Assuming you’re fortunate enough to live through the initial event, will you be able to care for yourself in an era of no doctors, no hospitals, no pharmacies? Perhaps a few physicians will survive as well, but where are they? Can the few remaining assume care for the devastated population?
2012. It’s upon us. (Now come and gone.) Is it a real or imaged threat? What about our not-so-friendly nuclear neighbors? Or a flu pandemic reminiscent of the Andromeda Strain? Or a depression so deep the power grid collapses?
I am not an alarmist. My lifetime has been one of prolonged American prosperity. But I have often wondered how long it can last, and have come to doubt the continued stability of our nation and society. Although I am not an expert on end-of-world survival, I do have decades of practical experience as a family physician. If such an unthinkable event occurs, how will people care for themselves? The young and healthy have little know-how when it comes to self-care for injuries, infections, childbirth, and nutrition. Millions of middle-aged souls suffer from diabetes, depression, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, back pain, and ulcers. What about the elderly with poor eyesight, poor digestion, poor mobility, and a poor prognosis? Who will care for them?
If the power grid is destroyed there will be no water, no food, no social services, at least not with the abundance and availability with which we’re accustomed. What will you do if you come down with pneumonia? Can you survive if you have diabetes? Will your child die of scarlet fever? These are just a few of the questions I’ve asked myself. Though it sounds grim, there is hope.
Although others have written excellent books regarding surviving the end of the world as we know it, the medical information contained therein is limited. If society is to continue, those who remain must know how to care for themselves. The common maladies will continue to plague mankind. No doubt new threats will emerge.
This web site is intended to help the survivors – and those who hope to survive. How can you prepare if you have children? What will you do if you’re diabetic? Is there any hope for your parents with heart disease and arthritis?
You’ll find articles on preparedness, acute injuries, infections, childbirth, chronic illness, mental health, and nutrition. Checklists will help you know what to do before the big event and how to prepare for life afterward. Detailed instructions on common illnesses will tell you what a physician would do and how you can care for yourself. Practical advice on managing chronic disease will assure those with serious problems of continued survival.
Even if nothing happens (and let’s hope it doesn’t), the information contained herein is valuable advice. The human body will not have changed. Knowledge is power and it’s always a good idea to learn how best to care for yourself.
Cynthia J. Koelker, MD