Preppers are excellent planners and can typically mull over every possible scenario that could plunge them into a survival situation. During this mulling over, every aspect of survival is carefully considered, right down to where a person will use the facilities when there is no public water and the toilets don’t work.
However, there is one area that many preppers gloss over–medical supplies that are outside the norm. Sure, all preppers have a nice stash of first aid supplies, but they often forget about the little things that can make dealing with an injury a lot easier. For example, you might have everything you need for a twisted ankle or a broken foot, but what about crutches?
In today’s world, whenever we need something, we head to the store or order something online without a second thought, or we just go to the doctor or hospital and they give us what we need. But when the doctors are too busy or completely inaccessible, you have to be your own doctor.
Here are some important first aid supplies you might have overlooked.
1. Crutches – A twisted ankle, bum knee or even a broken bone could make it extremely tough to get around without crutches. Using a couple of branches fashioned to act like crutches is an option, but if you could have the convenience and comfort of real crutches, why not set a couple aside in the attic or in your storage area? Check secondhand stores for crutches and you will get them at a fraction of the cost.
2. Arm Slings — A broken arm or strained shoulder is better with a sling. Sure, you can fashion a sling out of a towel or pillowcase, but a sling is more comfortable and allows a person to carry on with life without worrying about their sling coming undone. Again, check secondhand stores for extremely inexpensive medical items.
3. Liquid Bandage – The smallest cut in a survival situation can become a serious problem if it gets infected. Liquid bandage is a handy medicine that adheres directly to the skin and seals the wound. If you have a brutal hangnail, cracked fingers or even a small cut, this is the stuff you want. You won’t have to worry about trying to get a band-aid to stick to the tip of your finger.
4. Syringe – Small wounds need irrigated before they can be closed. A 60cc or 100cc syringe is perfect for rinsing out cuts that have debris inside.
5. Eye Wash – Even a tiny piece of dirt in your eye can be very painful. Without running water, you’ll need a squeeze bottle to get a steady stream of water into your eye, and you’re better off using a solution that was designed for cleansing eyes.
6. Clotting Sponge – This is an important medicine that should be in every prepper’s stash. It can help clot and stop wounds that are bleeding profusely. You don’t want to get all Rambo and dump gun powder in someone’s wound and light it to stop the bleeding. Invest in some Quikclot and save everybody some pain and stress.
7. Blood Pressure Cuff – Learn how to take blood pressure readings the old fashioned way. Knowing a person’s blood pressure in an emergency can help you determine treatment. Look at yard sales of retired nurses or at thrift stores.
8. Ammonia Inhalants – Stress or injury can cause a person to faint. If you need to move or you need that person conscious and talking, slapping them around is not a good option. Ammonia inhalants will wake the person up without being further injured.
9. Thermometer – Buy one of the fancy digital ones or the old standard stick-under-the-mouth thermometers. You need to be able to determine whether a person is too hot or too cold to begin treating them appropriately. Knowing just how high a fever is will tell you how ill a person really is.
10. Magnifying Glass – Being able to see all the debris inside a wound is important. Closing a wound that has even a small bit of debris inside can cause a life-threatening infection. A magnifying glass and adequate light can help prevent such tragedies.
11. Cervical Collar – Even if you cannot do anything for a spine or neck injury, mobilizing the neck could save a person’s life. If somebody has suffered whiplash, the cervical collar can give them the support they need until the neck heals on its own.
12. Cast Kit – You can buy kits to apply casts for broken bones. A cast is pretty simple to apply and giving a bone the stability it needs to heal will be incredibly useful in a survival situation when you can’t run to the hospital.
13. Burn Dressings – A serious burn puts somebody at increased risk of infection. These special gel burn dressings keep the wound covered, preventing infection, while providing relief from the pain. It is a good idea to buy a variety of sizes.
14. BVMs (Bag Valve Mask) – You can buy disposable bag valve masks that take the place of the mouth-to-mouth breathing. These are ideal in situations where you need to tend a wound and the only other person available is a child or someone who is unable to give the life-saving breaths.
What to read next: 17 Over-The-Counter Meds You Need To Stockpile