Many individuals understand the necessity of medical skills and equipment during a “Walking Dead” scenario, natural disaster, or government meltdown. I am here to advise medical and tool preparation should you run into Rick and the crew on the lonely scrapyard highway outside of anytown, zombie-destroyed U.S.A.
Make friends with a paramedic or doctor
If you don’t know any firefighter paramedics, military combat medics, or doctors (ER specifically), reach out and make some new friends. When all hell breaks loose and one of your party is suffering from massive trauma or an allergic reaction, it’s good to have a medical machete up your sleeve. You can procure all the medical supplies in a pharmacy, but if neither you nor anyone in your party knows the benefits of a simple medication such as epinephrine, then of what use is your massive med haul?
ER doctors and paramedics live in world of stress, management, and triage. Whether you have a medical situation or not, they are the perfect type of level-headed asset to have when the walls are closing in. No matter how confident you are in you decision making, it is essential you travel with a strong team. Even the greatest leaders fail and struggle under unforeseen circumstances.
Know fire station locations and steer clear of hospitals
Knowing the exact locations of all fire stations will give you an initial target when disaster arises. In the event of a full-fledged breakdown of the system, this should be one of the first locations you reconnoiter. The amount of medical supplies, tools, and silent weapons available on medic/fire apparatus can sustain a crew of 5-7 individuals at least 6-8 months.
With advanced knowledge and research, you will know which stations house a back-up apparatus. This is key during the breakdown. At the start of breakdown, the average ambulance-transporting firehouse will be out attending to emergency calls, leaving an empty station and plenty of resources to acquire.
In the “Walking Dead” scenario or any system breakdown, stay away from hospitals. These facilities will be flooded with individuals/biters, looters/junkies, and overworked staff.
Know what medicines and tools are vital
Most apparatus, including ambulances, fire engines, and ladder trucks, carry drug/IV bags, airway kits, and trauma kits on the vehicle. These three bags should provide enough medical supplies to halt most unforeseen circumstances. Of course, its always good to carry a couple of aftermarket tourniquets and a hacksaw in the event of a bite.
If you have the opportunity to acquire these supplies from an ambulance, make sure to stock-up the existing bags with items in the ambulance compartments.
- Epinephrine – can be used in the event of an allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock. If travelling with children, you don’t want to find out your child has a life-threatening allergy only to be without the proper tools to treat the affliction.
- Benadryl – relieves upper respiratory inflammation and allergies (this may seem petty, but the need to be 100 percent is vital). I’ve used Benadryl recently with an unexpected food allergy.
- Oral glucose or D50 – used for low blood sugar, but can help in an emergency if food is running low and to increase energy levels. D50 is designed for injection, but can be taken orally.
- Thiamine – Vitamin B1 can be used to treat nutritional deficiencies when food is running low or an alcohol-dependent crew member when their supply is cut off.
- Ondansetron (Zofran) – is used to treat nausea and vomiting. This is a very useful drug if you or one of your crew become sick. Keeping your limited food supply within the body is better than on the street.
- Fentanyl – is a narcotic pain reliever that can be very useful in the event of injury to you or one of your crew members.
- Morphine sulphate – see fentanyl description (be wary of addictive individuals).
- Midazolam (Versed) – is used to treat active seizures or for sedation. If someone requires field surgery or has turned on the group, this, combined with fentanyl, can be very a very effective treatment.
*This is not an all inclusive list of medications.
Most items for the treatment of trauma can be purchased beforehand. The prepared individual should keep a stock of:
- Sterile dressings (variety of sizes)
- Israeli Bandage
- Sam Splints
- Ace wraps
- Tourniquets (CAT, SWAT-T, or R.A.T.)
- Hemostat Forceps
- Trauma shears
If you aren’t aware of or don’t know how to use some of the listed items, get educated. Do some research and stock up. There is no more valuable skill than being your own medic. There are a variety of courses and probably the most reasonable for most individuals to attend is a Wilderness First Responder course. This is a great course for most, as it primarily focuses on trauma.
Stay tuned for part II of Medicine and Tools.
(Featured Image Courtesy: amctv.com)