Prepare for the Unthinkable with Doomer Lit

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Think about it.  What would it be like to get out of a city on fire, on foot?   How would you cope with a sick child and stores empty of all medications?  Imagine driving toward your home and suddenly seeing a mushroom cloud off in the distance.  How would you react?  What would you do?  What could you do now in order to survive then?  Believe it or not, doomer lit (literature) may actually help you prepare mentally for these horrific scenarios.

That’s right.  Doomer lit isn’t just for entertainment anymore!  It can actually be useful in helping us imagine, and then plan for, the unthinkable.  Here are some titles that you may enjoy, in a morbid sort of way, and help you contemplate ‘what if’ scenarios and plan for them.

You may never have to cope with a devastating pandemic, a total wipe-out of earth by nuclear bombs, or a meteor strike, but it sure doesn’t hurt to ponder those ‘what if’ scenarios and think how you might prepare.  How you might care for your children and loved ones in an end-of-the-world scenario. Oh, and what better gift to give to someone who thinks you’re crazy for stocking up on wheat and tuna??

Happy reading!  ;o)

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 9 years.

26 thoughts on “Prepare for the Unthinkable with Doomer Lit”

  1. I've read both Patriots by Rawles(a bit technical) and One Second After by Forstchen. I loved this book and I understand it will be a movie. Get it if you can. It moved me tremendously. The forward by Gingrich was especially chilling.

  2. Lights Out is very good. Not nearly as much obsession with mega collections of firearms. This one is about an accidental survivalist. All in all, I tend to like survival fiction. It gets your mind open to options. You won't be shocked into staring dumbly or hysterical over reaction if you've played the scenarios already. It's called Practice.

  3. Accounts of real people who survived stress positive attitude, survivor's mindset, resourcefulness, enduring faith and teamwork. Without these even the well equipped will die. Google these examples:____Lt Hiroo Onoda, Imperial Japanese Army, who didn't walk out of the Phillipine jungle until 1974.__LtJg Dieter Dengler, USN, shot down, escaped and evaded until rescued, story depicted in movie Rescue Dawn.__Aron Ralston, exploring, a boulder fell on him, freed himself by severing his arm below the elbow. __Steven Callahan, Adrift 76 Days At Sea, best survival tale since Swiss Family Robinson.__Lost In Red Hell is Bela Gogos's autobiography of survival in the Gulag of Arctic Russia __Alive, story of the Andes survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 that crashed on October 13, 1972.__There are so many inspiring true stories if you look for them, that you don't need fiction. ____

    1. There are lovers of fiction and lovers of non-fic. Isn't it nice that there is something for everyone. The point is, people should read. There's a lot to know out there.

    1. You beat me to it.

      I don't see why so many people say it's tongue in cheek. For the genre it's very 'serious'. But more practically, if you replace "zombie" with "terrorist" or some event like "bio attack" or "dirty bomb" at least 85% of the book still applies. I especially like the last chapter on "Living in an undead world". And the description of how a 1800's "zombie killer" in the wild west setup a 'kill zone' I think is very appropriate as a defense strategy.

  4. I've read several of those books — "One Second After" stands out for prepping applicability, but it was also such a grim scenario that it made me think the lucky ones were at Ground Zero ("The Road" struck the same chord). "The Stand" is a fabulous read and was made into a terrific miniseries in the 1990s (available on DVD). I recall after the Lincoln Tunnel scene being happy the next morning to sit in traffic with live drivers.

    "Jericho" — the 2006-08 CBS-TV series — is the best immersion into a prepping scenario that I've seen. The entire series is available on DVD. I very highly recommend it. Jericho is a Kansas town — population 5000 — whose residents see a mushroom cloud from the direction of Denver. They also find out that night that Atlanta was nuked. Communications are the first casualty and Jericho is essentially cut off from the world except for snippets that come over satellite TV (China news they can't understand) and what they pick up when they venture into some neighboring towns. Takes many episodes before they get an inkling of just how many cities were bombed. Meanwhile, the residents deal with fallout worries, hoarding, EMP, whether or not to bug-out, fuel shortage, medicine shortage and food shortage on a community-wide scale.

    Jericho could have used a preparedness consultant as they take dramatic license but it is thought-provoking. I would have enjoyed analyzing the episodes with the Survival Mom community. Still would.

    Survival Mom — have you seen Jericho? Netflix and Amazon have the entire series — Seasons 1 and 2. Several of the episodes could be interesting vehicles for preparedness-survival discussion. I'd be pleased to partake.

    1. Jeremiah is a series (two seasons) about a virus that kills all the adults (anyone who has hit puberty) so the kids have to take over society. The virus doesn't kill them, though, as they become adults. A different kind of survival.

      We liked Jericho overall, but there were definitely things that were irritating. Like the fact that at one point there's a train not too far away that only has a couple automobiles in front of it to prevent it from running – but they never bring it into town. WHY?!??? Soooo irritating. :-p

  5. One Second After is my favorite, haunting. I read On the Beach this summer, 60s nuclear disaster old book but a great read.

  6. If you're also talking about movies there is:

    – "Dirty War", a BBC production about terrorists setting of a dirty bomb in London.

    – "Right at your door" a little reviewed 2006 flick about terrorists setting off a series of dirty bombs in LA.

    – "The Day of The Triffids", also a BBC mini series from1981 based on the novel (much more accurate then "Day of the Triffids" movie) that deals a lot more with surviving the collapse of society and wrestles with the ethical/moral issues of what responsibilities (if any) survivors have to help others. The monsters are secondary at best.

    Probably some others I can't think of at this moment.

  7. For more survival reading, if you like graphic novels, The Walking Dead is fun. It deals more with how people struggle to retain their sense of humanity after the appocalyptic event of virus/zombies.

  8. The history is full of stories of people bugging out sometimes because of war and other times because of natural calamities. What you don't hear about as much is the millions of people who died "bugging out". This is a dangerous option that should only be undertaken when staying put is an even worse option. But to allow yourself to be forced to grasping at straws is insane. Sure, something unforeseen can happen to anyone at any time no matter how well you prepared for it but make no mistake when you bug out you probably won't make it. This will be hard to believe for most people. I have a bugout kit; it is my camping backpack. I have honed the contents so that I can grab it and go for a weekend, a week and with resupply a month or two. I would do this in a second but it is NOT bugging out. It is recreation. Also I get to pick my season. My favorite hiking area is a joy in the late spring, summer and early fall but a miserable place to be in the colder season. I can only say that if your situation or place of residence is so tenuous that bugging out seems like an option then you need to move now when life is normal and not when the world is in confusion.

    1. My hope is to try to get ahead of the curve. Initially I think the reaction of most people will be to stay home. Partly because that is what movies and TV have said for years. And partly because no one wants to think things will get worse.

      Knowing what your "trigger event" is that causes you to get into leaving mode is key. It isn't easy to know.

  9. Terri Blackstock wrote a series called "Restoration" that is #1 Last Light, #2 Night Light, #3 True Light, and #4 Dawn's Light. There are available on Amazon.
    The series opens with a plausible event: an emp has struck but no one knows anything about it. Just suddenly every thing is nonoperative. I really enjoyed the series. In fact, it was my first acquaintance with the idea that my world could suddenly fall apart. I would highly recommend the series.

  10. I love to watch disaster movies and catch all the mistakes the "survivors" make. For instance, in "The Day After Tomorrow" the people who chose to wait out the storm in the library had time to scout the area for additional supplies, but didn't.

    Without a doubt the most realistic and terrifying movie about nuclear war is a British movie called "Threads". It was made in the late 70s or early 80s. It's on Youtube and I really recommend it. However, it is graphic and realistic to the point where the viewer begins to prefer not surviving. This one is not for young children, but it shows how people will probably act if such an event happens.

  11. Been chomping at the bit to read a few of these titles recently. Discovered last night that R.E.A.D.S has some of them in audio form,woot. All you need is a public library card.

  12. The first book of SM Stirling's 'Change' series titled 'Dies the Fire' is an excellent exploration of surviving a complete collapse of technology. He even mentions non-fiction books worth hunting down as source material.

  13. When you mention a nuclear scenario people tend to give up. But the science indicates that most people outside the moderate damage radius will survive if they are knowledgeable and prepared, prepared and take basic precautions. As President Roosevelt said during WWII, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. This link from the National Academy of Engineering has a comprehensive library of articles which give the basic knowledge you need so that you can prepare and disregard the defeatist hype.
    http://www.nae.edu/File.aspx?id=20575

  14. christopherclausen

    I just wrote a novel myself about a survival scenario resulting from a massive solar storm. The story is set in Minnesota and details one family's attempt to survive the widespread power outtage resulting from the storm. Chaos quickly ramps up and the Connelly family has to make some very difficult decisions regarding their future. Not all of them make it.

    An excerpt of it can be found on my blogsite if you are interested. http://christopherclausen.wordpress.com/

    I have read Fortchsen and believe his book to be a credible scenario of what life might look like after such a disaster.

  15. One Second After by William R. Forstchen is one of my favorites! This book was suggested to me by a friend at work. He told me this book would do two things…scare the poop out of me and encourage me to prepare for anything! I can honestly say it did both.

  16. Alas Babylon was the first book in this genre I read. I enjoyed it, not real graphic.
    Recently I read ‘The End’ by Michael Hopf. I liked it being based in CA, Pacific NW because that is my stomping grounds. I bristled against the concept of the book because I don’t believe the option the character takes at first. I believe he was smart enough and the type to choose differently ( I don’t want to ruin the story) It was too graphic for me in places, too descriptive. Some folks will like that but I’d like less horror. -Yes I realize it is the end of the world and being told by a soldier BUT It lives with me.
    I also read ‘Going Home’ by A. American. It too has graphic moments but it felt like it gave more information on the doing, the details not just the horror. I have ordered the next books in this series.
    I also have ordered ‘One Second After’.

    I would love to hear which books/authors you recommend that have a great story, good information, not largely violent/graphic.

    LOVED Jericho, own the series. Would love to see another. The was a series in the works ‘The Carrington Event’. I haven’t heard anything new but I think NOW would be a great time for that.
    I watch’ Revolution’ It is a bit graphic, real bloody but the story line has grabbed me. Not a lot of real information on it but perhaps a look at how bad it could be…although a little over the top.

  17. I reading American Exit Strategy by Mark Goodwin. Fast read and great book. Next is American Meltdown. Can’t wait to read it.

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