The Prepper’s Guide to Complete Disaster Readiness will be out sometime this summer, coming from Ulysses Press, the same great folks who brought you Prepper’s Home Defense. Currently, it is still a work in progress but the manuscript should be complete by the end of March. What follows, publicly available for the first time anywhere, is the Introduction to the book.
It is October 1999. My wife is pregnant with our first child. I am awoken in the early morning hours by my darling bride. As I recall, the conversation went something like this.
“Honey, wake up! It’s time!”
“You need to call the doctor. We have to head to the hospital.”
“Huh? What’re you talking about? What’s going on?”
“Well, either my water just broke or the dog peed on the floor. Either way, you need to get up.” One of the many things I love about my wife is her grace under pressure.
It finally sinks in that my wife is in labor. I jump out of bed and go to the phone. We had seen our doctor a few days prior for a regular prenatal appointment. My wife wasn’t due to give birth for a few more weeks. The doctor had checked his schedule to ensure he wasn’t going to be out of town during that time. He gave us his pager number and said to give him a call when my wife went into labor.
The doctor called me back within a few minutes. I told him about the water breaking and he said to grab our bags and head to the hospital.
Bags? Grab our bags? Uh oh. Believe it or not, we hadn’t packed yet. We had talked about packing many times. We had discussed what we should try to remember to take. But somehow, we never got around to actually doing it. We figured we still had a few weeks to get around to that.
I ran out into the garage and grabbed a couple empty duffel bags. Since the hospital was a forty-five minute drive from home, time was of the essence. I had no desire to be featured in any news story about a guy who delivered a baby in his car. We started tossing everything and anything into those bags. Sure, we remembered some of the important stuff, like the baby’s coming home outfit, the camera (forgot batteries though), clothes for my wife, and her toiletry kit. But to this day I still don’t know why I grabbed a flashlight and tossed it into the mix. Just seemed like a good idea at the time. I’m not sure what I was planning to do with those pliers either but, hey, they were there if I needed them.
As my wife was recovering from the birth and we were basking in the glow of our new bundle of joy, we remembered a few things we had forgotten to grab, like the baby’s car seat. I ended up making two separate trips home and back in the course of the next couple days, picking up things we needed and bringing home the stuff that served no purpose.
Now, how might this have played out had it not been a relatively common occurrence like the birth of a child and instead been an emergency evacuation? Let’s say a police officer knocked on our door at five in the morning, telling us we had ten minutes to grab some belongings and then vacate the area as a train carrying toxic chemicals had just derailed. We probably wouldn’t have the luxury of being able to return home to get the things we forgot to grab. We’d have had to make do with what we had in those bags.
Obviously, we didn’t plan very well. Thankfully, we had the ability in that instance to rectify our mistakes. Next time, that might not be the case.
The purpose of this book is to educate you on what you can do to help mitigate the effects of disasters, large and small. Everything from a temporary power outage to a complete societal collapse will be discussed. Remember though, making the plan is only the first step. You have to take action and implement the plan.
Pack your bag now and get ready for what might be coming. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. You just might find yourself trying to tackle the apocalypse with nothing more than a hair dryer in one hand and a camera with dead batteries in the other.