Allexa to deal with, some of a very personal nature. Her son turns to her for help in caring for his autistic child when his wife goes missing. She then learns to prioritize and she learns she can’t save everyone.

Note:  Here is a link to the complete, 5 book series.

Bargain Bin: For your convenience, here is a complete list of all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival #13.

Non Fiction Books

Made From Scratch Life
Prepper Guns
A Prepper’s Guide to Life after the Crash
Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook: A Lifesaving Collection of Emergency Procedures from U.S. Army Field Manuals
Heal Local: 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare
The Urban Farmer
Power from the Sun: A Practical Guide to Solar Electricity
Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together
Prepper Knots
Crafting With Paracord
Neighborhood Emergency Response
Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition
Prepper’s Water Survival Guide (Encore)

Survival Fiction

A Simple Man
Without Land (Changing Earth Series)
Holding Their Own XII: Copperheads
The Journal Series
299 Days Series (Encore)

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Third Edition:  The SURVIVAL MEDICINE Handbook

A frequent question I get on Backdoor Survival has to do with healthcare matters when there is no doctor around. This is the definite source of survival medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible for survival medicine.

Survival Medicine Handbook 2016

    1. yes, Olivia, water should be at the top of everyone’s list.
      Remember the rule of 3:
      you can survive without air for 3 minutes
      you can survive without water for 3 days
      you can survive without food for 3 weeks

  1. Short term I would go with shelter, drinkable water, and security. Longer term I would go with a secure area/group, water purification system, and farm/garden space.

  2. I think it’s important to prepare with the skills to purify water, build shelters, make a fire, know how to preserve food, and so on, I believe that having a positive attitude and being able to adapt is equally important.

  3. Know how to find and purify water, KNOW your limitations and work on alternative ways of accomplishing the things one needs to do. I sometimes feel I can “take on the world” like I was 20 again but reality is I am growing older and the things I used to be able to do easily is getting harder and harder to do. DH has arthritis in the spine and while he’s on meds he still finds it’s tough to move as well as he did when younger, Know how to cultivate/find seeds for growing food/meds in your area.

  4. Most critical is to cultivate the ability not to panic no matter what, and then the leadership skills to keep others from panicing. Then think about water, shelter and food in that order.

  5. Knowing how to make a fire and being able to cook and bake on my wood cookstove. Knowing how to preserve food in various forms. Knowing how to repair and patch damaged items for reuse.

  6. I had no idea there were books of this kind with a female protagonist. How very awesome! I am adding this series to my booklist!

  7. Adaptability. persistence, and inventiveness are keys to my survival plan. I am 63 yo woman with arthritis in one shoulder, so all my BOBs and GHBs have wheels. I’ve learned how to lever heavy objects since I can’t just pick them up. And I just keep trying until I succeed.

  8. Three skills: Teaching your children to develop a prepper’s mindset. Keen observational skills (reading body language, paying attention for things that don’t seem right, etc.) Food storage and the ability to prepare foods in multiple ways.

  9. You can store food and water but you need to know how to provide your own like the pioneers.
    Know how to provide your shelter and security.
    Know how to heal wounds and sickness.

  10. I’m just learning about survival skills so I’m not sure what is needed, but thanks to a lot of blogs and websites, I’m learning a lot.

  11. Hmmm skills.OK, in ‘hard skills’ I’d say find and purify water, cut chop wood and make fire, create shelter from available materials. Now, what I think of as “soft” skills- being adaptable, creating calm, sizing up a situation.

  12. Hi, Water would be my first purchase, long term food and wood and nails to board up windows and doors. thank you so much for your blog on surviving, you really break it down where I can understand what steps to take. thank you

  13. Knowing things is the ideal but who of us really can keep those things in their head. The next best thing is having written sources of info esp in re to keeping and maintaining health. Water, food, shelter, are a 2nd priority. Prepping is complicated, involved and costly and should not be bragged about. The world out there is full of ruthless people who would rather take than anything else. Good luck to all of use who are working hard at trying to ensure a tomorrow.

  14. Hmmm, I would say food & water, shelter, and protection. I struggled on where to put medical information since it is important as well.

  15. 1- Mental adaptability with situational awareness
    2-Locate and purify water
    3- Ability to provide shelter including making fire
    Other important and necessary skills include defense, food preservation, and mental exercise.

  16. I believe the best skills to have in event of an emergency or SHTF scenario are gardening & storing foods, protection of your home & resources & how to heal without a doctor and naturally.

  17. I agree water, shelter, food are the top priorities in a practical sense. But adaptability, emotional stability, and resilience are what get us through once stuff starts to happen.

  18. Water, shelter and food are the most important. Having the skills to acquire these and to insure security are very important in being able to survive. Preps can be taken away, but the knowledge to secure more can not be taken from a person.

  19. Three of the most important Prepping skills.

    1 – ability to remain calm / not to panic
    2 – when things go wrong or break having the ability to find unconventional solutions.
    3 – unquenchable desire to continue learning new skills

  20. Shelter – how to stay warm and dry. How to make it find shelter, how to manage your clothing.

    Mental State – how to remain clam or regain control. How to solve problems and use what is available.

    Awareness – learning to listen and look for red flags. Notice changes in environment. Pay attention to your surroundings.

  21. There are many skills that would be important, but having a positive attitude, being resilient and creative in looking for solutions, and perhaps being good at acquiring knowledge and having the foresight to visualize what you will need might be close to the top. The basic supplies–food, water, shelter, self-defense and ability to communicate/know what is going on when there is no power–are probably givens for preps.

  22. We’re just getting started, but because we are seniors we feel our physical abilities limit our survivability in a number of circumstances. We wonder what we can do to overcome some of these limits.

    In the often drought ridden south/southwest we have no real water source to turn to… and only so much space to store and rotate water.

    We would like experienced preppers to address these issues in a blog or book. What can adults who are older or people with disabilities do to increase their survivability odds if even a little SHTF.

  23. The most important prepper skill I think is knowing how to procure water. Without water all your preps arent worth much if you die from dehydration,

  24. First is the ability to remain calm and reasonably thinking. Then comes the necessities water, shelter, and food and so on. If you can’t remember your skills or fall apart when you realize the problem you’re in trouble.

  25. Aside from the obvious, finding & purifying water, I think adapting to my limitations. At 70 I realize “bugging out” on foot would be almost impossible so “bugging in” becomes more important. Also fortifying & adapting my vehicle for leaving if I have too.

    1. Linda, yes, as we age things become more difficult and we need to adjust and find new ways to do old things. Taking the entire scope of our situation account is key to our survival.
      Deborah

  26. 1) the ability to quickly assess other people upon meeting them.
    2) The ability to be able to work with other people.
    3)Understanding that stagnation equals death. Everyone should continuously try to expand their knowledge and try to acquire necessary supplies.

  27. 1. Planning ahead, having a plan to get home and/or meet up with family & friends.
    2. Knowing how you will obtain water and food.
    3. Knowing how to protect yourself.

  28. Adaptability/Critical Thinking
    Medical/First Aid
    Food skills, including foraging, gardening, preservation and cooking from scratch.

    1. Kris, stored food only lasts so long. I’m pleased you’re thinking ahead about gardening, preserving that garden, and a skill not many have these days: cooking from scratch! Check out my book: A Prepper’s Cookbook: 20 years of cooking in the woods.

  29. I think three important survival skills are 1) having strategies to help you handle your stress and be able to think, 2) knowing how to cook various foods by all different means, 3) knowing how to protect yourself

  30. Adaptability/Critical Thinking
    Medical/First Aid
    Food skills including foraging, gardening, preserving and cooking from scratch.

  31. Three most important survival skills for me:
    1. Prayer
    2. Attitude. Many people freeze and/or psychologically crumble in the face of disaster. Willingness to face the reality that disaster, either natural or man made, will occur and that we cannot, must not, depend on others for survival.
    23 Prep to meet Maslow’s Heirarchy of needs.

  32. Since I live in a major metropolitan city, I think of safety first, so the ability to stay in a safe place would be important to me, along with keeping myself hydrated with a safe water source. Having a plan and knowing what skills you have to work with others is a big one too. I’m a nurse and would gladly offer my skills in exchange for others’ expertise. Just like in business, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, will get you pretty far.

    1. YES! there are so many possible situations/scenario’s that could happen, and we can’t prepare for them all (as much as many of us try to).
      But you do need the same basics for every scenario: food, water, shelter and protection. It’s the degree of the need that changes.

  33. Know how to make or keep water safe to drink, basic first aid,keeping warm in winter. Also depending on your situation you may need to know how to keep cool or keep your skin from being water logged. Knowledge of firearms is handy.

  34. We need to know how to build a fire for personal warmth, cooking, and water purification.
    We need to know how to find and purify water.
    We need to know how to forage for/hunt for/grow food.

  35. 1. Spiritual assurance/Mental awareness
    2. Ability to fashion some type of shelter if out in the wild
    3. Ability to locate/purify water

    1. heat is something man don’t think about. Here in the far, far north, having an independent method of staying warm is critical. I start my supply of winter wood in May!

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