The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joe & Amy Alton

 The Survival Medicine Handbook 4th Edition by Joe & Amy Alton

The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joe & Amy Alton

The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way

Medical training, or a general understanding of what to do when certain common medical situations present themselves, is a must for any prepper who is serious about emergency disaster planning.

Over the past few years I have taken a handful of one-off training courses: like Stop the Bleed, an AHA CPR certification course, and a few one-day Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) classes.

But in 2020 I decided it was time to up my game, so I enrolled in and completed the full EMT training and certification in 2021, along with taking and passing the NREMT exam to get my license.

That experience has been incredibly valuable, and if you have the time and the ability I cannot recommend it enough for anyone over the age of 18. Honestly, it should be required learning in High School!


We like to plan for grid-down, no first-responder available scenarios over at the BOBB Compound, and the classes I have taken thus far do not always account for such conditions.

That's where Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., aka Nurse Amy (of Doom & Bloom) step in, with their wonderful series of Survival Medicine Handbooks (now on version 4.)

Democratizing Medical Treatment

Dr. Joe Alton and Nurse Amy treating a patient in a field tent

At its core, the Survival Medical Handbook is just that, a medical guide which outlines the assessment and treatment of many of the medical issues we as humans face on a day to day basis.

On another level it's much more than that: since it focuses on diagnoses and treatments outside of formal medical establishments and in austere environments, it embraces the use of alternate therapies such as herbalism and essential oils while also explaining how to use modern medications, therefore giving back the power and control of medical decision making to "we the people."

Does it replace a trained medical professional or fully staffed hospital? Certainly not.

Can it help a layperson understand a medical event in a clear and concise way, and give them a course of action to make the situation better? Absolutely.

And it's for that reason that I believe this is a must have item for those of us who prepare for uncertain times. Or even day to day "normal" life...the medical conditions described in this book happen to people everyday. You've likely gone through a few of these yourself (I know I certainly have!)

The Handbook is written in such a way as to make it approachable for someone without medical training to be able to digest the information being presented.

That said, if you have some medical background it does make the reading a little bit easier, since you will understand the concepts and vocabulary better, but the book does a nice job of avoiding lingo and using words everyone understands.

Why You Need The Survival Medical Handbook

a modern apothecary

We mentioned it before, but I'll expound upon it here, this guide offers more than just the current western medical protocols for treatments - which it does offer, in spades.

It assumes that environment doesn't exist, or might be compromised in some way, so it looks to the past for solutions used during more austere times.

So in addition to the current meds you can use, the guide also discusses herbal remedies and essential oil remedies.

Now before you poo-poo that idea, remember, we're talking in the context here of self-reliance in a remote environment or after a massive societal collapse. That's the thought experiment behind the premise of the book, what can you do during a medical emergency when you can't just telemedic a doctor or get a script sent off to CVS .

If you're reading this, I probably don't have to explain it to you, you already understand the mindset. If you've gotten this far and haven't figured out where we're coming from well then, bless your heart.

Back to the point, have backups for your backups. That's what this book provides, options. Even if you are a medical professional there are things to be learned about pre-hospital care while facing austerity.

It also gives you protocols to follow on more items than just broken bones and bullet holes. Dentistry, bug bites/infestations, animal attacks, natural and man made disaster response - it's all in here.

Get this book. Read it. You'll be smarter for doing so and better prepared.

Version 4 Update

The Survival Medicine Handbook, version 3 next to version 4

Quick story: I just finished reading Version 3 for this article, and I noticed that version 4 had just came out. I reached out to Nurse Amy (via their website) to find out what some of the major differences were and she was kind enough to send me the latest copy for this article!

So then I reread the entire book again, because there was a huge amount of new information added since version 3. There is a LOT.

Tons of new color photos, graphs, and deeper dives into many of the subjects in the earlier versions. So much so that the book itself is physically much larger than the previous version.

The Survival Medicine Handbook inside of version 4

They also added an option to get the book in color vs. black and white. 

If you buy it directly from the Altons, you can purchase it on their website choose the color, and even get it signed!

If you have the choice between the 3rd or 4th version, get the 4th - it's completely worth the upgrade. 

Next Steps

Having the book is great, having the tools listed in it is even better. Head over to and check out the First Aid kits they make over there.

Very high quality, with the 100% the right gear you need, no no-name knockoff junk or random things you don't need.

Get the right tools, the Altons know their stuff. They are all about prepping!

Where to Get One

BTW If you buy anything with the links we provide on this page we might get a small percentage of the sale. For more info click here.

We're a family run business. When you purchase via the links below it really helps us out, and we take our cut from the sellers end, your cost doesn't change. Your support is greatly appreciated!

The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way 4th Edition

The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way 4th Edition

Typical Price: $40

NY Times and Amazon bestselling authors JOE ALTON, MD and AMY ALTON, APRN are on a mission to put a medically prepared person in every family!

In natural disasters, epidemics, and civil unrest, the ambulance might not be heading in your direction when needed. In a world where modern hospitals are overwhelmed or don't exist due to a catastrophe, you might become the highest medical asset left to your family. Are you prepared to deal with medical issues if the rescue helicopter isn't just over the horizon?

The FOURTH EDITION of the bestselling book excellence award® winner in medicine THE SURVIVAL MEDICINE HANDBOOK™ is a comprehensive guide to help the average person keep their loved ones healthy in any situation where help is not on the way.

The SURVIVAL MEDICINE HANDBOOK'S fourth edition, greatly expanded and revised, is a unique book that seeks to find strategies that would work when modern medicine isn't an option. It combines conventional and alternative medicine to give you all the tools you'll need to succeed, even if everything else fails. Written in language anyone can understand, THE SURVIVAL MEDICINE HANDBOOK hopes to impart not just the knowledge, but the judgment necessary to be an effective caregiver off the grid.

About the Authors

Joseph Alton MD, FACOG, FACS

Joseph Alton MD, FACOG, FACS practiced as a board-certified Obstetrician and Pelvic Surgeon for close to 25years before retiring to devote his efforts to preparing families medically for disaster and other austere scenarios. A Life Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and retired Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he is a NY Times bestselling author and contributor to well- known magazines in the survival, preparedness, and homesteading genres. He speaks at preparedness conferences throughout the country on the topic of medical readiness. A member of MENSA, Dr. Alton collects medical books from the 19th century to gain insight into off-grid medical strategies.

Amy Alton APRN, CNM

Amy Alton APRN, CNM is a Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Nurse-Midwife. She has had years of experience working as a Nurse Practitioner in large teaching institutions as well as smaller, family-oriented hospitals. She designs quality medical kits  and lectures frequently on disaster medical supplies. Amy has extensive medicinal herb gardens and works to include natural remedies into her strategies.

Dr. and Ms. Alton are graduates of the Master Gardener program through their state's agricultural extension office. They are also proficient in aquaculture and have cultivated aquaponic, raised bed, and container gardens. As "Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy,"they host the award-winning survival website and produce video and radio programs under the Doom and Bloom® label.



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