Interview: Dr. Joe Alton of the Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Hour

It is my pleasure to provide the following interview with Dr. Joe Alton. Dr. Joe – also known as Dr. Bones – runs their website with his wife Nurse Amy Alton. Beyond the excellent preparedness information, they provide with their blog they also host the Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Hour podcast. As accomplished authors, their book The Survival Medicine Handbook is popular among preppers.

For all your preparedness medical supply needs visit Dr. Joe and Nurse Amy’s store at

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

I’m a retired physician (M.D.), Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and Life Fellow of the American College of OB/GYN. I delivered a lot of babies early in my career and morphed into more of a surgical practice as my patients got older with me. I still carry an active medical license in my home state. Now I write and speak about topics related to disaster medical preparedness.

What motivated your interest in preparedness?

I’ve always been a “Hurricane prepper”, with extra supplies for the storms that sometimes pound the East coast. I helped out after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but didn’t really get started writing about medical preparedness until after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In that storm, many of the medical personnel converging on the scene were unable to reach people due to extensive flooding. It became clear that, if every family had a medically-prepared member, there might have been some deaths prevented. My mission is to populate the country with medics held in reserve for when their people need them.

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

Not really, other than weather events that might occur in our area. I’ve been through hurricanes, floods, heat waves, and even had a tornado sideswipe my house some years ago, knocking down trees and sending roof tiles flying.

What significance does politics play when it comes to preparedness?

As a medical person, politics don’t enter my mindset for preparedness, as I would help the ill or injured regardless of their political stripes. Disasters spare no ideology. Of course, during the Obama years, it was mostly conservatives concerned about the uncertain future. Now, folks on the Left are beginning to wake up to the need for self-reliance because of their issues with President Trump.

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

Guns make wounds, but my focus is healing wounds. Certainly, anyone who doesn’t look to the common defense of their home and personal safety is ignoring an important aspect of being prepared. For most, firearms have a place in that defense. Just be sure you practice gun safety and pass on your knowledge to the next generation.

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

Firestarter, a good knife, non-perishable food, water, and a decent medical kit”. You’ll find list of what medical supplies I want you to have in our book “The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way”, our medical supplies DVD, or in various free articles on our website at Look at our freely published list of supplies in our kits and, if you can devote some time and effort, make a kit that makes sense for you and your family.

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

It doesn’t take a lot of money to put together some supplies. You can still get a big bag of rice for $20 or so at a big box store. You can improvise bandages out of old sheets. A packet of seeds isn’t expensive. You don’t have to do it all at once: Just be sure to regularly make additions to your survival storage, learn how to garden, deal with common medical issues, and plan for disasters likely to affect your area.

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

Clean water, food, shelter, medical, and tactical.

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

A slow downward spiral economically for the average person, increasing civil unrest due to worsening political division and more frequent attacks by emboldened terrorists on U.S. soil.

What is your #1 tip when it comes to medical preparedness?

The average citizen may find themselves one day to be the highest medical resource left to their family, whether it’s a natural disaster, a man-made event, or just being a witness to an accident. With some knowledge and a few supplies, that citizen can make a difference. If you take some time and devote some effort to being a medical asset to your people, have no doubt: You will save lives.

Any upcoming projects you would like to mention?

We always have something going on, whether it’s traveling from coast to coast speaking on medical preparedness or designing new kits for such as our public access bleeding control kit. We’ll continue writing and talking about medical preparedness in articles, videos, and podcasts that discuss strategies for long-term survival.


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