First aid is an important part of emergency preparedness. In a widespread disaster situation, medical resources will likely to be flooded and overwhelmed with the need around them. Being able to help yourself and your loved ones is vital.
Two big problems with first aid
The first problem with first aid and situations that require medical attention is that there is a vast amount of information you need to know, and each problem has different solutions.
The second problem is that if you aren’t practicing these skills regularly, the chances of being able to perform them in a high-stress situation are very small. Those in medicine understand the importance of continuing education to stay updated on the latest processes and techniques. First aid is an ongoing commitment that requires you to keep up with the appropriate knowledge, gear, and treatment options.
What do we do?
Since, we already know that first aid is super important, but next to impossible to keep up on, or recall in a high stress situation what can you do? My first suggestion would be to invest in a good, quality first aid reference book that you can review and use as a resource. Keep it with your 72-hour kit or first aid kit.
I would lean towards an emergency first aid like an EMT-Basic textbook (affiliate link). In an EMT-Basic textbook you are going to get information on how to treat everything from medical emergencies (heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, etc.) to trauma emergencies (head injuries, car accidents, broken bones, etc.) to specialty emergencies (Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Geriatrics). An EMT’s job is to be one of the first responders to a scene where your resources are limited an EMT textbook is designed to teach you how to handle all kinds of emergencies in various situations. An EMT textbook is going to teach you how to identify what is going on, how to treat on the scene, and how to best transport your patient.
With this in mind, if an EMT textbook or getting some other form of first aid textbook isn’t something you want to do, then I highly suggest doing research on the kinds of situations and scenarios you may need to help someone with.
Things to consider researching:
- Major and minor burns
- Major and minor bleeds
- Hypothermia and heat stroke
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Signs of heart attack
- Signs of stroke
I have the knowledge, now what about the tools?
Now we know that not only do we need to know how to handle emergencies, but what we also need to know what tools are required. Again, this can be very tricky because every emergency is going to require a different treatment.
I suggest having two kinds of first aid kits:
1-Basic first aid kits like this (affiliate link) are great to keep around for simple scrapes and injuries. I like to think of these kits as boo boo kits. Boo boo kits will work great for a scraped knee or a minor burn, but they are going to be almost worthless if you come across a serious accident.
2-Trauma kits like this (affiliate link) are great to keep in the car for bigger emergencies. It’s going to have more extensive items and tools to help with bigger injuries like broken bones and severe wounds.
You have a good resource and the appropriate tools, now what?
Last but not least, if you have a quality first aid book and have the appropriate tools to help you, then I suggest taking courses and/or looking up YouTube videos on various types of medical and trauma emergencies. First aid isn’t a one and done kind of skill. First aid is a skill that you need to learn and relearn on a regular basis.
Just like with all things with emergency preparedness. You’ve got this, and I’ve got you! I want you to take a deep breath and focus on one what you can do today to get prepared.
Do you need more help?
The Emergency Preparedness Workbook is designed to help you become an expert in your own emergency preparedness. It has prompts to make you think about what you would do in various circumstances and emergencies. It also covers everything from natural disasters to personal disasters. While also covering food storage, water storage, first aid and more.
Need more help with emergency preparedness? Check out these links!