First Aid and Preparedness

First Aid is something that we have touched on a little on this blog but never really went too in depth on it. When we did our group book read of the book One Second After, one of the things that struck me most was how vulnerable to medical problems we all would be without outside help.

Long Term Medicine Storage
We recently had a friend do a guest post for us about keeping a natural medicine cabinet on hand for emergency situations, but there are also just a lot of first aid techniques that are good to know and other items besides medicines that you need to store.

First Aid Guide Books
We wanted to put together a little quick guide for you that you could print out, but we quickly realized that as far as first aid is concerned there really is no QUICK GUIDE. If you can purchase a guide to keep on hand that would be great. I found a First Aid and Safety Handbook put out by the American Red Cross at the library that I’ve been looking through, but I really wanted to have something that I can stick into my binder and have all in one place. Well I FOUND SOMETHING!

Download a FREE First Aid Manual
WikiBooks has an extensive section on first aid that has been put together by numerous sources. The online version is great but we don’t want to be counting on having computer access in an emergency. You can PRINT the entire WikiBook by downloading THIS PDF. It’s over 100 pages but it’s mostly black and white and can be printed double-sided. This is a great tool to add to your Food Storage Made Easy Binder. We highly recommend everyone prints it out right now. Don’t procrastinate, just do it!

Recommended Items for Your First Aid Kits
The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following (along with any necessary medications):

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

What Additional info Would You Like?
Now that we have touched on the basics, is there anything more specific you would like us to post about? Is having a manual printed out enough? Should we go into more detail on specific treatment things on the blog? Tell us what would be most helpful to you!


  • Georgia Morgan

    March 2nd, 2016

    My husband ihas Type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and has to take several Rx medications twice a day. I’m not sure how to explain to his doctors regarding requesting additional Rxs for our Emergency Preparedness Kit, so he won’t run out

    I think that most Doctors are hesitant about authorizing extra “refills”… Does anyone here have any suggestions for solving this quandary?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Have aa Awesometastically fabulous day and week.

    God bless.

  • Karen

    I would add Lidocaine burn relief gel.  Many burns don’t look like much, but they can really be distracting and painful for children.  It is good for sunburns and little burns from irons, hot dog cooking sticks, etc.  Also – this seems like a small kit.   I would double or triple it. I have  been able to stock up using Dollar Store finds, with cold packs, hot packs, different size wraps and patch bandages; enough to get me through one bad wound.  I am going off of what it took to take care of my daughter’s stitches and scar last year, which was over two months of daily first aid at our house.

  • Nicole

    Don’t forget additional medicine you and your family regularly take (I have allergies, so I also keep Benadryl and Claritin in there, for example.)  Not life-threatening, but my body is used to this medicine, and in an emergency, anything to help normalize the situation would be better than something else entirely that may not work for me, or trying out something and having a bad reaction to it. 

    We also have a surgury kit, as well as cauterizer and fuel.  (I have assisted in vet surguries in the past, and feel confident I would be able to do this.)  Our nearest good hospital is an hour away, if roads are clear.  We live where winter storms are fierce, and may not be able to get there swiftly.  Also, the hospital helicopter may or may not be able to fly out to us in the event of a storm.

    Thanks for the good work, ladies!

  • Ricpat

    An excellent addition to your first aid kit would be a few maxi-pads.  They make great compression bandages.  Especially important in car first aid kits where auto accidents and heavy bleeding may need quickly handled.  Always put a second over the first (do not remove the innitial compression bandage) if it soaks through.    Cheap- readily available and they work!

  • Having a first-aid kit is great, but having the know-how is even better.  Do you know how to recognize a spider bite?  Do you know the symptoms of shock and how to treat it?  Having the download is great and should be a tool that we use to practice first-aid skills.  Take the time as a family to practice CPR (using a pillow, not a person), know where to apply pressure to stop bleeding, and other life saving skills.  Taking classes is a great place to start, but practice will give you the confidence to do what must be done in an emergency.   

  • Cathy

    We keep a snake bite kit in ours, as well as a homeopathic remedy kit for children and several other herbal remedies.  This is in addition to normal first aid supplies (much of what is listed above, but also burn supplies).

  • I took a Red Cross First Aid class years ago and received a wonderful little First Aid manual that I keep in my 72 hour supplies box. I think adding a first aid class to the to do list in the 72 hour section of your binder is a good idea. Our local fire department sponsored the class and supplied the instructor so the cost was nominal. We had a great time learning and built a sense of community as I met my neighbors and built a network of people I could call on in an emergency (we lived in a rural area and the fire department was volunteer). I think it would be interesting to hear what unusual things people keep in their first aid supplies and why. I have a friend who has an entire surgical kit in hers because she wants to be able to handle things on her own when things get rough.

    • Cathy

       That’s a great idea (both the class and the surgical kit)!  I personally keep IV bags and starting supplies (dh has been trained in starting an IV as part of his military training and I know how to give fluid bubbles to pets) figuring they could come in handy for the humans or the pets.

      • Emma Shows

        where do you find such things? I’m interested because I have one DD who has asthma, and one DD with epilepsy, a congenital heart defect, and a kidney issue so might need to know certain things! 🙂