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We’ve been discussing certain geographical areas that could lend to including specific Emergency Kit items. There’s still many to charge through. But I may as well give a few general thoughts to get you going – no matter what area of the globe you live in.

Regardless of the natural disasters that may occur near your home, its important to know more than just weather patterns and fault lines. You need to be aware of the wildlife, greenery, chemical plants, construction zones etc. All of these have an affect on your quality of life wherever you live. Also – if you plan on visiting anywhere, even if its close, its always a good idea to scope things out ahead of time.

Example: A few weeks ago we were visiting some relatives in northern Utah, not too terribly far from where we live. We probably visit them once a month at least, so we are very familiar with the area.  Depending on the time of year of our visit, we spend a lot of time outdoors – 4 wheeling, boating, hiking, sledding etc.

This particular trip my husband and brother in law went 4 wheeling about 10 minutes away from our relative’s home. Once they got to the top of the ridge, they went hiking – just to explore. While walking through some brush – my husband felt a sharp pain/sting in his leg. When he looked down there were to little holes, about 1 inch apart in his leg – both bleeding. So…..for those of who are familiar with this region, what would you think happened?

If you guessed rattlesnake bite, you’d be 100% correct. Unlucky for us – no one had really any idea what it was for certain, let alone what to do about it. Basically my husband panicked, called me and described the bite. I decided to assess the bite when he got home, and told him to just get down the mountain. He called a few other people, described the bite and they all said “Go to the ER……immediately”. So, I ended up in my car, tearing down to the bottom of the hill to meet him and take him to the ER. Long story short – because it was a “dry bite” he did not need an antivenin shot and only spent a few hours in the ER. We were lucky. Very lucky.

What could we have done differently?

  • First off, my husband should have been hiking around wearing pants, not shorts.
  • Maybe they should have looked up where they were hiking….it was an area dubbed “Rattlesnake Ridge”…..nice.
  • My father in law had killed a 4ft rattlesnake on his front lawn the previous week. Obviously they are all over the area.
  • Although rattlesnake bites are very serious – it’s no time to panic. Even if there had been venom injected, you have 6-8 hours before it starts doing some major damage. (Of course it depends on the size of the snake, the size of the victim etc and you should get medical attention as soon as possible). But I did not need to break any and all speed laws getting my husband to the ER.
  • My husband should have taken a picture of the wound right after it happened, and if possible a picture of the snake. By the time we got to the ER, the wounds were so swollen the doctor’s couldn’t find the puncture marks.
  • My husband should have taken some supplies with him – water, food, first aid kit. If we’d had our emergency kits handy, it would have been easy to grab them and go.
  • Luckily he was in cell phone range. Had he been out of range, with a worse bite he could have been in serious trouble. Walkie Talkies anyone? Another emergency kit bonus.
  • Only a number of hospitals carry the antivenin shot. So if you’re driving to an ER for a rattlesnake bite, make sure they have the medicine you need, or you may be transported somewhere else. Luckily in our case, my father called ahead to confirm they did have the shot if necessary.

In summation: Know you’re surroundings. If you can – include items that are conducive to where you are in your emergency kit.

Also, maybe just avoid getting bit by a rattlesnake.


2 Responses to “Emergency Kit: Know your Surroundings”

  1. millenniumfly

    Certainly good advice to know your surroundings (and therefore what dangers they pose), although I would suggest that simply wearing pants wouldn’t be enough to stop a rattlesnake bite. Obviously, your husband was lucky.


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