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Emergency Preparedness Library

Several years ago we went to an emergency preparedness fair where we talked to a man named Michael Iverson He worked with training military troops for survival situations, and he revolutionized our understanding of 72 hour kits. He was a proponent of Survival Kits, not Shelter-in-Place Kits. That means he designed his kit based on a rule of priority: the rule of threes. You can survive...

  • Three minutes without air: 'Priority 1' - first aid, life threatening problems.

  • Three hours without shelter: 'Priority 2' - shelter building tools, fire building tools.

  • Three days without water: 'Priority 3' - water finding and water purifying skills and tools.

  • Three weeks without food: 'Priority 4' - learn how to forage for food and carry only very light weight, calorie dense food.

We've since been on a quest to revamp our Survival Kit. The following are best books, websites, and products we've found so far:


  • Karamat Wilderness Ways -- YouTube channel with fantastic survival shelter/kit/tool information.

  • The Art of Nothing video series by Thomas Elpel -- Fun videos of going camping with only the clothes on your back. Shelter building, food finding, tool making, etc.

  • Camping and Wilderness Survival by Paul Tawrell -- Fun, eclectic collection of outdoor survival wisdom.

  • Ben's Backwoods -- A really great collection of some of the best bushcraft tools I've researched.

  • CountyComm -- Survival gadgets galore.

First Aid

  • BSA Wilderness First Aid Manual -- A handy little book for dealing with First Aid problems in more remote conditions.

  • Learning Herbs -- It's important to know how to deal with first aid problems with or without your first aid kit and it's neat little packets of ointments. This is a great place to start learning about natural medicines.

  • BP Medical Supplies -- Good source for cheap bandaids and other first aid supplies.

  • Uncle Bill's Sliver Grippers -- The best tweezers we've ever found. Precise and effective.

  • The Tapping Solution -- EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is one of the most effective techniques we've found for treating shock.


  • Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel -- Very thick rod with a nice striker. Very reliable. Easy to get a great spark. Our 7 year old has used it to start our family campfire.

  • -- Reasonably priced, very nice firesteels. A variety of different configurations (keychain, larger rods, etc.). You may have to work a bit harder to get a great spark than with the Swedish Firesteel.

  • V-3 Pocket Bellows -- No more blowing into fires point blank. Much more effective and productive.

  • Baddest Bee Fire Fuses -- Makes starting fires in inclement weather much easier.

  • 3d Lenses -- Wallet sized Fresnel lenses for an additional and very portable fire starting method. We've used these as give-aways at an emergency preparedness fair.

  • Aprovecho Research Center -- These folks do intense testing on various stove designs. They are the go to folks for learning about stove efficiency and improving designs. Their Publications tab has lots of really great informational downloads.


  • Mors Kochanski Super Shelter -- YouTube video that helped shape our understanding of a good survival shelter.

  • Heatsheets -- The best replacement for the old emergency blanket ever! Reusable, quiet, use in hot or cold weather, very cold resistant, etc., etc. We ordered the Classic Blankets for an emergency preparedness fair give away and were extremely pleased.

  • Blue Water Ropes -- Very high quality ropes. We have their 5mm precut accessory cord in our emergency kits.

  • Cooke Custom Sewing -- We have their 1.9oz silicon tarp as an emergency shelter in our kit. These folks have done a lot of research and testing on various materials and designs so that they produce a very durable, reliable product.


  • Kelly Kettle -- Boils water very efficiently.

  • Sawyer Water Filters -- Hollow-fiber membrane filters that can be cleaned and are much less expensive than other filters. We got our Sawyer Mini's in a four pack from Walmart.

  • Water Prepper by Glenn Meder -- An ebook on water purification methods.


  • Best Glide -- We got a survival gill net from here. Gill nets are illegal for normal situations but legit in a survival situation and much more effective for actually catching fish than a fishing line and hook. In an emergency, food for your family is more important than being fair to the fish.

  • Solo Stoves: Lite, Titan, Campfire -- Compact, efficiently burning wood stoves. Cook your dinner using twigs.

  • Snow Peak Titanium Cook Set -- We got these to go with our solo stoves. The Lite fits in the smallest pot and the Titan fits inside the larger pot.

  • All American Sun Oven -- We have this oven and have been very pleased with its effectiveness and ease of use. Our kids love using it too. While you can carry it around, you probably wouldn't want to take it on a hike of any significant distance.

Waste Management This is definitely an uncomfortable and awkward topic, but if you want to control disease and disease vectors in an emergency situation, you must know how to properly handle human waste.

  • Omick Composting Toilets -- One of the best websites we've found for effective and safe DIY toilet designs.

  • Humanure Handbook -- This book describes a very down to earth, simple method for effectively handling humane waste composting. A note of caution: anyone who can effectively write about this topic develops a bit of a hard skin over time, and it is apparent in the book.

  • Liquid Gold by Carol Steinfeld -- A different take on urine and urine management.


  • FourSevens -- Really nice flashlights. We've tried the Atom (nice diffuse light), the Mini (small and very effective), and the Quark (larger, more settings). They back up their products with a really nice warranty and folks have great customer service too, which is nice.

  • Suunto compasses -- This is one of the best, most reliable compass brands available. Our Suunto has survived being loved by all of our kiddoes without developing bubbles.

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