Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When Was the Last Time You Looked in Your First Aid Kit?

As a CERT, chances are better than average that you have a first aid kit around. (Somewhere.)

However, Jeffrey Katz, Volunteer Liaison, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, passes along this most recent newsletter from the Center for Wilderness Safety, which asks the provocative question:

When's the last time you really checked out your first aid kit?

First aid kit
Hope your first aid kit isn't this old. Image by Flickr user u07ch, used under Creative Commons license.
FIRST AID KITS 101
If you've ever gone to Target or any other name-brand shop to look at first aid kits, you've probably seen those 1000 piece first aid kits, and thought "Gee, that's a lot of stuff! I think I'll buy it!", only to get home to and open it to find that 900 of the pieces are either Band-Aids or gauze?

Just how useful do you think that kit is going to be out in the woods? If you're running through a field of thistles and thorns, your kit will be more than sufficient. Then again, if anything else were to happen in said field, you'd probably be wishing that you had a better first aid kit.

When you're out and about, enjoying the great outdoors, having a proper first aid kit is essential, but there's a lot more that goes into it than meets the eye. Once you've got your kit built, you have to stay active in its upkeep, or it could let you down when you really need it most.

Over time, gloves will dry-rot, or become brittle and will no longer stretch; instead they will tear and break. Alcohol, iodine, and handy-wipes can dry out. Checking them from time to time is worth the cost of opening one out of the batch to ensure they are still good. Keeping your first aid kit with you even when you aren't in the wilderness promotes being prepared and provides ongoing interaction with your kit.
Click to see the full article from the Center for Wilderness Safety, including tips on how to inventory and restock your first aid kits, and how to deal with medications and perishable items.

Suggestion for CERTs: Check the first aid supplies in your CERT bag and first aid kit, and if you find any items that are expired or otherwise need replacing, leave a comment below and share with your fellow CERTs.


As a side note: Apparently, "First Aid Kit" is also the name of a Swedish folk duo:

First Aid Kit
Image by Flickr user roboppy, used under Creative Commons license.

While I'm sure they're fantastic, they probably won't be around to help you or your family in case of an emergency.
 

1 comment:

  1. I'll weigh in on my own post -- I actually did reorganize the first aid supplies in my CERT bag and emergency kits last month. They were mostly in good shape, though some of the over-the-counter medications (allergy, anti-inflammatory, etc) are getting close to replacement dates.

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