Interview: Amy Alton from the Survival Medicine Hour

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Can you tell my readers a bit about yourself and your background?

I am Amy Alton, ARNP, MSN, CNM. I attended a 4-year Barry University nursing school for my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, then the University of Miami for my Master’s Degree in Nursing with a dual degree as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Nurse Midwife. I grew up early in rural Georgia with a veteran father who taught me to be tough and have a heightened situational awareness. We went camping, hiking, biking, motorcycling, shooting and traveled. My family was frugal and we saved money by gardening, canning, and shopping at local farms.


What motivated your interest in preparedness?

My father’s Air Force tour gave him amazing skills. He passed the “be prepared” mindset onto me, so from early childhood, I felt this was just the normal thing to do.

Joe and I began to ramp up our preps after Hurricane Andrew, and even more after Hurricane Katrina. Plus the flu pandemic scare in 2009 made us think even more globally about the possibility of millions dead, and the massive effect that would have on life as we know it.


Is there something – some events or situation – that you are specifically preparing for?

The two for me would be Hurricanes and a serious pandemic that is easily transmitted and has a high death rate. Hurricanes I can see coming and get out of dodge if need be. A pandemic could start without much press and spread rapidly with today’s travel options. By the time we realize exactly what is happening, it could be too late to contain it. Sheltering in place may be the only option for a grand majority of folks.


What significance does politics play when it comes to preparedness?

I have met many thousands of folks since 2010 when Joe and I began this teaching medical survival adventure. I’d have to say, that almost all, but not quite 100% were conservative up until this election. There is a new group of folks who are starting to become prepared now that we have a new president. They are seriously worried about economic collapse and/or war with any number of countries around the world.

I’m happy to see more people become prepared for anything, but I don’t want them to live in fear. Fear is paralyzing. A positive outlook, but being ready just in case will go a long way in living a happier life here and now.


What level of importance do you place on firearms when it comes to preparedness?

Well, since I grew up with firearms and was taught very early how to shoot and all about gun safety, I feel very strongly about the need for everyone to own one. Get training with a professional and learn everything there is to know about gun safety. When we get a new type of personal protection gear, we train. Find a trainer who speaks calmly and knows their stuff. Remember, you don’t need to be yelled at to learn. That training is for very advanced students and professionals in high-stress situations. Early learners need to take it slow.


Are there any particular items you consider “must haves” for a survival/bug out/get home kit?

Water filter and water purification tablets, multi-tool, flashlight with strike bezel, a defensive knife or this knife, mini first aid kit, good socks and boots (on your feet), lightweight small tent, paracord, duct tape, MREs and protein bars, honey packets, mini camping cookware, firestarter with compass and whistle , thick poncho , wet naps or diaper wipes, tissue paper, mini bar of soap, travel size toothbrush/toothpaste (dental hygiene is still important!), AM/FM solar/battery/Crank charge Radio, leather gloves, hat, sunscreen.

As much as you can carry, depending on your fitness and age!


Any advice to those on a budget who are trying to prepare?

First, decide what you are preparing for, understand the scenarios that could occur and the consequences of each scenario. Make a list of everything you would want to have, and then prioritize. Begin purchasing based on your monthly budget. Do not overspend. Your biggest tragedy could be serious credit card debt!

Look at bulk stores for deals on your supplies if you have space. Dollar stores or discount stores carry basic items that work just as well as more expensive brand name items. Do you really care about the name on your hand sanitizer? Couponing is a great way to save money and it’s fun too! There are Facebook groups that share ideas for couponing.


What do you consider to be the Top 5 survival & preparedness categories in order of importance?

Water, food, shelter, warmth (fire) and proper clothing, first aid, and personal protection gear. I know that is 6, but I can’t leave out personal protection.


Care you give a prediction on what the next 5 years will look like?

I’m an optimist, but I see even more turmoil in the world ahead. There are some seriously crazy leaders with giant egos and war supplies (you can name them I’m sure). What can we do? As much as we try to solve all the problems in the world, we just can’t, it’s too much. Unfortunately, when we do try, sometimes things get even worse. A rock and a hard place.

An unknown issue, which I still worry about, is a deadly easily transmitted illness. Viruses and bacteria mutate. Will a change in either of these start a domino effect in the world of nearly unstoppable proportions? I hope not, but I really think one day we will have one (again). Imagine the spread of another Black Plague or Spanish Flu event with planes, trains, subways, and cars.


Any special advice you would give to women prepper’s out there? 

Be strong and prepare to protect your family. If you garner skills, no one can take that away from you. You can learn anything you put your mind too. We are the stronger sex.

If your partner is the one seriously prepping and you don’t understand, go on a camping trip with him (and the family too). It is amazing how camping bonds people against the elements and dangers lurking around the corner. You just might understand his need to prep after that trip. Don’t bring the luxuries with you though; go with just basic gear if you can. You will be proud of yourself when you return!


Any upcoming projects you would like to mention?

We just added an 8-hour Survival Medicine Class to our schedule. It will be in Kodak TN (between Knoxville and Sevierville) on May 13, 2017. For more information, go to

We also just filmed a Bleeding Wound DVD, with multiple demonstrations of items like three different tourniquets (SWAT, GEN7 CAT and a SOF-T). This DVD will be available in mid-June on our store site at:


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