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First aid kit substitutions

October 1, 2013

Let’s talk first aid today.

Everyone should already have guessed that a well stocked prepper supply inventory would include adequate first aid gear and supplies, right? We need to tailor those supplies to our family’s general and individual needs, paying particular attention to life saving or sustaining prescription drugs that we may find in short supply after a massive crunch to modern society. As for my needs, I’m stuck with taking anti-arrhythmic (spastic heart rhythm thing) drugs on a daily basis. To slowly stockpile a quantity of this medication, I’ve worked in discussion with my cardiac doc about my ‘survival concerns’, so that he’s prescribed about 20 % more pills than I actually have to take during a month. So, eventually I’ll have a sufficient quantity to last a few months, with appropriate rationing. I have also ‘experimented’ with other medications (I’ve got a bucket full of meds I used to take for this heart condition) by taking a half dose of the morning pill(s) two or three times a week. Many medications action on your body is spread out, time wise, so that an entirely missed dose, occasionally, has little or no effect on controlling the condition at least in my situation. DO NOT assume this is ‘safe’ or advisable for ‘all’ situations of persons on medications!! I am NOT a doctor and I’m only pointing out what I did, being fully aware of any “risks” involved. Do this at your own risk. OK, that takes care of the mandatory ‘legal disclaimer’ one must note at times like this. A ‘safer’, but much slower, approach is to cut pills for Tuesday and Friday mornings in half as I mentioned. This keeps your medicine levels more stable, while adding slowly to your stash. On another note, medications, like canned foods, have an ‘expiration date’ on them. This, like the food ‘sell by’ dates, in my opinion, are more of a ‘freshness’ date than some kind of dire warning. I’ve used migraine headache meds that are a little more than a year past that date, with no ill effects and the meds worked about as well as they did in the first place.

Now, on to the substitutions part. It’s inevitable that in case of societal collapse, with food riots (and good old general looting for fun and big screen TV’s) having cleaned out the markets, and very likely the pharmacies as well, that even our well stocked first aid kits will run out of band-aids. What to do now? OK, assuming you still have adhesive tape and some sterile gauze, cut a strip of tape long enough to do the job of covering the cut and a strip of gauze about one inch wide and with sanitized hands fold the gauze into a little strip as wide as the tape. Press the gauze onto the tape at about the center, apply a little antiseptic and cover the cut. All out of antiseptic? Use honey. For centuries, ‘folk medicine’ around the world has known that honey works nicely as an antiseptic.

Got a sprained ankle and no ‘ace’ bandage? Well, put a clean sock on the foot (not a short sport sock, a regular one) and use duct tape to make a medium stiff boot kind of thing to compress and stabilize the ankle. Don’t wind the tape too tight, you want support, NOT a tourniquet! You should use the tape over a sock so the skin can breathe while taped up AND so that loads of skin and hair don’t get ripped off when the tape is removed. Also, some people don’t react well to prolonged exposure to the sticky glue on duct tape. Duct tape could also be used in conjunction with some flat wooden splints to deal with a fractured limb. Again, cover the skin with a sock with the end cut out or some kind of fabric like a shirt sleeve or whatever, and slide up the arm / leg so the tape isn’t in actual contact with the skin. Some folks also consider duct tape when making the substitute band-aids as I described above.

Bottom line, we should all have some degree of basic first aid, particularly the ‘wilderness’ first aid kind of knowledge. If you can deal with that level of first aid, you’ll have a far better chance at surviving urban crisis.


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