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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salsbury

I just cleaned off several books from my reference shelf and replaced them with Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salsbury. I found that Preparedness Principles covers a lot of the same material I’d gone to other books for, but in a more concise manner. Barbara Salsbury has a no nonsense way of saying, “Here’s what you need to know and here’s what you need to do” for a variety of difficult situations we may be faced with. The fun part is, you get to use this reference for little things and big things, plus you don’t really mind picking it up for no good reason at all. It’s interesting bathroom material that makes you say, “huh, I never thought of that before” and happening to “think” about it might be more important than you ever “thought”.

Preparedness Principles stresses assessing your own situation and preparing for those things you are most likely to face, but it also cautions not to feel you are immune to difficulties. Covered topics include food storage, disaster preparedness, financial security, basic survival principles as well as how to do all those everyday things we don’t think about until we can’t do them, like: washing your clothes and finding clean water or a bathroom when there isn’t one.

There is realistic information about those “staple” foods many LDS people use as their food storage, never touching it and ignoring what they really eat on a daily basis. Ms. Salsbury discusses where to start with this “bare bones” type of food storage and how much you need, but she doesn’t leave it at that. She also tells you exactly what you can expect from that type of storage and where to begin supplementing it. Preparedness Principles offers reasonable and realistic plans and motivators for all of our basic survival needs as well as practical advice on how, when and where to begin. Plus, she includes basic recipes for basic items and a substitution reference that rivals my Fanny Farmer and Amish cookbooks.

It also covers practical storage tips, like what is safe to store food in and what is not, and what to do with all those bugs and other nasties that seem to appear overnight and ruin your hard work. Preparedness Principles also includes basic outlines for building practical storage options within your own home and placing storage items in all of those fun “creative” places you can ever imagine.

I loved that in her discussion about alternative heat sources, she provides gentle suggestions that warmth and heat are comfort items serving as more than a means to survival. I appreciate her suggestions to not only have a supply of firewood on hand (if you choose a wood burning stove) but to also tuck away a few “morale boosters” in the form of familiar scents that can be released through the heat. (Think homemade potpourri and air fresheners concepts.) This is just one aspect of other such suggestions throughout the book. Ms. Salsbury is very mindful of the stress any emergency situation can bring and tries to provide helpful items to think about making available for these times. Heaven forbid you evacuate your home without the favorite binky, blanky, or bear.

For every facet of preparing for things that are beyond our control by storing away security in many forms, Barbara Salsbury makes planning for an uncertain future easy to understand and manageable. Now, if she could only infuse a little motivation into the book that would seep from the pages, through my fingers and into my brain so I could put all of her good advice to use I’d be in good shape. But I guess that’s another plus in this book’s favor. Ms. Salsbury doesn’t give the impression that you must do everything in the book and do it now; she walks with you on whatever level you’re at to make the most of what you can do. Perhaps it’s one Family Home Evening a month or one Saturday a month when you can choose a section and just see what you can do with it.

Any way it goes, I have put away a few of those thicker reference books that I never referred to and replaced it with one book, Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salsbury. She seems to understand me better than a lot of those other extremists.

Want a taste of what Barbara Salsbury can do for you? I’ve found her blog and website to also be a great place to turn for quick food for thought.

Return to the Neighborhood

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