Sleep Deprivation

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sleep deprivation

In our roles as preparedness experts for disasters and epidemics, we’re often asked to come on various media outlets to give our opinion, mostly on medical issues. Occasionally, we get the interview request that seems to be a medical topic but has obvious political overtones. Just yesterday, a radio station asked me to comment, as a doctor, on whether Donald Trump’s 4-hour a night sleep habit impacts his ability to make rational and sound decisions.

As for my opinion on this particular question, I’ll refer you to americansurvivalradio.com, but suffice it to say that he’s actually in pretty good company with regards to sleep habits.  Five hours was reported as a good night’s sleep for Bill Clinton while president. Winston Churchill liked naps but slept little at night. Martha Stewart is just one of many business leaders that get less than the recommended 7-8 hours per night. There are, in fact, quite a few highly successful folks who seem to do just fine with little shut-eye.

Sleep deprivation is a pretty serious issue: Some researchers believe that it can carry a mortality risk approaching that of cigarettes or heart disease. Indeed, sleep deprivation has been used as a torture method in interrogations. The CDC estimates that up to 50-70 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. In the aftermath of a major disaster, you can imagine that issues with sleep deprivation will only increase.

How does sleep deprivation decrease your chances of succeeding in times of trouble? Not getting enough sleep can significantly impair your brain’s function. The parts of the brain involved in alertness and attention (the thalamus) and the area that controls many higher-level thought processes (the prefrontal cortex) are especially vulnerable.  If the brain doesn’t get enough rest, you may become incapable of putting events into the proper perspective and taking appropriate action, a pretty big issue whether you’re president of the United States or the survivor of a major disaster.

Scientific studies bear this out. Indeed, The British Medical Journal equates the effects of 17-21 hours without sleep as the equivalent, in terms of affecting behavior, of having a blood alcohol level close to the legal limit of intoxication. A number of articles that evaluated the performance of medical residents show that those getting less than 4 hours of sleep made more medical errors that residents who slept 7-8 hours a night.

What about the elderly? Don’t older people naturally sleep less hours and less deeply? Studies show that that the elderly do get less sleep, but it’s not necessarily because they need less. Sleep could be affected for all sorts of reasons: sleep apnea, arthritis pain, heart issues, etc. Those in their later years also might develop something called “advanced sleep-phase syndrome”. These folks’ bodies want to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier but their minds (and HBO, I expect) keep them from getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. Result: Sleep Deprivation.

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In addition to what’s happening in your brain, the failure to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night causes a whole set of symptoms, none of which are particularly good for a survivalist. Here are just some:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Bloodshot, puffy eyes
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms
  • Ill effects on control of diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Blackouts lasting up to 30 seconds (also called “microsleeps”)

There are a number of people that seem to function just fine with less than the average number of sleep hours. No one is quite sure why this is so, but it appears to involve about 5% of the population and may be related to genetics. For the rest, it rapidly becomes clear that they need more sleep.

There are things that you can do to get a few more hours of shut-eye each night. The best start is to consider a concept we’ll call “sleep hygiene”.  Sleep hygiene involves adjusting your behavior to maximize the amount of restful sleep you get.  Consider:

  • Sticking to a standard bedtime and wakeup time
  • Making your nighttime environment as comfortable as possible
  • Avoiding Nicotine, Caffeine, and Alcohol before going to bed.
  • Staying awake from heavy foods for at least 2 hours before going to sleep
  • Exercising regularly, but not right before going to bed
  • Eliminating as much light as possible in the room at bedtime
  • Keeping your mind clear of stressful issues at bedtime

After a disaster, many of the above strategies are difficult to implement. Of course, there are drugs like Ambien and Halcion that you can use, but a better alternative to start with might be some form of natural sleep aid.  Some of the common alternative remedies for sleeplessness include the following teas:

  • Chamomile
  • Kava Root
  • Lavender
  • Valerian Root
  • Catnip

Good nutrition is important for general health, but some foods are also thought to be helpful in promoting a good night’s sleep.  They contain sleep-inducing or muscle-relaxing substances like melatonin, magnesium, or tryptophan. Some examples:

  • Oatmeal – melatonin
  • Milk – tryptophan
  • Almonds – tryptophan and magnesium
  • Bananas – melatonin and magnesium
  • Whole wheat Bread – helps release tryptophan

Yoga, massage, meditation, sound machines, and even acupuncture might also be effective ways of dealing with sleep deprivation.

Staying healthy in normal times or in the aftermath of disaster involves, not only maintaining good physical hygiene, but maintaining good sleep hygiene as well. To be at 100% efficiency, get some rest!

Joe Alton, MD

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Joe Alton, MD

Survival Medicine Hour: Storing Meds, Respiratory Infection, Pt. 1

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How to store meds

The Survival Medicine Hour (November 11, 2016) exposes the issues we all face when looking at an uncertain future. If you prepare for long-term survival due to man-made or natural disasters, one looming problem is how to keep your much needed medications in the best condition possible. Nurse Amy. aka Amy Alton, ARNP and Dr. Bones, aka Joe Alton, MD cover some techniques and methods to help you solve this medication storage problem.

Part 1 of respiratory infections is also covered in this episode, plus a discussion of the reappearance of the respiratory virus that originates in the intestine, Enterovirus D68.

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Medic Memorial

On this Veteran’s day, Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy want to say thanks to all of our military staff new and old; we greatly appreciate your service to our country!

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2016/11/11/survival-medicine-hour-storing-medications-longterm-respiratory-infections-pt1

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

 

AmyandJoePodcast400x200Find out more about medical issues in times of trouble with the Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for when Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon.com.

American Survival Radio #18

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American Survival Radio

American Survival Radio is Joe and Amy Alton’s second and latest podcast, focused on current events, health, and politics. It is separate and distinct from The Survival Medicine Hour, which continues as before focused mostly on health issues as they pertain to preparedness and survival.  If you’re interested in Survival, your own and that of your country, we bet you’ll like both!

In this episode of American Survival Radio, Joe and Amy Alton discuss the just completed Republican convention, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Also, Zika virus throws health officials some curves with cases of female-to male transmission, caregiver infections, and possibly local infections being reported. A total of 400 U.S. pregnancies infected with Zika virus have been identified, with 12 babies born with birth defects so far. An equal number are being followed in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Plus, Dr. Alton talks about the truck attack in Nice, France, and how being “situationally aware” may save your life in a terror attack. What do you have to do to change your mindset and instill a culture of readiness, not victimization, in the general public and, especially, our next generation?

All this and more in (click to listen) American Survival Radio #18!

Joe and Amy Alton

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American Survival Radio #17

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American Survival Radio is Joe and Amy Alton’s second and latest podcast, focused on current events, health, and politics. It is separate and distinct from The Survival Medicine Hour, which continues as before focused mostly on health issues as they pertain to preparedness and survival.  If you’re interested in Survival, your own and that of your country, we bet you’ll like both!

In this episode of American Survival Radio, Joe and Amy Alton welcome economic trend forecaster Gerald Celente for a discussion of what to expect from the U.S. and global economy in the coming months. If you want more evidence that we’re circling the drain, this interview is it. Plus, Joe Alton goes back in time to his article from 2012 which wondered if any Republican will ever be elected president again in the foreseeable future. Changing demographics in the U.S. have made formally red state a bright purple now, and the failure to attract Latino voters is only part of the reason. Also, the Democratic Party Platform for 2016 includes the usual concerns about climate change, but the U.S. is only responsible for 16% of carbon emission production. Our inability to control growing economies like China and India guarantee that they’ll be using fossil fuels until they reach our standard of living. Is there really anything we can do about it, with developing nations saying “Oh, so you were able to use coal and oil for 150 years to become the world’s superpower, but we can’t? Doesn’t seem fair….”

All this and more in American Survival Radio #17 with Joe and Amy Alton.

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American Survival Radio #16

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American Survival Radio is Joe and Amy Alton’s second and latest podcast, focused on current events, health, and politics. It is separate and distinct from The Survival Medicine Hour, which continues as before focused mostly on health issues as they pertain to preparedness and survival.  If you’re interested in Survival, your own and that of your country, we bet you’ll like both!

In this episode of American Survival Radio,  Joe and Amy Alton note the mess that Olympic Host Brazil is in, but look no further than the border to find a country in worse shape: Venezuela. After hurling insults our way for the last decade or so, the socialist country wants to re-establish diplomatic relations. We wonder if it’s because their people are starving and none too happy about it? Hear the sad story as Venezuelans wonder where their next meal is coming from. Also, summer has arrived and you’re going to be visiting lots of places that could make you seriously ill if you don’t watch out. The Altons tell you what these are, and how to stay healthy in the hot, hot sun.  Plus, a few thoughts about FBI director James Comey’s statements last week and how Hillary Clinton, probably President Hillary Clinton avoided a  trip to the Big House and cemented a trip to the White House.

All this and more in American Survival Radio #16 with Joe and Amy Alton!

American Survival Radio

Don’t forget to check out our brand new Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook on Amazon!

American Survival Radio, July 2

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In this episode of American Survival Radio, Joe and Amy Alton tackle the issue of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism isn’t what it was, a healthy respect for the traditions and values of others, but has morphed into a mandate to accept even barbaric customs like female genital mutilation as morally equivalent to Western values. Barbarism is not the moral equal of civilization, folks. Also, things are starting to steamroll in Brazil as issues of security and financial collapse are added to the ongoing Zika epidemic in Rio de Janeiro, the city that’s hosting the summer Olympics this year. Police and hospital personnel aren’t getting paid, and that could be even more hazardous to your health than the Zika infection.

Plus, Future Dan from futuredanger.com joins the Altons to discuss his new Drudge Report-like website gives indicator levels to articles that might become a peril to America’s Survival! All this and more on American Survival Radio #15!

Joe and Amy Alton

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American Survival Radio, June 25

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American Survival Radio is Joe and Amy Alton’s second and latest podcast, focused on current events, health, and politics. It is separate and distinct from The Survival Medicine Hour, which continues as before focused mostly on health issues as they pertain to preparedness and survival.  If you’re interested in Survival, your own and that of your country, we bet you’ll like both!

In this episode of American Survival Radio, Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP discuss the issues of the day, which seems to include terror events and active shooters more and more as time goes on. Of course, with that, the political battle over gun control rages while, perhaps, the discussion over how to make Americans more difficult targets gets ignored. Plus, the state of California”s lawmakers pass a bill to allow Obamacare to be offered to undocumented immigrants, something President Obama himself had guaranteed repeatedly would NOT happen. Listen to how California State Senator Ricardo Lara (D) found a loophole in the law, and how, unless, they find funds to pay the premiums for these immigrants , Obamacare is still going to be unaffordable to most even if offered.

On the natural disaster front, a deadly heat wave in the West is causing problems for the 3500 firefighters trying to control multiple wildfires in the area. Yes, a heat wave is a natural disaster: A major one in 2003 on the European continent killed tens of thousands of people. Joe and Amy Alton tell you how to stay safe in the hottest weather. All this and more in American Survival Radio #14!

American Survival Radio

The Altons

American Survival Radio, June 18th

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PULSE Orlando nightclub

American Survival Radio is Joe and Amy Alton’s second and latest podcast, focused on current events, health, and politics. It is separate and distinct from The Survival Medicine Hour, which continues as before focused mostly on health issues as they pertain to preparedness and survival.  If you’re interested in Survival, your own and that of your country, we bet you’ll like both!

In this episode of American Survival Radio, the Altons explore the Orlando shootings and come to a disturbing conclusion: that there are millions of soft targets for a gunman and that a repeat of this event can and will occur again and again in the uncertain future. Indeed, Omar Mateen’s attack on the Orlando PULSE nightclub will become the blueprint for future attacks: crowded venue, no armed patrons, lots of noise, and late enough for most club goers to have had a drink or two (not the best recipe for situational awareness).

Also, President Obama is close to his goal of handing control of the internet from U.S. hands to that of a global organization. The Alton explore whether this is really a good idea, or will authoritarian regimes take advantage and make the internet a less free place? Will Congress block the move?

All this and more on American Survival Radio #13.

Wishing you the best in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

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Joe and Amy Alton

 

 

American Survival Radio, June 4th

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Lighthouse, Oregon Coast

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American Survival Radio brings you the news that affects, well, America’s Survival! With disaster and epidemic preparedness experts Joe and Amy Alton as hosts, expect some hard-hitting opinions on the news of the day.

In this episode of American Survival Radio, Joe and Amy Alton bring you the show from the great state of Oregon, where they’re speaking at the very popular Mother Earth News Fair there. When you’re a homesteader, sometimes you’re far from where you could get help, so self-reliance is the key (and that’s right up their alley!).

American Survival Radio #11 investigates why the murder rate in Chicago is so high, and climbing higher every year. The Altons have a pretty good idea of what’s behind it. Plus, The Florida Medical Association sends Dr. Alton a letter about their outrage that highly trained nurse practitioners may be seeing some VA patients, to decrease wait times for our veterans needing medical help. Seems that’s some kind of territorial threats to the doctors at the FMA, but Nurse Practitioner Amy Alton has her own choice words to say on this subject.

Also, the first baby born in the continental U.S. with Zika virus-related brain damage puts new attention on the risk to American citizens this summer, when mosquitoes will be out in force. Yet, the Democrats and Republicans can’t stop squabbling about how to fund efforts to avoid local cases in the U.S. Sheesh.

All this and more on American Survival Radio #11.

All the best in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

American Survival Radio

American Survival Radio, May 28

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syrian refugees

American Survival Radio is Joe and Amy Alton’s second and latest podcast, focused on current events, health, and politics. It is separate and distinct from The Survival Medicine Hour, which continues as before focused mostly on health issues as they pertain to preparedness and survival.  If you’re interested in Survival, your own and that of your country, we bet you’ll like both!

In this episode of American Survival Radio, Joe and Amy Alton discover that a record number of Syrian refugees have been admitted in the last month to the United States, but not one of them is a Christian, the most persecuted group in the war zone. Why? Plus, more and more medical professionals and scientists are calling to cancel the upcoming Summer Olympics due to concerns about the Zika Virus. Is it a bad idea to have half a million tourists enter the epidemic zone?

Also, wonder what it’s like when a country is on the brink of disintegrations? Just look at Venezuela. The Altons give you a taste of what it’s like when the rule of law approaches non-existence, and what it would take for America to follow suit. Lastly, is taking a moral stand to sit out the 2016 election the right thing for NeverTrumpers, or are they just playing into the hands of those that would accelerate the downward spiral that’s happening right now?

All this and more on American Survival Radio. To listen in, click below:

http://rss.gcnlive.com/americanSurvivalRadio/?name=americansurvivalradio0528161.mp3
Check out previous shows in the RSS feed on the right sidebar of this page.

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

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American Survival Radio, May 21st

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American Survival Radio is Joe and Amy Alton’s second and latest podcast, focused on current events, health, and politics. It is separate and distinct from The Survival Medicine Hour, which continues as before focused mostly on health issues as they pertain to preparedness and survival.  If you’re interested in Survival, your own and that of your country, we bet you’ll like both!

airplane liberia

On American Survival Radio’s latest podcast, an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo is downed by terrorist actions and plane travel may now be as safe as sitting on a pincushion, which is how you might feel when you board your next flight. Joe and Amy Alton give you some travel tips that will keep you safer abroad. Also, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu goes hat in hand to Moscow to find out why Russian jets are intercepting his fighters. Russia is involved in a number of negotiations with countries that the U.S. used to have influence with, as it seeks to quietly supplant America as the dominant player in Southeast Asia.

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Plus, a pharmaceutical company does an end run around the FDA to market its products as “nutraceuticals” to prevent aging. Dr. Alton examines the science behind the claims that 5 Nobel prize winners are backing, and whether you can extend your life with products that might be considered prescription drugs if the FDA didn’t take a decade to approve them.

All this and more on American Survival Radio.

To listen in, click below:

 

Check out previous shows by clicking the RSS feed on the right sidebar, where both our podcasts are identified by date aired.

 

Wishing you the best in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

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American Survival Radio no.7

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food and water contamination

American Survival Radio is Joe and Amy Alton’s second and latest podcast, focused on current events, health, and politics. It is separate and distinct from The Survival Medicine Hour, which continues as before focused mostly on health issues as they pertain to preparedness and survival.  If you’re interested in Survival, your own and that of your country, we bet you’ll like both!

On American Survival Radio No. 7, CRF Frozen Foods recalls 358 products under 42 different name brands that you’ll usually find in Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart, and prepper favorite COSTCO, due to the presence of a bacteria called Listeria Monocytogenes. With E. Coli contamination closing a number of Chipotle restaurants, we’re seeing more instances of food contamination and Joe and Amy Alton explore the issue in detail. Also, Amy finishes her discussion on Fluoride, which she feel pretty strongly about, as you’ll find out.  Also, who’s winning the Culture Wars in the U.S.? It’s probably not you, in the Alton’s opinion…

All this and more on American Survival Radio.

To listen in, click below:

 

Wishing you the best in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

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American Survival Radio #6

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Would NATO defend if provoked?

 

American Survival Radio is Joe and Amy Alton’s second and latest podcast, focused on current events, health, and politics. It is separate and distinct from The Survival Medicine Hour. If you’re interested in Survival, you’ll like both!

On American Survival Radio #6, Joe and Amy Alton explore what would happen if Russia uses its ingenious brand of hybrid warfare on a Baltic state like Estonia. Estonia’s a member of NATO, but would the North Atlantic Treaty Organization come to the defense of a member state? The answer isn’t that clear. Also, a new prediction system for tornadoes may give a little more warning and save some lives…if it works. How can you survive if you find yourself in the crosshairs of a twister? Plus, why don’t people with admirable characters run for President or other high office anymore, leaving us with candidates like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?  All this and more on American Survival Radio!

To listen in, Click below:

podcast.gcnlive.com/podcast/americanSurvivalRadio/pcast.php

 

Joe and Amy Alton

American Survival Radio

American Survival Radio #5

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Andrew Jackson

Revered, Reviled, or Irrelevant?

Got change for a twenty? I’ll give you change, how about changing the face on the bill? Andrew Jackson (the first Democrat to be elected president gets tossed into the dustbin of history in favor of former slave, abolitionist, and Republican Harriet Tubman (of the famous Underground Railroad). American Survival Radio finds out how Jackson went from revered to reviled, plus a review of recent earthquake activity all over the Pacific Rim’s “Ring of Fire” and what you should do if you get caught in the middle of some major tremors.

Also,  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder drink Flint lead-contaminated water for a month (using a filter, of course) to show residents that it’s healthy, but can the same be said for his political career? You decide: brave gesture or carnival stunt?

American Survival Radio is a brand new podcast hosted by Joe and Amy Alton in collaboration with Genesis Communications Network, the home of Alex Jones’ Infowars. America Tonight, Joyce Riley’s Power Hour, and other fine shows. In American Survival Radio, the Altons step away from their roles as survival medicine writers and focus on current events that affect, well, America’s survival! Expect some serious opinions mixed in with the news of the day.

Don’t be confused by the fact that we have two podcasts. American Survival Radio is about current events, health, and politics. Our other podcast, The Survival Medicine Hour, will remain the same medical preparedness format on blogtalk radio.

 

All the best in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

American Survival Radio

 

American Survival Radio #4

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missing man table

In American Survival Radio #4, Joe and Amy Alton recount the efforts of an anti-religious group to remove the bible from the “Missing Man Table”, a military tradition that honors those fallen and missing in action. It seems that it won’t be long until you have to wrap the bible in a brown paper bag to avoid assault. Also, the Zika virus is scarier than we thought, say CDC officials who have identified the mosquito that transmits the disease in 30 U.S. states. They say to expend “clusters” of cases, especially in Texas and Florida, this coming summer. Also, Amy Alton has some pretty strong opinions on Fluoride, and you’ll find out a lot about its risks and benefits in her review of the scientific data. All this and more on the latest episode of American Survival Radio!

You can listen in by hitting any of the links above or the one below;

 

For more articles on subjects not commonly covered at Doom and Bloom, check out American Survival Radio’s Website

 

 

Joe and Amy Alton

American Survival Radio

 

American Survival Radio #3

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veteran burn himself to death

Where Richard Ingram ended his life

American Survival Radio is a brand new podcast hosted by Joe and Amy Alton in collaboration with Genesis Communications Network, the home of Alex Jones’ Infowars. America Tonight, Joyce Riley’s Power Hour, and other fine shows. In American Survival Radio, the Altons step away from their roles as survival medicine writers and focus on current events that affect, well, America’s survival! Expect some serious opinions mixed in with the news of the day.  Our other podcast, The Survival Medicine Hour, will remain the same format on blogtalk radio.

 

 

In this episode, a Navy veteran walks 9 miles from his home to a closed VA clinic, douses himself with gasoline, and sets himself on fire. Find out about the shortcomings of the Department of  Veterans Affairs that led to his suicide. Also, in a few years we’ll be short 1,000,000 doctors, especially in primary care; why can’t we get students to become family doctors? As well, Amy Alton is asked by Ballistic Magazine what three survival skills are most important in a disaster. Lastly, Joe and Amy Alton explain some arcane RNC rules that will impact who becomes the Republican nominee for president. All this and more on (click here) American Survival Radio

 

 

All the best in good times or bad.

 

Joe and Amy

American Survival Radio

American Survival Radio Debuts

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American Survival Radio

In collaboration with Genesis Communications, Joe and Amy Alton have started a new radio show, American Survival Radio, that branches out from just survival medicine to all the news that affects, well, America’s Survival! America is at risk, have no doubt about it, in the uncertain future. On American Survival Radio, you’ll hear all about the issues that challenge our country today: Everything from terror attacks to weather gone wild to elections 2016, the Altons will pull no punches when it comes to opinions and advice that will help you keep it together, even if everything else fall apart.

To listen in, click below and go to “podcast”:

http://gcnlive.com/JW1D/index.php/showinfo?showCode=264

Our Survival Medicine Hour podcast will continue as usual to focus on survival medical preparedness!

American Survival Radio’s website and other social media resources are under construction at present, but we hope to bring you the news you need to keep those bumps on the road from being the end of the road for you and your family. Thanks for all the support, we are truly blessed.

 

Joe and Amy Alton

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