The Forge of Darkness – Harsh Realities in a Post-EMP World

What would you do if you were forced to leave your bug out location? Or worse, what if you discovered it had become unusable to you? That’s the scenario faced by the characters in the latest novel by Scott B. Williams entitled The Forge of Darkness.

When a major solar EMP takes place in the first book in this series, two of the characters leave New Orleans and find themselves in the woods and riverlands of Mississippi, an area Scott is well acquainted with. They’re joined by a handful of others along the way. Mitch Henley’s home and farm become their haven.

As if contemplating a post-EMP world isn’t serious enough, this latest novel lays down some heavy events for us to ponder. Once you’ve read the tale of how this group of survivors is put to the test, you’ll be reaching for your gun cleaning kit and stocking up on extra ammunition.

Author Scott B. Williams is this week’s DestinySurvival Radio guest. We talked about some of the dangers that might befall us in a post-EMP world.

The Series Creator

Scott B. Williams has been on DestinySurvival Radio several times before to talk about both his fiction and nonfiction books. We always have enjoyable conversations. If you’re not familiar with him, here’s a little background info.


Scott B. Williams has been writing about his adventures for more than twenty-five years. His published work includes dozens of magazine articles and more than a dozen books, with more projects currently underway. His interest in backpacking, sea kayaking and sailing small boats to remote places led him to pursue the wilderness survival skills that he has written about in his popular survival nonfiction books such as Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late.

He has also authored travel narratives such as On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean, an account of his two-year solo kayaking journey through the islands. With the release of The Pulse in 2012, Scott moved into writing fiction and has written several more novels with many more in the works.


The Forge of Darkness - Darkness After Series, Book 3


The Darkness After Series

The Forge of Darkness is the third book in this series with The Darkness After and Into the River Lands being the first two novels. See my post about the second book here. A fourth novel is forthcoming.

Scott explained in our conversation that “darkness” refers to more than the darkness created by the EMP that knocked out the lights. This latest novel brings about major changes for the characters. And the darkness of human nature is evident throughout the series as a whole.

And yet there’s hope.

Perhaps it’s the idealism of the young people portrayed. Nonetheless, if you and I give up, we’re done for.

Though meant for a young adult audience, Scott says many adults are reading these novels. They’re not meant to be how-to stories, but there’s plenty to think about as we let imagination carry us through the unfolding events.

They certainly tackle issues we’ll all face in the wake of a major disaster, no matter what our age may be.

The Forge of Darkness

It’s nine months after the giant solar flare. It only takes a couple of days for shocking and dramatic events to change everything for our handful of survivors. The group is caught off guard by a band of marauders who dish out a significant setback.

Things will never be the same. Merely surviving has been jeopardized.

We see the characters we’ve become familiar with from earlier in this series. They include Mitch and April, who has an infant daughter. Others are Mitch’s sister Lisa, Jason, Samantha and Corey. David is a different person after sustaining a blow to the head in the previous novel. Benny and Tommy were introduced to us late in that book as well.

The story begins with Mitch teaching Jason to hunt. Action begins as they hear shots in the distance. It’s not long before more shooting takes place between our beloved characters and the bad guys who are after cattle on the farm.

The group finds themselves split up as events unfold, but they exhibit loyalty to one another and demonstrate their motivation to survive. Two of them get killed, which adds to the group’s trials. Perhaps it’s some consolation they kill off several of the “bad guys.”

We see no presence of police, a fire department or other governmental authorities. This raises questions we might ponder concerning the unique need for self defense in an isolated rural area. While getting out of the city after a catastrophe may be desirable, survival in the country poses its own set of challenges.

Things look bad until about three-fourths of the way through the story. Then Mitch performs admirably with his amazing archery skills, and it looks like events are turning around for the better.

Then there’s one more gut punch.

This story doesn’t have a happy ending, but it does have one that’s hopeful.

There’s plenty of violence, death and destruction. But what would a good story be without these elements?

As I read, I found myself dreading what would come next. I thought “This can’t be happening.” But isn’t that a reaction many of us will have when the chips are down?

Scott has mastered the art of creating suspense. If you’re like me, you can’t help but keep reading.

At the conclusion of the story, Mitch and April discuss the loss of possessions they counted on for survival. They attempt to keep a proper perspective on the importance of being alive, no matter what. And that should prove instructive for us as well.

The Conversation and Concluding Thoughts

Hear my conversation with Scott B. Williams by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for May 26, 2016. (Right click to download.) That’s where you can hear more of my observations and Scott’s insights from this novel.

Get The Forge of Darkness by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. The same applies to the linked titles for a few of Scott’s other books.

Fiction can introduce us to concepts and ideas we might not think about otherwise. Or it can be nothing more than escapist entertainment. Or it can fall somewhere in between.

Read The Forge of Darkness for yourself. Then decide where it falls on that continuum for you.

Scott enjoys writing fiction. He’s grateful for those of us who read what he writes.

That means there’s more to come. Be on the lookout for it.

To sign up for Scott’s newsletter or to contact him, visit his website:


Revisiting Survival Communication and Reviewing Ham Radio

What will you do about communication if the big one hits? How and where will you get news and information? Should you include amateur radio in your preparedness strategy?

On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio I’m revisiting survival communication and reviewing ham radio.

On March 10, 2016, I featured an interview with Jim Cobb about Prepper’s Communication Handbook. See what I wrote about it and find a link to the show here.

Since one of the topics Jim discusses is ham radio, I was reminded that I had done a previous DestinySurvival Radio chat on that subject. It was one of the rare times when I had no guest for the show, and I rambled about communications in general and gave an overview of ham radio. I posed the question, Should ham radio be part of your survival strategy?

I’ve pulled that show from the archives and am replaying the essential parts from it for this week’s DestinySurvival Radio. What I said back in early 2012 is still relevant, especially since much of what I said was of a general nature.

It’s kind of a Communications 101 discussion. I’ve edited out little things here and there to keep the information as useful as possible.

Incidentally, a company who has produced several survival skills DVDs has produced a Survival Bug Out Guide. I hope you’ll take a minute to check it out.

Delve into the topic of survival communication and ham radio by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for May 5, 2016 (Right click to download.)

Additional Resources

  • The national association for all things ham radio is the ARRL (American Radio Relay League). Their member publication is QST magazine.
  • If you have a disability and want to get into ham radio, check out the Handiham System.
  • A magazine devoted to amateur radio is CQ magazine.
  • To find out more about what’s currently happening on shortwave, check out World of Radio. There’s plenty of web content in addition to the weekly radio program, which can be listened to online or downloaded.
  • Two good sources of communications equipment are Universal Radio and C. Crane company.


Once Upon an Apocalypse – Pondering the Aftermath of an EMP Attack

Have you notice that, if you want to reach someone with a new idea, you may have to point them to a movie or a novel?

That’s what Jeff Motes had in mind when he wrote Once Upon an Apocalypse. He wants people to think about preparedness, especially if we experience a catastrophe like an EMP attack.

While several authors have written about what might happen in the wake of a major EMP outage, Jeff’s approach is different. It’s a hard story to categorize, and I’ll have more to say about that below.

But Jeff Motes doesn’t care about that as much as he simply wants to nudge his readers toward being prepared.

On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, I spoke with Jeff about his book.

Who is Jeff Motes?

You never know who shapes up to be an author these days. Here’s info on Jeff’s background.


Jeff received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1984 and a Master’s in Business Administration Degree in 1994. He is a licensed Master Electrician and a licensed Professional Engineer. He owns and operates an electrical contracting business and has provided electrical services to many of the industrial plants and water systems in Southwest Alabama. Prior to entering into business with his father, Jeff work for 10 years as the System Engineer for the local electric cooperative.

Jeff is a strong believer in “life-long” learning and holds to the idea we should do “the best we can with the best we have to live, and help those around us live.”

Jeff lives in the Salitpa community, near Jackson, Alabama, with his wife, Donna and youngest son. His two other sons are married and living with their families elsewhere in Alabama.


Jeff has been preparing in one way or another since his teen years. He says preparing is like insurance. We do it in case something happens.

An EMP would be a worst case scenario. While it is a real threat, it’s hard to say how likely it is. Nonetheless, it makes fodder for a story designed to make readers think about getting prepared. Veteran preppers will appreciate it, too, because being prepared for the worst means being prepared for many other things.


Once Upon an Apocalypse--Book 1


What’s the story?

“The day” begins one day at 4:05 PM when an EMP attack over Kansas sends the U.S. back to the 1800’s technologically, with ew exceptions. Jill Barnes, Jack Chance and John Carter each find themselves on their way home when the event happens.

We follow the journey of each of these characters, though the bulk of the book deals with Jill and John. Both of them are Christians, which affects how they respond to the circumstances in which they find themselves.

The first character we meet is Jill. She’s a positivbe example of someone who is prepared, having learned from her father. She proves this near the beginning of the book when she was forced to defend herself and a mother and her children when they’re attacked by bad guys.

Jack, on the other hand, finds himself victimized by bad guys because he isn’t prepared for such an eventuality. We see no more mention of him until near the end of the book, and we’re left wondering about him.

As the story moves on, we discover it’s not all sunshine and roses for Jill. But you must keep reading to find out what happens next as the suspense heightens.

We’re introduced to John and find, like Jill, he’s well prepared, and he knows how to anticipate problems he might face. He’s got a good head about him. In fact, he comes across to me like a super hero who thinks of things no one else would.

His mindset is to consider the possibility that tomorrow may not be like any other day.

Jeff says John isn’t a super hero, and there may be more like him out there than I would guess.

How John and Jill come together in the story seems improbable to me. But this is fiction, after all. And we wouldn’t have a story without amazing coincidences. Besides, strange things can happen in the real world.

The examples of Jill and John are positive and give you and I ideas we might want to try when the chips are down.

On the other hand, at one point on their journey, John and Jill kill and eat an armadillo. That makes for a good story–and it may be necessary under the bleakest of conditions–but I’ve read it’s possible to contract leprosy from contact with an armadillo. Be careful.

Plenty of action scenes take place, complete with killings of bad guys. We can only speculate now whether such incidents will represent reality in the aftermath of a massive EMP. But Jill and John come out alive from situations where it doesn’t seem possible they should have.

Be ready to suspend disbelief for the sake of the story.

Spoiler alert. There’s a happy reunion in the end. But it’s marred by a comment from a character we meet for the first time. It’s then that we see why this is labeled Book 1, and we know there will be more to come in this saga.

Where did it come from?

Once Upon an Apocalypse got its start on Facebook when Jeff asked friends if they had any clue about an EMP. That started engaging discussion. As a means of getting people to think about being prepared, he started writing what eventually became his novel.

How should you read this book?

That may sound like a strange question, but here’s why I bring it up.

This book is written in the second person point of view. For example, “You do such and such….” or “You think…” And so on. This viewpoint is meant to immerse us as readers into what each character experiences.

Chapters change focus from one character to another. Jill and John are the main characters whose view we experience.

Because of this change from one character to another, sometimes overlap of events occurs when a new chapter begins. This gives us a chance to see things from more than one characters vantage point.

What is it and what isn’t it?

The book isn’t intended to be a prepper manual or “how to” book. But Jeff weaves instruction and rationale for prepping into the narrative through the personal reflections and conversations of his characters. He does so without being preachy.

For example, a family who takes in John and Jill for a while explain their reasoning for investing in a large quantity of food for their pantry.

Another incident of this sort takes place when John and Jill take inventory of everything in their packs. Who among us is so well prepared?

We see both positive and negative examples concerning such things as self defense and security for individuals and groups.

Why write a book this way?

As Jeff told me, he doesn’t read a book merely for entertainment. He wants to learn something. He gives you and me that opportunity, too.

Where does this book fit?

This novel defies genre labeling. It’s a prepper adventure, but it’s more than that. It morphs into a Christian romance. Or more accurately, it becomes a romance involving two Christians.

Profanity and violence scattered throughout the novel would likely disqualify it as suitable for the category of Christian fiction. Furthermore, Jill and John share a bed for a few nights, but there’s no sex. Even though they’re each described as good people, does that sound believable these days?

Romances and Christian fiction aren’t my cup of tea. I don’t read much so-called prepper fiction either. Nonetheless, as I read, I was drawn into the story. Give it a chance, and you’ll be drawn in, too.

The difficulty in defining genre may make this book harder to sell. That said, I encourage you to enjoy the story and don’t bother about where it should fit.

What’d he say?

I’ve already referred to some of what Jeff and I talked about in the paragraphs above. But here are a few other tidbits to whet your appetite for our chat and, of course, Jeff’s book.

John encounters a rogue cop who put his personal interests first. He contrived to steal John’s bike. It begs the question as to whether police will become untrustworthy or whether they’ll disappear from the streets to protect their own families.

What about alternative transportation, such as bikes or older ATV’s? Should you go off the main roads? Jeff shares some thoughts on that in our conversation.

We also talked about militias, both good and bad. The bad ones will behave more like organized gangs. But in the novel Jeff favorably portrays good local militias.

Where is it safer? In the city or country? In either place you’ll need basics like water, food and shelter.

Community plays an important role in the survival of the novel’s characters, and Jeff encourages you and me to become part of a preparedness oriented community. With trouble coming, it’s always good to at least have a support network.

Could an EMP attack be a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Jeff and I agreed that we can’t know that for sure, but it wouldn’t be inconsistent with it.

How can you find out more?

Hear my conversation with Jeff Motes by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for April 21, 2016. (Right click to download.) You can connect with Jeff on Facebook.

We can expect a second book in this series and possibly a third. Meanwhile, you can order Once Upon an Apocalypse by clicking on its title wherever you see it llinked in this post.

Read it. Think about it. And do what you can to be better prepared.


What About Living on Wheat for Survival?

Wheat is one of the first grains many think of when it comes to storing food. We think of it because it’s been a staple food for centuries. A number of companies offer buckets of wheat for your survival pantry.

But what about actually living on wheat? Do you know how you’ll use those buckets of wheat once you’re in a survival situation?

Allow me to recommend How to Live on Wheat. The author is John Hill, and he was one of my earliest guests on DestinySurvival Radio. Because many of my readers may not have heard that interview, I repackaged it for airing on this week’s show.

Listen to DestinySurvival Radio for April 14, 2016 to hear my interview with John Hill. (Right click the link to download.) During our conversation, I directed listeners to view info here.

How to Live on Wheat is a DestinySurvival Pick. You can order it when you click on its title in this post.

You might be surprised by what you didn’t already know about wheat’s versatility. John Hill’s book is one you’ll want to have on hand to refer to many times to make the best use of wheat.


Getting Your Church Prepared

Should designated members of your church carry concealed firearms during church? This week’s DestinySurvival Radio guest thinks so. But that’s only one facet of getting your church prepared.

On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio I visit with Pastor Carl Gallups, author of Be Thou Prepared. I’m excited about sharing our thought provoking conversation with you.

Though this podcast will be of greatest interest to Christians, I encourage everyone to listen in.

What follows is a review of the book combined with a few notes from our visit.


Meet the Messenger

Carl Gallups is pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church, Milton, FL. Perhaps you’ve heard him speak or you’ve read his writings because he has been featured on a number of well known media outlets.

DestinySurvival Radio is small potatoes compared to those other venues. That makes me all the more grateful I had the chance to visit with Pastor Gallups, and I’m delighted to share the outcome with you.

Here are highlights of the pastor’s lengthier bio, which appears in Be Thou Prepared.

  • Bestselling Author – Amazon Top 60
  • Senior Pastor (since 1987)
  • Member – Board of Regents, University of Mobile – Mobile, Al
  • Veteran Talk Radio Host (Since 2002)
  • Graduate – F.S.U., Fl Police Academy, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.)
  • Writer/Columnist – Newspaper, Syndicated Blog, PNN,
  • Popular TV and Radio Guest Commentator (Religion, Prophecy, Politics, Current Events)
  • Founder of the PNN News and Ministry Network (online) (2008)
  • Former FL Lawman – two different Sheriff’s offices and the Fl Dept. of Corrections
You’ll observe from our conversation that Pastor Gallups is knowledgeable and passionate about what he believes and teaches. He was an excellent guest.

He has a pastor’s heart combined with a policeman’s perspective. You’ll want to get his book when you’ve heard what he has to say.


Sample the Message


Be Thou Prepared


Origin of the Book

If you’ve listened to DestinySurvival Radio with any regularity, you know I ask authors what brought about the book we’re discussing. I was especially curious to know how this book came into being.

Key motivators included 40 years of Carl Gallups’s experiences as a cop and pastor combined with the multitude of inquiries from people worried about our rapidly changing world. He decided the time had come to write a book with Biblical, historical, logistical, practical, understandable answers to the questions he was bombarded with.


Opening Observations

Be Thou Prepared, isn’t your typical book on preparedness. I haven’t read anything else quite like it.

I scrutinize books by Christian authors more closely than other books, and I’m glad to say this one didn’t disappoint. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised.

I was expecting the book’s focus to be solely on the kind of material most of us are familiar with regarding preparedness, except that the emphasis would be aimed at a specifically Christian audience.

The book does indeed do that, but it has a focus on two other major areas. One is the history of Christian persecution and why Christians should be motivated by the probability of persecution today. The other focus is on how churches can provide safety and security for their congregations.

As you read what Pastor Gallups has written, you’ll see Scripture passages about the early church in a new light because they dealt with the same kind of problems we’re faced with today. But this is no “Bible thumping” diatribe.

Though many Scripture passages are quoted as they relate to the topics discussed, a great deal of the material is drawn from history and current events to strengthen the points made.

As a helpful resource for Christians and nonChristians alike, pastors and their churches will find this book to be most useful. While several chapters are aimed at individuals, much of the book is for church leaders by a church leader. It’s meant to meet the real needs of real people.

After you’ve read it, I recommend you share it with your pastor or elders and deacons.


Optimizing Church Effectiveness

We live in a different world compared to what it was just three or four years ago. There’s no shortage of motivating factors for getting prepared.

A number of thought provoking questions are raised up front in the book’s introduction. What role should churches have in society? How should they help those both inside and outside their congregations be prepared?

The big question isn’t whether we should prepare, but how we should prepare. While no church can be prepared for everything, it’s Biblical to practice common sense preparedness and face whatever happens as it comes.

Planning and preparation do not signify faithlessness. Christians should put faith into action as they practice good stewardship.

A similar principle applies to benevolence. The issue isn’t whether to exercise benevolence, but how to do so.

Churches aren’t social welfare agencies, but from its early history, churches practiced meeting the needs of their people. Pastor Gallups believes this should be part of a church’s gospel work today.

Surveys cited in the book show churches aren’t well prepared for disasters or a major collapse. However, Pastor Gallups told me things are changing for the better as awareness grows.

That said, he advises churches to be discerning, since con artists see churches as easy marks. At the back of the book is a form template to screen strangers who come to a church seeking help.


Opposition and Persecution

Since a considerable amount of the book centers on persecution, I asked Pastor Gallups to define what it is and what it isn’t. Harrassment and discrimination are mild forms of persecution compared to what we see throughout history and in certain parts of the world today.

While we can acknowledge there are degrees of persecution, the real deal is happening in the Middle East where Christians are being wiped out and exterminated. Pastor Gallups chose his words deliberately and carefully during our conversation.

Be Thou Prepared is meant to warn Americans that persecution is coming, and he wants us to put things in perspective.

If we do experience the worst kind of persecution in America, Christians shouldn’t be afraid to get involved in one another’s lives. We should make disciples and be there for one another in a meaningful way.

In his book, Pastor Gallups takes pastors and churches to task for not being involved in civic and political affairs as a means of being salt and light. The least Christians can do is exercise our right to vote in elections.

But it’s important to practice involvement wisely. For example, he cautions Christians to avoid protests or rallies with large crowds, since they can become unruly and unsafe.

During our chat we discussed two sides of the attitude Christians ought to have regarding persecution. It’s important to get this matter settled in our hearts and minds now so we’re prepared when trouble comes.

Don’t let yourself and your family be killed if possible. But also remember there is joy in suffering for Christ. You’ll understand better when you’ve heard our chat.

Ah, but then there’s the matter of “turning the other cheek.” This must be understood in its proper context, and we must have a balanced perspective.


Optimizing Safety and Security

Pastor Gallups is a firm believer in self defense and the Second Amendment. I’m glad he doesn’t shy away from these issues.

Among the book’s various examples pertaining to self defense is the mention of the Old Testament account of Nehemiah. While Jews were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem after returning from Babylonian captivity, workers were prepared to defend themselves against physical opposition.

Similarly, today Christians don’t have to volunteer to be martyrs. That’s where self defense comes into play. Martyrdom should happen only when there’s no other choice.

While having a security team with concealed carry firearms may sound shocking and radical to some, the world we live in these days comes to us complete with a growing number of church shootings. That should give church leaders everywhere cause to ponder the implementation of security measures.

Carl Gallups says his church has taken steps to protect its people. Yet, if you were to worship there on a Sunday morning, you probably wouldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

Those who worship at our churches have the right to expect safety and security, regardless of the size of the church or whether it is in the city or country. Congregants shouldn’t be sitting ducks.

Consider this. The Supreme Court has said law enforcement officers aren’t obligated under the Constitution to attend to the needs of any particular individual. That doesn’t mean cops won’t be there to protect you, but it’s wise to implement some kind of self defense for yourself and your church.

This isn’t a matter to be taken lightly or dismissed out of hand. A church’s security plan must be put together with thoughtfulness, prayer, and proper training for security team members.

Here are a few questions for your church to ponder.

  • Does the church have first aid and medical supplies on hand? Are there church members with medical skills?
  • Are there adequate fire alarms? What other alarms could be put into place for members to signal for help in an emergency?
  • Have background checks been done on those working with children and youth?
Churches must think strategically about safety and security, rather than act out of fear. To help your church take those first steps toward better security, Be Thou Prepared includes form templates to provide guidance for choosing those qualified security team members.


Observations on General Preparedness

It isn’t until later in the book that Pastor Gallups deals with the kinds of things we normally associate with preparedness, such as food, water, emergency shelter, etc. Again, while this will be useful for individuals, it’s for churches, too.
  • Would your church be prepared if it was needed as an emergency shelter?
  • What would your church do to help those who lost their homes in a disaster?
  • If your church can’t operate a ministry to provide food, clothing or other needs for others, could it support ministries that do have that kind of outreach?
  • Are church members equipped to practice neighborhood readiness?
Templates for forms in the back of the book should help guide churches in finding qualified members who can help in times of disaster.

A helpful resource list in the back will provide churches with guidance related to topics covered throughout the book.


Opting Out

Getting out of the system is a topic that comes up from time to time among fellow preppers, so I asked the pastor about it. How far should churches and individual Christians go to separate themselves from our world system, including government control?

The answer he gives is well reasoned, but I suspect some will find it disappointing. Listen to what he has to say, and draw your own conclusions.


Other Questions

We touched briefly on a couple of big questions in our last few minutes together. Knowing the times are getting worse, is it better to belong to a church of fellow believers or a community of preppers? How should belief in the Rapture affect a Christian’s preparedness?


Hear Our Musings

It was a treat for me to visit with Carl Gallups about a Biblical perspective on preparedness. If this subject interests you even a little bit, I strongly encourage you to hear our conversation by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for March 31, 2016. (Right click to download.)

Get Be Thou Prepared by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. Get connected to more information at

Isn’t it time you helped your church take the challenge to get better prepared?


Why The Doomsday Book of Medicine is a Must-Have Resource

Ralph La Guardia, M.D., has written The Doomsday Book of Medicine, a must-have resource. He prompts you and me to think about some serious questions. As he puts it…

“What are you and your family going to do after a collapse of society when there are no doctors and medications available, and the pharmacies and hospitals have been looted? You can prepare for every disaster scenario, but if you are not able to treat medical emergencies and injuries that arise, how long will you last?”

Dr. La Guardia is this week’s DestinySurvival Radio guest. You’ll appreciate his desire to put you and me on the path to good health now and survival for the future.


The Teacher

He’s a doctor, but I’ll refer to him as a teacher here because tteaching you and me is what he does in his book.

By the way, he said I could call him by his first name in our chat, so I’ll refer to him as Ralph below.

To know how and why this book came about, you need to know a little something about the author.

Dr. Ralph La Guardia has been in private practice in Connecticut for over 25 years . He is triple specialized in Internal Medicine , Bariatrics and Geriatrics . In addition to which he practices Integrative Medicine , which is the combination of the best of traditional western medicine with alternative and complementary medical techniques. He has a special interest in nutrition and sustainable gardening and permaculture , which he practices on his Connecticut farm.

Dr. La Guardia also has a strong interest in minerals , trace elements , amino acids and their application in medical practice . He has developed a unique method of treating his patients combining all those elements that has proven to be quite effective.

Dr. La Guardia’s other passion is survival medicine and what has now become known as ” Prepping”. He wrote ” The Doomsday Book of Medicine to answer a void in the survival books that were out there. [More about that in our conversation.]

Out of his frustration grew this over 900 page book which supplies you with the skills to treat everything from a simple fever to snakebites and broken bones.

Dr. La Guardia has learned much on his own because things like nutrition and permaculture are out of the realm of conventional medicine. You’ll see from his book and our conversation that he’s not afraid to delve into areas of study which some would consider controversial or “out there.” I applaud his curiosity and interest in so many subjects.


The Doomsday Book of Medicine


The Tome

The Doomsday Book of Medicine is a resource I believe you’ll want to include in your survival library. Put it with any other books on survival medicine to be sure you’ve got the subject covered. It’s a large book covering a variety of topics related to integrative medicine for survival, nutrition, and gardening.

Explanations are thorough, but easy to read. You won’t get bogged down in technical jargon.

This book is quite long at just over 900 pages. You’ll get overwhelmed if you try reading it straight through. It’s practically an encyclopedia. Plenty of photos and diagrams are scattered throughout the book.

Unfortunately, there’s no index, and one is sorely needed. However, each chapter has its own table of contents. Headings throughout the chapters will help you find your way around.

Five parts make up the book. In the beginning chapters you’ll find essentials for good health, which includes guidance on the basics of good health practices, gardening, and nutrition.

The next part includes info on “tools” and items you should stock up on. Topics covered include…

  • Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
  • DMSO
  • Epsom Salt, Alkaline Minerals, Alkaline Water and the Health Benefits of an Alkaline Diet
  • Honey
  • Potassium Iodide and Radiation Exposure
  • Vinegar and its Many Medicinal Uses
  • Wood Ash, Lye, Soap and Activated Charcoal
The largest portion of the book is devoted to health issues. A sampling of topics includes…
  • Fever
  • Concussions, Head Trauma, Strokes and Seizures
  • Headache
  • The Eye
  • The Ear
  • The Nose
  • Oral Hygiene and Dental Care
  • Skin Problems
  • Bites
  • Burns
  • Wound Care
  • Constipation, Diarrhea and its Treatment, and Nausea and Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Arthritis, Joint Pain, Muscle Aches, Ligament and Tendon Injuries
  • Orthopedic Injuries–Broken Bones and Joint Injuries
  • Asthma, Allergies and Breathing Problems
  • Colds, Flu and Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Anxiety and Depression
The remainder of the book contains sections with info on supplies and equipment to have as well as the bibliography.

Ralph practices integrative medicine, which combines methods and products from alternative medicine with conventional medicine. It entails more than herbs and essential oils. Remedies, techniques and innovations you may not have heard of are featured in the book.

Some of the things he covers are controversial, but his aim is to give you information. You can take things from there.

For example, if you’ve heard of squalene, you may have seen it mentioned in conjunction with vaccines as a harmful component. But did you know it is beneficial when found in amaranth oil?

The book’s first chapter deals with the problem of over use of antibiotics and proposes several solutions.

Permaculture is promoted unashamedly. I appreciate the mention of Azomite, mycorrhizal fungi and biochar for soil building. Each of these items feeds to soil, which in turn feeds plants. He quotes the idea that poor soil means poor food.

Quite a bit of space is devoted to good nutrition. You’ll find recommendations for supplements to stock up on.

Among other things, Ralph promotes fermented foods, such as yogurt and kefir, as well as freshly sprouted beans and seeds.

Tips and gems of wisdom appear throughout the book, such as in the chapter on baking soda. You can do much more with it than make toothpaste. You might say it has uses that range from top to bottom–everything from help for migraine headaches to being used in an enema.

One of the many reasons he promotes honey is that it doesn’t spoil. It’s a great antibacterial remedy.

The chapters on vinegar and activated charcoal are just two of the chapters loaded with tips and tricks you may not have heard of. Do you know how to make your own vinegar? How about making your own activated charcoal? What about soap and toothpaste?

Discover why fever is your friend. Do you know when it isn’t your friend and what to do about it?

Some of his suggestions and tips occur in odd places. For example, ideas about games and toys for children are tucked away in the chapter on burns. Thoughts on leadership for a survival group appear in the chapter on orthopedic injuries.

A wide variety of ailments is covered. Digestive issues, constipation and diarrhea are just a few. Those with diabetes and high blood pressure will appreciate the variety of coping methods and solutions proposed.

I’m glad he includes a chapter on anxiety and depression. We’ll certainly have to cope with that in times of great stress.

A little of the information in the chapter on Ebola is outdated, since this horrible disease never became the threat it looked like it would. But the bulk of the chapter contains useful information, which we might need in the future.

Near the end of the book is an extensive, alphabetized list of items recommended for your survival medicine chest. There’s an explanatory comment about each item. Each one is mentioned elsewhere in the main text.

A brief comment accompanies several of the entries in the bibliography as well.

Ralph is well informed on his subject matter. It’s clear he’s widely read.

He’s also opinionated and not shy about expressing where he stands. For example, you’ll get a glimpse of his political views in the introduction. Occasional wisecracks are scattered randomly throughout the book. The jabs mentioning President Obama will one day become outdated.

Whether you agree with his political views or not, don’t let them discourage you from getting this book. The knowledge it contains is too valuable.


The Talk

My conversation with Ralph was easy for me because he did so much of the talking. It’s fine with me when knowledgeable guests can do that. He packed a lot into our conversation, so buckle in as you listen, and hold on.

The economy and the threat of an EMP are a couple of major concerns. The government isn’t looking out for us, so we must be prepared to face whatever comes.

That means being proactive about good health if we’re to survive in times of difficulty.

Feeling dissatisfied with other books on prepping, Ralph decided to teach you and me what he considers to be essential solutions by writing The Doomsday Book of Medicine.

Ralph describes what you can find in each part of his book. A consideral part of it is concerned with building the immune system. Disease comes into play when the immune system fails or doesn’t get what it needs to stay healthy.

Could the increase in ADD, autism, cancer, and even transgender issues be the result of poor soils, poor nutrition and environmental toxins? Hear what Ralph says in our chat.

Would you believe everything he has written about in the book are items that don’t require a prescription?

You shouldn’t have to have another book (or books) beside you as you read this book, so he kept things as simple and clear as he could make them. While not wanting to be patronizing, he assumes you and I don’t have much knowledge of anatomy. Therefore, he includes descriptions and diagrams in the book about such things as the eye, nose and foot.

We also talked about the fact that many of us will die in time of disaster or in a postapocalyptic scenario. No matter how much medical knowledge we have, or how many supplies we have on hand, situations will arise when none of that is enough. We must learn to face that.

Our conversation is a microcosm of what’s in the book. If you like what you hear, you’ll appreciate The Doomsday Book of Medicine.


The Taste

With all I’ve written above, you’ve only gotten a taste of what his book is about. I encourage you to get more of a taste by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for March 24, 2016. (Right click to download.) Get The Doomsday Book of Medicine by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.

Dr. La Guardia can be reached at the book’s website, which gives a table of contents of the book as well, and that’s at:

As I’ve already noted, The Doomsday Book of Medicine is one resource you should definitely have in your survival library. You’ll be glad for all the knowledge it gives you, especially if it means your survival.


Prepper Communication – How Well Do You Know Your Options?

Hey, can we talk?

We’d better know how if we’re going to survive.

Perhaps that sounds like silly hyperbole, but how well do you know your prepper communication options? Talking with one another is just one of them.

Jim Cobb joined me on DestinySurvival Radio to talk about communication options for preppers. His latest book, Prepper’s Communication Handbook, covers old and new technologies and includes chapters on interpersonal communication–a vital element often overlooked.


The Author of the Message

If you’ve listened much to DestinySurvival Radio, you’ve probably heard me visit with Jim Cobb because he’s been on a number of times before. But in case you’re not familiar with who he is…


Jim Cobb is the author of several books focused on disaster readiness, such as Prepper’s Long Term Survival Guide, Countdown to Preparedness, Prepper’s Financial Guide, and the Number One Amazon bestselling Prepper’s Home Defense. He has been a student of survivalism and prepping for about thirty years. He is the owner of, a rather popular disaster readiness resource.

Jim and his family reside in the upper Midwest and he is currently working on several more books.


The Vehicle for the Message


Prepper's Communication Handbook


To give you an overview of Jim’s book, here’s the publisher’s description, slightly edited.


Stay connected when the grid goes down. When disaster strikes, your calls, texts and emails will not work. After 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy, cell phones were rendered useless when transmission towers were destroyed and networks became overloaded. Having an alternative way to reach family and loved ones at these critical moments is essential.

With Prepper’s Communication Handbook, you learn the best tips, tricks and expert secrets for surviving when phones and the Internet fail. Exploring the best options for every disaster scenario, this hands-on guide features in-depth coverage on a wide variety of life-saving emergency communication systems, including:

  • Satellite Radio
  • Shortwave
  • NOAA [Weather] Reciever
  • GMRS and FRS Radios
  • Citizen’s Band
  • Ham Radio
  • [Police] Radio Scanner
  • MURS Radio
And there’s more. In the last few chapters Jim addresses aspects of interpersonal communications or people skills.

Like his other books, this one is easy to read. You won’t be bombarded by a lot of high tech jargon. Topics covered include…

  • One-Way Radio: Receivers
  • Two-Way Radio
  • Amateur Radio
  • Online Communication
  • Putting a Plan Together
  • Emergency Business Communications Planning
  • Codes and Ciphers
  • Essentials for Effective Communication
  • Body Language
  • Conflict Resolution


The Highlights of the Message

What it is and isn’t – Jim wants readers to be clear that his book provides us with communication options. It’s a good overview, and it’s worth having if you’re new to the subject. But if you’re looking for a catalog of the latest and greatest radios and electronics gadgets, you’ll be disappointed because this isn’t it.

Options – The more options we have in the event of an emergency or disaster, the better off we are. It’s up to us to choose the best options in the time of need.

Prepper’s Communication Handbook is meant to show you and I the communications tools and techniques available to us. It’s not a “how to” book. Follow up with the resources given in the book for that.

Planning – Many books on preparedness discuss planning right away. When I asked Jim why his chapters on planning came later in the book, he said it’s so he could present options first. Then, as you’re planning, you’ll know what options you can incorporate into your plans.

Not only do we need to plan as individuals, but businesses also need to plan how they will communicate. Jim touches on this as well.

Know your tools – After expressing my preference for older, simpler radios in our conversation, we talked briefly about radios with the capability to receive NOAA weather stations. This brought us around to the changing nature of the broadcast media.

Here’s what it comes down to. Know the communication tools at your disposal. Then get familiar with how you can best use those tools.

Look at it this way. If listening to area radio stations for news and weather is part of your communication strategy, it doesn’t matter whether you listen on a pocket transistor radio or a smart phone app. The key thing is, while you seek to acquire information, understand what it is your local stations have to offer–and what they don’t.

Another important point is that every source of news and information has its own bias or spin. Recognize this and compensate accordingly. Get information from as many sources as you can so you’ll be the wiser for formulating opinions and making decisions.

To take this a step further, remember that your brain is the most significant tool at your disposal.

Power tip – One of the clever tips Jim gives when discussing alternative power sources is to use solar yard lights to charge rechargeable batteries. I’d suggest having a simple battery tester on hand to be sure your batteries received a good charge.

Ham radio – I’m glad to see Jim is a proponent of amateur or ham radio, and we talked about it in our conversation. He noted how friendly and helpful ham radio operators are. A number of them practice preparedness as well. That only makes sense, since many hams provide communications assistance for disasters.

Ham radio has something to offer for everyone. It has become very high tech. It’s not like the old days with boat anchor radios. Those are still around, but computers play a big part in ham communications. Software defined radios and new digital modes are part of the advances in recent years.

Online communication – Yes, what we take for granted everey day with our computers and smart phones may still be around when disaster strikes. Of course, in the wake of a disaster, who knows what the status of the Internet and cell towers will be? Thus, the need for preparedness options of all kinds.

Can social media be trusted as a reliable source of information? Jim gives tips on making sure we know how to sort out that which is credible.

Remember, if you’re online, be aware of the need for privacy and security.

Again, put your brain in gear.

Person to person – I’m delighted Jim spends the last few chapters on interpersonal communication. But why did he do that?

Because, no matter what technology we use to receive or transmit information, human beings are on both ends of the message. The better our people skills–especially in times of stress–the better our chances for survival.

If you’re part of a prepper community, or if you have plans to be part of one, conflict resolution will be a crucial skill. No matter how much you have it together with food, water, etc., the people element of the equation could be the most challenging.


The Ways to Explore the Message

Hear my conversation with Jim Cobb by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for March 10, 2016. (Right click to download.) If you miss our chat, you won’t hear the banter about a favorite resource Jim and I both like. It’s not strictly related to communication, but every prepper should know about it.

Get Prepper’s Communication Handbook by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. You’ll be taken to the page where it’s featured.

As with other survival skills, now’s the time to know and practice your communication options.