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The Benefits of Including an Emergency Blanket in Your First Aid Kit

Designed to keep you warm, emergency blankets are a must when it comes to your first aid kit.

Why should you include an emergency blanket in your first aid kit?

Short Answer: Perfectly fitting into your first aid kit, an emergency blanket helps to retain your body heat

  • They are extremely lightweight and portable 
  • It is useful for any kind of extreme weather conditions when outdoors 
  • The blanket helps to deal with cases of hypothermia 
  • An emergency blanket is waterproof

The Role of Emergency Blankets in First Aid

Emergency blankets, also known as thermal blankets, are essential in first aid. These lightweight, compact and highly reflective blankets are designed to help maintain body heat, and provide protection in emergency situations.

The role that emergency blankets play is vital, let’s take a look at them in detail:

Preventing hypothermia

Hypothermia is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it.

Emergency blankets are particularly useful in preventing or treating hypothermia in cold or adverse weather conditions.

It acts as a barrier against wind, rain and moisture, providing insulation and preserving body temperature.

Improvised shelter

In certain situations where immediate shelter is not available, emergency blankets can be used to create improvised shelters.

They can be used as a temporary roof or cover to shield against wind, sun and or rain.

By utilizing other available materials such as ropes or branches, the blanket can be fashioned into a shelter that provides protection and insulation.

Retaining body heat

One of the primary functions of an emergency blanket is to help retain body heat.

The reflective material on the blanket helps to trap and reflect the person’s own body heat back to them.

Protection from heat

In addition to preserving body heat in cold environments, emergency blankets can also be used to protect against extreme heat.

The reflective surface can help reflect sunlight and heat away from the person, preventing overheating and heat-related illnesses.

Emergency blankets are convenient additions to first aid kits, especially during outdoor activities.

Their versatility and ability to provide immediate protection and thermal insulation make them valuable tools during emergency situations, especially when maintaining body heat is very important.

Types of Emergency Blankets to Consider for Your First Aid Kit

When choosing emergency blankets for your first aid kit, there are a couple of different types to consider based on their features and intended use.

Let’s take a look at these types of emergency blankets:

Electrically heated blankets 

Electrically heated blankets are designed to generate heat using built-in elements or battery-powered systems.

They can be particularly useful in emergency situations where additional heat is needed.

Wool blankets

These blankets are made from natural wool fibers, which have insulating properties.

They provide warmth even when wet and are generally used in outdoor or cold weather settings.

Emergency sleeping bag

A more comprehensive alternative to blankets, they are typically durable and the insulating materials are made of synthetic fibers.

It is designed to be more like a cocoon or bag, providing full body coverage. They offer enhanced protection against the elements and are ideal for situations with prolonged exposure to cold or wet conditions.

Mylar emergency blankets

Mylar blankets, also known as space blankets or thermal blankets, are made of thin, metallic polyester film coated with a reflective layer.

They are compact, highly reflective and lightweight, and are commonly used in first aid kits for outdoor activities.

The most common choice for general-purpose first aid kits is the mylar emergency blanket due to its effectiveness, ease of storage and versatility.

Make sure you check the durability, quality, and packaging of the emergency blankets so that they are intact and ready for use when needed.

How to Use an Emergency Blanket Safely and Effectively in Emergency Situations

An emergency blanket is intended to keep you safe and warm during an emergency situation, but you need to know how to use one safely and effectively, and make the most use of it.

Let’s take a look at guidelines you can benefit from:

Protection from elements

If someone has been exposed to cold, wind, rain or adverse weather conditions, use the emergency blanket to shield them.

Open the blanket fully and wrap it around the person, ensuring that it covers their entire body.

Wrap snugly

Wrap the blanket snugly around the person, but not too tightly. The goal is to create a barrier that traps their body heat while allowing for comfortable movement and circulation.

Insulate from the ground

In the event that the person is lying on the ground, place an additional layer between them and the cold, damp surface.

It could be a mat, a layer of clothing or even natural materials like branches.

Maintain body heat

Encourage the person to remain as still as possible to minimize heat loss through movement.

Elevate their legs slightly if possible to promote circulation and warmth. Cover their head with the blanket or use a hat to prevent heat loss from the scalp.

Monitor vital signs

Keep a close eye on the person’s vital signs and overall condition. In case they show signs of hypothermia, such as shivering, pale skin or a weak pulse, seek medical help immediately.

An emergency blanket can only provide temporary relief.

Dispose responsibly

If the emergency blanket becomes soiled or damaged, dispose of it responsibly following local waste disposal guidelines.

It’s a good practice to carry spare emergency blankets in your emergency kits.

Note that emergency blankets are designed for short-term use and temporary relief, and are not a substitute for proper medical care or long-term protection.

Tips for Choosing and Storing Emergency Blankets in Your First Aid Kit

Choosing and storing emergency blankets requires careful consideration to ensure their longevity and effectiveness.

Let’s dive into tips that can help you make the right choice:

Quantity

Determine the number of emergency blankets you will need based on the size of your group, or the potential number of individuals who may require assistance.

It’s advisable to have multiple blankets in your first aid kit to cater to different situations or to provide blankets to those in need.

Reflectivity and Insulation

Check the relativity and insulation properties of the emergency blanket. Look for blankets that have a highly reflective surface to effectively retain and reflect body heat.

The emergency blanket has to be able to provide sufficient insulation during emergency situations.

Size and Portability

The size and portability of the emergency blankets need to be considered. The blankets have to be lightweight and compact so that they can easily fit in the first aid kit.

Opt for blankets that are folded or individually packaged to keep them neat and organized.

Quality and Durability

Select emergency blankets from reputable suppliers or brands known for producing high-quality products.

The blankets should be made from durable materials that can withstand rough handling and environmental conditions.

Storage conditions

Store the emergency blanket in a place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Excessive heat or humidity can degrade the materials and reduce effectiveness.

Keep them in a sealed, waterproof bag to protect them from damage or contamination.

Regular inspection

Periodically inspect the emergency blankets in your first aid kit so that they are in good condition.

Check for any signs of damage, which could be tears, discolouration or punctures. Replace any blankets that show signs of wear and tear or have been compromised.

Expiration dates

Check the expiration dates on the emergency blankets. Like other first aid supplies, emergency blankets have limited shelf life too.

By following these tips, you can choose reliable emergency blankets and store them appropriately, and they will be readily available when needed.

The SURVIVAL Emergency Blanket is highly recommended, it is made out of aluminium foil and is disposable, find out more here.

You can store the emergency blanket in our SURVIVAL Waterproof Dry Bag, you can read our article for more information here.

Related Questions

Are emergency blankets better than regular blankets?

Emergency blankets and regular blankets serve different purposes and have distinct advantages depending on the situation.

While emergency blankets are designed for specific purposes, regular blankets offer more comfort and durability for everyday use.

In emergency situations where space, weight and insulation are critical, emergency blankets are very effective and practical.

Both blankets can complement each other, so having a combination of both in your first aid kit is a well-rounded approach to meeting different needs.

Can you use an emergency blanket more than once?

Emergency blankets are generally designed for single-use. This is because once it has been used, it may lose some of its effectiveness or durability.

It’s recommended to have a fresh supply of emergency blankets on hand and replace them after they have been used, or if they show signs of wear and tear.

Conclusion

Emergency blankets keep you safe and warm during an emergency situation, so make sure to include them in your first aid kit.

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