'Disaster Diaries' Will Help You Survive The End Of The World

The Disaster Diaries
The Disaster Diaries

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse

by Sam Sheridan

Hardcover, 324 pages | purchase

Purchase Featured Book

Title
The Disaster Diaries
Subtitle
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse
Author
Sam Sheridan

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Sam Sheridan, shown here with his son Asa, is an amateur boxer and MMA fighter. He has worked in construction in Antarctica and as a cowboy and farmhand in Montana. i i

Sam Sheridan, shown here with his son Asa, is an amateur boxer and MMA fighter. He has worked in construction in Antarctica and as a cowboy and farmhand in Montana. Mark Mikita/Courtesy Penguin Press hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Mikita/Courtesy Penguin Press
Sam Sheridan, shown here with his son Asa, is an amateur boxer and MMA fighter. He has worked in construction in Antarctica and as a cowboy and farmhand in Montana.

Sam Sheridan, shown here with his son Asa, is an amateur boxer and MMA fighter. He has worked in construction in Antarctica and as a cowboy and farmhand in Montana.

Mark Mikita/Courtesy Penguin Press

From movies about outbreaks, to television shows about zombies, to books about Armageddon, we're in love with the end of the world.

Author Sam Sheridan wants to teach you how to survive it, no matter the catastrophe. His new book is called Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse.

He's got the skill set to prepare us: Sheridan's resume includes wilderness firefighting, construction work in the South Pole, and everything in between.

In his quest to prime himself and his family for a worldwide disaster, Sheridan reached out to experts on everything from marksmanship, to medicine, to weightlifting.

Here are a couple of the skills he spoke about to Laura Sullivan, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

Building a fire

"You learned how to build a fire from scratch," says Sullivan, "not even with flint."

In his book, Sheridan treks out to Kansas from his home in Los Angeles to meet John McPherson, a Vietnam veteran whose every book is subtitled "Naked into the Wilderness."

McPherson taught Sheridan to draw "fire from cold wood." Sheridan describes McPherson flint-napping, or breaking rock, to get sharp edges, and then using the sharp edges for knives, to then cut wood, make a bow drill, get fire.

"It takes a long time, yes, it's tough," he says.

Stealing Cars

"It's pretty easy with older cars, and it's pretty impossible with newer cars," Sheridan tells NPR's Sullivan.

In Disaster Diaries, Sheridan reaches out to Luis, a former gang member from Los Angeles, to learn how to steal cars. Luis told Sheridan not to bother with hot wiring, the only tool he'd need was a Craftsman 41584 screwdriver.

With the flat side of the screwdriver, Luis showed him how to pop off the casing around an ignition, shove in the screwdriver, and turn over the ignition.

But the skills Sheridan shares with his reader don't end at things he can do with his hands. Disaster Diaries also goes through the coping mechanism for dealing with the emotional traumas that might come along with the end of the world.

All in all, the advice in Sheridan's book seems to come down to one common idea: "It'd be a shame to survive the initial meteor, or whatever it is, and then not be able to start a fire."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.