With natural and man made disasters on the rise, it makes sense to have a first aid kit in the home. Of course, accidents happen without disasters.
The home’s first aid kit doesn’t have to be an expensive, heavy box. Nor does it have to be just a couple of bandages in a pocket kit given out as a door prize.
This easily constructed kit can be stored in the family home for any event or taken during a disaster evacuation. Make more than one kit and keep in each vehicle, the home, with the camping/disaster equipment, boat, etc.
This article is not meant for diagnosis of any medical condition nor advocate or prescribe any specific medication or treatment. Always seek the advice of a licensed physician for proper diagnosis or treatment of any disease or condition. If the situation calls for it, call 911 immediately.
Obtain the following items from hardware stores, pharmacies, grocery store shelves and online. The total cost can be less than commercial kits.
You will need:
• Duffle bag with pockets or a box with dividers. A large tackle or toolbox would work too.
• 4 x 4 sponges
• 5 x 9 sponges
• An abdominal pad
• Utility scissors
• 4 Rolls kerlix gazue
• 1 Box waterproof band-aids
• 1 Triangluar sling
• 2 Finger splints
• 2 Rolls 1/2 inch and 1 inch waterproof medical tape
• 1 Box rubber gloves
• Zip lock bags: 1 quart and 1 gallon size
• Trash bags
• 5X7 cards
• Up to date First aid book
• OB kit
• 2 instant ice packs
• 2 instant heat packs
• Insect sting kit
• Snake bite kit
• Wire cutters
• Alcohol, betadine, peroxide and wound wash
• Antibiotic cream
• Eye wash
Write out a family history for each person on a 5×7 card. Include all allergies and each medication being taken. List the name of the medication, the strength, the pharmacy’ s information and the prescribing doctor’s information. Keep this current and in a place that allows for it to be packed quickly in case of an evacuation.
In the selected container, place the items that are used the most, i.e., band aids, near the top and larger items near the bottom. Educate the family on what the kit contains and where each item in the kit is located, what it does and how to use it.
Store the kit in a central place where it can be grabbed quickly. Make this part of an emergency evacuation kit or a disaster kit. Most authorities have stated that help may not be available for 3 to 4 days, so preparing ahead of time is well worth the effort.
Add the family history packet in an evacuation as well as all medications being taken in the 1- gallon bag. This ensures no one misses vital therapies. Also, if medications run out for an evacuee the pharmacy (most well known pharmacies have national databases) or the physician can be contacted for an immediate refill.
More than one kit can be made up for the house, car, vacation house, etc. Periodically check items such as the adhesive bandages and tape because the adhesive doesn’t last forever.
Medications such as aspirin, Motrin, etc. do not need to be packed in a first aid kit for long term storage. These often expire before they are used. They can be added for camping trips, picnics, etc. and removed upon returning home.
Have the whole family take first aid and CPR classes. Often it is this first aid that makes the difference.
Even small children can be taught to dial 911, and how to speak to a dispatcher. They can often be taught to use adhesive bandages and when to call for help.
Being prepared for emergencies is the key to surviving them. There is also great peace of mind knowing that in an emergency, someone knows what to do.
Source: The Author of this article has had extensive training in emergency medical care as a EMT-Paramedic, State of Texas and training in disaster care from the United States Air Force.