Saturday, December 24, 2011

First Aid Kit For The Car

     I think everyone is familiar with the concepts of a first aid kit. Band Aids and Bactine type kits, designed to treat scrapes and minor cuts. Usually costing $9.99 at Walmart, etc. Those are fine for what they are, they provide minor first aid and patient comfort. Nothing makes a small child feel better than a Mickey Mouse bandaid and a kissed boo-boo. While providing comfort to someone who is hurt is a large part of First Aid, and not to be over looked, that's not the point of this post.

     I'd like to discuss several important components that should be in every first aid kit, ESPECIALLY first aid kits in vehicles. This is not an all encompassing list. I'm not a Doctor, Nurse, EMT, or First Responder. I'm not giving you medical advice anymore than the guy at Home Depot who recommends a hammer to drive a nail is giving you construction advice. I'm simply telling you what *I* have done.

     If you've read some of my other posts, or threads, you'll recognize a common theme when it comes to "high impact" skill sets. Skill sets like firearms, first aid treatment, emergency driving, etc. TRAINING...get some. Do not rely on You Tube, forums, Google, etc to provide you with training. Those are all great sources of training supplements, but they are not substitutes for training itself. Related to this subject, take a Basic First Aid class through the Red Cross. Then maybe an Basic Life Saving (BLS) class, then possibly Advanced Life Saving (ALS). you could join a volunteer fire department, they'll train you for free. You'll get the skills you want AND be able to give back to the community. Win-Win.

     You should receive training to recognize the signs of, and be able to provide First Aid for the following:
  • Choking.- Very common in vehicles where small children are eating while you drive.
  • Heart Attack. 
  • Shock - Very common after a severe vehicle accident.
  • Stroke.
  • Extremity Bleeding - Also very common after a severe vehicle accident.
As always, in any of these events call 9-1-1.
     Since this is going into your vehicle, you'll need one kit for each vehicle. Trust me this won't be very expensive. Pick up a basic first aid kit to keep in your car. The $9.99 one is fine. I recommend adding a couple of things to it because it's going in the car:
  • Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD). Look it up here Battle Dressing  I can't stress the importance of this one enough.  It's VERY easy to apply, in fact, you can apply it to yourself if you have to. this dressing help keep you and/or your family alive until Paramedics can arrive. Get one for each passenger in your car.
  • Primatine Mist - Contains the exact same medicine as an Epi-Pen. Over the counter. Cheap. Really important if you transport kids or attend outdoor sporting events. Lots of people don't know they're allergic to bee stings or peanuts until they have a reaction.
  • Celox  or Quick Clot. Something to stop bleeding from wounds where you can't apply an IBD like neck, face, fingers, etc.
     See, that wasn't too many things or very expensive. I'm not telling you what to do or giving advice, I'm simply stating what *I* have done. It's up to you to learn how and when to apply first aid. I usually travel with my wife and kids. Often times we're on the interstates or major highways where speeds are higher than in town. Most accidents on these types of roads aren't "fender benders", they're serious. Help can be up to 45 minutes away, even longer if barricades in the medians are present.

     Please learn CPR, and learn to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Check it out here AED . They're everywhere from office building to the food court in your local mall. You may not choose to help a random stranger, but you should definitely be able to help an immediate family member or close friend.  Do your research, look these things up, get some training. improve yours and your families chances of surviving a medical emergency.

   I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on the Internet. I'm just a regular guy, with a family, working the day to day grind and trying to keep my head above water. The point is, survive to fight another day.

    As always comments and suggestions are always welcome.  Check us out on Facebook SurvivalInTheSuburbs.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

EDC (Every Day Carry) In The Suburbs

     Every Day Carry (EDC) is an important part of your survival plan. EDC gear is what you carry on your person day in and day out. It's the gear that will get you from wherever you are when something bad happens, to the next stage of your survival plan. That next stage may be getting to your vehicle so you can leave, or gear up from your Get Home Bag (GHB) and move out on foot. The next stage could also be getting you home where you decide if your next step is to Bug In...or to Bug Out.  In any circumstance, your EDC will be what you go to FIRST. Lets look at EDC in the workplace.

      If you're fortunate enough to work for yourself or work in an environment that doesn't require "business casual" attire, then EDC is a good bit easier. If you work in a corporate environment, like I do, you have to be respectful of your workplace environment and it's policies. It's not socially acceptable in most corporate environments to walk around with a Batman Belt on loaded down with a Leatherman multitool, folding knife, cell phone, flashlight, first aid kit, mini survival Altoid Tin, pepper spray, 50 feet of paracord , extra batteries, GPS, carabiners, keys, etc all dangling and jingling as you walk down the rows of Cube City. Face look like an idiot.

     Before we go any further lets go on record as saying, I'm not telling you how to live or what to carry....I'm telling you what *I* would do in these circumstances. Rest assured there will be comments either on this blog or on other boards to the affect of  "I work for myself so i can carry a ninja sword, 2 sticks of dynamite, and a rocket launcher at work."  Well...that's wonderful...most of us can't, or have enough common sense not to even if we could. There will also be the "must be right at all costs" guy who will say something along the lines of " I carry anyway, even if it's not allowed, becaue I have the right to."  Yeah...ok. Good luck explaining to the little lady why she and the kids have to move back in with your parents while you find another job in this economy. Me and the Common Sense Crowd will be considering whether to buy your forclosed house as an investment.

       I'm off the soapbox. It's apparent that common sense ain't so common. Anyways, enough about all of that. On to the good stuff.

     Some of those things you might need, some of those things you might feel better having, some of those things are just silly. It's an exagerration, sort of, but the point is to learn some "business camouflage".  Simple techniques that will allow you some latitude on what you can carry in public or at work.

     Look around you, observe the people in your environment. Are backpacks commonplace? If so, great, most of your problems are solved. You can carry your work stuff AND some extras in your backpack. Make sure you seperate the two. Have your EDC stuff an a seperate compartment, or better yet, in a smaller bag inside your packpack. That way if you need your EDC stuff...and only your EDC stuff, you can grab it easily. Please don't consider a fanny pack....please. You laugh, but I still see them in use. I still see the "European Carry All" AKA the Man Purse as well. Talk about drawing attention to yourself...a man purse will do it.

     The winter time is awesome for EDC. Coats mean lots of pockets to hold stuff. Shoes are an important part of your EDC. Choose wisely. Several brands of "outdoor" or "rugged" shoe companies make office appropriate shoes that are still VERY competant in the out doors. Look into some Keens or Merrils for exmple, they look good and perform well. These will save you from having to walk home in a pair of wingtips. There are many brands, but those two come to mind. Do some research.

     Lots of people EDC a folding knife. Some carry it completely in their pocket. Some use the attached clip to clip it to their pocket opening levaing thr clip and some of the knife exposed, it's easier to access that way. If I carry one, I carry it clipped to my pocket opening. Some places of employment allow knives, some don't. One thing I have done in the past is to spray paint the clip on the knife tan. This way it doesn't stick out so much against my khaki colored work pants. can see it if you stare, but it passes casual observers without notice.

     Have a good belt. I wear a slightly thicker than normal leather belt to work. I'd like to wear a nylon trainers belt or riggers belt, but it's not business casual appropriate. Have you seen the buckles on those things? So why a thicker leather belt you ask? Because it will support my body weight without breaking. Not that I would ever NEED that, but it made sense at the time I was belt shopping. It looks like a normal belt, it's just thicker...and a little bit wider. Belts are an important part of your EDC, choose wisely.

     My work EDC, in addition to seasonally appropriate clothing,  basically consists of my phone, wallet, keys, iPod, laptop backpack, light snack, water bottle, and a small flashlight. I have a GHB in my truck and I park less than 30 yards from my office building. So I can get to that if I need to. I posted previously about a GHB, please read it if you haven't.

     As always, comments and topic suggestions always welcome. Check us out on Facebook:Survival In The Suburbs

    I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on the internet. Survive to fight another day.