New Reader Orientation

My good friend and fellow author Brian Keene does this periodically on his blog and I felt it was a great idea so I’m shamelessly stealing it.

My name is Jim Cobb and I’m an author, a lecturer, and consultant on all matters related to disaster readiness, prepping, and emergency survival. You can find a listing of my books here on Amazon. You can also find them at Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, and anywhere else books are sold. If your local bookseller doesn’t have the one you’re after in stock, they can certainly order it for you.

I’m the Editor in Chief for Prepper Survival Guide and Backwoods Survival Guide magazines. We’ve been doing these magazines since about 2018 and we’re having loads of fun putting them together. PSG is a quarterly publication and BSG comes out roughly every other month. They are available pretty much anywhere magazines are sold, including Walmart, Costco, Walgreens, Tractor Supply, and Barnes & Noble.

I have been published in several other magazines, including:
• American Survival Guide
• Survivor’s Edge
• Recoil Offgrid
• Boy’s Life

Here are links to where you can find me online:

Email address is and old-fashioned snail mail can be sent here:
Jim Cobb
PO Box 128
Delavan, WI 53115

Conflict Resolution

I have long believed that communication skills are among the most important, yet least practiced, survival skill sets. They are applicable across the board, both now and down the road.

Before we go too much further, let me clarify the type of conflict we’re discussing here. When I say, “conflict resolution,” I’m talking about arguments or disagreements that happen between yourself and those around you. I’d also include those instances where you’re a third party, or maybe referee might be a better term, to a discussion between two or more others in your family or group. These are what we often call “interpersonal” conflicts.

In other words, we’re NOT talking about some sort of armed confrontation with a group of strangers intent on taking your supplies or anything else along those lines.

There are several different strategies for dealing with conflict, each with their own pros and cons. As you practice these approaches, you’ll get a feel for which ones seem to be the best fit for different situations as well as when you’re dealing with certain individuals in your group or family. Continue reading

Two-Way Communication Options

[Note: Much of this material has been taken from my book, The Urban Prepper’s Guide.]

One of the key elements of two-way communication is the ability to ask questions and clarify information. When you watch something on TV or listen to a news report on the radio, you’re limited to what they tell you. They may inadvertently omit a piece of information that for you is particularly important or even critical.

Being able to request more information, ideally from a source you know to be trustworthy, is a luxury that you cannot overlook in an emergency. Continue reading

Gear Organization

Here’s a fun exercise. Call your mechanic buddy and ask him how many 10mm sockets he owns. Then ask him how many of them he can put his hands on right at this moment. If you don’t know where something is, if you can’t find it, then does it matter if you actually own it or not?

While the quickest way to find something might be to buy a replacement, as suddenly the original will be right where you thought it was, despite having searched there a dozen times, in a crisis you may not have the luxury of time. Getting your supplies organized and keeping it all that way takes some degree of work as well as time, but the investment of both is worth it in the end. Continue reading

Home Security Basics

In a world without the rule of law, only those who can protect their families and their stockpiles will survive. Even during somewhat normal times you are at risk for home invasion, assault, theft, and other unpleasantness.

Whether we’re talking about a single-family apartment or a giant corporation, every comprehensive security plan centers on three facets—Deter, Delay, and Defend. Continue reading

Pet Preps

For many, pets are just as much part of the family as any member who walks on two legs. We would no sooner leave a dog or cat to fend for itself after a disaster than we would a child. Even so, as we go about planning for emergencies, we sometimes overlook the needs of our furry friends. Continue reading

EDC Tool Kit

Survival gear is often carried in layers. The first is what you carry on your body. This is the critical equipment that you want to be able to access anywhere you go, such as your defense weapon, a pocketknife, a lighter or other fire starter, and such. You’re limited, of course, to what will fit in your pockets or on your belt. Continue reading

Evacuation Destinations

It could be due to the calamity itself, such as flooding or wildfires. Or, it might be because of your biggest risk after the disaster hits—other people—with looting and other negative activities happening too close to home. Perhaps you simply miscalculated the amount of supplies you needed and now must venture to greener pastures. Whatever the reason, it is best to be prepared to bug out, just in case. Continue reading

The Death File

[Note: this is an edited version of an article that appeared in Backwoods Survival Guide magazine.]

My father died in the summer of 2019. He’d been in poor health for a while and his passing wasn’t exactly sudden or surprising. Even so, the loss of a loved one is a tragic and emotional time. What made it infinitely worse was having almost no information about what to do next.

We’d talked a bit about his wishes, but it isn’t a topic most people are comfortable discussing, especially when the end is seemingly close at hand. My mother had passed several years prior and dad had handled all of the arrangements. That’s when I started asking him questions, every once in a while, about what he wanted done when his time came. More often than not, he’d brush it off with a joke or smart remark and that’d be the end of it.

Then, it came time to make decisions. Continue reading