Get Survival Medicine Instruction from This Helpful Resource

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.


Prepper's Survival Medicine Handbook


Handbook Author

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.

Handbook Overview

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
  • Trauma
  • Shock
  • Fractures
  • Burns
  • 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
  • Resuscitation

Handbook Observations

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.

Handbook Advice

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

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.


Catching Up with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, The Dynamic Duo of Survival Medicine

It’s been quite a while since I’ve visited with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy on DestinySurvival Radio, and I thought it was time to catch up with them and see what they’re doing these days. They’re quite busy getting out the word about medical preparedness. Their little empire, as I like to think of it, is ever expanding.

On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio I visited with Joe Alton, MD, and Amy Alton, ARNP. Below I’ll share brief highlights and the show link.

The Dynamic Duo of Survival Medicine

Conversations with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are always informative and fun for me. Many of my readers and listeners are familiar with who they are, but in case you’re not, or if you need a refresher, here’s some background, derived mostly from their site. Forgive the length, but this couple is involved in so many good works.

Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, is an M.D. and fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Ostetrics and Gynaechology. Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., aka Nurse Amy, is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner. Together, they’re the authors of the Number One Amazon bestseller in Survival Skills and Safety/First Aid The Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition.

They’re also well known speakers, podcasters, and YouTubers, as well as contributors to leading survival/homesteading magazines. You’ll find over 800 posts on medical preparedness on their website,

You can find more about their credentials there as well, but I do want to mention that Dr. Alton has also written the New York Times bestseller in health, The Ebola Survival Handbook, The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide, and the just-released and timely The Zika Virus Handbook.

The Doom and Bloom™ Survival Medicine Hour is their syndicated podcast. They also do a video show on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Their latest project is the weekly current events podcast American Survival Radio, produced in collaboration with Genesis Communications Network.

Another one of their projects is the survival board game, Doom and Bloom’s SURVIVAL!

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy travel the country spreading the message of medical preparedness to the world and are supporters of many quality preparedness conferences throughout the country.

Their mission is to put a medically prepared person in every family for disaster situations.

They would also have me remind you that the opinions voiced by Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are for post-apocalyptic settings only. In normal times, seek modern and standard medical care from qualified professionals.

Spreading the Survival Medicine Message

As noted above, Joe and Amy Alton are on a mission, and they’re constantly working to spread the message of survival medicine. In our conversation we touched on a few key areas.


The Survival Medicine Handbook, 3rd Edition


The Big Book

We started our conversation by talking about the third edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook. Joe and Amy saw the need to expand it because additional issues such as active shooter situations and pandemics need to be addressed in the world we live in now. You can see more info about their book here.

The Zika Virus Handbook

The Zika virus hasn’t caught our attention as did the more dramatic disease of Ebola. Nonetheless, Joe Alton is concerned enough that he wrote a handbook about it.

He also joined 250 other physicians, public health officials and others in recommending the 2016 summer olympics be moved from Brazil or cancelled altogether. Brazil is a hot spot for mosquitoes and the resulting zika virus.

A Med Kit for Active Shooter Scenarios

Nurse Amy has put together a first aid bleeding control kit with active shooter scenarios in mind. She and Dr. Bones believe these kits should be in schools and other public places along with fire extinguishers. A few schools have already placed orders for the kits.

You don’t need medical training to be able to use this kit. In fact, it’s designed in such a way that you don’t even have to know how to read English. Here’s the video Amy mentioned during our conversation, in which she demonstrates how to use this unique kit.



Other kits and survival medical supplies are at

American Survival Radio

Unlike the Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Hour–the medically oriented podcast they’ve done for several years–American Survival Radio allows Joe and Amy to voice their opinions on issues of the day. They don’t expect everyone to agree with them. They hope to prompt you and me to think because, as preppers, we need to know about threats we face in today’s world.

With that in mind, our conversation veered into a brief discussion of the 2016 presidential election and the prospects for more loss of gun ownership rights.

Check out American Survival Radio at American Survival

Listening to Our Conversation

Hear my conversation with Joe and Amy Alton by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for June 23, 2016. (Right click to download. To order any of their books mentioned in this post, click on the link for the one you’re interested in to start the order process.

If there’s anything you’d like me to discuss with Joe and Amy Alton on a future episode of DestinySurvival Radio, contact me.

There are several ways to reach out to Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, thanks to their presence on social media. But is a hub and perhaps the best starting point.

When you’re preparing for survival, don’t overlook medical preparedness. Get guidance you need from Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, the dynamic duo of survival medicine.

The Survival Medicine Handbook – Even Better for Your Medical Preparedness

Editor’s Note: I usually reserve Thursdays for telling you about the latest episode of DestinySurvival Radio. However, in the absence of a new show this week, I couldn’t wait to tell you the good news from Joe Alton, M.D., and Amy Alton, ARNP, who have been DestinySurvival Radio guests several times before, and they will be again.

You may know them as Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. Together they make a great team to help you and your family get prepared for survival when life has changed as we now know it.

Here’s great news about the latest edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook, which first appeared at

– John


Announcing The NEW Third Edition Survival Medicine Handbook

The Survival medicine handbook Third Edition 2016

The Survival Medicine Handbook 2016 Third Edition

Well, we’ve returned from an awesome week in the great state of Oregon and got to look at the final proof of the Third Edition, which arrived while we were away. It looks good on review, so we hit the publish button and it’s now available at Amazon.

For those who don’t know us, the third edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook is not your standard first aid book: Unlike other medical books (even some outdoor and “survival” medicine 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. It’s also for the family that lives or is traveling in rural areas where the ambulance is more than a few minutes away, or where there isn’t cell phone service.

To let you know what’s in the book, most of the topics are below. Every chapter has been revised to some extent. We’ve greatly increased the content on hemorrhagic wounds, adding chapters on active shooters, tourniquets, gunshot and knife wounds, discussions of ballistic trauma and body armor, and even the medic under fire. Food/water contamination, pandemic diseases, rodent issues, and disease-causing microbes also added as individual discussions. The section on respiratory infections is completely reworked as is the section on physical exams. Additional natural disaster preparedness topics include blizzards, avalanches, survival when lost at sea, mudslides, and more. Nurse Amy has added a lot of material to the medical supplies section, plus how to sterilize supplies, choosing a medic bag, and more. Soft tissue wound care and patient transport have been expanded. As always, we discuss alternative remedies wherever they may be helpful.

Here are just some of the over 150 topics (175 illustrations) covered in our 670 page book:




We hope you’ll consider the Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbookfor your library.

Joe and Amy Alton


Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP


The Zika Virus – Get Medical Guidance You Can Trust

Joe Alton, MD, a.k.a. Dr. Bones has addressed the subject of the Zika virus with medical guidance you can trust in The Zika Virus Handbook. His wife, Amy Alton, ARNP, a.k.a. Nurse Amy, tells us about it in the following piece, which first appeared at and is reproduced here with permission.


The Zika Virus Handbook


Warm weather is on the way, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that we can expect more cases of Zika virus in the United States this summer. Indeed, the Aedes mosquito which transmits the virus seems to have expanded its range to include 30 U.S. states, up from 12 in the last survey. The Aedes mosquito (Aedes is Greek for “unpleasant”) is now found as far north as New York.

Until now, Zika cases have all be traced to those who have traveled to the epidemic zone in South and Central America, with a number also identified in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean countries. The CDC, however, believes that there will be locally-transmitted clusters of Zika in various areas in the U.S.

We keep a close eye on pandemic diseases, and it looks like Zika virus is the one to watch out for this year. As such, we have researched everything that the average citizen should know about it: How to identify it, how to prevent it, and what the treatment options are.

As an obstetrician in a previous life, Joe Alton, MD is especially interested in a disease that can affect, sometimes disastrously, newborn babies. But it does more than that; Zika has been associated with nervous system disorders, like Guillain-Barre syndrome, that can cause, sometimes permanent, paralysis.


High Resolution Front Cover_6093961

He’s put it all down on paper in his new book “The Zika Virus Handbook”. Like his 2014 book on Ebola virus, the book has everything you need to know about the infection, and it’s all written in plain English.

The Zika Virus Handbook” explains all you need to know about the epidemic in a calm, no-nonsense fashion. The book gives a solid plan of action that can be easily followed in a concise guide. All this from a physician that has decades of experience as an obstetrician, and whose mission is to put a medically prepared person in every family for any disaster. In fact, it’s the only book on Zika written by a physician that’s spent his life caring for pregnancies and who is well-known in the field of disaster and epidemic preparedness.

The book also outlines other pandemic diseases, past and present, and discusses way to control the Aedes mosquito, which transmits the disease through its bite.

Like many pandemic diseases, many controversial theories abound about why Zika has become a threat, and you’ll find these and commentary on their plausibility in “The Zika Virus Handbook“.

There’s no need to panic about Zika virus. The CDC stops short of predicting an epidemic in the U.S. But it’s affected 64 countries so far, and it only makes sense to learn about any disease that could affect your family’s health.

You can find the book at, and be sure to keep an eye on Joe Alton, MD’s website at for regular updates.

Amy Alton, ARNP



Together Joe and Amy Alton have written the best selling book, The Survival Medicine Handbook. In addition to The Zika Virus Handbook, Joe Alton has also written The Ebola Survival Handbook. Order any of these books by clicking on its title where you see it linked in this post.


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.


Could Your Survival Garden Make You Sick?

“Backwoods Home Magazine” for March/April 2016 (Issue #158) includes an article on how you can keep your survival garden from making you sick.

Maybe you’ve never had a problem. You’ve been gardening for years, even decades, and nobody in your family has ever caught a foodborne illness from what you’ve grown or canned.

Besides, that stuff only happens with large farming operations who sell to grocery stores and chain restaurants. Right?

But before you think such a thing couldn’t happen, consider the topics the article covers. Pay attention especially if you grow for a local farmers market.

  • Sources of contamination
  • Good agricultural practices
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Go vertical and mulch
  • Wildlife
  • Water
  • Harvesting
  • Storage and transport
  • Keep good records

Check out the following exerpt, then read the complete article by clicking on the llink below.

Prevent foodborne illness with safe gardening methods

By Donna Insco

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, “CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.” According to the CDC, produce was implicated in nearly half of the reported cases from 1998 to 2008.

The reports are troubling. In 2006, a multi-state Escherichia coli (E. coli) outbreak in spinach sickened more than 200 people and led to the deaths of at least three. Celery was implicated in a Listeria outbreak in 2010. In 2011, 147 people in 28 states contracted Listeria from whole cantaloupes from Colorado.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine. 1-800-835-2418.

When you’re looking for gardening seeds and supplies, check out the Survival Gardening page in the Prep Mart.

Prepping for a Pandemic – How Ready Are You?

What’s the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic? What are the greatest threats we face? Should we bug in or bug out in the event of an outbreak?

Cat Ellis has written Prepping for a Pandemic to give us answers. She’s my guest on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio. Below are highlights of her book and our conversation.


The Herbal Prepper

I’ve interview Cat before, but if you’re not familiar with who she is, here’s some background.


Cat Ellis is a practicing herbalist and dedicated prepper. Her love of herbs began in the 1990s when herbs helped her recover from the flu. Cat now sees clients and teaches herbal medicine through her private practice. She is also a massage therapist, certified in MotherMassage™, and a member of the American Herbalists Guild.

Economic pressures and a desire for greater freedoms sparked Cat’s interest in survivalism and homesteading in 2008. She describes prepping as having “hundreds of practical hobbies,” like gardening, canning, and self-defense. For Cat, being prepared brings both peace of mind and personal satisfaction.

Cat’s love of herbal medicine merged with her love of prepping, resulting in her website, She is the author of Prepper’s Natural Medicine and Prepping for a Pandemic, and her articles have been published in PREPARE magazine.

Cat has also ventured into the world of broadcasting, with two weekly, live, Internet radio shows. Cat hosts her own show, Herbal Prepper Live, on the Prepper Broadcasting Network, as well as cohosting The Medic Shack, on The Survival Circle Radio Network.

Cat Ellis lives on the New England coast with her beekeeper husband and homeschools her children.

If you’ve heard my previous conversations with Cat, you know she gives thorough answers and anticipates questions people may have. Be ready to jot down a few notes as you listen.


Prepping for a Pandemic


Outbreak and Breakdown

This is not light reading. Certain sections of the book are downright frightening. You’ll have nightmares if you read it before bedtime.

Cat’s approach is straightforward with no nonsense. This is a subject that calls for serious contemplation as you decide what you’ll do to be prepared for a pandemic.

The foreword is by another DestinySurvival Radio guest, Tess Pennington, author of The Prepper’s Blueprint.

In Cat’s preface she discusses the interaction she’s had with her audience. It’s what brought the book into being. I appreciate her responsiveness to the needs of the people she serves.

Prepping for a Pandemic is well organized. Before dealing with what she considers to be the seven greatest pandemic threats, Cat describes how she determined her point system of threat levels and the diseases contained in each one.

Chapters describe the diseases and how we can prepare for them. As you might expect, solutions given include natural remedies. Chapters cover…

  • A Learning Moment: 2014’s Deadly Ebola Outbreak
  • Pandemic Preparation 101: Overview, Terminology, General Pandemic Concerns
  • Threat Level I: Influenza, Tuberculosis, & Staphylococcus Aureas
  • Threat Level II: Coronaviruses, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Threat Level III: Terrorism / Human Error (Smallpox, Plague), the Surprise
  • The Watch List: Diseases Likely to Spread Postdisaster (Measles, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, HIV)
  • Pandemic Preparation 201: Actionable Steps


Definitions – An epidemic is a significant disease outbreak. It’s confined to a certain area, unlike an epidemic, which crosses borders and may travel the world. Not all pandemics are deadly, but there’s certainly the potential.

Ebola – Chapter 1 lays out fascinating background info about the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa. According to Cat, it’s not over yet. It may not be as bad as it was, but we’re not hearing about it.

Information Deficit? – How much can we trust the government and media to tell us what’s going on if a pandemic does break out? Will they sensationalize? Or will they cover up to quell panic?

Cause Question – I asked Cat whether the cause of an outbreak matters. Or is it more important to identify the illness and its proper treatment? The bottom line is, the more information we have, the better.

The Big Boys – Influenza, tuberculosis and MRSA are at the top of the threat list. While the media gets us hyped up about Ebola, they overlook something as common and deadly as influenza.

Viruses, like influenza, are tricky. They mutate frequently, making treating them so difficult. It’s why flu shots aren’t that effective some years.

Tuberculosis is a growing threat because of its increasing resistance to drugs. Plus, a large part of the world’s population has it or has had it.

The prospect of an MRSA outbreak is frightening. This is another drug resistant disease.

Before and After – Some diseases could be the cause of disaster, while some will cause problems in the wake of calamity. Chapter 6 tells us of such ailments to be on the lookout for.

Other Than Antibiotics – During our conversation Cat described a few herbs and essential oils with antimicrobial properties which can be used in place of antibiotics. Some work systemically, while others work locally in or on the body.

Keep it Clean – To protect ourselves and to keep disease from spreading, we must practice good hygiene and cleanliness. It’s necessary now to make preparations for being able to do this. Cat gives plenty of tips to help us.

She discusses Pool Shock (calcium hypochlorate) and substitutions for bleach. It would be a good idea for you and me to make our own soap as well. Being able to disinfect water will be crucial, too. And definitely don’t overlook the need for proper waste disposal.

Stay hydrated – This is critical when we become ill. In the book you’ll find info on that, including oral rehydration therapy.

Hospital Hell – Going to the hospital may not be your best option, since hospitals could be full to overflowing. They may also be sites where violence breaks out.

If the power grid goes down, one of the effects will be the loss of pharmacies and medical facilities. That will make it difficult or impossible to get medications and to test for diseases, including HIV.

Stay or Go? – In the event of a pandemic, you must consider whether and when to bug out. Should you stay in place? Should you practice a self imposed quarantine? Or should you get out of Dodge to avoid trouble?

Action Steps – Though there are plenty of recommendations throughout the book for things you should do, chapter 7 lays out several. I’ll touch on a few.

You’ll find a list of supplies for a pandemic preparedness medical kit.

Be sure to designate someone in your family or group to be the medic. Often it’s problems other than the disease of the pandemic
which need attention. Do you or someone in your group know basics, such as taking a pulse or a blood pressure reading?

Figure out how you’ll do what you can to avoid an outbreak. Here’s one factor to keep in mind. The greater the population density, the greater the risk of illness. People in cities will get sick more readily than those in the country.

You may want to make a home-based business part of your preparedness strategy. Do you have a way to earn income in a time when your family needs to hunker down to avoid getting sick? Can you afford to pay the bills until the outbreak is through?

Cat encourages you and me to work on improving our health right now, especially if there’s a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure. That’s an important step toward preparedness and survival.

Here’s an important benefit to keep in mind about prepping in general. When you’re preparing for one thing, you’re actually preparing for several eventualities. For example, we’ll need food, water and medical supplies regardless of what happens.


A Healthy Shot of Information

Hear my conversation with Cat Ellis by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for January 21, 2016. (Right click to download.)

Do further research by making use of numerous web links throughout Cat’s book and in the resource list in the back. The resource section includes Web sites, organizations, books and magazines.

Get Prepping for a Pandemic by first clicking on its title wherever you see it in this post. Place your order from the page where it’s featured.

This is one book you must have in your survival library. It could save your life. And that’s not hype.

Epidemics and pandemics are hard to predict. They’ve happened before, and they’ll happen again. It’s a matter of when, not if.
Thus, the need to get prepared now.