Preppers, survivalists to gather for expo in Tulsa

For those in the Tulsa Area:

American Living Expo

(comprising Homestead, Outdoor Life and National Preppers and Survivalists expos)

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Exchange Center, 4145 E. 21st St.


The stereotypical "prepper," Joe Alton said, wears camouflage clothing and holds "an AR-15 in one hand and an AK-47 in the other."

Alton, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., doesn't fit the mold.

He is a longtime physician and member of Mensa International, the renowned high-IQ society. Alton and his wife, Amy, an advanced registered nurse practitioner, also are Master Gardeners and co-authors of a No. 1 Amazon bestseller, "The Survival Medicine Handbook."

"I live a perfectly normal life," Joe Alton said. "I travel. I enjoy my family. I go to the theater. The only difference is that I quietly accumulate items that would be useful in emergency situations.

"I don't do this out of desperation or fear. I do this out of common sense and out of hope for a better life even in bad times."

Alton, also known as "Dr. Bones," and his spouse, aka "Nurse Amy," are scheduled to speak on medical preparedness at the National Preppers and Survivalists Expo that runs Saturday and Sunday at the Exchange Center at Expo Square.

Preppers are people who actively prepare for a disaster by storing food, medical supplies and other items to improve their chances for survival.

Joe Alton, 60, practiced as a board-certified obstetrician and pelvic surgeon more than 25 years before retiring to devote his life to medical readiness in the potential, post-apocalyptic world.

"People in the medical field tend to be really passionate about teaching others," said Amy Alton, 48. "After we retired, we were looking for something to fulfill that passion of teaching.

"...It has been an amazing experience. We love it."

Joe Alton estimates that only 3 percent of Americans are totally prepared for long-term emergencies. The Altons keep on hand an adequate water supply and at least a year's worth of food, typically vacuumed packed and sealed in Mylar bags.

But they also have the capability to set up a field hospital to handle mass casualties.

"Preppers are just regular people, in the vast majority of cases, who are just interested in making sure that if the government can't help them, they can help themselves," Joe Alton said. "We've lost so much of the skills and knowledge our grandparents had.

"They were self-reliant. It's time for us to get a little more self-reliant, too."

Continued: Preppers, survivalists to gather for expo in Tulsa - Tulsa World: Local