One unfortunate truth that many of us are simply unprepared for during natural disasters and other large-scale emergencies is not having a survival first aid kit that we could carry around. Sure, we may be able to stock our pantries with all the food we could get our hands on, or equip our medicine cabinets with ample medication supplies. The problem is, even these won’t help us if a big flood is coming our way, or someone is hurt somewhere. It is for such reasons that each of us must think about completing emergency supplies lists and first aid kits inside homes, offices, and even our vehicles. And these must be readily accessible during natural disasters.
Keeping a first aid kit on the ready is vital to survival, not only for you but for your family as well. In fact, and in some situations, the time it takes for you to access your first aid kit may spell life and death. Knowing a thing or two about treating minor injuries will also make an important difference during emergencies as the world braces for a natural disaster. While it would be ideal to take first aid classes, simply knowing some of the basics is already enough to stop instances of bleeding, assist in decontamination procedures, and prevent infections from spreading. A good first aid kit often includes a combination of these items:
- Bandages, including the adhesive bandage types,
- Rubbing alcohol,
- A sterile combine dressing, gauze pads,
- Adhesive and gauze tapes,
- Scalpel and surgical razor, medical tweezers, scissors,
- Eye wash solutions – needed in flushing our eyes. These are also considered as general decontaminants
- Disinfectant pads, antibiotic cream, latex gloves (you can consider if you are having allergies to latex and other similar materials) – this is important in protecting the individual administering the first aid against infection,
- A good supply of your personal prescription medications. Prescription medications are those you are taking on a daily basis, which includes heart medicines, asthma inhalers, and insulin. It would be smart to rotate such medicines so you can accurately account for their expiry dates.
- Antihistamines and Epinephrine – these are great for allergic reactions against insect stings,
- A suture kit/sterile disposable surgical stapler
- Oxytetracycline tablets – you need these to deal with diarrhea and certain infections,
- an extra pair of contacts/prescription eyeglasses,
- Salt. It contains potassium chloride, and is available in the market as low sodium salt. You are going to need this to stop dehydration from diarrhea, and to protect yourself from cholera. This is an important first aid item indeed.
- Of course, you are also going to need a good supply of multivitamins and mineral supplements. Especially during natural disasters, you (and children more importantly) will need zinc supplements to treat intestinal tract infections.
- Whenever appropriate, your first aid kit for natural disasters should also include sunscreen (above 30 SPF). The same applies with a 100% UV-protective glasses to protect your eyes from damaging UV radiation. Note that polarized glasses are not really necessary in such situations, since they are not UV-protected. They only aid you against direct glares.
- You will also need to include a cleansing soap or other agents, especially antibiotic towelettes.
- Prescribed medical supplies – equipment used in blood pressure monitoring, glucose and other supplies.
At the end of the day, you must understand that survival kits are never limited to the preparation for coming natural disasters. A good part of it requires a good list of first aid equipment mentioned above. Without them, your survival kit is never complete, and will not be helpful to you in most cases. Check out the best survival machete, folding knife, and dive knife.