It's a sure sign of the times that a book titled, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques and Technologies for Uncertain Times becomes a National Bestseller. First printed a year after the October financial crash of 2008 when the world awoke to the fragility of the "system," author James Wesley, Rawles offers a pragmatic and thorough guide to survive other potentially more severe future crashes.
The book does not go into extended detail about what may trigger the breakdown of civilization, but uses its precious 316 pages to inform readers of how to prepare for nearly any disaster. Many survival books are great references to have in your library should a disaster take place, but this book is essential to read and implement well before disaster occurs.
Author, Jim Rawles, a former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer and founder of the very popular website SurvivalBlog.com, not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. He lives on a fully self-sufficient and well-stocked retreat "somewhere west of the Rockies." Upon reading the book, one thing is apparent: Rawles has written this book not as a "what if" guide, but rather a "when it happens" guide. The tone of urgent pragmatism enhances the assumption that disaster is not only inevitable, but perhaps imminent.
Rawles suggests that the collapse of America will likely be triggered by economic circumstances, notably the death of the dollar, which will then cause a domino effect where civilization as we know it will breakdown into chaos. The book describes the collapse of American society in brief detail, explaining that supply lines for food and fuel will likely grind to a halt, forcing a mass exodus of people out of cities into the suburbs and countryside. He also outlines how the government will be completely crippled by this ensuing anarchy due to the rapid increase in desperation and decrease in essential services. Despite this "most likely" scenario, Rawles also prepares readers to survive events like nuclear attacks on American soil.
This book becomes an invaluable resource in the incredibly detailed chapters about preparing for any collapse scenario; from your location and shelter, to food storage and production, water purification, tools and barter goods, medical supplies, bug-out bags, security measures, communication and much more. Rawles covers each of these categories, providing organized and thoughtful plans to implement self-sufficiency preparation.
It's worth listing the chapter titles to help better explain how very thorough this book is:
- The Survival Mind-Set for Living in Uncertain Times
- Priorities: Your List of Lists
- The Survival Retreat
- Water: A Key Resource
- The Deep Larder: Your Family's Food Storage
- Fuel and Home Power
- Gardens and Livestock
- Medical Supplies and Training
- Communications and Monitoring
- Home Security and Self-Defense
- Firearms for Self-Sufficiency and Self-Defense
- G.O.O.D. Vehicles and the Dreaded Trip Outta Dodge
- Investing, Barter, and Home-Based Business
- It Comes Down to You
Consequently, because the book is so detailed, it can be somewhat intimidating. The second chapter labeled Priorities is immensely comprehensive and can seem impossible for readers to implement -- particularly those who feel the collapse is presently upon us. However, Rawles' priority lists are indeed necessary for anyone who wishes to survive with relative comfort in the worst of times. Readers should get to work on as much of the priority list as can be reasonably achievable.
Rawles is the consummate survival expert and consultant, yet he still says it is impossible to prepare on all the necessary levels without help. And although he says he understands the instinct to go "lone wolf," he declares it is utterly foolish to believe you will be better off alone than with a group. He states that this is especially true when it comes to security. So, as we have pointed out in past articles, collapse survival will be tribal -- begin recruiting like-minded people now.
One especially important tip in the book that can be easily achievable for most people, and will help cover gaps in your preparation plan, is to stock up on pre-1965 dimes for bartering. They are 1/10th of an ounce and contain roughly 90% troy silver. In other words, if the dollar collapses and silver goes to $100 per ounce, then each dime will carry about $9 of trade value in today's marketplace. Therefore, if you stock up on this "junk silver" while making other preparations, then you may be able to trade them for any shortcomings.
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