Wednesday, July 31, 2019

20 Items to Carry With You for a Mass Shooting

Who shoots up a Garlic Festival?  I guess that question could be asked about elementary schools, country music concerts, and yoga studios as well and the answer would be the same...there are a lot of unstable people out there.  In light of yesterday's shooting in Gilroy (and the hundreds of mass shootings that have happened over the past couple decades), it just makes sense for everyone to be prepared for a mass shooting event.  Here are 20 items to consider carrying with you in your EDC pouch, specific to the needs of a mass shooting:

  1. Nitrile (non-latex) gloves.  If you are assisting shooting victims, best to try to avoid getting blood and other bodily fluids on you.
  2. A tourniquet.  From RATS to CATS, there are many types of tourniquets available for civilians to purchase online.  The objective here is to keep shooting victims from bleeding out prior to getting them to a hospital.
  3. Tampons.  The main purpose of this item is to contain blood, which means they can also be used to stop bleeding in gunshot victims.
  4. Condom.  Using a condom as a makeshift tourniquet (with or without a tampon over the wound) is another way to help prevent someone from bleeding out.
  5. QuikClot.  Again, using this item can help prevent someone from bleeding out after being shot (ditto Celox, WoundSeal, and similar products).
  6. A first aid kit.  Preferably with copious amounts of gauze, wraps, and pads to use to apply direct pressure to a wound.
  7. Specialized trauma medical gear.  If you are trained in trauma medicine, there are several items you may consider carrying as part of your kit including a chest seal kit, a decompression needle, airway kit, etc.
  8. Trauma shears.  These may be a luxury to carry but are great for removing clothing around wounds.
  9. Face mask.  After a blast-type of event, there will be a lot of crap flying in the air.  If you can't breathe well, you can't help others so having a mask on hand is a good idea.
  10. A compressed towel.  These come in tiny, coin-shaped, form and with the addition of a bit of a water spring into full towel form.  These are useful for any instance you would need a towel, from fashioning a sling to using as a compress to wiping up afterwards.
  11. A knife.  A good folding knife is useful for many, many things in a disaster situation.
  12. Flashlight.  Again, this is a useful item no matter the type of disaster you are facing.
  13. Waterless hand sanitizer/Wet Wipes.  Useful to keep everything as sanitary as possible.
  14. Sharpie.  A permanent marker is useful for several things during a terrorism event--from writing down notes and details to writing x-codes on damaged buildings to writing a patient's name and social on their arm if they are at risk of passing out and don't have ID with them.
  15. Shoes.  Specifically for women who may be dressed up in heels at an event.  The ability to run away from a shooter may be your first--and only--form of defense and to be able to run away you will need shoes which allow this (not spiky heels).
  16. Duct tape.  Duct tape has a hundred uses in a disaster situation.
  17. ID.  If you are a credentialed responder, carrying your professional ID with you and making it visible after a disaster event is a good idea.
  18. Knowledge.  Fortunately knowledge takes up no space but yields considerable results during a disaster.  Take a basic first aid course, take an advanced first aid course, take a Stop the Bleed course, get certified in CPR, etc.  The more useful knowledge you have in regards to a disaster situation, the better off you will be.
  19. A weapon.  Preferably a firearm, maybe MACE if that's all you can carry (although both of these options might be off the table depending on the venue in which case you will have to improvise some sort of weapon).  What usually stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
  20. A vehicle you can access.  One thing that saved many lives after the Las Vegas mass shooting was people with vehicles (their own or borrowed or hotwired, etc).  Many non-medically trained people threw victims into the closest vehicle and rushed them to the nearest hospital and this, getting victims to definitive care ASAP, faster than even ambulances could respond, saved many lives that night.


  1. Please stop recommending tampons for gunshots, they're worthless compared to compressed gauze. Here's a detailed explanation why:

    1. Thank you for your comment. I should have been more clear. Simply sticking a tampon into a gunshot would like you would stick a tampon into a vagina won't work. Since most people don't carry gauze, using what they have--a tampon placed sideways and wrapped tightly with a condom (for a small-caliber wound), a diaper pressed tightly against a wound secured by a belt, a t shirt held tightly against the wound, can all staunch bloodflow. And while direct pressure may or may not work, when someone is at risk of bleeding out, a tourniquet should be fashioned--above the wound--to stop bleeding. Some good info on the topic and Bottom line--everyone should take a first aid class, an AED class, a Stop the Bleed class, and any other advanced first aid class available.