Welcome Matthew Stein (WhenTechnologyFails) and Host Barry Eisler (BarryEisler.com)

When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival

This FDL Salon talk with Mat Stein, author of When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival, is auspiciously timed for me. Last night, on the way to a school event for my daughter, my wife and I got caught in an epic traffic jam caused by an accident just five miles ahead of us. It took over two hours to move those five miles, during which several cars pulled over to the side of the road and shut off their engines despite the cold. I wondered if they had been in danger of running out of gas, and what they would do if the road didn’t reopen. I have to say, despite being stuck, it felt good to know that we had plenty of gas in the tank, along with food, water, sleeping bags, and various other essentials in the trunk. Even if we’d been forced to spend the night there (and it looked like that was a real possibility at one point) we wouldn’t have been unduly uncomfortable. All it took as a little preparation.

Preparation is something I’m big on personally. I’ve read a couple excellent books on the topic, and last summer I took a week-long course called the Self-Reliance Symposium with Cody Lundin’s Aboriginal Living Skills School (I wrote about the experience here). So I was of course delighted when FDL invited me to host this talk with Mat. Doing so is a chance to talk with an expert on how to cost-effectively be more prepared for a grid-down situation, and was also an excuse to take time out from an overloaded schedule to read his excellent book. I highly recommend that you do the same — for just a few bucks and a few hours, you can acquire knowledge that could easily be life-saving down the road.

Anyone who has life insurance, health insurance, or fire insurance already understands the idea of preparing for a bad event you hope won’t happen, so I’m often surprised by how reluctant otherwise thoughtful people are to consider what they might do to make sure they and their loved ones are better prepared for an emergency. We had Katrina in New Orleans, we saw what happened in Japan after the Touhouku quake and tsunami in Japan, we just had Hurricane Sandy in the northeast, and there are countless other examples, some relatively small, some major, that provide ample proof that civilization and its protections and comforts aren’t things we ought to take for granted. If you’re here today, you’re already sensibly concerned, and having read Mat’s book, I can guarantee you’re about to acquire valuable information that combined with your existing concern will make you better prepared.

Thanks Mat for the great book and for taking the time today. Let me ask the first question: why do you think so many people are reluctant to take even basic steps (socking away extra drinking water, for example) to be better prepared for a possible problem?

 

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

61 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Matthew Stein, When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival”

BevW December 15th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Mat, Welcome to the Lake.

Barry, Welcome back to the Lake, thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

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dakine01 December 15th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Good afternoon Mat and welcome to Firedoglake this afternoon. Barry, welcome back to FDL.

Mat, I have not had an opportunity to read your book but do have a comment. I have lived all over the country and have been at varying levels of competence at being prepared (even as a former Boy Scout). When I lived in New England and upstate New York, I always had an old sleeping bag in the trunk of my car and never let the gas get below a quarter tank.

I would guess my biggest failing in preparation is maintaining the necessary amount of water. I’m in Florida now and have ridden out some hurricanes. I know friends and family who have lived in rural areas in the north who filled every available pot, pan, pitcher, and the bath tub when things were being forecast for bad.

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Welcome everyone, and Mat, thanks again for taking the time to discuss this interesting and important topic.

marymccurnin December 15th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I went through Betsy as a child and Katrina by proxy due to the fact that my siblings and parents lived in New Orleans, the 1989 earthquake in norcal and two tornadoes in the Memphis area. Recently, Northern California was hit by three storms back to back.

I am obsessed with being prepared. But I am never sure if I really am.

And how do poor people prepare?

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Dakine, definitely a good idea to fill the sinks, tub, etc if you have warning of a potential grid-down situation. But also a good idea to have plenty stored in case you don’t get the warning!

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Mary, some of the most basic and essential steps are the least expensive. Plenty of water on hand, for example. Rotating food you’re going to eat anyway, too. Zombie-proof bomb shelters are another matter. Though it would be fun to have one.

BevW December 15th, 2012 at 2:11 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 5

I’ve found that 30 gallon trashcans with trashbag liner is good for water, vs bathtub, those stoppers leak. (grin)

marymccurnin December 15th, 2012 at 2:11 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 6

I have tons of beans and rice and water.

BevW December 15th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Mat is here responding to questions now.

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Beans and rice is something I could do a little better on. But rotating canned food, MREs, power supplements, freeze-dried… check.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 2:13 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 2

Barry, storing water is good, but the ability to purify water on the fly is much better. Why not do both? One should plan for the possibility of having to leave the comfort of your home, or perhaps central utilities, including potable water, not being available for extended periods of time, as is often the case in emergencies. At just over 8 pounds per gallon, a family of four at one gallon per day per person, would need to carry about 100 lbs of water for just a three day supply. Having a good portable backcountry type water filter, such as the ones by Katadyne, MSR or Berkey, allows one to turn scummy ditch water into clean, safe, good tasting potable water in just a couple minutes of pumping to fill a quart bottle.

BevW December 15th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Barry did you find in the book the basic first aid is similar to what we were taught in Boy/Girl scouts and the military basic training?

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Water’s a big concern of mine. Plenty stored in various places, plus backup in the form of filters, Steri-pen, iodine, bleach… would suck to run out of drinking water.

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Hi Mat, looks like our responses crossed. For everything and especially the most important thing, agreed, it’s good to have layers of defense.

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Yes, BevW, lots of overlap on the basic first-aid for fractures, shock, etc. The info is useful, but I really need to take a wilderness medicine class, too, and a refresher for CPR.

dakine01 December 15th, 2012 at 2:17 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 5

Heh. I just got back to Florida a couple of weeks ago after spending the past few months in New Hampshire dealing with my sister’s estate. I used up all the bottled water she had stored in her basement over the last couple of months (she didn’t ‘rotate the stock’ so some of the water had “expiration dates” from ’05 and ’06 but it was all still drinkable – or at least did not make me ill immediately)

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

One creative place where I keep extra water is in the base of BOB, my Body Opponent Bag. Don’t be without one. :)
http://www.amazon.com/Century-BOB-XL-Base-Unit/dp/B003QOHSLQ/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_2

marymccurnin December 15th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I wonder if docs will give you an extra month or two for prescriptions to have on hand in case of emergencies.

How do you keep meds cold (insulin) after a week or so without power?

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Good question, Mary. The only thing I can think of (unless you live in a cold climate, in which case there’s always the garage or outside) is a generator. But running even a small refrigerator for weeks at a time is going to use a lot of fuel, I would think.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 2:22 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 4

This is a very good question, that I address regularly, but there is no one right answer. A bottle of Clorox bleach (no scents or additives), at about 5 drops per quart (double or triple if the bleach is old) will purify over a thousand gallons of water, so that is a good cheap start. If the water is warm, let sit for 15-30 minutes, if chilly, 30-60 minutes, if cold 1-2 hours, if near freezing, 2-4 hours, so the bleach has time to do its chemical magic. Bleach purification is not perfect. It will not kill super bugs like Cryptosporidiuum (a common parasitical protozoa, easily filtered or killed by boiling, and found in livestock feces), but it will kill all viruses, bacteria, and most protozoa. Dried beans and rice are as cheap as you can get. Rotate your stocks or preserve inside special sealed containers with dry ice (eliminates oxygen to kill bugs) and/or oxygen absorbers and diatomaceous earth, if you wish to store for long periods of time.

If you have little money, focus on skills and knowledge. If you are old and infirm, focus on friends and relationships. No one person can know, do , and have it all.Focus on that which is within your physical and financial means.

greenwarrior December 15th, 2012 at 2:30 pm
In response to Matthew Stein @ 20

And how long do you let the bleach act on the water if it’s warm or hot? How long can you store bleach treated water and still find it drinkable?

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 2:30 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 16

If the water is commercially treated, clean and potable to begin with, and having low dissolved solids, it will usually not grow harmful bacteria, even several years after the expiration date. If it smells bad, it probably is, unless the bad smell is due to iron or sulfur in the water. If it is surface water, regardless how clean and pure it looks, it can harbor nasty protozoa like cryptosporidium or giardia, or serious bacteria and viruses like campylobacter (SP?) or hepatitis or cholera.

SteriPens are terrific gadgets. They are fast (like 15 seconds), and easy (no pumping). Downside is the water needs to be clear or bugs will hide behind debris in the water. My daughter borrowed my SteriPen to go up Kilimanjaro with her then fiance, now husband, when he was volunteering in a nearby medical clinic. She used her SteriPen religiously, and was the only one in the group who did not get sick.

marymccurnin December 15th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I used to keep a huge barrel of water in the backyard. I put bleach in it and put new water in every three months.

dakine01 December 15th, 2012 at 2:35 pm
In response to Matthew Stein @ 22

Yeah, most of the water was standard commercial gallon jugs (Poland Springs plus some grocery brand spring water). The only thing I didn’t drink was the water from a 2 gallon lister bag (my sister was a big camper and hiker so she had at least 4 2 to 10 gallon lister bags though only one was filled)

I do now have 3 pretty good first aid kits that I have not been too good about keeping up with on my own

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 2:37 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 21

See above answer to In response to marymccurnin @ 4 . Also check out my online free article “Disinfecting Your Water” at http://whentechfails.com/node/27 . Lots of good free info an many of these subjects at my whentechfails.com web site under “articles”. Obviously both my books, When Technology Fails, and When Disaster Strikes have much more info inside.

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

One of the things I liked about Mat’s book was all the information on herbal medicines. We keep a pretty good stock of commercial stuff on hand (you have to watch the expiration dates) but as for everything else, it’s smart to have layers of defense. Like fire… the reason to know how to make a bow drill isn’t because that’s how you want to start a fire. It’s just good to know after all the primary means have failed.

That said, having learned how to start a fire with a bow drill… man, I am *never* going to have to do that in an emergency. I have so many fire-making layers in place before that I can’t imagine every one of them would fail. But still, if they did… good to have backup.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 23

That works fine. If the water is clean and potable to begin with, and not contaminated with organic material that bacteria may like to grow on, it will probably be good much longer than that, though best to hit it with bleach every 3 months like you are doing.

BevW December 15th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Mat, what are your recommendations for people in natural disaster areas, such as Hurricane Sandy, after all this time. What is phase 2?

greenwarrior December 15th, 2012 at 2:48 pm
In response to Matthew Stein @ 25

I will check out your website. And I asked my questions in response to your answer to Mary Mc. I asked about the points you didn’t speak to.

emptywheel December 15th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Mat

What do you suggest for food? I buy rice and flour in 50 pound bags and tend to have some–probably about 15 poinds altogether of dry beans on storage.

And I tend to store food, using a variety of methods.

But I keep hesitating buying a freezer precisely bc of emergencies. Since I’ve moved to W MI, I’ve never lost power (at all, I think), but when I lived in SE MI we lost power a lot and lived through the 3-day outage in–what was? 2003? THEN, we just had an “Apocalypse Party” with all the meat we had on hand ,plus a lot of the booze. Since then I’ve realized that would have been stupid for a number of reasons had the outage lasted longer.

Also, I noted then that having a gas, as opposed to electric, made a huge difference. Any thoughts on how long gas would flow in a true emegency?

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 2:51 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 19

Good extensive generator section in When Disaster Strikes. I have a larger noisy 5KW portable job site style generator that can run big loads, like an air conditioner, but I almost never use it. Very noisy, annoying, smelly, and sucks lots of gas so it is expensive for all but short term use. I also have a quite clean burning 2kw Honda 2000i generator that I use camping to recharge the batteries on my trailer when the sun is not shining. It has a built in energy saving governor, so when you are running small loads it runs at just above an idle, and is very quiet. Can run for about 8-12 hours on just a gallon of gas, if running low loads.

When the power is out for days, like sometimes happens in my mountain location,my small Honda generator does not break the bank, or drive me crazy with noise to run it for 8 hours a day. Has enough power output to keep my fridge going, runs some lights, run my computer and a stereo, and the fan on my furnace. Wood stove provides long term backup heat in the event of an earthquake where the power is down for an extended period and the gas lines break (a very real possibility in my part of the country).

pdaly December 15th, 2012 at 3:03 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 13

The water tank on the back of a sitdown toilet works in a pinch, too. This is not the water in the toilet bowl–although with a Katadyne/MSR, etc. filter as Matthew Stein mentions may make that potable water, too.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:05 pm
In response to emptywheel @ 30

Everybody, please consider being prepared for extended widespread grid failures. Do this by working ahead of time to get familiar with, and stock up on, low tech tools, skills, and at least a modes amount of stored foods. Our electric grid is extremely vulnerable to extreme solar storms, meaning it would fry and take many months to several years to put things back together again. Since the last geomagnetic storm of this magnitude struck in1921, and the one before that was the Carrington Event in 1859, our high tech world is blissfully unprepared for such a scenario. THIS IS GUARANTEED TO HAPPEN! It is not a question of “if” but “when”. Simply rolling the dice and one of these days it will come up snake eyes, and unless our government has spent the paltry 1-2 billion dollars to protect our grid, it is game over for the world as we know it, and by the time they put the pieces back together again, it will be a very different looking world from what we live in today.

This is a very serious issue, with an already invented relatively low coast fix (low cost on the government scale, not personal scale). Please read my article 400 Chernobyls: Solar Flares, EMP, and Nuclear Armageddon. I meant to spend one week writing this article, but it was so compelling I ended up spending 6 weeks on it full time. I had hoped things were better than I had feared, but after reading a 14 inch stack of government and scientific documents, I realized things were much worse. 400 Chernobyls went quite viral, being published invarious forms onTruthout, Huff Post, Alternet, and in Nexus Magazine.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:12 pm
In response to emptywheel @ 30

Unfortunately, the older natural gas powered pumps to keep gas lines pressurized and flowing even when the electricity is out, have been “upgraded” in most places to more efficient electric powered pumps. If you happen to live in an area where your natural gas is compressed and pumped by electric pumps, you will probably lose gas pressure in a day or two (perhaps sooner) after a widespread power outage. Some folks use propane powered generators, and keep a large propane tank at their home (250-500 gallons), which could provide backup power and heat for weeks to months in the event of an extended power blackout.

pdaly December 15th, 2012 at 3:12 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 18

How do you keep meds cold (insulin) after a week or so without power?

Long acting insulin, such as in a Lantus pen, can remain at room temperature for 1 MONTH after it is opened. Only the unopened Lantus pens need to be kept refrigerated to help maintain it longer than a month.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:15 pm
In response to pdaly @ 32

In addition to your toilet tanks, your hot water heater tank is usually a good source of stored potable water. Make sure you turn off the electricity or gas supply to the tank, before opening the bottom drain to drain your H2O tank into buckets or pots, or you will ruin your tank. Crack the spring loaded temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P valve) near the top of the tank to help it drain out the hose bib near the bottom.

pdaly December 15th, 2012 at 3:16 pm
In response to Matthew Stein @ 34

My neighborhood has only oil, no gas mains.
But if electricity goes out, not sure how the spark to ignite the oil will be achieved or whether I need electricity for the furnace to pump the heated water through the baseboard copper pipes.

Are there quick fixes for this situation?

pdaly December 15th, 2012 at 3:18 pm
In response to Matthew Stein @ 36

Good suggestion. That is also a good reminder that I need a few empty buckets around here.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:24 pm
In response to pdaly @ 35

Really long term failures will mean all pharmaceuticals will eventually go away, and alternative healing, (herbs, homeopathy, colloidal silvers, etc) will be required. Especially if you rely on pharmaceuticals for survival, lets hope things never go away for such a long period of time. If this is your concern, in your case I would provide a backup source of solar power, with battery storage, and a small electrical powered (“thermionic”) cold pack/mini-refrigerator to reliably store your insulin for months, if need be. Redundancy on critical backup systems is always a plus, if money is not a problem.

Big alternative healing chapter in When Technology Fails. Smaller one in When Disaster Strikes. Good free article at Alternative Medicines and Herbs.

BevW December 15th, 2012 at 3:24 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 26

How long does it take to use a bow drill to start a fire?

BevW December 15th, 2012 at 3:26 pm
Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Once you’ve fashioned the materials and created the kindling, if you’re skilled (and maybe a little lucky) it take just a minute. But that’s under optimal conditions, which are unlikely to prevail in an emergency. And gathering and fashioning the materials takes a long time. Much better to have multiple other sources of fire-making in multiple locations.

beowulf December 15th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Matt I enjoyed your last book (When Technology Fails) and look forward to reading the new one. I was wondering if you have any thoughts about Marcin Jakubowski’s Civilization in a Box project,(“In 2007, Jakubowski began working on a minimum set of machines necessary to sustain a modern civilization”), kind of seems to be in your wheelhouse.

To veer back on topic, so far as I can tell, the most straightforward way to get $2 billion in funding to protect the grid is by talking to the military services; a Carrington Event would certainly have a grave impact on our National Security. The DoD has more than that available in discretionary appropriations and Section 303 of the Defense Production Act gives the President authority to “procure and install Government owned equipment in plants, factories, or other industrial facilities owned by private persons”. If the President (or per EO below, his designees) approved, Army, Navy or Air Force engineers– definitely ask all three– could get started tomorrow without going back to Congress.

Sec. 308. Government-Owned Equipment. The head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 303(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(e), to:
(a) procure and install additional equipment, facilities, processes, or improvements to plants, factories, and other industrial facilities owned by the Federal Government and to procure and install Government owned equipment in plants, factories, or other industrial facilities owned by private persons;
(b) provide for the modification or expansion of privately owned facilities, including the modification or improvement of production processes, when taking actions under sections 301, 302, or 303 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2091, 2092, 2093; and
(c) sell or otherwise transfer equipment owned by the Federal Government and installed under section 303(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(e), to the owners of such plants, factories, or other industrial facilities.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:31 pm
In response to pdaly @ 37

Yes, this where a portable backup generator comes in. Disconnect your home power from the grid before attempting to hook your generator directly into your home power system (otherwise you will unsuccessfully try to power the whole neighborhood/city, and may electrocute a workman working on the nearby power system). Plug strips and extension cords are easy and safe. Hooking into your home’s wiring system is more complex and doing the wrong thing can electrocute someone, so be careful. When in doubt seek professional help (contractor, electrician, etc). Lots more instructions and advice than I can offer here are to be found inside When Disaster Strikes.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
In response to BevW @ 40

Surprisingly fast with the right stuff and experience (like 10 minutes). However, if your stuff is at all wet, fat chance (like almost zero). Expect an hour your first time, if you are lucky, unless you have expert instruction and help providing/selecting the proper materials. Cattail fluff, and shredded jute twine are excellent materials for catching fire from a small coal from your fire drill.

Suzanne December 15th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

sorry to be late — i’m loving this book. i’ve yet to finish it because i am taking notes and making lists. growing up in california, i learned about having 3 days worth of supplies in the event of a disaster. now i fear we need to have supplies for a longer period of time

thank you for writing this book mr stein — i’ve ordered copies for several family members. thank you.

beowulf December 15th, 2012 at 3:37 pm
In response to beowulf @ 43

“If the President (or per EO below, his designees) approved, Army, Navy or Air Force engineers– definitely ask all three– could get started tomorrow without going back to Congress.”

Incidentally, my own wheelhouse includes how to do things “without going back to Congress”.
I was one of the folks here at FDL who got the idea of using platinum coins to avoid the debt ceiling rolling nearly two years ago. :o)
http://my.firedoglake.com/beowulf/2011/01/03/coin-seigniorage-and-the-irrelevance-of-the-debt-limit/

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

There are lots of links inside my article, Building the Ultimate Survival Kit, for picking up cool useful high quality stuff. It won’t cost you any more money than most other places, and if you buy it thorough the associate partner links in this article, it helps support the costs to maintain my web site (also you know you are not buying junk).

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Agreed, Suzanne — after watching the aftermath of Katrina, I decided three days was way too low. Though of course better than nothing.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to Suzanne @ 46

You are welcome. My wife has been pissed at all the lost income/wages my writing has cost me (hour per hour it makes about as much as working at McDonalds), but I feel compelled to do it. Thanks for the encouragement!

rosalind December 15th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

just added a plastic bucket, thick odor controlling trash bags and kitty litter to my “dirty bomb” kit to help with, uh, elimination should the toilet be unavailable.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:48 pm
In response to beowulf @ 43

So far, lots of government officials talking about it (grid protection from major geomagnetic storms or EMP attack)and some failed congressional bills (the Grid act, among others). For over 50 years, the US Army Corps of Engineers talked about the need to replace the levies in New Orleans, warning it was not a matter of “if” but “when”, and we all know how well that turned out!

Am aware of Jakubowski’s Civilization in a Box project, but with limited time at my disposal, I have yet to give it much attention.

BevW December 15th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

As we come to the end of this great Book Salon discussion,

Mat, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book, and how to survive disasters and technology.

Barry, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Mat’s website (When Technology Fails) and books

Barry’s website (BarryEisler)

Thanks all, Have a great weekend.

Tomorrow: Pilar Marrero / Killing the American Dream: How Anti-Immigration Extremists are Destroying the Nation; Hosted by Sam Quinones

If you would like to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

FDL Book Salon has a Facebook page too

Suzanne December 15th, 2012 at 3:51 pm
In response to Matthew Stein @ 50

one thing i really like about your book is how it is laid out. if facing an emergency, i can easily find the first aid/emergency medical section with the excellent instructional diagrams.

very handy resource to have on hand. how long did the research take mr stein?

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 3:52 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 26

Yeah, even a classic “flint-and-steel” is really a bitch to start a fire with. Much harder than it looks! Store multiple fire starters and backups (lots of Bic lighters) and hope you don’t have to resort to primitive means when your are cold and wet.

mzchief December 15th, 2012 at 3:54 pm
In response to Matthew Stein @ 50

{ Hej everybody! * waves* }

I read the Foxfire Book as a wee one so I think this work is a good thing and, IMO, you rule for what you’re doing. Because I’m biased, I say, “Keep it up!”

Have a good one everyone!

Barry Eisler December 15th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thanks Bev and Mat and everyone for coming by. Again, I highly recommend Mat’s excellent book — an incredibly low-cost way of acquiring information that really could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

beowulf December 15th, 2012 at 3:58 pm
In response to Matthew Stein @ 52

Yeah, the trouble is Congress is the ultimate “tombstone agency” (regulators who don’t fix anything until people die). Instead of waiting for the Grid Act to be pass sometime in the next 11 year solar cycle, the Pentagon should just use the Defense Production Act to retrofit the grid itself. Then they can go testify on the Hill about what they did instead of what they want to.

Thanks for your reply (and for your great books!).

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 4:02 pm
In response to Suzanne @ 54

I spent two years of labor over a three year period of time researching and writing the first edition of When Technology Fails. It took another year of labor to research and write the update for the second edition in 2008.

Most of the research was already done before I wrote When Disaster Strikes, so it probably only took another six months of labor for both research and writing to complete that book. Even though When Tech Fails sold quite well, my first publisher was on the verge of bankruptcy and never paid me anything beyond my initial author’s advance, so for the first edition of When Technology Fails I spent considerably more money out of my pocket on my artists and research books than my I ever received from my first publisher. After starting all of this in 1997, I think I finally broke even last year.

Matthew Stein December 15th, 2012 at 4:03 pm
In response to BevW @ 53

It was a pleasure taking part in your Book Salon. Thank you Bev and Barry!

BevW December 15th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Everyone – this Book is excellent book, and I highly recommend it for you and as a holiday gift.

Thanks,

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