The Provident Prepper–A Family Friendly Guide You Should Have in Your Survival Library

When I say The Provident Prepper is a family friendly guide you should put in your survival library, perhaps I should clarify that a bit. Lots of books on preparedness give info and advice geared toward prepping for the whole family. But few I’ve read describe personal family experiences. Authors Kylene and Jonathan Jones include some of their experiences in their book, making it more than a prepper textbook.

Kylene and Jonathan were my guests for this week’s DestinySurvival Radio. We began talking about their family before getting into details about the book. My focus was largely on what you might call philosophical considerations because the first few chapters cover significant matters related to both family preparedness and things related to the survival mindset.


Who Are Kylene and Jonathan Jones?

Jonathan and Kylene Jones


Here’s bio info they sent me. There’s no doubt about their dedication to preparedness for themselves and their community.

Jonathan is a licensed civil engineer and an avid enthusiast of alternative energy sources; especially solar and wind power. He has served on the advisory board and on the board of directors as vice president for The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA), as secretary/treasurer for a local chapter of Civil Defense Volunteers, as an emergency preparedness and communications specialist, and as a city councilperson, has been tasked with developing the city emergency plan in his own community. He has co-authored numerous articles published in The Journal of Civil Defense on emergency preparedness topics with his wife. He is the co-owner of Your Family Ark, LLC, an educational and consulting business designed to assist individuals and families in preparing for an uncertain future ( and ).

Kylene has an educational background in business management as well as in family studies. She has also served on the advisory board and on the board of directors for TACDA and is currently the editor for The Journal of Civil Defense. She has a passion for researching and experimenting, adding a sense of real life to their writing and teaching. A firm believer in hands-on learning, she involves her family in emergency training for everything from fire drills, to living off food storage and garden produce, to turning off the power in the dead of winter just to see if they can survive it. Many powerful lessons are learned from these experiences, the best lesson being that we are tougher than any challenge. We will not only survive, but we will emerge better, stronger people as a result of the adventure.

Jonathan and Kylene make a dynamic combination. Together they have presented in a wide variety forums including; community education courses, educational seminars, preparedness fairs, employee education programs, and community classes. With Jonathan’s extensive knowledge and Kylene’s high energy personality, they have a unique talent for taking a relatively boring topic and turning it into an exciting quest, motivating audiences to join the ranks of the provident preppers.


What’s This Family Thing About?

Kylene describes their family as having a unique dynamic. Between the two of them, they have quite a tribe of children and grandchildren, with four children living at home. There’s quite an age range, as you can imagine. That’s quite a lot to keep in mind when considering family preparedness.

It’s wonderful to see a book written by a husband and wife team. Their personalities complement each other nicely to produce this valuable resource. They’re both conscientious about making sure you have factual information. And their passion is evident in both their book and the things we discussed.


How do You Know if This is the Prepper Book for Your Family?

The Provident Prepper


The Provident Prepper is a thick book of 358 pages, but it’s an easy read. It covers many of the same topics you’d expect to see in a prepper primer, but accounts of some of their personal experiences lends realism and credibility.

The material is instructional with a friendly tone, without being condescending. If you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to do the research necessary for being well prepared, this book is for you. You’ll get plenty of ideas you may not have thought of. Kylene and Jonathan say they wrote their book for real people.

You’ll find several helpful tables and black and white photos. Web links to various resources are given in the main text and in notes at the end. In each chapter they refer readers to a number of free worksheets on their site, There wasn’t space to include them in their book, but you’re encouraged to print off what you need and put them in a notebook for your own purposes.

Chapter topics include…

  • Family Emergency Plan
  • Survival Kits
  • Communication
  • Water Storage
  • Water Disinfection and Purification
  • Sanitation
  • Designer Food Storage Plans
  • Food Storage
  • Fuel Safety and Storage
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Emergency Heating
  • Emergency Cooking
  • Shelter
  • Keeping Cool
  • Home Protection and Security
  • Personal Safety
  • Medical
  • Community
  • Financial and Legal


Because every family is unique, you may want to pick and choose the chapters you focus on. Each chapter encourages you to come up with an action plan to guide your preparations. I recommend you at least go through the first three or four chapters to lay a good foundation.

Chapter 2 discusses a number of natural hazards, as they call them. They get into semantics a bit when they make the point that it’s natural hazards which create natural disasters. This chapter includes a table to help you assess the probability of risks and threats you face where you are. While we all need universal things like food, water and shelter, flooding might be more common in your area than an earthquake, for example.

Chapter 5 is on survival kits and discusses having different kits for different situations and purposes, as well as kits for individual family members. But should you buy ready-made kits or build your own? We talked about that in our conversation. Of course, there’s guidance in the book as to what to include in your kits. Rotate things in them often, especially with children in the family.

In the chapter on water filtration, there’s a good overview of water filters and what they can do.

You’ll find good, common sense advice in the chapter on sanitation concerning hygiene, doing laundry, and disposal of human waste and garbage.

Food storage advice in the relevant chapters will help you determine what you need for your family. Should you buy a year’s supply of prepackaged storage food? What might you put in your survival pantry? How much should you have on hand? These are some issues we discussed in our conversation. Plus, you’ll appreciate the examples in the book of how some people handle food storage incorrectly and what should be done instead.

There’s info on how and where to store your food, too. Need info on how to properly store grain or other food in plastic buckets? They’ve got that. Need to know some stealth techniques for storing food? They’ve got that, too.

The book’s discussion of fuel storage covers a number of different fuels. They mention PRI-G and PRI-D for extending the life of gasoline and diesel. A recent episode of DestinySurvival Radio discussed those two products, and you can read about it here.

In chapter 13 on lighting, they say not to buy everything they review there. My contrarian nature says I want it all. Just back the truck up to the door. Of course, lack of both money and space mean that’s not going to happen. Seriously, if you’re fascinated by lighting options, there’s plenty of good info in this chapter for you.

Need to know what you’d do if you had to practice self isolation, such as during a quarantine? You’ll find that in chapter 16 on shelter.

Near the end of the book is a chapter on community. Any good book on prepping needs to have such a chapter because people need one another when there’s trouble. The lone wolf isn’t going to make it. That’s not the ideal model for survival. We discussed community briefly in our conversation, where you’ll hear Kylene’s optimistic thoughts.


OK, So What Else?

Do You Have a Winning Survival Attitude?

Kylene and Jonathan talked about what I believe is an exemplary attitude which is vital to our survival mindset. They see disasters as grand adventures, something different than the regular routine. Being prepared gives us solutions. We can choose the attitude we have toward what comes our way, whether it’s a catastrophic event or a death in the family.

Children will reflect your attitude. That’s something that should make you stop and think. If you’re raising little ones, don’t shield them from reality. Talk to them and take part in preparedness together.


Are You Experienced?

Jonathan and Kylene believe they can’t teach their children something they haven’t experienced. So one of their adventurous experiences was to see how well they coped without heat for a few days during winter’s cold. It’s described in the chapter on emergency heating, but you’ll enjoy Kylene and Jonathan’s comments during our conversation. For example, don’t underestimate how important wearing a hat can be for keeping warm.


Did You Write it Down?

Writing down important phone numbers and making lists is important because we may not always have access to smart phones and the cloud in the Internet. You may want to follow Kylene’s example and post a list behind the coat closet door of the things to grab or do when evacuating your home.


Are You Practicing Stealth?

Don’t look like a target. Who would think to look for guns or ammo in a Barbie pack? Think of places around your home to store preps like food or extra toilet paper..


Can You Think Like a Criminal?

When securing your home, take your children to survey possible places someone could break in. Are valuables readily visible?


…And Finally

You know how it is. As long as this post has become, I still can’t share everything we talked about. So please hear my conversation with Kylene and Jonathan Jones by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for December 4, 2014. (Right click to download.) You can order The Provident Prepper by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. Or click on the book cover photo above. Kylene graciously invites readers to contact them via their site at

Jonathan and Kylene are willing to be my guests on DestinySurvival Radio again, and we’ve talked about expanding on a couple of the topics in their book, which we didn’t cover in our visit. If you have any questions you’d like me to ask them, leave a comment below, or contact me directly.

As always, feel free to leave a comment about anything you’ve heard on this week’s show or read above.


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.

3 thoughts on “The Provident Prepper–A Family Friendly Guide You Should Have in Your Survival Library”

  1. Hello John,

    Thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to chat with you. You are a wonderful host and we greatly appreciate all that you are doing to help others gain the knowledge they need to get prepared.

    I love your site. It is a valuable collection of important information. We are honored to have been your guest.

    Thanks again!
    Kylene 🙂

  2. Well the blog is good. What I most liked in the blog is that you have described a little bit about the chapters in the book. The chapters are unoubtly interesting and I am expecting to get plenty of ideas. Even the book is really thick, but the topics of the chapters are making an sense. I have read about the emergency plans or survival kits or protection, security and also I have great knowledge about these topics, so communication, community and sanitation will be the chapters about which I would like to get information.

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