Depending upon the nature and extent of the disaster, immediate medical care may be nothing more than a fond memory. Most homes probably have a half-empty box of adhesive bandages (at best) as well as maybe a mostly empty tube of antibiotic ointment that expired around the time Clinton was fretting about blue dresses. Home with young children may have a bit more on hand but likely nowhere near what is truly prudent.
Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel is a regular contributor to SurvivalWeekly.com. She is a registered nurse and has a ton of experience in the field. Here is her recommended supply list for a well-stocked first aid kit for preppers. The following list is copied from her article, Basic Survival First Aid Kit.
Basic Supplies: Wound
Sterile 4×4 gauze, one large package for each family member
Sterile 2×2 gauze, one package for each family member (Can be used as eye pads too)
Clean 4×4 gauze, one package for each family member
Clean 2×2 gauze, one package for each family member.
A triangular bandage for each family member. (or make this yourself by ironing and cutting muslin and packaging in small freezer bags. These are not generally sterile)
Large safety pins also
Roller gauze. (6-8 in a variety of sizes to secure dressings)
Some chemical ice packs
A variety of band-aid styled dressings, I prefer the cloth variety
Elastic bandages (both small and large)
Spray bottle of normal saline (marketed as nasal saline) as gentle eye rinse.
Three types of wound tape, paper, micropore, plaster (for multiple uses)
Sterile cotton swabs (about 200)
Several packages of a variety of protective medical masks.
(Sterile gauze should be placed in contact with a wound whereas the clean can be used as padding over it. Remember that although this may sound like a lot of gauze, that one serious wound will consume your supplies within just a few days.)
Neosporin cream, several tubes
Hydrogen peroxide 2 bottles
Isopropyl alcohol 2 bottles
Povidone iodine in bottles, 2 bottles
Diphendydramine (Benadryl or generic) topical liquid for insect bites etc.
needle nosed or fine splinter forceps (tweezers)
Dollar store reading glasses as magnifiers if you’re over 40, to remove splinters
Glass thermometer in protective casing, both rectal and oral varieties
Paramedic shears or blunt scissors.
Vinyl medical gloves (1-2 boxes) I skip Latex entirely due to allergies to latex in so many patients.
Plain, inexpensive and deodorant free sanitary napkins. (Multiple uses, padding in splints etc.)
Rubber tourniquet (last two items available from www.first-aid-product.com)
For each item I mention here, you should have a source of this med for each family member. What I mean by this is that if you have infants and children, then you must stock Tylenol (acetaminophen) for EACH AGE GROUP. Drops for infants, chewables for children, and tablets for adults. The one exception is aspirin, which should not be given to children below 18 without a physician’s order, because in the presence of a viral syndrome, it is implicated in causing Reye’s Syndrome.
Iosat for all family members (www.nukepills.com ) Complete info on site
Omeprazole (decreases stomach acid in periods of stress. Mostly for adults)
Claritin dissolving tabs (Loratadine) allergies
Ibuprofen (Advil etc.) Not for those with bleeding disorders, use
liquid in children in accordance with pediatrician’s directions.
10 Ipecac bottle (to induce vomiting following certain poisonings)
Always keep 30 days worth of prescription meds you use on an ongoing basis, in your home.
I have mentioned stocking gatorade for adults and pedialyte for children. Assembling your own rehydration supplies, and gatorade kit will be covered in future.
Items you should add if you have those with these particular special needs:
Prescription glucagon injection
Insulin syringes and your injectable insulin(s)
Source of sugar or juice to treat hypoglycemia
A spare glucometer with extra battery, strips, lancets and supplies.
Insulin pump supplies, and pump batteries and peripherals (if you use a pump)
Allergic Emergencies (anaphylaxis):
Speak with your physician about the possibility that you or a family member should should carry an epipen.
Nebulizer (Get an inverter to operate or buy a battery operated model)
Meds (Rx) and normal saline for nebulizer treatments
Spare supplies of everything you use including hand wipes
and small plastic bags for trash. Pack these as small as you can in advance.
A well stocked first aid kit will allow your family to treat many common injuries and illnesses. While there is no substitute for proper medical care administered by an experienced professional, there are certainly times when that just isn’t feasible. When that happens, you’ll have to make do with what you have.
1) Beginning this week, start assembling your first aid supplies. Use the list you made back in Week 1 to guide you as to what you have and what you need. For the vast majority of us, we don’t have the money to go out and purchase everything we need in one lump transaction. Buy what you need as you can and watch the sale fliers from your local stores. Often, stores like Walgreens will offer up a few different things each week as loss leaders to get you in the store. Stock up when the price is low.
2) All the supplies in the world won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to properly use them. This week, I want you to look into first aid classes in your area. You can usually find such classes being taught by the Red Cross or at your local technical schools or community colleges. If a college or tech school seems cost prohibitive, ask about “auditing” the class. Many schools allow this, especially for those not seeking a degree or licensure. Basically, for a reduced fee, you can attend the class and obtain all the education but you don’t receive any sort of letter grade for doing so. Unless you have a compelling reason to get that grade, this is a great, low-cost option.
3) Continue to add to your food storage, per the plan you have devised. This is an ongoing assignment throughout the course.