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Monday, June 17, 2013

SAS Urban Survival Handbook by John "Lofty" Wiseman

I just received a copy of this book to review. Its name is "SAS Urban Survival Handbook" By John "Lofty" Wiseman who also wrote the immensely popular SAS Survival Handbook. My edition is the 2013 copy. It states on the cover "how to protect yourself against terrorism, natural disasters, fires, home invasions, and everyday health and safety hazards". So, its not just a "doomsday" type of book but one geared towards everyday, real world possibilities. It is written by a European, namely Great Britain, and it has some things that pertain to Europe but not the USA (in most cases-but, if you live in some anti-gun states you are SOL). The book is a paperback, 627 pages, and measures  8 1/4" by 5 1/4". Just right for tossing into the glove compartment or BOB. Amazon has it (there's even a Kindle edition): SAS Urban Survival Handbook

Here's a breakdown of the contents:
1. Essentials - Be a Survivor, Body Matters, Stress & City Survival kit.

Lots of good stuff here. The city survival kit is very simple to put together and is a must have in my opinion if you live in the city., especially a sizable one.

2. Safety First - Safe as Houses?, Electricity, Gas, Liquid Fuel, Solid Fuel, Water, Common Accidents, Room Check, Leaving the House, & Pets

This covers all the basic precautions associated with the above topics. Some is geared towards European houses but its easy enough to substitute American design such as electricity and plugs. When I lived in Berlin, Germany everything was 220 volt and the tongues on the plugs were round instead of spade shaped like their American counterparts. Also, if you wanted to run American made appliances you had to buy and use a step down transformer (220 volt to 120 volt)with the spade shaped socket holes. Most of us just bought German and didn't bother with the transformers. Lots of good stuff in this chapter and its geared for everyday life, not just SHTF situations.

3. DIY/Craft Hazards - Using Tools, Basic Tools, Power Tools, Hire Tools (rentals), Paint, Crafts, Ladders, Protective Clothing

This is something I haven't seen presented in any survival book. It covers the importance of safety around hand and power tools. Each year so many folks go to the emergency room because they didn't take the normal precautions with tools. There is a lot of info on how to properly use tools as well. Good material here, "Lofty"!

4. Poisons - Chemical Hazards, Alcohol, Types of Hazard, Safe Storage, Acute Poisoning, Chronic Poisoning, Kitchen/Living Areas, Bathroom, The Medicine Cupboard, Prescribed Medicines, Garage/Shed, Pesticides

Here's a lot of very good information on a topic that most folks simply fail to realize the risks of using and having in their homes. There is a very nice colored section on poisonous plants and mushrooms. Most of the plants are not wild species but ones a person may have planted for ornamental purposes. Its amazing how dangerous some garden plants can be due to their seeds, leaves, etc. that aren't used for food.

5. Fire - Fire Facts, Equipment, Drills, Fire!, Escape!

This little chapter has a lot of really important info. As it states at the beginning, fire isn't the main killer. Smoke and poisonous fumes are what do you in. Great advice on planning for, fighting and living through a fire disaster at home or away.

6. Security - Safe & Secure, Home Security, Security at Work, Vehicles

This is a topic that is, sadly, so timely. With all these crazy people shooting up schools, workplaces, etc. and criminals given just about free reign due to asinine laws (read GUN CONTROL!) and insane litigation this is an important chapter. In Europe and elsewhere, you are not allowed firearms so must resort to other means. Fortunately, for now and for most of us, we have the freedom to own guns. Buy and carry a good handgun. Just my opinion.

7. Work & Play - The Workplace, Leisure, Sport

This chapter deals with the risks involved in such activities. Its surprising how many things are a danger that I never thought of. Sports, of course, is one of the most injury prone activity there is. Good stuff!

8. In Transit - On the Move, Public Transport, Lifts (elevators)/Escalators, Travelling Abroad

There's a load of good common sense info in this chapter. Some surprising ideas are presented, especially the section on overseas travel.

9. Self-Defence (spelled defense in USA) - The Law, Being a Witness, Under Attack, High-Risk Groups, Self-Defence, Into Action, Animal Attack

A lot of this chapter pertains to Europe as far as the law is concerned. But, still, the information is food for thought and you should be familiar with the laws concerning self-defense where you live.
There is a good section on self-defense and another on dangerous animals such as poisonous snakes and other animals and insects. Vectors are included in this chapter. The section on signs is interesting. The meaning is pretty much the same as the signs in this country so I would imagine there is a worldwide standard.

10. Terrorism - Terrorist Threat, Bombs, Hijack/Kidnap, Under Fire, Risk Limitation, Bullet/Blastproofing

This is a timely topic. There is a lot of very good information in this chapter.

11. Disasters - Natural Disasters, Earthquake, Volcano, Hurricane, Tornado, Flood, Lightning, Drought, The Big Freeze

This is pretty much self explanatory. Important information for recognizing and dealing with these threats.

12. Health - Take Control, Childhood Diseases, Serious Diseases/Disorders, Genetic Disorders, Respiratory Problems, Eating Disorder, Food Hygiene,  Tropical Diseases, STD's, Parasites, Pets & Your Health, Bites/Stings, Substance Abuse, Emergencies, Save a Life!

This is a very good chapter on health and dealing with sickness or injury. On most diseases/disorders it has symptoms and action to take. It  gives a brief but thorough description of the maladies.

The book doesn't have an index but the way the chapters are arranged makes it easy to find whatever subject you are looking for. I am impressed with this book and I can tell a lot of work went into it. I give it a 10. Good job, John.

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