I used to live in Portland, Or. There is a significant tectonic plate 50 miles of the coast called Juan de Fuca. Scientists have determined that it shifts every 300-350 years with a 9.0+ earthquake to the Northwest. It's overdue. Because of this the Portland fire department has come up with a training program for civilians. It's called the "neighborhood emergency teams" (NET). This program was designed to help yourself, your family and your neighbors, in that order. I pulled out my NET manual and this is what the PFD suggest you have in your medical kit.
- Kerlex, Kling, or any other brand of roller bandage (6 rolls)used to wrap over dressings and to secure splints.
- 4in. sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- 2in. sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- Sanitary napkins (2-4) used to control excessive bleeding.
- 1 and 2in. adhesive tape (1 roll of each) used to secure dressings and bandages; change every 6 months
- Bandaids (1 box assorted sizes)
- Triangular bandage (3) used to secure broken arms, shoulder dislocations or as a wrap for splints. Can be purchased or made from old sheets.
- Ace bandage for wrapping sprains.
- Sterile water (1 Qt.)used to flush wounds and cool burns.
- Antiseptic solution (1 bottle) used to cleanse wounds.
- Medical scissors
- Sterile needle for splinters
- Asprin or non-asprin pain reliever.
- Latex gloves (2 pair)
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Syrup of Ipecac (to induce vomiting, if advised by Poison Control Center)
- Tube of petroleum jelly
- Cleaning agent/soap
- Moistened towlets or baby wipes
- Assorted sizes of safty pins
Understand this is for a 72 hr. period. After the Katrina fiasco I think it's safe to say that in a major disaster we all may be on our own for a month or more.
As far as food and water use clear plastic bottles for water. I use the 5 gallon type with a teaspoon of bleach in it and change it every 6 months. Just make sure that on the bottom of the container in the recycle triangle the # is 1,2,4 or 5. Do not use 3,6 or 7; it has to do with how the plastic was produced. 3,6 and 7 are fine just not for long term storage like 6-12 months. NEVER use plastic opaque milk containers. They have micrscopic cavities for bacteria. One gallon of water for one person for one day. You can live 30 days without food and 7 days without water. Campers and hikers use the 3/3/3 saying. 3 hrs. for shelter , 3 days for water and 3 weeks for food. As far as food goes can goods are recomended. I make my own granola bars and put them in a Food-Saver bag to the freezer and rotate them out every 6 months. They're light weight and I know what's in them. Hopfully we'll never have to use this information but it's good to know.
P.S. I did this program over 10 years ago and websites weren't as popular as today. I do not have PFD's address.
EC: Shawn, thank you so much for typing all of this information from your manual.
I would like to go to my neighborhood camping and hiking store and talk to them about packing a waterproof emergency kit since I think that campers and hikers seem to have worked through many potential problem situations. My initial thoughts include such things as emergency cash, small tubes of antibiotic, arnica (stuff for cuts, scrapes, sprains); Odwalla bars or Kashi bars or high quality, lightweight foods like these, something for water purification (maybe a travel purifier... not sure about this); maybe some small items found in a formal first aid kit like scissors, tweezers, gauze, etc., perhaps some dry undergarments. It seems that a person could have a really good stash of emergency supplies of miniature items so that a kit could be lightweight but well stocked.
Your idea about discussing food strategies is excellent. This has been a topic of conversation around here and a number of people I know will be joining local CSA farms. Although it never got off the ground, at one point, people in my neighborhood were talking about doing pot luck dinners maybe three nights a week; each week hosted by a different neighbor who would supply dishes, silverware and clean-up. This might be fun to do in conjunction with a church as well. Many church kitchens have been abandoned but are wonderful for serving up group meals.
It seems that there have been many catastrophic events in the past so many years; this has gotten me thinking about what might be good to put in a lightweight backpack - for quick carry away. Of course there are a number of interesting insights to be gleaned from Earthclinic but I thought that maybe it could be an interesting topic to put out there for debate and discussion. It seems that governments may (or may not!) know what their rolls are in catastrophic situations but so often the everyday person is caught off guard and unprepared. (Even just recently, for example, it has been written in our local paper that the underground water pipelines are badly aging and could collapse, causing water contamination for many, many people. And yet, no discussion about what people could do to prepare for such a thing.) And on and on! Anyway, just a suggestion. Best regards! Deb