It should go without saying that “preparedness” should be more properly defined for whatever your goals happen to be within the context of a given set of scenarios. The vague claim that a book will increase the “preparations” for a family is unsubstantiated unless measurable results or even sign-posts are available. Worst of all, not taking into account the weaknesses of your particular approach is not only intellectually dishonest, but also just plain irresponsible.
Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook (6th edition, 1980) is nothing more than a goddamn cookbook. Chapter after chapter is filled with recipes of everything from bulgur porridge to triticale meat loaf. There are no less that 100 unique things you can do with wheat, sourdough, and yogurt. I’ve read entire Food Network published cookbooks with better tasting recipes than what’s listed in this makeshift imitation.
To be fair, there was some space given to food storage, water storage, and medical supplies; however, better advice for doing the exact same things could be found in James Wesley, Rawles’ “How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It.” What information was in Making the Best of Basics seemed quite dated, and not in a good or even neutral way.
What I thought is book really lacked (even more so than what I’ve just mentioned) is mentioning how to put together BOBs and how to make an evac plan. Supposedly, later editions do cover this (or so I’m told), but what I can say is that this particular edition sure as hell didn’t, and that’s what I’m reviewing. The basic problem with this book (besides everything else I’ve criticized) is that it totally neglects bugging out as an option, and even though it is bunkering in centric, it doesn’t even do that well. Those who decide to bunker in need their BOBs in case their home and/or BOL gets overrun with looters or government thugs, they run out of supplies, or they simply want a change a pace during SHTF before going back and hiding in the proverbial bunker (cabin fever counts for a lot).
Also lacking is how while bunkering in, how to take a shit, clean clothes, or defend your location. There is no mention at all what options there are for alternative off-grid power (except a chapter on how to store fuels). Again, this is a cookbook (and not even a very good one at that) that masquerades as a book on prepping; skip this piece of shit and take a gander at an actual good one, such as JWR’s TEOTWAWKI book, which is much more comprehensive and doesn’t lecture you about how to measure ingredients (as if that’s going to matter post-grid down). The nicest thing I can say about this disingenuous, half-assed cookbook is that some of the recipes (like yogurt bread) might be good and enjoyable to make, just as long as the power grid stays up.