INTERVIEW and REVIEW
Real World Survival Tips and Survival Guide: Preparing for and surviving disasters using survival skills
(Disaster Preparation and Survival Book 1)
(Disaster Preparation and Survival Book 1)
by Richard G. Lowe Jr
Richard G. Lowe Jr, author of Real World Survival Tips and Survival Guide, stops by for an interview and to share an excerpt from the book. You can also read my review. Also available: Creating a Bug Out Bag to Save Your Life: What you need to pack for emergency evacuations (only $0.99)
Have you ever been in an earthquake or hurricane? Have you witnessed the horror of a raging forest fire or a house burning down? Have you felt the panic when you realized you were lost in the wilderness? Have you experienced a medical emergency in an area where no help was available?
Sometimes you can avoid creating a disaster by preparing properly for a trip or hike. Other disasters occur with little or no warning. Hurricanes, for example, can be predicted, but sometimes they change course or grow in intensity beyond what was expected.
Even though a disaster can strike anytime without warning, you can be prepared. You can maintain a good supply of water, food, and other supplies, and get some training from your local CERT group.
Your road to disaster preparedness begins with knowledge. Virtually everyone has the Internet at their fingertips these days, and you can use tools such as search engines and mapping software to learn more about the area in which you live.
This book will give you the knowledge and tools you need to help weather any disaster likely to strike in your area. Be prepared: read this book and change your habits.
Improving your odds of surviving is a simple matter of becoming aware of your environment and raising your consciousness. You need to remain aware of your surroundings and what is happening around you whenever you can.
Simple? Well, not really. Most of us spend our days half asleep, wandering from place to place without looking around. Quite often, we don’t even know where we are, much less who or what is behind us, to each side, and even in front of our very eyes.
Even ignoring the effects of drugs, smoking, and alcohol for the purposes of this discussion, people move from day to day without sensing (seeing, feeling, smelling, touching) anything at all. People often just exist. They go from place to place and only see specific things; they miss so much, and that makes them vulnerable, and ill prepared for what can, and often does, happen.
I first became aware of situational awareness simply because I made a right turn and almost hit someone who had stepped off the curb just as I was turning. I was looking to the left to find the opening in the traffic so I could dart out into the lane, and I didn’t see the poor lady. Worse, she didn’t see that I was getting ready to make that right turn and didn’t notice that I was not looking out for her movements. Thankfully, I did spot her out of the corner of my eye, slammed on the brakes, and missed hitting her by less than an inch. One split second of hesitation, one exceptionally small moment in time, and both of our lives would be different today.
Although that little incident is not in the same scope as a major earthquake or a hurricane, for the two of us it would have been a disaster. To make it worse, it would have been an entirely preventable disaster. Had each of us simply been awake and paying attention to our surroundings it wouldn't have happened. To state it in even simpler terms, being fully aware of our surroundings would have eliminated the possibly of disaster.
Look around you. Just look. Don’t draw any conclusions. Don’t get upset, and don’t make any decisions. Just look around. Believe it or not, this is the first, and perhaps the most important step of being prepared for any disaster-knowing where you are and what is around you.
Wherever you are reading this book raise your eyes and look at your surroundings. Look at the floor, at the walls, at the doors, the ceiling, the furniture, and anything else in your environment. If there are people, notice the direction they are traveling, where they are coming from, and where they are going.
As you look, you should begin to notice patterns. In an airport, you’ll see people moving to the terminals, getting ready to get on their flights. In a hospital bed, you see the room and its contents, and you’ll note the location of the windows, doors, and perhaps another person sharing the room. In your house, you’ll see walls, the floor, and the ceiling, as well as furniture.
Praise for the Book
"Every home should have a copy of this book in it!" ~ djohnson
"This is a no nonsense emergency preparedness must have!" ~ Lacenda Huss
"The book that made me realize as a parent there are so many things I can do to be prepared for any disaster. Easy to understand, practical, and thought provoking. This is a must have for everyone." ~ vicki drane
"This is an excellent, no-nonsense guide filled with practical wisdom of what to do to prepare for a disaster - rather than to panic and NOT know what to do after one strikes." ~ Beth Jones
"This book was very well written and thought provoking." ~ Britt
By Lynda Dickson
The author begins by listing his expertise and experiences which qualify him to write a book of this nature. He gives examples of disasters he has experienced and the lessons he learned from surviving them, e.g., hiking with his father, having his car surrounded by fire, and narrowly escaping a flash flood in a dry riverbed. He asks you to start by first asking yourself what kind of disasters are likely to occur in your area. Being aware of where you are and of what is around you can save precious minutes if/when disaster strikes. You need to be prepared to not be rescued for a minimum of three days to a couple of weeks. In this book, the author will teach you: how to prepare for and deal with disruptions to power, gas, water, sewage, trash collection, cell phone service, Internet and cable services; the types of disasters you might have to deal with (volcanoes, fires, earthquakes, chemical spills, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, nuclear disasters, long-term power outages, rioting and looting, tornados, tsunami); and the disaster information services you can subscribe to. He will then lead you step-by-step to creating your disaster plan, a communications plan, preparing your home (including stockpiling water, food, flashlights, batteries), packing a go-bag, and preparing for trips and outings.
The author maintains a light, conversational tone throughout, keeping your interest and making this book easy to read. There is a bit of repetition when you read the book from start to finish, but this allows you to re-read portions out of order as needed and still find the information required. This is an invaluable guide for everyone, not just the preppers. All I can say is that I hope you never have to implement the emergency preparations taught in this book. And, as the author advises, find the middle ground of preparedness and "don't live your whole life waiting for a disaster to happen."
Littered with anecdotal experiences of the author as well as other people, this book makes for an interesting and informative read.
Followed by a glossary of the terms used in the book and a list of recommended reading materials. Don't forget to check out the second book in this series, Creating a Bug Out Bag to Save Your Life: What you need to pack for emergencyevacuations.
Interview With the Author
Hi Richard, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Real World Survival Tips and Survival Guide.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Anyone from young adult through adult will enjoy this book. I’ve purposely kept the language straightforward to make it easy to read and comprehend.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I’ve been in several earthquakes, and my sister-in-law got caught up in Hurricane Katrina and we lost track of her for two weeks. We didn’t know if she was still alive until she managed to find a phone.
I took a CERT (Civilian Emergency Response Team) class, which is seven days of training on how to be of use during any disaster.
I decided to share the knowledge that I gained over the years with people so that they could prepare for disasters and know what to do when one occurred. The key to surviving a disaster is preparation and education. For example, in a major earthquake or hurricane, there won’t be any help arriving for days or even weeks. So you must have enough food and water to survive for that long.
I wrote this book to help people. It’s easy to be a victim of a disaster, but with a little preparation and education everyone can survive and get through it.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I want readers to follow the advice in the book so that they can help themselves, their families, and their communities be prepared for and survive anything thrown at them.
Everyone should have a bug out bag, for example, which is usually a duffel bag packed full of things needed to help you survive if you have to evacuate in a hurry. The idea is you grab that bag and go, hence it’s other name of "go bag".
It’s important to have enough water and food to last a couple of weeks, and to know how to rotate that so doesn’t get old and contaminated.
Once a disaster occurs, knowing what to do is critical. Do you stay in your home or do you evacuate? If the earth shakes, for example, do you get under a table or run outside? It’s important for people to know the answer to questions such as this, so they know what to do when there is a disaster.
How long did it take you to write this book?
I got the idea for this book several years ago. I used to work at Trader Joe’s company and was in charge of their disaster recovery site, consisting of a computer room that was a pretty close copy of the computer room in the main office. Thus, if there was an earthquake and the main office was destroyed, the theory was the disaster recovery site could take over and run the company.
This, combined with the various disasters that I’d been through personally and heard about on the news, gave me the knowledge and expertise necessary to write the book. I talked to several people around me and found out that few of them had a clue of what to do if disaster struck.
Getting started on the book took several years, but once I began writing, the whole thing came together in less than a month.
What is your writing routine?
I write for eight hours every day. I have a timer that is set for forty-five minutes. While that is counting down, I speak into dictation software. I typically write about two thousand words in that forty-five minute time.
Once the timer goes off, I take a break. Typically I’ll do forty-five minutes of writing followed by a fifteen-minute break three times, then stopped for lunch. I’ll repeat that routine in the afternoon through dinner. Finally, I’ll do a couple more before going to bed.
I use that fifteen-minute break between writing sessions to stretch, exercise, get a drink of water, or just stand outside and stare into space. The idea is to get away from the computer screen and do something different.
How did you get your book published?
I decided to take the self-publishing route, and this book is available on Amazon in both Kindle format and paperback.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
The first thing to do is to set aside time each day that is writing time. It doesn’t matter whether that’s an hour a day or six hours or whatever you’re comfortable with. Just make it clear to everyone around you, including your family, that’s the time you write.
Make sure you have the phone, television, and any other distractions turned off or shut down.
Then during that time, do your writing. If you get writers block, then either power through it or write something else for a while. Sometimes alternating between two or three different manuscripts is a way to conquer writer's block.
The whole point is you have to do it. You have to write. That’s the whole point of being a writer.
As far as publishing goes, there are any number of alternatives. I decided to self-publish my first few books to help support my ghostwriting business, and because it’s a simpler route to take.
I am working on several novels, and I expect to send those out on the more traditional publishing route. I need to find an agent who will shop them around the various publishers.
Fantastic advice, Richard. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I am also a photographer and have almost 1 million pictures on my photography website. I enjoy hiking, traveling around the United States, and helping people find happiness and regain their human rights.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is fully supportive of my writing.
That's great. Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I’m an Air Force brat, born on Air Force Base in California. My family traveled all around for a few years before settling down in Southern California. I was highly creative as a child, spending a lot of time building model boats and airplanes and similar things.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
I was a voracious reader as a child. My first science fiction book was Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. That’s a tough read for a seven-year-old, and some of the concepts certainly are a bit adult in nature, but it gave me a new viewpoint on life that I'd never considered before. After that, I was hooked on science fiction and fantasy.
One of my fondest memories was visiting the library and checking out half a dozen books as part of the reading program. Each book earned a sticker, and I always had a full page of stickers and then moved on to the next contest.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be a writer most of my life, but in high school I ran into some teachers who highly discouraged pursuing writing as a career. This created a block that took most of my life to resolve.
Once I got my first job in the computer industry, I had this idea that I could work during the days and write at night, but that didn’t happen at all. Work was difficult and very stressful, and all I wanted to do when I got home was something that didn’t involve a computer screen or typewriter at that time.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
I had many experiences as a child, and those are often used as background material in some of my writing.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
My biggest influences were L. Ron Hubbard, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Larry Niven.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear from my readers all the time, and usually they thank me for giving them information that they need.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
By the end of 2015, I expect I will have twenty-four short Kindle ebooks for sale on Amazon. These are all nonfiction and on a large variety of subjects. There will be several on writing, computer science, computer security, relationships, and human rights.
I’m working on three novels at the moment including one called Peacekeeper, which will be, when complete, a ten volume series.
Another is called Fur Baby, which is the story of my cat from her birth to her death. I’m writing this as part of the NaNoWriMo project, which is for authors to write a first draft of a novel in one month. It starts on November 1 of this year. The novel will be written from the point-of-view of the cat, and begins with her being thrown into a sack and tossed into a river with her brothers and sisters. I picked her up at the Humane Society, and we were together for twelve years until she passed away.
I’m also writing a lot of short stories and expect these to be published in various magazines, newsletters, and websites.
Sounds like you're very busy, Richard. Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. Best of luck with your future projects.
About the Author
After spending over 33 years in the computer and information technology industry, Richard decided to take an early retirement to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional writer and published author. Richard is a leader in the computer industry, serving as Vice President of Consulting at Software Techniques and Beck Computer Systems before settling down as Director of Computer Operations at Trader Joe's. During his twenty-year tenure at that esteemed company, he focused on computer security and preparing for the possibility of disaster.
In addition to creating hundreds of articles for the web and blogs, Richard actively works as a professional ghostwriter. In that role, he has completed books on a wide variety of subjects including memoirs, business volumes, and novels. Because of his in-depth background in software management and computer security, Richard has ghostwritten a number of major books in those areas.
Additionally, Richard has published books of his own. His first two volumes, Safe Computing is Like Safe Sex and Real World Survival Tips and Survival Guide, respectively touch on the subjects of computer security and how to survive emergencies and disasters. Richard has also written and published a series of short ebooks on the aspects of freelance writing, including blogging and ghostwriting. Other published books include Expert Tips on Throwing a Party and How to Surround Yourself with Beautiful Women without Being a Sleazeball.
An avid adventurer, Richard has been a photographer for much of his life, with a focus on nature, scenic, performance and event photography. He has done everything from hiking in dozens of national parks throughout the country, to photographing various unique festivals and events, such as the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball and the World Mermaid Awards Convention. He is well known in the Renaissance Festival and Belly Dance communities, having photographed over 1,200 dance events and 400 festivals. For several years, he photographed the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California.
Richard is currently working on a large number of short Kindle ebooks on a wide variety of subjects. Beginning in 2016, the first of a ten volume series of Science Fiction novels will be published.
One of Richard's passions is to use the power of words to educate people on human rights. He believes the world will be a better place when human beings are treated with the full respect and dignity they are due.