When it comes to survival medicine, I wish I had a photographic memory. With the range of things that can happen following a disaster or disruptive event being so diverse, it is difficult to remember it all. Everything from broken bones, hypothermia, deadly spider bites, and gunshot or knife wounds must be prepped for, and those woes are just the tip of the iceberg.
For that reason I like to surround myself with a variety of different medical and first aid books. That said, after awhile, a lot of them seem the same, only differing in the presentation and voice. Today’s book, Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook: A Lifesaving Collection of Emergency Procedures from U.S. Army Field Manuals, is a bit different. This book represents a collection of US Army emergency procedures, written and illustrated in a manner we can all understand.
Who better to teach us about field medicine then the US Army? Written by real-life emergency responder Scott Finazzo, Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook goes way beyond first aid and addresses nitty-gritty methods for treating life-threating medical conditions under survival conditions. Everything is laid out in a step by step fashion with bullet-points (no pun intended) and my favorite thing, lots of illustrations.
Today I share the first of many interviews with Scott plus I have three copies of his book up for grabs in a giveaway. Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.
An Interview with Scott Finazzo, Author of Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook
Tell me about your book. What is it about?
Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook is a book that combines military first aid techniques along with my two decades of experience as a firefighter.
The military has a wealth of information in their decommissioned manuals that I was able to draw from, simplify, and integrate into my own years of hands on experience. I organized it into a user-friendly format and put as much need to know medical information as I thought was necessary.
Given the vast amount of information in the military manuals, I also felt compelled to include a chapter on climate specific survival.
How long did it take to write?
Like most of my books, Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook took me about nine months to complete. I tend to write in bursts and then I like to go back and smooth out the rough edges and fill in the gaps that I missed on the first pass.
In this case, I had a lot of material to review, thanks to the military manuals, which was a little bit time consuming, but there was so much good material that it was mostly a matter of organizing and incorporating my personal experience.
Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?
More than anything, I hope readers take away that you don’t need to be a trained and certified medical or rescue technician to be able to make a difference.
It certainly comes in handy if you are, but in the minutes, hours, and sometimes days following a catastrophe, people are forced to fend for themselves. It is in those moments that seemingly ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference. No one is immune from man-made and natural disasters. Do not live in fear of them, but don’t be caught completely unprepared when they occur.
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I was raised and live in the Midwest and have three sons that keep me going.
I have been in the fire service for 20 years. In those two decades, I have responded to a wide array of emergency situations. I am an Emergency Medical Technician, Haz-Mat Technician, Rope Rescue Technician, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, and have several other certifications that provide me with a well-rounded knowledge and experience base from which to educate.
I also love the outdoors and adventure—most notably the time a few coworker friends and I built our own sea kayaks and shipped them down to the Virgin Islands to explore. Nothing went according to plan and I documented the entire trip in my book Why Do All the Locals Think We’re Crazy?
As an author in the survival, prepping, self-sufficiency or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?
That’s an interesting question, to which I have a not so interesting answer. I know that “preppers” often have a specialty that they are readying themselves for. Sometimes it’s for geographical reasons; sometimes it’s due to personal beliefs.
I tend to lean towards natural weather related events rather than extreme possibilities like a nuclear holocaust or the zombie apocalypse. Since I live in the Midwest, storms, flooding, and tornadoes tend to be our biggest threats.
What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?
I always recommend starting with what is important to you.
If you have a specific threat—for example, if you live along the gulf coast, hurricanes might be a significant concern or tornados in the Midwest. Or you may have someone in your home with specific medical needs.
Identify what is most important to you and, keep in mind that you don’t have to go all in right away. Begin buying supplies that you find on sale and slowly build your cache. Also, begin educating yourself. Buy books, watch videos, take classes, etc.
What movie do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?
I’ve always been drawn to movies of what DID happen. Sure, there’s always an element of Hollywood, but films like Alive or 127 Hours fascinate me and inspire me to ensure I am prepared.
Even movies like Redford’s All is Lost motivate me to learn more and ensure I am ready in to be self sufficient in any scenario.
Gaye’s Note: If you have not seen 127 Hours, you should. I wrote a review here.
Do you have plans for another book?
Yes, I’m always looking ahead to the next project. Currently I’m taking a bit of a change of direction and writing my first novel as well as finishing up a few short stories that I’ve begun over the years. I also have a few ideas for disaster preparation books that I’m going to plot out and possibly write after the novel.
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
My mantra is “how you prepare is how you will respond.”
I’m not saying you have to be extreme in your readiness, but be thorough. As I said before, identify what is important to you and what your biggest concerns are and begin there. I write my books to cover both readiness and response and feel strongly that both can be critically important in any scenario—from a natural disaster to a simple hiking trip gone wrong.
I hope you are able to utilize my books and to find or create safety in the worst of circumstances.
Scott has reserved three copies of his book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.
A special word about the giveaway question/comment: Please read the question and respond accordingly, even it the answer is “I don’t know”. This week’s question is:
Ask me a question. Any question. One of these days, I will gather them up and answer as many as I can.
The deadline is 6:00 PM MST Tuesday with the winners notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winners must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.
Note: Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.
The Final Word
I agree with Scott on many fronts, especially when he says there is no need to be extreme with your preps although you must be thorough. The other thing I agree with is prepare for what worries you. What others prep for may not matter. You are the one that must sleep at night so identify your concerns, and prepare for them, first and foremost.
I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to hearing more from Scott in the next month or two.
For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #13: Books to Help You Prepare.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Spotlight: Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook: A Lifesaving Collection of Emergency Procedures from U.S. Army Field Manuals
When disaster strikes and no doctors are available, you’ll have to rely on your own medical knowledge to survive. Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook goes beyond basic first aid to teach you military-tested methods for treating life-threatening medical conditions, including:
• Gunshot wounds
• Radiation exposure
• Broken bones
• Ruptured arteries
• Severed limbs
• Poisonous snakebites
• Anaphylactic shock
The author, an emergency responder, details step-by-step treatment for everything from hypothermia and heat stroke to seizures and cardiac emergencies. Using information from actual military field manuals, this book provides everything you need to keep you and your loved ones safe when there’s nowhere else to turn.