I first reviewed Richard Duarte’s book Surviving Doomsday – A Guide for Surviving an Urban Disaster back in May of 2013. If you are interested in my thoughts around the book, you can read the full review here. In the time since that post (where has a year gone?) Richard and I have stayed in contact. He is frequently seen around the web if you follow the preparedness circles and his book is one of those that is timeless really. Not to give Richard too much credit, but books like Surviving Doomsday, the common aspects of what we call “Prepping” and this site to some extent I hope, are full of what I think are simple common sense ideas to live your life if you can ever expect to witness something like a disaster and come through it as prepared as possible.
I wanted to get Richard back on the Prepper Journal to share some of his perspective about his book with our readers and he was nice enough not only to answer all my questions, but sweeten the pot with some T-shirts and free copies of his book. If you would like to win some of these for yourself, read below the interview and if you haven’t read Surviving Doomsday yet, I would encourage you to get, or win your own copy at the bottom of this article.
Give us an overview of your book, Surviving Doomsday. What is it about and who is this book for?
Surviving Doomsday (SD) is a practical, easy-to-understand guide to help the average person prepare to survive a natural, or man-made urban disaster. Whether it’s a storm, a terrorist attack, or any number of potential tragedies – people need to be prepared. When disasters strike, folks are often caught unprepared because they lacked the necessary skills, or they failed to make adequate plans and/or preparations. Many people don’t prepare because they lack guidance, and just have no idea where to begin. SD is meant to make it as easy as possible for average, everyday people to prepare; anybody can put together a plan, and some basic preparations, no matter who they are.
Surviving Doomsday Provides:
- A Step-by-step guide on how to prepare for an urban disaster.
- Strategies to help secure the core survival elements – food, water, first aid, security and sanitation.
- An easy-to-understand approach to help plan for a potential crisis.
- Tips on when to stay put, and when to get out.
- Tactics to stay safe during a crisis.
- Extensive shopping lists for survival products and supplies.
When the moment comes, people will either be prepared, or they won’t, it’s that simple. SD is an easy way to help make sure that as many of us as possible are prepared.
What influenced or inspired you to write this book?
In 1992 my family and I survived hurricane Andrew, a category 5 storm. Our house was destroyed; and after the storm, we were completely on our own. I was amazed at the level of devastation and frightened by how totally unprepared I had been. The following morning, we left with nothing more than the clothes on our backs. I was very grateful that we were all alive; but at that moment I knew I could never again allow myself to be caught off-guard. I knew that Andrew would not be my last storm, I also knew that a disaster can happen to anyone, at any time. Since 1992 I have been researching and studying what works and what doesn’t. After many years of trial and error, I developed easy, practical steps that anyone can use to get prepared. Contrary to popular belief, what motivates most of us to be prepared is not fear, but the desire to not live in fear. Preparedness has actually brought peace of mind back into my life. My hope is the get as many people as possible motivated to adopt a lifestyle of preparedness, and to make that transition as easy as possible.
What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?
I started writing SD over 20 years ago. My research consisted mostly of reading books, asking questions, studying other disasters, in addition to many years of trial and error, testing and making lots of mistakes. I would try and often fail, but I would always learn valuable lessons and adjusted my approach. I eventually organized the essentials for my survival plan, and developed what I call the Core Survival Elements – security, water, food, first aid, sanitation/hygiene, and knowing when to get out, and when to stay put. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there; it took me a long time to figure out what was important, and what was a waste of time. Today I just focus on the things that matter and actually work.
What do you think is the most important thing that people overlook when it comes to survival?
Too many people totally neglect the basics. They just don’t realize how quickly the average person can become dehydrated; or how important basic security/self-defense is during a disaster. If I had to name just two things I would say that folks should focus on (1) Preparation & planning for the basics (water, food, security, sanitation/hygiene, getting out, staying put); and (2) Just getting started. Many people over-think their planning, (paralysis by analysis) and end up doing nothing. Preparedness is a lifestyle, and each person’s plans and preparations should constantly be evolving with that persons changing needs and circumstances.
How do you envision people using your book?
SD actually started as a collection of notes that I intended to organize and give to my friends and relatives. I wanted to provide them with an easy to follow reference source, and make it as simple as possible for them to plan and prepare. I knew that this would simplify the process and allow them to get started without all of the complication and confusion that I had faced some twenty years earlier. If my friends, and relatives, just took the time to read the summaries, and to do a little planning and preparing, they would be far better off than the majority of their unprepared neighbors. Those notes, ideas, suggestions, shopping lists, and general information eventually evolved into SD. It became a way for me to share what I had learned, since disasters can happen to anyone at any time, not just people in Florida. People don’t need to be experts to be well prepared, or to have a survival plan. The ideas and suggestions contained in SD are meant to help average, everyday people prepare and plan for a disaster. People should read SD and become familiar with the basic concepts of urban preparedness. The book can then also be used as a reference guide, to stay on track. In the back of the book I provide an extensive shopping list detailing all the supplies discussed in the book, and all the items I recommend the average person should stock up on. This shopping list can also be used as a quick reminder, and as a summary, to help people stay focused on the things that really matter.
Do you have plans for another book?
Absolutely, the next book is already in the works. Writing a book takes a lot more time and effort than I ever imagined; but the rewards are incredible. The new book will pick-up where SD left off, and go beyond basic preparations, for those folks who want to take their preps to the next level. I expect to have it out by year’s end.
Where are some of the sources you go to daily for information.
I try to read as much as time permits; there are many good books out there that not only provide very solid information, but can also be an excellent source of reference. I look at the news every day, and I visit what I consider to be some of the very best sites/blogs for practical, reliable information. I like The Prepper Journal, Graywolf Survival, Survivor Jane, Off The Grid News, Doctor Prepper; there are of course many others. The main thing is to stay informed, and to avoid the extremes. While there is a lot of good information, there is also a lot of fantasy being passed off as fact, and people need to be careful.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of The Prepper Journal?
Yes. Nothing is more important than turning thought into action. The worst plans/preparations are the ones you never made. I know many people who have been “thinking about getting started” for years – somehow they just never get beyond “thinking about it.” This bothers me, since I know that one day these folks might pay a very steep price for their complacency. I encourage everyone to just get started – even if it’s doing a little each week. I also believe that preparedness is a lifestyle, and that we are always learning from one another. Learn as many skills as you can, remember, knowledge is key – it can never be taken from you. When all else is lost, your skills might be the only thing left to help keep you alive. Develop as many skills as possible, and practice, practice, practice. This is an ongoing process that requires time, money and effort, but the question we should all ask ourselves is – how much is my life worth?
Where can people purchase your book?
Surviving Doomsday is available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle edition. I always recommend that folks get the paperback since it doesn’t depend on any external power supply, it can be tabbed, highlighted, etc. But lots of people like the electronic readers, like Kindle. To accommodate everyone, we have made it as easy as possible to get both – under Amazon’s Kindle Match program when you purchase the paperback, you can get the Kindle edition for just $0.99, that way you can get both; this keeps everybody happy.
Where can people see you in person? Conferences/ Trade shows?
In 2013 I appeared, and spoke, at about half a dozen shows throughout the country. In 2014 I had to scale back on the traveling if I had any hopes of every finishing the second book. I am also now writing for a number of magazines – S.W.A.T., Prepper & Shooter, OffGrid, Z-Day Survivor, and time is a major consideration since on top of all this I am also running a law practice. I love getting out and meeting people, but I won’t be back on the road until 2015. In the meantime, folks can still connect with me on my blog, www.survivingdoomsdaythebook.com, Facebook, and Twitter. I’m always posting new information, news and survival tips.
Until then “Stay Safe & Be Prepared” Richard
About The Author: Richard Duarte is a practicing attorney and a survival and firearms enthusiast; he currently writes, teaches and consults in the areas of urban survival planning and preparation. He is the author of Surviving Doomsday – A Guide for Surviving an Urban Disaster. (Available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle Edition.) For the latest survival news, tips and updates connect with Richard on www.survivingdoomsdaythebook.com
So for all you who are interested in winning one of Richard’s books and a free T-Shirt, all you need to do is enter a comment below and tell me what “disaster” are you most concerned about. What are you prepping for? Winners will be announced next week.