It’s practically impossible to prepare for all kinds of medical emergencies when SHTF. But as a prepper, you should prepare a first aid kit with items that can help you address most of these when disaster finally strikes
Getting first aid training is optional, but if you have the time you should sign up for classes before SHTF.
Even if you’re not a healthcare professional, having first aid training can help you save lives when facing a survival scenario. It can also help you provide comfort to a patient, especially if they see that you are confident in your first aid skills.
Knowing first aid also gives you the tools and skills necessary to prevent a bad situation from getting even worse.
Preparing your first aid kit
When it comes to medicinal approaches, you can combine both a holistic approach and a more conventional approach to cover all the bases. Plant some medicinal herbs in your garden, but make sure your first aid kit also contains medication for burns and wounds.
If you’re not sure what you need in your first aid kit, start by prepping for things that are most likely to occur, such as flu or a cold.
Supplies for your medicinal pantry and first aid kit
If you’re not sure how to pack a first aid kit, buy a pre-packaged first aid kit. If you’re more experienced with first aid, prepare your own kit and include items that you use frequently.
Here are some items to include in your first aid kit:
- Alcohol prep pads
- Antiseptic wiping cloth pads
- Assorted bandages
- Cotton swabs for applying medicines or cleaning out wounds
- A CPR mask
- Disposable gloves
- A disposable poncho
- Glow stick scissors for cutting bandages in the dark or at night
- A rescue blanket
- Medical tape
- Safety pins
- A sling
- Sting relief pads
- Tweezers for pulling out splinters or ticks
- Whistle to signal for help
If you want to improve your first aid skills even further, sign up for a first aid trauma or severe trauma course. This kind of course can help you understand and quickly identify when bleeding has become a medical emergency in a SHTF scenario.
A trauma first aid course can also help you learn how to assess the scene to prevent personal injury, which is important because you can’t help anyone if you’re injured. This kind of course will also teach you how to use a tourniquet properly.
Medicinal herbs and plants for your first aid kit
If you have a home garden, try planting these useful medicinal herbs and plants:
Arnica has small, yellow, daisy-like flowers and the plant can be used to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation and heal wounds. It’s also used to treat sprains and bruises.
Calendula has bright yellow and orange flowers. It’s also fragrant and can attract pollinators into your garden.
Use calendula to promote wound healing, reduce inflammation and soothe bee stings, burns, dry skin and rashes.
Common yarrow has clusters of small white flowers and feathery leaves. When crushed up, common yarrow can be applied directly to wounds and burns.
Common yarrow leaves can also be used to make a tea that will help treat colds and headaches.
Goldenseal is a perennial woodland plant named after its yellow roots and sap. The plant can be used to make a topical treatment for skin and ear infections.
Fragrant and calming, lavender bears beautiful, purple blossoms. Medicinally, lavender has been used to treat gastrointestinal problems and anxiety.
Lavender can also be used to boost appetite and mood.
Before SHTF, sign up for useful first aid courses and learn how to stop bleeding. You should also prepare a first aid kit for your house, car and bug-out bags if you plan to evacuate when things get bad.