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This book was not initially listed on my list of 32 Must have prepper books only because I had not read it personally myself. I still haven’t read the Survival Handbook cover to cover, but I have read enough to comment on my thoughts about this resource and its upcoming inclusion in my list.

Before I begin, I want to level set expectations here about what this book is and Dr. Alton and Nurse Amy do the same for you in their own words right up front in their own book as well. This is not a technical manual that is given to medical students when they are learning these topics. It is a handbook and the language is written in plain-speak meant to distill a ton of information into small digestible chunks. I think the authors are very clear with that but I have read a few other reviews from people who complain that the book didn’t go into enough detail. Which leads me to question; what these complainers were expecting in the first place?

If you expect to be able to pay less than $40 for a book that teaches you everything you are going to learn in medical school, you need a reality check. That simply isn’t going to happen and to believe that all you need are a few highly technical manuals, but zero training and you will be all set to survive Armageddon as the local surgeon I think you are delusional.

Now, with that out of the way, I think this book is a tremendous resource for the average prepper who can easily tackle a lot of the subjects covered by this book and in doing so, help their fellow survivors to heal and stay healthy.

The Survival Medicine Handbook covers a wide range of topics, but I think it was written from the perspective of complete novices having to deal with injuries and illnesses you might encounter any normal day, but without the ability to drive down the road to your local Primecare or hospital. There is a decent sized section up front that deals with the reality of our world now and as so many other books that are prompting you to begin prepping, the Survival Medicine Handbook lays out the case nicely. After the why you should be prepping section, Dr. Alton and Nurse Amy dive right in and cover everything from hygiene and sanitation to hemorrhoids. Actually they go further, but I thought that was a nice place to end. – pun intended.

The Survival Medicine Handbook covers a lot of ground on topics that you would expect from simply being outside more often than you might be used to and thinking about a SHTF event, this could be normal for most of us. There is plenty of content on wound treatment which along with illness I think are two of the three most scary aspects of life in a grid-down world. As long as you are staying healthy by not contaminating what you come into contact with by practicing good hygiene, the next thing you have to worry about is getting hurt or getting sick. The handbook lays out clear instructions on how to do things like suture skin (which definitely takes practice), treat burns and even amputations. Like I said, there aren’t technical instructions with dozens of photos, but the process is clearly described and if you find yourself in the situation of needing to amputate a leg, the actual procedure isn’t the most important thing I don’t think.

Which brings me to the third scariest aspect of a collapse and that is a lack of medicine. We have a lot of companies who sell fish antibiotics but the Survival Medicine Handbook actually tells you what to use to treat different ailments.

All in all, I think this is an incredible resource that along with some medical training, the will to help and treat people and some common medical supplies would give you the prepared individual a huge leg up if we have to go through a collapse. This book is hefty and at over 500 pages, I doubt many people would be bugging out with it, but I do think the Survival Medicine Handbook deserves a place on your survival bookshelf. I know I am glad it is on mine.

This book was not initially listed on my list of 32 Must have prepper books only because I had not read it personally myself. I still haven’t read the Survival

If any of you have purchased antibiotics for your long-term medical supplies, you know that these are considered prepper gold. Having this medicine on hand in extended emergencies can help prevent infections or even save a life.

It must be said that not all antibiotics are created equal. Understanding this can help you find the right antibiotics that will work best for the specific medical conditions you are trying to target. Because there are such a wide range of antibiotics, before you buy them do some research on your own or talk with a medical professional to see which antibiotics would be best for you and your family.

Certain antibiotics should not be mixed with other drugs, foods or alcohol. For instance, drinking grapefruit juice with erythromycins or taking erythromycin with theophylline (a drug used for respiratory ailments) can cause fatal heart arrhythmias. There are many other interactions that doctors know about that the layman does not. That being said, if you do plan on storing these medications, have a pharmaceutical or drug guide on hand to ensure that correct medicines and dosages are given. Used copies of this reference can be purchased at college book stores at a discounted price.

Keep in mind that when antibiotics are used to treat an infection, the “good” bacteria in the large intestine may also be destroyed as a result. Therefore, consider investing in some probiotics to help restore the microbial balance that is disrupted by antibiotics and infections. Probiotics are usually sold in the vitamin section of most pharmacies as well as in health food stores. They can be stored along with your vitamins in your reserve supplies.

www.SurvivingHealthy.com is a great website where you can purchase antibiotics securely online without using a prescription. [PH Notes: The Surviving Healthy site does not appear to be active any longer, but Camping Survival offers Fish Antibiotics]

It should be emphasized that antibiotics should only be used as a last resort. Give your body a chance to fight the infection. If the infection continues, consider using a course of antibiotics.

Please consider the following concerns before purchasing antibiotics:

  • They are not a first line of defense.
  • You could be allergic to certain types of antibiotics and could cause other medical issues.
  • The antibiotics may not work due to being past their expiration, from improper storage, from the wrong dosage administered or from your body building up an immunity.
  • Antibiotics can also exacerbate an issue by destroying the good bacteria in the body. Investing in some probiotics can help restore the good stuff though.

According to the Patriot Nurse, the five most popular types of antibiotics (including their generics) are:

  1. Zithromax – UTIs, URIs, Sepsis (used in an IV), STDs, and ear infections.
  2. Ampicillan – This a more broad spectrum antibiotic that treats skin infections, STDs, Sepsis and ear infections.
  3. Cipro – This antibiotic has a lot of toxicity issues and should be taken sparingly. Can be used for UTIs, infectious diarreah, bone and joint infections.
  4. Amoxicillan – This is a very popular antibiotic used in upper respiratory, ear, nose and throat infections, and teeth abcesses.
  5. Doxycycline – An effective antibiotic used for malaria, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

She also suggests Clindamyacin, Flagyl and Bactrim as some back ups to the aforementioned.

Fish antibiotics are also becoming popular storage items amongst preppers because no prescription is required to purchase them. It is true that many fish antibiotics contain the same active ingredients as those formulated for humans. However, there are few considerations to keep in mind, such as using the correct dosage as to not over medicate yourself, and the differences in human metabolism vs. the metabolism rate of a fish.  Anyone who is planning on storing up fish antibiotics to use needs to do proper research, and it wouldn’t help to discuss your findings with a medical professional.

In an article on Survival Blog, the contributing author, who happens to be a doctor was able to purchase the below fish antibiotics online without any demand for medical license or prescription.  A paraphrase of the article and a list of the drugs are listed below. They are:
•FISH-MOX (amoxicillin 250 mg)
•FISH_MOX FORTE (amoxicillin 500 mg)
•FISH-CILLIN (ampicillin 250 mg)
•FISH-FLEX Keflex 250 mg)
•FISH-FLEX FORTE (Keflex 500 mg)
•FISH-ZOLE (metronidazole 250 mg)
•FISH-PEN (penicillin 250 mg)
•FISH-PEN FORTE (penicillin 500 mg)
•FISH-CYCLINE (tetracycline 250 mg)

NOTE: It should be emphasized that FISH-CYCLINE [and other tetracycline antibiotics of various names] can become toxic after its expiration date, unlike most of the other medications listed.

These medications are available usually in plastic bottles of 100 tablets for much less than the same prescription medication at the pharmacy (some come in bottles of 30 tablets). The dosages are similar to that used in humans, and are taken two to four times a day, depending on the drug. The 500mg dosage is probably more effective in larger individuals. Of course, anyone could be allergic to one or another of these antibiotics, but not all of them. (Note that there is a 10% cross-reactivity between “-cillin” drugs and Keflex, meaning that, if you are allergic to Penicillin, you could also be allergic to Keflex). FISH-ZOLE is an antibiotic that also kills some protozoa that cause dysentery.

Antibiotics are an essential preparedness item to have on hand for extended disasters, however, they should be taken when they are needed to most. Understanding the differences between the different antibiotic families, knowing the effects they can have on the body as well as knowing which antibiotics would be best for specific medical conditions will help you make the right choice when comes to buying them.


Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years.

If any of you have purchased antibiotics for your long-term medical supplies, you know that these are considered prepper gold. Having this medicine on hand in extended emergencies can help prevent infections or