April's text in black pen:

This scribble was born out of a desire not to go insane. Even if the world has. This book was a gift. Supposed to be funny. Sure is some joke, Isn't it Bill? That's the real joke. Bill never lived to sell how bad everything was going to get. 24 hours a widow, and I'm already talking to myself. Well, writing to myself. What am I going to do when I run out of space in this book? Will I live long enough to run out of space in this book?

Thanks, Bill. You were always too good for the kind of work you did.

April's text in blue pen:

(pointing to the black-pen text "I'm already talking to myself") I'm not crazy. When the world is ending, it's okay to talk to yourself.


Introduction Edit

This book was born out of my dissatisfaction with existing survival guides. Most of them focus on singular catastrophes that occur in a matter of minutes or hours, requiring immediate or short-term responses. That kind of preparations and awareness is useful, but it doesn't address another kind of potential situation: Namely the kind of disaster that no one is prepared for, a full-on collapse - the end of the world, or at least that's how it would seem if you were in the middle of it. That would demand a different kind of preparation. One way to think about it is to ask yourself these questions: What would I do if I knew help wasn't coming in the aftermath of a catastrophic event? What would I do if I knew I had to survive on my own?

It is difficult to conceptualize a plan for this kind of disaster, because when everything is falling apart - and I mean everything, as you will see when I break down scenarios later in the book - planning breaks down too. How do you plan on not being able to plan? Consider the fact that we have a hurricane evacuation and response plans, but we don't seem to be doing anything about climate change, which will likely create more and stronger hurricanes. Why? Because one is an easily defined event with a beginning (the hurricane), middle (response and reconstruction), and end (restoration of normalcy.) The other is a long-term problem with a number of potential consequences, requiring fundamental changes in the way that we do things. Those changes are hard to make because the reasons for them aren't immediately clear. Human beings are very good at responding to immediate threats and very poor planning for long-term consequences.

Why is that an issue? Because it's a long-term problem that destroys civilizations. Even the most devastating single event is surmountable.

April’s text in black pen:


[nine hash marks]

April’s text in blue pen:

[eleven hash marks]

April’s text in orange pen:


[one hash mark]

April’s text in red pen:


[seven hash marks]

April's text in pencil:


[seven hash marks]

April's text in brown pen:


[one hash mark]

choices were: pink or brown