First Aid

Sarge is the first to admit he doesn’t know how to remove an appendix, and he is a lot better with a combat knife than a scalpel. But he knows how critical medical care can be in a survival situation. Food, water and shelter may be the first three items on your emergency list, but medical care should be
number four.

Whether it is a bomb blast, car crash or natural disaster, medical treatment always seems to be necessary early in an emergency situation – just when it is
hardest to come by. But with some education, you can provide the first aid you or those close to you need. Sarge recommends reading and taking classes, such as those offered by the Red Cross and some EMT programs, on first aid and
becoming a first responder.

An entire first aid tutorial with information on how to treat different medical emergencies is here at Sarges Bookshelf.

For more advanced information, read the Survival Medical FAQ, also online here. This includes specific information on antibiotics, lab tests and several medical kits.

If you don’t have the time, at least store a few first aid kits in important


There are dozens of commercial first aid kits available from many different suppliers. Sarge recommends you have on hand three different types of

A small, basic kit for you car and bug-out-bag.An intermediate kit for around the home and for traveling.An extensive medical kit stored with your survival gear for use when going to a regular doctor or hospital is out of the question.

While kit contents will vary, your basic kit, which most outdoor or camping-type stores should carry, should include at least the following. If you can’t buy one with these contents, pick up a few supplies and create your own:

BandagesAntibiotic ointmentGauze padsIodine or similar prep padsAlcohol prep padsButterfly bandagesAntibiotic ointmentMedical adhesive tapeAspirin and/or non-aspirin pain relievers

The intermediate kit will include more of each of the above items, plus the following:

Larger adhesive bandagesSmelling salts or ammonia inhalantsAce-type bandages for strains and sprainsSeveral sizes of sterile padsRolls of gauzeAntiseptic towletsThermometerSnake bite poison extractorTweezersSafety pinsMoleskinRubber (latex) glovesBurn medicationAnti-itch treatmentSun screenDiarrhea medicationEye dropsBasic first aid instructions

Your more advanced medical kit can be expected to include not only the above, but some or all of the following:

Special bandages, such as conforming, trauma and field dressingsRubbing alcohol for sterilizationHydrogen peroxideBetadineScissorsForcepsScalpelsHemostatsSterile sutures, in several sizesWound probeMouth-to-mouth shieldInstant hot packInstant cold packPrep padsEye padsSpongesCotton ballsBurn treatmentsDental toolsSplint materialsIn-depth first aid/surgical guideCold medicationDecongestantAntihistamineColloidal silver

If you can find a sympathetic doctor or have other access to prescription medicines, you should consider stocking up on a few key items:

Broad spectrum antibioticAntibiotics for sinus infections, strep throat and other common “winter” ailmentsPain killers

Remember, if you have kids or a special medical problem, add whatever extra
items you think are appropriate.


We are not worrying about your pet – although they can be injured in
disasters, too – but using easily-obtainable veterinarian supplies for your own
needs, as many survival writers recommend. In a survival situation, does it really matter who or what the prescription was originally written for? Use your own judgment and don’t forget to read our disclaimer!


Sarge has seen too much of the world not to believe that there are more ways to treat common ailments than the AMA would have you believe. And should a post-apocalyptic world mean we have to revert to herbs and tree roots, a bit of knowledge about alternate medicines may be helpful. A list of useful alternative medicine sites is being developed.

For day-to-day well being, Sarge is partial to homeopathic medicine. This approach to healing stimulates your bodys natural healing force. You can check the yellow pages for the homeopathic physician near you.


About Paul Simard

I was born in 1955. I discovered my first personal computer in 1977 while in the U.S.A.F. I was hooked, but loved them too much to turn them into a job at the time. Now, it seems a good time to do that, but on my terms. So, here we are. I'll be writing about computer builds, OS and software installations, configurations on all, as well as commenting about the obstacles met and how I overcome them.
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