After gathering food and building a shelter, most people in the preparedness community consider personal and home defense to be the next priority in the event that our civilization collapses. Certainly, defending oneself is important; you will have to be prepared to defend your life, but have you thought about preparing to defend your health?
Medical Preparedness and Defending Your Health
In a situation where power might be down and normal methods of filtering water and cleaning food for the table don’t exist, your health is as much under attack as the survivors in the most recent zombie apocalypse movie! Infectious diseases such as dysentery will be rampant in a situation where it will be a challenge to maintain sanitary conditions. Simple chores such as chopping wood may lead to minor cuts that could get infected and, if left untreated, become life-threatening. Don’t you owe it to yourself and your family to devote some time and effort to obtain medical knowledge and supplies?
The issues you might have to deal with in a grid-down situation might put you at risk for sickness or injury. Make sure you’re prepared for illnesses such as infectious disease; you’re going to deal with that issue more frequently that gunfights at the OK corral. Just remember the Civil War. A lot more soldiers died from infectious disease than gunshot wounds. Some say “Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids”, but I say “Beans, Band-Aids and Bullets”. I guess that’s not surprising, since I’m a physician.
These days we can purchase insurance for our health, our life, our car, and just about everything else. If you make the commitment to learn how to treat medical issues and to store medical supplies, you’re “purchasing” another type of health insurance: one that’s more tangible, and certainly more useful if we find ourselves in a collapse situation. The medical supplies will be there if the unforeseen happens, and the knowledge you gain will be there for the rest of your life.
Medical Training in a Collapse Situation
It’s important to know that there are illnesses that will be difficult to treat if modern medical facilities aren’t available. It will be hard to do much about those clogged coronary arteries; there won’t be many cardiac bypasses performed. However, by eating healthily and getting good nutrition, you will give yourself the best chance to minimize some major medical issues. In a collapse situation, an ounce of prevention is worth, not a pound, but a ton of cure.
When I say to obtain medical knowledge, I am also encouraging you to learn about natural remedies and alternative therapies that may have some benefit for your particular medical problem. I cannot vouch for the effectiveness of every claim that one thing or another will cure what ails you; suffice it to say, that our family has an extensive medicinal herb garden and that it might be a good idea for your family to have one, also. Many herbs that have medicinal properties grow like weeds, so a green thumb is not required!
I’m not asking you to do anything that your great-grandparents didn’t do as part of their strategy to succeed in life. In a collapse situation, we’ll be thrown back (in a sense) to their time and we should learn some lessons from their way of life.
Some (non-prepper) members of my family ask me why I make the effort to try to prepare people medically for a societal collapse. They tell me that I can’t turn everyone into a doctor, so why should I try?
Am I trying to turn you all into doctors? No, there’s too much to learn in one lifetime; even as a physician, I come across things I’m not sure about. That’s what medical books are for, so make sure that you put together a few so that you can refer to them when you need to. I AM trying to turn you into something, however: I’m trying to make you a better medical asset to your family and/or survival community than you were before. If our civilization collapses, it will be people like you that will help rebuild it.