The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning

Bug Out Or Hunker Down

The first chapter, "Bug Out Or Hunker Down" introduces the world of prepping. It compares today's prepper to the survivalists of the 1980s and to modern day homesteaders and hobby farmers.

Most preppers aren't going to move far out into the wilderness. They make reasonable preparations for an uncertain future, but they're largely indistinguishable from the typical guy or gal next door. The book is written for and about the typical prepper next door.

Throughout the book, Palmer says we should learn from others who regularly confront the challenges we're concerned about. To learn about cold weather survival, we can learn from ice fishermen. A culture of survival combines knowledge, equipment, and preparation.

Let Me Breath The Air

"Let Me Breath The Air" is a chapter about something we take for granted, breathable air. Topics include: forest fires, N95 masks, carbon monoxide, burning wood, combustion air, and backdrafting. For homeowners, a few key environmental health topics are written about, including humidity, mold, and radon in the home.

Water: The Tonic of Life

"Water: The Tonic of Life" addresses storing water, filtering water, chemically treating water, distillation, more advanced methods of purifying water, collecting rainwater, testing well water, and topics related to providing a supply of drinkable water. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s is discussed and how parts of the American Southwest could face a future dust bowl due to warmer temperatures.


"Food" encourages readers to store at least a few weeks of food for potential disasters. Topics include: canned goods and grain, protein, fiber, calories, and rabbit starvation.

The Prepper Porta Potty Or Survivalist Sanitation

"The Prepper Porta Potty Or Survivalist Sanitation" covers an unromantic topic that is of great concern to emergency rescue workers—providing sanitation after a disaster. Rather than just relying on a bucket and toilet seat, Palmer turns to RVers and sailors crossing oceans in small boats for a better approach to dealing with fecal waste. Other sanitation topics include dealing with a "mouse apocalypse."

Let There Be A Lot Of Light

"Let There Be A Lot Of Light" addresses basic prepper utilities. It begins with a discussion of flashlights and flashaholics and ends talking about generators. Appliance watts are calculated to size our generator. Fuel choice, storage, and safety is another topic.

Oh, My Aching Head (First Aid)

"Oh, My Aching Head" is about assembling a first aid kit and learning the basics of first aid. Some of the alternatives to get more medical training, like getting EMT-B are discussed.


"Guns" is a chapter that talks about… guns. It's a rather lengthy chapter, because it begins with the very basics of learning to shoot accurately and moves into more in-depth topics that might be of interest to more advanced preppers. The 308 Winchester is compared to the 7.62 mm NATO. Measuring rifle headspacing is written about. The 223 Remington is compared to the 5.56 mm. Concealed carry and home defense shotguns are other topics.

Personal And Home Defense

"Personal And Home Defense" is a two-part chapter. The main topic of the first part is hardening your home against intruders and making your home more secure. Defending a home in the city during a WROL is covered. The second part talks about personal self-defense. Vulnerable parts of the body, boxing, Savate, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are discussed. Learning to avoiding unnecessary confrontations is emphasized.

Of Fireblocking And Basements (The Prepper's Home)

"Of Fireblocking And Basements (The Prepper's Home)" goes over topics prepping homeowners should know about. Basic plumbing repairs and gravity hot water heating systems are examined (gravity hot water heating doesn't require electricity). It's emphasized that homeowners should learn about the main systems of their home—plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. That way basic repairs can be made in an emergency or if the system is damaged in an disaster. We're told how to inspect our basement's support posts and take other steps to help assure our home remains intact during a disaster.

Getting In Touch With Your Inner Hoarder

"Getting In Touch With Your Inner Hoarder" is a chapter about stocking up. Preppers stock up for many reasons. By purchasing items on sale, consumers can save 30-50% on their grocery bills.

Your Bug Out Bag

"Your Bug Out Bag" assembles a "Bug Out Bag" or a backpack of what you'd take with you if you need to flee your home in an emergency. Your bug out bag depends on you and your plans. The chapter is useful to both those who just want to evacuate to another city after a natural disaster or those who anticipate living under primitive conditions.

Rescue Bag

"Rescue Bag" is a brief chapter that discusses some of the things that professional rescue personnel use. Some of these items can be quite useful for other jobs.

Road Warrior Or Road Trip (Your Bug Out Vehicle)

"Road Warrior Or Road Trip (Your Bug Out Vehicle)" talks about fleeing an emergency by vehicle. The importance of learning the basics of automobile repair so you'll know how to do these things if you don't have access to professional mechanics is discussed. Supplies you should carry in your car when you venture into remote areas in the winter is covered.

Not Everybody's Cut Out To Raise Chickens

In the final chapter, "Not Everybody's Cut Out To Raise Chickens," some miscellaneous topics related to prepping and survivalism are covered. This mishmash of topics ranges from talking about welding and milling to learning to grow wheat to choosing a career or a sideline business.

Resources For Preppers

A short 3-page list of prepper websites and prepper youtube channels.

The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning ISBN 978-0-9671624-9-2;
$19.95 retail;
314 pages with index.

The book is available online at

The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning (on

WordPress Blog companion to the book.