Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing; Spine Lean edition (July 23, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #89,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #14 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Security #136 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Do-It-Yourself #25081 in Books > Reference
The author has the right idea in that we should be prepared for various situations "just in case" and wrote an easy-to-read book full of mostly excellent information, but Kathy Harrison should have quit while she was ahead.The book's strength is in home preparedness for the beginner, particularly food preparation, recipes, and storage which comprise more than 50 pages of the nearly 230-page text. However, if you have a carport instead of a garage, don't have a basement, live in an apartment, or rent, you need a lot of imagination to adapt her advice to your living arrangement and you'll need to accept that parts simply aren't going to work.Where the author fails is in areas away from the house.For my first example, the car repair kit on p. 87 inexplicably includes window washer fluid, a PINT of oil, and engine coolant. However, if a vehicle is well-maintained as she advises, there's absolutely no need to waste valuable space on storing these items in your vehicle. Surely, barring vehicular damage, nothing more than gas and air for tire pressure is required for the length of time she advocates preparing, which is as short as three days to as long as a month or two. And, what's the point of having only a pint of oil especially when oil is typically sold by the quart? You're much better off utilizing the space for things you really need, like drinking water.For another example, the wilderness travel hiking kit on pp. 175-176, she unfathomably recommends a folding camp grill and mess kit, omitting any mention of food other than snack foods that don't require heating or cooking.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 UPDATE POST-SOUTHWEST GRID OUTAGE:I bought this book almost 3 years ago in Virginia, where it applied very well. However, if you had picked this book up in, say Southern California a few weeks before the power went out in the whole Southwest recently, you probably would've have found the book's unrelenting focus on Northern winters frustrating to say the least.In Chapter 10, Loss of Power, despite saying "There will likely be no advance warning of impending grid failure beyond the rolling brownouts that are now a common summer occurrence in much of the country", the chapter is devoted to power outages in the context of a harsh winter: keeping pipes from freezing, thawing frozen pipes, and restarting your heating system when power is restored (all of which came in handy our first winter in Virginia). If you move on to Chapter 12's two pages on dealing with 'extreme heat', hoping to find something that applies there, you'll find advice like "if you don't have air-conditioning at home, head out to find it. Malls, libraries, and other public air-conditioned spaces can be good places to hang out when it's sweltering outside" which doesn't help at all. The wildfire section could be so much better -Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month is much more informative and specific when discussing avoiding landscaping your yard with fire hazards (like palm trees, the individual branches of which will sail away, on fire, to light up houses blocks away). She suggests this: "connect your garden hose and lawn sprinklers.
DON'T BE SCARED, BE PREPARED, A Review Of Kathy Harrison's "Just In Case"[...]As we mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the horrors of a ravaged New Orleans and Gulf Coast and as the residents of those areas again wait breathlessly to see where the volatile Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna are headed, a review of Harrison's third book, Just In Case: How To Be Self-Sufficient When The Unexpected Happens is especially timely.Kathy Harrison and her husband Bruce live in Western Massachusetts and have spent many years parenting hundreds of foster kids, and in fact, in 1996 were named by their state as Foster Parents of the Year. Kathy has devoted her life to caring for homeless, abused, and neglected children, and has written two other books before Just In Case entitled Another Place At The Table and One Small Boat. That's why, unlike most preparedness books, this one is supremely family-oriented, born in the heart of an ordinary mom who simply cares about the safety and well being of her family.As we mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the horrors of a ravaged New Orleans and Gulf Coast and as the residents of those areas again wait breathlessly to see where the volatile Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna are headed, a review of Harrison's third book, Just In Case: How To Be Self-Sufficient When The Unexpected Happens is especially timely.Harrison notes that this book is not about long-term survival and emphasizes that her "objective with this book is to offer access to the kind of crisis information that will be helpful to ordinary families in extraordinary situations." Therefore, she hasn't offered directions for making shoes or clothing or hunting and skinning game animals for food.
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