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Book Review

"Get Prepared Now" will scare you into action -- and tell you what to do about it.

by Josh Jackson, Loyal9.org staff

Storm photo by chad johnson via flickr cc

Photo by Chad Johnson, via Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnson7/

My mom always liked to say, "It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."

According to Michael Snyder and Barbara Fix, it IS raining now, and you better start building.

There are plenty of preparedness books and sites out there. Here's what I like best about this one. It's practical, sensible, doable.

The first half of "Get Prepared Now" is Snyder making the case that we should fear the worst. The second half is Fix telling us what to do about it.

Michael Snyder's website, "The Economic Collapse Blog," is perhaps the most linked site from Loyal9.org. For those already familiar with it, you will already be familiar with his ongoing themes: a shaky monetary system, an economy that is much more ill than we are led to believe; spreading civil unrest; susceptible infrastructure, including trucking, the internet, and the electronic grid. As always, Snyder applies the most extensive documentation from economic journals and other quality sources of perhaps any other sites and books.

The difference here in the book compared to his site is that as these threats are laid out in order, the links become even more apparent, and the cause and effect relationships really do form a chain that makes the dire conclusions seem probable.

On the monetary issues, for example, Snyder points out that the precariousness of our financial system is even greater than it was in 2007, when the Federal Reserve Chairman insisted all was healthy and stable. In 2015, "The six largest banks now account for 67 percent of the banking assets. . . . The four 'too big to fail' banks each have an exposure to derivatives in excess of 40 trillion dollars." Derivatives are bets on the movement of economic numbers such as interest rates, stock and bond prices, the value of world currencies compared to each other, and real estate values. Each bet pays or implodes to a level leveraged multiple times the original purchase.

What are the implications of these numbers to you and me? "The total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts is more than 381 TIMES greater than their total assets." If Goldman Sachs is too big to fail and the bets go bad and they do fail . . .

Regarding the precariousness of our food supply, Snyder documents extensive, but mostly unknown to the public, diseases spreading through both cattle and pork. Produce is precarious. Bananas and citrus are under attack from spreading fungus. Due to this, "the Florida orange harvest will be the smallest it has been in thirty years," and "some analyst believe that [TR4] could wipe out the global supply of the type of bananas that Americans eat." He also points to the California drought and the already decreasing food production as result. California produces two thirds of the carrots in the US, 80-90% of the lettuce, a third of the tomatoes, 86% of lemons, and over eighty percent of peaches, avacados, strawberries, etc, etc etc.

If you are frightened by Mr. Snyder, luckily Ms. Fix brings hope. Her hope comes in the form of action, however. Luckily she tells you how to do it.

She starts with what to gather first.

She tells you what to gather next.

Fix's expertise has been honed at her site "The Prepper's Lifeline." She presents options based on whether one is a competent cook or not, if one has money or not, if one can head to hills to hole up in a bunker -- or not. It seems that one size does not fit all in survival. But each size does have a plan.

One of the first steps is to have a way, or multiple ways, to prepare the food. "I can't picture anything worse than to have basement full of food storage with no way to cook it." Does that describe your situation? Along with her list of potential solutions and their pros and cons, she adds this frugal advice: check the want ads and thrift stores for used items "so you can move on to the next thing on your priority list."

Continuing the frugality, Fix includes a month-by-month shopping list of when various items are usually on sale.

Other valuable solutions she includes are shelf life guides (not myths, not their marketing), warning signs the food may have gone bad (this was me just today to my wife: "honey, is it safe to eat when a can is like this?"), medical kit necessities, pros and cons on various water storage and purification options, items to stock up on for a bartering economy, and a reminder to not forget your pet's food.

One section that was especially relevant to me after the recent dog attack on a child in our neighborhood is how to respond when faced with various wild animals. Fix talks about a time the potential future where feral dogs are on the prowl once families can not longer care for their animals. She also clarifies the nearly opposite ways to respond to brown and black bears. And, also, if you bail to wilderness, who knew?, moose are number five on her list of most dangerous animals.

Transportation, communication, hygiene, security, meeting up with family members are all covered, and again, often in step by step lists.

Snyder and Fix begin and end their book by addressing the faith-based audience, countering those who have responded to their work by saying preparing is showing a lack of faith and that scripture says to not worry about material things. Their response is to remind us of the story of Noah, the parable of the wise, prepared virgins, and also of Joseph in Egypt who spent seven years of plenty preparing for the day of famine. As they write, and as Loyal 9-ers seem to already practice, "Faith almost always involves action." Proverbs chapter 6 reads, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise: Which provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep?"

All I know is this book helped to snap me awake, and I wanted to share it with you.


14 Jun 2015
at 01:10PM

Great article and a timely message. I will be getting this book and studying it intently.

14 Jun 2015
at 08:22PM

I'm a big fan of Michael Snyder's blog. I've been getting the real sense that it's time to get prepared. That's a long list of scary things, and I can't imagine the center holding much longer. Thanks for recommendation--I could use the motivation and the direction..

15 Jun 2015
at 09:04AM

Good practical advice. I checked out her website and found it quite useful.

15 Jun 2015
at 09:17AM

Thanks for this article! I'm not as prepared as I should be. Definitely going to use this blog and get that book. Scary times ahead but if we are prepared we shall not fear!

15 Jun 2015
at 02:39PM

Good thoughts...it's scary how unprepared most of us are

15 Jun 2015
at 04:47PM


15 Jun 2015
at 05:32PM

Great review on a very well written editorial of the times we live in now, with a way to help us. Thanks for the information.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.

- 2 Corinthian 4:8

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