At first glance, you’ll notice that this isn’t exactly a pocket manual. The 550-page, 2-pound book is a bit of a brick, but it has to be in order to cover the volume of information you’d need if you were stuck a long way from the nearest doctor. While the book is incredibly comprehensive, make no mistake: it won’t turn you into an M.D. overnight. The no-nonsense explanation of that fact is one of my favorite parts of the book’s realistic and down-to-earth introduction. Past the intro, we get into the basic principles of medical preparedness, and a very solid section on the skills and supplies you’d want to acquire before you're forced to approximate the role of medical professional. Section three addresses hygiene and sanitation issues, which are a big deal in post-disaster settings. Dealing with GI bugs, dental issues, and food poisoning are just a few of the topics covered in this oft-overlooked segment of medical care.