Life on the line: Arming your family with first aid kits - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Life on the line: Arming your family with first aid kits

Matt Yim Matt Yim

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

DIAMOND HEAD (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hurricane season starts in June and the American Red Cross says now is the time to prepare.


Start simple and stock up on basic emergency supplies.


In our life on the line series, the Red Cross shows how to arm your families with a first aid kit.

The power to respond to an emergency before help arrives could easily lie in your hands, though first aid kits don't typically rank high on shopping lists.

"This should be on the top of the list to water," said Matt Yim of the American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter.

So they've morphed. Modern-day first aid kits are now designed to fit a niche, from boy scouts, to sports car enthusiasts, keiki, and for hikers - basic survival gear, such as food rations that can last a week, a light stick, whistle, survival blanket, mask and flashlight.

At the American Red Cross store, there's even a vintage, military style kit.

"if there's any fans of M.A.S.H. out there or any form of military, this will hit home with them," said Yim.

But for the average family, there's this.

"This one is our number one selling kit," said Yim, likely because of its comfort factor.

"If we do have victims on the ground, you'll need to support their head. This also turns into a pillow," said Yim.

Its anatomy includes bandages, tweezers, and antiseptic wipes.

There's even an instant cold pack. No need to put it in the freezer. All you have to do is pop the inner fluid bag and it gets nearly as cold as ice.


All first aid kits have one common ground.

Gone are the days of just randomly stuffing items in a box.

Today, they're so organized, finding what you need is a no brainer.

What you'll no longer find are items that expire such as salves, like Neosporin, or drugs like aspirin.

This change came about recently due to all the scares, 911 changed a lot of what we put in first aid kits," said Yim.

Inside are only the basics.

It's up to you to customize them.

The Red Cross says you should keep a first aid kit in your car and one at home.

They range from as little as $10 to $45.

And the difference between Red Cross kits versus the ones at stores?

"We'd explain to you exactly what's in your kit and exactly what to do with the items in your kit," said Yim.

It's free advice, that could prove priceless, when your life is on the line.

The Red Cross store has been around since the late 70's.

But staff says people still don't know it exists.

The store is on Diamond Head Road, right across from Kapiolani Community College and Diamond Head Memorial Park.


All proceeds from the store helps the local Red Cross chapter.

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