Never mind all the year 2000-type scare scenarios. Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine what would happen if you became ill and couldn't work, or if an earthquake or hurricane or bomb left your community devastated. It happens all the time. When unexpected disasters happen, people who are even a little prepared are much better off than those who have taken their dependence on outside resources for granted. When you imagine the security of not having to worry about going to the store for even a few weeks, a comprehensive storage system begins to make sense. James Talmage Stevens's Making the Best of Basics , now in its 10th edition, is one of the best-known preparedness bibles around. Stevens lays out a yearlong storage program of 15 food and nonfood categories, six of which (water, wheat and grains, dairy products, sweeteners, "cooking catalysts" like salt and oil, and sprouting seeds) are capable of sustaining life indefinitely in a no-frills diet. The other 9 categories are designated "Building Blocks," and improve upon the basic diet and support a more routine, less Spartan existence while relying on stored supplies. (Some of them, such as medical supplies and fuel, will seem as essential to some readers as the first six.) The book's main messages--store what you eat, eat what you store, use it or lose it--are at the core of its calm advice and simple, nutritious recipes. The 10th edition has been updated with a yellow pages section that lists current preparedness resources throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Web resources.