The Prepper’s Workbook Gives Checklists and Guidance for Prepping No Matter What Your Level of Preparedness

Sailors and pilots are just two groups who would put themselves in jeopardy of losing their lives if they didn’t have these. It could be true for you and me as well.

So what is this key element for survival? It’s checklists. Many preppers want them, and now many vital checklists are in one place. The Prepper’s Workbook gives you checklists and guidance for prepping, no matter what your level of preparedness. And on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, I spoke with the authors.


Great Scotts!

Scott B. Williams and Scott Finazzo teamed up to write The Prepper’s Workbook. When you see the info about each one below, you’ll see they have the combined expertise to put together this book.

Scott B. Williams has been on DestinySurvival Radio a few times in the past to talk about books he’s written. He’s been writing about his adventures for more than 25 years. Published work includes dozens of magazine articles and ten books, with more projects currently underway. It’s his interest in backpacking, sea kayaking and sailing small boats to remote places which led him to pursue the wilderness survival skills that he has written about in his popular survival books.

Among his titles are Bug Out and Bug-Out Vehicles and Shelters. He’s also written travel narratives such as On Island Time, which tells of his two-year solo sea kayaking journey through the Caribbean. Novels include The Pulse and The Darkness After. More information about Scott is at

Scott Finazzo has been a professional firefighter for over fifteen years. He’s a Lieutenant for the Overland Park, KS, Fire Department. He and his family live in Kansas, where he’s been writing in various capacities for much of his life. He has years of experience both preparing for and responding to disasters and has developed a keen interest in survival.

Scott has honed self-reliance skills by journeying into places such as the Rocky Mountains and several islands throughout the Caribbean. He documents travels and adventures at His book Why Do All the Locals Think We’re Crazy? chronicles his kayak foray through the Virgin Islands. His Web site is


The Prepper's Workbook


Glancing at What’s Inside

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll find in this book’s chapters.

Section 1–Basic Prepping

  • Getting Started
  • Prepareing to Shelter in Place
  • Preparing to Bug Out
  • Basic First Aid and Emergency Response

Section 2–Specific Threat Prepping

  • Tornadoes and Severe Storms
  • Tropical Storms and Hurricanes
  • Floods, Tsunamis and Storm Surges
  • Earthquakes
  • Winter Storms
  • Fire and Wildfire
  • Civil Unrest and Accidental and Deliberate Man-Made Disasters


Preparedness author Jim Cobb wrote the Foreword. You may recall he’s been a guest with me on DestinySurvival Radio a few times. He gives appropriate advice by telling you and me to write in this book. Dog ear the pages. Do whatever you need to make it work effectively for you. It’s not meant to be read through and put on the shelf.

Scott Williams says this book developed into something better than he envisioned at first. And it’s not meant for preppers only. Any home owner will benefit from doing the exercises. It allows the reader/user to put vital information in one place. It’s a book that can be used by anyone, anywhere, because you can determine which threats to be on the lookout for in your area.

It contains plenty of exercise pages, check lists, charts, maps, and places to paste your own maps and drawings. You have plenty of blank lines to write on. This book is designed so you can make it relevant to your specific location and situation. Don’t be fooled by the word “Workbook” in the title because there’s a healthy dose of textual material, especially in section 2 with its focus on specific threats.

Subsections appear throughout the book with tips and tricks. They’re short, but powerful additions which shouldn’t be overlooked. There’s no index in the back, but the chapters are well delineated. Plus, plenty of bold headings and subheadings will help you find what you’re looking for.


Going a Little Deeper

The book starts with activities centered around assessing your home and works outward from there. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on helping you decide whether to shelter in place or bug out. Instead of asking an expert for advice, you can intelligently make your own decisions. The chapter on bugging out covers important topics like bug out bags, vehicles and retreats. You’ll find good, basic info in the chapter on first aid.

From there the book branches out into discussing specific natural disasters. It’s in the last chapter where they bring up the subject of civil unrest and man-made disasters, both accidental and deliberate. Whether you’re faced with an industrial accident or a riot, stay informed, and avoid crowds. It’s in this last chapter where you’ll find their recommendations on firearms and self defense.

Tucked between a couple of chapters are the 10 essential survival skills the authors believe you and I should develop. As you might guess, those skills include finding water and food, building shelter, building a fire, and knowing first aid and self defense. Scott Williams believes it’s as important to acquire skills as it is to get equipment and supplies.

In light of recent news items, the chapter on fires and wildfires is timely. It should prove useful to you if you live in an area where wildfires occur. There’s also a section in that chapter on talking to children about fire safety.

They didn’t forget about pets either. There’s prepping info to help you take care of your furry or feathered loved ones.

Several books you should have in your survival library are recommended. Though they touch on it early on, the full list is in the appendix. You’ll also find recommended Web sites, important phone numbers, such as for the poison control center, and even a listing of apps for your smart phone. Technology gives us powerful tools, which are great, until they’re not there. Thus, it’s important not to become too reliant on it.

In our conversation we also talked a bit about going to a community shelter, knowing your neighbors, having the right kind of insurance to protect your home and possessions, and being familiar with the counties around where you live. We covered more than I have space to share here.


Bouquets and Brick Bats

The Prepper’s Workbook is well thought through. You’ll be amazed by all that’s covered in each chapter–things you might not think of otherwise. If you work through it as the authors intend, you’ll have a preparedness edge. In my opinion, it should sit next to your copy of It’s A Disaster! on your survival library shelf.

Having said all of the above, I find two draw backs to this book–one major, and the other minor.

Rather than a paperback book, you and I would be much better served if this book had been put into a spiral bound notebook or a three ring binder. Granted, there are logistical reasons why that isn’t the case, and we touched on those in our conversation.

Also, the word “workbook” in the title makes me think of school and the drudgery of homework. I’m probably one of only a few who thinks that way. Maybe mentioning guidance or checklists would have been more suitable in the title. This is a minor complaint though, and, after all, this book does indeed require brain and pencil power, and it’s not something you can rush through.


Find Out More

Hear my whole conversation with Scott B. Williams and Scott Finazzo by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for July 10, 2014. (Right click to download.) For more information about either of the authors, check out their Web sites given above. Click on the title of The Prepper’s Workbook wherever you see it linked in this post to go to the page where you can order your copy.

If you have any comments about what you’ve read above or heard in this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, feel free to share your thoughts below. If you already have a copy of this book, I’d love to know if you’re using it and how it’s working out for you.


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.