I love to see others create and share their skills, that's why I like Instructables so much. Until now, I have been pretty complacent to check out others project and be astounded by the range of subjects featured here.
Having served my country as a Combat Medic, one of my duties was to teach first aid classes to fellow soldiers. While this might not qualify me as an expert, I do feel, as though, I can tailor this Instructable to addressing civilian emergency concerns.
There are many resources to specifically address Prepping, Surviving and more in depth explanations of how to utilize medical equipment. With this in mind, I wanted to briefly address some of the main aspects to consider and will assume that those individuals who find this interesting will continue to expand their knowledge through research and training.
I have been pleasantly surprised to see Instructable for preparing 72 hour get home bags, individual first aid kits and bug out backpack; so I felt like I can avoid generating another packing list and also getting side-tracked with overly informative explanations on using Band-Aids.
My aim is to teach some guidelines for utilization of supplies, movement to objectives and ultimately survival. whether that means long term or short, depends on your skill, your resolve, and the circumstances.
Step 1: Get Smart, Read Books, Watch Videos and Meet People.
Before anything happens, train practically. Try to attend local groups that have a shared common interest, such as Meetup.com. You can also pay for various levels of medical training through local organizations such as the following:.
- First Aid classes can aid you in minor interventions and familiarize you with identifying and treating minor injuries.
- As you pursue further education, you might consider a EMT Basic Certification. This is a step up in training and prepares you for things that could happen and what you are able to do in a legal sense to assist others.
- The Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician level, generally taken as a supplement to EMT-B level training, is a type of care that addresses incidents occurring in remote locations and is geared toward Splinting, Stabilizing victims in shock and caring for them until a trained medical provider arrives to transport them to a medical facility.
- Within the definitions of Medical technicians, the EMT-I (intermediate)/EMT 85/EMT 95 or AEMT designations vary from state to state and consequently, the treatments an individual is able to legally administer varies widely.
- Paramedics have a multitude of skills including Advanced life support, Airway management, splinting and medication administration. There is a list of additional skills a paramedic is expected to know.
- In the military, Combat Medics in the Army are trained to the level of EMT paramedics, while the Navy/Marine Corpsman are equivalent to Physicians Assistants
The list continues to nurses, Physician Assistants and ultimately Doctors and Surgeons.
The truth of the matter is Your Training and reactions will help you when faced with limited access to equipment. If you take training from these individuals, it can only serve to improve your chance of survival.
Unfortunately, books are limited by bulk and can only do so much. eBooks are limited to the battery life of the device its stored on. With that in mind, it would behoove the reader to convert what they read and what they have been taught into Muscle memory, reaction to a developing situation could mean the all the difference.
Step 2: Gain Training and Dont Rest on Your Laurels
If you have been trained previously, it is important to remember that first aid is a perishable skill and if you don't train regularly, then you will find it harder to retain muscle memory for quick reactions. When sufficient training is not available, find the least complicated information possible.
Many times the US Military has produced a Field Manual for a given circumstance, situation or piece of equipment. These manuals lack many flourishes of commercial products, yet are presented in a straight forward and clear manner.
The directions contained within are generally illustrated and worded so that the average man or woman can utilize them fully.
Having all the tools in the world means nothing, if you don't know how to use them.
Step 3: Care for Yourself. Stop Bleeding, Splint Extremities and Secure Your Belongings
Before any other action, make sure you are capable of movement and address any injuries as best you as you can.
If you are mobile and have addressed major life threatening issues, you can begin to consider others concerns or begin the next step.
Step 4: Whats Your Plan?
Consider your overall goal for removing yourself from the situation at hand. Your plan should reflect your overall goals and should be updated.
Changes based on the proximity to hazards or needed equipment will weigh heavily and should change your plan accordingly.
Step 5: Trust Yourself, Your Ability and Intuition
Dont rush into any situation without assessing the reality of the moment. One of the worst things an individual can do is reacting to an emotional response.
An important aspect is to understand the situation with a certain level of detachment, when you can think critically you have a better understanding of the potential risks and benefits.
Intuition is a concept more than a proven fact, but trust your feelings.
Step 6: Help Those With the Best Chance of Surviving First. Dont Waste Time, Supplies or Energy.
After the initial shock, fear or adrenaline wears off and you have addressed your own injuries, then you can decide to help others.
Triage is the concept of identifying and grouping individuals based on their injuries and life expectancy. What this really means is to avoid utilizing supplies or energy to assist those who will die. When you consider that even the best doctors in the best hospitals cannot save people sometimes, the hard truth is that some people will die no matter what you do to save them.
The opposite is true for others. Sometimes regardless of what has happened, these people continue to live.
There is only a slim margin between these two groups that you have any degree of influence over. With this in mind, it's best to help those who can help themselves as they can help you with others or assist you on your journey.
Step 7: Try to Figure Out What Has Really Happened
Identify your position, establish contact or tend to personal issues before continuing your journey.
If the world has ended, it's tough to imagine your ability to impact any of the events happening and now is a great time to think objectively.
Assess what you did wrong, what you did right and what you could improve on.
Step 8: Clear the Area. Stay Low, Stay Moving.
If there are no reason to remain in a particular area, it's best not to linger, as you will become a target with supplies or may be viewed as a trespasser by whoever holds the land.
It seems like the best policy is to continue moving toward your goal before somebody, an injury or lack of supplies pins you to an isolated location.
Part of moving with a minimal amount of detection is keeping a low profile against the skyline, moving in low light conditions and avoiding natural choke points.
Step 9: Places to Procure Supplies
Are you stuck without supplies, and would you know where to procure them?
Here are a few places to gain supplies that you might consider based on the situation and the level of equipment needed.
- Police and Fire department vehicles may have basic first aid kits.
- Emergency Response Vehicles, such as ambulances, will have almost everything someone would need related to surviving or addressing a critical medical need. Even after some time, most equipment will stay serviceable and shelter from the weather.
- Commercial Drugstores will have a multitude of supplies and medical devices such as splints, braces and slings. In addition, medications can be found as well. The problem when procuring antibiotics and painkillers is others will be seeking the same. If you are seeking only medical supplies and others are seeking to fuel an addiction. Be wary.
- Hospitals and Institutions will have the greatest amount of equipment, medications and tools related to medical interventions. Consider this the one stop shopping spot. Unfortunately, this will also be the reception center for any type of mass casualties situation. Consider that before approaching.
Step 10: Energy Management, the Key to Long Journeys
Utilize rest breaks to eat, listen and get your bearings. Reassess your plan and update your objectives accordingly.
During the time spent resting, you can address the most critical of concerns by drinking water, changing bandages and resting before returning to your original route.
Depending on the amount of perceived threats, proximity to supplies and natural geographic feature should dictate changes to that plan and be updated accordingly.
If you are lacking in anything, now would be a good time to try and resupply or contact others.
Step 11: Motivation, Transportation and Salutations
Now that you tended to the matter at hand, how will you continue on? What mode of transportation will benefit the situation and which will draw the most attention?
Generally, the faster a mode of transportation travels, the more resources it takes to keep it going.
For example, lets compare a bicycle to a jet plane. See, good comparison! The point is it takes much less to maintain and power a bike than an airplane, so even though it goes much slower, it is generally a better choice to use a vehicle that is quiet and can be used more than once.
All vehicles can serve a purpose, dependent on the situation. Except Unicycles. Just Don't.
Finally, be wary of fellow travelers. They might also want transportation and supplies.
Your supplies and transportation.
Step 12: Halfway There? Halfway Where?
If your plan has not gone accordingly, what is your plan now? Are you still the same person with the same aim?
This is the most critical time for keeping your resolve, motivation and hope alive. In a hopeless situation, faith in anything gives you the advantage over others that don't have any.
Step 13: Survey the Route, Expect Others to Do the Same
Avoid unknown groups, strangers or animals. You can't expect to know their intentions or assume they have others best interests in mind.
Use the terrain to your advantage, use natural landmarks to navigate by and travel in low light conditions to avoid detection, while also avoiding heat exhaustion.
Step 14: The Goalline Is in Sight, Make the Play or Stay Away?
Be mindful of the time it has taken you to reach your destination. If there has been widespread panic, what has happened in your absence? Are the expectations that you had hoped for been fulfilled?
Now is the time to decide to commit to that final push towards your overall goal and if that objective has changed then perhaps its time to consider plan B.
Whatever that might be.
Step 15: Did You Make It? Was It Worth It? Is This the End or Can You Exit?
Only the individual can say whether the struggle has been justified and it is my hope that whatever your goal is in any situation, that you and yours survive and thrive despite the conditions.
The last piece of advice to consider is that when joining a group, you may not be able to leave it again. If you express the desire to break away, they may consider you a threat, due to competition for resources, information of their capabilities and as a potential rival.
Imagine others stress and reactions to safeguard their own interests and more importantly, the control they might have over others.
Step 16: Questions, Concerns or Gripes?
Thanks for Reading my first Instructables. If anyone has some suggestions for updating this topic, please leave a comment, suggestion or contact me directly.