Ready For An Emergency? First Aid Kit FAQs

Because of all the natural disasters and scary incidences in the news lately, you and your family may be looking into emergency preparedness. You can prepare for emergencies by outfitting your house with a fire extinguisher, training in CPR, getting a ham radio, and preparing a food storage. But one of the easiest, and arguably overlooked, ways at preparing for an emergency is getting a first aid kit.

Are first aid kits really that important?

Yes! In 2011, deputies that were outfitted with simple first aid kits were able to treat several victims of a shooting. Another article says that while more and more police officers are being outfitted with first aid kits intended for their personal use, they may end up using them for other people. These instances of first aid not only extend to the police force, but also to civilians as well. For example, organizations like the Red Cross offer first aid training so that people know how to effectively use their kits. Some of these people have saved others from allergic reactions or from drowning. Even if you do not receive training, using a kit to bind up a wound may give paramedics the precious time they need to get to your location.

Can you buy one ready-made or do you have to make one?

You can buy ready-made kits at humanitarian organizations, grocery stores, and pharmacies. If you want to put together your own kit, it can be put in a plastic bag or a box. Some items that you may want to keep include

  • tweezers
  • cleansing wipes
  • disposable gloves
  • bandages and gauze dressings
  • antihistamine tablets
  • rash cream
  • tape
  • scissors
  • pain killers

Obviously this list can be longer or shorter, depending on your wants and needs. For instance, some first aid kits that you can buy are geared towards certain activities, like boating or hiking.

Where should you keep your kit?

You can keep a kit just about anywhere, but having one at home and in your car is a good place to start. Just make sure that you keep the kit in a dry place so that products aren't affected by moisture. If you have other family members, make sure there is a designated spot for the first aid kit, so that people will know exactly where to go to get it in case of an emergency. 

If you want to keep a kit at work or at a place with lots of people, consider purchasing or making a bulk first aid kit. These kits are larger and can treat about 25 to 50 people depending on what product you buy.

Do the kits need to be replaced?

Some items can last years in the kit, but some kits expire within three to five years--especially those that have lots of medications. If you are buying a pre-made kit, you can ask your medical equipment and supply manufacturer for more details.