Do you know first aid?
If you know first aid, you might be the one who saves another person’s life.
If you’re caught in a disaster, knowing first aid may save the life of someone you know and love.
Most of us assume that quality health-care will always be available. But during a disaster, first responders are overwhelmed. Phone and computer service may be disrupted. Transportation may be impossible. You may be on your own. Emergency organizations recommend that you be ready to care for yourself and your family for three to seven days. If you’re prepared, being on your own will be inconvenient and not a tragedy.
How do I start?
Good question. Here are some ideas for you:
- Get trained. I’m not suggesting that someone in your family take a paramedic class. Check out the Red Cross, Sheriff’s Office, or ask your employer about sponsoring a first aid class.In one afternoon or evening, you can learn first aid basics and the new rules for CPR. Yes, they’ve changed. You’ll need to repeat your training every two or three years in order to maintain your skills.
- The number one rule in any first aid situation is to always be mindful of your own safety. You can’t help anyone else if you become a victim. Don’t go where it’s unsafe to try and rescue someone. Don’t touch the body fluids (blood, vomit, pee…you get the idea) of another person without a protective barrier. A box of nitrile gloves should be one of the first items in your kit.
- Get a first aid kit, then make it better. You probably already have a variety of bandages, a pain reliever, and something for nausea. If not, start there. Don’t forget poop medicine, one to stop, the other to start. You know what I mean? It’s good to have baby medicine in your kit, even if you don’t have a baby. They’re all over. Walk through a drug store and look around. What would you want in your kit if you couldn’t get to the store for three days to a week.
- Have a week’s supply of prescription medication. With insurance the way it is, that might be difficult. Usually, insurance will allow you to fill your medications up to a week before you run out. Try that. Keep them in their original bottles so if you need to fill them at a different pharmacy, all your information is on the bottle.
Start somewhere, start now
Sometimes we don’t want to think about bad things happening. But bad things do happen. If we do everything we can to be prepared, scary things aren’t so scary. Now is the time to start.
Coming up will be will be suggestions for pet care, specialty preparation, and important things you’ll need to know and have after a disaster.