Off Grid Living Medical Preparedness Tips [Interview]

Off grid medical preparedness education can mean the difference between life and death. Folks living on a homestead or in rural areas often have less access to healthcare facilities on a typical day, and during a major disaster, the options for aid become even fewer. During massive natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, even urban dwellers found themselves without the means to treat anything beyond superficial wounds for an extended period of time.

Doctor Tom Stoner is eager to share his medical preparedness insight with America and better inform citizens about the health dangers facing the country. Stoner is a popular keynote speaker at prepper expos held around the United States. The TSSP Incorporated co-founder detailed how to best prepare to stay alive and well should one of the natural or man-made scenarios occur. Members of the homesteading, survival, and prepper community frequently spend an abundance of time reading and going to training workshops to enhance their emergency medical skills to become better able to protect their loved ones during a disaster scenario.

Do we have enough medical professions to survive a major disaster?

Dr. Tom: EMP or solar flare is always a concern and projections are that this year could be active as it relates to the sun. The damage this would wreak on the nation would also be catastrophic and would throw us into the dark ages, but so would an anthrax, and smallpox, or flu pandemic. Our current medical community is 15,000 docs short per NBC and Bloomberg reports. And we have lost and will continue to lose, a huge knowledge base that has sought early retirement.

You have been prepping for 15 years, but before that you already had a successful medical career and had served in the US Air Force. What prompted you to embark on not only a preparedness lifestyle, but yet another career which involved sharing your massive medical knowledge with others?

Dr. Tom: I started prepping when I joined the military in 1995. They really do a good job of teaching this and especially in the medical field. The military always taught us to prep with one months’ worth of food and water and a mo-bag or mobility bag.

What steps have you taken to prepare for a downed power grid or other long-term disaster scenarios?

Dr. Tom: My wife and I keep sutures kits, Lidocaine, some antibiotics and IVF for any casualties that may come our way. Certainly food shelter and water are all still the basics, but we heat with wood and have a stream close by and I hunt and am pretty good. We have a local group, and we subsist on one another and what one doesn’t have the other does. It is a team approach, really the best way; team together, everyone achieves more.

How has your expertise in nuclear, radiologic, and bio and chemical warfare impacted the way you prepare with your wife Sheila, and educate others?

Dr. Tom: 9/11 really drove me closer to “prepperism” and most folks with common sense understood that our federal government couldn’t be there all the time. I had an event with my four-year-old son right after I was revaccinated with smallpox, and the lack of help with that event also drove me in a more self-educated and sufficient direction.

A significant portion of your training and professional experience is in disease control. You were involved with the anthrax and smallpox vaccine program while in the Air Force. Concerns about a global pandemic or epidemic due to bird flu have been at the top of some preppers’ priority list for several years. The lifting of the ban on airborne bird flu testing has garnered backlash from many bioterrorism experts. The H7N9 bird flu strain is possibly being transferred from human-to-human. While WHO and CDC scientists are not yet ready to confirm such a transference yet, they have raised concerns about the valid possibility. What are your thoughts about the potential of a bird flu pandemic or epidemic on a world-wide scale?

Dr. Tom: Certainly bird flu is a concern with H7N9 but so is SARS, and it is more of not if but when. Most of the recent literature cites that this current flu is being spread human-to-human, but seems to be more clustered amongst families. When this really does go down, human-to-human transmission will occur rapidly as will viral mutation from person to person, and this will devastate our nation and the world. We may not be able to create a vaccine quickly, and hundreds of millions could die, if not more. Antivirals also lose their potency anyway and would not have much effect here either. The key is contain, quarantine and vaccinate. Also, PPE – personal protective equipment is a must with an N 95, eye cover, and hand hygiene. A surgical mask with face shield is our current standard, but I push for the N 95 mask.

Greater concerns at this point are anthrax due to its availability in our soil and ease of production and fermentation, over 20 countries have stockpiles. Anthrax spores live for weeks to years and are not easily destroyed. Inhalation is near 100 percent lethal, and there is no cure once it is inhaled. And by the time it is figured out, it is too late. Smallpox is still a concern, but less due to its availability, but it is highly contagious – lethality could be 50 percent.

200 pounds of anthrax could easily kill millions with three to four million in casualties and also devastate and kill wildlife and farm animals. This would be released several miles upwind from a small plane and is known as the poor man’s nuke, easily and cheaply accomplished with tragic results, this one scares the hell out of me.

What services and gear does TSSP Incorporated offer?

Dr. Tom: Our medical kit offers antibiotics like Amoxicillin, Bactrim, Ciprofloxacin, Flagyl, anti-fungals like Diflucan, anti-nausea meds like Phenergan, and Prednisone, and Benadryl for allergic reaction. We also have Tylenol and Motrin in the kit with instructions. Other options with the kit are the N 95 masks, suture kit and suture. And really anything that you could think of. I deal directly with the largest wholesale medical distributor in the world. I do not sell or distribute narcotics or sedatives, no scheduled medications at all.

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