The Survival Mom » Books/Resources http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Sat, 25 Oct 2014 16:04:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook: Review & Giveaway http://thesurvivalmom.com/ultimate-dehydrator-cookbook/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/ultimate-dehydrator-cookbook/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18710 This giveaway has now ended. Congratulations to our lucky winners, Beki and Karen! IMAGINE being able to preserve your own food at home safely, economically, conveniently, and with no harmful additives. EVEN BETTER, your food storage will take up very Read More

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ultimate dehydrator cookbookThis giveaway has now ended. Congratulations to our lucky winners, Beki and Karen!

IMAGINE being able to preserve your own food at home safely, economically, conveniently, and with no harmful additives. EVEN BETTER, your food storage will take up very little space, and will last you for years to come!

Whether you are an avid gardener or you bring your produce home from the grocery store, The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff will inspire and motivate you!

indexI was a skeptic at first. I purchased a dehydrator over a year ago and dried some fruit. After the first batch of strawberries and banana’s were dried and immediately eaten by my family, I boxed up the dehydrator and tucked it away on a shelf. I am almost certain that if I had read the Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook in the beginning, I would probably be the proud owner today of not one, but two dehydrating machines!

Convincing a Skeptic (me!)

I was originally unenthusiastic about dehydrating because I’m a home canner. Dehydrating food is far different from home canning fruit, vegetables and meat, because canning is preserving with water. With dehydration, the goal is to eliminate water. After reading the book, I was very surprised at the amount of nutrients that are lost when it comes to preserving food by freezing, canning and dehydrating. And you guessed it, dehydrating is the best option for preserving those nutrients!

Although I do think it’s important to can my own meat, and will continue to do so, I now find that dehydrating my fruits and vegetables makes a lot of sense. Not only will this take up less space in my food storage, but most important, it takes less time! For example, when I’m canning, it takes me at least 3-4 hours from start to finish.

With dehydrating, I just plug it in, fill the trays, and go to bed!

More Uses: Drying Herbs

THIS IS THE PART where I want to jump up and down. The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook has shown me the ease in drying my own herbs for tea and medicine!

In the past, I have spent a small fortune buying commercial herbal teas. I stock up like crazy for sick days. After reading this book, I am more inspired than ever to grow my own, dry my own, and create my own herbal tea remedies! I can only imagine how much money I will save, not to mention the joy and peace of mind in knowing exactly what my family is consuming.

Not only will the book inspire you to dehydrate more, but the wonderful recipe section will have you dreaming up all kinds of meals and desserts for your family.

From dehydrating your own baby food, to crackers, or for creating unique holiday gifts, I have discovered that this book truly is THE Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook!

The Giveaway

We have so many awesome items from Dehydrate 2 Sell that we made it into two different giveaways, and EACH ONE INCLUDES A COPY OF HER BOOK!

The first, larger, also includes a Dutch baby pan, a coffee / tea press, a mesh tea infuser, an herb mill, an herb chopper, a pie lattice, a mini pie mold, an egg beater, silicone oven mitts, a set of three scoops, and a bucket / barrel opener.

The smaller prize package focuses on canning and adds a cherry pitter, apple peeler / corer, 6 piece canning set, canning lid holder, and a bucket / barrel opener to her book.

Feel free to enter both contests! Contest ends on October 21, 2014, and winners are selected at random. Winners will be notified the following day and have 48 hours to respond or prizes will be forfeited and a new winner selected.

GIVEAWAY #1

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GIVEAWAY #2 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Get YOUR copy of Survival Mom ebook for just $1.99! http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-ebook/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-ebook/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 15:15:43 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18694 Pin this to share with your friends on Pinterest! When my Facebook page reached 100,000 Likes a few days ago, I contacted my publisher, Harper Collins, to find out if they could lower the ebook price to celebrate such a Read More

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survival mom ebookPin this to share with your friends on Pinterest!

When my Facebook page reached 100,000 Likes a few days ago, I contacted my publisher, Harper Collins, to find out if they could lower the ebook price to celebrate such a nice, big number.

Well, they exceeded my expectations and until October 20, you can get the ebook version for just $1.99!

The ebook version is super handy to have on an ebook reader or your smartphone. You can even save it directly to your computer and access it any time you’re working on your computer. You’ll be able to quickly search for whatever information you need with the ebook.

Some of my favorite Amazon reviews:

Are you confused with all the “prepping” or “survival” info out there? Wonder who or what to believe? Do you wonder why, how and where to start, or how to assess and beef up your prepping efforts? Do you want the hype-free message with no sale pressure? If so, you will love this book, Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios by Lisa Bedford.

Since I have been an avid reader of Lisa’s website for years, I doubted this book would have much new information-but I was so wrong. If you’ve been to her website, you’ll notice that she’s covered so many topics that you may think there isn’t much left to talk about (at least that’s what I thought). I was so wrong! I can’t believe how much practical information she has gathered, all in one place, to help the average mom, dad, or even a single person survive anything and everything, from every day emergencies on up to more extreme emergencies.

I can hardly wait for the next one. I have spent quite a bit of time reading and rereading. I want more.

This is one of the most amazing books I have ever purchased. It is clear and effective without scaring the mess out of you (like some prepping / survival books). It is written by and from the standpoint of a modern mom prepper, this the title. It has checklists that are easy to follow and customize included in each chapter as well as a plethora of information that would take substantial time to gather yourself online.

Writing this book was one of the most enjoyable chapters of my life and knowing it has helped families around the country is a great feeling.

You can’t beat $1.99 for this 300+ page book, but the sale price ends October 20. Click here!

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“Outage” by Ellisa Barr: Book Review http://thesurvivalmom.com/outage-ellisa-barr-book-review/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/outage-ellisa-barr-book-review/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 06:00:46 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18067 As you turn the opening pages of Outage, the parents of 15 year old Dee, our self-absorbed and somewhat reluctant teenage heroine from the city, are leaving her with her grandfather. He runs a veterinary service on a small farm Read More

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Outage by Ellisa BarrAs you turn the opening pages of Outage, the parents of 15 year old Dee, our self-absorbed and somewhat reluctant teenage heroine from the city, are leaving her with her grandfather. He runs a veterinary service on a small farm near the town of Lookout Falls in Washington State.

After Dee’s mom and dad depart for a vacation cruise to Alaska, she is hit with the realization that there is no cell phone or internet service, let alone a mall or nearby shopping center to hang out at, meet boys and socialize. This is completely untenable and unacceptable to her. Dee is determined to run at the earliest opportunity, by any means possible.

This beginning sets the stage for what turns into an action-packed, non-stop apocalyptic novel for young adults. First time author Ellisa Barr created an exciting story centered on an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event which grips the nation, Dee’s family, and her newly made friends.

While interviewing Ms. Barr for this book review, she shared with me a bit of her personal history and experiences growing up in a small town in rural Idaho. It quickly became apparent that Barr pulled from her life experiences, faith, and wonderful imagination to create highly engaging prose and dialog that draws readers into the story and the main character’s life. Dee’s trials and triumphs unfold as the post EMP world churns.

I felt like I was right in the midst of events as Dee soon finds her high tech world of texting, tweeting, and Facebook gone, replaced by her struggle to keep the family farm going with her ailing grandfather. A rapidly maturing Dee helps family, friends and neighbors as they band together to survive and create community not experienced in the United States since the 1800’s, and deal with a ruthless local sheriff.

This 233 page book has all the hallmarks of an engaging Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew mystery set to a modern day apocalyptic theme. There is action, adventure and even a bit of romance to entice the reader as you delve into the pages of this entertaining work.

I unintentionally read late into the night engrossed in Outage, book one of the Powerless Nation series. And I will happily burn the midnight oil reading Ms. Barr’s upcoming tome, Voyage, book two in the series.

I highly recommend Outage to anyone interested in an engaging and fast-paced apocalyptic read. It’s great!

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Check Out Our Lists! http://thesurvivalmom.com/check-lists-survival-mom/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/check-lists-survival-mom/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 06:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18341 You’ll want to pin this for future reference! You may have noticed the “List of Lists” in the top nav for this site. 120+ is A LOT of lists to scroll through! But there is some great stuff in there. Read More

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You’ll want to pin this for future reference!survivalmom-lists

You may have noticed the “List of Lists” in the top nav for this site. 120+ is A LOT of lists to scroll through! But there is some great stuff in there.

Have you looked at 5 Survival Skills I Learned in Scouts or 8 Vital Skills to Teach Your Children that Will Trump an Ivy League Education? Both of those are in the new Family, Parenting, and Kid List.

Are you more interested in First Aid /Healthcare Lists? You can read How to Create and Use an Herbal Home Medicine Chest or one of many lists related to essential oils.

The Fun Lists include You Might Be a Survivalist If and 10 Questions I’d Ask Ma Ingalls.

You get the idea. There are so many great articles, you just can’t help but find a few great ones you have missed along the way. And even if you are a long-time reader who has read every single article on here, you just might find an old favorite you had forgotten about.

Once you take some time to look through, come back and post your new favorites you found there!

 

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BOOK REVIEW: “Day of Wrath’ by William Forstchen (Author of “One Second After”) http://thesurvivalmom.com/book-review-day-wrath-william-forstchen/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/book-review-day-wrath-william-forstchen/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 06:00:46 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17907 “I did not want to write this [book], but, as I expressed to friends, I feared that if I did not write it, and this nightmare happened, which it really can, I would be responsible in some way for remaining Read More

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days of wrath“I did not want to write this [book], but, as I expressed to friends, I feared that if I did not write it, and this nightmare happened, which it really can, I would be responsible in some way for remaining silent. If you read on from here, it will not be an enjoyable experience.”

~ William Forstchen in the “Day of Wrath” introduction.

I have written several book reviews. Part way through each book, I would already know what “angle” I would take in my review. By the time I finished reading, the words of the review came easily. I either liked the book or didn’t, had some words of wisdom to share about the contents, and a recommendation to buy it or skip it.

This book is very different.

The Day of Wrath was an excellent read.

It was not an enjoyable experience.

OVERVIEW

Day of Wrath is the story of a coordinated multiple target terrorist attack in the United States by ISIS. It’s told through the eyes of several different people, including victims and terrorists. The main character, a teacher at the middle school his daughter attends, seems to clearly express the author’s point of view on the current state of the world.

The story goes into fairly specific detail of how the jihadists come into the country, wait for their signal, and then attack in several locations at the same time. The terrorists expect a certain response, and Americans do not disappoint them, falling right into their plans.

The chapters that put us in the mind of the bad guys run consistent with my own study of Islam and are a good representation of a jihadist’s motivations, based on what their spiritual leaders and the Koran tell them.

Please remember: this is a review of a book  – a work of fiction, albeit one inspired by and incorporating real events – based on my personal experiences, and nothing more. It it not a historical or political analysis. It is simply a review of a novel by a popular dystopian author.

COMMENTARY

I read the entire 144 page novella in one sitting. It was an engaging read that kept me turning the pages. It also made me sick to my stomach. So I can’t say I “liked” the book, but I am glad I read it.

When speaking to a friend about this book she asked, “Why would the author give the bad guys this terrible plan for an attack?” That’s an extremely naive question. Terrorists don’t need our help to come up with ways to attack us. They have been working on it themselves for a long time.

It is believed that ISIS has already crossed, or has plans to cross, into the United States along our southern border. ISIS is in many ways a bigger threat to us than Al Qaeda because they are more barbaric, better funded, and have greater resources.

The book was just released in the middle of August. It includes factual events perpetrated by ISIS over the last several months, as well as references to previous real terrorist events, woven into the fictional storyline.

That is what makes reading this so disconcerting: The reader doesn’t have to suspend belief in order to believe the story being told.

The ending was not where I expected the story to go. It was still shocking because its believability might have made it the scariest part of the entire book. I will leave it at that so as not to have any spoilers, but be prepared not to be “satisfied” with how it all unfolds.

One thing I enjoyed about Mr. Forstchen’s previous novel, One Second After, is that it gave the reader excellent information, throughout the storyline, about how to prepare for an EMP and its aftermath. I didn’t find the same subtle instruction in this novel. With the exception of carrying a firearm at all times and homeschooling your children, I’m not sure there was much practical learning value to this story.

BOTTOM LINE

I recommend reading this book, but with a clear warning that some parts are difficult to read. This is not a “feel good” story where everything works out in the end and folks ride off into the sunset. People die, children are tortured and murdered, and schools are involved.

The whole story, but especially the ending, may make you mad. It will remind you that the issue with our porous borders isn’t just about Mexicans and Central Americans looking for a better life. It will also give you a clearer understanding of what an ISIS attack on the US might look like and reinforce the reality that ISIS is a threat to this country.

I hope that it makes you more focused on the threat of terrorism that our country still faces, even though we have gone 13 years without a large scale, coordinated attack. That focus should not manifest as fear, but rather as vigilance, both to what is happening around us and in our personal preparedness for potentially terrible times.

If you’ve already read the book, or decide to read it, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Review and Giveaway: “Forsaking Home” by A. American http://thesurvivalmom.com/review-giveaway-forsaking-home-american/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/review-giveaway-forsaking-home-american/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15478 This contest has ended. Congratulations to our winner – LeAnn! When I had first agreed to review FORSAKING HOME, I didn’t realize I was picking up on book four of a survivalist series. The first sentence of, FORSAKING HOME, took Read More

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Forsaking HomeThis contest has ended. Congratulations to our winner – LeAnn!

When I had first agreed to review FORSAKING HOME, I didn’t realize I was picking up on book four of a survivalist series.

The first sentence of, FORSAKING HOME, took me immediately into a prison camp. Like the female detainees in the book, I felt chained and immersed in total darkness.  I wanted to know who these characters were and why they were being harshly treated. As it came to light that they were in the detention center of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) I wanted to understand from the very beginning what brought them to this point.

As a newcomer to the series, I at first struggled with the introduction. Fortunately, the dialog between the inmates filled me in on many points and before I knew it, I was on chapter three. Then something magical happened.

Things started to click.

Lessons from the series

The author, A. American, has been involved in the prepping and survivalist movement for more than 20 years. As I turned each page, I realized his work of fiction was loaded with useful information.

FORSAKING HOME is the glimpse of an American family surviving the aftermaths of a collapsed society that has been thrust into the dark ages. With no electricity, no running water, and very little food, the characters are forced to make do with what they have.

Fortunately, for the reader, they can learn along with the characters on what foods are edible, how to live off the grid, and practical skills like making soap.

For procrastinators who want to put off learning survival skills in real life, we’re taught in the book, “Sometimes tomorrow doesn’t come.”

A reality check is also pointed out with the statement, “Food is Freedom.”

Some characters in FORSAKING HOME are prime examples of what could happen in real life when an unprepared society is faced with the options of going hungry, or handing over their freedoms in exchange for food.

“Control the food, you control the people,” is not fiction.

Read the whole series!

GOING HOME, the first book of the series, takes you on a harrowing journey with Morgan Carter. He’s a husband and father, stranded on a highway 250 miles away from home.

In the second book, SURVIVING HOME, Morgan who has already reunited with his family, is dealing with the collapse of his community.

Struggling for survival in the third book, ESCAPING HOME, Morgan and his family are on the defensive with Martial Law.

FORSAKING HOME, brings us back to the prison camp, and some “payback” action. Weaving actual survival skills and knowledge into a work of fiction is nothing short of genius.

I won’t post any spoilers here, but highly encourage you to read the entire series. It may not be the first thing you think of For a beach read, but this is a great series to enjoy this summer, especially if you are the lucky one who wins a free copy!

Win the entire series!

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of the 48 continental United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age and older at the time of entry. The giveaway starts July 10th, 2014 at 5:00 am (CDT) and ends on July 15th, 2014 at 5:00 pm (CDT). We will choose a winner at the end of the giveaway and that person will be notified by email.  They will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond we will choose another winner.  Good luck to everyone and here’s to enjoying a great book series!

 

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Are books on your emergency checklist? http://thesurvivalmom.com/books-checklist/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/books-checklist/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 10:00:39 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15818 “So many books, so little time.” I love books. One of my favorite places growing up, besides the library, was my grandmother’s basement. Her walls were lined with bookshelves and there were so many books. Books are an important part Read More

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books with text

“So many books, so little time.”

I love books. One of my favorite places growing up, besides the library, was my grandmother’s basement. Her walls were lined with bookshelves and there were so many books. Books are an important part of our preparedness, for many reasons

Homeschooling

There may be a day you need to teach your children at home. It could be for prolonged snow days or for a long period of power loss, or simply because their school doesn’t cover an important (to you) topic.

Having books on hand about history, math, biology, literature, and science gives you the ability to teach your child. If you can find a complete encyclopedia set, you have found a highly sought after item. These kinds of books can also be helpful for research when a report is due, but the Internet connection is down.

For some subjects, really old used books can be a great resource. Arithmetic doesn’t change, so an 1870s book will be just as good as a brand new one at a fraction of the cost, and may bring up some interesting lessons on its own through the word problems. (A train goes…before stopping for water. How much water does it need?. A horse travels…distance in….)

Reference

First aid, gardening, woodworking, sewing, cooking – these topics and instructions can easily be found online. If the power is out and you need information on one of these topics, you should have books about these on hand. As with math, some subjects don’t really change and antique books can be the best reference for some of them.

Power Outages/Pleasure

Books also give you something to do in case the normal life pleasures aren’t available. Reading out loud to kids can be calming in emergency situations. Stocking up on classic literature is one way to ensure your family is not bored, even with a prolonged power outage. Consider tucking a family favorite in a bug out bag, too.

And about those classics, such as Peter Pan, Oliver Twist, and Robin Hood, somehow along the way of our public system evolving, it was deemed that these were too difficult for American kids to understand. Not so! Homeschooled kids read these books all the time, along with countless other classics and do just fine.

Remember that while Kindles are great, they do need to be charged, unlike physical copies of books.

Journal

Book margins have been used in history as a place for people to journal and write their thoughts. During the Holocaust, one person used the margins for a personal diary. When paper is scarce, books can give you a place to write things down.

Fuel/fire

It would be a hard thing to do, but if it came down to it, books can be a way to feed a fire in desperate times. (Some folks have stocked up on old phone books just for this purpose.)

Preservation

What books would you want to have around just to pass on to future generations? If a day ever came where you could not travel far to a library, your library would consist of the books in your home and the homes around you.

Where to put them?

Books do take up a lot of space, but they can be tucked away in unused storage locations, like under the bed or in closets. But, one nice thing about books is that they can be used as decorations on top of furniture or even as furniture. Have you seen the coffee table made out of books on Pinterest?

If you have a large number of books, be careful if you put several full bookcases in a row that they need to be on a load-bearing wall. They really can get quite heavy, but this is usually only a problem if you have several bookcases together.

Where to find them?

If you need ideas of where to find books inexpensively, read some tips here in another Survival Mom article. I tend to find mine in used bookstores, library book sales, thrift stores, and garage sales.

Why do you think books should be a part of prepping? What kinds of books are best to have on hand?

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25 Ways To Use Your Library’s Free Resources For Better Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com/librarys-free-resources-better-preparedness/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/librarys-free-resources-better-preparedness/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:00:58 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15840 Why spend money on information and services that your tax dollars are already paying for? Your public library has a multitude of benefits for its patrons, and you’d be smart to take advantage of the library’s free resources. Check out Read More

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library free resourcesWhy spend money on information and services that your tax dollars are already paying for? Your public library has a multitude of benefits for its patrons, and you’d be smart to take advantage of the library’s free resources.

  1. Check out nonfiction books on various topics to educate yourself how things work in gardening, engines, solar panels, or identifying edible plants – whatever you need or want to learn about!
  2. Use the library’s photocopier to make a copy of a checklist, document, recipe, pattern, or design you may want to use later.
  3. Use the library’s laminator (ours charges only pennies per page) to laminate an important document so that you will have it safe and waterproof.
  4. Use the library’s PCs for free to do any sort of online research you may need to do. Bonus points if you do research while the kids are attending a program or story time. It’s a great way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone!
  5. Not everyone has a printer at home and inkjet cartridges are very expensive! Use your library’s printer for free or for a very nominal amount to print out the results of your research, recipes, designs, or patterns. Sort them by category in a 3-ring binder for your own Survival Mom binder!
  6. Read the newspapers without a subscription at home, to keep up on current news events. It’s just one more of the library’s free resources.
  7. Read the financial magazines/journals/periodicals for free, to keep up on current financial events.
  8. Read the back issues of Mother Earth News or Foxfire Magazine to learn all kinds of handy simple living methods.
  9. Attend presentations that the library may offer with guest speakers on all kinds of topics. My library has had presentations on gardening, raising animals, clearing out the clutter, and financial topics. Usually free, these are valuable ways to learn skills from someone who maybe has more experience than you do.
  10. Drop off the kids at a children’s program the library is offering this summer, and you’ve just cleared out a little “me time” to work on a project you might need to complete or start! Yes, you do have to go pick them up on time after the program is over!
  11. Check out a fictional book with a preparedness angle such as Patriots or One Second After. Read the book and see what questions or issues it raises in your own mind and how you may apply concepts and ideas from the book to your own plans.
  12. Going on a long car trip this summer to check out a possible bug-out location or test out your camping skills? Be sure you let the kids check out books and other media they may enjoy for the long car ride. It will allow time for the non-driving adult(s) to do a little reading or research of their own without interruption.
  13. Check if your library allows you to check out an e-reader or tablet to “try before you buy” if you’re considering making a purchase like this to store lots of books and documents for use in the future. I tested out 3 different models before I bought my Kindle Fire.
  14. If you know there’s going to be a rainy or stormy day, rent a DVD from the library that can be played on a fully charged up laptop (even if the power goes out). Having a diversion ready to go will keep both children and adults calm and entertained while waiting out the weather situation.
  15. Take a look at specialty magazines to learn something new without spending a dime. For example, browse a cooking magazine and jot down a new recipe to try. Take a look at a crochet or knitting magazine and get yourself a brand new pattern or stitch that you can try yourself or teach to your kids.
  16. Ask at your library if they have discards that they give away or sell at a seriously reduced price. Twice a year, my library has a book sale that benefits their programs. Hardcovers sell for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, and recent issues of magazines can be had for as little as 5 cents an issue. I have been building my gardening, knitting, and crocheting libraries for years this way for next to nothing cost-wise!
  17. Volunteer at a library event to meet people who live in your community. Strengthening your community bonds and making new friendships is a great way to help be prepared for whatever may come in the future.
  18. Sign up to be notified when newly released books are available to be checked out. If you’re a preparedness-minded person like me, you can’t be spending a fortune buying every new book that comes out by your favorite author. I save the money for other gear or activities, and check the books out of the library instead.
  19. Check if your library offers any adult crafting events. Mine does! For a nominal amount of $5.00, I was able to attend a library event where I used their tools and my own photos and created several pages for a scrapbook of memories. Photo albums and scrapbooks to remember the past may be invaluable one day.
  20. Offer to teach a class at the library to share something you know well with others. This is a great way to potentially meet other preparedness-minded folks. If, for example, you offer to teach an hour long class on “how to hurricane proof your home”, you are likely to meet other people who are thinking along the same lines as you are and are interested in being ready for whatever may come.
  21. If your library doesn’t have a book, magazine, or other periodical you wish you did have access to, ask at the front desk if there’s any way they can order it for you from another library. Many libraries participate in exchanges of material with other libraries.
  22. Learn how to use your library’s media on demand programs. I am able to download, for free, onto my Kindle and my mom’s Nook, tons of books for absolutely free. I believe you can also use the apps on your iPad if that’s your tablet of choice. Usually the book just “disappears” from your device after the “lending period” so there’s nothing for you to remember to return (score!). Sometimes, the book is yours to keep forever. Bonus!
  23. Check out if your library offers any free legal resources. If you’re thinking of purchasing a new home or piece of land, if you can get some of your legal questions answered for free, you have that much more money to put toward the purchase price.
  24. Check if your library has any type of music program. I can download a free song weekly at no charge from the library to my cell phone or iPod. It’s awesome! I love to listen to music while gardening or building things or exercising.  The music soothes me and helps keep me focused on the task at hand for much longer periods of time.
  25. See if your library has a nice quiet corner armchair or cubby where you can hide yourself away for just a few minutes once or twice a week. This is where I practice my “mindful breathing” and meditation. I combine this with my exercise and take a brisk walk up to the library, meditate, check out some books, and take a brisk walk home. When I arrive home, I feel productive and proud of myself for accomplishing all of the above!

What other ideas can you think of to use the resources at your library to help in your preparedness efforts? Please post below – I’d love to hear what you come up with!

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A prepper encyclopedia for your smart phone: the Proclivus phone app http://thesurvivalmom.com/proclivus-phone-app/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/proclivus-phone-app/#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 15:30:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15594 Whenever life takes me away from home for hours or days on end, my smartphone has become my computer for whenever I’m on the road. A big advantage of the smartphone is the multitude of apps available, and recently I Read More

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proclivus phone appWhenever life takes me away from home for hours or days on end, my smartphone has become my computer for whenever I’m on the road.

A big advantage of the smartphone is the multitude of apps available, and recently I downloaded a particularly helpful one, Proclivus. Proclivus is a clever new app that aggregates the best prepper and survival information from across the internet and puts it all in one place, your iPhone or iPad. It’s far handier than using your phone’s browser to check out one site after another. Why bother with all that browsing when everything is right there on Proclivus, and it’s free?

With the Proclivus phone app, you can quickly scroll through a multitude of articles, over 1000 on some days. With a quick glance, you can decide if the article is of interest. There is also the option of selecting categories as a way to seek out only the information you are interested in right now. Sorting through numerous categories helps a great deal when it comes to staying focused on what you want to learn now, and since that information comes from multiple sources, you can learn a great deal, indeed.

proclivus phone appProclivus updates its feeds every 15 minutes, so throughout the day there is always something new to read. The most recent articles will be presented first, and typically, articles remain on the app for 90 days. The 150 feeds are constantly searching for newly posted articles, and you may find yourself addicted!

See something you want to share? Proclivus has an easy sharing feature which allows you to share via email, texting, Facebook, and Twitter. If you find something that is worth saving, it can be saved to a separate free app,  Pocket, which allows you to save things you find while browsing. These saved articles can be read offline or at a later date. With Proclivus and Pocket (not affiliated with Proclivus), you can create your own personalized survival library.

When I began using Proclivus, the first thing I noticed is that it was similar to Pinterest, but focused solely on survival and preparedness topics. In fact, one new feature of Proclivus now brings in Pinterest feeds. You’ll find it at the bottom of the Categories menu. There’s a vast resource on Pinterest of survival related material, so this is a nice addition. Some prepper Pinners have tens of thousands of followers, and this is a feature I would love to see enhanced on Proclivus.

Currently, Proclivus is available only for iPhones and iPads. Writing the app for the Android platform requires a complete re-write of code, unfortunately. An Android version is not out of the question, though, and based on the success of Proclivus, that version may become a reality sooner rather than later.

You can download Proclivus from iTunes or go to this website for the download and instructions for utilizing this app. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Why I Read Disaster Novels, and You Should, Too http://thesurvivalmom.com/read-disaster-novels/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/read-disaster-novels/#comments Fri, 30 May 2014 16:30:49 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14582 When I was a kid, I was a voracious reader. I read a novel a day and if I couldn’t find something new to read, I would read a book over again. The variety of genres and subjects I read Read More

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disaster novelsWhen I was a kid, I was a voracious reader. I read a novel a day and if I couldn’t find something new to read, I would read a book over again. The variety of genres and subjects I read were all over the place and I have gone through phases of reading only mystery or only non-fiction.

While I have recently been on a fantasy/fiction kick (Game of Thrones, anyone?), I have also been reading books that deal with some country or world-changing scenario and follow people as they try to survive. I call them “disaster books” for lack of a better term. I suppose they could be called apocalyptic books, or SHTF books, or survivor books. “Dystopian” is the most recent popular term for them. Whatever you call them, these books have a value that many people do not recognize.

With all of the kinds of stories and different perspectives I have read about in my life, I have a great imagination and can put myself into pretty much any role and understand why the character would think, or feel, or act in certain ways. Even the ‘bad guys.’ The entertainment value and escapism is wonderful, of course, but the fact that it enBook Cover: "One Second After"riched my way of thinking and increased my ability to see both sides of the story is far more important. It has allowed me to adapt to odd situations more easily and handle emergencies with calm focus (I tend to ‘freak out’ after it is all over, haha!) and that is vitally important in disaster situations.

Disaster Novels (Dystopian Literature)

Book Cover: Lucifer's hammer"With the overall shift of our lifestyle, enter my interest in disaster stories. Stories depicting an EMP taking out the electrical grid in our country or a meteor hitting the planet and sending tidal waves across the oceans, helps the reader visualize and consider things what they would do and need to counter such an event.

By reading books that present these scenarios in a non-threatening way (it’s just a story, right?), readers can safely get caught up in the emotions and truly contemplate how they would feel, react, and respond. It is easy to judge characters’ decisions while you are safe and secure in your home reading. If you apply what they are going through to your own situation and how it would truly affect you, the realizations may be huge (as in you are NOT prepared at all) or they may simply reaffirm that you have been on the right track for years.

Book Cover: "Last Woman"For me, reading these types of books has opened my eyes to areas in which I need to improve or things that I have overkilled. They give great conversation material with your spouse or group on how you would collectively respond. They can expose areas you all need to address to be better equipped to overcome a disaster.

The largest and most valuable side to reading this particular genre of book, though, is the mental aspect of. Reading these books help to expose your mind to these unlikely (but possible) scenarios. If you take it a step further and form a plan in your mind or go all out to improve your chances, you are ahead of the game so far that you have lapped the people on the couch twice already.

One of the biggest skills we can learn as preppers or self-sufficient people is how to react when sudden and unexpected events occur. We have to mentally train our minds to react instead of freeze up. It is my strong belief that reading some of these types of books and really letting yourself get caught up in them will help on that path.

There are dozens of books like this on Kindle and Nook that are usually $3 or less – many are free. Some aren’t the best story or written very well, so choose at your own risk. Reader reviews and rankings can be helpful,  if you read them. When a book doesn’t have many reviews, a single person who rates it as one star because they hated the hero(ine)’s name (or five stars because they loved the cover) can seriously skew the results, so it’s worth taking the extra minute. Also, an outstanding book may have only a few reviews if it is new or poorly marketed.

Here are some of the books I have read recently that are not only well done, they can really make you think:

Other books that are recommended:

Printable: 32 Survival Books for Your Collection

What disaster books do you recommend?

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