What To Do When There Is No Medical Help

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No medical help? My biggest fear is for other people when there is no medical help after a major disaster. I’m prepared to do many things, even stitches if I had to do them. I can use a splint to help with a broken arm. Please note, I am not a doctor, nurse or anyone in the medical field. I have learned to heal my own body.

When I was young we never ran to the doctor for anything. My mother used a purple violet spray on strep throat. Did it work? Well, I’m still alive. I grew up in the age of chicken pox, measles, and even polio. Medicine has come a long way, some ways for the better and some ways not so great. Trust me, I am not against using any doctors, I just think we need to be prepared to take care of ourselves if the SHTF, it’s not if, but when.

I have told you before, Mark and I took some C.E.R.T. classes where we learned to use splints, dress or not dress certain burns, how to label the wounded that were too far gone to help, and so much more. This will be hard for me because I love to help people, but more people need to know how to do a few minor medical procedures than ever before.

Hard Copy Books

If and when we have a grid down you need some hard copy books in your possession to recognize some medical issues and do the very best you can. If it’s a grid down your electronics won’t work, so you need to be ready with other options for necessary information.

This is how I see it, there are leaders and there are followers. After a disaster or grid down we will have both of these and more, like the disrupters. Some people may become hysterical after just a few days without electricity because they are not sure what to do. One or more people will take charge, some will look to you for help.

This is why it is critical we have a few tools to get us through a minor or major collapse. No available professional medical help will be a huge issue. Here’s the deal, all medical personnel, and emergency responders will be called to the hospitals or medical clinics. Possibly even your local schools will become a place of refuge to help those in need of medical help.

Well, this means we will be on our own. So, here are my thoughts to get us through something like this, all comments and responses will be greatly appreciated.

No Medical Help

Water:

Water will be a key element to hydrate those people who have very little water stored. I recommend storing at least 4-gallons of water per person per day. It’s quite likely some of your neighbors will have no water at all stored. I’m not addressing food storage today.

First Aid Kit:

I have a printable list for you, but I would take stock of all the over the counter drugs you use quite regularly. Please add Benadryl, my neighbors borrow mine all the time. I stock and rotate all my over the counter drugs as well as my essential oils. PRINTABLE: First Aid Kit

Over The Counter Medications:

I want you to think about what you have in your medicine cupboard right now. And your first aid kits. If someone in your home had a really high fever tonight, are you prepared for that? Do you have the OTC medications you typically like to use in your home right NOW?

Let’s pretend all the pharmacies are closed and there isn’t a store in town that will open back up in days or weeks because a major disaster has hit your town. Now what? It’s critical we rotate those OTC medications we like to use.

  1. Aspirin
  2. Tylenol
  3. My Doctor Suggests Silver Structured Silver (I use this and love it)
  4. Lozenges/Cough Drops My Doctor Suggests Lozenges (These are the ones I use)
  5. Chapstick/lip gloss
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. Ibuprophen
  8. Motrin
  9. Cough Syrup
  10. Child appropriate medications
  11. Infant appropriate medications
  12. Antacids
  13. Benydryl
  14. Tylenol PM
  15. Vicks VapoRub
  16. Nasal Spray
  17. Methiolate
  18. Gentian Violet
  19. MercurochroNeoprinme
  20. Sinus Medication
  21. Essential Oils
  22. Neosporin
  23. Imodium-D (anti-diarrhea)
  24. Polysporin

First Aid Book:

Please get a hard copy as we may not have the internet, The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way

First Aid Skills:

Please learn CPR, take a C.E.R.T. class and an EMT class. Community Emergency Response Team

Remember, we may have no medical help for days, weeks or months. I highly recommend this book above. If you have another medical book, that’s great. Let’s open a book like the one above, and study it. Yes, study it.

Have a monthly meeting with your family, and choose things from the book, and talk about what you would do with different illnesses, cuts, or burns. If we have the knowledge we will be prepared before we need to be. I’m not saying scare your family, I’m talking about discussions.

Bleach:

I realize some people are really against bleach, well we will need lots of bleach to get rid of MRSA or dangerous sewage contamination. Please note, bleach only stores for typically 9-12 months. Look into pool tablets for SHOCK treatments for water containers, like a backyard pool, and store some of them as well.

Supplies:

You can never have too many supplies, start stocking up on all items we could use as a neighborhood to help ourselves and those around us. The pharmacies will be closed and empty after a major disaster. What you have in your house this very minute may be all you have to save your family. Supplies can be water, food, tools, knives, weapons, etc. Please order some N-95 masks or N-100 masks as you can afford them, you can never have too many. 3M 1860 Medical Mask N95, 20 Count

Blankets:

We can always use all our blankets to lay critically hurt people on the ground or cover them to try and prevent shock. Never give away usable blankets.

Make Neighborhood Roster:

Please make a plan with those neighbors who are interested in participating in a monthly meeting to share skills and things we can all bring to the table, so to speak, after a disaster.

I’ve said this before, that neighbor down the street with a chainsaw may be your new best friend. Only include those neighbors you feel comfortable working with and you can trust to step up and help.

Contact List Of Neighbors:

If we need to try and email or call family members of neighbors we need a list of contacts if and when any power is restored. If a certain neighbor is critically hurt we need to be able to contact a close family member or friend.

Critical Items:

Walkie talkies, flashlights, headlamps, as well as whistles, are must-have items. Remember disasters don’t always happen in the daylight hours. Please be prepared with batteries or solar flashlights.

Make a plan with neighbors:

Do it this week, next week may be too late. Only choose neighbors you can count on to be on your team. Decide who will be in charge and list the items each family has to contribute and teach others the skills we will all need to survive.

Pass a list around and list what items we each have and the items we need to get. I’m not talking about sharing how much food or cash you have, this is mainly getting to know your neighbors. Seeing them at church each week is NOT going to get the job done.

You must KNOW your neighbors, or at the least the ones you want to have on your team if you are going to work together to make a difference during and after a disaster situation. Now, make a plan for survival as a team.

Garbage Bags:

Store a lot of large black bags to dispose of refuse to burn later and also to possibly to cover the dead.

Colored tape and large colored squares to label homes:

These are the tapes or colored cards we need in every home to help us know who needs help and who is okay for right now.

BLUE: a handicapped person lives in this home
ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape, Multi-Use, 1.41-Inch by 60-Yard, 1 Roll

RED: needs immediate help
NPS CT-610 Triage Marking Tape 300′ Red

YELLOW: delay, does not need immediate help

NPS CT-611 Triage Marking Tape 300′ Yellow

GREEN: person or family is okay
NPS CT-612 Triage Marking Tape 300′ Green

Painter’s Sticks:

Get them from Home Depot or your local hardware store work great for splints. Be sure and store non-stick gauze to wrap a broken arm on the splint.

Classes :

Take a class on how to do stitches and learn to use a stethoscope. If we can’t help seriously hurt people we will have to step over them and attend to those we can help. This sounds cold, but I learned this from my C.E.R.T. class. Those that are seriously hurt will have to wait for medical personnel. Yes, they may die, but we can only do what we can do.

Take a class on CPR, you’ll be glad you did.

Final Word

I hope we never have to deal with any of this, but I know it’s inevitable, so we must be prepared for the unexpected. Please be ready to help your family, and possibly your neighbors, when there is no medical help on the way.

What are your plans to be better prepared when medical help isn’t readily available? No medical help, then what?

Center for Disease Control

13 thoughts on “What To Do When There Is No Medical Help

  • April 20, 2019 at 7:40 am
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    I so wish any of my neighbors would be on board. Most people in my neighborhood are older and have no interest in prepping or even coming to an HOA meeting. I keep a well stocked first aid kit and we are both trained in first aid and CPR. I would love to take the CERT course, but my husband is not interested. We do have one EMT in the neighborhood, but no other medical personnel. How do you get people on board?

    Reply
    • April 20, 2019 at 12:30 pm
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      Hi Liz, I can’t get my neighborhood on board either. A few are interested but really Mark and I will be taking care of ourselves. We are totally prepared but it’s a way of life for us. I can only pray for those that do not see why they need to be prepared. All you have to do is turn on the TV and BAM! Get some water, extra food, and flashlights people. May God bless those who will not heed the warnings. Linda

      Reply
  • April 20, 2019 at 8:50 am
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    Good stuff
    Neighbors are a far flung wishful dream in most cases.
    There are a lot of “Stop The Bleed” free courses going around at schools, churches and hospitals right now. Calendars are online.
    My weapon carry insurance also offers trauma classes. US Law Shield
    I hear good things bout the Bloom and Doom classes too. I’ve not attended so I can’t speak firsthand.
    I do have a team medic. He was an EMT till he hurt his back. He’s got the brains and we’ve got the the brawn lol.

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    • April 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm
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      Hi Matt, thank you! I wish we had more people like you in my neighborhood!! Thanks for the tip on these classes! I love your comment! Linda

      Reply
  • April 20, 2019 at 8:53 am
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    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for another good reminder on the importance of learning about medicine. It’s critical to acquire supplies, whether we know how to use them or not. In a future day, it will be easier to find a physician who knows how to use your supplies to care for your family than it will be to find the supplies. But for the best preparedness, learn how you can use your supplies.

    Take, for example, Benadryl. One doctor suggests that it is the most important drug a layperson can carry in a first aid kit. The OTC pain relievers may be used more often, but Benadryl can save a life.

    I posted a substantial article on Benadryl on my blog at https://prepschooldaily.blogspot.com. It appeared on November 13, 2018.

    Happy Prepping!
    Jennifer

    Reply
    • April 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm
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      Hi Jennifer, I love your comment! We all need to go and read your Benydryl article!! Linda

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    • April 25, 2019 at 6:01 pm
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      Jennifer,
      I am a hospital physician and while diphenhydramine or Benadryl can help with secondary symptoms of an allergic response likes hives, itching etc it will NEVER save the life of someone developing anaphylaxis or a life threatening allergic response that can rapidly lead to respiratory failure, low blood pressure, circulatory collapse and possibly death. Scrounging around for Benadryl is a bad idea. Epinephrine must be given usually by a pen device, if out of hospital, rapidly when an at risk person is exposed to their allergen and then straight to the ER or call EMS. There is a HUGE push in the medical literature to re-educate older physicians on this. As a doctor and a mother of a child with severe anaphylaxis risk to peanuts, cashews, and pistachios, I don’t want someone to make the mistake of giving Benadryl to someone with a true allergy and think that will save their life. I terribly fear a grid down situation for my child when there is no more epinephrine. Benadryl would not save her.

      Reply
      • April 25, 2019 at 6:14 pm
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        Hi Kelley, thanks so much for your comment!! We need to know this! We would need a prescription for the Epinephrine, most of us could not get that. Great reminder there is a BIG difference between the two. Thank you so much for sharing your medical advice. Linda

        Reply
      • April 25, 2019 at 8:40 pm
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        Hi Kelley,

        (I thought I clicked the button to reply to you directly, but somehow it posted below. I re-posted here so that you and others could read my response.)

        Thank you so much for your comment. As I noted at the very beginning of my blog post, Benadryl was given by the nurse and EMT (husband and wife) on duty to one of the girls at camp who had no history of any allergies. While they had epinephrine if it was absolutely needed, because of other potential problems associated with using epinephrine far away from a hospital, they preferred to go with Benadryl. Benadryl was all they used for her. This girl has since tested positive for many nut allergies and must carry epi at all times.

        Anyone who has a true allergy should carry an epi pen and be able to use it at all times. The ER doctors I have taken off-grid medicine classes from have all said epi is best for a true allergy. They have also said that Benadryl is something they use first before reaching for epinephrine in milder cases. A nut allergy would probably not be considered a milder case. However, both of these doctors also said that they would use it if there were no alternative, and a collapsed society with no higher medical care would be considered “no alternative” in my opinion. We are not talking about a situation where there are paramedics and a hospital right down the street.

        When there is no doctor and no hospital and someone starts showing signs of an allergic reaction, like our girl at camp last year, Benadryl can be very useful. In our situation, because no one in our family has any history of true allergies, we do not carry or store epinephrine. The adults have been trained and know how to use an epi pen (“orange to the thigh, blue to the sky), but it’s too expensive and has too short a shelf life. Our medical prepping dollars are best spent elsewhere. Benadryl is all we will have. Unfortunately, some people are going to die without their life-saving medications.

        Benadryl may not buy time, but then again, it might. I would never substitute it for epi in a true allergy, and I wouldn’t suggest it to others. People who need epi had better be carrying it and everyone around them needs to know about it and how to use the epi pen.

        Also, what would you do if there were no epinephrine and no hospitals? Some children outgrow (gradually or somewhat) their allergies. Would you not even try Benadryl? Even if there were only the slightest chance?

        Reply
        • April 26, 2019 at 4:58 am
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          Jennifer,
          I think this is a great discussion! What parent wouldn’t do anything to save their child’s life if their life saving medication was not available? A similar experience happened the first time my daugter was exposed to cashews and I just gave her Benadryl, as we were at home , which helped the hives and then when I was certain she was not having anaphylaxis, we went straight to get tested by the allergy specialist a few days later. Even as a doctor, her allergist scolded me a little for not going to the ER. He explained after each exposure the allergy system gets “primed” for an even more severe and faster response the next time which is why it seems Benadryl might “work” the first one or two exposures. I agree with you if there is no epinephrine available, the allergy has never been confirmed, the patient is stable, no higher medical care is available anywhere, it could be tried. We have not even discussed how crazy difficult it has been to get epinephrine lately with the drug shortage and outrageous costs! Yes and as you said short shelf life. Yikes! The allergist also said maybe she will “outgrow” some of her allergies and suggested retesting as she nears the age to go off to college. There is a promising new immunotherapy for peanuts aka allergy shots that we might consider, if available, to desensitize as she nears going to college if she is still allergic. To my knowledge nothing is available for other nuts. I read your blog and find it informative and enjoyed it! Just wanted to stress Benadryl would only be used first line if unconfirmed allergy, no epinephrine availble, a Medical professional was not finding anything to suggest anaphylaxis etc as you clarified above. Thanks so much.

          Reply
          • April 26, 2019 at 8:40 am
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            Absolutely. I have no desire to do anything at all if there’s a doctor and medicine around! Let me go back to my corner and knit!

            But I have a responsibility to my family, so I have to learn and be prepared to do what I can, if there is no other option.

            Since you and your family are traveling down this nut allergy path, I thought you might have done some studying on the subject. Is there anything parents should or should not be doing to possibly prevent these allergies from developing? I thought I read something in the past that babies exposed to peanuts (peanut butter) at a younger age were less likely to develop a peanut allergy. And I know I’ve read that babies and children raised in less than neat-freak clean conditions are less likely to develop environmental allergies.

            There are no allergies, other than hay fever, among my children, and they’ve been raised in a rural area with lots of animals. But in a few years they may be having children of their own, so now I wonder. BIL and his wife are neat-freak clean, and their oldest has all kinds of environmental and food allergies, including some nut allergies.

  • April 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm
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    My sister is an EMT ,my grand daughter is in nursing school and the lady across the road is an ex-army nurse. So hopefully I will be ok ,unless I need a surgery of some kind. I have medical supplies in 5 gallon buckets. I try to stock up on band aids and gauze when I go to the dollar stores.I have essential oils of all kinds. I also have several medical books. I only know of one neighbor (the one across the road) that has even considered prepping. Most just laugh at me and say they don’t need to be that paranoid. I was hoping that the recent water issues would change some minds, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
    I sure hope nothing serious happens here. God help them if it does. Thank you for a great list.God Bless

    Reply
    • April 20, 2019 at 2:50 pm
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      Hi Judy, I think you are going to be in great shape after a disaster. You have a sister, the army lady, and your granddaughter. I can’t figure out why people don’t get it. It’s like they assume nothing will happen to them. I taught a class once on food storage and emergency preps. One lady thought we were hoarders if we have excess food. LOL! Sometimes I see a Hoarder show pop up on the TV. I have to giggle because we are not hoarders. LOL! We can sleep at night Judy, that’s how we roll! Linda

      Reply

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