This article is part of a complete guide to preparedness - Getting Prepared, An Untrained Housewife's Guide. Everything you need to have a simple survival plan for you and your family!
Pretend with me . . . There has just been major tornado, ice storm or earthquake near your home. The electrical power will be out for two weeks. During that two week period of time, you have run out of gasoline, the local gas station is also without power and you cannot leave your home. Somebody in the family receives a major injury – burn (from heating the house with wood), broken bone (from slipping on ice or from the initial natural disaster) or severe laceration (from chopping wood). What are you going to do?
Basic First Aid Kits
Most of us have a home first aid kit. That is not really very helpful for something major, even during normal times. We may treat minor injuries at home, but if these small injuries are left untreated, usually nothing happens. However, should a minor wound become infected, it is a simple matter to take the injured to the doctor, so our first aid kits are simple.
- Bandaids and antibiotic ointment for minor wounds and abrasions
- Elastic tape for binding a sprained ankle or wrist
- Suture strips for holding together a minor cut
Equipped to Survive has a good list of recommendations from which to build a home first aid kit for minor injuries.
Major First Aid
In our pretend scenario, however, it is essential to prevent major infections by using such a first aid kit. Blood poisoning can develop quickly, and without access to professional medical attention, the situation can become quite serious. The same can be said for broken bones, severe lacerations and other major wounds. In the event that a minor injury becomes serious, or a major injury occurs, it is very important to be prepared to handle major injuries at home.
Armageddon Medicine, while having a dramatic title, offers a wealth of information on preparing yourself for emergency medical contingencies. Prepper Medical Supply is a resource for supplies, although it is possible to compile your own kit from a variety of sources. The biggest obstacle is medication. In a scenario where the injury is major, prescription antibiotics may be required. If one is doing some major suturing, or has suffered a major bone break, some prescription sedatives or prescription pain killers would be wonderful items to have on hand. These medications need to be obtained ahead of time, and that can present a challenge.
Medication in an Emergency Scenario
Barbara H. makes some good points about how to prepare as a disabled person or a person whose life depends on regular medication. (Scroll about half way down her article.) The Survival Mom suggests ways to prepare specifically for the diabetics in your family. It IS possible to obtain medications ahead of time, but it will take some effort and pre-planning on your part.
First, find out how sympathetic your own doctor is. Check with your doctor about getting prescriptions for the purpose of stocking up. You will likely run into some limitations from your insurance company, so be prepared to pay out of pocket. However, our pretend scenario is only for two weeks, so insurance limitations will not likely be a problem. Antibiotics can be obtained at farm supply stores – research usage and dosages! Especially consider necessary prescriptions that you cannot live without for two weeks. If you are not opposed to alcoholic beverages, at least for medicinal purposes, it would be a good idea to have a bottle or two on hand. This can be used as an antiseptic and a mild sedative.
A two week power outage can be comfortable, if not exactly fun. Hopefully, there will be no serious injuries during this time, but if there are, it is so much better to be prepared for the worst and then hope for the best!