Why You Need The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness – Part 1

With so many books on prepping and survival these days, how do you know which are the best ones to put in your survival library? Each one has its purpose. Each one covers things just a bit differently. When you consider what you’ve gleaned from the books you have already, how well have they prepared you for disaster?

Let me tell you why you need The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness. It’s a DestinySurvival Pick, and it’s by Jim Cobb, a noted disaster readiness expert. What sets him apart is that he approaches prepping with refreshing common sense, not hype or B.S. He’s been involved with emergency preparedness for about thirty years.

He’s also the author of Prepper’s Home Defense. I’ve read both of Jim’s books and recommend each one. I’ve interviewed him on DestinySurvival Radio, too. In fact, he was my guest on this week’s show. I’ll tell you about his book and our conversation.


The Prepper's Complete Book of Disaster Readiness


Is it really complete?

As with Jim’s first book, each chapter could be its own book. I don’t know how he does it so well, but he packs a lot of information into a limited space–277 pages in this case.

No book can ultimately be complete, in spite of the title. But Jim wanted to give new and veteran preppers a complete spectrum of subject matter pertaining to disaster readiness. A chapter near the end gives great recommendations for further reading from books with a narrower focus.

Here are some of the topics covered in the book’s chapters.

  • The Survival Mind-Set
  • Survival Kits
  • Bugging Out vs. Sheltering in Place
  • Pantry Organization and Storage
  • Foraging
  • Water
  • Health and Wellness
  • Miscellaneous Emergency Gear
  • Security
  • Children, Pets, and the Elderly
  • Wilderness Skills
  • Offsite Survival Retreats, Survival Communities, and Retreat Groups
  • The Survival Library
Jim starts the book with an amusing example of being unprepared when his wife’s water broke and she was ready to deliver their baby. It’s a rather friendly example of what not to do when things need to be done quickly. And in an emergency, you’d better have things thought through as much as possible ahead of time. And Jim gives you plenty to think on.


Are you a balanced prepper?

Jim takes a swing at those who are into what’s commonly referred to as conspiracy theory. But these days anything can happen. I believe nothing should be ruled out, no matter how improbable it may seem. If we’re to think survival, we need to think the unthinkable.

Nonetheless, common sense should prevail. This is a word of caution for those among us who entertain scenarios whichmost people would think of as inconceivable. Keep things in proper perspective. Maintain a balance. Jim says it’s good to be informed, but time is better spent getting prepared than connecting dots that may or may not be real.


Can’t I do anything I want?

Several times throughout his book, Jim encourages readers to stay within the bounds of the law. There’s a legal way to do what you want. As he explained it to me, you can’t get prepared if you’re sitting behind bars or breaking your budget by paying fines.

It would take an EMP or disaster of similar magnitude to bring about a widespread environment where there is no law and order. But do what you can now so you’re not surprised by the unexpected. At least be as ready mentally as you can be. If you’re prepared for total societal collapse, you’re surely prepared for a smaller event like a three day power outage.


How can I use the best survival tool?

It’s been said that the best survival tool is the one between your ears. Jim’s chapter on the survival mindset is very good. It includes insights which I can sum up like this…
  • Be present (situational awareness)
  • Be positive
  • Be realistic
  • Be resourceful
So how do we develop that all important resourcefulness and creativity? For example, how can we figure out that a stick is more than just a stick?

Jim says play with it. Pretend you’re eight years old again. Let your imagination run wild.

That’s the best and simplest advice I’ve heard.


What’s in the bag?

Jim gives common sense advice on what to include in your bug out or get home bag. Appendices in his book are helpful with checklists for this, too.

Should you buy a commercially available ready-made bag? Don’t buy it just to feel good and say you’re prepared. Jim says the key is to customize your bag for your needs. Buy quality items. Get familiar with what’s in your bag. Know how to use it.


To buy wheat or not to buy wheat…

Don’t buy wheat? Believe it or not, Jim discourages most preppers from buying buckets of wheat. When a disaster hits, will you know what to do with all that wheat?

So what about buying large amounts of freeze dried food or MRE’s? Let me put it thisway. There’s a reason Jim joins Doctor Prepper and others who say to store what you eat and eat what you store.


But I gotta do it this way!

We discussed the importance of routine. We’re creatures of habit. We become disoriented when our normal routine is disrupted. It’s important in the wake of a disaster to try to develop a new routine quickly and stick to it. This provides psychological comfort. Even something as simple as having light when it’s dark can provide reassurance.


What about the children?

Get them involved in prepping and dealing with reality. They may have good answers to problems you hadn’t thought of. And don’t lie to them about the situation you’re in.


When it’s really over…

In his book Jim even tells what you should do to bury a loved one who dies. What if there’s no immediate medical help? What if there’s no access to the normal services for disposing of the dead? As distasteful and horrible as this sounds, we need to be prepared for this if we’re to think the unthinkable.


What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine

What’s the difference between looting and scavenging? Who cares anyway when you’re in a situation where there’s no law and order?

The difference is in the intent. Jim defines looting as taking things that don’t belong to you but have little or no survival value. Scavenging also involves taking things that aren’t yours, but they have survival value.

Usually looting happens immediately. Scavenging happens later.


Then there’s other stuff

In his book Jim revisits the subject of home defense and personal security, which his previous book is devoted to entirely. So I won’t dwell on it here.

Pet lovers will be glad to see that he touches on the necessity of gathering prepping supplies for pets, too.

There’s even a chapter in Jim’s book on post apocalyptic fiction in the popular culture, such as books, movies and TV shows. We’re both sick of zombies. However, quality fiction can be of value if it prompts you or your children to be more survival-minded. It can capture your imagination and make you ponder, “What if?…?


Jim’s Got More to Say

Hear my entire conversation with Jim Cobb on DestinySurvival Radio for September 26, 2013. We covered more than I have space to go into here. Plus, he’ll be my guest on next week’s show to continue our discussion.

Find Jim online at SurvivalWeekly.com. And see what he has to offer you through Disaster Prep Consultants at DisasterPrepConsultants.com.

Get The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness by first clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. Or click on the book’s image above. That takes you to the page where it’s featured. You should put it in your survival library because of Jim’s common sense approach to such a wide scope of preparedness topics.


Find Part 2 of my conversation with Jim Cobb here.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.