How to treat burn victims during a SHTF emergency
By Ellaine Castillo // Nov 14, 2018

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. However, in SHTF situations, being strong won't help you survive if you sustain injuries like burns along the way. Therefore, it's also important to be smart so that you can properly utilize the limited resources you have. In the absence of conventional treatments, there are many natural remedies for burns that can be easily used by anyone. (h/t to


Assessing burn injuries

Before treating burns, they should first be classified based on two things: the nature of the burn and the degree of the injury. Some of the most common causes of burn include fire, electricity, and chemicals. Burns that are caused by different factors are handled in different ways.

For fire-induced burns, the person should first be taken away from the source. If their clothes, hair, or any part of their body caught fire, this should be immediately extinguished to prevent burns from worsening. The best way to put out the flames is to douse them in cold water. Cold water will help remove the burnt clothing, and will cool the burned areas and relieve pain.

Unlike fire that affects the skin, electrical current can damage a person's internal organs, most especially the heart. Before doing anything to treat the injury, check the vital signs first in case the patient needs CPR. If this isn't done immediately then there's no use in treating the burn since the victim might not even survive. Once the vital signs are stable, you can then proceed to do the appropriate treatments.

Chemicals also cause burns, which is why it's important to know how to handle them properly. For this type of injury, the affected area should be washed for approximately 30 minutes to make sure that there are no traces of the chemical left. Any chemical residue will continue to destroy the skin and prevent the burn from healing. It's also important to make sure that the treatment you will be using won't react with possible chemical residues to prevent further injury.

Burns, no matter the cause, can be further classified into one of the following categories based on severity:

  • First-degree burn -- This type of burn is not life-threatening and requires less attention since it's only a mild case where the skin is not completely affected. Sunburn is one of the most common instances of first-degree burns.
  • Second-degree burn -- This injury is more painful since it reaches the deeper layers of the skin. It also has the potential to become threatening to a person's overall health if left untreated.
  • Third-degree burn -- This injury is the the worst among the three categories. Victims of third-degree burns no longer feel any pain since the injury has damaged the deepest layers of the skin where the pain receptors are located.

Remedies for burn injuries

Once the burn has been properly assessed, you can then give the treatment it needs. The following everyday items can be used as alternative treatments for burns in the absence of conventional medications:

  • Honey -- For years, honey has been used to promote healing of skin injuries. It's known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that are great for burns. This substance is very easy to use; just coat the affected area in honey and if possible, cover it with a plastic wrap for better results. Make sure to check the wound daily so that you can check the healing progress and replace the honey if needed.
  • Vinegar -- Putting vinegar on the injured area effectively kills bacteria that can cause infections. Note that it can be a bit painful upon application because of the vinegar's acidity. You can dilute vinegar to reduce the pain and to make your stock last longer.
  • Baking soda -- This is great for burns caused by electricity or fire but not for those caused by chemicals, as it could react with residues. Use baking soda by mixing it with water and applying the resulting paste onto the burn to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Ginger -- Studies have shown that ginger is more effective at treating burns than the famous aloe vera. It's also very easy to use since you just have to press the unpeeled part of the ginger on the affected area.

Treating burns in the middle of a SHTF emergency doesn't have to be daunting. Follow for more articles about surviving other emergency situations.

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