Category Archives: Medical

Trauma Essentials For The Prepper

The month of September is National Preparedness Month and this year The Prepared Bloggers are once again bringing you a great 30 day series on how to be better prepared in 2015.

My contribution this year revolves around the essentials of trauma care for the prepper. I hope you enjoy it!

Trauma Essentials For The Prepper

Any preparedness strategy would be incomplete without taking a multi-pronged approach. Of the several prongs included in such a strategy, medical equipment, supplies, and skills are vital to include. It seems like every time I am in one of the big box stores I notice that there are usually a couple of plastic boxes filled with band-aids that are labeled as first aid kits. The problem with these kits is that they are best suited for decoration and not saving the life of another person. Such a basic kit is great for patching up paper cuts but it won’t handle heavy bleeding, fractures, or breathing difficulties.

As a prepper, when it comes to your medical preparedness, it takes a concentrated effort to assemble a functional medical kit capable of handling the challenges you may face. Any number of injuries and health conditions should be able to be addressed with a preppers medical kit, thus reinforcing the idea that off the shelf first aid kits are not adequate. Just because someone says it is a tool, doesn’t make it the right tool for the job.

Equipment & Supplies

A variety of equipment and supplies should be considered for inclusion in your kit. The centralized principle around your kit, and medical kits in general, should be the ability to treat the injuries that you are most likely to encounter. So, if you do a lot of climbing like re-roofing the homestead, your primary concern might be falls. This makes it a good idea to consider including medical supplies that can be used to treat orthopedic injuries like sprains and fractures.

The most important thing behind knowing the concerns you face is that your medical kit is capable of treating common injuries and life threats along with knowing that whoever the person is going to use the kit being proficient in using the kit’s contents.

A prepper’s medical kit will vary from person to person but should address the following areas at a minimum: Airway/Breathing, Blood Control, Orthopedic Injuries, Wound Care/Misc, and Monitoring & Diagnostics.

An example of the bare minimum medical kit (enough to treat one or more casualties for an individual or family prepper might look like this:


  • 1 Each – Nasopharyngeal Airway
  • 1 Each – Water Soluble Lubricant (Package)
  • 2 Each – Chest Seals (Hyfin, Bolin, HALO, etc.)

Blood Control:

  • 1 Each – Tourniquet (Special Operations Forces Tactical – Tourniquet or Combat Application Tourniquet)
  • 2 Each – Emergency Trauma Dressing (6”)
  • 1 Each – Emergency Trauma Dressing, Abdominal
  • 1 Package – QuikClot (50 Gram or 2X 25 Gram)
  • 1 Each – Kerlix Gauze Dressing
  • 10 Each – Band-Aids (Assorted Sizes)
  • 10 Each – 2 X 2 Gauze Pads
  • 5 Each – 4 X 4 Gauze Pads
  • 2 Each – Steri-Strips or Butterfly Closures

Orthopedic Injuries:

Wound Care/Misc:

  • 1 Each – Syringe (10 cc)
  • 5 Pair – Exam Gloves
  • 1 Each – Waterproof Medical Tape (1” or Larger)
  • 1 Tube – Antibiotic Ointment
  • 10 Each – Alcohol Pads
  • 1 Each – Trauma Shears
  • 1 Each – Headlamp
  • 1 Each – Space Blanket
  • 2 Each – One Gallon Freezer Bags

Monitoring & Diagnostics:

All of these items are designed to be used for a specific purpose and for the most part, only a minimal amount of research and/or training is required to make all of this work (YouTube University is Great! But choose wisely.). Items that can be used for more than one purpose are even better.


Competence is imperative, especially when in reference to medical skills. A rogue practitioner of medicine is a danger to himself, but mostly others. This is the reality of medicine. All said, while there are dangers, some risks can be mitigated through training and practice.

Some ways to minimize risk/harm when providing medical care:

  1. Do not attempt to use unfamiliar supplies or equipment and make sure that you practice how they are used and study what it is used for.
  2. If there is more risk associated with the situation and the involved parties than the procedure will offer, postpone treatment at a minimum.
  3. Even if you have the skillset, do not allow yourself to feel like you must do something that you are uncomfortable with.
  4. Consider networking with others who have medical skills as a way to mitigate at least some risk.
  5. If possible, consider going through medical training with your group as a way to alleviate the responsibility of all medical care being performed by one person. This is also important to have if something happens to the group medic.

It is also a good idea to have hard copies of medical related books on hand as a reference.

One of the leading books on medicine for the prepper today is The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide For When Help Is Not On The Way by Dr. Joseph Alton AKA “Dr. Bones.” It has received much praise and many positive reviews.

I also think that having knowledge of pharmaceuticals or at least access to this information is paramount. A good reference does not have to be expensive either. One of my favorite references is the Tarascan Pocket Pharmacoepia because it is compact enough to put in a pocket. Having information about medications can help you understand what a person is taking or if you are able to scavenge medications, you can look them up and see what they are for.

Here are a few other suggestions:

Where can you get these skills?

Short of attending specialty training to become a certified health professional, you likely will not learn advanced procedures. The good news is that there are options out there to learn foundational skills in the medical arena. A simple internet search can reveal several of these opportunities that are available in your local area to get medical training. Some to consider include:

  • Preparedness Expos – Many expositions and conferences geared toward preppers typically feature speakers and breakout sessions about medical subjects and skills. These can be either lectures or hands-on demonstrations.
  • Volunteer as a Firefighter – While rewarding to give back and safeguard the welfare of your local community, this is also a viable way to learn emergency medical skills.
  • First Aid Training Courses – The American Red Cross is one of the most prominent providers of basic first aid training and while basic, you will learn what you need to get started.
  • Tactical Training Schools – It is becoming more and more popular for firearm and tactical training programs to include the management of traumatic injuries, especially the ones that may be inflicted by a firearm.
  • Wilderness Schools – Many outdoor training programs usually offer a training path that concentrates on wilderness and emergency medicine.

Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all solution for ensuring that you or your family have the skills necessary to ensure proper medical coverage for everyone. What is true is that it is better to have the skills and not need them. If you have a problem and don’t have a solution, things can go very bad. The need for medical care will never go away. Arm yourself with the supplies and skills now while things are better off.

September is National Preparedness Month and The Prepared Bloggers are at it again!

September is National Preparedness Month #30DaysofPrep 2015 It’s safe to say that our ultimate goal is to help you have an emergency kit, a family plan, and the knowledge to garden, preserve your harvest and use useful herbs every day – without spending a ton of money to do it. Luckily that’s obtainable for every family and a journey we would love to help you with.

This year we have posts about food storage, 72-hour Kits & Bug Out Bags, and every aspect of preparedness, from water storage to cooking off grid. You’ll also find many ideas to help you be more self-reliant. Look for information on the big giveaway we’ve put together for later in the month.

Be sure to visit our sites and learn as much as you can about being prepared. We’ll be using the hashtag #30DaysOfPrep for these and many other ideas throughout the month of September, so join in the conversation and make 2015 the year you become prepared.

Food Storage

The Prepared Pantry: A 3 Month Food Supply | PreparednessMama

How to Wax Cheese for Long Term Storage | Perky Prepping Gramma

Dispelling the Canned Food Expiration Date Myth | Self Sufficient Man

6 Canning Myths You Must Know | Melissa K. Norris

How to Dehydrate Cherries | Mom With a PREP

How to Dehydrate Milk for Long Term Storage | Perky Prepping Gramma


Survival Tips from the Great Depression | Self Sufficient Man

The 5 best crops for Self Sufficient Gardeners | Our Stoney Acres

Butchering a chicken | The Homesteading Hippy

Self-Sufficiency Simplified | Blue Jean Mama

3 Small Livestock Preparedness Tips | Timber Creek Farm

Essential Oils for Preparedness | Mama Kautz

Farm First Aid Preparedness | Timber Creek Farm

72-Hour Kits or Bug Out Bags

How to Build a 72-hour Go Bag | Blue Yonder Urban Farm

Build Your Dollar Store B.O.B. for your Car in minutes! | Simply Living Simply

10 Essential Oils You Need in Your B.O.B. and at Home | Blue Jean Mama

10 Must-Have Herbs for Your B.O.B | Simply Living Simply


How to Make a 72 Hour Emergency Kit | Mom with a PREP

5 Things New Moms Can Do to Prepare for Disasters | PreparednessMama

Trauma Essentials for the Prepper | The Prepared Ninja

Emergency Preparation for Those Who Are Disabled or Elderly | A Matter of Preparedness

10 Most Important Items a Female Prepper Should Have | Living Life in Rural Iowa

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter | Frugal Mama and the Sprout

How to Prepare For a Power Outage | Blue Yonder Urban Farm

Why Natural Health, Exercise and Whole Foods Play a Role in Survival | Trayer Wilderness

Getting Started With Water Storage | The Backyard Pioneer

10 Totally Free Prepping Things to Do | Living Life in Rural Iowa

21 Prepper Tips I Wish I’d Heard Before I Started Prepping | Urban Survival Site

Is Homesteading Like Prepping? | The Homesteading Hippy

What You Should Consider When Fire Is A Threat | Trayer Wilderness

11 Ways to Cook Off-Grid | Melissa K. Norris

Survival Sunday – 2/15/2015

Survival Sunday

It’s Sunday again. This week has been relatively uneventful. I went golfing which is something that I do not do often. In fact, I golf so little that my score would be better suited for bowling than it is for golf. I had fun anyway and while golf is not survival related, it is important to remember to have fun and relax from time to time.

While cruising the web this week, here are a few things that I found:

Smoke Inhalation: What To Do If You’re Trapped – This is a great and very accurate piece from James Hubbard, The Survival Doctor. It is good information to have because no one plans on getting trapped by fire and smoke but it happens every day.

Back To The Basics: Water For Survival – Water is one of the basics but also seems to be one of the greatest challenges for the prepper. Even though it is so simple, water can be tough to store because it is heavy and takes up a lot of space. This article from Gaye at Backdoor Survival is a great starting point if you are trying to sort out your water storage.

First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper – is a great site and provides valuable information daily. With that being said, here is a great rundown of some of the areas that new preppers should evaluate. Let’s be honest, it can’t hurt the experienced prepper to take a look at these areas too and make sure they have done what they need to.

Does Size Matter? How long should the blade on a survival/bushcraft knife be? – There is no question that whether you plan on bugging in or bugging out, that a survival knife is a necessity. The decision on which knife is best is hotly contested and is one that we all have to make for ourselves but this article can help you decide what may be best for you.

An Often Missed Prep: Your Home Inventory – You need to have a home inventory for many reasons; insurance, preparedness, planning for the future, rotation of supplies, etc. But it is often overlooked and is not really hard to do. Look a these tips and either plan to do your inventory, or update the last one you did.

That wraps things up for me this week. I hope that you have a great week! Keep preparing for what could be difficult times ahead.

What did you find last week that everyone could benefit from?

Make sure to check back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, I would love it if you left a comment or shared a post with your friends or loved ones! We are all in this together after all, right? With that being said, it does cost me money every month to keep The Prepared Ninja up and running. If the site does help you and you would like to help support it, you can provide monetary support to help keep things going via PayPal here. Thank you!

Decreasing Summer Emergencies

Decrease Summer Emergencies By Staying Prepared

There are various types of emergency situations that tend to happen during the warm summer months. Whether it involves heat exhaustion, electricity blackouts, or dehydration, it is important to stay informed on things that you can do to protect yourself, your family and your pets. The summer heat can be dreadful for the elderly, young children, and people with serious health conditions. However, anyone who is exposed to the heat for a long period of time should be concerned about how the summer heat can have a negative effect on their health and everyday life.

Tips for Preventing Summer Emergencies

Summer emergencies can range from irritable to severe, however the good news is that they can be prevented. Here are a few things that we can all do to ensure safety this upcoming summer.

  • Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids even if you are not thirsty. Water is best, but any non-alcoholic beverage can help keep you hydrated on a hot summer day. (Tom adds: Not all non-alcoholic beverages are as helpful in staying hydrated as others. In addition to water; fruit juices, sports drinks, and clear beverages like flavored waters are the best options for maintaining hydration.)
  • Wear light colored, light weight clothing that is loose fitting if you plan on being outside for a long period of time
  • Stay cool indoors by keeping the thermostat turned down or keeping doors closed if there is only one source of cool air in the home. If fans are used, place them in the windows or doorway to circulate cool air.
  • Always wear plenty of sunscreen when you plan on being exposed to the sun.
  • Exercising outdoors should be limited to the early morning or late evening hours when the temperature is at its lowest
  • Visit your local county facilities that are air conditioned and open to the public if you need to cool down quickly such as the local library or community center.
  • Conserve energy inside your home so that you can help decrease the possibility of a community-wide blackout which could be dangerous for many people.

The Dangers of Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia is a term that is used to describe a variety of illnesses that occur due to overexposure to heat. The most common types of hyperthermia include heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Seniors and those with serious illnesses are most likely to develop this serious medical condition. Anyone who is showing signs of hyperthermia should seek immediate medical attention. While it is most common in the summer, hyperthermia can occur at any time to anyone. Individuals who take a lot of medication can be at a higher risk as well as young children and the elderly.

Avoid Blackouts by Conserving Energy

Warm temperatures outside mean higher electricity bills for most homeowners. While it is important to stay cool, it is also a good idea to keep an eye on your thermostat and try to keep it at a comfortable and conservative level. With so many people turning on energy-draining air conditioning systems it is highly likely for many communities to experience blackouts due to heat waves. When a blackout occurs, the power can go out and stay out for several hours. It is important to take precautions if you suspect that a blackout may occur such as keeping emergency food and water on hand so that you can stay hydrated. Stock up on food and snacks that do not require heating up and keep plenty of bottled water available.

Summer should be a fun and enjoyable time for all, unfortunately there are many areas where the high temperatures can make this happy time of year, a dreadful one for many people. Be sure to keep a close eye on at-risk individuals in your local community by checking in on elderly neighbors or those who are sick or disabled to see if they need assistance with staying cool. Many charity organizations provide free fans or window air conditioners for seniors or low-income families. By staying hydrated and avoiding long time exposure to the sun, you can help yourself beat the heat and make the summer season more enjoyable.

About The Author

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.  

Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Med Kit

There are a number of different missions that are carried out by the various branches of the federal government and military but one of the common denominators that makes a mission successful is good planning and support. One of the key support personnel for every mission is the medic, or in the case of the United States Coast Guard, the rescue swimmer. The mission of the rescue swimmer is to maintain proper training and conditioning to assist persons in distress in the maritime environment, including search and rescue operations and to provide pre-hospital life support to rescued individuals. The following is a list of the medical equipment that a rescue swimmer uses to help others survive disaster in the water.

Picture Credit:
U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer
Emergency Medical Equipment

The medical bag of choice for the U.S. Coast Guard is the Aeromed EMS Pack by Thomas Transport Packs.

Picture Credit: Thomas Transport Packs

Packed inside of the Aeromed Pack are these items in the mandatory configuration:

COMPARTMENT 1 – Outside:

  • Blood Pressure Cuff
  • Stethoscope
  • Pen Light
  • Latex Gloves
  • Scissors
COMPARTMENT 2 – Outside:
  • SAM Splint
COMPARTMENT 3 – Outside:
  • Airway Kit, Oropharyngeal
  • Airway Kit, Nasalpharyngeal
  • Pocket Mask
  • Ace Wrap


  • Band-Aid, Adhesive
  • Charcoal, Activated
  • Glucose, Oral
  • Syrup of Ipecac
  • Bulb Syringe
  • Cord Clamps
  • Umbilical Tape
  • Battle Dressing, Small
  • Battle Dressing, Med.
  • Battle Dressing, Large
  • Bandage, Gauze
  • Water Gel, Burn Kit
  • Petroleum Gauze
  • Sponges, Surgical, 4×4
  • Cravat, Bandage
  • Plastic Bag
  • Adhesive, Tape, 2″
  • Adhesive, Tape, 1
Inside: Collar, Cervical – No-Neck, Small, Medium, Large – 1 of Each
  • Band-Aid
  • Thermometer 94-108F and/or Electronic Ear Canal Thermometer
  • Ball Point Pen

In addition to the medical bag, the following items make up the remainder of the rescue swimmer emergency medical kit located on board the helicopter:

  • Bag-Valve Mask by Life Support Products
  • Resuscitator, Oxygen by Life Support Products
  • Laerdal Suction Kit V-Vac by Dyna Med Inc.
  • Cylinder, Oxygen “D” Size M-22 by Life Support Products
  • Antishock Trousers
  • Traction Splint
  • Cervical Collars
  • Medevac Board by Lifesaving Systems Corp.
  • Medevac Report Form (CG-5214)
  • Victims/Casualty Hypothermia Bag by Wiggy’s Inc.
  • Automatic External Defibrillator (AED): Heartstream Forerunner Model E01 including Semi-Rigid Carrying Case, DP5 Extra Pads, Data Card (30 Mins. ECG & Event) and BT1 Battery Pack
  • Current EMT Text (Currently used by USCG EMT School)

Reference: Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Manual, COMDTINST M3710.4B, 28 JUL 00

Fighting an Invisible Enemy

The following post is a guest contribution and highlights a little discussed area of emergency preparedness.

Chemical and Biological Warfare: Fighting an Invisible Enemy

The news story first popped up a few days ago: a mysterious, deadly illness that doctors haven’t been able to diagnose. All of the sudden, it’s everywhere, and the mortality rate is scary. Grocery stores are empty. Families lock themselves in their homes. Schools are shuttered. Once doctors and law enforcement officers get sick, society starts crumbling. Only one thing could make the scenario more frightening: that somebody did it intentionally.

There’s something about biological warfare – and its cousin, chemical warfare – that resonates with our most primitive fears about the enemy we don’t see coming. Everyday objects and even the very air we breathe suddenly seem dangerous. Even worse, once the genie is out of the bottle, there’s no putting it back in. It’s uncontrollable and, in the case of biological warfare, often self-perpetuating.

World governing bodies like the United Nations and NATO have condemned the use of such weapons, but that doesn’t mean rogue nations and terrorists won’t use them anyway. That’s why it’s so important for both governments and individuals to know how to be prepared and what to do.

Detection and Response

The World Health Organization (WHO) formed an early warning system dedicated to monitoring and reacting to suspicious outbreaks. The Global Outbreak Alert and Response network links more than 70 worldwide sources of information on rising health issues. Trained teams are ready to deploy within 24 hours. They’re tasked with identifying the chemical or biological agent and forming an appropriate response.

The U.S. military has developed a number of detection systems, from miniature labs that travel around on Humvees to multi-sensor arrays monitored from ships. And they’re constantly working to improve their methods of containment, decontamination, and treatment. In addition, since some chemical and biological weapons can be delivered with bombs or missiles, explosive detectors play a big role in the monitoring process.

In the event of an attack, doctors, nurses, and other first responders would be instrumental in sounding the alarm. All states have a list of “immediately reportable” diseases that have to be reported to the local health department. That means that even one case of a disease like smallpox is enough to mobilize a response. And, since some engineered weapons may not be easily diagnosable, doctors are also trained to report unusual clusters of illness. If an ER is suddenly flooded with people sick with an illness doctors can’t diagnose, they would immediately get the health department involved. They’d also be responsible for isolation and containment, including requiring all medical personnel to wear protective equipment.

What You Can Do

  1. The first line of defense is preparation. You should already have an emergency kit in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster. Make sure that kit also has gloves, plenty of soap, bleach, duct tape, and surgical masks.
  2. Have enough food and water to last for several days. In case of a biological attack with a contagious agent, isolation is key. You don’t want to have to go out in public to buy supplies.
  3. Identify a safe room in your home. It should be an interior room with few windows and, if possible, located on an upper floor. (Most biological and chemical agents are heavy enough to sink to the ground, so being higher may offer some protection.)  

Here are some tips on what to do if an attack actually happens:

  • Monitor the news for official information and instructions. Computers and smart devices are great, but in a worst-case scenario, they could lose power before the crisis is over. Make sure your emergency kit contains a battery-operated radio.
  • If you’re out in public, cover your nose and mouth with a shirt or scarf. Leave the area if you can, heading upwind.
  • If you’re home, grab your emergency kit and head for your safe room. Turn off all ventilation (heating, AC, etc.) systems and close the windows. Then use duct tape to seal the windows and doors as best as you can.

You’ll probably never have to use this information. But once you need it, it’s too late to go looking for it. Educate yourself on chemical and biological warfare so that if the worst occurs, you’ll be able to react right away.

About The Author

Jeremy S. is a self-confessed tech geek of several years. An avid blogger, you can read his informative articles on technology and various other blog sites.