Mail Call

3 Aug

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

I have to say that getting the mail, the old fashion snail-mail at The Prepper Journal is always interesting. Needless to say I receive some interesting things and thought I would share some of the more recent ones.

A ZipLine That Rides YOU 

The ZipStick device from ZipLine Medical showed up recently in the mail. I am glad to admit that I have not found the occasion (or a willing volunteer) to test one under actual conditions. This is a direct-to-consumers product available without a prescription and the sample pack I received was very complete, including three of the ZipStich devices.

As a field dressing it certainly looks like a step up for longer term wound care when there are no medical services readily available. Their hydrocolloid adhesive is specifically formulated for about 2-weeks wear, assuming it is applied to dry clean skin, making it ideal for an off-the grid application, whether on an extended hunting/fishing/camping trip or in a SHTF situation. It is also good for a cut when slicing food, doing projects with tools/small power tools, an injury at a kids soccer game, a minor car accident, and on and on. You can bet these samples are going to end up in my medical kits at home, in the car and in my EDC bag and BOB. As you can see I am already one short.

Mission Darkness Faraday Bags

The good people at Mission Darkness sent two sample Faraday bags, one specifically for a mobile phone though it can also accommodate your blue-tooth car key (think about that), your wallet, credit cards and passport (things that now have chips embedded) etc. The other larger bag is for a laptop.

The non-window bag for Phones (and/or that other stuff) is shown below:

The bag

The bag filled with the closure properly engaged

The enclosure.

A simple test of inserting a cell phone in the bag without the folded enclosure engaged allowed me to call that phone with no real time-delay in receiving the call, however, with the enclosure properly engaged, all calls from other cell phones and landlines failed to reach the device as did text messages and emails to accounts active on the phone.

The same results were achieved when doing my simple tests on a laptop in their larger bag. As you know there have been a number of posts in The Prepper Journal on EMP and Faraday Cages and I was impressed with these bags. Very well made, shields from RF signals, WiFi, Cell, Blue Tooth and RFID with a 70-db average signal attenuation.

RSDL – Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion

The longer this one remains “untested” the better. Emergent BioSolutions sent this as part of their new product release. RSDL is an FDA-cleared decontaminate that removes or neutralizes chemical warfare agents and T-2 toxins from the skin. Lightweight, portable and military-grade, used by the United State military for the past 10 years, it is now available to civilians. This is something that preppers should look into, especially if they live in an area where exposure is a possibility such as close proximity to chemical plants that may produce some of these agents. It is effective for skin contamination of tabun, sarin, VX, Mustard and soman. As of September of last year it became available for civilians in the United States and is available from Amazon. It is important to note that this is a skin decontaminate intended for external use only. The nerve agents mentioned above are more dangerous when ingested, breathed or rubbed into your eyes but they all cause severe blistering and infection to your skin that will result in eventual death if left untreated.

And Then There are Knives

A gift to test and write about from Ganzo Knives. And yes, I do keep the ZipStich from above close when I am handling these. Quite an assortment.

Not specifically for home kitchen use, but definitely nice to haves as EDC’s or off the grid.

And to Counter the Knives and Intruders

Hardcore Defense sent their Alpha Shield for testing. It is rated NIJ Level III-A, very well balanced and comfortable to hold, I am looking forward to testing it as soon as I can get away from the keyboard. This is rated for all the standard pistol calibers defined by the NIJ up to a 44 magnum traveling at 1,400 fps.

I am a firm believer in body armor as a essential piece of home security equipment and in shields in particular as a quick don item that can be close to where you keep your primary home defense weapon. The trade-off here is that in order to keep it as lightweight as possible it is sans of a spall and frag coating and a shield rated at Level III or above for standard rifle rounds would be heavier. Since this shield is made for self defense of an individual and not assumed to be used by a group where the spall and frag from one shield can seriously injure others, it meets the need for home defense. When I test this I will do a post on the results.

I am Behind in My Reading

In fact I am way behind. I did read 4 Seconds Until Impact, The Skyrocketing Attacks by Predators on Humans by Bruce Buckshot Hemming and posted a review of it in The Prepper Journal Newsletter. And I am currently reading The Ocean in the Fire by Renee N. Meland.

The rest of my current unread prepper library consists of:

Come Unity; Community by James Walton

North Wind by Michael Gale

The History of the Decline and Fall of America by Scott Erickson

All Systems Down by BA Anderson

You now know what I will be doing should cooler weather return to Arizona and I can use the fireplace.

And additionally…

Some of the other things I have received recently are a very nice leather holster for my CCW from Falco Holsters, a rocket stove from and Lifesaver Liberty’s Portable Water Filtration System which is available from Amazon.


Other than the RSDL cream I am never at a loss for people wanting to help review and test and then keep these items. Be safe out there, check out the items above for your own use and Follow The Prepper Journal on Facebook!


The post Mail Call appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

4 Seconds Until Impact

6 Apr

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Subtitled “The Skyrocketing Attacks by Predators on Humans” the book is Bruce Buckshot Hemming’ latest and is already available on Amazon. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy, verified by the sprinkling of typos, and have just finished reading it.

I want to make a statement here that I am an impossible reader. I love to read and love books but it has been so long since one has even captured my attention, let alone been read before being donated to some charity. But as soon as I heard about this one I was interested. I have been to many wild places and seen almost every one of the creatures featured in this book out in the open, mano a mano. But, to be frank, I was never without a weapon – I made sure of that, even when exposing that fact would get me in a little room with angry people. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. The one creature I have not seen in its natural habitat is a wolf. I heard them while hiking the Lava Creek Trail near Yellowstone and I was told by a guide at Wonder Lake in Denali National Park that a pack had been spotted in the area just two days before we arrived, but have only seen them in zoos.

When I was traveling through Alaska I picked up a book on bear attacks in the train station in Fairbanks. It was just a collection of first and second hand stories of encounters. I was entertained.

That was not this book. While those are certainly sprinkled generously throughout for the different encounters the book has a message, a strong one on lessons learned but either forgotten or replaced. A justification for its premise and for changes in our most basic thinking when it comes to dealing with real predators in THEIR environments and ours as well. It presents the current state of things and a realistic look at the future should we continue down our current path.

Engaging, to the point, and focused. I am now a fan of this author and highly recommend every prepper read this book as it has a lot of valuable information on the reality of being off the grid and understanding how off the grid is not safe from the manipulations of the government.

All writers of non-fiction now deal in a world controlled by Google and the government. This is not a negative on the part of the authors or the book but rather the reality of looking for history and detail on events past in a world where history is either ignored, rewritten or an afterthought, the reporters and their publisher lost interest. The quality of information is excellent and the author makes every effort to complete the story and notes where the trails went cold; the book does not suffer from this reality. Worth your time and your dime.

You can contact the author through his web site

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The Value of a Prepper Library      

19 Dec

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. Make note that Round 12 of the Prepper Writing Contest will be posted next week.  As we start to mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today!

When one begins a new endeavor, one begins by learning and gaining knowledge about that endeavor.  Prepper knowledge is the foundation on which one learns to live a prepper lifestyle.


When I become interested in something, I like to read about it because reading is my best learning style.  So I gradually collect articles, books, & notes in the interest area.  Five years ago, I discovered the world of prepping in a magazine article that lead to a prepper site with links to other prepper sites.  So I began collecting www articles on my computer.  The Prepper Journal is a great resource.  What started out as just saving a few fascinating articles and ordering a few books that looked interesting, has gradually evolved into a prepper library.  When I learned about a grid-down situation caused by an EMP or a cyberattack on our electrical grid (see, I began printing off articles, so that I’d have a paper copy.  As that pile of articles grew, I began a topical filing system.  Sometimes I purchased paper and kindle books, including some fictional ones.


At times my wife questioned the value and wisdom of paying for such books.  So I tried to explain to her some things I’d read that lead me to prep.  Occasionally, she’d read one of the prepping articles I left by our computer.  Now, after 5 years, I have accumulated hundreds of articles, paper copies and more on 2 computers, dozens of hard copy books, and dozens of  kindle ones.  I have read almost all these, except a small number of reference books.

What to Collect:

Topics include in random order, gardening, weapons and self-defense, prepper groups, homesteading, animals, off-grid living, water, food, communication, medical/first-aid and electricity/energy/light.  In addition, about a third of my books are fictional. I see this as our prepper library.  There are numerous other prepper topics that you can find on prepper sites; in addition to the above topics, I recommend adding those that fit your current or future needs and interests.


I also recommend having some non-prepper books, because there will be times when someone in your group wants to read something else.  Some believe that there will be a need for escape from the struggles of a post-SHTF world, and books and music can fill that need.  Music will have a place in a post-disaster world.  It’d be good to have some sacred and religious books for the faiths represented by the members of your group.  If your plan includes someone teaching children, you’ll need suitable materials.  A book on sewing may prove helpful.  A few resources on history may be valuable for those who don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past.  When electronic entertainment is not available, more will read novels for enjoyment and to escape a tough, new world.


Consider your future plans when deciding how to add to your collection; for example, if you plan to add a certain animal to your homestead, you’ll want to gather information related to that animal.  If you want to begin a garden or build a windmill, you’ll want a book and/or several articles on that.

So What is the Value of a Prepper Library?

Some articles and books explain how to do things that I have not yet had time to learn in real life.  There is far too much for one to remember everything, which is one reason a prepper library is valuable.  An advantage of several books on the same topic, is that different authors tackle a subject in different ways.  For example, there are different ways to set up a solar energy system or rainwater collection system – .

I buy almost all my books online, which will be impossible in a grid-down situation.  So, if one wants to know how to make or do something, post grid-down, one needs to get that information now.  My goal has been to invest in books on all the basics (water, food, first-aid and medical, gardening, homesteading, security and weapons) of prepping, with a limited number on advanced areas.  The internet is a great source of information now, but don’t count on it in a grid-down world.  The cheapest way to develop a prepper library is to copy and save prepper articles to your computer.  Printing them costs just the ink and paper.  Developing a filing system is critical.

My prepper library is the most unique strength I can contribute to a prepper group.  My other skills and things are relatively common.  I may not be able to or know how to do something in a post-disaster situation, but my library has something related to it. I am the primary or lead prepper in our family.  My wife and adult children have come to accept and occasionally support my prepping efforts.  I have sometimes wondered, what would happen to my beloved family if something happened to me?  My wife knows where to find my prepper files and books, and I have instructed her, that if anything were to happen to me, she could find lots of helpful information in those resources.  A small prepper library will be extremely helpful to those who were inadequately prepared.  Various articles or books could also be used to barter for other items.

When I want to encourage a friend to consider prepping, it’s handy to have an article to give or book to loan to him/her.  I’ve encouraged several people to read One Second After, by William Forstchen, as well as Lights Out, by Ted Koppel, and/or articles related to something a friend expressed an interest in.  I also discovered a few people that would read a prepper novel, but are not interested in a prepper how-to book.  Some prepper novels include descriptions of how to prepare for certain things.


In addition to basic prepping topics, include some books on rebuilding things in a post-disaster world.  Some of mine include The Human-Powered Home, by Tamara Dean, When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency, by Matthew Stein, The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch, by Lewis Dartnell, and Beyond Collapse: Surviving and Rebuilding Civilization from Scratch, by T. Joseph Miller, Jr.  These will help you improve your life AND the lives of those around you, when most people can’t see beyond just surviving.  Resources like these will enable you to help your group or neighborhood thrive, when others will be barely surviving.

Where & How to Store Your Library:

A caution: As you buy paper books, it’s tempting to keep them in your living room, but if you or your family or roommate have guests over, their seeing your collection of prepper books and articles may make them think you’re one of those weird doomsday preppers.  So it’s a good idea to keep most of your prepper books in a bedroom closet shelf or in a box where guests would not see them.  This is also something to keep in mind if, and when, a friend uses your computer or kindle.  Most advocate keeping a a low profile, not sharing much except for a few trustworthy friends or family members.  On the other hand, books on topics like gardening, hiking, or camping would not necessarily be associated with prepping, and thus could be shelved in a living room or home office.

Some preppers like to download prepper-related videos from YouTube or other sites to their computer or smartphone.  I plan to be able to recharge my kindle in a grid-down situation, which takes some extra consideration.  If you want to access prepper videos or articles on a kindle, smartphone, and/or laptop after a grid-down, I recommend that you use an electronic device other than one you use daily.  An EMP or cyber-attack on our grid may leave your electronic devices useless.  Although this is debated, it’s wiser to be safe than sorry.  Thus, one may want to keep a phone, kindle, and/or tablet in a Faraday cage. –

Ways to Maintain Digital Resources in a Grid-Down Situation:

If your prepper library includes kindle or eBooks, research rechargeable batteries and small solar rechargers, and keep your device in a Faraday container.

A prepper library is valuable for any prepper family or group.  There are so many aspects of being prepared, and countless situations to be prepared for, that it’s not wise to depend on memory for what will be a stressful situation.  Also, articles and a book serve as backup knowledge in case your group medical expert doesn’t return from an errand across town, or your gardening guru gets deathly sick.  Prepper knowledge is the foundation from which to learn and live a prepper lifestyle.

The post The Value of a Prepper Library       appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Best Books for Your Preparedness Library

20 Oct

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest contribution from valknut79 to The Prepper Journal.  The opinions expressed herein are his and should generate a lot of comments as we all have our favorites on this subject. 

When the world as we know it comes crashing down, I think we all know the value of a farmer or an architect, and the value of a sharpshooter or outdoorsman.  Once things start to settle down again, I think that the value of a storyteller suddenly grows in importance, and a certain level of entertainment once again becomes an expected and valued part of society.  In ancient times, oral histories were a way of passing down stories certainly, but they also had great value in terms of teaching important lessons, changing perspectives, building communities, and bringing people together.


As a high school English teacher by trade, I firmly believe in the power and the value of having a good library at home.  A book can provide knowledge or wisdom, companionship and life lessons, and can help you develop a lot of self-knowledge as well.  Here are my suggestions for books that would be potentially very valuable for preppers to own and read before, during and after an SHTF situation.

Pulp Fiction Collections

Pulp fiction is a specialized genre of literature that was particularly popular in the early part of the 20th century, referring to short stories that were published in literary magazines of the time.  My personal favorites are the Conan stories of Robert E Howard, the action-adventure stories of Tarzan and John Carter by Edgar Rice Burroughs, anything by HP Lovecraft, or while technically too early for their period but filling a similar role, the Sherlock Holmes mysteries of Sir Arthur Conan DoyleIsaac Asimov is also considered part of this genre, and does good work with science fiction.


These stories, which are all freely available online or available in collections at Barnes and Noble for a fair price, are not perfectly written.  Some reflect their times a little too accurately and are borderline racist or misogynist (especially Howard), and may not necessarily speak to everyone in a modern audience.  That said, these are the perfect campfire stories, and the plot, pacing, and occasional bits of character development are masterful. I equate these stories to a TV episode or sitcom – most are independent adventures that tell a complete story within 20 or 30 pages – and have a certain panache and style that I believe would suit the kind of stories you’d tell your buddies after an SHTF situation.  A take-no-nonsense hero who solves his problems with his great bran, superior intelligence, or tremendous cunning makes a simple and uplifting story that I think would inspire in a difficult situation.

The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

High Fantasy is a take-it-or-leave-it genre for most readers.  While I tend to lean on the leave-it side, I cannot underestimate the importance and the power of the Wheel of Time series.  This 15-book series (including the prequel) is easily the longest series I’d ever consider recommending, especially considering that each of the novels in the series is two to three times as long as your average best-seller.  As a series of great length, this is not the kind of series you can undertake lightly, but the payoff is very worthwhile.

The length and depth of the series, however, is not what makes it a recommended read for preppers.  At its core, the Wheel of Time series is about accepting that the world as we know it today is not going to last.  The end is near for these characters, and they know it. The individual reactions of each are predictable (these are the heroes after all), but may be illuminating and inspiring for those in your group who are not prepared for the worst.

Ultimately, the plot line follows the main character of the series as he struggles to identify with his destiny as someone who simultaneous destroys the world and saves it, and through the books he does come to realize that whether in living or dying, it’s important to keep fighting, to leave the world a better place than he found it, and to help build a legacy of which he can be proud.  The wide variety of characters add color and supply a steady stream of small pearls of wisdom and inspiration throughout, and many of them have become closer friends than some of the real people I interact with every day.  Those are lessons that every prepper should understand and appreciate, even if the format of these books may be too much for many to handle.

Shortly after I finished reading this series, one of my students was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.  She was understandably devastated.  I chose the first book in this series to give her, telling her at the time that, whether you like it or not, sometimes you just have to buckle down, accept what life gives you, and try to do your best anyways.  She lived her life according to those principles, and I like to think that perhaps this had some part in her emotional recovery.

And if you don’t like, it, you’ll have a year’s supply of toilet paper in the bindings.


Walden by Henry David Thoreau 

Thoreau’s classic, Walden, also finds a spot close to the top of my list.  While his seminal essay on living life alone near a pond is sometimes very difficult to read and often highly opinionated towards minimalist ideals that may have preppers shaking their fists, Walden is, first and foremost, a story about learning to live a simpler life, being self-sufficient, and largely doing things your own way.  Preparedness is a lifestyle that so often leans towards an old-fashioned lifestyle, “useless” life skills like learning to make a fire or build a shelter, and Walden remains one of the most important stories of a life led largely apart from society, convention and modern convenience.  There is an illustrated hardcover version produced by Fall Creek Press which is often on sale for less than $10.

Life as We Knew It (series) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Anyone who interacts with or parents teenagers knows of their penchant for being completely addicted to technology and instantaneous communication, knowledge and results, and their general disdain for the lifestyle of preparedness.  I find that the best way to start in interest in, or even a conversation about prepping might be to start with introducing your teens (and perhaps even your significant other) to the Life as We Knew It series.  This story, written from the perspective of a teenage girl’s diary, chronicles an SHTF situation which involves a disruption of tidal patterns.  This is perhaps not the most realistic novel, but in terms of story, pacing and plot, it does a very good job of not only entertaining, but also informing and getting the mental gears turning.  I think that this book more than any other SHTF novel I’ve experienced yet, will get teens talking about what they’d do in a crisis situation, how they’d adapt, and what they may be willing to look into now in order to help out later.

This book is part of a series, but I found the first novel to be far and away the best, while the later entries suffered.  If you try it and like it a great deal, consider getting the sequels.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

If there is one person who represents what it truly means to be American, I think that it might have to be Benjamin Franklin.  He remains perhaps the most approachable of all historical figures from that time period, and it’s not hard to imagine sitting down with him at the pub with a glass of his favorite Madeira wine and showing him the marvels of the internet age.  His Autobiography, while widely characterized as a too-heavily edited version of his life, does make for a entertaining read, but also one that has the potential to teach a variety of life lessons.

From his famous treatises on moral perfection, which systematizes Franklin’s own attempts to better himself, to his carefully worded passages on industry, in which he makes a very distinct point to say that appearing to be industrious is just as important as actually being that way, this book characterizes a simple, learned way of life that focuses on community and service to others.  Whether you see him as a fatherly scientist entrusting his lessons to a younger generation, or one of America’s greatest libertines and con men, the Autobiography is a book about building a new society from nothing, improving it far beyond what it was in former times, and at least ostensibly, doing so while preserving a hard-working character and social graces.  It’s not hard to see this man as a potential prepper or as someone you’d want by your side in an SHTF situation.

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton

“Now” is actually a book about business leadership more than anything, but it has strong applicable life lessons that preppers could benefit from.

The ultimate thesis about this book is very simple – do what you’re good at, because you can’t be truly well-rounded – and goes through the identification of your individual strengths, a description of the science behind Strengths-Based psychology, and has a section on how you can work around your weaknesses (or areas of “non-talent”).  This is one the books that I think has most influenced my personal development, and is a valuable reminder to those who are the do-all types that want to pursue 75 different hobbies without specializing that this is a course of action that is designed to fail.  This may not be the most entertaining book in the list, but is one of the foundational reads that I recommend to anyone attempting to learn or better themselves.

This is the one book I’d recommend purchasing new rather than used – it comes with a one-time-use online code to take the “StrengthsFinder” test from Gallup, which is the method you’ll use to identify your Top 5 Talent areas.


Narrowing down a list of books for a preparedness library is impossible without imposing certain qualifications.  I did not include cookbooks, survival skills books, or any strictly informational books on subjects like gardening, camping, farming, and raising chickens.  Those are, in my opinion, quite obvious choices for preppers and so abundant that you can just pick up a huge quantity at a local library book sale without being overly picky about gathering specific volumes.  These are stories, whether strictly for entertainment or for improvement through gaining wisdom.

These are not all personal favorites, and do not necessarily represent a wide variety of literary styles, but do have what I would consider to be valuable life lessons that reflect a “prepared” lifestyle.  I did attempt to focus on books that are uplifting – while I do love a good murder mystery or horror title now and again, I think that an SHTF situation requires a little tact – and these stories also have a certain element of timelessness or classicists to them.  One hundred years from now, I think there will still be those who love Conan and friends as much as I do now.

That said, my library is constantly growing, and I’m always open to learning about new books to add to my collection.  What books do you consider indispensable?


The post Best Books for Your Preparedness Library appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

“When the English Fall”, by David Williams

4 Sep

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest submission from BigBoyWriter, a timely review of a book that had peaked my interest after an extended stay on the Navajo Reservation in Northeastern Arizona – are these somewhat cloistered enclaves better prepared to handle a SHTF event? In this review the guest raises his own questions from his read. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

This is less of a how to or being a prepper article and more of a thought exercise and book report. In 2017, the book titled, “When the English Fall”, by David Williams was published. It is a fictional account of a Pennsylvania Amish family written in a diary format as told by an Amish man. The book received an Amazon Best Book of July 2017 award and is a compelling read for post-apocalyptic literature.


The book focuses on the life of Amish family when catastrophic events lead to chaos both for the Amish community and the “English” community outside the Amish community. Naturally as the Amish community lacks the technological burdens that most modern people face or will be hindered by in a collapse or TEOTWAWKI situation the English people turn to the Amish for help, support and knowledge. Naturally as these two communities become further entwined there is conflict and strife that emerges.

The book is dystopian in nature and does emphasize the violent natures that some men and women will exercise in such a time of crisis. There is also a faith aspect to the book. The author is a pastor and so naturally the book does discuss some aspects of the Amish faith, although it does a good job of making the struggles seem lifelike and understandable, given the chaos involved.


It is a good read for preppers as it will likely give you a different perspective on disaster situations. I do not want to give away any spoilers so I will talk in generalities but some of the issues that struck me as having never really been considered by some preppers are as follows:

  1. How will your community seek to interact with others in a time of crisis?
  2. What will your community do when other communities want to utilize your community’s knowledge, equipment, personnel, and resources?
  3. How will your faith or ethics need to be changed or if not changed what will you need to do to ensure they do not change?
  4. Are there communities or resources that you are not currently utilizing but may want to start making inroads with or getting to know now?


Most preppers already have a plan in place for your own community, whether that community be your own family, a select group of people, or perhaps it’s just people you know you will be able to rely on in an emergency, such as neighbors. Also, most preppers have at least a basic idea of how their defenses will be implemented and how they will treat intruders or interlopers. But I rarely hear preppers talk about how they will interact with other communities. Of course, there is the discussion of whether an AR or an AK will better defend against a roving band of marauders but what about how your community will interact with the next community over. The first part is whether your community will seek to interact with the others or will you stay hidden and alone.


Assuming the old adage, strength in numbers would apply, it would seem best to gather like-minded and prepared people before a crisis occurs. As experienced preppers, I assume you have already done so or are doing so currently. But what happens when the crisis comes and there are now pockets of people in the aftermath. Will you reach out to them to grow your numbers or will you seek to remain isolated?

It makes sense that you would at least establish basic communications with surrounding communities at least for trade and information but would you reach out for assistance and aid from others outside your own community? There is a certain vulnerability to letting others know your own weaknesses and limitations as they can be used against you. Yet if you were able to gather more forces, make better connections and fortify your weaknesses you could grow to be much stronger.

The second aspect of community interactions is whether you will let other communities depend on you. Will you be willing to share resources, talents, knowledge and equipment? If the neighboring community needs a doctor will you let your medical specialist leave and leave you a valuable person down if something does happen?

Naturally we all want to believe the best that if asked another community would be willing to come to our aid just as we would be willing to come to theirs. In When the English Fall, as one can guess the Amish have a great advantage over their surrounding areas since their way of life is not dependent on technology. They already live in such a way as to be able to survive without having to completely reorganize their lives to replace technological crutches. However, this leads to a conflict in just how much aid should be given.

Likewise, with most prepper communities you may be far better off than those communities around you. You should consider how much aid you will want to offer. However, at the same time by offering to assist, teach, and equip other communities you are taking on additional burdens. The optimist thinking is that by bettering the communities around you they will help you in times of need as well. The pessimist in me thinks that my resources, time and energy will be drained by assisting others and as a result my own community will suffer. That it would be better to stay in the shadows and not take the risk.

I think most people, when put into a situation where you are asked by someone else to help them survive, will have a hard time rejecting those people when your needs are being satisfied. It is something to consider so that when the time comes you already have a plan in place and know what are your limitations.


It has always struck me as odd that preppers seem so sure of themselves that they will be able to face the physical aspects of survival but not much is mentioned as to the mental aspects. As the great Yogi Berra once said “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical”. Most of us know the mental side of any challenge is the hardest but when I talk with preppers they seem to think any issue they come up against will easily be handled with their Glock, 1911 or that nifty little tool they picked up last week. In any crisis, there are going to be mentally challenging aspects that should be considered beforehand. Put aside PTSD or other traumatic mental stress and I want you to consider more ethical or faith based mental issues.

For a simple example consider you are against lying and a man approaches you and asks where he may find the nearest body of clean water. Now on any given day most people would tell him to go jump in the nearby lake, but in a crisis, will you be willing to share your knowledge of the nearest clean water source with a stranger? Will you be willing to lie to ensure you continue to have fresh water to drink or take the risk and tell the stranger? Of course, this is a simple example but there will be others that do come up in a crisis situation that would likely not come up in a normal day.

Even putting aside, the issue of violence, there will likely be issues involving how you act that may hurt people. Do you give away your resources to help others or do you not and know that they may not survive? Are you willing to relax your moral compass to survive or are you going to stay rooted in your faith or beliefs and not compromise them even if it means you will get hurt?


When I first heard about When the English Fall, my first thought was why have I not thought to improve my own knowledge and skills by reaching out to the similar local community. I know a number of the people but have never thought to seek them out before a crisis occurs to make those in-roads and get to know people. Perhaps some of you have already done so and are making in-roads but it really opened my eyes to start looking at other local communities in my area that have ideas or ways of doing things that are not technologically dependent. A lot of skills can be learned just be watching and doing an activity with an expert.

I do not think you have to go so far as to seek out your nearest Amish community, but perhaps you have a non-prepper friend that has a skill or talent that may be useful such as making good jerky, making beer, sewing, knitting, and of course many other ideas, that you could utilize in your own preparations.

In closing whether or not you decide to read When the English Fall, it may be beneficially to consider the above. Looking at disasters or crisis from outside my own ideas of what will happen, and how, has made me see some of the short falls and gaps in my own preparedness plan. Hopefully I can seal those up so I will be better prepared and, hopefully, you will as well to be prepared for what may come.

The post “When the English Fall”, by David Williams appeared first on The Prepper Journal.