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Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happensby Kathy Harrison
Many disaster-preparedness guides are hardcore; they assume that you can afford to dash out and buy a three-month food supply right this second and that you have the dedication to stock haz-mat gear in your basement.
If you are more concerned with being able to live without electricity for five days than with purchasing gas masks, and you want guidelines for a basic evacuation kit rather than a comprehensive list of what to take when you run for the hills to live off the land, Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens is the book for you. Kathy Harrison outlines a step-by-step plan that will allow you to steadily enhance your disaster preparedness within a budget and along a time-frame. (She understands, for example, that you will want a system for rotating through your stockpiled food instead of waiting until it expires and then discarding it, or living off it exclusively for the three months beforehand.)
This is a sensible, friendly, thoughtful, readable household guide, full of useful anecdotes about Harrison's own mistakes and successes as she built up her family's self-sufficiency.
Synopses & Reviews
When the power fails, prepared families settle in, stay warm, and eat well. With careful planning, organization, and a detailed assessment of the needs of each family member, it is possible for every household to survive at least several days with no outside services. A sensible home system will take over the work of providing warmth, shelter, and nutrition.
Author Kathy Harrison guides readers through the empowering process of setting up such a home system with her OAR method — Organize existing supplies, Acquire additional necessities, Rotate everything for freshness. Her comprehensive coverage of emergency preparedness includes food storage, alternative heating sources, personal supplies for every family member, entertainment ideas, toiletry and proper clothing, pet supplies, emergency family communication plans, and neighborhood cooperatives.
In addition to preparing the home for extended periods without electricity, Harrison also discusses evacuation plans — where to go, how to meet up with family, what to pack, and how best to protect all that's being left behind. Self-sufficiency at home or in a temporary safe haven takes away much of the fear and helplessness associated with disasters. Just in Case puts the power back in the hands of individuals who are equipped and ready to take over when public services fail.
Disasters can strike an entire region or a single unlucky family. They can be brought on by weather (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, severe heat or cold, landslides) or by man (terrorism, acts of war, simple human error). Whatever the cause, these catastrophic events have the potential to disrupt routines and cost money and lives. Why not be one of the prepared few? Just in case . . .
With the assumption that "many of us have a false sense of security... assuming that technology will prevail or that some government agency will bail us out in a crisis," this extensive guide gives detailed, down-to-earth advice on what to do when disaster strikes, be it a house fire, an ice storm or biological terrorism. Aided by charmingly retro illustrations vaguely reminiscent of a 1940s air raid brochure, Harrison (Another Place at the Table) presents her "OAR" system for preparedness--organizing, acquiring and rotating supplies--and techniques to safely and even comfortably survive any kind of emergency. She shows how to prepare for a short-term crisis: building a supply of food and water; preparing first aid and evacuation kits; planning communication and a family meeting place in times of crisis. She also presents long-term strategies for self-sufficiency: "eliminating debt and securing a supply of cash in your home"; planting a garden, canning food and making cheese; replacing an inefficient fireplace with a woodstove; building a solar oven. Harrison shows that learning to do it yourself, besides providing some security in an increasingly insecure world, brings less obvious but perhaps equally important benefits: "an incredible sense of self-sufficiency and independence." And pointing out that family preparedness can build community, she reminds readers, "crisis can bring out the best in people, or the worst. Strive to be one of the good guys."
(Publishers Weekly, August 2008)
Just in case disaster strikes, you need a plan to ensure your family's safety and comfort in all eventualities. What would you do if the power went out for several days in a row? Or if your family had to quickly evacuate the area?
Kathy Harrison shows you how to set up a simple home system--covering food storage, alternative heating sources, toiletries and clothing, pet supplies, emergency communication plans, and more--that will allow your household to survive comfortably for several days, or longer, with no outside services at all. Harrison also explains how to create a detailed evacuation plan--where to go, how to meet up with other family members, what to pack, and how to protect what you leave behind.
Keep a cool head and plan well; your family will be able to settle in together, stay warm, and eat well when the unexpected happens.
Don't Be Scared--Be Prepared
How will your family stay warm, fed, and sheltered during a power outage?
Do you have an evacuation plan if you are forced to leave your home?
Disaster can strike at any time.
Be one of the prepared few by following Kathy Harrison's practical plan for emergency self-sufficiency. Learn how to evaluate, organize, and rotate your food supply; pack an evacuation kit; protect important documents from fire; develop a communications system; make nutritious soup with canned and dried pantry items; and entertain the kids for several television-free days. Everything you need to know to survive when public services fail is covered in this essential guide to family preparedness.
About the Author
Kathy Harrison is the author of Another Place at the Table and One Small Boat, books that chronicle her experiences as a foster parent. She is a national spokesperson, touring and giving lectures, for both foster parenting and family preparedness. She has appeared on The Today Show, on Oprah, and in NPR interviews. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Oar System
Chapter 1: Organize
Chapter 2: Acquire and Rotate
Part 2: Preparedness
Chapter 3: Personal Preparedness
Chapter 4: Home Systems
Chapter 5: Communications
Chapter 6: Preparedness with Children
Chapter 7: Pets
Chapter 8: Preparing your Car
Chapter 9: Evacuation
Part 3: Dealing with Disaster
Chapter 10: Loss of Power
Chapter 11: Fire in the House
Chapter 12: Natural Disasters
Chapter 13: Toxic Hazards
Chapter 14: Pandemic
Chapter 15: Terrorism
Part 4: Doing it Yourself
Chapter 16: Skills for Independence
Chapter 17: Food from Scratch
Chapter 18: The Stored Food Cookbook
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