First Aid: What You Will Need For the Zombie Apocalypse

The zombie apocalypse is imminent. There will be widespread panic, communication lines and towers will go silent, and society as we know it will fall. How can we possibly prepare ourselves for such a disaster? The first step is not to panic.

The second step is to be prepared for emergencies. We’ve all been told countless times how important it is to have a well stocked first aid kit in our homes. When we originally put them together (assuming we were responsible enough to do so), we didn’t think that we would eventually rely on them for our survival. These little kits will be invaluable when you’ve lost all access to emergency medical services and supplies. Some of the most important items that you should have in your first aid kit are below, followed by items you may find on your journey to a well-stocked, scavenged, second aid kit.
first-aid-kit-2
The Basics:
Adhesive bandages
Antibacterial ointment
Anti-diarrheal medication
Aspirin/Aspirin alternative
Bandana
Cloth wraps and tape/clips/safety pins
Eye drops
Flashlight with lots of batteries or one that is solar powered
Gauze
Rubbing alcohol
Scissors
Sedatives
Tweezers
Water sanitizing tablets

These resources will deplete quickly. The most important tool that any of us can possess will be our abilities to ration and improvise. Rummaging through abandoned homes and convenience stores will yield surprising results, even if the areas have already been looted. Some common household items could save our lives, or at least prolong them.

The Basics 2.0

Bandana

As any boy scout will tell you, bandanas can serve a multitude of purposes and should be included in every basic first aid kit.
• Bandanas are useful for filtering gunk and grubs out of water.
• They make comfortable bandage coverings.
• Can be used as a makeshift tourniquet.
• Bandanas can be used to cover the face when traveling through derelict buildings where air quality is compromised.

Clothing and other fabrics

After sterilization, fabrics can be cut and used as bandages and tourniquets. For proper tourniquet use, ensure that the fabric is a minimum of 1.5 inches wide. A strong stick will be required for proper tightening.

Bleach

Unscented bleach can be used for sterilizing and cleaning medical tools. It can also be used to sterilize drinking water after filtering, if boiling water is not an option. The amount of bleach needed per quart of water is dependent on the percentage of the active ingredient sodium hypochlorite found in the bleach. Using typical household bleach, 1-2 drops per quart of water is needed. If the water is exceptionally dirty, double the amount. Stir it well and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.

Duct tape

SONY DSC
Duct tape is versatile, and some even incorporate it into their wardrobe.
• Duct tape can help secure a broken limb to a makeshift splint you’ve made out of an old table leg.
• It can also be used to bandage wounds, even especially deep wounds when used alongside super glue.

Super Glue

This is common in homes and garage workshops everywhere. It may also be one of the less-looted items.
• Put a little glue on a splinter to easily remove it.
• In a pinch, super glue can be used to seal cuts and wounds closed. It can act as temporary stitches for especially deep ones. Wrap some duct tape around the “stitched” wound to prevent it from reopening.
• Super glue can also help with sealing head wounds when normal bandages would be difficult to apply. Knot locks of hair tightly together over the wound. This will prevent the wound from separating. Add several drops of super glue to “stitch” the wound closed.
These uses don’t go without risks, however, as super glue contains toxic chemicals. But when left with no other option, it might be worth the risk.

Needle and thread

These are musts in your basic first aid kit. Keep at least a couple of sharp needles handy and a couple spools of thread.
• Gaping wounds will need to be sealed and super glue may not be up for the task.
• Instead of popping a blister which will result in an open sore, run a needle and thread through it. Remove the needle while leaving loose ends of the thread sticking out of the blister. The blister will slowly drain, with the liquid being absorbed by the thread. The risk of infection will be greatly reduced.

A very sharp blade

A very sharp Knife
This is not a weapon! Please don’t use it as one, or use it to cut anything. Leave it as sharp as possible, because chances are extremely high that you or another member of your group will be bitten.
• The only way to have any chance of survival after a bite attack is to immediately amputate the limb. The sharper the blade, the less horrific this experience will be.
• A heated blade (or any large metal object) can also be used to cauterize a deep wound or amputation. Clean the blade and set it over high heat or in a flame. Remove the blade from the heat before it begins glowing red (this will be too hot). Carefully place it against the wound to seal it.

There’s no way to fully prepare ourselves for fighting off the walking, clawing, biting, brain-munching dead, but we can give ourselves a fighting chance. Keeping ourselves healthy will allow us to run faster, hide better, and not become a meal. Injuries are going to happen and we need to deal with them. Dying from dehydration or infection is the easy way out. Fight on!

Sources:
Krause, Joshua. “When All Else Fails: A Few Improvised First Aid Materials.” Ready Nutrition. Ready Nutrition, 16 July 2014. Web.
20 September 2015.
“Requirements For Maintenance of Health.” Wilderness Survival. n.p. n.d. Web. 20 September 2015.
“Anatomy of a First Aid Kit.” Red Cross. n.p. n.d. Web. 20 September 2015.
“Water-Related Emergencies & Outbreaks.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 December 2014. Web. 20 September 2015.
Chuck. “Stuff You Should Know’s Guide to Proper Adulthood: How and When to Cauterize a Wound.” Stuff You Should Know. Stuff You Should Know, 10 July 2013. Web. 20 September 2015.
“How to Survive Amputation.” Survivalist. Survivalist, 13 August 2014. Web. 20 September 2015.
Hubbard, James. “The Survival Doctor’s Latest Tips on Tourniquets.” The Survival Doctor. n.p. 6 April 2015. Web. 20 September 2015.

Written by Vivian Winningham

About Krista Lofgren

Krista is the fancy new Marketing Specialist at Big Fish Games. In her spare time she's a writer, casual gamer, dancer, and admirer of pizza. You can find her writing here on the blog, in her head, and on millions of post-its littered around her apartment. You might also stumble on her choreography in musical theater productions around town. Her favorite humor is self-effacing and her favorite ice cream is Cookies and Cream.