Book Reviews- Are You Ready for Emergencies? when Technology Fails

(Photos by Stein)

What would we do without all of our technology which makes us so comfortable and safe? Matthew Stein, a mechanical engineer and building contractor, is dedicated to helping people become aware of how to survive emergency situations when technology fails.

With oil prices rising, global warming, and all of the natural disasters, he feels “Technology will keep on failing,” and suggests, “Start by identifying the tools that are dependent on technology and re-learn the skills of our ancestors to become a survivor personality”. Perhaps he is referring to becoming a modern day Robinson Crusoe.

“Use your intuition!” Matthew explained, “If you are lost in the woods and do not know how to return to camp, the Pit of the Stomach exercise will help you get in touch with your intuition. Should you return by the ridge or the river? Take a few deep breadths while focusing your mind on the pit of your stomach. Do not think in your head. Keep breathing deeply until you feel relaxed in order to clear your mind. Be sure you feel relaxed and calm, then picture, in your mind, going downstream. See if you feel tightening up or relaxed. Next imagine going along the ridge. When you feel relaxed with your visualization, then that is the way to go.” This advice seems good in any situation. When you stop to clear your mind and weigh the possibilities, the comparison becomes clearer.

How did they do things in the days of the pioneers?

If the telephone lines are down, how do you reach your family? Matthew recommends to have a meeting place if your family are at work, at home or at school.

Matthew appears on television, lectures groups, and has written a book, “When Technology Fails”. He feels, “Preparedness is like car insurance, people hope they do not have an accident, but just in case you can use it”.


I feel, “When Technology Fails” discusses everything you want to know about surviving and even many things you have never thought about. “When Technology Fails,” is called “The Bible for emergency prep & survival plus green and healthy living.” “The book is well written, easy to read, and his research is extensive. It is a big book, 470 pages, for a big subject.”

Matthew Stein

Matthew hopes the different communities would join together for change. “It is insanity, doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. We have to do things differently starting with penalties for polluting our planet.” He wants to create “pedestrian” cities with mass transit instead of driving cars.

Matthew holds a Vachelor of Science in Mechanical Engeneering from MIT. He has designed consumer water-filtration systems, roofing panels, medical bacteriological filters, drinking fountains, emergency chemical drench systems, computer disk drives, and automated assembly machinery for different companies.

Emergency Kits

Matthew Stein recommends, “Short-term emergency kits cover the basic needs for a period of at least three days. In Kobe, Japan, it took nine days before the people received food and water. Some of the items in the kit are:

A portable radio, first-aid kit, water, water purification chemicals, waterproof and windproof matches, wool or pile blankets, flashlight, batteries, candles, toilet paper, map, compass, sewing kit, food for three days, extra clothing, etc.

The First Aid Kit usually covers most non-life threatening emergencies. His book also tells about low tech methods of healing yourself. Matthew discusses planning for the short-term and long-term emergencies.

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