Tag: natural disaster

Survive and Thrive Book Review

Catchy Subtitle

The tag line of Survive and Thrive: How to Prepare for any Disaster Without Ammo, Camo or Eating Your Neighbor caught my attention while perusing the new releases at the library. Bill Fulton and Jeanne Chilton Devon teamed together to write this disaster preparedness how to book. Since spring weather is prone to severe weather and the disasters that accompany it, I checked it out. For the most part the authors stick to their promise. However, there is a small section on ammo and camo. No cannibalism though!

The advice is proactive and non-doomsday. Initial chapters focus on the need to go beyond the government’s three-day preparedness guidelines. And the authors point out that the vast majority of households have at least a week’s worth of food on hand. The first chapters focus on building specific supplies to extend to more than a two-week cache.

Water and Food to Survive and Thrive

A good explanation of the need for uncontaminated water starts the book. Both authors bring an environmentalist approach and prefer larger storage containers to single use bottles. One of the key features is Appendix B which recommends companies and products.

The next two chapters focus on food. First, what types of food to store and how to safely store long-term food. Then a chapter on how to forage for food. Foraging for food is not an everyday event for this blogger as I can count on one hand the times I have come across plants in the wild. (Actually, twice in major cities-Portland, Oregon is rife with blackberries and strawberry plants dot downtown Louisville, Kentucky.)

Farming and micro-gardens finish out this section. A comprehensive look at everything from container gardens to compost piles reminds one of a good gardening book. Like the other chapters, the authors end the chapter with questions to answer and lists to consider.

Organization and the Three S’s

The middle three chapters offer a plethora of tips on organization, shelter, safety and security. This information offers a lot of common-sense tips that are not often followed. And then there is more.

Organizational hints in Survive and Thrive mirror those found in both The Home Edit and Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight. Emphasis is put on organization as a de-stressor during emergencies. No need to hunt for necessary items if evacuating is key.

Knowing how and where to shut off the utilities is very important. Most people can flip an electric breaker. Finding the shut-off valves for water and gas is just as important and may require a special tool. The authors provide multiple tips in this area.

The safety and security section brings a bit of doom and gloom to Survive and Thrive. But the authors are not doomsday in their approach to security issues. Again, common sense and specialized gear are mixed in the advice.

Security issues discussed are applicable for every day life and not just during disasters. However, as pointed out in the book, stressful times can bring out the ugliness of life.


The most comprehensive chapter in Survive and Thrive covers a host of disasters, both natural and man-made. Climate change is addressed as well. From blizzards to wildfires and everything in between, Survive and Thrive details the planning and action steps that need to occur. The first step is knowing what types of disaster your home is prone to experiencing.

Even though one plans and prepares, the actual experience of each type of disaster is a learning process. Mistakes will occur. Again, many suggestions and lists to follow. Everyone will benefit from reading this particular chapter. I have lived through blizzards, heat waves, earthquakes, hurricanes and a pandemic and I still found the information very valuable.

Recommendation for Survive and Thrive

Bill Fulton and Jeanne Chilton Devon have penned a thoroughly marvelous how-to book. This reference book is a must read no matter what part of the country you live in. Common sense through out and a very different take than survivalist prepper books. The final chapter on mental wll-being sums up the theme. I highly recommend this book.

Day After Disaster Book Review

Day After Disaster

My reading level dropped off a bit this week due to concerns over Hurricane Irma, but I did manage to squeeze in an online book, Day After Disaster, by Sara F. Hathaway. In the old days the genre this novel represents would have been called futuristic. But the book world is constantly evolving so I would categorize it as survivalist, a genre I do not have much experience with.

Day After Disaster also falls into the self-published category. My previous experience with books produced in this manner has been through a personal connection with the author. This is not the case with Sara F. Hathaway. Not only did I not know her, but I had not even heard of her before reading Day After Disaster.


A natural disaster which triggers an environmental disaster opens the book. Hathaway tackles the tough approach of a single character present for the early chapters. The lead character, Erika is trapped in a wine cellar for an undetermined length of time. As with many authors new to me, I had a tough time absorbing the writing style at first. However, I kept reading and I started bonding with the character by Chapter 5 when other characters physically appear in the story.

The plot is well paced to the point where I could see Day After Disaster as an action adventure movie. Erika is determined to reach home and family. She encounters friend and foe on the journey. The book does tilt in favor of those who not only support themselves but add value to the Earth. For example, the first humans she has contact with after the disaster are a farm family. They are supportive.

Throughout the story, the good vs. evil theme is evident. Hathaway does a good job introducing gray areas into that age-old conflict. The characters are forced to make life or death decisions on a different level than we find in our current society.
The social dynamics presented in this book are appealing. Families make up quite a few of the characters and their interactions add to the story. Stewardship of land and people underscore the theme.


As I stated earlier Day After Disaster is a self-published novel. This means an author pays a company to print the book. I am not very familiar with this process so I did a bit of research. Hathaway originally used Tate Publishing to produce her product. Another company is Dog Ear. Amazon also has a self-publish company, Kindle Direct Publishing. The company does not charge to load manuscripts onto Kindle.

Self-publishing can range from a simple service fee where the company just prints the book, to full service including editing. The books can be sold online through Amazon as well as traditional bookstores such as Barnes and Noble. E-books sometimes are utilized to get the author public at no or a low-cost to the reader. Often the authors have their own website which also sells the books. You can reach Sara F. Hathaway’s site by clicking here.

Thus, modern technology allows individuals the ability to create and sell many products including stories without large start-up costs. Today’s technology allows us to accomplish much, but at what cost? Unfortunately, we do not know what the ramifications will be. Authors such as Hathaway make us pause and think. Will our use (and misuse) of the land lead to a scenario such as the one presented in Day After Disaster.