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Be Prepared: Creating an Emergency First Aid Kit

Marc Kaplan


You never know where you'll be when disaster strikes. Having a first aid kit on hand has the potential to make a dangerous situation a bit more manageable.

But according to an Adelphi University poll, most people are woefully unprepared. They found that 44% of people had no emergency first aid kit, with 48% of people lacking even basic emergency supplies.

Since the presence of a first aid kit can mean the difference between life and death, it's vital that people have a kit ready to go at a moment's notice.

Ready to get prepared? Here's what you'll need to include to have a well-stocked emergency first aid kit.

Sealable Storage

Perhaps the most important aspect of any first aid kit is the storage container itself. How you store your first aid supplies is every bit as important as what's contained in the kit itself.

While most first aid kits are hardened plastic cases, that won't always keep your supplies safe.

Instead, make sure that your kit can weather the worst.

A good first aid kit should be lightweight and waterproof. It only takes a few drops of water to ruin an entire package of bandages or water down a poorly-sealed antiseptic cream.

The stronger and more durable the material, the likelier it is to survive a flood or fire.

Hand Sanitizer

As the old saying goes, the best offense is a great defense. And there's no better way to protect yourself from germs than with a big bottle of hand sanitizer.

Especially when dressing wounds, it's vital to have clean, germ-free hands.

But an emergency situation won't provide time for a thorough hand scrubbing. However, in a pinch, hand sanitizer is the perfect substitute for soap and warm water.

While the CDC points out that hand sanitizer won't kill all harmful bacteria, it can end most nasty germs. They recommend choosing a hand sanitizer product with 60% or more alcohol content.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Scrapes and cuts don't always seem like the most detrimental injuries. Yet they can quickly turn into a dangerous infection that causes fevers, inflammation, and searing pain.

Having a way to clean wounds -- no matter how minor they may seem -- is a must.

Gentle application of hydrogen peroxide is a great way to keep injury sites clean by removing harmful bacteria. Not only will it disinfect a wound, but it can bring dirt and debris to a wound's surface, preventing further harm.

While the application of hydrogen peroxide will sting for a moment, it's a small price to pay for an infection-free injury.

Waterproof Adhesive Bandages

Sanitizing a wound is a great start, but you'll need a way to keep dirt and grime out of the affected area. For smaller, less serious injuries like cuts and scrapes, nothing beats a good old-fashioned adhesive bandage.

For best results, we recommend picking up waterproof bandages. Aside from sticking to the skin in the shower or rain, they tend to stick better and stay on for longer.

It doesn't hurt to diversify your selection of bandages, either.

Have plenty of options on hand for injuries of various shapes and sizes. Pick up butterfly bandages for keeping wounds closed and standard bandages for general coverage.

Disposable Nitrile Gloves

For more serious injuries that require suturing or the application of an ointment, hand sanitizer won't always cut it. Yet at the same time, latex gloves can be quite dangerous should an individual have a latex allergy.

Nitrile gloves are the perfect solution. These medical grade gloves are latex-free, so there's no need to worry about allergies.

Burn Creams

Burn wounds are all too common. And not only do burn wounds hurt, but they can also lead to long-lasting and even permanent damage depending on the severity.

While third and fourth-degree burns require immediate medical attention, burn creams and ointments are a fantastic on-the-fly solution.

They're great for disinfecting an area as well as soothing pain.

Medications

Those who suffer from serious conditions like heart disease or diabetes require frequent doses of medication. Going as little as a single day without these medications can prove harmful, if not fatal.

As you begin gathering your first aid supplies, make sure to include a few days' worth of medicine for emergencies. While it may be hard to get an entirely different prescription, you can secure a few pills or tablets in a secure baggy marked with the medicine's expiration date.

And don't forget about basic painkillers, too. Advil and Tylenol are great pain remedies and can help prevent fevers and headaches.

Non-Perishables

There's no telling how long an emergency situation will last. And while it's vital to have medical supplies on hand, dehydration is every bit as dangerous as an infection.

Invest in a large enough first aid kit that you can store several bottles of water in addition to some non-perishable food items.

Peanut butter is a great inclusion as it's high in healthy fats and protein, so you'll be able to keep your energy up. Dried fruits are another fantastic addition and contain necessary vitamins and minerals.

A Flashlight

One wrong step in the dark is all it takes to send you tumbling to the ground and shatter your bones. Having an LED flashlight at the ready can allow easy passage through darkened, dangerous areas.

Should you choose a battery-operated flashlight, make sure to include a few additional batteries.

A hand-crank powered flashlight is even better. As long as you can arm your hand you'll have light at a moment's notice.

A Portable Power Bank

Cell phones are a fantastic way to keep in touch at a moment's notice. But as advanced as phones have become, their battery lives are rather lacking.

Including a portable power bank and a charging cable in your first aid kits is a fantastic way to make sure you can contact friends, family, or emergency services -- even if your phone is about to die.

Stay Safe: Make Sure Your Emergency First Aid Kit Includes These Items

No one ever expects to find themselves in an emergency situation. But stocking your emergency first aid kit with these items will help you master even the most dangerous of situations.

Have any questions about creating first aid kits or need more personalized assistance finding great medical supplies? Get in touch and we'll get back with you as soon as possible.