Most would agree that Knowledge and Planning are perhaps the two most important things you can have in a survival situation. Let’s face it, all the survival tools and equipment in the world won’t help you if you don’t know how to use them. That is why I’d like to talk a bit about the value of setting up your own home survival library.
I’ve done a few different book reviews here at Prep-Blog but mostly of the fiction variety. Today I’d like to talk about how important it is to have the right books, magazines, and other reference guides to help get you through an emergency situation.
One of the first things I would encourage any serious Prepper to do is make sure they have at least a couple of good first-aid books in their library. Of course it’s a good idea to go out and take a class on first-aid (while you’re at it, take a couple of them) but with such a wide variety of potential mishaps and injuries that could befall you it’s tough to have all the knowledge you may possibly need ahead of time. A couple of classes will give you the basic skills you need and the confidence to face a situation but you may need more guidance along the way.
That is why I believe there is a real need to keep a comprehensive first-aid manual on hand. There are so many to choose from that I hesitate to endorse a specific volume here. I think most are pretty good though and would only recommend that you choose one that is most appropriate for your own situation. For example, if you have young children you’re going to want to be sure to pick up a book that specifically addresses first-aid for kids. Thoreau wrote about one that we both like very much in an article here.
I also like to have a few books on home remedies and nutritional healing in my library. I’ve got about a half dozen and think they each have their merits. I’ve also got one specifically written for home remedies for dogs, since I have a couple of them and I want to be able to keep them healthy even if I can’t get to the vet. After all, they play a very important part in our home security plan. Gotta look after your mutts!
Another subject that bears coverage here is basic home repair. There are a number of books out there to choose from. Personally I like Time-Life Books’ The Complete Fix-It-Yourself Manual. It covers everything from basic home emergencies, plumbing, lighting & electricity, heating & cooling, to appliances and home electronics. Of course there are many other similar books to choose from and again I would encourage you to choose one that is tailored towards your own personal situation. If your house relies heavily on solar power you’d better be sure to have a book that covers basic repairs of solar systems. During an emergency you may not be able to call in the professionals, or even a handy man.
Having a couple of books on basic gunsmithing is not a bad idea either. We generally advocate the safe keeping and proper handling of firearms and I believe it’s a good idea to know how to maintain your own guns as well.
As I’m here in my office I’m looking through my own bookshelves and noticing that I’ve got more than a few good instructional guides on gardening. I actually don’t remember when I picked those up, could be that the wife filled in that piece of the puzzle for me, but as I’m looking through them I can see how valuable they would be if we ever needed to get a survival garden going. Just having the basic guides on which plants will grow in your area of the country and when to plant them is worth the price of the book. Of course there’s lots of other great info in them as well.
Finally, I think a good book or manual on defense strategy and tactics is a good thing to have. I’ve read and reviewed Holding Your Ground by Joe Nobody and would absolutely recommend it. There are other guides out there worth reading as well, a few of them put out by the US Army.
Of course these are just a few ideas. There is certainly a lot of other reading material that could be useful for a Prepper. I read in a novel a while back where a group of preppers had an entire collection of Popular Mechanics magazines that they found to be invaluable. I could see where this would make sense.
I’d love to hear about any other ideas folks out there have in the comments section.