Posts Tagged ‘First aid kits’

Get out now! Your Home Evacuation Plan

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Stop reading right now. Look up. Look around. What are TWO WAYS you could get out of the room?

  • Will that window open?
  • Can you really squeeze through?
  • Can you get down outside or do you need a ladder?


Did you have to pause and consider?

I hope not!  These are answers you should know before anything happens.

In fact, everyone in your family should know the answers to these questions BEFORE an emergency happens.

Are you leaving your children defenseless?

Unless you point these exits out, your children will never think of them. In an emergency, they will likely run to try to find YOU, even if evacuating would save them.

Here’s an exercise you can do on a Saturday that will answer questions and give you all a much better sense of security.

Design your Home Evacuation Plan together.

It’s a step by step process that everyone in the family takes part in. You’ll need a pad of paper and some colored pencils. And one BIG piece of paper to assemble everything on.

Step 1.  Sketch a plan of your home.

One sketch for each floor, or, if your young children are part of the exercise, let each child sketch a separate room. Approximate sizes are fine.

Be sure all doors and windows are marked on the plan.

Combine separate pieces into one master plan. (You can redraw or even cut and paste.)

Step 2. Mark at least two exits from each room on your plan.

Plan in hand, take a walk from room to room. Mark potential exits. You may want to use two colors, one for PRIMARY and the other for SECONDARY exits. You may be able to get out, but can all the children? What about grandmother?

If you need special equipment to escape (a ladder), note that on your plan and mark where it is stored.  (Obviously, if you don’t already have the equipment, start a shopping list on a separate piece of paper! More resources below . . .)

Step 3. Note the location of special safety shut-offs for your house.

Keep touring the house. Mark where utility shut-offs are located. Does everyone know when and how to shut off the water? The gas? Again, is a special tool required, like a wrench? Note where it is stored.

Where are the electrical shut-offs? There may be more than one panel. Talk about under what conditions you would shut off the electricity.

Step 4. Where are emergency supplies kept?

In particular, note on your plan the location of fire extinguishers, flashlights and lanterns, and first aid kits.  (You can use icons if your plan is getting crowded.)

Where are your evacuation/survival kits stored?

Step 5. Last step: mark on your plan the family’s emergency meeting place — OUTSIDE of the house.

On the sample plan below, the family has designated a particular tree as the meeting place. Be sure the meeting place is far enough away from the house to keep people safe in case there’s a fire.

evacuationplanwoodbuffalo(Thanks to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta, Canada for this drawing.)

A few more thoughts to help drive the point home:

  • Save and review your plan from time to time, particularly if you add new rooms, new equipment, etc.
  • Take a photo of the plan and share it with other family members (or maybe even with students at a show-and-tell session at school) to see if others will be inspired to follow suit.
  • If you will be shopping for emergency equipment, you may find more info in some of our special Advisories, listed below.

Can you get this done before National Preparedness Month is over?? Good luck!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

More Resources  from Emergency Plan Guide:

Escape ladders: Your 12-year-old can get down any type of ladder, but what about others in the family?  We’ve looked at many of the escape ladders and think that the  Werner, 2-story version is a good place to start your shopping. It can carry more than one person at once. Here’s the link to Amazon: Werner ESC220 Fire Escape Ladder, Two Story

Fire extinguishers: We actually experienced a kitchen fire and used the extinguisher we’d just put in place!  Read the story and learn more about the different types of extinguishers. A good all-purpose extinguisher is this one, made by Kidde: Kidde 21005779 Pro 210 Fire Extinguisher, ABC, 160CI

First aid kits: Most kits you buy are woefully lacking. But you can start with a purchased one and add your own. We held a neighborhood meeting to discuss first aid kits — read about it here — and my search on Amazon for a good starter yielded this one by AAA: AAA 121-Piece Road Trip First Aid Kit

Customize Your First Aid Kit

Friday, March 6th, 2015

First Aid Kits for home, car, survival kitYou have three first-aid kits, don’t you? One in the house, one in the car, and one in your emergency backpack?

You can buy a reasonable pre-built kit for around $20. But, as always with pre-built collections,

Are your first-aid kits well-stocked?

  • First, your kits should have high-quality items. I’ve read so many reviews that mention scissors that won’t cut or tweezers that don’t tweeze!
  • Second, contents should match your own level of medical knowledge. For example, some pre-made kits contain actual surgical equipment – probably useless and even dangerous for the untrained.
  • Third, your kit should have room for any specialty items that fit your family members, your climate and potential natural emergencies. For example, you may need to add sunscreen, water purification tablets or insect repellent, given where you live.

Extras that may make the difference.

Spend some time reading the list of items contained in several of the ready-made kits, and you may get some good ideas for extras. Here are a few to consider.

Liquid bandage

As the name suggests, this liquid can be applied to small cuts or wounds. It quickly dries, holding the cut together or covering the wound with a tough “skin” that protects the wound from dirt, is flexible and waterproof, and antiseptic to boot. (Won’t stick if applied to wet or bloody skin.) This pack has four bottles.

New-Skin Liquid Bandage, First Aid Liquid Antiseptic, 1-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 4)

Tampons and pads

If you have a cut that needs more than a band aid, a pad gives you something solid to apply pressure against. As for tampons, obviously they could be used to plug a puncture – and the string can serve as the wick for a long-lasting emergency light if you have oil as a fuel. Head to your local drugstore to pick up the sizes and style you want. If they aren’t packaged individually, you can always put a few into a plastic bag and then into your kit.  Be sure to use the unscented versions. 

Hand sanitizer wipes

We’ve all used “wipes” after eating messy food – and discovered that some are a lot better than others, and smell better, too! Still, in an emergency, probably any reasonable sanitizing wipe would be better than nothing. Individually packed wipes can be tucked right into your first aid kit. A small plastic bottle of hand sanitizer could work, too. I’ve used Purell and liked it.

Individually wrapped: PURELL Sanitizing Hand Wipes Individually Wrapped 100-ct. Box
Small, 2 oz. bottles: Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer, 2 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Ace bandage or “self-stick” bandage

In rough terrain, an ace bandage can keep your turned ankle functioning. A standard ace bandage needs safety pins or special clips to keep it secured; the “self-stick” version looks the same but sticks to itself just like cling wrap.

Standard bandage with clips: ACE Elastic Bandage with Hook Closure, 3 Inches (Pack of 2)
Self-stick version: ACE Self-Adhering Elastic Bandage, 2 Inches (Pack of 3)

Adhesive Tape

Taping gauze over a wound takes precision. If you mess up, drop a piece, etc., you can go through the provided supply very quickly. My recommendation – add another generous roll of 1 in. tape to your kit so you won’t run out.
Durapore Medical Tape, Silk Tape – 1 in. x 10 yards – Each Roll


Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. While you’re thinking about First Aid kits, you may want to review this Advisory about the dangers of out-of-date medicines.