Perhaps the above quote from Mr. Hornby is a bit dramatic, but that doesn’t make it any less true. If the sight of wounds or blood makes you feel the urge to run screaming from the room, in an emergency you’ll have to get over it.

In a disaster there is almost always someone injured, and that person (possibly you) will need help. An injured person is in no position to listen to anyone gagging and whining that blood makes them squeamish. You need to get over your fears and learn to act. A lapse between thought and action, even a few seconds , can be the difference between a speedy recovery and a hole in the ground.

“You don’t ask people with knives in their stomachs what would make them happy; happiness is no longer the point. It’s all about survival; it’s all about whether you pull the knife out and bleed to death or keep it in…. ” Nick Hornby in How to Be Good

Being prepared to give basic medical care has two benefits. First, you plan in advance for a medical event and are forced to think about what could happen. Second, running for the medical supplies on hand and thinking about basic first aid practices will distract you from any squeamishness you might experience.

The best offense is a good defense, and that means having a quality first aid kit prepared in advance and knowing how to treat the most common injuries. You are not expected to do surgery in the field, but it is critical to know basic first aid because it can save a life.

The following checklists provide guidance for preparing a first aid kit and identifying the types of injuries you should be able to at least minimally treat until emergency help is available.

Below is just a guideline: In order to fully help in first aid you should take at least an introductory course in first aid and CPR.

Remember: Preppers plan ahead!

Any type of injury can occur during a disaster, of course, but some are more common than others. Preppers need to assemble their first aid kit and then learn how to use the items in it to treat typical injuries. Some injuries will be very severe and beyond the capabilities of a survivalist to treat, but that is out of your control. What you can do is prevent minor injuries or illnesses from turning into bigger problems.