If you’ve been reading our blog posts, you probably know by now how important it is to store food, water, and other supplies to prepare for disasters or emergency situations. However, one area that many of us don’t pay enough attention to is first aid. The only real way to test how well prepared we are is to actually live through an emergency or a disaster. However, there are steps you can take to improve your first-aid preparedness and increase your chances of living as comfortably as possible in the event of an emergency scenario.

Recommendations for Basic First Aid Supplies

Even those of us who are the most knowledgeable and well-prepared for an emergency or a disaster might lack some of the basics when it comes to first aid supplies. These supplies include ankle wraps for sprains and splints for broken bones, blankets for warmth, medical tape, painkillers, cold medication, antibiotics like bacitracin, antihistamine, hydrocortisone, as well as up-to-date prescriptions. If your medical equipment requires electricity, be sure to address that as well in case of power loss. 

Just like you would do with your food supply, be sure to periodically check these supplies for expiration dates while rotating any expired items out and replacing them with fresh ones. According to a paper from Harvard Health Publications, the most medicine that has expired is still safe to use. The most notable exclusions include liquid antibiotics and insulin. And while most medications are safe to consume and likely won’t harm you, it is best to be safe rather than sorry if you can at all help it. Additionally, expired medicines will likely lose their potency and effectiveness. In the event of a disaster scenario, serious and major health-care emergencies are much less likely to occur than minor ones, so keep that in mind when building out your first-aid kit.

Other First Aid Considerations

You can have all of the best, up-to-date medications in your first aid kit, but you will still need to know how to properly use or administer them. One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for an emergency or disaster scenario is to get your first aid and CPR certification. These certifications can be obtained individually, or together. Different levels of classes cost more than others, but you can take a basic first aid class for about $50. You can even do some of the coursework online. Check out more information about first aid certifications on the Red Cross website.

As previously mentioned, the best way to test out the effectiveness of your first aid/ emergency kit is to test it out in a real-life situation. Once you think you’ve built an effective emergency kit and included the right kind of first aid supplies, take it along with you. Maybe take a summer camping trip, or a hike in the woods, and so on. You can even include the whole family and teach kids valuable survival skills like how to build fires, what plants are safe, animals and other dangers to be aware of outdoors, and so on.