Sure, the majority of these over the counter kits will suffice for minor non-life threatening injuries, but in the event of an extended disaster, as parts of the country have already experienced, trained medical help may be a day or longer away. In such a case it is smart to follow the old adage “Plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
The intent of this article is not to list out every sort of bandage or tape that you should include in a first aid kit. You can find any number of articles online to help you with that. As mentioned before, any number of medical supplies can be found online or at your local drug or outdoor store. This article is meant to make you think seriously about your ability to use the contents of a first aid kit. Because when a serious disaster hits, it may become your only aid kit.
Educate YourselfEven our federal government has encouraged us to have enough emergency supplies on hand to last us for several days until they can get organized and provide relief. Beyond that we are left to fend for ourselves. In the military, they say that in a stressful situation you don’t rise to the occasion, you drop to your level of training.
That frame of mind is important to consider should we ever be faced with a life threatening medical emergency. We may possess the most complete first aid kit available, but without the proper training and confidence it may be useless to us.
We wouldn’t buy a weapon and then store it away without learning how to use it effectively. No, the prudent gun owner will spend time at the gun range improving his skill and becoming familiar with his weapon. The same should be true of our first aid skills.
For starters, apply yourself to learning basic first aid and CPR. Take a class. Many are inexpensive or even free. Buy a first aid book or read through and make sure you understand the first aid manual that comes with many first aid kits. If you are inclined, take an advanced course in first aid. The knowledge and confidence you gain will well be worth the time and expense of the course.
Preparing for a medical emergency means more than having a well-stocked first aid kit, it means having the knowledge to use it. If called upon, could you wash out a deep cut and suture it up? Do you know the signs of hypothermia? Heat stroke? Such knowledge is an indispensable part of your first aid kit.
Frank Nielson is a retired medical researcher who enjoys writing about being sufficiently prepared for medical emergencies. Through his writing, he is keen on helping individuals find the best wound care supplies at an affordable price.