My life, like that of most people, is predicated on the assumptions that the store will have Advil and food, that the power company will continue to send electrons mysteriously through the wires to my house, that the propane truck will come when we call, and that today will be the same as yesterday.This ostrich mentality is common, and dangerous. Despite his tendency to proselytize, Rawles does provide a comprehensive depiction of the skills needed to develop self-reliance that could be used by many of us. While some of his points are probably not practical for the average, middle-class urban or suburban family (raising livestock, the provision of a survival “retreat”) the mentality Rawles espouses could benefit us all.
He does give detailed lists of items needed for each category of survival and information on obtaining some of the more obscure things such as a grain mill. He also provides instruction and sources for further information on topics such as food storage, alternate power, first aid and field surgery, and much more.While I, and probably most readers, will be unlikely to alter my lifestyle to fit Rawles’ ideal of preparedness, I admit that he has gotten me to think more clearly about changes that could significantly impact my family’s chances of survival in the event of an emergency. In our increasingly complicated and unstable world, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, while somewhat alarmist in tone, provides clear guidance toward self-sufficient preparedness.