Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dr. Arthur T. Bradley's Disaster Preparedness For The Family & The Survivalist Book Reviews

Several years ago my wife and I purchased our first home; we were simultaneously enthralled and terrified by the prospect. To that point, I had lived in rented homes for my entire life and thus never had to bear the responsibility of taking care of home repairs let alone preparing for potentially catastrophic scenarios as a homeowner. With a burgeoning family also under my watch, I was compelled to learn more about ways that I could keep my home and the people within it safe.

My brother recommended a book called the Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness For The Family by Dr. Arthur T. Bradley. His suggestion came at a time when Disaster Preparedness was all the rage with television shows like Doomsday Preppers and post-apocalyptic blockbuster programs like The Walking Dead. I was reluctant to pick up the book at the risk of joining the bandwagon but, simply put, it was one of the most important purchases I've ever made.

In short, we moved into our home in July of 2012; less than four months later, Hurricane Sandy hit and our entire world was shaken. Our area is literally only a few blocks away from some of the hardest hit spots and we were very fortunate not to have sustained similar damage and destruction. Luck clearly played a role in that aspect but with regards to our lifestyle during the week-long power outage and subsequent tough times, it was our preparedness that ultimately got us through with far less strife than some of our neighbors; that readiness and knowledge came almost exclusively from Dr. Bradley's books.

While many of the other preparedness tomes on the market key in on the excitement and fear brought on by various far-fetched disaster scenarios, Dr. Bradley's guidebooks take a more pragmatic approach--one that is instantly applicable. Sure you can spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars outfitting your house with all sorts of disaster-ready foods but most people can't afford either the expense or the space of such luxuries. Instead, to give but one example from his book, Dr. Bradley advocates keeping an extended supply of things that you already eat and enjoy.

We have a warehouse store membership and thus buy our breakfast cereal in bulk; adding an extra few boxes of our favorite ones provides us with emergency food that we will ultimately eat anyway at little additional expense and requires little space. Prior to Sandy we had grabbed enough milk to last us the week so, while many others were choking down their rehydrated disaster foods, we were enjoying the same morning meals we would have been eating anyway.

Arguably the best part of Dr. Bradley's Handbook is the fact that he explores numerous negative scenarios that I would never have even thought of that could prove highly detrimental--things as simple as a tree coming down during a storm and puncturing a hole in the roof. He offers a variety of solutions to prepare for and react to that and many other circumstances that have a fairly high chance of occurrence. He explores many of the lower likelihood ones that are glorified on shows like Doomsday Preppers as well but does so without exaggerating or elevating them above other higher probability events.

As someone who isn't particularly adept at mechanical things, I found Dr. Bradley's suggestions for various household fixes easy to understand and to apply. The last thing that you want to do in or after an emergency is to have to try to figure out how to fix something, especially when you have no idea of where to begin or how to go about the repair. Dr. Bradley's books provide you with two things: a resource for how to solve issues in and after the moment but also the knowledge and mindset to be prepared for things before they happen.

So whether you're looking to protect your home, your family, or yourself--or are simply looking to learn more about potentially detrimental scenarios that you might encounter in our modern society and how to handle them, then you should absolutely consider reading Dr. Bradley's non-fiction.

Now, if you are interested also in post-apocalyptic entertainment like The Walking Dead, The Stand, The Last Ship, and other similar examples, then I would also highly recommend exploring his fiction series called The Survivalist. It's a brilliant marriage of vintage Wild West good guy versus bad guy scenarios and post-apocalyptica, with an occasional infusion of interesting, practical survivalist advice. The main character Mason Raines is a United States Deputy Marshal who finds himself in a world that is suddenly decimated by a supercontagion. In his quest for survival he begins to learn more about both the virus and the questionable circumstances surrounding its creation and the subsequent government controlling the country.

The writing is great and features realistic characters that are easy to identify with. Mason Raines encounters a variety of sidekicks along the way but none are as beloved as his Irish Wolfhound Bowie. Other characters like Tanner and Samantha round out the lot of protagonists, each offering his and her own unique personality to the mix. The plot is moved along with great action sequences that focus on Mason's preternatural ability with firearms and Tanner's inimitable hand-to-hand fighting skills. The pace is steady throughout and, if you enjoy the first book, then there's no doubt that you'll be hooked and interested in checking out the remainder of the series.

Here is a selection of reviews as well as the author's description of the first novel:

"The Survivalist may be the best post-apocalyptic series out there," raves Steve Erwood of the Disaster Preparedness Blog. "In addition to a steady stream of gunfights with zombie-like mutants, roadway bandits, and opportunistic warlords, the books teach dozens of useful survival tricks. Learn to hotwire cars, construct homemade booby traps, build garbage-powered generators, and retrieve fuel from abandoned gas pumps."

Bryan Foster, author of The Prepper's Handbook, says "It's rare to find books this entertaining that are so well researched." Nicholas Sansbury Smith, author of Extinction Horizon, adds "The Survivalist books are incredibly addictive. They create a cool western vibe not seen since Louis L'Amour's timeless classics."

Frontier Justice is the first book in a series described as "a cross between Justified and The Walking Dead." The Superpox-99 virus has wiped out nearly the entire human race. Governments have collapsed. Cities have become graveyards filled with unspeakable horror. People have resorted to scavenging from the dead, or taking from the living. The entire industrialized world has become a wasteland of abandoned cars, decaying bodies, and feral animals. 

To stay alive, U.S. Deputy Marshal Mason Raines must forage for food, water, and gasoline while outgunning those who seek to take advantage of the apocalyptic anarchy. Together with his giant Irish wolfhound, Bowie, he aligns with survivors of the town of Boone in a life and death struggle against a gang of violent criminals. With each deadly encounter, Mason is forced to accept his place as one of the nation's few remaining lawmen. In a world now populated by escaped convicts, paranoid mutants, and government hit squads, his only hope to save the townspeople is to enforce his own brand of frontier justice.

Authored by renowned disaster preparedness expert, Dr. Arthur Bradley, Frontier Justice is "the start of a great apocalyptic saga."

For more information about Dr. Bradley's books please check out his official website here. I can personally recommend the entire Survivalist series as well as the aforementioned Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family as well as the Prepper’s Instruction Manual: 50 Steps to Prepare for any Disaster. Both of the latter have proven indispensable as a homeowner and father and the latter has proven to be a continued source of enjoyable entertainment.