Prepper Book Festival 13: Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: July 3, 2019
Prepper Book Festival 13: Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

Without question, the number one concern for preppers after setting aside water is health,wellness, and medical preparedness. Not only are there concerns about wound control and injuries, but also the availability of antibiotics and life-sustaining medications for individuals with a chronic illness.  This is just the tip of the medical iceberg, however.  Survival medicine encompasses such a wide range of topics that my head hurts just thinking about it.

This is a subject I have addressed many times on this website and still, it is not enough.  That is why I am proud today to showcase the newly released Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition by Joseph and Amy Alton.  You may already know Joe for his many articles here Backdoor Survival. He and his wife, “Nurse Amy”, have their own website and a store chock full of medical supplies suitable for all types of emergency situations.

The Survival Medicine Handbook | Backdoor Survival

As with the two previous editions, The Survival Medicine Handbook is my bible for all things health related and not just for those times when help is not on the way. Being someone who does not run to the doctor at the drop of a hat, this book is my initial resource when an ailment or injury occurs in my household. (Okay, truth be told I also consult my big fat book on essential oils but that is a topic for another time).

To my way of thinking, following the advice of the Altons during normal times is the very best drill I can come up with for practicing medical self-care during dire times.

Today I share an all-new interview with Dr. Alton, plus I have three copies of The Survival Medicine Handbook up for grabs in a giveaway.  Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Joseph Alton, MD Author of THE SURVIVAL MEDICINE HANDBOOK

What one single event (or point in time) did you decide to become a prepper?

After Hurricane Katrina, when it was clear that there were deaths that could have been prevented if there had been a person in every family with some medical supplies and training. It made me realize how fragile society could be, and how little it would take for us to circle the drain. Since then, I’ve become convinced that we’re circling the drain faster and faster each year.

Most preppers have some sort of EDC (Every Day Carry).  What items do you carry with you at all times?

My everyday carry consists of an item for personal protection and a compact equivalent of our First Aid Bleeding Control kit, in case I come across a car accident or have to be where there are large numbers of people.

Have you ever lived through a real disaster and therefore had to live on your preps?  If so, for how long?  What were some of the mistakes you encountered along the way? If not, what steps have you taken to ensure that your and your family are disaster-proof?

During Hurricane Andrew in 1992, I spent the storm monitoring a number of women in late pregnancy at the local hospital (2 delivered during the storm). When I finally came home, the power was down and we were lucky to have 2 weeks’ worth supply of food and water (we were “hurricane preppers” back then, not as stocked as we are now).

If I knew then what I know now, I would have offered to cut down the coconuts from the neighbor’s trees, which flew like missiles into my shutters, denting a number of them from 100 feet away, as well as smashing a large planter and some roof tiles.

Bugging out poses a major dilemma for many preppers.  Family obligations, money, jobs, and health considerations all play a role in the bug-out, bug-in decision.  What advice do you have for those that who will be required to bug-in?

It depends on the scenario. In a short-term event, do everything you can to help your neighbors. In a long-term event, be less visible. That goes for everyone but the medics, who should offer their expertise to help those injured and sick. If you become known as someone who will give medical help in an emergency, fellow survivors will see you as an important asset and, in many cases, they will expend resources to protect you.

What specifically would you like Backdoor Survival readers to learn from your book?

Our mission is simple: To put a medical prepared person in every family for any disaster. We truly believe that you will be able to handle the grand majority of medical issues you’ll encounter in a survival setting if you get some education, training, and supplies.

We devoted our efforts to put it all in plain English in the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, so that the average citizen can become a medical asset to their loved ones in times of trouble.

The Giveaway

Joe and Amy Alton have reserved three copies of their book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific 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

What you don’t know may kill you. This applies as much to first aid and medical knowledge as it does to the plethora of other survival skills. Don’t kid yourself; following a major disruptive event, people may die.  That being said, we need to arm ourselves with as much knowledge and as many credible reference materials as we can.

I personally would not trust my long term survival to memory.  As a hard copy medical references, this is my top choice,.

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!

If you enjoyed this article, consider following our Facebook page.


Spotlight:  Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

If you had to deal with an injury or illness in a disaster, would you know what to do? The Survival Medicine Handbook is a 670 page detailed guide for those who want to be medically prepared for any disaster where help is NOT on the way. This book is written by Joe Alton, M.D. and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., the premiere medical preparedness professionals from the top ten survival website

The expanded third edition of the 3 category  (Survival Skills, Disaster Relief, Safety/First Aid) is geared to enable the non-medical professional to deal with all the likely issues they will encounter in catastrophic short or long-term scenarios. The third (2016) edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook is not your standard first aid book: Unlike other so-called “survival” medical books, it assumes that a disaster, natural or man-made, has removed all access to hospitals or doctors for the foreseeable future; you, the average person, are now the highest medical resource left to your family.

The Survival Medicine Handbook will give you the tools, in plain English, to competently handle injuries and illness for any situation that leaves you as the end of the line with regards to your family’s medical well-being.


Third Edition:  The SURVIVAL MEDICINE Handbook

A frequent question I get on Backdoor Survival has to do with healthcare matters when there is no doctor around. This is the definite source of survival medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible for survival medicine.

Survival Medicine Handbook 2016

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103 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 13: Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition”

  1. Good article, good question. I just packed up a few things to send to my son and his wife earlier this week…to get them going on an EDC. They work in the DC area. Yikes. Trying to be moderate with them….and not pushy….I suggested they always have: water, food (couple of power bars, etc.), light (glow stick and a couple flashlights), warmth (keep a blanket in the car) and last but definitely not least …some form of protection from others’ ill will. All that said, I am soooo lacking in the medical preparedness arena. I keep telling myself that…..and keep putting it off………………… Grrr….

  2. Just 5 items? Before reading this book? I’m not sure what I SHOULD have, but what I have now are silver cream, liquid bandage, Vetbond, gauze, and contact lens solution.

  3. This is a hard question. I have the carry the kitchen sink genetic marker in my DNA and limiting it to only 5 things… Wow. #1 Hydrogen peroxide. I think about bandages but I am of the improvise school of thought so there is usually something around to make bandages with. Ditto ways to hold them on. #2 Duct tape. #3 Blood clotting powder? #4 suture kit. #5 hard candy for diabetics.

  4. A well-stocked first aid kit, food for several days, a small camp stove, pots, pans and utensils, and several days of water.

  5. My first item has 36 parts but they all fit in a little case, and that is my homeopathic home remedy kit.Beyond that, a first aid book for sure, antiseptic, ibuprofen, tweezers, bandages.

  6. comprehensive medical advice book such as this one and the products it indicates, essential oils and books on their use, books such as Backyard Pharmacy and clearly photos book on plants with the medical/edible properties, plenty of food and seeds to renew the supply and of course lots of good drinkable water

  7. WOW 5 things… hmm.. 1. water to flush a wound or eye, etc., 2. large squares of fabric to use as tourniquets, pressure bandages, wrap a sprained ankle, hold a splint or dressings in place, 3. A disinfectant, 4. bandages/dressings. 5. antibiotics .

    Maybe I need to read the book …… thank you for the offer.

  8. I am so poorly prepared in the medical department…this is the one thing I need more than anything else.
    I’d have to guess that the 5 most important things would be: Fabric for wound care and wrapping, tape, antibiotic cream, a suture kit, and my Vicks Vapo-Rub, which I use for just about everything. 🙂

  9. essential oils, ace bandages, lots of gauze and/or sani-pads for wound dressing, several months worth of prescription drugs stocked ahead, sutering materials.

  10. Emetrol for nausea this is a stomach coating will not have any adverse effects with other meds you might be taking. After bite and bug repellent. Mole skin in case you need to hike a lot more than you use to. Sam splint, Quick Clot, Anti diarrhea meds, plus all the standard first aid stuff.

    • Does the emetrol come in a tablet form? Besides the EOs in my bags, I prefer no liquids that could spill or leak if the packages are punctured.

  11. As usual Gaye a timely article as I’ve been gathering and sorting out a rather large supply of medical items for the past two days. My book (The Survival Medicine Handbook) arrived this morn. I will give others a chance to have this book by not entering the giveaway. I have plenty of reading to do…

  12. Food, Water(means to purify) fire starter,knife, warm rain gear. IF I had to choose only 5. I have had some basic first aid training but could use more. Have some old books but could use some “newer” information.

  13. Water filter, water, aspirin (and other pain relievers), sterile bandages, book. I have an older copy of Where There is No Doctor, but I’ve noticed it focused a lot on medicines I may not have access to.
    Every time I read your posts, I learn something new. Thanks!

  14. I’m working on my ability to be useful after an event like a Midwest tornado. A quick reference would be invaluable as I’m afraid my mind would go blank when faced with wounded people and agitated animals. This book sounds ideal.

  15. I would have colloidal silver, tweezers and a sewing needle (taped together-1 item)personal medication, single edged razor blade, Moleskin. A person will need a lot more than this.

  16. 5 things in my backpacking first aid kit are:
    Wound seal powder
    Emergency Blanket/shelter

  17. Looks like a very good book to have. Hope I win it…
    I always look forward to you Backdoor Survival newsletter.
    My Homestead Farm is coming along nicely.
    Thanks for your help. Cheers! Robert

  18. I forgot to add my 5 things to my other comment. Antibiotics, burn treatment supplies, gauzes, alcohol, and bandaids? lol, so many to choose.

  19. Picking 5 would be tough. List of 50 might be easier. But still need information on treatment and care for illness and wounds.

  20. My 5 item list:
    1 – bandana – used as a bandage or water pre-filter
    2 – tourniquet
    3 – super glue – close a wound
    4 – matches / lighter –
    5 – medical, duct tape or Gorilla tape – protect a wound

  21. I’ve been definitely working on a medical kit. We are older people, and sometimes clumsy happens! I want to be able to address anything from a cut finger to more serious problems with confidence in a survival setting. To me this is as important as food.

  22. Wow. Tough question….sure you won’t change that to 10 things? lol. OK, well, if I win the book, that would be 1 thing, but right now, it would have to be Quik-Clot powder, burn gel, sterile gauze pads (a bunch), vet wrap (instead of tape) and silver ointment. But truly, I would also want Benadryl, 3X antibiotic cream, ibuprofen, ace bandage, really good tweezers.

  23. If you were limited to 5 items in your survival first aid kit, what would you choose?

    Very hard to limit it to 5.
    1. first aid book
    2. band-aids
    3. penicillin
    4. duct tape
    5. my Leatherman

  24. My 5 items would be:

    Yarrow tincture (made it myself)
    Cottonwood salve (made it myself)
    Oregon Grape Root tincture (made it myself)
    box of assorted bandages
    sterile gloves

  25. This question reminds me that I need to get an organized first aid kit ready. Five items would include bandages, pain relief (from Excedrin to morphine would be nice), knife, antiseptic or sterile solutions, and a comprehensive trusted medical handbook for civilians.

  26. Fell down, hurt my hand, doctors and hospital put me right – but – what if, what if they had not been there? I would love to win this book, to add to my prepping skills and knowledge and resources.

  27. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Joe at a Self Reliance Expo here in FL a few months back. He gave a very informative talk. Very dynamic person. It was great! I really appreciate how much I have learned here and am grateful for knowledge. Still working on being at readiness and always will.

  28. There are no better preps than the ones you don’t need to worry about if something happens.
    1. Up to date on all vaccinations. For children, all the prescribed ones for disease. For all, including adults, keeping your tetanus up to date may be vital. I know there are many preppers who are resistant to vaccination, but very few of them have seen the devastating severity of commonly preventable diseases.

    2. Questionable food and water are a possibility. Despite proper food and water preparation, you might slip up. Or you night be evacuated to a campground or area with a lot of people (many unprepared) where sanitation is less than ideal. did you know that safe vaccines for cholera and typhoid are readily available? While not 100% effective (but what is?), they can go a long way toward protecting you, and allowing you to treat the sick.

    3. Insecticides and repellents. After a hurricane there will be standing pools of water everywhere, perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Flies are draw to food and toilet areas. In an area of widespread destruction people may be spending a lot more time outside. Insecticides can reduce these vectors of disease.

    4. Antibacterial wipes. You won’t always be able to bathe.

    5. A very large supply of common, OTC treatments. You can go to any of the big box stores and buy bulk bottles of loparimide (for diarrhea) and benadryl (for allergies, and a lot of other illnesses), vitamins, baking soda, antacids–the list goes on. These can be stored in a small space, and could provide relief for many people for weeks or months.

  29. I’m hoping to win this book so I can learn what I need to have on hand.
    Some obvious things to have on hand would be antibiotics, bandages, antiseptic, antidiarreal,duct tape.

  30. 5 items only? Alcohol (disinfectant), superglue (sealing small wounds), sterile bandages, first aid tape and pain relievers (ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen.)

    Home medical kit is a LOT more comprehensive. 🙂 But I’ll definitely put this book on my wishlist if I can’t win a copy!

  31. I like old-fashioned physical books; especially hardcover because they hold up better. What drives me crazy is all the survival stuff being sold out there via DVD and on-line reading. In my way of thinking those formats are only for making money because in the long run you either know it all or have references; and us common Joe’s and Jane’s do not know it all. If folks are really into survival stuff then digital is a unreliable source and need to obtain physical aides.

    • Any open format digital content (like PDFs or ePub files) can be printed out if the info is critical. Many preppers print out info they find online and create binders of useful information to have in case all the digital readers become unusable. But some things like video aren’t suitable for books, so DVDs are necessary in situations where it really helps to see something done rather just reading about it.
      And if you have to bug out, how many reference books can you take with you? If my kindle doesn’t get fried, I can carry it, a solar charger and a small battery pack for just over 2 pounds of weight in my backpack and have my full reference library (over 1600 books at last count.) Sure, I have about a hundred printed books with info that I considered critical enough to buy in print form and have even if all electronics are dead, but if I have to bug out I can’t take more than a couple without overloading my get out of dodge bag…
      Everyone has different priorities for prepping, but don’t completely discount the weight and space savings of digital books since in some situations it’s a good idea.

  32. The five things I would limit to I guess would be a bandana, sterile gauze pads, vet wrap, antibiotic ointment, and a first aid related book like this one.

  33. Knowledge such as from this book
    Triangular bandages, they were the ‘duct tape’ back when I was a paramedic in 1970’s
    Elastic wraps (ace bandage)
    Hydrogen Peroxide
    gauze pads
    With knowledge comes the ability to adapt, adjust or make do as necessary

  34. tweezers, tea tree oil, box of bandages, ace bandage, and painkillers

    I really need to get my ahem stuff together with medical supplies

  35. In my first aid kit, bandages would be number one, then antibiotic ointment, a manual I can look to, ideally on an e reader though, some kind of tape, and a multipurpose scissor/knife would be helpful. Five items are just a start though.

  36. I don’t think I could limit it to just 5 items. But I guess I’d would at least need antibiotics, my suture kit, clotting agent, whiskey (or comparable for disinfectant and pain relief), multiple sample size of meds like benadryl and anti-diarreal ( I know that is kinda cheating but they are small) plus a good medical book like The Survival Medicine and the knowledge of basic first aid since knowledge weights nothing. Thanks for the awesome drawing and good luck to everyone!

  37. Betadine antiseptic cleaner, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, anti diarrhea pills, good first aid medical book

  38. My supplies number many more than five for my CERT kit, but for hiking and EDC I have benedryl (I have lots of allergies), painkillers, essential oils, bandages, and tweezers.

  39. survival med book, neosporan, superglue, overcounter basic meds, clotting bandage. Things like bandaids, bandana(to use as splint tie, or sling or or…) are in my edc

  40. Five items, huh? So if I go with two is one and one is none, then I am really allowed at least 10 – OK? Here goes:
    Tampons and Maxi-Pads for wound dressing (NON-scented!). Duct Tape and VetWrap Tape. Super Glue. Antiseptics and Antibiotics as well as anesthetic – topicals. Aspirin and Ibuprofen. First Runner-up: assorted band-aids and bandages. AND…I will also have access to a Sawyer Sting Kit wherever I am (in every car and B.O.B.) for venom removal. For 15 bucks…?????…BE PREPARED!

  41. I’m a healthcare professional. No way could I just pick 5… maybe top 15 or 25 at the least. Already stocking up now. A good reference book would be helpful.

  42. this is a nice kit!! not something i can typically afford though. good luck to everyone… congrats to the lucky winner. i do have the 1st edition of book. wish they could make an “update” book for people who have that. but i realize thats probably virtually impossible. anyway. thank you for the giveaway…..

  43. Another great post, Thank you for all the info,and thought provoking artical you put out. Thank you to the Alton for putting together this reference material.
    I would recamend knowledge and skills, volunteer with your local fire Department,or rescue squad, the help that you provide will bring you knowledge and experience, not to mention the connections you will gain in your community.

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