Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life


On Wednesday night, the book-club got together and discussed the first book of this session, “Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life” by Neil Strauss.

It was a great meeting. Everyone dug the book and found it inspirational.

The basic premise is this. Neil Strauss was a music writer for the New York Times. Around the time everyone was freaking out with all that Y2K business, Neil started wondering what would happen if everything really did shut down. What would happen to him if civilization crashed? He realized early on that if anything bad happened in America, he would be stuck here with no exit strategy and no real life skills. He had grown up in an apartment in the city and didn’t know how to provide for himself in any way.

This book documents his really interesting journey to become self reliant. What starts as a venture to get a duel citizenship, so that he can leave the country “when shit hits the fan”, turns into a more fully realized plan involving learning how to track, kill, prepare, and eat animals, make his own weapons, learn how to shoot a gun, advanced first aid training, and lots of other skills. He meets many interesting and bizarre people along the way.

Strauss’s voice in the writing is great. The descriptions of his adventures are easy and fun to read and the information is useful.

This made for a great discussion in book club. I think it helped everyone realize how much we depend on the system. We take for granted our running water, electricity, plastic wrapped pieces of meat that we pick up in the grocery store, and all the other conveniences that come along with being part of a civilization. It also inspired us to start developing our own skills and back up plans.

I was personally less inspired by his efforts to get a dual citizenship and buy a home outside of the US. I figure, if the shit hits the fan, I live pretty close to Canada and really, the US is really big. There’s bound to be somewhere to hide. However, I am pretty interested in developing some of my outdoor and survival skills.


Starting to go on edible plant nature walks in my area with a guide to learn what wild plants to eat in the Pacific NW.

Learn how to start a fire without matches or a lighter.

Learn how to build an efficient water filter system on my own.

Perhaps raise my own goats or chickens. The benefits would be having fresh milk and cheese, learning how to breed animals, and learning how to slaughter and prepare animals.

Along with the milk thing, it would be cool to learn how to make cheese.

A better understanding of using, cleaning, and owning guns. (crazy, I know.)

Oh! And I want to start buying survival, plant identification, and other useful books. Because if things go wonky and the Internet goes down, having real books on useful information would be invaluable.

Generally speaking, I think that I’d be a really good survivalist. I’m determined, inventive, and I’ve got a wide variety of skills. I can cook, sew, grow food, shoot a rifle, and I’m pretty sure that I could manage to clean and butcher animals if the need arose. I’m also pretty sure that my book club would make an excellent survivalist team. (which is a pretty funny statement really.) Between all of us, I think we’d have the skills necessary to survive. I think we should just all move to a big cabin in the woods somewhere and get started.

Maybe all this sounds paranoid. Strauss asked himself many times over the course of the book if he was going too far and if he was just being overly paranoid, but he came to the conclusion that even if nothing ever went wrong, gaining all this extra knowledge gave him a sense of personal strength and confidence that can only come from knowing that you can take care of yourself, which I think is pretty darn cool.

I’d highly recommend this book. It was a fun read and it will really make you think. It offers itself to great discussion, is full of useful facts, and is just a great story.

Go for it. This book could save your life.


  1. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you¡¦ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What an ideal web-site.

  2. Hello. remarkable job. I did not imagine this. This is a excellent story. Thanks!

  3. I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  4. Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Fantastic. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  5. Thanks so much for giving everyone an extraordinarily terrific opportunity to discover important secrets from this blog. It is always very fantastic plus jam-packed with amusement for me and my office acquaintances to visit your web site at a minimum 3 times in a week to see the newest guidance you will have. And indeed, I am always happy for the superb hints served by you. Some 2 tips in this posting are really the most efficient I have ever had.

  6. whoah this weblog is magnificent i love studying your articles. Keep up the great paintings! You recognize, many persons are searching round for this info, you can help them greatly.

  7. I have learn some just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you set to create this kind of great informative website.

  8. Wow! Thank you! I continually needed to write on my website something like that. Can I take a part of your post to my site?

  9. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  10. Hello. Great job. I did not anticipate this. This is a great story. Thanks!

  11. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  12. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  13. I cling on to listening to the news talk about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?

  14. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  15. You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be really something that I feel I would never understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely large for me. I’m looking ahead for your next post, I will attempt to get the hang of it!

  16. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you’ve put in writing this web site. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own blog now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.

  17. Thank you so much for giving everyone an exceptionally special chance to check tips from here. It really is very useful and also jam-packed with a good time for me personally and my office peers to search your site at least three times every week to read through the latest tips you have got. And indeed, I’m actually contented with the cool creative ideas you give. Some 1 areas in this post are absolutely the finest I’ve had.

  18. Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Excellent. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  19. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable information to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  20. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  21. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  22. I wanted to send you that very little word to help say thank you yet again with the fantastic strategies you’ve provided above. This is tremendously open-handed with you to deliver openly what exactly a few individuals would have distributed for an ebook in order to make some bucks for their own end, precisely considering the fact that you could have tried it in the event you desired. These ideas in addition acted to become a good way to be certain that other people have the identical desire just as mine to grasp good deal more in regard to this issue. I think there are lots of more enjoyable opportunities in the future for individuals who scan through your site.

  23. You made some nice points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most guys will go along with with your website.

  24. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  25. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  26. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  27. It¡¦s truly a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Usually I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice article.

  29. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  30. Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, great written and include almost all important infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

  31. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  32. Hello.This post was really motivating, particularly because I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Tuesday.

  33. My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a variety of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!|

  34. Ahaa, its nice dialogue concerning this piece of writing here
    at this blog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting

  35. Hey there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new
    to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do
    you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  36. Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  37. Asking questions are actually nice thing if you are not understanding anything totally, but this piece of writing provides pleasant understanding yet.|

  38. It’s awesome for me to have a web page, which is useful for my knowledge. thanks admin|

  39. I have been surfing online greater than three hours nowadays, but I never discovered any fascinating article like yours. It’s beautiful price sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the web can be much more helpful than ever before.|

  40. Well I sincerely liked reading it. This information offered by you is very practical for proper planning.

  41. Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person’s webpage link on your page at proper place and other person will also do same for you.|

  42. Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  43. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I think that you ought to write more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people don’t talk about these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!|

Leave a Reply