Interview – Meet Joe Alton from

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a retired physician and fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of OB/GYN.

Joe Alton

I started my career delivering babies (thousands of them) and ended up, later on, doing mostly surgery, especially minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedures.

My wife, Nurse Amy, is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife, as well as a terrific lady.

2. What is the story behind your site and what made you start it?


We decided to start writing about survival medicine because we saw so many disasters where emergency personnel were unable to reach victims.

Few doctors were willing to go outside the conventional wisdom and talk about what the average person could do to be a medical asset in these situations, so we began to write about it.

“Doom and Bloom” is a play on words for the term “Doom and Gloom”.

We see the storm clouds on the horizon, but there’s a silver lining opportunity in them: the chance to become medically self-reliant.

The website now has over 500 posts on medical preparedness.

3. Can you give us a little insight in “Survival Medicine”?

Medical Bag

True survival medicine is different than modern emergency medicine or even wilderness medicine.

The difference: the most basic of all, your goal. What’s your goal when you come upon an injured person on the street or on the trail: To stabilize them and get them to a modern medical facility.

What, however, if there is NO modern medical facility available to you due to a disaster? YOU become the highest medical resource, and your goal now is to become the end of the medical line when it comes to that injury, all the way to complete recovery.

4. What are the Survival Skills and Safety/First Aid Skills that you’d say could save our life one day?

Trauma Bag

A number of them come to mind:

  • The ability to sterilize water.
  • The ability to keep your retreat or camp sanitary.
  • The ability to diagnose and treat injuries.
  • The ability to diagnose and treat infections.
  • And many more…


5. What is the survival gear you would like to have close when the situation calls for it it?

Survival Bag

From our standpoint, a well-equipped medical kit will give you the best chance to save a life.

We designed an entire line of them, from a hunter/hiker/biker pack to an advanced pack for the community medic in a long-term survival setting.

We’ve had to use our kit more than once at a preparedness event.

6. Can you give 5 tips to the starting-out survivalist?

Dvd survival kit

  • Take your municipality’s first aid, CPR, and first responder courses.
  • Check out print, video, and audio resources to hear different opinions on what to do in an emergency.
  • Put together a good medical kit. Our website has many different ones we’ve designed in our store with lists of contents freely published. We don’t care if you buy any of our kits but we DO want you to get the stuff on the lists.
  • Don’t just put your medical kit on the top shelf of the closet and forget about it. Fiddle around with it so that you become well-acquainted with the contents. Don’t be afraid to move things around so that their locations make sense to YOU.
  • Learn how to sterilize water and dispose of waste safely in an off-grid setting.

7. Please tell us more about your amazing book “The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way”

The survival medicine handbook

Our #1 Amazon Bestseller in survival skills and safety/first aid “The Survival Medicine Handbook” is a pretty unique book! Nowhere in its over 550 pages does it ever say “Go to the doctor” or “Go to the hospital”.

Why? Because we assume that they no longer exist due to some major disaster.

The book gives the non-medical professional the best chance to succeed, even when everything else fails.

We cover over 100 topics in the book; it is well-recognized as the major medical reference book for the preparedness community.

8. What is your favorite survival online community?

We belong to over 180 of them, so we couldn’t say which group is our favorite.

All of them have people willing to share their knowledge, and they’re all awesome just because of that.

9. A message for your readers and fans.

Don’t think that you can’t be the medical resource in times of trouble just because you’re not a doctor, nurse, or paramedic.

It’s never too late to learn, and there are lots of resources in print, online, and hands-on that can make you an effective medic for your family in times of trouble.

You’ll succeed if you’d just pick up the flag and give it a little time and effort.


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