Saturday, March 26, 2011

Economic Meltdown: A Family Preparedness Plan for Disaster by Karen McHale

genre: fiction, preparedness

I am a sucker for disaster stories. I love tales of survival and because my church has been telling us for years that we need to have basic supplies on hand so that we can make do on our own for a time during a crisis, I'm also pretty interested in preparedness. When I was approached and asked to read this book about a financial disaster, I was intrigued.

Here's the thing - it's a disaster preparedness manual...but it's a story. It's a fictionalized account of one family's efforts to be ready in case our country plunges into an economic nightmare. So, it's didactic and yet, not. If reading an actual "disaster preparedness manual" puts you to sleep by just reading the title, this may be an interesting way to go. A family of four finds ways to put up food, become more self-reliant, and put aside a reserve of necessities and money. It's full of a lot of good ideas - some I've already done, some I'm in the process of doing and others I hadn't considered that are now on my list.

One thing to keep in mind - it's needs an editor. I found several typos which distracted me and it got a little repetitive at times. Don't read it for the "plot," because it sometimes feels like you're watching an after school special. But, really, I think it serves an incredibly useful purpose - it shows you that becoming more self-reliant CAN be done by people who are NOT wealthy or prepared to move to a compound in the wilderness. People in the suburbs can and should be ready to fend for themselves because counting on the government to help you out isn't good enough. I appreciate that it made me think about a crisis situation that's very different than what I'd been planning for (job loss, earthquake/storm etc.). Hyper inflation and unrest in my own country could lead to crazy high food prices or limited food, period. With all the other calamities and political tension happening for REAL in the world right now, this book sent planning for a disaster to the forefront of my mind.

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