Emergency Preparedness Needs: Background information when reading Let's Call It a Doomsday

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Let's Call It a Doomsday

by Katie Henry

Let's Call It a Doomsday by Katie  Henry X
Let's Call It a Doomsday by Katie  Henry
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2019, 400 pages
    Aug 2020, 416 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Catherine M Andronik
Buy This Book

About this Book

Emergency Preparedness Needs

This article relates to Let's Call It a Doomsday

Print Review

The Limitless Mark 1 Pro Survival Kit tin, black with skull designEllis Kimball in Let's Call It a Doomsday is ready for the apocalypse, whatever form it takes. Would you be prepared? Most of the population of the United States lives in a place where some kind of natural disaster is possible, be it tornado, hurricane, flood, drought, blizzard or earthquake. As soon as the radio or television stations announce an impending event, people race to the nearest market and clear the shelves of water, batteries and nonperishable food items like canned goods. But a small percentage of people do not need to participate in this rush; they already have a stash of what they will need to survive for days, even weeks, without electricity or running water. Ellis takes her preparation seriously, accumulating things like sleeping bags, space blankets and survival supplies, and she also carries a small packet of necessities in the event the apocalypse happens too suddenly to get home. What do people need to be prepared in the event of a catastrophic emergency?

Ellis describes her portable emergency kit as being about the size of an Altoids tin—which is exactly how the Limitless Equipment Mark 1 Survival Kit describes itself. Priced at $25, there's some bang for the buck in that little metal container (which doubles as a cookpot): a whistle, firestarter, LED light and lightsticks, compass, paraffin-core Firecord (a strong and versatile cable with an ignitable center) wire saw, waterproof paper, pencil, copper wire, sewing kit including safety pins, scalpel, Ranger bands (heavy-duty rubber bands), water carrier and filter kit, first aid kit, fishing kit, tinder extender, tinfoil and a tampon for either hygiene, or for some extra tinder fluff. With some seriously sharp instruments in there, Ellis certainly is fortunate her school's administration hasn't searched her innocuous little candy tin!

Ellis's pocket-sized preparedness kit will help her survive if the apocalypse catches her away from home. But if she can get to a place where stockpiling is possible, there is much more a good survivalist should have on hand. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides a brochure covering preparedness for every imaginable disaster, including bioterrorism and an influenza pandemic; several pages are devoted to an "all-hazards supply kit checklist." The CDC recommends one gallon of water per day per person—with a three-day supply available in case of evacuation, and a two-week supply in the home. Nonperishable food (canned goods, cereal, pasta, etc.), enough to last for the same time period, is also on the list. Battery-operated or crank radios are still available in this digital age; stock up on batteries. The suggested medical supplies and all-purpose tools are more extensive than those in the pocket pack—and don't forget your prescription medications. Bleach makes the list—it can function as a water purifier. Because electricity is generally disrupted during emergencies, extra changes of clothes and sleeping bags should be on hand.

The Kimball family is Mormon, and one of the tenets of Mormonism (as Ellis reminds her mother) is preparedness. An online publication by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints discusses being prepared for a variety of emergencies, both on an individual and community level. The recommended physical items mirror the CDC's—but the time frame is much longer; for instance, they recommend three months worth of nonperishable food. The document even includes information on foods that can remain edible for thirty years or more (such as rice and sugar) and how to best store them, along with instructions on how to purify drinking water with bleach. Ellis's obsession with being prepared to survive the apocalypse just takes her religion's views to the extreme.

So, how ready will you be the next time the local newscasters interrupt regular programming to announce the next hurricane/tornado/blizzard/apocalypse? In addition to stocking up on supplies, you may wish to consider looking into the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, which educates volunteers about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

MARK 1 Pro Survival Kit, courtesy of Limitless

Filed under Cultural Curiosities

This "beyond the book article" relates to Let's Call It a Doomsday. It originally ran in September 2019 and has been updated for the August 2020 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Klara and the Sun
    Klara and the Sun
    by Kazuo Ishiguro
    Klara and the Sun by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro drops the reader into a fictional ...
  • Book Jacket: The Lost Apothecary
    The Lost Apothecary
    by Sarah Penner
    Sarah Penner's debut novel The Lost Apothecary was rated 4 or 5 stars by 22 of our 23 First ...
  • Book Jacket: The Spymaster of Baghdad
    The Spymaster of Baghdad
    by Margaret Coker
    For the last 17 years, the country of Iraq has known almost constant violence and political upheaval...
  • Book Jacket: Hades, Argentina
    Hades, Argentina
    by Daniel Loedel
    Daniel Loedel's debut novel, Hades, Argentina, opens in 1986 when we meet Tomás Orillo, a young...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Lost Apothecary
    by Sarah Penner

    A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    by Russell Shorto

    Family secrets emerge as a best-selling author dives into the history of the mob in small-town America.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Narrowboat Summer
by Anne Youngson
From the author of Meet Me at the Museum, a charming novel of second chances.
Win This Book!
Win Band of Sisters

Band of Sisters
by Lauren Willig

"A crackling portrayal of everyday American heroines…A triumph."
— Fiona Davis



Solve this clue:

W T's Life T's H

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.