Saturday, July 4, 2015

Countdown to Preparedness by Jim Cobb - Gear Review | survivehive

Gear Review – Countdown to Preparedness the Book

5 / 5 stars      
Countdown to Preparedness Book Review - Survivehive
Countdown to Preparedness - The Book Review via

Why I’m reviewing a book

I’ll tell you right now, for someone who likes to write, and read articles online, I am NOT a book reader. I never have been. Strange, right?

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t see immense value in having books available to you. The Internet is an amazing resource for information, but without power, we have no Internet. It’s only smart to have some books on hand. Even though I typically pass on reading books, I have quite a few sitting on a shelf here in my office just in case. Here are some examples of what I try to keep:

Plant identification guides
First aid and medicine guides
Military field manuals
Gardening and preservation guides
To that point, I spent quite some time ensuring Survivehive is printer-friendly. Survivehive automatically hides certain parts of the page when you select print, so that only the important part is printed. I highly recommend printing any articles you see and like for offline use! If the power goes out, or your Internet connection is lost for an extended period, you’ll still have access to the information as presented!
I got off on a bit of a tangent there, and normally, I would edit that, but I feel like it’s an important point to be made: If you’re reading this, you read articles online, but you should NOT discount the value of hard-copy books, even if you are like me and rarely read them.
Now, to the point. Recently, Jim Cobb from Survival Weekly approached me to do a review on his new book “Countdown to Preparedness – The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.” To be honest, I was skeptical for a few reasons:
  1. I don’t read books.
  2. I really didn’t believe that much could be accomplished in a year
  3. I have a short attention span, project here, project there, I really didn’t see myself being able to stick to a 52-week course. I figured I’m not the only one either.
I had heard good things about Jim’s writing, so I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt, and a few days later I had a package containing Jim’s book. Here’s what I thought:

Initial Impressions

They say you should never judge a book by it’s
cover, and whether that’s true or false, my initial impression was good. The book is a great size for throwing in a backpack, the cover is attractive, and it’s just a well put-together book. Flipping it over to the back, Countdown to Preparedness boasts that it will help you:
  • Learn to stock, treat, use and reuse the most important survival item of all – water.
  • Store enough food to feed your family for three months without breaking the bank.
  • Develop the emergency skills to respond effectively to any catastrophic event.
  • Fortify and protect your home with affordable and manageable DIY projects.
  • Create a prepper savings account to ensure your family’s well-being.
Well! This sounds fantastic!
I opened it up and started reading through it. The
first thing that stood out to me was that Jim gives his personal email address in the front for questions, help, and even if you just need some encouragement. I found this to be surprisingly cool! I can’t imagine how many emails he gets each day, but the fact that he is truly invested in helping you get prepared, not just slinging his wares, speaks volumes!
Jim takes on less of a “preach preparedness” role, and more of a “prepper mentor” role, which I truly appreciated. Reading the book was pretty easy because Jim writes with a tone you would expect in a normal conversation, including a few humorous quips here and there. It’s pretty amazing how it feels like 1 on 1 instruction when simply reading his text.
The interesting part of this book is that it doesn’t follow your typical chapter layout. The book is broken down into weeks, and each week starts with a page or two of explanation, followed by an assignment for the week. The assignments vary, but they typically involve buying a few cans of food, practicing a skill, storing a little water, and setting aside some money. Even I have time for that!
Another cool thing about the layout, is that you do not need to follow it in order. If it’s week 2, and I just happen to be planning my garden, I can jump to week 12 right now. I love the flexibility, because hey, maybe I don’t want to do what this week has in store for me right at this moment!
Below, I’ll share with you a couple quick examples of the material covered:

Week 1

Countdown to Preparedness leads you through getting an inventory completed. It makes perfect sense, as it’s important to know what you’re starting with, and where you’re lacking. I highly recommend checking out our Preparedness Checklist Generator to help you with that. You can completely customize the checklist and you’ll end up with a printable organized way of keeping track of your current inventory, and your preps as they grow throughout the course.

Week 15

Countdown to Preparedness gives solutions to dealing with human waste during/after a disaster. It’s not a fun subject, but neither is disaster, right? Another solution in addition to those Jim mentions is a “Macerator Pump.” I built one, and provided a tutorial. If you’re interested in seeing that, you can do so: here.

Week 29

As a HAM Radio Operator, I was happy to see Countdown to Preparedness cover the subject of HAM Radio Licensing. Jim make’s a great point, which I too have stated time and time again: The concept that “I don’t need a license, because if SHTF, nobody will be enforcing it anyway” is flawed! Just like you need to practice with your rifle, you need to practice with your radio! If you’re interested in learning about HAM Radio, or getting your license, go check out our Amateur (HAM) Radio Licensing post!

Week 49

Week 49 will be my last example of the material covered only because I don’t want to give too much away. In Week 49, Countdown to Preparedness underlines the importance of a “Prepper Library,” sound familiar? Print those pages here on Survivehive, grab those books at the flee-markets, and have reference material when you don’t have Internet! It’s only smart!

Final Thoughts

If you stuck with the program, and followed all the assignments, not only did you learn tons (I have learned plenty, and I’ve been in the lifestyle for awhile,) but you also built yourself a decent start to your food and water storage! 

Read more on this and other #Survival Ideas at

Be Prepared for Biological Outbreaks with a Pandemic Influenza #QuickKit +NebShip Shop


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