Emergency First Aid Kit
Owning a quality first aid kit is one of the first steps in becoming prepared. Unfortunately, many of the commercial first aid kits we see are nothing more than glorified Band-Aid boxes. Not that we have any problem with Band-Aids, they are an integral part of a good kit, but we feel there are many more items you should have in order to be truly prepared.
What should be in a First Aid Kit
There are a few universal items every first aid kit should have. These items include the following (we will talk about quantities shortly):
- Multiple Sizes of Band-Aids
- Gauze Pads 2”x2”, 4”x4”
- Absorbent Compress Dressings
- Rolled Gauze
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Triangle Bandages
- Hydrocortisone Ointment
- Cold Compresses
- Eye Wash (Saline Solution)
- Basic First Aid Book
Types of First Aid Kits
There is a difference in the types of first aid kits you should have. First of all, we recommend you have more than one kit. If you only have one and lose it during a fire, flood, or collapse then you will not have anything. We suggest you make multiple smaller kits that can be stored in various locations around your home and or property. You also need to have a smaller kit in each vehicle and your places of employment.
Personalized Your First Aid Kit
The first step in establishing a good first aid kit is to look at your situation. This kit will be for you and your family and needs to reflect your personal needs. Some commercial kits will fill this need, but you may need to supplement others. Some questions you will need to ask yourself include:
- What medications are you and other family members taking that you must have?
- How many people will you need to take care of?
- Do you or other family members have any allergies that you must be prepared for?
- What levels of medical training do the members of your home have?
If there are any medications needed, you will need to have a supply of these in your kit. Medications can be extremely expensive and have expiration dates. It is essential that you consult with your physician regarding the best way for you to store and rotate your needed medications. Additionally, all medications should be kept in a watertight container and out of the reach of children.
A big mistake many make is not matching the size of their first aid kit with the potential needs of their household. Some first aid kits are only large enough for a couple of people. If you have multiple children, multiple generations, or you intend on caring for your neighbors, then you will need to plan accordingly.
As you are planning your kit, you should remember that just about everything in your kit has an expiration date. Some of the items can be rotated and utilized before they expire, but many of them must just be replaced. You should not use items past their expiration dates.
Training for your First Aid Kit
As you collect the items you will need for your family, you must gain the training necessary to be able to use them. We feel that everyone should have at least a basic first aid class and CPR training. These classes should be repeated when the certification needs to be renewed, or at least every couple of years if you are not utilizing your skills on a regular basis.
Depending on the medical training of those in the household, you may also be able to obtain more advanced items for your kit, such as sutures, quick-clot, splints, IV therapy equipment, and tourniquets. These items, when used by someone properly trained, can be life-saving in certain situations. Advanced training is available in the use of many of these items, and we encourage you to seek to continuously improve your medical knowledge, thereby improving your resilience in an emergency.
First aid kits are one of the first items you should have as you start preparing for emergencies. The supplies in your first aid kit, and the skills that you learn, may be needed to save a loved one’s life. Visit MBIntel.net for more information on safety, security, and emergency preparedness.