In my years prepping I have found a wealth of knowledge and experience in the books I have read and the resource materials I have come across to add to our library. There is a ton of knowledge for the prepper community out there for the taking and it is good to have so many sources of information.
Richard Duarte is a practicing attorney in Coral Gables, FL, who teaches, writes and lectures on urban survival and disaster preparedness. Surviving Doomsday starts with an explanation about his experiences with Hurricane Andrew in 1992 that destroyed his home. It was this life changing moment that focused his awareness on the need to prepare for future Hurricanes and that evolved into general preparedness for a variety of scenarios. Richard’s book is the culmination of “many years of research, trial and error” and began simply enough as a set of notes, guidelines and instructions to his family and friends. I have thought of doing something similar to what Richard has done and I guess that is what this blog is supposed to be.
Richard has done an excellent job of putting a wide and diverse sampling of prepping advice and instruction from the perspective of the Suburban or Urban survivalist. Richard seems to believe as I do that most people are not going to walk out their door, march into the woods and live off the land so he caters his information to a limited scope, the urban prepper.
Let’s start with the content Richard covers. Surviving Doomsday is a nice read at 181 pages. This is something I was able to plow through in a couple of days. The information is well organized and easy to understand. Surviving Doomsday starts with a decent overview of Richards background and motivation then goes on to illustrate various reasons why anyone who isn’t completely asleep should consider prepping.
After the introductory piece, Surviving Doomsday goes into Urban Survival, Water, Food, First Aid, and then Personal Security. The book then dives into the subject of Bugging Out vs. Sheltering in place, Bugout Bags and Get Home Bags. Richard calls this “All the Bugs” and covers Getting Out, Staying Put and Getting Home.
After the core topics of Survival, Surviving Doomsday goes into Hygiene, Physical Conditioning and then testing your family’s survival preparations and Murphy’s law with a “24 Hour Experiment”. This is a great way to identify stress that your family will be under in a relatively controlled environment and allows you to practice using your preps and skills before a real disaster happens.
What I liked
Like I said before this is a fairly easy read and the basic information you need to stay safe and live is covered very well by Surviving Doomsday. Each chapter begins with a bullet-ed list of items that will be covered and Richard expands on them throughout the chapter. The book goes into a little detail to get the concepts across and I feel this is a great book to give someone who is completely new to the idea of prepping. This information is easy to understand and Richard does a great job of going into enough detail to back up his information.
What I didn’t like
Really there was nothing I didn’t like. At first I looked at the book and said, “Hey no illustrations!” but they really weren’t necessary and I looked at my copy of James Wesley Rawles’ “How to Survive The End of the World as We Know It” and there aren’t any illustrations in there either. I like pictures but the information is general enough that they aren’t necessary and it isn’t like you are tearing apart a motor here. This is just good practical advice.
There were a couple of places where I had a very slight disagreement but they were extremely minor and just my difference of opinion. Nothing in this book is what I would consider incorrect or bad information and everyone has slightly different approaches. Richard has done an excellent job of presenting a wide swath of information while making it clear, easy to understand and compelling to just about any reader.
You can purchase Surviving Doomsday – A Guide for Surviving an Urban Disaster on Amazon.com. It would make a great first addition to your survival library.