Friday, July 21, 2017

Family Survival First Aid Kit (Part 1)

By: Sebastian Berry

My intent with writing for Family Survival Farm is to educate to the lowest levels, the individual and the family. Up to this point we have covered how to survive bleeding to death and the management and treatment of burns. In the survival family it is not enough to just know how to take care of things. You must have the stuff to be able to handle survival and emergency situations as they arise.

And now for my standard disclaimers...

DISCLAIMER: Instructions and information here is not a substitute for professional medical care and treatment. If you are having an emergency call 911 or your local emergency number for assistance.

I do not claim credit to any of the images used unless specifically indicated. All rights and credits remain with the original owners

In the realm of first-aid you can find as many philosophies and thought processes as there are families with a first-aid kit. Some people have the bare bones with a box of band-aids and whatever is in their medicine cabinet and others have a small hospital. My advice is this, prepare for you and your family and your specific needs.

In this multi-part posting I want to cover a few things.
  • First-aid mindset
  • How to tailor your family survival first-aid kit to your specific situation
  • The first-aid kit (the actual container)
  • The bare minimum stuff
  • The stuff you might not think of
THE MINDSET
First things first for first-aid is the thinking behind rendering first-aid. If you will remember back to the article about controlling bleeding. There is band-aid bleeding and hospital bleeding. Hospital bleeding should make you nervous the second you see it. Your initial reaction should be something along the lines of- HOLY CRAP, I NEED HELP! You must know your limitations in advance to be able to make those snap judgments that lead to survival or possible death.

There are two questions a person must ask themselves before rendering aid...
  1. Do I have the skills to render proper aid?
  2. Do I have the equipment to render proper aid?
If either question is answered no, then you must seriously reconsider rendering aid.

Everyone's limitations are different. For instance, I would not expect my neighbor that is a boilermaker, to have the same comfort level rendering first-aid as I do being an emergency room nurse. You have to evaluate your skills and comfort level as part of your family survival mindset.

The most important tool you have is already with you
The mindset also extends to what you are preparing for. Do you want to be able to render first-aid for burns to your family and friends at home during your awesome fireworks show? Maybe you want to be that super awesome motorist that sees the accident on the side of the road and stop to help? The scenario changes and the supplies needed might change but the mindset is the same.

SPECIFICITY
The first aid and family survival situations my family might encounter are probably very different than the ones your family might encounter. Your first-aid kits should reflect this. Size should be the very first thing you think of with your first-aid kit.

I have five people, including myself (33 years old), in my family. My wife (33), daughter (7), son (4), and infant son (7 months). I use a large tackle box, pictured below, for my first-aid kit. This particular box is currently on sale here. I plan on showing pictures of my family kit in my next article.
Yes, it really has can holders.

This is fishing tackle, duh.
My first-aid kit is built for home and personal use and is separate from any "bug-out" bags or supplies I have. I hope to do a post in the future about that type of thing. I would call our family kit a general purpose kit. Just enough to cover some ouchies, aches, pains, and general sicknesses. Our kit comes with us on extended road trips, along with our travel first-aid pouches that stay in our vehicles. Again, general purpose stuff.

Being specific for my family means that my kit has the following...
  •  Band-aids of various sizes and materials
    • I prefer plain fabric bandages but my kids love their cartoon characters
  • Other bandage materials like gauze and tape
    • Nothing better than having a nurse make you a bandage and my kids like when I draw on it
  • Neosporin with pain relief
    • This only costs a little more at the store but is well worth it
  • Kank-A canker sore medicine
  • Black tube of chap-stick
    • This is great wound care stuff. Helps protect and heal not only your lips but wounds too.

These are only a few things that my kit has that yours might not, again being specific for my family. Your kit might need to have some insulin syringes or contact solution or whatever else.
When I teach people about building a first-aid kit I like to emphasize that your kit is not meant to be a replacement for you medicine cabinet. You should not be trying to treat everything. Some of the basics to keep in mind...
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Bug bites
  • Splinters and slivers
  • Aches and pains
THE CONTAINER
Just a little earlier I showed you the container that I use for my family first-aid kit. You can use literally anything to make a kit. There are kits commercially available for a few bucks and ranging up to a few hundred. Keep in mind old bags, boxes, and cans are all able to be re-purposed to fit your family survival needs. Below are a few examples...







In my house the first-aid kit lives in my closet. Everyone knows where it is, and if (more like when) the kids get into it, my wife or I know and are able to see what to replenish when needed.

In the next article I am going to have my family survival first-aid kit to use as an example. I will cover what is in mine and why. I will list out some of the things you should have and some of the things you might not have thought of before.