Whether you are preparing for an emergency or just want to have some emergency supplies on hand, an Individual First Aid Kit IFAK is essential. Keeping one at home and in your car will ensure you are prepared for any situation.

It can be tempting to buy an IFAK premade. But before you do, make sure you consider your needs and pick the right contents.

1. Choose a good quality

Buying an individual first aid kit (IFAK) is a good idea for anyone who wants to prepare for emergency situations. It's important to choose a high-quality kit.

An IFAK should include essential supplies for trauma, bleeding control and major wound treatment. It should contain a tourniquet, a blood-clot pack and at least two pressure dressings.

These supplies can save your life, but you must have proper training to use them correctly. There are no substitutes for real in-person trauma care training from a qualified medical professional.

IFAKs are usually made to meet specific standards, notably those put out by the US Department of Defense Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care. They're also often customized to your needs, so look for one that meets your particular requirements and budget.

2. Look for a durable bag

Whether you’re buying an individual first aid kit IFAK for yourself or your family, it’s important to look for a durable bag. A good outer case is vital, and some of the best kits on this list like the VSSL First Aid Mini and Surviveware Small Kit have durable cases that hold up well over time.

In addition to an outer case, you’ll also want your IFAK kit to be organized and easy to use. Make sure that the contents of your first aid kit are arranged in the order they should be used, and you should also carry a reference book for instructions.

In addition to the IFAK, you should also consider getting a survival blanket and a pair of medical gloves. This will give you everything you need to keep yourself and your family safe if you’re ever in an emergency situation. You can find a few different options for survival blankets online, so be sure to choose one that is comfortable and fits your needs.

3. Keep it organized

First aid kits come in all shapes and sizes, so you need to choose one that fits your needs. A quality individual first aid kit IFAK should be easy to access, contain some of the best first aid products available and be lightweight.

Keeping it organized is another important consideration. A simple way to do this is to use a clear vinyl pouch that will display items easily.

The ring-binder style of this design allows you to open it, flip through the pockets and see what you need.

A simple addition to any IFAK is a pair of good quality nitrile medical gloves. These will go a long way in protecting you from germs and infection in an emergency situation.

4. Think about your needs

When you’re shopping for an individual first aid kit IFAK, it’s important to think about your needs. You need to choose a kit that can handle the type of wounds you’re likely to get in the wild.

For instance, you may need a kit that can help manage blisters from hiking or walking. You’ll also want a kit that can help you treat bleeding from a fall or accidental gunshot wound.

IFAKs are designed to address traumatic injuries and preserve life until you or someone else can reach higher levels of care. This means they’re not usually loaded with band-aids and other common first aid treatments, but instead are full of life-saving medical tools.