Guest post by Craig Caudill who writes for Dan’s Depot.
First aid kits are important for any type of survival situation. However each person’s first aid kit may be a bit different than anyone else’s. For a first aid kit for survival in disaster situations perhaps the most economical way to do so instead of buying a ready-made, mass produced kit, is simply assemble your own kit. Here are some considerations to think about when creating your own survival first aid kit.
1. First aid training knowledge weighs nothing but may be your most valuable component.
2. What is needed versus what would be nice to have.
3. The weight of the items.
4. The bulk of the items after they are packaged.
1. First Aid Training and Knowledge Weighs Nothing.
This is possible the most important component of your first aide kit is your own personal knowledge and skills of what to do in an emergency. The knowledge that you carry in your head, that can be translated to your hands weighs nothing but is extremely invaluable in any type of crisis situation. There are many free books, videos, classes, websites, etc that will train you to know what to do in an emergency. So get some hands-on training and lots of practice. Your skills and knowledge will give you confidence and help you to keep a cool head in the event of any emergency situation.
Now for the the physical kit items…
2. The Need vs. Want Scale
You need to assess your needs and then add to your actual kit items. You will need items that will do the following:
Stop bleeding and/or protect wounds.
Splint and support broken, sprained or dislocated body parts.
Treat both hypo and hyperthermia.
These are actual needs. Depending on your circumstances you may want to add meds such as aspirin or Tylenol, and pain meds such as NSAIDS can be very useful also. However these meds are not NEEDED items.
3.The weight of the items.
Based on the items that are NEEDED here are some options:
Stop bleeding – there are only four simple items that are needed in your first aid kit that will help to cover this basic issue. These items are duct tape, super glue (the original purpose of super glue was for closing wounds), gauze (small gauze and large packing gauze such as an “H” bandage) and a tourniquet (only use a tourniquet with proper training and knowledge.) Also include iodine or some other liquid to cleanse wounds before covering them.
Splints – Splinting affected areas can be easily done with duct tape or anything else in the surrounding environment that will provide support to the injured body part. Effective splinting can be done using sticks, clothes, a blanket, even debris. Again, proper first aid training is a must to know how to effectively splint an injured body part.
Hypothermia and Hyperthermia – Treating hypothermia (the body is too cold) is simply finding the necessary dry and warm clothes, blankets or other methods to bring the body temperature back to normal. Treating hyperthermia (the body gets too hot) can be done by placing the patient in some sort of shade or even creating shade. An aluminum blanket can be effectively used for treating both conditions. The aluminum blanket can either be used to produce heat by wrapping the patient in it or create shade by directing heat away from the injured person.
4. Consider the Bulk of the Items.
All of the items above have been carefully chosen to provide for some very basic first aid needs without creating too much bulk and can be used for multiple purposes.
Your basic finished first aid kit will include these items:
Pain meds (optional)
Add anything else you may deem necessary for your particular and unique situation and needs. Package all of this together in a waterproof package and label it as a first aid emergency kit. My suggestion is to packing in a red plastic covering or at last attaching a red ribbon to it, since red is the universal color sign of first aid and red is a color that can be easily seen and recognized in a time of crisis.
Author Craig Caudill also writes for Dan’s Depot and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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