Make sure you have access to the information you need in an emergency
I love books and even though I have a bunch of preparedness books in kindle format that I’ve downloaded, and even more pdf e-books on my laptop, I still like to sit down with a hardbound book to get my preparedness information. This week let’s review the things you might need in an emergency preparedness reference library. You want to make sure that you have the most up to date and useful information you will need if you ever find yourself without a computer and in a jam.
There are a lot of different aspects of preparedness to cover, so you’re probably not going to find everything you might need in one book or one website. And, there are several things to consider as you decide how to keep your emergency reference data.
- Are there certain topics that should always be in print? It might be best to have your first aid how-to’s in an easy to grab book. You won’t want to be bothered starting up your tablet if you need quick access to life saving information.
- Is there an app for that? There are apps from Red Cross on first aid and another for a flashlight. Plus FEMA, Smokey Bear, Permaculture, How to Can and of course all the stuff you can store in Evernote. Some of these may not be available if there is no internet access, so test it out first. Then go ahead and add your important information, in pdf format, to your smart phone or tablet. As long as you have a way to charge your devices you will be connected to your information.
- Will you have access to your Kindle books if the power goes out? A solar recharging device is certainly in order if that is the media you’re going to choose.
- Are there any titles that you want to carry with you in your 72-hour kit? You’re going for the most information you can get – in the smallest package. I carry an old copy of the Boy Scout Handbook in my Bug Out Bag.
- Do you have any pdf titles that you refer to regularly? Consider printing these and keeping them in a binder or other filing system.
Make sure that what you have in your library goes along with skills that you have – or plan on developing. (For example, if you don’t know how to sew, then you don’t need an advanced sewing book, you need basics of sewing and some lessons.) This list is also a good place to start developing the skills that you’ll need to be prepared.
Always remember, now is the time to learn and practice, not in a disaster.
You can find hundreds of free downloadable e-books in pdf format at cd3dw. These cover just about any topic you can think of – from agriculture, animal husbandry and homeschooling to vermicomposting.
The Red Cross Disaster Safety Library also has many titles, workbooks and children’s resources to help you get ready.
You can find even more free downloadable e-books in pdf and txt format at GetEBook. Type in the name of the title or topic you are interested in and see if they have it.
These are the ten books and magazines I wouldn’t be without
1. The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery
2. American Red Cross First Aid — Responding To Emergencies
4. Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, Edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine
5. Stocking Up: The Third Edition of America’s Classic Preserving Guide by Carol Hupping
6. Camping & Wilderness Survival by Paul Tawrell
7. Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use by Rosemary Gladstar (anything by Rosemary is great!)
8. Sunset Western Garden Book (they also print Eastern, Mid-West and Southwest)
10 Mother Earth News and/or Mother Earth Living (OK, that’s really two!)
And here’s a master list of topics you might want to keep information about in your emergency reference library. Go grab yourself a 2 inch binder and some divider tabs and start printing out your favorite pdf’s and how-to posts from websites, so you can find them in an emergency. At the very least, start printing them out and dump them into a large file for future reference.
Consider these topics when creating your emergency preparedness reference library –
Food Storage and Production – Canning and other food preservation methods; dehydrating meat; smoking meat and making jerky; fermenting techniques like winemaking, brewing, alcohol distillation and vinegar production; cooking techniques and recipe books with an emphasis on cooking from scratch – include your families favorite recipes and a standard substitutes for ingredients; Wheat and other whole grains; bread making, yeast and other leavening methods like sourdough; powdered milk uses; cooking with beans; freezing fruits and vegetables; drying fruits, vegetables and herbs, making jams, jellies and pickles; sprouting; cheese making.
Camping Skills – Cooking without power; dutch oven cooking; building various types of campfires; orienteering and navigation; living off the land and foraging;; outdoor survival; building outdoor shelters; hunting and fishing; method to purify water; protection from weather and animals; backpacking; knife skills.
Medical – Off-grid emergency medical care and treatment; home health and natural medicines; first aid; herbal preparations; any health issues related to you or your family members (diabetes, ADD, etc)
Animal – Breeding and rearing animals (specific to the animals you want to raise); hunting, trapping, Snaring and Fishing; veterinary medicine.
Gardening – Soil replenishment, composting and irrigation; edible and medicinal plants, garden soil preparation; specific information about the fruits, vegetables, and flowers you want to grow including planting dates and harvesting information; small space gardening if applicable; plant fungi and diseases; Agriculture and Food Production Management.
Preparedness – Emotional and psychological preparedness; symptoms of trauma and how to cope after an emergency; emergency sanitation; water storage; land security and personal protection.
General skills – Weapons fabrication; forging metals and metalworking; tool manufacture; carpentry and woodworking; home improvement and repair; sewing and mending; crochet and knitting; homemade cleaning products, soap making.
These are my 38 favorite preparedness bloggers – go take a look at their fantastic work! I bet you’ll find even more information on these sites. Use these resources to create your own emergency preparedness reference library and be prepared for any emergency that might come your way.
How do you keep your preparedness information and what should we add to the list?