An important part of emergency preparedness is being ready for medical issues that might arise. You should keep a first aid kit in your home, one in your car, another in your 72 hour kit, and yet another in your long-term survival kit. There are different supplies that should be kept in each of your various kits.
Ready-made kits are available for different scenarios and they are a great place to start. Make sure that each kit has a sturdy, weatherproof carrying case and is well organized. The last thing you want to do in a medical emergency is search for supplies. Verify that each kit has a minimum of the following:
Car and Home: This kit should contain a first aid guide, scissors, tweezers, gloves, cotton swabs, antiseptic towelettes, alcohol pads, triangular bandage, various sizes of self-adhesive bandages and gauze, first aid tape, and triple antibiotic ointment. Place one of these kits in your car and one in your home.
72 Hour Kit: This kit should contain everything that is in the Car and Home kits plus aspirin and non aspirin tablets, ibuprofen, burn relief gel, insect sting relief, lip ointment, finger splints, moleskin squares, instant cold compress, sterile eye pads, safety pins, and a suture kit.
Extended Survival: This kit should contain everything that is in the 72 hour kit, and in greater quantities. It should also contain poison oak/ivy cream, sunscreen, ace bandages, CPR mouthpiece, ammonia inhalant, prescription medications along with a copy of any prescriptions, motion sickness tablets, povidone-iodine infection control, a digital thermometer, aloe vera gel with lidocane, diarrhea relief, rehydration tablets, and duct tape.
Become familiar with the first aid guide and learn first aid techniques before you get into an emergency situation. Teach these techniques to each of your family members and practice them ahead of time. Involve your kids in emergency preparedness, and give them as much information as they can handle for their age, as it may be you that gets injured and has to rely on their help.
Ensure that your kit contains appropriately-sized supplies, such as bandages and splints, for each member of your family. Periodically check the condition of your kits, and rotate and replace any medications that might expire. First aid is a crucial aspect of your survival kit and you cannot over-prepare for potential injuries.
Gary Jenkins is a father and husband living in Oregon who is a wildlife rehabilitation and outdoor adventure enthusiast.