Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review of Bug Out vehicles on Lure of the Horizon

Scott Finazzo has posted a review of Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters on his excellent travel and adventure blogger: Lure of the Horizon.  Here is what he had to say:

Scott B. Williams is back with a companion to his previous offering Bug Out: The Complete Plan For Escaping Disaster Before It’s Too Late.  Scott has become a friend, an inspiration, and an advisor to my literary pipe dreams.  I have read most everything that he has put in book form and have yet to be disappointed.  Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters: Build and Outfit Your Life-Saving Escape is no exception.  Read on…

In his latest book Williams continues along the lines of catastrophe preparation.  This time he isolates vehicles and shelters and manages to, yet again, do what he does best. He walks the reader through the to do’s and not to do’s as well as the things to consider. I am a novice when it comes to the topic of catastrophic preparation so I appreciate the way he manages to offer examples and advice that clearly come from personal experience. It is with that voice of experience that even minor and otherwise overlooked details are relayed.

Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters: Build and Outfit Your Life-Saving Escape is a very in-depth book that reads quite easily. It would be impossible to include every option of each type of bug out shelter and vehicle so Williams selects a few of the major players to compare. He also often offers advice and recommendations for deviation from just purchasing out of the catalog offering “do it yourself” tips in many instances. At the end of each chapter checklists are provided which are surprisingly thorough and serve as an excellent tool when utilizing the book for its intended purpose.

Grab a highlighter and dive right in. This book is both an entertaining read as well as a reference book. It won’t make you an expert by any means, but you will most certainly come out on the other side of it a little bit better prepared when making life safety type of decisions as they relate to “bugging out”.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review of Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters on Survival Common Sense

Leon Pantenburg, author of the excellent survival blog and website: Survival Common Sense, has written a review of my new book, Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters.  Here is the review as posted on his site:

The fertilizer hits the fan and you may have to evacuate your area.

Immediately, the roads and highways will be jammed with unprepared refugees, most of them fleeing in panic to go somewhere – anywhere – else.

A prepper will be prepared for this eventuality, hopefully, and not join the mindless crowd. But there may be no choice regarding staying or going  prior to or during a flood, earthquake, hurricane or tsunami, and you may have to join the exodus.

So what is your plan, to get your family to safety, and do you have a vehicle you can depend on?

In his latest book: Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters; Build and Outfit Your Life-Saving Escape” author Scott B. Williams gives some educated insight.

Williams, author of  the Bug-Out Survival blog and the survival-themed books “Bug Out,” and “Getting Out Alive” and numerous other publications has been a survival writer for several years. 

In his latest book, Williams tackles the potentially confusing subject of evacuation vehicles.

The value of the book, Williams writes is “to make the reader aware of the key advantages and disadvantages of each type of bug-out vehicle and how important is is  to perform the necessary maintenance and/or modifications to make sure it will get you to safety.”

Basically, your bug out vehicle is whatever you have. But there may be options for modifying these vehicles to fit your potential scenario. Or, if you are considering buying a vehicle strictly for an emergency evacuation, Williams gives some tips on what brands, and vehicle types to consider.

Topics covered in the book include choosing your vehicle; using specially equipped vehicles for unique situations; and using canoes, bikes, kayaks, rowboats and other  human-powered means of escape.

Williams sets the stage by dividing the book into four distinct parts: Escape Vehicles, Mobile Retreats, Alternative and Back-Up Vehicles and Fixed Retreats.

The value of the book, IMO, is that it gets the conversation going. If you are considering setting up a vehicle strictly for an emergency, there is valuable information in Williams’ book.

“Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters” is not a light read. While Williams is an accomplished and interesting writer, there are parts of the book that didn’t interest me. This was mainly because the vehicles mentioned don’t fit into my area or potential survival scenario.

But the parts about shelters and secure bug out locations are worth reading for any prepper/survivalist. Too often the evacuation plan starts with “getting out of  Dodge” and ends with arriving on the agreed-upon retreat location. In reality, that would probably just be the beginning, and Williams gives some tips on what to look for at a retreat area in a natural setting.

I found the book to be interesting, entertaining and informative. Williams delves into a part of  emergency evacuation that the rest of us may only have given passing thought to. From that standpoint, of getting the evacuation vehicle conversation started and rolling,  “Bug Out Vehicles” has a place in your survival library.

My Latest Books are In Costco Stores

My current publisher (Ulysses Press) recently received a large order for all three of my survival-related books from Costco Stores.  Since these big chains are able to buy in volume, they negotiate for big discounts which they are able to pass along to the customer.  Generally, Amazon has the best prices on most books, as they too buy and sell in volume, often making very small profits per copy.  But if you live in an area where there are Costco locations and prefer to shop in person rather than online, you may get an even better deal.

I don't have access to a Costco store here, as there are none in Mississippi, but a friend sent me this photo taken with his phone last week from one of the stores in the Los Angeles area.  They had plenty of copies of Bug Out, Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters, and Getting Out Alive, all priced at just $8.99 per copy, which is a significant discount off the cover prices of $14.95 and $15.95:

I don't know if every Costco store has these in stock, but I'm pleased to see them offered by the chain, as they have a limited selection of books to begin with.  The fact that they chose to carry all three of these titles is evidence of the growing popularity of preparedness topics in general. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters Update

Last week I received the first advance copy of Bug Out Vehicles and SheltersThe print version should be available on Amazon and elsewhere within the next two weeks.  The Kindle version is available for download now.  I think the design team at Ulysses Press did a great job with the overall packaging of this one.  Based on the steady number of pre-orders, there seems to be a lot of interest in this topic among the survival/prepping community.  I think that preparing various types of vehicles for an emergency escape has a lot of appeal even to those who do not plan to bug-out in the way that I outlined in Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late.  Whether you ever need such a vehicle for survival or not - acquiring and customizing various means of overland and on the water conveyances can be a lot of fun and provide you with great options for exploring the outdoors.

Here's a view of the back cover with the book description:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters Ready to Print

The design and layout work has been wrapped up on Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters and it should be going to the printer any day now.  This book took a lot of research and a lot of work to put together, but the early response from readers has been great, with lots of pre-orders beginning months ago.  As some of my readers have pointed out, this topic is long overdue in the survival genre and it's a natural follow-up to the original Bug Out that I wrote last year.

Here's what's inside.  I'll post an image of the back cover as soon as it's available:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Interview on AM Northwest, KATU Channel 2

I spent a few days last week in Portland, Oregon, where I traveled for an interview on AM Northwest, a popular morning show on Portland's ABC station, KATU.  Here's the interview, in which I answered questions about my most recent book:  Getting Out Alive: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Survived.

While in Oregon I did some hiking in both the Cascade Range and along the coast.  Oregon has a bit of everything when it comes to natural beauty. Here are just a few of the hundreds of photos I took while there:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Current Non-Fiction Book Project:

My latest non-fiction book project is a follow-up to Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late.  I've posted more about it on my Bug Out Survival blog here: http://www.bugoutsurvival.com/2011/03/next-book-bug-out-vehicles-and-shelters.html  Here is the first version of the cover, which may be changed some before publication, which is scheduled for September:

Friday, March 4, 2011

First Reviews of Getting Out Alive:

Here are a couple of early reviews of Getting Out Alive that have been posted by other survival bloggers:

Lori Ellison co-authors the site, Legitimate Citizen.

Book Review:  Getting Out Alive

March 2, 2011 by legitimatecitizen

This weekend, I was thrilled to find Scott B. Williams’ Getting Out Alive: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Survived in my mailbox. I have been waiting for it since I read his previous book this summer. I teach Disaster Psychology for our local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training weekends. In these trainings, we cover the importance not only of nuts-and-bolts preparedness, but of the mental aspect of emergencies as well. Scott B. Williams’ books are on my recommended reading list for trainees.

Scott B. Williams’ latest work Getting Out Alive, is an excellent contribution to the field of emergency preparedness literature.  Coming as it does, on the heels of his successful book Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late, you might expect Getting Out Alive to be targeted at the survivalist crowd – but it’s not. It’s a literal survival and preparedness book for people who don’t like thinking about emergencies and who certainly don’t like books about preparedness. And, in this, it excels.

I’ve often joked that civilization is a veneer. A veneer is a thin layer of wood bonded to a an inferior or less attractive substrate to improve its appearance. Very little furniture nowadays is, at its core, what it appears to be on its surface. Civilization is like that. It is a thin layer of civility held in place by the glue of modern conveniences and the ephemeral presence of authority. Take away our lights, our water, our sensory stimulation (television, radio, cell phones) and we don’t know what to do with ourselves. Take away the deterrent of law enforcement or government and people revert to their more primal natures with alarming speed. The reverse is also true. Most people have become so far removed from their more primal selves that when they find themselves in situations like those in Williams’ latest book, they don’t know what to do with themselves either.

Getting Out Alive is a collection of potentially deadly scenarios that deftly demonstrate exactly how easy it is to find yourself between a rock and a hard spot with no hope of escape or rescue. Each one of Williams’ 13 deadly tales could begin with the words, “It all started innocently enough.” Each scenario presents plausible circumstances that any of us could find ourselves in without warning and presents potential options for escape and survival. Each scenario is accompanied by real life tales of other victims who endured similar survival situations – some of them made it out, many didn’t. Each scenario is also accompanied by snippets of wisdom related to the particular scenario circumstances (like forest fires, or being snowbound). Most valuable, however, are the Ten Tips for Survival that appear at the end of each scenario. If you read nothing else, be sure to read the Ten Tips at the end of each chapter. If you read nothing else out of this book, you’ll regret it, but at least you’ll be slightly better armed for an encounter with unforeseen circumstances.

The greatest strength of Getting Out Alive is that it demonstrates that any one of us can find ourselves in a bad place without any warning  –  yet it also explains exactly how simple it is to be prepared. This is a great book for your friends who think that emergency preparedness is for paranoid survivalists. It drives the point home that anyone can be a victim in a disaster or an emergency and that it’s everyone’s responsibility to take steps to be prepared. Getting Out Alive is not a step by step guide to being prepared, it’s something more important – a book designed to change the way people think about emergencies.

I know that I get concerned that people I know and love just don’t think anything can happen to them.  And I know that not one of these people will tuck away an extra can of soup or roll of toilet paper or bother to pack a bug-out bag until they really buy into the idea that they are not immune to emergencies.  I can only hope that the light bulb goes on above their heads and they take measures to keep themselves safe.
If you’ve been worried that people you care about just aren’t ready for an emergency, Getting Out Alive would be a great gift that might just change the way they think.
As always, thanks for reading.

Leon Pantenburg is a survival expert who runs the site, Survival Common Sense.

Worth Reading: Getting Out Alive

Posted on February 20th, 2011 by Leon in Leon's Blog

Only fools deliberately put themselves in danger to test a survival technique, or to prove something.
But how are you supposed to learn? Is there a safe, practical way to learn how to deal with emergency or survival situations without risking injury or death?

One way might be to read and study, from people who have “been there, done that.”  Scott B. Williams’ latest book: Getting Out Alive: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Survived” may be a valuable addition to your survival library.

One  of the perks of being a journalist is the chance to interview interesting people. That was the situation last week when I interviewed Scott B. Williams on SurvivalCommonSense.com Radio.

Williams is the author of the popular Bug Out Survival blog, and wrote the bestselling “Bug Out.” I did one of the first reviews  of that book last year, and when I heard he was working on another survival book, I put my name in for one of the preview copies. Getting Out Alive: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Survived is not so much a survival manual as it is a look at some specific survival situations, and how people in those situations in real life managed to get out of them.

A few cases mentioned in the book also describe the plights of those who did not survive, either through bad luck, lack of knowledge or skill or some combination of factors beyond their control.
“Anyone who deliberately seeks adventure is bound to put themselves in situations that can test their survival skills,” Williams said. “I’ve been in a few of those tight spots, and learned from personal experience in many instances.” But even homebodies  can also find themselves in danger, he said,  when it comes to threats from natural occurrences such as hurricanes and winter storms. And the recent tragedy in Arizona, when a gunman opened fire as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was meeting constituents in Tucson, shows nobody is safe from a  deranged individual with a gun who goes on a rampage.

The purpose of a book like Getting Out Alive, Williams said, is to show how easy it can be to end up in a life-or-death struggle and provide food for thought about how the reader might learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the same situation. In some cases, the real-life examples show  the  best course of action that could have  been taken. In other instances, he said, we can all learn from their errors in judgment.
“I limited the number of cases to 13, because of the book length,” Williams said. “I could easily have chosen 20 or 30, but I decided to pick some situations that could happen to almost anyone, and a few that would more likely happen to an adventurous traveler.”

“Some of these are scenarios that I could have found myself in,”  he added, “since I have a love for deserts, the sea, jungles, mountains and wild places inhabited by dangerous animals.”
Here are some of  experiences mentioned in Getting Out Alive:

Cutting Your Losses: Looks at situations in which lone travelers in remote locations have been trapped by fallen trees or shifting boulders, and had to choose between cutting off a limb or death.

Category 4: The plight of people caught in the path of a major hurricane.

In the Line of Fire: The frightening scenario of being caught in a shopping mall when a deranged shooter opens fire on a crowd.

Modern Day Castaway: Survival techniques for an uninhabited island.

Fire on the Mountain: What do you do if you’re caught in the path of a forest fire, and can’t outrun the flames?

Snowbound: Look at how easy it is for winter travelers in vehicles  to get into a life and death situation during a blizzard.
Williams’ wilderness experience has been extensive. In 1992, Williams said, he took off for several months to explore some of the “blank spaces” on the American map. He did extensive backpacking trips through some of my favorite wilderness areas, such as the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and Selway/Bitteroot wilderness area on the Idaho/Montana border. He has also ventured out into the desert and canyon country of the Southwest, and has an affinity for the swamps of the southeastern United States.
Williams has been writing about sea kayaking and sailing for twenty years. He is the author of four previous books.

Getting Out Alive Is Available Now

Getting Out Alive: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Survived is available now on Amazon and in most bookstores near you.  It has apparently made it through the distribution system, at least in the chain bookstores, as I found copies in here in Mississippi in Books-A-Million in Hattiesburg and in Barnes & Noble in Jackson and Gulfport.