When disaster strikes and no doctors are available, you’ll have to rely on your own medical knowledge to survive. Thankfully, we’re seeing the release of more books offering survival medicine instruction.
Scott Finazzo has written Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook. It’s a resource that gives you survival medicine instruction in easy to understand language and a compact form.
Scott is my guest on DestinySurvival Radio this week. Below I’ll share a few thoughts about his book and our conversation.
Scott Finazzo has been my guest before on DestinySurvival Radio. Read about a previous visit here.
Scott has been a firefighter for nearly 20 years and is currently serving as a lieutenant for the Overland Park, Kansas, Fire Department. He has been an instructor for firefighting tactics, confined space rescue, first aid, CPR, Community Emergency Response Teams, and other emergency training.
In addition to being an emergency responder and educator, Scott has been writing in various capacities for much of his life, contributing to blogs, magazines, and books. Scott’s first book, co-authored with Scott B. Williams, The Prepper’s Workbook, became a national best seller. He followed that up with the narrative of his kayak journey through the Virgin Islands called Why Do All the Locals Think We’re Crazy? Most recently he wrote The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook, and he tells me his next book is Prepper’s Guide to Knots.
Don’t confuse Scott’s book with another book on survival medicine with a similar title. A promotional blurb nicely summarizes what this one is about.
“Going beyond basic first aid, Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook teaches military-tested methods for treating life-threatening medical conditions, including gunshot wounds, third-degree burns, radiation exposure, broken bones, ruptured arteries, severed limbs, poisonous snakebites, anaphylactic shock and more.
“Author Scott Finazzo, 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.”
At 242 pages, this one’s small enough to put in your camping backpack or bug out bag.
Chapters are short and to the point. The last several pages include a list of references and a handy index, whhich I recommend using as you get familiar with the book’s contents.
You’ll find drawings and illustrations taken from military field manuals.
Chapter topics covered include…
- Basic Procedures
- Controlling Blood Loss
- Heat-Related Emergencies
- Cold-Related Emergencies
- Allergic Reactions
- Bites and Stings
- Common Medical Emergencies
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear First Aid
- Specific Climate Survival
- Rescue Operations
- Psychological First Aid
This is a first aid book and more. Its content is not only drawn from military manuals, but from Scott’s 20 years of experience as a fire fighter.
In spite of the reliance on field manuals, the book is written in layman’s language. It was Scott’s intention to make it readable and user friendly, and he’s done a good job.
Whether you’re a hard core prepper or have little experience and few prepping supplies, Scott says this book is meant for you. It’s written in such a way as to quickly get to the point of the topics discussed. You get the essentials you need.
As for how to use it, get familiar with how the book is laid out. Know what it includes. Pull it off the shelf and refamiliarize yourself with it before you travel or go camping. As time goes on, you’ll know how to best use it to meet your needs in a post disaster situation.
Key topics such as starting a fire, purifying water, building a shelter, and identifying useful plants are included in the lengthy chapter on climate survival. I would have expected these to have their own dedicated chapters.
That said, each topic is touched on throughout the chapter in relation to the climate setting and terrain discussed.
Scott strongly recommends “sizing up” both a given situation and the patient (or patients) you’ll be dealing with. This calls for using your six senses. That sixth sense means recognizing gut instincts and intuition along with normal physical senses.
You don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way unnecessarily or become part of the problem. Scott and I talked about ways to sort that out so you can do the most good for the greatest number of people.
The importance of staying calm can’t be overestimated. It helps others be calmer and increases the chances for a successful outcome, under the circumstances.
Scott puts a significant emphasis on the importance of psychological well being. It’s the survival mindset that helps us get through difficulty.
Psychological first aid comes into play in stressful times because it’s not wise to be some kind of macho hero. It’s not only members of the military who experience PTSD.
Look for changes in others–and in yourself–which bring up the need to get help. Talk to a professional counselor if possible. But at least talk with someone else so you’re not holding things inside.
Scott described his own experience with an incident where he needed to get help, even though he resisted the idea at first.
How we respond is how we prepare. Regardless of whether you have the supplies and equipment you want, can you be mentally flexible enough to get through the situation? Can you be creative and resourceful to make due with what you have at hand?
Scott shares useful tips on what to include in your medical supplies which you might not have thought of. For example, have hard candy for children, or even for yourself. It’s comforting to have.
Did you know there are a number of uses for credit cards besides using them to spending money?
Here’s another tip. Put VapoRub under your nose to block out bad smells.
Generally speaking, preparation is good, no matter what the survival situation is a natural or man-made disaster. Preparing for one thing often prepares you for other things.
Handbook Call to Action
Scott and I talked about more than I can relate here. Therefore, hear our conversation by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for September 1, 2016 (Right click to download.) Keep up to date with Scott at www.ScottFinazzo.com.
To get Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook, click on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. You’ll be glad you did.