My Medical and Communications Emergency Cache (Plus, I’m Not Living in Fear, Quite the Opposite!)

Wednesday May 8 | BY |
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The last week and a half of writing on Renegade Health has been a lot of fun for me…

It’s given me an opportunity to talk about some things that I’ve been excited about — which is kind of what the whole purpose of a blog is, right?

If you haven’t been reading, I’ve been writing about our emergency preparedness cache. I started one because we live in a high risk part of the United States and to date — in my writing — I’ve covered personal safety, clean water and food, and self defense.

With each article, I’ve seen a bunch of interesting and supportive comments. I’ve also gotten some real homers. I think before I cover emergency medical and community gear, I wanted to address one criticism that has come up frequently.

It’s essentially, “why are you living in fear?”

I guess it’s assumed that by getting all this stuff that I’m living in fear of a disastrous event. That I think about disasters and danger all the time.

The reality is that for me, it’s just the opposite.

Here’s why.

First, we live about one half mile from the Hayward Fault in Berkeley. It dissects the Cal Football stadium. Seismic scientists have predicted that in the next 25-30 years, this fault will produce a 6.9+ magnitude earthquake.

This will not be pleasant and it’s foolish to ignore a risk like this — one that’s a lot more credible and foreseeable than zombie apocalypses.

Secondly, by preparing, I’ve eliminated the fear that I did have, which was being unprepared if these scientists were correct. I know I’m not completely set, but I have done enough to make me feel comfortable if this type of disaster were to occur.

When I used to work on the American Stock Exchange, I was learning how to trade options. A common thing that traders would do is hedge their purchases. To do this, they would buy a stock with the anticipation it would rise or fall, and then buy an option with the opposite prediction, that protects their position if the stock rises too high or — more importantly — precipitously falls. (If you want to do more research on this, you can look at “covered calls” or “married puts.” Though I’ll warn you, it’s heady stuff.)

Anyway, I’ve essentially done something similar by hedging my fear of not being prepared (theoretically) with the calm I get by having a preparedness cache. There’s no guarantee that any of the items will work or an event will happen, but my emotional wellbeing around a disaster has improved — I guess that’s the biggest takeaway from my “investment.”

But enough placating the haters, I’m happy to have what I have and I’m even more happy writing about it — since it seems that I’ve started a few of you thinking more about this important topic.

Oh, and additionally, I have NOT linked any of these products to Amazon with an affiliate link — meaning I get paid for listing these things — like one reader assumed. I guess I could have, but I just didn’t. So I don’t get paid for any of these recommendations.

Today, I’m going to write about our medical supplies and our community cache as well.

Medical On the Go Bag

I have no formal training in medical practices. My “expertise” is 2 hours of baby CPR that Annmarie and I just took.

Fortunately, Annmarie was an athletic trainer, so she knows a few thing about first aid and trauma care — particularly when it comes to sports type injuries.

In case of a disaster, and frankly if you have kids, it’s good to have a nicely stocked first aid kit. We have ours in a bag that I purchased from a local outdoor shop. It’s ready to grab in case we need to get out of the area, or if we need to help someone who’s injured.

Here’s what we have in it (please note, I won’t go into detail with a bunch of these since they’re pretty straightforward)…

EMT Combination Pack — This is a combo pack of shears and other medical preparation tools that might come in handy to cut of clothing, bandages or prepare wounds.

Quik Clot — This is a clotting sponge that you can use on open wounds that are bleeding. You wouldn’t use it if the injury was more serious, but they’re helpful in triage and on the spot temporary treatment of injuries.

Self Adhering Bandages — Pretty self explanatory.

Tweezers — They’re tweezers.

First Aid Tape — N/A.

Gauze — N/A.

Hands Free Magnifier — This is in case you need to magnify a wound or if the person who is medically trained doesn’t have their reading glasses. 🙂

Surgical Skin Stapler — In the case of an open wound, could be helpful.

Emergency Mylar Blankets — These will keep those who have been triaged warm.

Medical Tourniquet — For issues with limbs where bleeding must be stopped. You can also use rope, a shirt or belt.

Emergency Respirators — In case there is some toxic air. These won’t filter everything, but they’re good for most everyday air contaminants.

Disposable Scalpels — I don’t expect to do surgery, but someone trained might need something like this.

Safety Pins — I forget why I bought these. LOL!

Community Items

This is a kind of catch all category which includes communication and neighborhood safety. Our neighborhood has a complete cache given to us by the city that contains a bunch of medical supplies, radios, fire abatement tools, water and food safety items and much more. We even have a map of all the gas shutoffs in the neighborhood as well. So some of these items will be essential in case there is a disaster where emergency help can’t make it right away.

In fact, when we were doing the drill in Berkeley, the fire department made their rounds to our group and explained that we have to expect that in the face of a major disaster we have to plan for 3 days without any assistance. It was kind of crazy to hear this from the people we pay to protect us, but I totally get it — sometimes there just isn’t enough help.

Here’s what we have, in addition to our neighborhood cache…

Emergency Solar / Hand Crank Radio — This will allow us to listen to the community disaster radio station to get important updates. It runs on battery, solar or crank, so it can be used anywhere.

Two-Way Radios — These radios, as I tested during our drill, can communicate with the ones that we have in our neighborhood cache by adjusting to the correct channel. These are great to have for the family so you can communicate as well if necessary — even on a separate channel.

40 Channel CB Radio — With this, I can log on to emergency channels to scan messages to stay in touch with what is going on — and even communicate in case of a serious incident that needs immediate attention.

Wrench — There are specific types of wrenches you can use to shut off a house gas valve, but most plumbing wrenches will do. Gas shut off is essential if there is a leak in a home or apartment building. A leak caused by an earthquake could escalate to a very serious situation.

Water Shutoff Tool — If pipes are busted in your home and there is water everywhere, a water shutoff tool is helpful as well. You can use this to shut off the water at the street. You can also find the main water shut off in your crawlspace or basement, but it might not be secure to go there in the case of an earthquake.

Portable Saw — This is to cut any tree limbs that may have fallen on property or individuals.

Military Parachute Cord — This is a multiuse item.

Other Things?

Here I’ve gathered just a few other things that we have collected or just happen to have around the house that may be helpful.

100 Hour Candles — For light at night.

Duct Tape — It’s good for almost anything.

AA Batteries — Non-Rechargeable, since you might not be able to recharge them.

AAA Batteries — See above.

D Batteries — See above.

Hydrogen Peroxide — For disinfecting.

Thyro-Safe Potassium Iodide — Unlikely, but in case there is a minor radiation incident. These pills will protect your thyroid from irreparable damage.

Urban Survival Handbook — A good resource to have for city dwellers.

SAS Survival Handbook — An overall good and general resource to have as well.

Bring It On?

Of course not. I hope I never have to use any of this. As of right now, the only time I can imagine breaking into our cache is is there is a power outage, Hudson falls on his bike, or if we need a few batteries for our remote.

But, again, I hope that this series has you thinking about how you can protect your family in case there is a disaster — particularly if you live in an area that is prone to them.

For me, having these items has helped me remove the fear I had because I was not prepared and allowed me to relax in the face of a very possible impending natural disaster in our hometown of Berkeley, California.

So with that said, thanks for listening, and of course, if there is a disaster and you’re not prepared, you can come over to our house. We got you covered.

Your Question of the Day: What did you think of this series? Do you want more varied topics, or want me to stick to only health?

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

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