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  • Writer's pictureWilliam W. Forgey, MD

Off-grid versus No-grid Medical Prepping

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

The basis of adequate prepping is being prepared for both common and dire events that may occur under the worst of all possible circumstances. These circumstances might include the breakdown in normal emergency support services (such as 911), the lack of an ability to obtain additional supplies, and the probability that you will not be able to rely on anyone but members of your immediate group or yourself. Obviously prepping requires forethought with regard to food, water supplies, power, and protection – all areas of significant technical preparation requiring obtaining skill sets and supplies. Self-reliant medical care is no exception. Even advanced first aid classes such as Wilderness First Responder and Tactical Combat Casualty Care all rely eventually on evacuation as part of the treatment protocol. Under the situation of impractical or impossible evacuation, a means of providing a plan for long-term management must be available. The Prepper's Medical Handbook provides the basis of prevention, identification, and long-term management of survivable medical conditions and can be performed with minimal training. It helps you identify sources of materials you will need and should stock-pile, it discusses storage issues, and directs you to sources for more complex procedures that require advanced concepts of field-expedient techniques that could be of use to trained medical persons such as surgeons, anesthesiologist, dentists, or midwives. Two critical components of medical prepping is the concept of “off-grid” versus “no grid.” My book is structured around this concept. You will be advised how to manage most problems with no “outside” assistance, that is with no contact with the grid. However, it is also important to know when it would be important to rely on grid support, when a patient should be seen by an Advance Care Provider. But then back to the other issues, what if there is no grid or it is impossible for you to return to the grid for whatever reason? Then you must also know how to provide management under a TEOTWAWKI event when the grid will simply not be available to you. While based upon my book Wilderness Medicine, 7th Edition (Falcon – Globe Pequot Press, 2017), numerous modifications have been made to address the uniquely different aspect of Prepper medical care from the experiences facing wilderness expeditions into remote areas. Living in a remote cabin in Northern Manitoba for a winter does qualify as a sort of “prepping;” my book is also based upon over 40 years of experience with such activities. Providing medical care on dozens of medical service projects in remote areas of Haiti and elsewhere also provides the basis of my experience to write the ultimate Prepper Medical Handbook. But the greatest inspiration for my prepper instincts comes from my 30 months in Vietnam as a young infantry officer and the training I received in preparation for my military experiences. I have never stopped training, preparing, and experiencing the activities required to help others survive their environment and their medical situation. With this book I pass this knowledge on to you so that you can prepare and then act to manage medical problems in the ultimate austere environment, the one in which you must be fully self-dependent for even emergent medical care without any help from “the grid.”

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