I was recently sent a copy of Wendy Brown’s book “Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs, the Thrivalist’s Guide to a Life Without Oil.” by New Society Publishers. Both Wendy and her husband also maintain two separate blogs that are a joy to read. Wendy at: http://happilyhome.blogspot.com and Deus Ex Machina (Eric) at: http://mooseboots.blogspot.com.
I have to admit, I have watched the “Mad Max” series of movies one to many times and Stephen King’s book “The Stand” is one of my all time favorite reads. It is certainly these vile renderings, of our world when the SHTF and spirals into the hands of the “Zombie Hoards”, unto which most of us base our “survivalist” preparations. No doubt, Hollywood knows shock and awe sells and we as consumers readily digest this mumbo jumbo like it’s our last day on earth. This media storm of death and destruction had me under the impression that perhaps your best TEOTWAWKI preparations had something to do with lots of firepower and plenty of ammo.
Wendy’s book dismisses most of this doom and gloom, instead painting a picture of a much more civilized future after TEOTWAWKI. While she does dedicated one chapter to “Security”, the rest of the book centers on what I define as practical no nonsense living. In the resource poor future, people will need to understand and cope with the realities of a life without many of the creature comforts we currently take for granted. Wendy predicts that gasoline, oil, electricity, supermarkets and even public education will disappear and we will as a society need to learn to live (thrive) without them.
To prepare for this “challenge”, the chapters take the reader through the steps necessary to prepare themselves, their family, homes and available land to be as productive and energy efficient as possible. In many of these situations, I see Wendy providing the reader with a blueprint of how we should all be living NOW and not necessarily after some apocalyptic world-ending event. Reducing, reusing, recycling, growing more of our own food or buying produce local and in season, raising our own livestock, producing our own localized fuel sources for heat (wood) and other practical and smart ways to live both before and after any impending “collapse”.
Also critical, is the idea we must forge a skill set of self-reliance, while also understanding there exists strength in numbers. In the future, it will be beneficial to have an individual practical skill set, as well as a network, community or neighborhood of support. I particularly liked Wendy’s afterward, that walks the reader through a typical day in a community after TEOTWAWKI.
To close, I wanted to include this excerpt from the book as it sums up most of what the book seems to center on, “If we are to have any hope of giving our children a future, we need to start now with changing the attitudes from one of making money to one of making a living. We need to change our mindset from the belief that independence is related solely to one’s income to the understanding that true independence comes from being able to provide for most of one’s needs.” (p. 212)