Friday, July 30, 2010

One Second After

Book review: Thumbs up; well written, good character development, and fast-paced.

The premise is the USA is targeted by nuclear devices detonating in the upper atmosphere and producing a massive EMP burst that shuts down the country. Vehicles, communication, electricity all gone in a moment. Every plane in the air comes down. No back-up generators for emergency services; everything was fried. The setting is a town in the east coast mountain country with an interstate passing through. The result was a community already over-populated being swamped with people stranded when their cars died then later the refugees from the cities.

Personal reaction: I don't agree with all the actions taken by the main character. In a similar situation I wouldn't have tried to stay there with no preparations and a diabetic child, especially since he had access to a working car. I would have bundled the family in and hit the back roads to try to make my way north on the chance that Canada wasn't targeted.

I had my son read it also. He's always been skeptical of my 'paranoia'. A few chapters in and he was looking at our kitchen and said 'it's all about the food, isn't it?'

Happily, this is a good place to live. Heavy on agriculture, no nearby population centers, lots of small farms and gardens. There would be a time of adjustment as people would need to replace their lawns with vegetables. In fact, that would be my first recommendation to people, even those who aren't into prepping, take up gardening. Learning how to get the most out of your climate and space (and improving the soil now) would pay back immensely when needed. I think everyone, even non-gardeners, should keep an emergency supply of heirloom seeds in the fridge. Such a small price to pay to be able to feed your family.

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