I can easily say, that out of all of our preps, first aid is the one area that I am least confident. It feels like we will never be at a satisfactory level of supplies OR knowledge….I have been building a larger medical kit off and on for over two years now. I can sense my reluctance every time I pick back up on that project…I’ve even been reluctant to write this part of the series but since this article will be covering what we’ve done so far.. here it is but please remember:
This is what we’ve decided to do for basic first aid preps. I’m not a medical expert and don’t recommend that you do anything the way we do. You will need to decide what’s best for you.
My first aid training began as a Boy Scout. Some things have changed but the basics learned still apply. I’ve added quite a bit of FREE class time since then. One of the best ways I found to get free training was to volunteer for the Safety Committee at every job I’ve ever held. Most of it was redundant but it kept the procedures fresh in my head and the hands-on medic duties were a perfect way for someone in my line of work to get practical experience. I worked in steel processing plants and had to deal with occupational accidents like burns, lacerations, and the occasional severed finger. A side benefit to that job is the mental conditioning that a person can only get from experience. After a awhile, it became second nature to stay calm and decisive during an emergency.
I no longer have those same opportunities but I still keep an eye open for free training in my area. I train my wife as often as possible since she has had no chances to formally learn basic first aid. So far she’s learned CPR and how to use a tourniquet.
Stocking up on the RIGHT supplies has almost overwhelmed me at times, which was possibly due to too much reading. I found that there were some reputable and professional first aid kit suppliers that provided online lists that could be tailored to fit any group size. Adventure Medical Kits has printer-friendly lists, it’s one of the best sources online that I’ve found. They are not a sponsor here and we have no affiliations with them.
After some thought, I felt that the most likely life or death emergency we could encounter on an average day would be an automobile accident of some sort with bleeding injuries. A worst case scenario means that we would need to control bleeding until the medics arrived. After that, our kits would just need have the items necessary to tend to minor stuff like cuts, burns, foreign objects in the eye etc.
We started with the basic first aid kits in our EDC bags and cars. And again, these kits were only designed to control severe bleeding and take care of common small injuries while away from home. These basic kits will fit into a 1 quart freezer bag.
- Tourniquet/Large emergency bandage
- Two 3″x3″ gauze
- One 4.5″ x 12′ gauze roll
- 1 Roll of AdhesiveTape
- A few bandaids
- 2 butterfly closures
- 2 Iodine swabs
- 2 Antibiotic packets
- 2 Antiseptic wipes
- Small scissors
- Fingernail clippers
- Single use sterile eyewash
- 4 aspirin
- 2 antihistamine
- 1 pair nitrile gloves
That’s it. The kit is simple, small and the extra gauze roll allows for improvisation if necessary. Some sites recommend QwikClot or some other instant blood clotter. I’m undecided about that, from what I can find, there’s some downsides to using those products.
We replace items used out of these kits as soon as possible. All replacements are kept in a medium sized duffle bag which stays in our preps closet and ready to go at all times. The contents are inventoried at least once a year or whenever we grab a refill.
BEYOND FIRST AID:
First aid preps really never stop, it’s not like buying a generator or a water filter. The topic is deep and even the professionals don’t stop learning or checking their supplies. Our next level will be the larger medical kit. I will definitely post an article on what progress we’ve made.
Read the rest of the Prioritized Preparedness Series HERE