If there is one thing we have little control of, it is the ravages of Mother Nature. Whether a catastrophic winter storm, a massive flood, or the greatest earthquake in modern times, we stand at risk and there is not a heck of a lot we can do about it other than prepare.
So imagine an earthquake so big, and so deadly, that there are few survivors. Those that do survive, are faced with unimaginable challenges simply to live from day to day. Thus sets the stage of the Changing Earth Series.
Without Land is the second book in the series and in it we find the main character, Erika, still struggling nine years later. The government is not much help (no surprise there) and if anything, is working against her and her efforts to cope in a world that has little to offer. What I like about the book is that through Erika, you can easily imagine what you would do, or not do, when faced in a similar situation.
With that introduction, I introduce the next book in Prepper Book Festival #13, Without Land (Changing Earth Series) by Sara Hathaway. The first book in the series was a part of the Summer 2014 Book Festival and ever since then, I have kept in touch with Sara, waiting for Book 2 of the series.
Today I share an all-new interview with Sara. In addition, I have both books in the Changing Earth Series up for grabs in a giveaway. There will be two winners. Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.
An Interview with Sara Hathaway, Author of Without Land (Changing Earth Series)
Given your background, knowledge and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?
Having been raised in the country, I have been growing and preserving food for most of my life. Therefore, I feel food preservation and wild foraging skills are at the very top of my list of most important survival skills. No matter how much food an individual stocks, eventually it will run out or it could be lost during the initial event. Anyone who intends on surviving long term after a global catastrophe has to understand and be capable of growing, finding and hunting food. After those food sources have been obtained, they will need to be preserved so that they do not go to waste.
Second on my list of essential survival skills is self-defense and fitness skills. Times will be rough. An individual accustomed to sitting on the couch, doing as little as possible is going to have a rude awakening when they have to physically ensure their own survival. Basic fitness is absolutely essential but self defense skills will be very important as well.
Understanding weapon systems from firearms to hand to hand combat weapons could be the difference between life and death. Hand to hand combat weapons will always be available but unless an individual can make gun powder, lead balls and has an old musket to fire them, eventually the bullets will run out; conditioning the body to be ready to defend these physical assaults will be essential. Learning self defense and being physically capable of applying self defense techniques is an absolute must.
When something really goes wrong with a loved one, usually they are rushed off to the doctor or the hospital to find out what can be done to make them better. After a global catastrophe there may not be an accessible doctor or hospital. That is why medical skills is number three on my list. With the physical demands of survival weighing on everyone, people are going to get hurt. Someone has to have the skills to stich them back up and make sure the injury stays infection free. Little injuries without access to antibiotics can become life threatening problems.
Beyond the obvious day to day injuries someone has to be able to recognize health problems within individuals that may threaten the health of the group. This can range from communicable diseases to mental health problems.
What would you purchase if you only had $500 to spend on preparedness supplies?
With only $500 to spend on preparedness supplies and assuming I have nothing, besides clothes and boots, I would first have to answer one question: Am I bugging in or out? Either way one of the first things I would do is go to as many gun shows as possible and try to buy the least expensive 10/22 I could and get a few boxes of ammo as well.
If my family and I are going to bug out, I would buy and carry a decent amount of seeds for hearty, easy to grow plants that my family likes to eat. I would visit the local flea market and get back packs for each family member. While at the flea market I would also look for inexpensive tarps, first aid kits, paracord, knives, an aluminum pot for boiling water and a longer slimmer aluminum pot for survival stew (survival stew is a collection of the wild foragables you pick while traveling boiled in water at the end of the day). I would also include a LifeStraw in each bag and a mix of jerky, trail mix, rice and dried beans.
If my family and I were bugging in, I would buy seeds and try to preserve as much of my current seed stock as possible. I would visit a bulk supply food store where I could cheaply obtain bulk rice, flour and canned goods. I would invest in a quality water filter that works without relying upon power (like the Alexapure model I currently own).
Securing my home would be of the utmost importance so I would invest some money in plywood to cover windows and cable that I could build traps with.
Do you feel totally prepared and if not, what prep area concerns you the most?
Is anyone totally prepared? Even if someone believes they know all there is to know, there is always someone who does it better to learn from.
Modern lifestyles in the United States have taken individuals a long way from understanding what it truly takes to provide for a family without modern conveniences. That being said, I am always eager to learn more about wild foraging. Stepping outside you enter a giant grocery store, as long as you know what you can and can’t eat. As soon as you think you have it figured out you realize that every region and ecosystem has it’s own unique set of edibles.
My medical skills are also an area that I need to focus on. I have been trained as an Emergency Medical Technician and that’s when I realized that there is a big difference between learning something and doing something. I aced the class but when I was asked to draw upon these skills in the real world, I froze and was elated that help was close enough that I wouldn’t have to help. I am not comfortable with having someone else’s life in my hands but if it was one of my loved ones, I believe I could step up to the plate. Although I continue to study medical information, I also actively look to fill this role in my survival group with someone else.
The last skill that I am really interested in improving for long term survival is tool making and forging skills. I am fascinated by the ability to take a piece of metal and change it into something else. Being able to competently perform this skill opens up opportunities for an individual because they would be able to make new weapons, security items, tools, eating utensils, and so much more.
To what extent does your family participate in your personal preparedness efforts?
My family is 100% on board with my personal preparedness efforts. Recently we were evacuated from our home because of a nearby wild fire. My husband and I were able to evacuate a family of four people and two dogs with all of our go-gear, weapons etc. in just fifteen minutes. The value of our preparedness lifestyle became extremely clear that night and my husband thanked me for getting him on board.
My husband and I make survival preparedness into family bonding time. Whether it’s camping, shooting, running obstacle courses, gardening or wild foraging on a hike we do it together. My children have learned the value of the taste of food foraged or grown in our own garden. While they learn valuable survival skills that they can pass on to their children, we have strengthened our relationships by spending time together.
What work of fiction do you feel gives the best portrayal of what could happen in real life?
One of the books that I am haunted by because I think it really could happen is Tyrant: The Rise. Written by L. Douglas Hogan, this novel depicts an America betrayed by the first female president. Agenda 21 is in full effect and a “relocation” process has been initiated for Americans by the UN. L. Douglas Hogan has trained and taught in the military, been a law enforcement officer, and worked in the Illinois Government.
Knowing of his experience in the inner workings of government, his depiction of these “fictional” future events run eerily close to events we are watching unfold currently. Scary stuff.
If there was a disruptive event and you had to evacuate, what non-fiction books or reference manuals would you take with you?
There is one manual that I consider absolutely essential in an evacuation and that is Urban and Wilderness Emergency Preparedness by James Hart. It is a big manual but absolutely worth it’s weight because this manual is packed end to end with essential information.
The second manual that I carry all the time in my everyday carry kit is SAS Survival Guide by John “Lofty” Wiseman. It is not as all inclusive as James’s book but it is still a quality resource for all things survival. Plus it is pocket size and easy to carry around.
The last book that I would bring is Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West by Gregory L. Tilford. This is a great book that beautifully represents many edibles of the West. The pictures in it are brilliant and the descriptions are very well done. This attention to detail is essential in an edibles book because plants can look vastly different depending on the season and growing conditions.
Do you have anything else, such as an announcement, message, personal experience, that you would like to share with the readers on Backdoor Survival?
As Americans become more and more reliant upon technology, more and more of the traditional survival skills and relationships with our natural environments are lost. I would caution each and every individual to be conscious of this and find a balance in your life.
Hiking, wild foraging, gardening and engaging with your natural environment has been medically proven to be beneficial for your body. Humans have survived and thrived because of our ability to adapt and overcome. If the earth changes again, as it has so many time in the past, we need to be able to adapt and overcome again. Our technology partnered with our knowledge of the natural environment may be the key to success.
It is my personal mission to partner entertainment and education together so that individuals can learn survival skills in a way that makes it fun and interesting. Everybody is looking forward to chaos after a collapse but it is my belief that if individuals support our local farmers, learn food preservation methods and take steps to secure not only our personal survival but community survival, Americans can come through the chaos together, supporting one another.
I realize that many people don’t want to listen to the many threats of collapse but I will keep trying to show them how they can survive it. I work hard to educate, entertain and get people interested in a preparedness lifestyle through my fictional novels and a weekly podcast that I host called, The Changing Earth Podcast.
Both of these projects have taken a lot of time and money to produce but if I can open the eyes of just a few more individuals each day then it’s 100% worth it. We all need to dream, survive and thrive!
Sara has reserved two sets of both Day After Disaster and Without Land in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.
The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific 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
Because I have had numerous requests for survival and post-apocalyptic fiction written from a woman’s point of view, I am thrilled to have Sara onboard once again and anxiously anticipate book 3 in her series. In the meantime, though, I encourage you to get caught up in Erika’s world, such as it is, and think about what you would do if faced with similar challenges.
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!
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Spotlight: Without Land (Changing Earth Series)
Without Land is book number two in The Changing Earth Series. The lone survivor from Sacramento, Erika, is a tenacious woman, mother and wife. After her grueling journey of survival during The Day After Disaster, she thought America would let freedom reign forever but nine years after the Great Quake, the reaction by the American Government was quite different.
Citizens still in possession of viable land found themselves farming and fulfilling many obligations for the citizens left alive. Many more people were left landless and instead of allowing them to roam in packs, the government rounded them up and housed them in refugee camps. The government quickly enacted new policies to maintain order. Only landowning citizens were allowed the right to vote on these new policies. The refugee families were signed up to an adoption program.
The landowners were given the right to pick and choose individuals and families to house on their property. This way the refugees could provide manual labor for the farms due to the shortage of oil to fuel machinery. The final blow to the hearts of refugees was the introduction of the “infertility” law which stated that any landless refugees would be rendered infertile after the age of thirteen. It was voted on and passed to maintain population levels in this world desperately trying to recover.
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.
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