Emergency | Neil Strauss

Summary of: Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life
By: Neil Strauss


In the turbulent world we live in, the unthinkable can happen at any moment – natural disasters, terrorism, economic collapse, or even war. ‘Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life’ by Neil Strauss delves into the minds of survivalists who actively prepare for large-scale emergencies and teaches the reader vital skills required when faced with disasters. The summary of this book will guide you through the mindset of different survivalists, the importance of having a safe haven, preparing multiple escape routes, self-sufficiency, urban survival tactics, and emergency training. It offers a comprehensive look at the need to be prepared for any scenario and how you can equip yourself to not just survive, but also help others in times of need.

Bracing for Unforeseen Disasters

Life is unpredictable, and catastrophes like natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or wars can suddenly occur, disrupting our way of life. This fear of the unknown has led to the rise of survivalists, who actively prepare for large-scale emergencies. A proactive survivalist should be ready for any scenario, including surviving without electricity and water, knowing how to make a fire, stocking up on essential supplies, and having skills in basic medical care to treat injuries. Whether escaping a war zone or enduring a hurricane, preparing for the worst enables one to face the unexpected and increase the chances of survival during times of crisis.

Mindsets in Disaster Preparedness

When considering potential catastrophes, three distinct mindsets emerge in how people prepare. Survivalists brace for societal collapse, often stockpiling weapons and resources to protect themselves from rampant chaos. Permaculturists rely on mutual support and cooperation, designing self-sufficient communities that function harmoniously with nature. Primitivists, on the other hand, look to sever dependencies on modern society altogether and focus on mastering primitive survival skills to face crises head-on.

As disasters loom, people typically adopt one of three distinct approaches. Survivalists expect society to descend into chaos, with individuals turning on one another to secure resources. To ensure their survival, they amass weaponry and provisions, construct hidden shelters, and sometimes even form militias.

Permaculturists hold a more optimistic view, believing in humanity’s intrinsic compassion and its ability to work together during crises. They design and maintain self-sufficient communities, like the Commonweal Garden near San Francisco, where residents have created an independent ecosystem mirroring the world’s biological balance. Their collaborative self-reliance would increase their chances of survival—assuming they don’t suffer any external attacks.

Primitivists prioritize disconnecting from society, seeking survival in nature by honing primitive skills. They aim to exist without modern tools and technology, as exemplified by Tom Brown, who trains others to become self-reliant in the wilderness. Brown believes that the key to surviving disasters lies in our capacity to build shelters, create fires, forage food, and locate water in the natural world.

The Power of a Second Passport

The 2004 reelection of George W. Bush as President saw a massive surge in US citizens seeking information on moving abroad. Many were concerned about the potential for further terrorist attacks and worried that the economy would suffer due to ongoing military commitments, and so they looked for opportunities to acquire a second passport. Securing residency and citizenship in another country can prove challenging, often taking years of residency, investment, or the sacrifice of one’s original passport. However, certain countries offer expedited options for those willing to explore creative solutions, such as conceiving a child with a Brazilian local or providing evidence of German ancestry. Obtaining a second citizenship can provide invaluable security in times of crisis, offering a safe haven abroad when one’s home nation is in turmoil.

Mastering Survivalist Getaways

True survivalists know that being prepared entails having multiple escape routes and safe locations in case disaster strikes. These escape plans involve strategically placing caches stocked with essential supplies like weapons, fuel, and provisions along the route. The right transportation is also crucial in these situations, with options like motorcycles for evading traffic or isolated mountain roads, autogyros for aerial escapes, and sailboats for efficient coastal getaways. A keen survivalist will also ensure they have access to resources like fishing and desalinating seawater for sustenance during their escape.

Embrace Self-Sufficiency for Survival

In the event of societal collapse, gaining self-sufficiency is an essential survival skill. When disaster strikes, it’s crucial to be prepared and knowledgeable about the resources around you. Learning to use weapons for self-defense, hunting, and tool-making is of utmost importance. Invest in key survival skills by understanding available resources, and learning about weapon usage and essential tools.

Society’s unexpected breakdown could leave us without essentials like electricity, water, food, gas, or internet access, compelling us to fend for ourselves. Therefore, knowing self-sufficiency in the face of disaster is a vital survival skill. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, designed for training citizens to be self-sufficient during a crisis, suggests that government intervention may come too late, often providing assistance only after chaos has ensued, as evidenced by Hurricane Katrina’s response.

To become self-sufficient, it’s essential to be resourceful and mindful of one’s immediate surroundings. For instance, most home radiators store over forty gallons of drinkable water, and toilet tanks hold additional gallons. However, this knowledge alone may not suffice in a survival situation.

Many survivalists emphasize the importance of learning how to use weapons, such as guns and knives, with proficiency. Knowing how to defend oneself, hunt for food, or create tools with these weapons is crucial in a crisis. The author of this book sought hands-on experience at Gunsite, a specialized shooting range in Arizona, where he learned the intricacies of effectively using a gun. The training involved knowing where and how often to shoot to ensure success.

In addition, the author discovered invaluable knife skills from a mentor known as Mad Dog. The lessons included sharpening and sterilizing knives, carving tools from branches, and acquiring the knowledge for slaughtering and gutting animals for food. Mastering such practical survival skills will help individuals navigate the uncertain aftermath of societal collapse, fostering self-sufficiency and, ultimately, survival.

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