Preparedness: Building Your Resource Library

“Knowledge is power.” ~ Francis Bacon

Bookcase and booksAs a fiction writer, I have quite the resource library, because, let’s face it, I can’t remember every factoid I’ve ever read in my life. So it only follows that I would naturally build a Preparedness Library, as well.

I count on having lots of information at my fingertips in the form of books. Physical books that I can skim through, study illustrations or look up a particular reference – because if the power is out – no computer, right?


I thought many of you might find it helpful if I begin to share some of the book resources I use for preparedness.

In my blog Preparedness: Where to Begin? We discussed the three basic levels of preparedness as follows:
Emergency Preparedness   Disaster Preparedness   Survival Preparedness.

So let’s start with those three topics. I’ve chosen one book for each scenario. This is by far not the extent of information available, but these are my most frequently used resources, and I consider them quite valuable.

Emergency Preparedness

Dare ro Prepare bookI haven’t found a book yet that tops Dare to Prepare by Holly Drennan Deyo. It’s the ultimate city-suburban-rural emergency preparedness reference book.

This book is chocked full of not only every conceivable emergency scenario you might need to plan for, but also everyday facts, graphs and charts that you will find extremely helpful. Examples include charts on the shelf life of food, how to read manufacturer date codes and the real shelf life of medications – just to name a few.
Don’t let the price dissuade you. It’s 632 pages in an 8.5 x 11 format – about the size of a telephone book, with over 330 photos and illustrations. In my opinion it’s worth every penny.


Disaster Preparedness

When all Hell Breaks LooseMy pick for this section would have to be Cody Lundin’s book, When all Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes

If you’ve ever watched naturalist Cody Lundin in Dual Survival on The Discovery Channel, you know this is not your typical scout manual or sterile FEMA handout. According to Lundin, living through an emergency scenario is 90 percent psychology, and 10 percent methodology and gear. Tips are placed throughout the pages to help readers remember important survival strategies while under stress and anxiety. Lots of great recommendations for survival kit items for home, office and car.


Survival Preparedness

Wilderness Survival bookThis book is a personal favorite, mostly because I’ve read every book Tom Brown Jr. has written.

Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival is a great book for basic skills all in one volume. The most ancient skills, preserved for generations are presented in a simple, easy-to-use format, along with illustrations and instructions. Some of these include: building natural shelters, finding safe drinking water, making a fire without matches, preparing animals for food, edible plants and more.

I have many more books I’ll share with you in days ahead, but I hope you find these a great way to get started building your own Preparedness Library.

What resources are you currently using?      Do you have any recommendations to share?


  1. Leslie

    It’s funny but when I think of being prepared for the next emergency I think of only food and water. Having a good medical book would be very smart. Thanks for making us think about this. It’s too easy to ignore the planning because nobody wants to think about it. But we need to! So thanks

    • indy

      Thanks Leslie – you bring up a valid point that many struggle with – I did. We don’t want to live in fear of what ‘might’ happen – yet we do want to be prepared for a variety of emergencies. And it’s easy to get overwhelmed at where to start. Here’s what worked for me. I made a list of items that, if I had them on hand, would give me some peace of mind that I wouldn’t be completely unprepared in an emergency. These included, food, water, first aid, security and financial. And I’m working toward meeting that goal. Once I’ve achieved it, then we’ll see where I want to go from there. Baby Steps.



  1. Preparedness: Self-Reliance Reference Books | Indy Quillen - […] That’s why I love having my reference books, like the Dare to Prepare book that I talked about in…

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