When There is No FEMA – Survival for Normal PeopleI was asked to review the book “Where There Is No FEMA.”  I’ve been turn­ing down many book reviews late­ly for two rea­sons.  First, because my time has been very lim­it­ed with work, and sec­ond, because I find many books on the Prep­per genre strik­ing­ly sim­i­lar in con­tent.  When I was asked to review “When There Is No FEMA” I sighed, and thought, here we go again.  Upon look­ing into the author a bit and their Web­site, it looked like this book might be a bit inter­est­ing.

Let me first say that Richard Bryant, the author likes to call this book “Text­book Qual­i­ty.”  It’s 500 plus pages in length, and has a red and yel­low cov­er that is sure to grab your atten­tion if you were to see it on a shelf.  But you won’t.  As far as I know, you can­not buy it any­where at the moment but Richard’s Web­site, NoFEMA.com.

When I picked the book up and thumbed through it, I came on a chap­ter called, “Form­ing a Dis­as­ter Com­mu­ni­ty.”  I began read­ing from there.  I was par­tic­u­lar­ly intrigued because I had just fin­ished and pub­lished my own eBook on Build­ing Your Own Dis­as­ter Pre­pared­ness Group.  But this is not about me, but I am going to draw a com­par­i­son.  What I noticed was a lot of detail in the chap­ter.  Where I was high­er lev­el, Richard was VERY detailed.  He was detailed, because he had already built a prep­per com­mu­ni­ty that thrives even today, as a very promi­nent dis­as­ter pre­pared­ness orga­ni­za­tion out of the Tam­pa Flori­da area.  I was imme­di­et­ly hooked, and need­ed to explore the book more.

If you open the book’s Table of Con­tents, here is basi­cal­ly what you will find.  It prob­a­bly looks sim­i­lar to most oth­er books you might pick up on Ama­zon or in the book store:

  • Dis­as­ter Plan­ning
  • Bug­ging in and bug­ging out
  • Emer­gency food and water
  • Emer­gency fuel and pow­er
  • Rais­ing small live­stock (chick­ens, rab­bits, etc.)
  • Sur­vival gar­den­ing and farm­ing
  • Hunt­ing, trap­ping and fish­ing
  • Guns and oth­er weapon­ry
  • Home and com­mu­ni­ty defense, defen­sive tac­tics and intel­li­gence gath­er­ing
  • First aid
  • San­i­ta­tion
  • Post dis­as­ter phys­i­cal fit­ness
  • Dis­as­ter Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
  • The role of pre­cious met­als for dis­as­ter pre­pared­ness
  • Sur­vival strate­gies for those with lim­it­ed means

Well, the top­ics are sim­i­lar, with one excep­tion…  The lev­el of detail… The detail that Richard goes into in his book is supe­ri­or, in my opin­ion, than many of the oth­er books that I have had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to read and/or skim though.  And, trust me, I have read many.  One of the first books I read on dis­as­ter prepard­ness sev­er­al years ago was “EMERGENCY, This Book Could Save Your Life,” and by com­par­i­son, fugetaboutit.  “When There Is No FEMA” should have been one of the first books I read, had it been around.  His chap­ter on Diaster Com­mu­ni­ca­tions goes into some detail on PSK31 and WINMORE, SMS/Text tech­nolo­gies that can be used dur­ing a SHTF event if oth­er com­mu­ni­ca­tions meth­ods do not offer prop­er OPSEC or in the event oth­er meth­ods do not work.  I dis­tinct­ly remem­ber dur­ing 9/11 because of the large num­ber of peo­ple try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate via mobile, and voice com­mu­ni­ca­tions being down both SMS/Text and Instant Mes­sag­ing were two meth­ods of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that seemed to pre­vail.

Richard con­sis­tent­ly, offers up tid­bits of infor­ma­tion that enlight­en me as well… He talks a bit about kerosene, and the sta­bil­i­ty of oth­er fuels in detail, as well as which ones are real­ly the most pop­u­lar for prep­pers to store.

He talks about Hunt­ing & trap­ping as well, but goes into a bit more detail than oth­er text that is com­bined in a gen­er­al man­u­al.  He dis­cuss­es how to hunt for squir­rels if you have nev­er done so, rab­bit, quail, pheas­ant, etc. and gives good sug­ges­tions on how to attract and expire such game.  He also includes deer, wild boar/hog, and even field dress­ing your game.  One down­side here, I feel I need to men­tion, are the lack of illus­tra­tions and pic­tures for the more visu­al read­er.

It should be not­ed that Richard makes detailed ref­er­ence to oth­er parts of his book while read­ing.  I can only assume this is so that you can jump around and con­tin­ue read­ing on the same sub­ject line that you had been.  A good exam­ple is when he talks about hav­ing stor­age of GCHCL to make bleach with.  He imme­di­ate­ly makes ref­er­ence on how to puri­fy water with the GCHCL that makes a batch of bleach with in anoth­er sec­tion of the book.  I found this to be a very help­ful fea­ture, as sev­er­al top­ics piqued my inter­est, and check­ing out the ref­er­enced sec­tion com­po­let­ed the top­ic with­out hav­ing to read straight through in a lin­ear fash­ion.  This must have tak­en weeks to com­plete.  Nice touch to the book.  It should be not­ed, I have already tak­en some of his advise on GCHCL and pur­chased a cou­ple of bags for myself and as small gifts to oth­er prep­per friends.

There is a LOT of infor­ma­tion in this book.  I can see why Richard calls it a “text book.”  It makes inter­nal ref­er­ence like a text­book, and helps you to con­nect the dots, where as most books of this type are lin­ear in fash­ion.  There is some­thing in this book for every lev­el of prep­per, from begin­ner to advanced.  You will find some over­lap with oth­er texts, but over­all I am glad they sent it to me for review.   My only real dis­ap­point­ment was a lack of illus­tra­tions and pic­tures where more detailed descrip­tions of tasks were required.  This how­ev­er would prob­blably have added 100 pages to the book and boost­ed it’s cost expo­nen­tial­ly.  So I com­plete­ly under­stand.

What this book won’t do. It won’t replace oth­er texts that are ded­i­cat­ed to one area of prep­ping, such as Story’s book on rais­ing rab­bits or Doom & Bloom Sur­vival Med­i­cine Hand­book.  But it will give you what you need to start work­ing it all out on your own, and much more.  I will use this book for ref­er­ence on a num­ber of top­ics going for­ward.  Thanks Richard and

As of the writ­ing of this post, you will not find WHEN THERE IS NO FEMA in stores or on Amazon.com.  You will, how­ev­er find it at www.nofema.com.

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