Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Snowstorms and Medical Emergencies

Photo by Marcin Wichary

I have posted often about preparedness, and the current early Fall snowstorm that brought problems and power outages in the N.E. bring it to the forefront once again. (The heavy snow storms of last winter also brought the necessity home. Fortunately my area fared better than many last winter, but it could have just as easily been my town that had deaths because emergency vehicles couldn't navigate the roads.) Those news reports just bring home the importance of preparedness again and again.

Having some emergency food, water, batteries and such should be a given for every household, so I just want to address medical supplies here.

Last night in the kitchen I accidentally dropped a heavy chef's knife, cutting deeply into a toe. I bled like a stuck pig until I could bend my leg into enough of an awkward position to actually see the cut on the very lower outside of my smallest toe, and get it cleaned and bandaged. It didn't really need stitches, and our roads were clear if I had needed to drive to the ER. 

Afyer I stopped the bleeding and was rooting in the medicine cabinet, my thoughts went to my "emergency medical gym-type bag". It has lots more stuff in it than the bathroom medicine cabinet, but I couldn't put my hands on it readily... which makes it totally useless in an emergency.

So my job for tomorrow is to ➀ locate it, ➁ check for what needs replacing and do it, and ➂ put it where it's easy to find.

Tip: When I first assembled that bag, I packed all dry things in plastic baggies taped shut. I figured that if we had some persistent heavy rains, roof damage or flooding, wet bandages and a wet first aid book wouldn't do much good. Now that I have a food vacuum sealer, I plan to re-pack things that need to stay dry in ziplock bags and seal the ziplock bags inside vacuum bags. That way if I have to open a bag, and it's wet all around me, I still have a back-up sealed bag to use when I put things away.

Where are YOUR emergency medical supplies, and are they up to date?


  1. I LOVE my vac sealer, and use it for many purposes beyond food - chief amongst them, in similar fashion to what you propose, storing med supplies and leak prone items in my various FAKs and BOBs. One thing I have learned is that heavy plastic vacuum sealed is often difficult to open, especially in an emergency with reduced grotesque motor skills. PLEASE make sure to have small blades handy to break the seals. If you are bleeding from an extremity, and have one hand applying pressure, it will be difficult to open a vac sealed bag. A small razor or box cutter will be the difference in accessing your supplies. Plus, they are cheap!

  2. That's a great tip... having a cutter handy usable with one hand! Thanks

  3. I am so far behind this year w/regards winter readiness... sigh. But we've got more wood (tho' it's not cut yet) & the rainwater tank is slowly refilling (after do-do here left the hose on.) Do need to re-furbish the first aid; thanks for the reminder!

  4. Just popping in to say I was thinking of you all day and hope your day was a wonderful as you are. Miss you my friend.

  5. Thanks, it was a lovely day for a birthday!


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