If you didn’t read my posting yesterday, my wife and I were witness to a fairly horrific car wreck on Saturday night.  If you didn’t read it yet, scroll down a bit to catch up, then come back.

Obviously after witnessing something terrible happen, it is only natural to reflect on what you could have done differently, and if you have some extra things, how you could have effected the outcome better.  My primary conclusion after yesterday of course is that everyone should get at least a very basic first aid training class.  In a crisis, you revert to your lowest level of training, so you should make sure that your lowest level isn’t “sit in a ball and cry”.

That being said, in the course of the event, I saw several items that make handling this type of situation much less horrific.  I will be adding these to our car kit in the near future.  I wold recommend having them in your car, as they will assist in a number of situations from the mundane and annoying, to the horrific.

First Aid kit:

firstaidkit

This dovetails in specifically with the need for training.  However, when selecting a first aid kit, there are two things to keep in mind.  First, make sure you know what each thing in the kit does.  A first aid kit is not like a tool closet, you are not going to be supplying the EMT’s with the life saving tools they need.  They have their own.  So there is no need to purchase a 10,000 piece first aid kit, if you don’t know what they do.  Select a kit that you can understand.  In a crisis, you don’t want to be sifting through 9900 pieces you don’t know how to use.

Along those lines, make sure that your kit is laid out in a way that makes sense to you.  First aid kits aren’t these static temples to knowledge that can’t possibly be disturbed.  Just because a kit ships in a certain layout or container doesn’t mean that you can’t change it around.  Lay it out in the order that you would use it.  For example, gauze and disinfectant should probably be on the top, whereas forceps can be a bit lower.  So take the time to take your kit apart and learn where everything is, then put it back in a way that works for you.  If you don’t know where to go for quality, check out Doom and Bloom for your kit needs.  Doc Bones and Nurse Amy are natural healers as well as trained medical professionals.  They are also good friends of the prepping community.  I know Nurse Amy not only uses the highest quality gear in her bags, but I know she packs each one of them herself, by hand.  You aren’t going to find that attention just anywhere.

Lights (Flares and a big Flashlight)

flares

These should be a no brainer for any motorist.  Get some road flares for you car, and learn the proper way to crack them open, so you can do it in a crisis.  Make sure you know how far back to start planting them from your car for how fast the road is.  People at 65mph have much less time to react than 25mph.

Also, get a great big flashlight, and make sure you test it frequently to ensure the battery works.  Having one of these will allow you to look into issue sites at night, obviously, but it will also allow you to communicate with drivers and direct traffic.  It will sound foolish, but practice how to direct cars using just a flash light.  No, not in the street, just some time when everything is calm and collected.  Again, in a crisis, lowest level of training.  If you don’t have some form of thought or practice behind this, you will run out into the street and whirl your arms like a helicopter or something equally horrible.  If nothing else, practising the motions will give you a calm place to fall back to, and that is invaluable.

Blankets:blankets

Make sure you always have some blankets in the car, and make sure no matter when you leave, you take a jacket.  99% of the time, when my wife and I leave the house, we take a jacket.  The one time we don’t, we are standing out in the cold night for 45 minutes shivering.  Stupid.

Blankets in the car give you a lot of options if you are hurt.  Obviously, they can keep someone warm.  They can also be used to wrap someone up and help keep them still.  They could be used as bandages in an emergency, although you should have your first aid kit.  At a minimum, bunch it up and use it as a pillow.  If people are forced to be on the hard ground, you should probably have some padding around to keep them comfortable.  So always make sure you have some old, clean blankets in the car, they give you options.

So those are my thoughts for today.  This is by no means meant to be a complete list of items for the car, nor was it meant to be the only things used to solve a situation.  They are merely 3 things you can add to your preps for a minimum cost, and that I know could have made a huge difference if deployed effectively in the accident I witnessed.  You never think you will need them, until you do.  So isn’t it better to plan now?

Advertisements