Best Emergency Preparedness Books and Videos

Color photo of a white father and mother explaining to their children in their living room emergency preparedness and how to use a radio in an emergency.

Emergencies are unpredictable and inevitable. Given the looming threats of power grid cyber terrorism, hurricanes, and G5 Geomagnetic storms, it’s impossible to forecast when the next power outage might strike. Your best course of action is to be prepared. In an era where disasters and emergencies frequently dominate news headlines, the necessity for preparedness has never been more apparent.  

Having the best emergency preparedness books and videos are invaluable in disaster scenarios, equipping you with insights and knowledge to help effectively manage various crises. Having an emergency preparedness book on your bookshelf, in your vehicle, backpack, or bug out bag is essential. 

We not only invite you to investigate this subject of emergency preparedness books and videos for yourself, but for your family and friends as well. There is nothing more important than being prepared for emergencies in advance when you are capable.

What Are the Best Emergency Preparedness Books and Videos?

Color vector image of a large green hardcover book titled Learning To Survive on a white background.
The best emergency preparedness books and videos are the ones you read and watch.

The questions often arise, especially depending on where you live – which are the best emergency preparedness books and videos and how can they help me?

Two essential resources often disrupted during emergencies are power and healthcare. As such, families must be adequately prepared to handle these interruptions. 

Our top picks for emergency preparedness books include The Survival Medicine Handbook 4th Edition and Prepare Your Home for a Sudden Grid-Down Situation, which addresses emergency healthcare and power needs, respectively. 

For those who prefer visual aids, we recommend the following emergency preparedness videos: Blackout – an analysis of the 1977 New York blackout; Super Tornado – a detailed study of the 2011 Missouri Tornado; and Day Zero – an exploration of survival strategies in a world without water. 

In the rest of this article, we’ll delve into some of the top emergency preparedness books and videos and discuss how these resources can aid you in effectively preparing for various emergency situations.

How Do You Best Prepare for Emergencies?

Color daytime photo of a man out side after a disaster sitting on a log wearing an old fashion gas mask and reading an emergency preparedness book.
Using an emergency preparedness book after a disaster.

Identify the Risks

Disasters and emergencies often have similar effects, but understanding the specific risks within your area is crucial. This knowledge aids in more effective preparation and management. 

When people know what to expect, they can assemble their emergency kits more efficiently. Emergency preparedness books and videos provide valuable insights into various risks that could disrupt your power grid and other energy sources.

Create a Plan

Color photo of a blue emergency response plan binder, white paper pad, calculator, pencil, and eraser on a desk.
Emergency response plan.

Every household should have an emergency plan. This strategy guides families on what actions to take during a crisis. When devising an emergency plan, key considerations include: 

  • Communication channels
  • Safety precautions
  • Contingency plan in case the initial strategy fails

Other specific considerations may include: 

  • Emergency exits
  • Rendezvous points
  • Special health needs
  • Emergency survival resources

Remember that your family members might not be together during an emergency, so everyone should be well-acquainted with the plan. An emergency might make it challenging for family members to regroup and revisit the emergency plan.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Color photo of a Sustain Supply Emergency Survival Kit & Backpack, 2 Person, 72 Hours, Disaster Preparedness Go-Bag on a white background.
Emergency Preparedness 2 Person 72 Hours Survival Backpack. Includes Food, Water, Emergency Blankets, First Aid Kit and is available on

Emergency survival kits contain basic supplies that can sustain you during a crisis. During emergencies, you may be without water or other essential resources. Still, a well-stocked survival kit can tide you over for a few days.

Critical items to include in these kits include: 

  • Food
  • Medication
  • Flashlights
  • Communication radios

An effective kit should be portable and kept in a place easily accessible to all family members.  

Read on for a review of excellent books and videos that can help you assemble effective emergency survival kits.

Best Emergency Survival Books

The Disaster-Ready Home: A Step-by-Step Emergency Preparedness Manual for Sheltering in Place

Color photo of the book cover for the Disaster-Ready Home: A Step-by-Step Emergency Preparedness Manual for Sheltering in Place.
Emergency preparedness book-The Disaster-Ready Home A Step-by-Step Emergency Preparedness Manual for Sheltering in Place available on

Sometimes disasters and emergencies compel us to shelter in place for an extended period. While it may seem straightforward, effective sheltering requires proper preparation. This guide by survival expert Creek Stewart provides the knowledge to establish a well-stocked refuge capable of weathering any emergency.  

The book presents a comprehensive emergency preparation plan covering the following essentials for any disaster:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Heating
  • Sanitation

The book includes detailed lists, illustrative photographs, and straightforward instructions for smooth preparation. Undoubtedly, this book serves as a robust resource for disaster readiness.

What Can You Learn From the Book?

  • How to establish a well-stocked emergency pantry with sufficient food for the emergency duration of your choice, ranging from two weeks to three months or even a year. 
  • How to set up long-term, renewable water sources and storage facilities. 
  • Techniques to safely prepare food and boil drinking water when kitchen appliances are unavailable. 
  • Strategies to safely heat and light your home during a power outage. 
  • Efficient ways to manage sanitation without access to reliable running water.

The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way (4th edition)

Color photo of the book cover-The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way (4th edition)
The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way (4th edition) available on

Emergencies often cripple basic technologies, presenting many challenges. One such challenge is ensuring the health and well-being of your family. 

The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joseph Alton and Amy Alton serves as a comprehensive guide, teaching us how to become proficient medics when the standard medical systems aren’t functioning as expected. The guide aims to make us the most valuable medical asset.  

The 4th edition is expanded and refined to be more comprehensive than its predecessor. Covering a broader range of topics and featuring more illustrations it provides all the necessary medical information and skills required when things go awry.

What Can You Learn From the Book?

  • Trauma care
  • First aid
  • Chronic care
  • Medical procedures
  • Natural medicine
  • Medical supplies
  • Natural disasters
  • Chemical risks

The book encompasses nearly all medical scenarios and situations a family might encounter during an emergency.

Prepare Your Home for a Sudden Grid-Down Situation: Take Self-Reliance to the Next Level with Proven Methods and Strategies to Survive a Grid-Down Crisis

Color photo of the orange book cover for-Prepare Your Home for a Sudden Grid-Down Situation: Take Self-Reliance to the Next Level with Proven Methods and Strategies to Survive a Grid-Down Crisis.
Prepare Your Home for a Sudden Grid-Down Situation available on

Power is a critical resource on which many aspects of our lives depend. While you can prepare all other resources, such as food, their utility becomes limited without power. Without a functional power grid, life as we know it can change instantaneously. 

This book by Ted Riley prepares families to address various power-related issues they might face during emergencies. Any power-related concern you can conceive of during a crisis is covered in this book.

What Can You Learn From This Book?

  • Ted Riley offers an in-depth exploration of potential triggers for a grid-down scenario, examining elements like severe weather patterns, worldwide pandemics, and escalating societal tensions as probable catalysts for such a crisis. 
  • Simple and immediate short-term solutions to help you endure the initial few days of a grid-down crisis. 
  • Various cooking options during a grid-down crisis. The author outlines numerous emergency cooking alternatives families can rely on for sustenance. 
  • A comprehensive array of emergency power backup solutions to reduce total dependence on the grid. 
  • Measures to ensure your health during a grid-down crisis. 
  • Communication strategies to navigate through a grid-down emergency. 
  • A detailed breakdown of all available off-grid power options to help you plan for unexpected events. 
  • Easy DIY projects your family members can undertake to hone their skills and prepare for the worst.

As the author notes, “Being prepared is about more than stocking up. It’s about thinking outside the box and learning essential survival skills.”

ACEP First Aid Manual 5th Edition: The Step-by-Step Guide for Everyone Paperback

Color photo of the emergency preparedness book-ACEP First Aid Manual 5th Edition: The Step-by-Step Guide for Everyone.
The emergency preparedness book-ACEP First Aid Manual 5th Edition: The Step-by-Step Guide for Everyone available on

This spiral-bound reference guide, produced by the American Red Cross, offers a comprehensive, step-by-step resource for first aid. The tutorial kit also includes five emergency preparedness action steps to assist you in assembling home first aid kits and disaster supply kits.

What Will You Learn From This Book?

Although somewhat outdated, this book provides actionable steps to handle a variety of first aid situations and emergencies, such as:

  • Managing infections
  • Implementing emergency action steps
  • Handling abdominal, chest, and pelvic injuries
  • Addressing allergic reactions or anaphylaxis
  • Managing an asthma attack
  • Treating bites and stings
  • Responding to a cardiac arrest
  • Assisting a choking adult, child, or infant
  • Dealing with a concussion
  • Handling diabetic emergencies
  • Addressing eye injuries
  • Assisting someone who has fainted
  • Responding to head, neck, and spinal injuries
  • Managing a heart attack
  • Handling lightning-strike injuries
  • Treating muscle, bone, and joint injuries
  • Responding to an opioid overdose
  • Treating poison exposure
  • Handling a stroke
  • Assisting with vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration
  • Treating various types of wounds

With this guide, you’ll be equipped to handle almost any first-aid emergency you and your family might encounter.

Technology and Emergency Management (2nd Edition)

Color photo of the emergency preparedness book-Technology and Emergency Management (2nd Edition).
Technology and Emergency Management 2nd Edition available on

Technology has become integral to our lives, and any breakdowns can lead to emergencies. However, many contemporary disaster planning, mitigation, and management books do not adequately focus on technology management. 

This work by John C. Pine outlines the optimal practices for emergency planning, response, recovery, and mitigation tailored to your family’s needs. Pine explores essential factors that must be present for the effective use of technology in emergency management.  

The strategies shared in this book have been successfully employed on a global scale by many organizations, and Pine leverages these practical examples throughout the book. The second edition is an enhancement and an update from its predecessor, incorporating the major advancements in the field over the previous ten years. 

The book includes all major advancements in:

  • GIS technologies.
  • Mapping tools.
  • Computer processing power.
  • Cybersecurity capabilities that can assess and improve current conditions, better equipping you to cope with emergencies.

What Can You Learn From This Book?

  • The significance of technology in the stages of emergency planning, response, recovery, and mitigation. 
  • Using the Internet and telecommunications in emergency management. 
  • The components that make up efficient hazard models. 
  • The creation process of hazard forecasting models through the use of remote sensing data.

Top Five Emergency Preparedness Videos

Blackout Documentary

Color vector image of the Blackout documentary video.
Blackout documentary video available on Amazon Prime Video.

This video analyzes the July 1977 New York blackout, which left over seven million New Yorkers in total darkness. By the time power was restored several hours later, the city had been devastated: 

  • Stores were looted
  • Fires broke out
  • Hundreds of people were arrested.  

Watching Blackout offers valuable insights into the risks that come with blackouts and how to mitigate them. If the affected New Yorkers had put remedial measures in place, some repercussions of this blackout might have been minimized.

Super Tornado: Anatomy of a Mega-Disaster

Color vector image of the cover for the video documentary Super Tornado.
Video documentary SuperTornado: Anatomy of a Megadisaster for May 22, 2011, the costliest tornado in American history available on

Severe weather occurrences such as tornadoes are common in America. They are acute events with little warning and are highly destructive, forming over land. With the risk of your home being hit by a tornado once every five years, preparing for this eventuality is vital. 

This video analyzes the Super Tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in July 2011. The tornado left a mile-wide swath of destruction and is considered the costliest. This video can help you and your family effectively prepare for future tornadoes.

Day Zero Water Shortage Video

Color vector image of the art work for the Day Zero documentary movie about humanity rapidly consuming Earth's fresh water supplies while removing nature's ability to replenish them. Explore when Earth's fresh water supplies will exhaust.
Day Zero documentary movie about humanity rapidly consuming Earth’s fresh water supplies while removing nature’s ability to replenish them. Explore when Earth’s fresh water supplies will run out and what you can do? Available on

This video envisions life on Earth after water resources are exhausted. The documentary offers valuable insights into water management that can help families survive with limited water supplies.

The Kincade Fire Documentary Movie

A color vector image of fire for the video documentary story of the Kincade Fire.
Emergency preparedness is learning from what has already happened and how to react in those circumstances. Watch the video documentary story of the Kincade Fire available on

Fires may be rare, but they can have grave consequences when they occur. This video analyzes the events surrounding the Kincade fire that devastated the Mayacamas Mountains in 2019. Sparked by a transmission line, the fire spread rapidly across the mountain range, ravaging thousands of houses and vast areas of vegetation over more than seven days.  

The Kincade Fire is a must-watch for families preparing for fire-related emergencies. The accounts in the documentary can help families understand what to do before, during, and after a fire emergency.

Price of Paradise: Surviving Hurricane Ian

Color photo image for the video documentary-Price of Paradise: Surviving Hurricane Ian.
The video documentary-Price of Paradise: Surviving Hurricane Ian available on

Hurricanes are devastating sea storms that, while somewhat predictable, are difficult to prepare for because of their extensive impact. They often bring with them floods and severe storms that cause significant destruction.  

This video examines Hurricane Ian, the most devastating hurricane since Hurricane Katrina. The documentary features the harrowing experiences of a couple and their dog trapped in a floating house in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. 

The film explores human experiences in the face of disaster, helping you effectively prepare for hurricanes and other storm emergencies.

Key Takeaways

Color photo of of a white paper spiral emergency preparedness checklist with a coffee cup, pencils, and glasses on a wooden desk

Emergency preparedness books and videos offer valuable insights to help families prepare for emergencies. They often feature first-hand experiences that enable individuals to better handle emergencies. Notably, they outline potential technological failures and how people can overcome these. The resources highlighted above are essential for preparing for the next emergency.


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John Mortensen

As a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, geologist, or scientist. I became a project manager which is involved with many of those things. I am a project manager and tech writer who researches the latest alternative and green technologies. We write helpful articles about green electronics and green technology products. AI, extreme weather, electric vehicles, are all in our future and we want to know the best way to deal with the effects of these on the power grid and emergency preparedness.

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