Hello everyone, first off I want to make it clear that I am not in the medical field. My medical experience goes as far as being trained by the AHA in First Aid and being trained by the Emergency Management in Moore, OK for CERT. But I still wanted to make this blog to encourage people to carry medical gear in their vehicle while they chase.
As a storm chaser who chases in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas I tend to chase violent storms that can and have done destruction. For this reason I carry medical gear in my vehicle while I am chasing. But what if you're just starting out and do not know what to get? Should you just buy a $10 First Aid kit off of Amazon and call it a day? My answer to that would be no. If you were to buy an average everyday First Aid kit and a tornado came through a town and did massive destruction more than likely that average everyday First Aid kit would be completely useless.
What I use to store medical gear in my vehicle.
I currently use a ProPac backpack that was given to me by the Moore Emergency Management to carry all of my medical gear. This backpack by ProPac is awesome. It can hold a ton of gear whether it be bulky or slim. Since this is a backpack you can easily put it over your shoulders if you need to walk to get to an injured person. I would definitely recommend getting yourself a ProPac backpack to store medical gear in. These backpacks go for $16.80 on ProPacUSA.com.
What kind of medical gear do I carry?
I would highly recommend getting a tourniquet before you get anything else. Tourniquets can easily save a persons life if they have had severe hemorrhage to their arms or legs. You should only use a tourniquet on somebody if you are not able to stop them from losing blood. I have two North American Rescue CAT Tourniquets and one SWAT T Tourniquet, though I would recommend getting a North American Rescue CAT Tourniquet as they are the best tourniquet on the market. North American Rescue Tourniquets go for $30 on their website. This might seem like a lot of money to drop on a single item, but when it comes to possibly saving somebodies life you will be glad that you had it.
After you buy a few tourniquets you should get Israeli bandages. An Israeli bandage is a emergency bandage which is used by the United States military to stop a bleed quickly. The main purpose of an Israeli bandage is for it to be used as a pressure dressing. You can buy Israeli bandages at https://www.rescue-essentials.com for as little as $6.89.
The next thing that I would highly recommend getting is sterile gauze. Gauze is very useful as you can use it to pack a wound to stop bleeding, cover a wound, and clean a wound. I would recommend getting a roll of gauze rather than a pad in the event that you have to pack a wound. You can purchase 36 gauze bandage rolls for just $12 on Amazon.
Emergency blankets are great for retaining a persons body temperature in the event that they began to lose heat in their body. You can purchase these for as little as $4 on Amazon.
Triangular bandages work great for making a sling right on the spot. These can be purchased for as little as $7 on Amazon.
Latex free disposable gloves are a must when working with people who have become injured due to the threat of blood and fluids being present. You can pick these up at your local Dollar Tree for one whole dollar.
Along with latex free disposable gloves you should also buy gloves that are heavy duty in the event that you come in contact with a sharp object. I would also recommend buying safety glasses to protect your eyes from fluids. You should also purchase an N95 mask which will protect your mouth from fluids getting into your body.
I also carry a hatchet in my vehicle along with my medical gear in the event that I have to chop through wood to be able to get to an injured person. You can usually find these at your local hardware store.
A wrench in a medical bag? Why yes, most certainly! A wrench can be used to turn off gas meters in the event that one is still on after a tornado has gone through the area.
I have a flashlight in my medical bag in the event that I am looking for injured people at night or I am in a house that has lost electricity after a storm has come through. This is a definite must have.
Duct tape in a medical bag? Yep, I have duct tape in my medical bag just in case I need to use an object as a splint such as a piece of wood.
Even though it is not a medical item, I would still definitely recommend having a window breaker/seat belt cutter in your vehicle. This item can be used in the event that you are in an accident and need to break your window or cut your own seat belt. This item can also be used to break somebodies window who needs help or to cut a persons seat belt who is in need of help. Be sure to ask for there permission before doing either of these two things.
Lastly, I would recommend people to have normal band aids as not ever situation is going to require a tourniquet or gauze. Not everything I have in my backpack was mentioned in this post as I wanted to mainly concentrate on the most important items to have in your vehicle. I hope I was able to help you get an idea of what you should carry in your vehicle while chasing. Thank you for reading and if you have any other suggestions as to what people should add to their medical bags be sure to comment below!