So, I pulled out my copy of “When Technology Fails” by Matthew Stein. It’s a large book, not one that will fit in a pocket, certainly, and somewhat heavy, even for a “paperback”, with 493 pages of print. What Stein really means is, “when SHTF”!
I haven’t pulled this book out in a while, so, it was interesting to flip through it for my notes. I’m one of those people who likes to mark my books as I read: notes in margins, highlight a few things, that sort of thing.
What struck me as I went back through this book is that I did not have the same response to it as the first time I read through it. Perhaps that is because I have learned a great deal since I first picked up this book so that now, much of it seems well, sort of “primary”. But I do not want to give you the wrong impression; it does, indeed, have useful information in it.
I came to the conclusion that this book, “When Technology Fails” is a good starting point for beginning preppers. It covers just about every area of thought one might need to consider in meeting every conceivable need when SHTF. The problem is, for the most part, it only touches on most of the subjects, and some information you might do well to research further.
I would not, for example, put much stock in the “training” available for medical and emergency health care. Having served as a volunteer for many, many years with the world’s largest disaster relief agency, including teaching First Aid and CPR at various levels, I did not find the information all that useful, even though it purportedly was taken from the ARC book (what little is there).
Take the class, folks. It’s a hands-on thing, for sure. All you need is one person to take the class, get the book, and teach the others, if it comes to that. There are also some great DIY ways to make saline solution. But much of what you learn is best learned “in live practice”, not from a book. The book is a reference, not a teacher.
There are many illustrations, but they are all low-budget drawings, IMHO. I don’t think they will do anyone much good, but they are better than nothing.
The one exception to the limited information, in my opinion, is WATER. Stein does an excellent job of telling you most of what you’ll need to know about water, storing it, treating it, threats to it and how to handle each threat…even those “unusual” places to find water in an emergency situation; I actually bought separate books just for that information! So I highly recommend reading the section on water.
One thing I DO really appreciate about this book is that it contains many valuable references for contact; you can spend a lot of time trying to pull this information together, where to go for what information, who to contact to learn more about XYZ subject…but Stein has made that easy. I also like that he includes Joel Salatin, a Christian and possibly THE authority on whole food eating, and well as other individuals who have proven that they know exactly what they are talking about and are qualified to teach.
The real value in this book, in my opinion, is that it raises the right questions. You won’t find all the answers here, but, if you don’t know what questions to ask, how can you possibly find the answers? This is a good resource for those new or young at prepping, or even just a quick review for seasoned preppers, in my opinion.
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