Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NOW What Is Joyce Up To?

This week, Joyce—I mean, I am participating in a virtual book tour for the very first time. What is a virtual book tour? It’s where a number of blog hosts agree to read, then review the same book, each on a different day to help generate publicity for authors and their works.

Although I am generally a fiction reader, and definitely a fiction writer, I have agreed to read/review three non-fiction books for this virtual tour:

TODAY: Preparedness Principles, by Barbara Salsbury and Sandi Simmons
AUGUST 4: Room for Two, by Abel Keogh
AUGUST 11: Caught in the Headlights, by Barry K. Phillips

Preparedness Principles is subtitled, The Complete Personal Preparedness Resource Guide For Any Emergency Situation.

Here’s a description of the book from the back cover blurb:

News of calamity, disaster, and war got you down? Afraid of how you'll survive if you lose your job? Wondering what to do when the big one hits? Wonder no more. Personal preparedness expert Barbara Salsbury brings together years of research and experience, giving you the know-how to set up an organized, practical, personal preparedness program that will provide for most wants and needs in any emergency situation. Preparedness Principles, the most comprehensive preparedness guide ever published, offers exclusive details about: • Four new categories of preparedness • New bare-bones basics • The Pantry Principle • Storm shelters, safe rooms, and safe havens • And much more! If you're serious about a personalized preparedness action plan, this quintessential reference book is for you!

Now, I’m not one to promote the “panic principle”, trying to scare people with visions of potential disasters to frighten them into stocking their cellars with ten or twenty years’-worth of food, etc. Thankfully, this book is not about “panic”, but simply about “preparedness”. Preparedness for what? Do we really need to ask in this day and age? Let me sum it up with two words: Hurricane Katrina. Yes, many of us do not live anywhere near a hurricane zone. I live in a dessert (I mean, a desert—don’t I wish I could live “in a dessert”!). Droughts, fires, and yes, even floods are the natural threats most faced by my state. Each state in the Union has its own challenges to cope with. And natural disasters may not actually be the “threats” most of us need to worry about. Loss of employment and health setbacks surely make having at least a few months’ worth of supplies—both food and money—quite simply the “sensible” thing to do.

Preparedness Principles is designed to help us understand how to implement a sensible plan of approach to the unpredictable nature of life.

To be honest, the biggest mistake I made with this book was to sit down and attempt to read it straight through all at once. I found myself overwhelmed and discouraged in less time than I could say, “The monsoons just knocked the power out again!” (“Monsoons” are what we call our Arizona summer thunderstorms.) Unless you are already deeply involved with food storage, this is a book best read and incorporated in small bites. Don’t try to read it like a novel. Use it as a resource, which is exactly what it is!

Some of the suggestions will be beyond your immediate means to implement. That’s okay. One of my favorite quotes in the book is: “Preparedness is not an all-or-nothing thing. Something is much better than nothing, even if the something is just a little bit of something.” In other words, if assembling a year’s supply of food is overwhelming, then start with something smaller. Two weeks worth of food. A month’s worth. Three months’ worth.

One of my favorite sections of this book was the suggestion of building “mini-pantries” spread throughout your house, rather than throwing in the towel with the exclamation, “But I don’t have any room to store anything!” As Salsbury points out, a few fruit bottles stashed in the linen closet, a few cans of food under the bed, will eventually add up.

Another chapter that intrigued me had to do with indoor mini-gardens. Now, I can kill just about any plant you can throw at me, but I remember one summer when my green-thumbed dad grew the most delicious baby carrots in our backyard. I’ve often thought longingly of those carrots, but I’m not an outdoor gardener. Too many weeds, too many bugs. It never occurred to me that I might actually be able to grow small carrots right inside my house—weed and bug free! That’s an idea I might actually try, just to taste those baby carrots again! (Salsbury describes many more vegetables you can grow inside your house, but carrots will definitely be my first choice!)

Salsbury covers much, much more than mini-pantries and mini-gardens, of course. She has sections on provident living, dealing with disasters, emergency evacuations, and many helpful appendices. In this unpredictable day and age, this is a book that should be on everyone’s shelf. It is a book that should be studied before the “unexpected” happens. But do so in small bites.

About the author: Best-selling author Barbara Salsbury, a nationally recognized personal-preparedness expert, is one of America’s leading authorities on self-reliance. For more than twenty-five years, she has been teaching self-reliance and showing people how to get more for their money. In November 2002, Family Circle Magazine named her one of the “Top Five Penny-Pinchers in America.” She has produced two national newsletters and three videos. In addition, she is the author of seven books, including Just Add Water, Just in Case, and Plan, not Panic. Active in church and community, Barbara serves as a personal preparedness consultant for Sandy, Utah, and has served as assistant director for San Francisco Key Cities Area Public Affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She and her husband, Larry, live in Sandy, Utah. They have two children, seven grandchildren, and two spoiled dogs.

Preparedness Principles is available at Amazon.com.

Visit Barbara Salsbury’s website at http://solutionsforpreparedness.com/ and read her blog at http://barbarasalsbury.blogspot.com.

You can contact Barbara Salsbury at salsburybg@msn.com.


Rachelle Christensen said...

Thanks for the great review! I agree this book is almost overwhelming in the amount of info it provides and I love your suggestions about bite-size portions.
I'll be doing a review soon too. :)

Paula Dawidowicz said...

After reading your review, I have to get this book. I'm not a big doomsday reader, either, but I do have limited storage space and three people including myself I'm still responsible for. So, I'm curious. We've also been looking at how to grow food inside, considering aquaponics, so now I'm curious about what the book suggests. Maybe we'll have a little bit of everything. Whatever happens, though, the prompting to "take care of business" has definitely been upon me!

Barbara Salsbury said...

Yay! You liked Indoor Farming! It is soooo mcuh fun. And you will succeed with baby carrots ... and more. Thanks for such an encouraging review. It's nice to know that in the big picture the book will help.

Terry Neff Allen said...

I can't wait to get my hands on this book! I've been working on my earthquake preparedness, and my food storage a little bit at a time all spring and summer. I feel like I'm getting ahead in those areas and behind in others. I need a plan! I'll be buying this book soon.