Knowing what types of emergency medical kits to have as part of your survival planning is difficult as it is very easy to over plan and end up with mountains of junk that you will not use. In a survival situation, you do not have room for unusable items so you need to be able to narrow down on what kit or kits meet more than one type of scenario.
You have to have as your basic working assumption that you will not have access to any sort of professional medical care for days or weeks, if at all. This means that you should have something within your emergency medical kits that will help you deal with deep cuts, infections and breaks. Your kit should therefore include surgical equipment, anesthetic and sterilizing wipes.
The market leader here is Adventure Medical Kits who provide a range of emergency medical kits that will help you deal with the most complex injuries. Usefully, all of their kits also come with a comprehensive manual on how to deal with cuts and breaks and how to use the splints and bandages they provide. Their bandages are also coated in their Quick Clot technology, which aims to stop bleeding within five minutes.
You are most likely to encounter minor injuries as part of your day-to-day life in a survival scenario. This includes grazes, bruises and swellings as well as dealing with the usual run of fevers and colds. Your emergency kit should therefore include:
For minor injury packs, you should look at two brands. At the top end of the price and quality bracket is Ultimate First Responder and their first aid kit comes with a hard case that provides protection against all kinds of weather. When you open it up, all of the equipment is neatly compartmentalized and labeled making it easy to find what you want. Licensed hospitals and doctors have tested the contents and every piece comes wrapped in a sterilized packet. You can find it online for around $190.
The cheaper version comes from First Aid Essentials and comes in at around $30 for a 300-piece set. The main difference is that it comes in a soft case and is much larger than the Ultimate First Responder hard case. The contents are of a lesser quality and you get few of the key items. However, you will also get facemasks, knuckle bandages that can be a real lifesaver as well as three insect relief pads.
Many emergency medical kits do not provide specific relief for burns. In a survival situation, you’re going to be dealing with open fires and hot pans on a daily basis and younger family members will almost certainly get burned at some point. Cold running water is the usual remedy for this, but it might not always be available.
For burns, you should invest in a S.T.A.R.T. Burn Kit. The main component is the Burnfree gel which sticks to the burn rather than running off like most water based products. It also contains tea tree oil, which is a natural soother for burn injuries.
Above all, you need to organize emergency medical kits so you can access any piece of equipment quickly. If you are putting together your own kit, put bandages, antiseptic wipes and Band-Aids near the top or where you open it, as these are the things that you’ll use most often. As with all preparation for catastrophic events, assembling your supplies, keeping them available and up to date will put you at an advantage if the day comes when you need them.