Executive Summary of The Perseid Collapse books by Simple Man

No, I didn’t just insult the owner of Backwoods Survival Blog by calling him a Simple Man. Like an author that uses a pen name, I can only assume that the creator of this comprehensive readiness/survival site desires privacy—in the form of anonymity. I can thoroughly appreciate that, since everyone within a 100 mile radius of me knows where to go if they run out of food and supplies when the SHTF. Rule one of prepping. Do not advertise your preps. Lesson learned. With his identity protected, I wanted to draw attention to the amazing reviews he has put together over the past few months for ALL of my post-apocalyptic, prepper-themed novels. Simple Man hits the proverbial nail on the head with his reviews, in more ways than one. He intuitively roots out some of the deeper themes and plot devices I had buried in the novels, bringing them to the prospective reader’s attention. His reviews truly form an executive summary of my novels. If you’ve been on the fence about reading my series, take a few minutes to read what Simple Man has to say about them, and don’t forget to check out the BACKWOODS SURVIVAL BLOG. REVIEWS: The Jakarta Pandemic READ MORE

What I think you should know about Ebola—Part Two

Have you thought about Ebola lately? Probably not. If you have, it’s most likely because U2 and dozens of artists have just recorded a new version of the original 1980’s Band Aid charity song “Do they know it’s Christmas?” to raise money for Ebola victims. THAT’S IT! IT’S OVER FOR NOW! Not so fast. Ebola (for now…never say never) has remained squarely an African problem, and one month after the massive Ebola fear hype in the U.S., most Americans have returned to their pre-Ebola scare lives. Some of us have a few more sterile gloves and N95 masks than before, but that’s not a bad thing. An influenza pandemic is a far more likely scenario to affect us. There’s a great fiction book written by someone I know that explains exactly how that might happen. 😉 Did we beat Ebola? According to a Denver Post opinion piece, the U.S. beat Ebola. http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/1824674-155/ebola-africa-spencer-west-care-denver Good news for everyone. Right? Of course, but this article falls squarely in the hindsight is 20/20 category, and fails to look forward. AT ALL. The opinion piece derides the fear that gripped the U.S., pointing out how the system in place worked. You know, the ten systems progressively implemented after the CDC and READ MORE

What I think you should know about the Ebola crisis…

When I published The Jakarta Pandemic in 2010, I had no idea it would be so widely read. Nor did I ever expect to be considered a “source” of information about pandemics. Over the past two months, I have fielded questions from concerned readers, friends, family, readiness bloggers, authors and preparedness consultants regarding the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa. I’ve been rather guarded in my approach to the crisis, having watched it slowly build throughout the summer. When the death toll exceeded previous outbreaks, including the outbreak made famous by the groundbreaking novel The Hot Zone, I started watching it more closely. The novel The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston was the catalyst for my interest in pandemic grade viruses and an inspiration for my first novel. With that said, I want to share my thoughts on the current crisis and point you in the direction of some balanced, informative articles on the topic…along with a few other resources. WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT THE EBOLA CRISIS? I suspect that world health authorities have currently lost control of the virus in Africa. A combination of controllable and uncontrollable factors conspired to worsen this crisis far beyond other Ebola outbreaks.  Take a quick READ MORE

Review of Charley Hogwood’s The Survival Group Handbook

Review of The Survival Group Handbook by Charley Hogwood Disclosure: I was provided an electronic copy of this book for a blog tour. I’ll start this review with what I would normally say at the end. Upon finishing Mr. Hogwood’s book, I immediately ordered a hard copy version. I could have easily printed the PDF provided, but 1.) I felt that the time, effort and expertise put into creating this handbook WELL merited my money. 2.) I want to have a compact, easy-to-carry version available for reference. First, don’t let the page count discourage you. When I received my copy, I groaned. 350 pages on Survival Groups? Can’t this fit into 30? Trust me when I say that there’s not a wasted word in the handbook, and that’s coming from a writer known to waste a word or two—here and there. With that said, you can’t expect to read this in one sitting. It’s 1.) Too important of a topic. 2.) Covers every aspect of survival group dynamics you can imagine. This book needs to be read in stages and sections, giving you time to reflect on the subjects presented Survival group basics and dynamics are an often-overlooked topic in READ MORE

A quick Homesteading lesson

From the Konkoly family garden. I decided to try something new this year. After researching and writing three post-apocalyptic, prepper-themed books in a row, I started to grasp the sheer scope and effort required to raise enough food on your land to survive without supermarkets and 2-day Amazon prime delivery of freeze-dried food buckets. I won’t go into the details of my broader “awakening” here. Instead, I’ll share one stark example. I’ve never planted dry beans (beans suitable for drying and long-term storage) before, so I wanted to get a handle on the difficulty involved and general yields. I planted a 1.5ft x 6 ft row of Cannellini bean plants, spaced according to the seed packet recommendation. 9 square feet. I wasn’t planting for a big harvest…this was a test run. The results? Growing the plants proved to be effort free. We saw a small amount of bug damage and light spotting on the leaves, but the pods looked healthy throughout the summer. Yield: 9 square feet produced 2 cups of beans or .22 cups per square feet.  Lesson Learned: Depending on the availability of other protein sources, to provide 8-10 cups of beans per week for a family of four, we READ MORE

PRACTICAL PREPPING: NO APOCALYPSE REQUIRED arrives in September!

UPDATE 7/30: Jeroen ten Berge has graciously stepped in and designed a most fitting cover for PRACTICAL PREPPING. Once again, I’m simply blown away by his work. Thank you, Jeroen! PRACTICAL PREPPING: NO APOCALYPSE REQUIRED, is a light-hearted, instructional look at the basic steps ANYONE can take to prepare for a disaster. From a foreign invasion to the zombie apocalypse—just kidding. We included No Apocalypse Required in the title for a good reason. This isn’t a book about ditching the suburbs for a heavily defended, self-sufficient compound in rural Minnesota. We explore real-life concepts and solutions to REAL-LIFE problems. Disclaimer: This is not a “HOW TO” manual for every scenario. Sure, you’ll find a few lists, and a number of highlighted suggestions, but the bulk of our book focuses on practical readiness steps you can take or tactical concepts you can embrace, without interrupting your life or breaking the bank. Randy and I offer a layered, foundational approach that can be tailored to YOUR circumstances and motivation level. Let’s face it, few people want to spend an inordinate amount of time, effort and money preparing for something that may not happen. ME INCLUDED. We’ll discuss what you can do to prepare for what will likely happen. I think you’ll be READ MORE

A quick look into the prepping world of The Perseid Collapse series

Readers of The Perseid Collapse series know that I teamed up with Randy Powers from Tactical Practical  to put a professional eye on the survival/homesteading/prepper aspects of the novel. The Perseid books take these themes to the next level, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t too far into left field with my ideas and theories. I reference a Handbook created by Randy in the acknowledgments of The Perseid Collapse, which contains an incredible amount of valuable, distilled information. I thought I would share one of his blog posts, which explains the BOLT Kits used by Alex Fletcher and his family. Randy has a unique take on the heavily popularized “Bug out Bag.” Enjoy! Practical Tactical B.O.L.T. Kit©: What It Is And What It’s For You’ve probably heard of a Bug Out Bag (BOB) or a Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD) bag that can be used as a grab and go kit in case you have to leave an area during an emergency situation. At Practical Tactical, we urge our clients to build what we call a B.O.L.T. (Basic Operations for a Limited Time) Kit. This mobile kit based on the basic tenets of preparedness: shelter, water, food, fire, comms/defense and READ MORE