The Seven Sisters of Urban Survival (Part III)
First aid, like every other aspect of survival and prepping has two parts:
“If you just have the kit, it won’t help a bit”
Not having the right equipment can be a very serious handicap to dealing with a first aid emergency, but not having the knowledge can make the equipment almost useless. My mom once patched up a good sized abrasion on my elbow with toilet paper and scotch tape.
While it would be great if you could actually take the approved Red Cross First Aid course, that is not an option for many of us. Sadly, high schools don’t teach the course as they did in my day. You can still learn as much as you can about the basics from various official manuals. Check out second-hand books stores and yard sales for Red Cross, military and general type first aid books. And learn!
At the same time, have at least one good first aid kit in your home. Later you can have at least one in any vehicle (it can be part of the on-board bag, more on that later.) Most kits available in stores are at least a good start. The next step is to print off the official Red Cross /FEMA lists for home first aid gear along with various lists in different prepping and survival manuals and pick up items to go along with your basic kit each time you are out shopping.
Discount and dollar stores help to stretch the prepping money here also. I go to one that has triangular and gauze bandages for $1.75 a pack. If you are concerned about the sterility of the gauze, bandage or pad, remember this easy rule. Treat every such item that comes in contact with the wound as non-sterile and apply the proper ointments and such.
Never forget, however, NO kit or course makes you a doctor!! This is emergency first aid!!
“Keep it clean, Gene”
In the wake of any disaster that disrupts, water and waste disposal the threat of a number of serious and potentially deadly diseases.
Keep your hands clean. Stock up on hand sanitizer at dollar stores. If possible add wipes with bleach. Trash bags are a must both kitchen and big trash can size. Remember, there will be no trash pickup for quite some time. Keep paper trash items that can be burnt from other trash. They may be useable for fuel for heat or cooking especially if packed together to make a fire brick. (More on that also later.)
Trash bags will also be needed if you have to create an emergency toilet from an old lawn chair, a bucket, a toilet seat and bags. Keeping these items on hand only costs a few dollars if you can’t snag up a folding “adult” toilet chair” at a yard sale to have put up. Sad to say, the trash bags may have to be used as body bags in the worst situation.
Paper towels, toilet paper, and disposable gloves are also good to pick up a case if you can one or two if you can’t and have on hand when a storm cuts you off from any store. If you have ever run out of “T.P.” on a stormy night, you’ll know what I mean.
“Where’s the aspirin??”
If you have ever had a headache, heartburn, or any of a number of other such conditions and found you were out of something or other, then you know the wisdom of having some on hand. Keep eyes out for sales and pick up extra of what you use. Again, one item, one pack, one bottle at a time. This includes ointments and burn cream.
It’s good to be “in shape”. Not all of us are, and not all of us can be. My wife, Mama Donna and I are both disabled. We know we may not make it through a full-blown apocalypse. But we are getting in shape slowly to be able to put on our packs and make it back or out to a safer place. If you have medical conditions, review your meds and see what is perishable, and keep a good supply on hand as you can. Also look for emergency ONLY substitutes, and know what you may be able to split into half doses to stretch your supplies.
JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE DISABLED DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T PREP AND SURVIVE!!