Premise of the book may have arisen from the Mayan prophesy that the world would “realign” itself on December 21, 2012 (12/21/12), but I think the real point of the book is about mentally preparing ourselves, and subsequently considering possible actions, in view of a catastrophe on a global scale.

Part of the preparation, both mental and in action, is to be able to imagine worse-case scenarios. That’s what the book has done.

I think one shouldn’t dismiss this book off-hand, nor should one read this book thinking that all would be lost. The author tried to explain as much.

Book doesn’t delve so much into the actual Mayan prophesy. It does cover possible ways a global catastrophe could occur, e.g. Meteor strike, solar flare, long term climate change, food shortages.

Each chapter talks about these possible situations, how it may occur, and what may be the consequences on modern society if they do occur. Like how governments and people may react. That part reads almost like Speculative Fiction (not a bad thing in itself, and I think that’s the whole point of SpecFict — to imagine and present possibilities).

Apart from material preparation, the author also suggests possessing an immense will to live is also part of the critical success. This includes seeking out strong-willed fellow survivors of the aftermath. And he suggest seeking spiritual guidance in religion (quite a logical suggestion, really).

Broadly-speaking, the suggested measures include the following:
Make a family emergency plan (where to go, who to call, what to do, backup plans)
Secure basics like fresh water, food, shelter, heat, tools, power.
Weapons (suggests it’s personal choice)
Author also suggests prayers

It’s been said that they’ve authorities were daunt off guard about September 2011 World Trade Center attack due to an inability to imagine the worse, and therefore being unprepared.