The Vehicular Emergency Kit
Your vehicle provides a significantly larger carrying capacity than your bug out bag and you should take advantage of this to plus up the gear that you carry for an emergency. Of course you always start with the basics to deal with a break down: jumper cables, jack, lug wrench, spare tire (or fix a flat), gas can, water jug, and tow strap(s). The purpose of this equipment is to get your vehicle moving again. You should also include a small tool kit (set of screwdrivers, socket set, etc).
In addition, you should have some safety equipment to warn other motorists that you have broken down. Items such as road triangles, emergency lights or flares, and chem lights work well for this.
You will also need a light source, such as a flashlight, that allows you to see while your working in the dark. A head-mounted LED lamp works great due to its hands-free operation, allowing you to see everything and use both hands to do necessary work.
Of course, you should also stock your car with gear to get you quickly out of the car in an emergency and quickly extinguish fires, if needed. An escape tool with a seatbelt cutter and glass breaker is ideal. Many tactical pens also have a glass breaker on one end. A fure extinguisher is a must. If your vehicle catches fire for any reason, you want to be able to extinguish it quickly to reduce damage. Some Amazon best sellers are included below.
Let's move now to your medical emergency equipment. A lot of first aid kits on the market are not for blunt trauma like you might see in a car accident - they are mostly band aids and ointments that are not going to be helpful. Frankly some of them are really only good for the box or case and potentially some medical gloves... I picked up a couple of kits at Walgreen's for under $25 and then used the case and discarded the bulk of the contents. I include one above but there are literally thousands to choose from. If you can get an IFAK (individual first aid kit) and some SAM splints you are better off than 95% of the kits that are offered. But since you have extra carry capacity in your vehicle, you should have more than one IFAK or equivalents.
Some IFAKs come with the gear stocked inside, sometimes you have to build it yourself. The IFAK usually contains a tourniquet, a compression bandage (sometimes called an Israeli bandage), some compressed gauze, a chest seal, some tape and a nasopharyngeal airway (hopefully including some surgilube). The tourniquet and compression bandage are ready to use. The compressed gauze has to be secured to the wound site (usually with the tape) but I recommend getting some coban self-adhesive wrap in addition to the tape. It comes in very handy as it adheres to itself and if the site is very bloody, sometimes tape doesn't stick. So an IFAK permits you to stop bleeding at three major wounds and establish an airway. It is also a good idea to supplement your IFAK with some Quick Clot, a trauma shears (to cut away clothing) and some forceps/hemostats and tweezers.
Contents only, no pouch (refill):
Pouches and bags only:
The SAM splint is useful for splinting fractures - likely to be required in a vehicle accident. Too bulky to place in an IFAK, your vehicle is the best place to have several of these. They come in rolled or folded configuration depending on your storage requirements. Place two or three in your vehicle(s).
If you are going to build your own IFAK, let's roll through contents. I am going to include some "extras" since you are not limited by the IFAK space - this is going in your vehicle! Start with a Pelican case to put the contents in - multiple colors and sizes but we will go with the 1050 for now.
Item #1 - The Tourniquet: you choice of the CAT or the SOFT-W. Must have one but better to have two.
Item #2 - The Pressure Bandage: (AKA the emergency bandage AKA the Israeli bandage. Again must have one but better to have two. The 4" fits easily in an IFAK, but the 6" covers more area.
Item#3 - The Hemostatic Agent: such as Quikclot or Celox for areas you cannot apply or maintain direct pressure. Again, it's good to have more than one of these sicne they are one-time use only. The Trauma Pak by Quickclot was designed for Active Shooter Response.
Item #4 - The Medical Shears: to cut away clothing so you can observe the wound and apply appropriate trauma treatment measures. EMT shears will cut through just about anything, so they are a mu;lti-use tool. You might consider a set of EMT tools for the car kit.
Item #5 - The Nasopharyngeal Airway: If you aren't familiar with using this devise, check our medical section for a video / article on this.
As an alternate to the pressure bandage, you can replace (or augment Item #2 above) with compressed guaze and an ACE bandage or Coban Wrap. The advantage of the compressed guaze is it saves space, otherwise the curlex is essentially the same.
Coban is self adhesive is easier to handle and use than medical tape in some cases.
However, medical tape is a must have item that can be used for an uncountable number of purposes from finishing off a dressing to repairing your sneakers.
At the end of the list, let's include some emergency blankets to keep patients warm, treat for shock, and prevent hypothermia, which is a major cause of death in trauma patients.
You would always throw your bug out bag in the vehicle if you have to evacuate. But since you have the car you may plus up with heavier gear that you would otherwise leave behind (I love my military sleep system but it weighs a LOT!)
What else would you include? Put comments below.
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