Crisis Preparedness Handbook: A Complete Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival by Jack A. Spigarelli is the latest victim in my ongoing series of "Survival" type books reviewed. I must say that this is one of my favorites preparedness books for many reasons: first and foremost Mr. Spigarelli spend the majority of the book on the two most important aspects of survival - FOOD and WATER. If if you don't have access to either of these it won't matter how far out in the woods you live, how much gas you have for your generator, how many bullets and guns you have stockpiled because quite simply; you will be dead.
I have to confess this was one of the first preparedness books I ever read. I enjoyed it so much I have reread it for the purpose of this review. Mr. Spigarelli has a very comprehensive approach to preparations of food and water and goes from sprouting to canning and back again in a clear and concise fashion aiding the readers comprehension of the material. This book is strictly business unlike the last review I did on Cody Lundin's "98.6 Degrees The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive", there are no cute illustrations...just LOTS of information and good quality information to boot.
The book is broken down in seven parts as follows:
1.) Introduction - Chapters 1-4
2.) Food and Water Stockpiling - Chapters 5-11
3.) Food Production - Chapters 12-15
4.) Food Preservation - Chapters 16-19
5.) Crisis Survival - Chapters 20-21
6.) Other Preparations - Chapters 22-30
7.) Resources - Chapters 31-32
The Introduction - focuses primarily on living in an uncertain world. It is dangerous times more now than ever and we are dependent...sound pertinent? Well guess what the book was written in 1984 - ironically. This book and its description of why survival preparations are prudent withstand the test of time and could easily refer to today and now. He also focuses on making the decision and becoming committed to starting and continuing survival preparations. He also spends some time answer common questions that pop up like (paraphrased) "Aren't you being a little paranoid by doing all this and spreading doom and gloom?"...you know the same questions some people in your family could be asking you right now.
Food and Water Stockpiling - goes into the various methods and modes of building up a decent stockpile of food. This includes descriptions of the best foods to stockpile, several plans that you can follow and emergency storage of water. He goes into how to store it, where to store it and how long it can be stored. He also covers equipment and supplies needed to start your preparations as well.
Food Production - Mr. Spigarelli goes into various modes of producing sustainable sources of food. Sprouting, growing, hunting, scavenging and raising livestock are all covered in good detail. He covers raising rabbits, chickens, cows, pigs, goats and bees among other things; going so far as to say you might want to brush up on some basic veterinary skills while your at it.
Food Preservation - covers the basics, such as cold storage, canning, dehydrating, jerking among several others. The art of building a root cellar is discussed as well as natural ways to make foods last longer. His descriptions of the processes are good, although if you want to get into any of them in detail I would look for a book specifically on that subject.
Crisis Survival - this area is where Mr. Spigarelli discusses evacuation and defense. Folks of the I need 5 AR-15's and 50,000 rounds of .223 along with a Barret .50 sniper rifle and an Apache helicopter on stand by before I feel safe nature, will most likely be disappointed by his recommendations. The recommendations are simple and conservative - a working (hunting and varmint control) rifle, a defensive sidearm in 9mm or .45 cal and maybe a shotgun thrown in. He also recommends at least 200 rounds stored per weapon. Realistically, this is sound advice but also the MINIMUM I would go with...I personally would have more.
Other Preparations - in this section Mr. Spigarelli covers everything else...from clothing to communication and everything in between. Medicine, dentistry and surviving specific types of attacks (nuclear/chemical) are all also covered in at least some detail. Some sections are more comprehensive then other sections...but most everything is covered.
Resources - covers a collection of survival based books, magazines and websites. This edition is a reprint done in 2002 so most of the information is still valid although some vendors and publications may now be defunct. That sums up what I have to say about this book. As I stated, this was one of the first books I ever read on preparedness. I really did enjoy it...enough to read it a second time for this post. I recommend it and if you pick it up I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Let me know what you think!
...that is all.
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