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When Technology Fails and When Disaster Strikes
One of the seminars I went to during last year’s MSTEP (Minnesota Symposium on Terrorism and Emergency Preparedness) featured Mat Stein. Mat is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he majored in Mechanical Engineering and is a best-selling author of two books called When Technology Fails and When Disaster Strikes. Being the prepper nerd that I am, I had to see the talk Mat gave. He opened with a similar version of the below, which is taken from the “about” page on his website Twenty Great Gifts for Prepper’s.
“It was a true epiphany that started Mat firmly on the path of self-reliance, emergency prep, and sustainability. Around Thanksgiving of 1997, during his morning session of prayer and meditation, in answer to a simple request for “guidance and inspiration”, Mat received a fully developed “story board” type of pictorial outline that popped into his head instantaneously. It was the outline for a massive handbook to help people be more self-reliant, live more sustainably, and prepare to weather the coming storms as we pass through this age of uncertainty and change. After three years of work, this “cosmic download” crystallized into his first book, When Technology Fails.”
Mat covered a wide variety of topics, many that I was already familiar with, some were brand new to me. He spoke about things you might expect, such as threats we may face and why we should prepare, but went on to cover some things like using colloidal silver, tea tree oil and other natural methods. This was actually the first time I had someone really explain colloidal silver, giving the history of it and an explanation on how to make your own colloidal silver generator. He explains this in detail in the book When Technology Fails.
After the seminar, I waited in line to purchase both books and got a chance to chat with Mat for a few minutes. I have since read some of his other writings and I listen to him on The Survival Podcast episodes Episode-795 and Episode-837.
Now Onto the Book Review
The first book Mat wrote was When Technology Fails. It covers a wide variety of information. Keep in mind that it is written to be of use When Technology Fails.
Just a few of the areas he covers are: reasons for preparing, supplies one might need, water, food, shelter, as well as a large section on alternative holistic medicine. He also covers topics such as metalworking, energy, and not-so-modern chemistry. Some of those were the titles of the chapters, but the table of contents is five pages long. In each of those areas he goes into detail on several different aspects of them.
As an example, the chapter “When High-Tech Medicine Fails” is 50 pages long. It covers many different aspects of alternative healing, one being colloidal silver. Mat explains many uses for colloidal silver, discusses his personal experience with it, and then explains how you can make your own colloidal silver generator, complete with a drawn diagram.
Mat’s second book When Disaster Strikes is broken up into three sections;
- General Preparations
- Emergency Medicine, Survival Skills and Tools
- Specific Disasters and Crisis
The second book doesn’t have as much detail on the first two areas, but I think it goes into more detail on what the actual disasters will look like, explaining what to expect, what you can do before, during and after.
I have to admit that I have not read either of the books from cover to cover, but thumbed through them reading things that interested me. There are a few books that I think belong on every Prepper’s bookshelf, these two are among them. There is some overlap between the two, When Technology Fails has more technical data in it, and covers much that When Disaster Strikes does not. However, When Disaster Strikes is updated and, as I mentioned, goes into more detail on the disasters themselves. If you’re only going to buy one, I suggest When Technology Fails, because of the vast amount of information it contains.
There are Kindle versions available, but this is the kind of book you want around if the grid goes down so that you can reference all of the information. This isn’t to say I think the book should collect dust until then. It is a fantastic resource to use in planning your preparations.
I highly recommend these books. I give When Technology Fails five stars and When Disaster Strikes four stars. The difference between the two is the HUGE amount of information in When Technology Fails.
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