‘Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.’Maya Angelou
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What’s the difference between a regular first-aid kit and a survival first-aid kit?
You want to feel prepared for emergencies both at home and when you’re away. Naturally, you think that one of the best things to do is to purchase a first-aid kit. If you’re planning to pick up a first-aid kit at the store, you might be in for a shock. Most of those pre-planned kits don’t contain the items that you need for long-term or even short-term survival.
Typically, regular first-aid kits were put together based on normal living conditions. Since surviving a natural disaster or other crisis situation doesn’t qualify as normal, you’re going to want to look specifically for a survival first-aid kit.
If you can’t find a kit made specifically for survivalists, then put together the supplies you need yourself.
Where do I store my kit and supplies?
Will you be bugging in or bugging out? It’s best to be prepared for both circumstances. For your home, have a well-marked container or cupboard for your emergency first-aid supplies.
It’s also important to have a first-aid kit in your vehicle. The types of items you include may change depending on the season and also the typical weather conditions you will encounter.
The third kit you’ll need is in your grab-and-go bag. This is the type of bag you’ll want to keep handy and in a place that you can easily grab in case you need to evacuate. Get a sturdy bag for it – you can use a hardshell case or you can use a backpack for your first aid supplies. If you use a backpack, mark it (inconspicuously) so that you know that your emergency supplies are inside.
What should I put in my survival first-aid kit?
No matter how much knowledge you have with emergencies, if you’re the one that needs aid, a manual can help someone else know how to treat you. Also, when we’re in an emergency situation, we may be in shock and completely forget how to perform the most basic techniques.
You’ll want to be prepared with bandages that range in shape and size. Gauze pads will also come in handy. Make sure these are in a variety of sizes and make sure they’re the absorbent kind. You’re going to want butterfly strips, but in a pinch, you can make your own with regular medical tape – so make sure you have medical tape in your kit.
Ace bandages are recommended because these not only help with a sprain, but can also be used to fasten a splint or a sling if needed. Have a supply of gloves on hand to use while you’re performing a treatment.
A way to clean wounds will also be necessary. You can use a piece of gauze if you have to – but most people pack some cotton swabs. You’ll need scissors for cutting and you’ll need tools to get out splinters or other foreign objects.
Tweezers are best for this but in some events, you’ll need a needle. You’ll want a flashlight so that you can see what you’re doing. A thermometer is also important as so is the medication to treat in the event someone does have a fever. You’ll also want one of those ice packs for help with swelling injuries.
Make sure your kit has plenty of antibiotic ointments and even allergic reaction tablets since you’ll be living in areas where you and your family may not have been exposed to the allergens. Pack the liquid kind if you have children who canít swallow pills yet.
Having the means to suture up deep wounds in order to save a life is a necessity. For that, you’ll need a suture kit. Superglue can also be used to close a wound. Some people also choose to have a handheld blood pressure machine. You can find ones that can also monitor a victim’s heart rate.
If you’ll be out in the woods or if you’ve set up a camp somewhere away from your home, you might encounter snakes. So take a snakebite kit. It’s a good idea to investigate the area youíll be staying in to see what dangers you might encounter so that your kit can be built specifically for those issues.
Where can I purchase supplies to go into my survival first-aid kit?
Many drug stores will have some of the items you need for your first-aid kits. Another good resource is a hunting or camping store. They will have portable items that should be included in your kit.
How often should I replace supplies?
While it may seem like non-consumable emergency items shouldn’t have an expiration date, they may need to be replaced overtime for a number of reasons.
For one, medical tapes may lose elasticity and stickiness depending on how they are being stored.
Secondly, ointments may be less potent over time. These should be stored in a cool and dry place for best results.
And lastly, items like antiseptic wipes may dry-out if they are not stored correctly.
Just because emergency items have expired doesn’t mean that they can’t be used in…well, an emergency. But, it’s ideal to keep all of your supplies in the best useable condition that you can.
I’m a 40-something writer who enjoys cooking, being outside, travelling, participating in community and cultural events, and learning new things. This website is my journey of discovery – to allow me to learn how to be more self-sufficient in order to be better prepared for the present and the future.