Auntie Sandy's essential care kit for FIFO workers

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Hi! I'm Sandy (although lots of people call me 'Auntie') and my husband works offshore in oil/gas on a 4 in 2 roster. We've been together for 27 years and are the proud parents of two daughters, aged 19 and 21. I wanted to write for Mining Family Matters to show you can survive FIFO (fly-in, fly-out).

When people come and go in the household, I always make a care survival kit. This has been given out to university students, FIFO workers and boarding school students. Naturally it changes a little depending on age and gender, but the basics are always the same:

  • paracetamol
  • throat lozenges
  • ibuprofen
  • nurse's scissors (these have a nice sharp point and can be used for many things)
  • small sewing kit available in craft shops: contains thread, buttons, safety pins
  • anti-diarrheal such as Imodium
  • vials of sterile water, can be used to wash dirt out of eyes or flush a wound
  • condoms
  • tampons
  • personal medication (always keep the boxes, and sometimes I even highlight the instructions - often when you're sick, you can't see them for looking)
  • plasters
  • antiseptic cream
  • electrolyte used for diarrhoea or rehydration when working in a hot climate
  • 3B cream for sweat rashes if in hot climate
  • pen
  • small torch with new batteries
  • sunblock and chap stick

The whole kit is packed into a mid-size red plastic container. Red seems to stand out among other items and we generally associate it with first aid.

These care kits generally come home again when the contents need replacing. A lot of the time they are not used by the person they were given to, but their friends. I think it's a case of "if you have it, then you won't need it". (Just like having an umbrella, you can guarantee it won't rain!)

More from Auntie Sandy:

If you've got a question for 'Auntie' Sandy or would like to make a comment about FIFO living, we'd love to hear from you. Click here!