The Hard Reality of Collapse: “You Will Eventually Be Responsible For Healing The Sick And Treating Wounds”

by | Aug 23, 2016 | Headline News | 60 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    survivalmedicine2(Pictured: Nurse Amy Alton and Dr. Joe Alton At Medical Preparedness Training Seminar)

    Should we ever be presented with a situation wherein the system as we have come to know it collapses, the one thing we can be certain of is that we will be faced with a variety of life-threatening situations.

    Dr. Joseph Alton and Nurse Amy Alton of  explain in their recently revised and expanded edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook:  The Essential Guide For When Medical Help Is Not On The Way:

    Since the last edition of this book was published, the natural and man-made disasters humanity has endured have been too numerous to count. Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, blizzards, and other weather events have caused major damage and loss of life.Terrorist attacks and active shooter events have become more commonplace. International tensions have elevated and may lead to a major confrontation in the future.

    It’s hard to witness recent events without a vague sense of foreboding. Regardless of your political beliefs, somewhere in the back of your mind you know that things are not the same as when you were a child. There are more extreme weather events. There are more open declarations of hostility and violent acts almost everywhere, sometimes by organized groups and other times by the unhinged and deranged.

    Despite our current predicament, those who prepare for the consequences of these happening are looked upon with amusement and, sometimes, suspicion. The general population associates them with reality show contestants that dress in camouflage and live in bunkers

    All of the events mentioned above have lead to almost unimaginable losses of life and injuries in just the last 10 years alone, not to mention similar disasters through the centuries. Nowadays, these events seem to happen so regularly that most people have started ignoring them altogether. For the general population it is merely another news story amid a rapidly evolving 24-hour news cycle. They can ignore the devastation because it’s happening on television, almost as if it is a scripted reality show.

    But those who are grounded in actual reality understand that disasters happen quite regularly, all over the world, and can come at anytime. And when those disasters strike, your neighborhood, region or entire country could affected to such an extent that the things we have come to rely upon in our every day lives could be gone in an instant.

    Law and order would break down, leading to looting, robbing and pillaging. The power grid itself could be compromised, knocking out electricity and everything that is dependent on it, including public water filtration systems. And as we’ve seen in major disaster zones in the United States and elsewhere, a total shutdown of transportation services and the ability to acquire essential goods at grocery stores often has immediate impact.

    But one often ignored aspect of preparedness is perhaps the most important, because when a significant disaster strikes, we can fully expect emergency responders, including hospital workers, to stop showing up for work.

    Excerpted from The Survival Medicine Handbook:  The Essential Guide For When Medical Help Is Not On The Way:

    In a situation where power might be down and normal methods of filtering water and cleaning food don’t exist, your health is as much under attack as the survivors in the last zombie apocalypse movie. Infectious disease may run rampant and it will be a challenge to maintain sanitary conditions. Simple activities of daily survival, such as chopping wood, will commonly lead to cuts that could get infected. These minor issues, so easily treated by modern medical science, can easily become life-threatening if left untreated in a collapse.

    Clearly, you owe it to your family to devote some time and effort to obtain medical knowledge and supplies. You may be an accomplished outdoorsman; you may have plenty of food and your share of defensive weaponry. That’s commendable, but what would you say to a member of your family who becomes ill or injured? Take two bullets and call in the morning?

    The one thing many preppers forget to consider is that if you are put into a situation where you have to pull out your guns to defend your home, those attacking you are likely not going to be waving just baseball bats or throwing rocks. They’re coming to the gunfight armed with guns and there is a distinct possibility that your loved ones could be injured.

    But that’s just one of may potentially deadly scenarios that could befall you in a post-collapse world. As the Altons note:

    There will likely be a lot more diarrheal disease than gunfights at the OK corral. History teach us that, in the Civil War, there were more death from dysentery than there were from bullet wounds. Some survivalists’ motto may be “Bean and Bullets”, but we say “Beans and Bandages, then bullets.”

    It’s a hard reality that you will eventually be responsible for healing the sick and treating wounds. Someone has to make the commitment to learn how to treat medical issues and store medical supplies; in other words, to volunteer as family medic in times of trouble. 

    If you accept the role of medic, you will be taking a genuine first step towards assuring your family’s survival in dark times.

    It is for this reason that we strongly encourage our readers to consider The Survival Medicine Handbook. It’s been rated five stars for a reason and each of the adults in our family has one in their emergency supply packs. Whether we plan to hunker down or have to go mobile in an emergency, it is absolutely essential that we have a reference guide to help us treat the myriad of medical emergency and conditions we may be faced with.

    At over 600 easily digested pages, the handbook is an essential resource that includes everything from medical supply lists to improvising tools around your house. You’ll find real-world emergency scenarios and the types of injuries you can expect, as well as scores of common medical conditions and how to treat them when there is no doctor to be found.

    In a real emergency, where someone you love and know has been injured and faces the real possibility that their wound or condition could be fatal, the last thing you want to do is panic.

    Because when people panic, people die.

    You can order your copy of the newly revised and expanded Survival Medicine Handbook by clicking here. 


    Visit Dr. Joe Alton and Nurse Amy Alton at


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      1. learn to make and use pure ‘colloidal silver’.

        it has been in use since the romans and works.

        • I agree with the colloidal silver. Learn how to make it and stock up on the supplies. You can and should also store antibiotics. They will retain full strength for 20 years if properly stored, EXCEPT the cyclines. Tetra, doxy cyclines actually become toxic around 3 months after expiration date.
          We do not have a first aide kit. We have an only aide kit. My wife did not get it until I explained this will be the only aide you get. Now she understands.

          On top of first / only aide most people forget about there teeth. Dentistry. I don’t care how big and tough you are, an abscessed tooth will bring down the biggest, meanest, toughest, smartest, dumbest, richest, poorest, and even the most prepared person you know. That person will be dead weight until you get it fixed or pulled. And for all the ultra smart folks out their, pulling a tooth is only an expression. You rock and work it out with elevators or an improvised instrument.

          I know, I know, I am full of crap. Don’t take my word for it, LOOK it up. In fact, you should not take any bodies word for anything ( unless you trust your life with that persons word ). Use what you read from blogs and forums to set you on the correct path for your search for the truth. After you do enough of your own homework, you will start to learn whose word you can and can not trust. Just remember that a lot of what people post are real and were their life experiences and some of what you read is real crap. Let your conscience be your guide because it will be your life or your loved ones life.

          Keep on prepping and don’t forget that only aide kit with dentristy included.

          • an abscessed tooth… That one is scarey…

            I have a bad habit of using my teeth as tools, from cutting fishing line, to tweezers for pulling out splinters… to even things I really should use pliers on.

            Left untreated, without access to a dentist and strong antibiotics, that abscessed tooth will probably lead to sepsis and death.

            My wife had one just before new years eve that started out as a dull pain and next thing her neck disapperared and looked like her ears where attached to her shoulders. I figured that she was going to have trouble breathing so we did the ER run. Finally, the ER doc shows up, hits her tooth with a tongue depressor and says “sorry can’t help. you need a dentist” and then left. If that didn’t hurt enough, the $1000 ER bill was the cherry-on-top.

          • In cases of sepsis, as you are treating the infection, take milk thistle to support liver kidney bladder while they deal with the toxins. It will shorten recovery time.

          • Brain fart Take the E off of aide about 10 times up above. Sorry.

          • Sitting on the lake in the forest. Pull all my teeth have a silver edge colloidal silver maker. Every thing I’ll need to get by.

      2. Food & Water ARE #1, Weapons and Ammo are #2, Good waist removal is #3, Medical is #4, Lighting and heating is #5.

        I personally has tried to learn as much as I can about medical and having medical equipment, and supplies. This is a good article. What we have tried to do with our group is to have two of everything including medical knowledge (Doctors and Nurses). With others with some knowledge. This goes for all of the top five items I posted above.


        • Always thought the famine was pretty good for waist removal…
          Sorry… Couldn’t resist!

          Fully agree on waste handling and treatment but this one has a curve ball… If your neighbor doesn’t do it right and you do, you still die because of they will kill you thru their ignorance. Sanitation is critical to longevity.

          • Venezuela’s latest response to food shortages…

            Ban lines outside bakeries.


            • What a banana republic…

              If they only had SNAP and EBT cards then no one would see the bread lines.

        • Sgt D. Looks like you are well on your way with group prepping. Anybody with medical training especially a first responder/ paramedic/ military medic is truly an asset to any group.
          You can never have enough tourniquets. Even old bike inner tubes can be used as a tourniquet for extremities to stop artery bleeding. Only tighten the tourniquets to the point that the bleeding stops.. Tighten it any more, and you do irreversible tissue damage. Also understand when massive bleeding occurs, learn the shock position with the legs raised a foot higher than the body, to keep the blood concentrated in the major organ area. “MAST Trousers” is another good tool for blood loss. Look that one up. Its an inflatable sent of trousers you can pump full of air that keeps the blood near the torso and vital organs. Head injuries, do not put in the shock position as pressure is already high in the head and could cause CVA’s. Have a flashlight in your medical kit to see how the pupils react to light. Its all part of the assessment to see where the Pt is. Lots of reading to catch up on.



          • Is the person.

            Responsive/ comprehensive
            Have movement.
            Have feeling in their extremities.
            Where is the pain.

            And then you have Triage.

            • Well its actually ABC’s and triage at the same time all with in 30 seconds. A gushing wound needs to be treated immediately.

              1. Airway – is it open?
              2. Breathing – are they breathing or you may need to assist breathing with mouth to mouth.
              3. Circulation – Do they have a pulse, what kind of pulse, fast and weak could be they are in shock, or slow and thready. Strong and fast? Maybe the heart is not pumping or pumping but no volume of blood to pump due to blood loss.

              Way too much info to try and write here. Go take some first aid classes for starters, or EMT.


        • A lot of us here could benefit from “good waist removal” !

      3. I’m a nurse, and I’ve been backstocking, and rotating supplies for years. We’ll be okay.

        My elderly parents have an 8 month backup supply of their medication, and always working on building up more (you can’t believe how difficult it is.)

        I think we’re in better shape than most.

        • Thea, I have built up now a 6 mo supply of meds I take.

          It is a long tedious task.

          Am working on the next 3 mo build up.

      4. CS is good for external bacteria, but don’t bet your life on it if you’re using it for internal. H2O2 for viruses internal & external. Diabetic meds are near impossible for a layman to make, but thyroid meds can be made. Now’s the time to figure it out if you have the need.

        • H202 is fantastic stuff. Also, DMSO and MSM for arthritis and general pain.

      5. Just yesterday
        My God-daughters significant other
        cut himself with my scythe.
        I stopped his bleeding, with pressure.
        I did my first aid stuff, and noted
        he was going into shock. Lots of bleeding.
        I asked my wife who used to be a
        certified first responder, if she wanted
        to deal with the wound.
        She said no, a doctor needs to evaluate and
        determine the course of action.
        We took him to the emergency room.
        He only needed 5 deep stitches.
        This was just a normal day, I can only imagine
        what it would be like if it was really
        a major breakdown.
        PS I would have sown his wound if
        a doctor was not available. I would have done
        7 or so stitches.

        • A former Navy Corpsman or Army Medic would probably be very useful. In WWII, due to the shortage of truly trained Physicians they used in a pinch Dentists as combat surgeons. One received a MOH in the Pacific. In a pinch necessity, being the mother of invention, would see RNs, Dentists and Pharmacists practicing basic medicine.

          • Dr Salomon had his MOH held up until 2002 because being a medical officer he was precluded from actively engaging in combat. Not too shabby for a spectacled Dentist to kill 98 enemy troops.

            Benjamin Lewis Salomon (September 1, 1914 – July 7, 1944) was a United States Army dentist during World War II, assigned as a front-line surgeon. When the Japanese started overrunning his hospital, he stood a rear-guard action in which he had no hope of personal survival, allowing the safe evacuation of the wounded, killing at least 98 enemy troops before being killed himself during the Battle of Saipan. In 2002, Salomon posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

            • Army Medic Desmond Doss refused to kill anyone and he was awarded the Medal of Honor. The film Hacksaw Ridge directed by Mel Gibson that will be coming out in November will detail Doss’s story.


              • Only one thing speaks more of bravery than going into an enemy, unarmed with no intention of ever arming yourself, to save other mens lives and thats doing it repeatedly.

                • I agree Kevin. The Doss story is amazing and has been ignored for over 70 years. I wish Desmond could have lived to see it his life on the big screen. He passed away in 2006.

                  He lost his hearing due to a Army doctor ODing him on Antibiotics. This is one of his last interviews. He can’t hear himself speak.



                  George Carlin on Germs and immune system.

                  He also said, “Somewhere in the world there is someone with an appointment tomorrow with the worst Doctor in the world.”


            • OBTW, looking at that name, Benny Salomon was likely one them tribe members so many of you so passionately hate.

              RIP Doc Salomon. and thanks for the lives you saved…


          • Yes, I hope everyone keeps supplies for the care of teeth in their preps. Tooth care is a very important part of health maintenance.

            Keep something specific, even if it’s just plyers, to extract a bad tooth. And yes, from personal experience, if you’re in enough pain, you’ll have no problem yanking it, or them, out. Just be sure you also have antibiotics on hand.

      6. Really? When the collapse happens there will be nurses with hugh boobs taking care of me? Bring it on 🙂

        • Thats why Medical Dr’s call it “Practicing Medicine”. And not professional Medicine. Their Patients are guinne pigs.


      7. From Powerful Pierre, we shoot zee wounded! March or die!

      8. Remember, don’t bury your guns, bury the people that come for your guns!

        • I like your train of thought!

      9. The Hard Reality of Collapse: “You Will Eventually Be Responsible For Healing The Sick And Treating Wounds”

        The Hard Reality is that a lot of people are going to DIE.

        • Just looking at some of the younger generation, I wonder how many will die by their own hands??? Their whole position in life seems to revolve around instant personel satisfaction.

          When SHTF and life becomes a real chore, I think too many will just check out with a “I’m outa here”.

          • Lurker

            Very few have a Field Surgical kit, a Good First aid Kit or a Field Medical Kit. A Suture kit.

            Then have the right medications to treat wounds and illness.

            Wait till injuries rise because they have to build and do things to survive.

            Most will have a low pain threshold.

            • See my earlier post.
              I would use the same line
              I sew sails with.
              That is all I have.
              Sail needles and thread
              Bees waxed. You want me to sew
              you up?

              • Use what you have but be sure it is sterile.

                How many aches and pains do we have each year. How about those nasty eye irritations. Stomach problems with heartburn. Do you suffer from Migraines? Jock rash is real pleasant. Then get the Hersey Squirts and end up with Hemorrhoids.
                Want to wish your enemy pain? Wish he gets a good set of Rhoids.

                One tube of Prep-H.

                Believe me, some will be better than none.

              • Never forget even in Post SHTF, Women will still be having babies. Know how to deliver a baby, and how to immediately make sure it is breathing and clear its air passage ways out with a bulb syringe. And know how to tie off and cut the cord. A very sharp knife is required. You also then have 2 patients to care for. Potissin for the Momma to stop any internal bleeding. I have delivered 2 in the past. One of the happier events of emergency medicine.


      10. having already read this book, will say it has value for the layman.

      11. “There are more extreme weather events.”

        No there aren’t. It’s just that everything gets plastered all over TV and internet with 24 hour news.

        When I was younger, there was just as much going on (typhoons, floods, droughts), but it was just words in the newspaper, except what we personally experienced.

        In 1954 and 1955, we were having one hurricane after another. We were hit directly by two in one week. There was flooding in my area that has never been matched since. We had record heat and record cold in the 1950s, some records that have not yet been broken.

        We are on named storm number 7 so far this year (Tropical Storm Gaston) and still no major hurricanes have hit us in years.

        I wish writers would stop exaggerating current weather.

      12. Check the Good Samaritan laws in your state. If you get involved and hurt someone worseyou can be sued. As an ex-FF paramedic, unless I know the person, I’m not getting involved if possible. Just saying. Especially sick people, aids, hepititus, infections and you could get blood spattered on you. Then what? An accident is a little different, as I have stopped many times and assisted to help remove the person to a safer area. But you hurt someone worse, you could be on the hook. Like pull a person out of a car with a broken neck, you could paralyze them withe one wrong move. Just help maintain their airway to ensure breathing. You better have rubber gloves in your kit that fits you. I still have my paramedic books. Like Emergency Medicine in the streets. I have seen Doctors kill people. Many are clueless about Emergency medicine and on the street procedures. Working a career in a clean environment it a lot different on the street. Watch some vids on how to suture tissue together. Know how to tie the knots. You have an artery cut, stop the bleeding and head to the ER ASAP. More people die from infections in the hospital than any other type of death out there. Most doctors know how to prescribe drugs, than treat or do surgery. Bottom line you are on your own.

        -WWTI… Create your own Blowout kit with a few tourniquets. A packet of tampons are good and sterile for open wounds.

        • Tampons also work good as fuses
          for Molotov cocktails.

      13. Here’s a pill….it was nice knowin ya.

        • For the religious folks, grab the Bible and cram for the final.


          • 🙂

        • Most mainstream doctors are pill pushers. They are businessmen in white coats instead of suits. They work for Big Pharma, not the patient.

          • And they know how to send you for medical tests, lots and lots of tests, on million-dollar machines!

            Some years ago I heard a doctor admit, “we have lost the art of diagnosis. Now we’re trained to do tests.” Amen.

      14. An important item most people forget in their medical kits is a local pain killer to have on hand when you stitch someone up. Another thing, just think about trying to sit still while having your wounds cleaned without some kind of local pain killer. Well your in luck, here’s a link that tells you how to make your own injectable lidocaine.

        • Colt M4 : You reminded me with your post. Nature is awesome. Their is a thorn bush that grows in sandy, dry, crappy, non fertile locations. We call it the novocaine bush . If you chew the leaves your hole mouth goes numb. If you strip the bark and place it between your tooth and gum, your tooth will go numb. It will last a few hours to. I don’t know the real name of the plant except it is a weed/bush. It grows all over the place in central Florida. I am sure it grows elsewhere.

          • Tooth Ache Tree

      15. i think this is important:
        it came through in one of my feeds.
        i never took the photo.
        Good luck to everyone!

      16. I have been studying herbal medicines for a couple months. I focused on identifying my local plants and their medicinal uses. I can’t recommend it enough. I guess I will be my family’s general medical practitioner if nothing else is available. I sure hope someone else wants to be the surgeon.

      17. Setting Broken Bones

        My son broke his arm when he was small and we took him to the hospital where they performed a new procedure in setting broken bones. They wrap his arm in a coolant pad and lowered the temp till his arm became numb. Then they finished the job. I remember my son was doing fine as he was not upset.

        If you have access to ice you may be able to reduce the pain in some procedures.
        Careful not to damage tissue and duration of numbness may vary. Also watch for lower core body temp.

      18. Will go to brother in law he was a paratrooper army medic in gulf war. He’s on the fire dept and works in the hospital in the intensive care unit as a nurse. I’d say I’m good. People will die from infections due to unsanitary conditions well before they get gunshot wounds. A lot of people are focusing on guns and ammo and tacticool crap. My plan is to stay clean as possible first. You can get a bad case of the shits from not preparing meats right cross contaminating surfaces and utensils. Whuddaya think will happen when yo gotta drink filtered water from sketchy sources with chemicals and possible carcinogens in it long term. Stomach pains so bad your curled up in fetal position. We are not used to living with filth. You can however build up your resistance to filth by exposing yourself to it now getting sick from it now and suffering it out now to build up immunity naturally. Worst case scenario you go to Er and get antibiotics while we are not in a shtf scenario. The last thing your gonna think of is how cool your gun is compared to others. Look I’m not trying to rain on peoples tactical dreams but if your serious about being prepared you gotta think deeper than beans bullets and band aids. Try to learn about natural remedies from local native tribes. I eat food after its expired to see what I can get away with Ive pushed the limits a little with this and worst thing I got was the shits. I know it gross whatever but learning your limits now is better than learning the hard way later. Yup making yourself sick just isn’t as cool as another gun.

        • Asshat

          Knowing your limits.

          There are plenty of young people who push the limits of their bodies in many ways. You regret it in your latter years. How many drinks you drank and chugging beer. Depth chargers and Boiler Makers. Eating contests. Boiled Eggs and Hotdogs come to mind. My favorite eating hot peppers.

          You end up with the pukes and the dry heaves. Onward to the shits and various eating/digestive disorders.

          Get all those pain relievers for your self induce inflictions.

        • Asshat we will not be able to go if you go to FEMA CAMP you are there and they will not give a dam if you live or die

      19. First rule in First Aid.

        Don’t do stupid things that will seriously injure yourself.

      20. The unhealthy will simply die. The 9 out of ten dying is very likely.

      21. Great coincidence, I bought this book recently–and while I haven’t finished reading through it by any means, I am VERY pleased because it’s exactly what I wanted: it explains to non-medical people what you can do in various situations, when there’s no professional help available.
        And it’s very honest. Dr Alton says sometimes (I’m paraphrasing from memory here) that ordinarily he would NEVER recommend treating XYZ on your own, but in a societal-breakdown situation when you have no alternative you should try doing the following (etc). It may be heresy to other doctors, but this is exactly the kind of thing we need to know and is much appreciated!
        Important to read through it NOW while we still have time, and get the supplies the authors recommend. Like many other posters here I am personally a big fan of silver, since in my own experience it has healed me almost instantaneously more than once!
        Anyway, IMO this book seems well worth the price (which is a bit steep)…

      22. Wow that tent in the picture looks awesome, first class accommodations.

        If the SHTF in my area, I see myself living underground in a hastily dug cave in the forest, to avoid drone detection, it won’t be pretty!

        I see lots of surveillance stuff all over some areas, it’s like DHS is running a big experiment in my area. Crime in the region hasn’t dropped, which implies it’s just about spying on citizens. Locate the relays, consider having a jammer. Consider tapping into the signal and using it for your own asset?

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