How To Get Started Preparing for Disasters

I saw a question about this on Quora and it got me thinking, because there’s so much information out there and it can be overwhelming. Where to start? What’s the first step? Especially for someone starting cold.

Here’s what I’ve come up:

The first thing everyone should do is make sure they have the four basics we all need, regardless of where we live. You can get them for under $60 total:

2 cases of water per person

Basic first aid kit

Emergency Radio

Survival Manual

Then download free survival apps for your phone such as American Red Cross First Aid, CPR and Choking and others as applicable.

Then conduct an Area Study. This is looking at yourself, those around you and your locale for assets and possible threats. This will determine how you prepare further, for your specific situation as we are all different. Here is a brief summary how to do this:

Once you have the Area Study done, you can prepare your home, your work/school, your car, etcetera. You can coordinate with family members and friends about what to do in disasters, such as a initial rally point and emergency rally point.

You can also then prepare your grab-n-go bag. You can also simply get a pre-packaged grab-n-go bag. It contains basics, including the first aid and emergency radio needed. I bought one for my son to put in the trunk of his car.

I think this is a good start. I go into more details in The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. The first half is all of the above explained, with links, and then the second half is a manual for survival and beyond, including scavenging.

Another good book I recommend to complement it is the SAS Survival Handbook. It’s more detailed in terms of long-term survival as far as plants, animals, etc.

Let me know if you find this useful or have suggestions.

Studying 7 Famous Disasters in order to prevent future disasters.

After years of studying accidents and disaster, I came to the conclusion that almost every one involving people required seven things to go wrong. The seventh was the actual disaster. But those six precursors, which I call Cascade Events, by themselves, would not have caused the disaster. And one of them was always human error.

Thus, they could have been prevented.

Stuff Doesn’t Just Happen 1: The Gift of Failure is free today to the 18th.

Always free are two shorts, The Donner Party and Mulholland and The St. Francis Dam Failure.

The first book covers the Titanic disaster where hitting the iceberg was one of a series of preventable events. The Tulip Bubble is applicable in modern times given our recent housing and tech bubbles. People still get drawn into the belief that the value of something can only keep increasing when reality says otherwise. Little Big Horn is a class example of a leadership failure; but that failure had its roots years before 1876.

Why does propane have an odor? The sad disaster of the New London Schoolhouse explains that, where other warning signs were overlooked. From the Kegworth Crash we learn to question experts. And it’s also the crash from which we learned what positions might help survivability in an actual crash as the plane hit just a quarter mile short of the runway.

If you want to know about other such offers of free books and audiobooks, sign up for my newsletter HERE. I send it out at most once a month so you won’t get bombarded with emails.

Or you can join my private Facebook group, The A-Team, where I announced specials not otherwise publicized.

Did You Know George Washington Stopped a Mutiny?

Even though I went to West Point, which is just south of Storm King Mountain from Newburgh where Washington the Continental Army was encamped in the winter of 1783, I had never heard of this. We studied the battles of the Revolution but perhaps we should have also studied the politics. After all, as Clausewitz notes, war is an extension of politics by other means.

The war was essentially over since Yorktown the previous year. The Continentals wintered at Newburgh and the British in New York City. The peace negotiators were in Paris hammering things out.

But the officers and troops hadn’t been paid in months while Congress dithered in Philadelphia. Resentment grew during a harsh upstate winter. I can testify to the cold wind coming off the Hudson having stood in formation on the Plain at West Point.

A group of officers determined to march on Philadelphia and toss Congress out. Essentially upending the country even before it became a country. Washington became aware of this. He gathered his officers on the Ides of March, 15 March, 1783, and made an epic speech.

When I wrote Ides of March (Time Patrol) I knew this had to be one of the six key events. I thought if the Shadow could foil Washington and the officers marched that would be a time ripple; combine it with five other time ripples on the same day across the ages and you’ve got a time tsunami and our timeline ceases to exist.

But, as I started writing that part of the book, I realized that misdirection is the key to effective operations. The real goal of the Shadow that day was something that involved Washington but in a different direction.

Here’s some more about this event and book:

Free thru 12 Nov: A Survival Manual

Survive Now-Thrive Later is free for the next several days. I believe it’s a great, handy reference book on an array of topics, from first aid to shelters to navigation to procuring water and food.

This pocket-sized manual is a must-have; a copy in the home, the glove compartment of the car, at work, and in the grab-n-go bag.

In order of priority, this book is a guide for dealing with emergencies and survival situations.

It covers the five core areas of survival: first aid, water, food, shelter and fire.

Then it goes into the wide array of specific situations you may encounter such as: flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, tsunami, volcano, wildfire, heat wave, blizzard, drought, landslide, nuclear-biological-chemical incidents, terrorism, crime, riots, airplane and helicopter crashes, survival at sea, cold weather survival, desert survival, tropical survival, field expedient tools and weapons, emergency communication, dangerous plants and animals, and more.

The goal is to have a quick reference in hand to get you through the emergency into a situation where you can thrive on the other end.

This is a companion book to Prepare Now. Survive Later which gives checklists and instructions in how to be as prepared as possible before an emergency strikes.

With the proper knowledge, we can survive!

Why was Kennedy’s mistress killed? And Khrushchev overthrown the next day?

JFK was assassinated on 21 Nov 1963. His mistress, Mary Meyer, was killed on 12 Oct 1964. Shot in the back of the head while walking in Washington DC. The next day, the Soviet premier was forced out of power.

How are these events connected?

Mary Meyer kept a diary. Her ex was a high-ranking CIA operative. After she was killed, the CIA tore apart her home looking for her diary. No one has ever seen it since.

These are all facts.


Here’s a free slideshow:

FREE today: The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide

Because I think this book is so critical to everyone, FREE today, Monday (11/4), is the Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. The important aspect of this book is it explains, step by step, how to prepare. Over 60% of households are not prepared to a base level. It also walks you through how to do an Area Study so you prepare for your family’s specific situation and needs.

Also, the first nine Area 51 books are only .99 each all of November. A new book, Area 51: Earth Abides, is in the pipeline and I’ll announce when it will be published as soon as I know.

My next book out will be Walk on the Wild Side, the third in my Will Kane Green Beret series of books which have received very positive reviews. It comes out on 9 December.

Nothing but good times ahead!

Do The Ends Justify The Means? Operation Paperclip

At the end of World War II, there was a race between the Russians and the Americans to plunder the scientific knowledge of the Nazi regime. Operation Paperclip was the code name this technically illegal program operated under.

The was also Unit 731 run by the Japanese that focused on biological warfare and conducted experiments that rivaled anything the Nazis were doing.

Here’s more info in a free slideshare about Paperclip:

29 October 1969: The First Internet Message Was Sent– then the network crashed

That’s called foreshadowing. The message was supposed to be L-O-G-I-N, but after the L-O the system crashed. It was going from a lab at UCLA to one at Stanford.

It’s interesting that the internet came about as computing faced a crossroads in development: whether to have large, centralized computers or smaller and more, decentralized ones. The internet allowed the latter to develop,

For more:

90 years later: Black Tuesday–What If It Hadn’t Happened?

Tuesday, 29 October 1929. The day that changed the world. Ushered in the Great Depression which would end with World War II.

What if it hadn’t occurred? What if history was changed on that day?

And on other 29 Octobers throughout history?

What if Sir Walter Raleigh wasn’t executed on 29 October 1618?

What if the last test flight of Operation Credible Sport, the planned second Iranian Hostage Mission, hadn’t failed in a crash? And the mission had gone on?

The first Internet message was sent on 29 October 1969. What if it hadn’t been sent? Would the Internet have developed as it has?

The core of each Time Patrol book is that the same day, such as 29 October, is being attacked by a force known only as the Shadow; the same force that destroyed Atlantis in pre-history. They try to change six of those days. If they succeed on all six, our present would be wiped out in a Time Tsunami,

It’s up to the Time Patrol to ensure our history remains the same, no matter the cost.

The Time Patrol

How To Prepare For and Survive Wildfires

Wildfires are a very nasty natural disaster– not that any of them are good. They are deadly, move fast and are unpredictable. We had one here in East TN a few years ago that killed 14, hurt many more and destroyed a number of residences. I recently drove through the area and in most places, you can’t even see there was a fire, because it moved so fast it didn’t burn the trees, just the undergrowth. And man-made residences.

Drought is a precondition for wildfires but they can occur almost any time. When we lived in Colorado we could sometimes see the smoke from wildfires in the foothills. We also saw when they would set preventative fires. There were also areas that had burned many years earlier and there, the tree had been burned and the land was still scorched.

Here is a free downloadable slideshow on wildfires. I’ve got a bunch of these free slideshows on various survival topics (as well as history, New York City, writing and more) on my Slideshows page. Feel free to take a look.