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Build an Emergency First Aid Kit for Your Home and Workplace in British Columbia [Checklist Included]

Emergency First Aid Kit

Your home, workplace, school or any other public place is a safe space unless there’s an emergency. Keep your safety top of mind by having an emergency first aid kit readily available in your home and office. You might not be able to predict when emergencies occur, but you can prepare for one by having the right tools and supplies on hand. The purpose of an emergency first aid kit is to provide individuals with the tools they need to manage minor injuries in the event of an unforeseen incident. Having one at home, school or work will give you peace of mind should anything happen. Keep reading to learn more about why it’s important to build an emergency first aid kit so that you’re prepared wherever you go.

Why You Should Build an Emergency Kit

Building an emergency first aid kit is important for a few reasons. First, it gives you peace of mind knowing that you have everything you need to survive emergencies for up to 72 hours. Second, it allows you to help those who might have been injured during an emergency without scrambling for the necessary medical equipment. When an emergency occurs, you won’t have time to throw a kit together so it’s important to know exactly where your first aid kit is kept so you can grab it and possibly evacuate or take shelter.

It also allows you to help others who may not be able to help themselves. Children, seniors and individuals with disabilities may not have the tools they need to treat minor injuries. Having an emergency first aid kit on hand gives you the ability to help these groups.

Home Emergency First Aid Kits

A home emergency kit is useful for managing small household accidents. It’s important to prepare a kit for each room of your home so that you can easily grab the supplies you need.

British Columbia has increasingly faced emergencies caused by natural disasters including wildfires, extreme storms, long power outages, extreme flooding and harsher winters than are normally seasonal. You can help first responders in your area by making sure you have basic emergency safety supplies, a first aid kit and food and water prepared to keep you and your family safe for up to 72 hours.

Workplace Emergency First Aid Kits

If you are an employer, it’s important that your workplace emergency kit is up to the requirements laid out by WorkSafeBC.  

Below you’ll find a basic list of what to keep in your workplace emergency kit, however, this does not replace the comprehensive lists provided by Workplace BC which you can explore on our website using our WCB First Aid Kit Finder Tool.

What Should You Put in Your Emergency First Aid Kit?

When designing an emergency first aid kit, make sure it has the necessary supplies to manage minor injuries. You don’t want an overloaded kit that’s difficult to carry around as you go about your day. The following items are essential for any emergency first aid kit:

First Aid Kit Checklist

  • First aid manual – Make sure the first aid manual has instructions for treating minor injuries that you might encounter. You’ll also find information about basic first aid practices, terminology and more.
  • Over the counter medications – Over-the-counter medications are important for treating minor illness or pain associated with injuries. Make sure you stock up on common medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrheal, anti-nausea, antihistamines, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Adhesive bandages – These are ideal for treating minor cuts and scrapes. Make sure you have a good supply so that you can stock up on more as they run out.
  • Gauze pads – Gauze pads are ideal for treating minor cuts, scrapes and other small wounds. When applied to a wound, gauze pads help control bleeding and prevent infection.
  • Antiseptic wipes – Antiseptic wipes can be used to clean minor cuts and scrapes. They can also be used to clean a wound before applying a bandage to help prevent infection.
  • Scissors – Scissors are useful for cutting bandages and gauze pads. They’re also good for cutting medical tape.
  • Medical tape – Medical tape can be used to secure bandages, hold gauze pads in place and help secure an IV bag if necessary.
  • Flashlight – Make sure you have a flashlight on hand in case the electricity goes out. A flashlight is also useful for administering first aid during outdoor activities.
  • First aid blanket – A first aid blanket can be used to keep a person warm when experiencing shock or if they’ve been exposed to extreme cold. It can also be used to protect a wound and help prevent infection.
  • Other items – Other items you might want to include in your emergency first aid kit include scissors, tweezers, a whistle, a notebook and pencil, and a watch.