On First Aid Kits and Emergency Preparedness

A well-stocked and conveniently assembled first aid kit would, if not save lives, often make a lot of difference in times of calamities and emergencies. Having supplies prepared ahead of time will help you handle emergencies at a moment’s notice. There are a lot of first aid kits you can buy from hardwares and specialty shops. Depending on what you need and depending on your location, you can find specialized first aid kits which may focus on specific risks or concerns related to certain activities. For example, first aid kits sold from marine supply stores for use in watercraft may contain seasickness remedies. Hiking and camping kits will contain pocket knives and ropes used for survival in the wilderness. Emergency disaster kits will include emergency supplies (food and water for the next 48 hours).

You can buy  from retail stores or you can make one yourself, but what should you include in it? Here are some points that you may find helpful in assembling a first aid kit. In choosing containers for your kits, consider the following: it should roomy, durable, easy to carry and simple to open. If it’s something that you need to carry around, you can use plastic boxes or fabric pouches  and if it something that you need to  install at home, you can use wall mounted cabinets.

The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following:

English: A large first wheeled first aid kit, ...
What you put in this might help you save lives. (photo credits from wikipedia)
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet
  • list of emergency numbers
You may also include extra prescription drugs if any of your family members are under medication. If you know how to administer CPR, you may include a mouthpiece that you can use in administering. You may get this from your local Red Cross.

After you’ve stocked your first-aid kits, read the entire first aid manual to understand how to use the contents of your kit. If you have kids who are old enough, review the manual with them. Store the first-aid kits in places that are out of children’s reach but can be easily accessed by adults. Check your kit from time to time. Ensure that the batteries and emergency lights work. Replenish used, missing items and medicines that may have expired. If you can, keep and maintain first aid kits at home and in your car.

You may also prepare a disaster plan for earthquakes, hurricane, tornado, storm, fire, floods or any emergency caused by natural disasters or mans craziness (terrorism, chemical or nuclear attacks). Be prepared to live without running water, the commodities and comfort of modern urban life – for at least three days following a disaster. If you can, stock on emergency food and water at home or prepare emergency survival kits and  Emergency 72 hour Go kits which you can easily carry around if you need to evacuate.

Be safe, everyone!

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