Emergency Preparedness -- First Aid Kit

It’s reasonable to assume that if you’re involved in any type of major disaster, at some point you or somebody nearby will require the use of at least some of the contents of a first aid kit. Every vehicle should have at least a small one, and a larger one should be found in every household.

Should you buy one or create your own?

There are many pre-made first aid kits of all sizes that you can buy, but if you’re going to go that route, there’s a few things to keep in mind.

  • It’s very important to go through the kit thoroughly to be familiar with its contents, and to add any items that may be deficient or that may be specific to your needs

    • Choose one that has enough room to add items

  • Medical supplies can be expensive to buy individually, so It may be most cost effective to buy a kit and add to it

  • Ensure that the contents of a kit are of decent quality and of sufficient number

    • Most commercially made first aid kits boast about the number of items in them. 75 items might sound like a pretty well stocked kit, but remember, they’re counting every single band-aid and every other item no matter how small, so the end result might not look as impressive as the label might lead you to believe.

Other items in a home kit might include personal medications, analgesic tablets (acetaminophen, ibuprofen), antacids, hydrocortisone cream, etc.

If you want to make a kit, there are many lists available of items that it should contain. Each of these lists vary a little from others. A basic list may look like this:

  • Adhesive bandages – assorted sizes

  • Butterfly bandages – adhesive closures to hold together edges of small cuts

  • 4” x 4” Gauze pads – multiple, both sterile and unsterile

  • 5”x7” abdominal pad dressings – large wounds, bleeding control

  • Triangular bandages – multi-use (sling, splinting, tourniquet)

  • Commercially-made tourniquet – such as a C.A.T. tourniquet

  • Self-adhesive bandages (Coban™, etc.) – sticks to itself

  • Gauze roller bandages – 2” and 4”

  • Adhesive tape – 1” and 2”

  • Trauma shears or bandage scissors

  • Antiseptic (Bactine™, etc.) or antiseptic wipes

  • Alcohol wipes

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Tweezers

  • Safety pins

  • Bottle of water – for cleaning wounds or irrigating eyes

  • Latex-free gloves (nitrile) – Several pair

  • Oral thermometer

  • Plastic zip lock type bags – for waste

Of course, this is just a generic list of basic items. Many lists can be found online. The whole idea is to make a kit that fits the needs of you and your family.

If you have a Foodsaver sealer, it can be helpful to seal some items such as bandages and gauze, both to reduce the space they take up and also to keep them clean and dry.

Questions? Contact info@CERTClarkCountyWA.com