: New: Book Report: Practical Doomsday

Happy Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire anniversary! It's a good day to read Practical Doomsday, a guide to disaster preparedness. It's written by an author who's familiar with prepper culture and familiar with the frequency with which various disasters occur. E.g., you're much much much more likely to be hurt:
☑   falling from a wobbly ladder; than
☒   battling your neighbors for a dwindling food supply.

So if you're going to put effort into practicing household repairs or marksmanship, choose ladder safety. (And be friendly with your neighbors; in an emergency, they're more likely to offer help than to steal your MREs.)

This book covers a lot of territory. Some parts I was familiar with already and I just kinda skimmed. Other parts I paid more attention. I already have a rainy-day fund; I just kinda skimmed the section on safety-minded investing. On the other hand, it hadn't occurred to me that I might want some water purification tablets in my emergency kits and in hindsight of course I would.

Some parts seem OK now but might be obsolete soon. The book sensibly points out that there's not much point stockpiling gold to use as currency if there's an emergency that knocks banks out of commission for a few weeks; if only a few people have some good, it's unlikely to become a trade good: since most folks don't have gold, they'll find something else to trade. The book suggests instead keeping some cash around; even if banks aren't operating, folks will probably still respect cash as a trade good, even though its value is "fiat." Which is all very well and good; but it occurs to me that the youth of today with their Paypals and their Venmos might not have cash around; and thus, like gold coins, it might not be held widely enough to be a trade good. Not that I have a better idea of what to trade. (Maybe saucers? I have more than I'll ever use; I don't know if most young folks find themselves in the same situation.)

Tags: book brutal truth