Now that we've completed the blueprint of our Bug Out/In strategy, we thought we'd kick off the implementation of our plans with the building of our first aid kits. During our research, we realized how unprepared were were not only for large scale disasters but even for those unexpected medical ones around the house as well. That's when we decided that the first aid kits would be a great place to start and if for any reason our commitment for the entire project waned, we'd still end up with a pretty complete first aid/trauma kit for any unforeseen emergency.
In all there would be a total of five (5) first aid kits designed specifically to be integrated into our six individual systems:
- · Bug Out Bag
· Bug In Box
· Get Home Bag (GHB)
· Every Day Use (Home)
· Vehicle Emergency Kit
· Get Home Altoids Tin (GHAT)
The largest of these kits is our Alpha First Aid Kit or AFAK which was designed to:
- · Provide a family of three with advanced first aid/intermediate trauma solutions in a Bug Out/Bug In scenario for 72 to 120 hours
· Serve as a backup trauma kit to our everyday home first aid kit
We designed our AFAK to respond to the most common injuries resulting from the most likely threat that is specific to where we live and work. Since we live, work, go to school and play in San Francisco...EARTHQUAKE is the most likely disaster scenario.
After some research of injuries resulting from the most recent earthquakes in Northridge, Haiti and Japan, the most documented injuries included (in no specific order):
- · lacerations
I started with a blank spreadsheet up on one screen and pulled up the First Aid forum from ZS Board and went through every post in every thread, one at a time, seeing what other members stocked their first aid/trauma kits and all the while keeping in mind the following questions for each item:
- · Am I qualified or even know how to use this tool/technique?
· Does this item meet the requirement of our system?
· Does this treat the most common injuries we're likely to face?
· Does this item point to something I missed in our requirements?
SOURCING THE MATERIALS
I went through the entire house, both cars, and every "emergency kit" we could find and laid out every bandage, tape, cold pack and OTC medications. You'd be surprised how much a family of three could accumulate over 20 years. I weeded through every piece, throwing out all of the old ointments, creams, swabs, wipes, and outdated OTC meds.
After everything was sorted, I fulfilled as much off our list with what we had. It wasn't much but everything helped, especially in the "Band-Aid" department. The remainder went back into the central "House FAK".
I did some spot searches on prices for key items on my list and checked out their prices along with shipping. Narrowed down the selection to two vendors, DealMed Medical Supplies and Chinook Medical Gear where I bought the bulk of my items. Then it was a matter of pulling up my spread sheet and going down the list of each item I needed and determining which of the two had the better price at the quantities I needed. Rescue Essentials, Amazon and eBay rounded out the rest of the items.
All of the OTC medications, personal care and less expensive items were purchased at bulk and/or on sale from local national supermarket chains, Costco and Walgreen’s.
I took a different route than many when it came to the selection of my pack. I decided to purchase all of the components first then find the smallest pack to carry them. It took close to three months to collect all of the items. As each shipment arrived, I placed the items in banker boxes until I had everything on my list.
All of the components packed tightly into 1-1/3 banker boxes, I did the math and determined that I needed about 2,400 cubic inches of storage. Took a look at a number of bags and it just happen that most STOMP packs were about 2,800 cubic inches.
I considered Blackhawk, London Bridge, Voodoo Tactical and a couple eBay no-names. All said and done, our decision came down to my intended use versus cost. We have no intentions of taking this camping or on treks or even training runs (we have a special bag just for that). This STOMP will only see field use during a bug out event.
Special thanks to everyone who contributed to the First Aid forums of ZS. Thanks for your advise, detailed information and inspiration.
We welcome any criticisms and suggestions to make our system a better one. So... without any further adieu, we humbly submit our AFAK V1.0 for your consideration and review. Check back from time to time as I'll will most certainly consider your suggestions.