Whether you’re a prepper or not, every home needs a first aid kit. I’m not talking about the stuff that you keep in your medicine cabinet. When there’s an accident or injury it is not a good time to be digging through cologne bottles, out of date prescriptions, vitamins, and make-up to try and locate bandages and anti-biotic ointment. And be honest; how many times have you ended up driving to the store because you were either out-of or couldn’t locate what you were looking for in the medicine cabinet.
If you are a prepper you probably have some medical supplies stored up. You don’t want to be breaking open a bottle of 1000 acetaminophen tablets because one of the kids came down with a cold and you hadn’t noticed that the 50 tablet bottle in the medicine cabinet was empty. Or maybe you’ve injured yourself when you’re working in the garden or out in the woods. You need sit and hold direct pressure on the wound while your spouse or one of the kids goes to the house to get some tweezers, a bottle of water, an irrigating syringe, a roll of gauze, some bandage tape and some anti-biotic ointment. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier, and save a lot of time if all you had to say was “Run to the house and get me the first-aid kit and a bottle of water.”
So, just like every home should have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers; every home should have a first-aid kit. The kit should be of a reasonable size so that it is portable. If you are going on a long drive or a vacation you should be able to grab it and throw it in the car or truck. It should stay in a readily accessible location, and everyone in the family should know where it is.
You can buy pre-packaged first-aid kits, but I have not been real impressed by the ones that I have seen. To get a well equipped one is a costly endeavor, and most kits seem to be long on cut and abrasion care and short on a lot of other things.
You can build your own first-kit, as I did, but I will say right up front that it was not cheap. I probably spent about $50 on our kit, but I feel comfortable with the contents, and I feel like it will handle most common home or travel emergencies. Of course first-aid is meant to be just that. If you have a serious injury that requires debriding and sutures, the first-aid kit is not going to handle it. The first-aid kit will allow you to control the bleeding and help avoid infection until you can get professional medical help.
I was very lucky in obtaining a case for my first-aid kit. My wife brought an old first-aid box that was being replaced home from her work. The box was in good shape, of course the few items left inside of it were either dried out, torn open, or out of date; so they went to the trash. I cleaned the box up, and my wife used her vinyl cutter to make a new label for the front of it.
Now came the stocking with first-aid supplies. Here is what I ended up filling the box with:
For Wound Care
2 pair non-latex exam gloves
large syringe for wound irrigation
tube of triple anti-biotic ointment
30 sterile adhesive bandages
10 butterfly bandages
10 2” x 3” non-stick gauze pads
1 roll 2” guaze
1 roll ½” adhesive tape
1 small tube surgical adhesive (Super Glue)
1 pair small scissors
1 2oz. bottle of jelled alcohol hand sanitizer
100 alcohol prep pads
For Removing Splinters
plastic tube containing 3 needles
disposable lighter to sterilize needle tips
For Removing Objects from Eye and Eye Irritation
For Pain Management
40 500 mg acetaminophen caplets
For Digestive Problems
3 rolls Tums anti-acid tablets
12 generic Imodium gels for diarrhea
For Colds and Allergies
6 eucalyptus lozenges
24 generic Benedryl capsules
For Burns, Stings, Poison Ivy, and Skin Irritations
1 tube 1% hydrocortisone cream
For Muscle and Joint Pain
1 tube menthol and methyl salicylate cream (Ben-Gay)
To Help Treat Shock
1 reflective mylar survival blanket
For Dental Emergencies
4 tongue depressors
1 oz. bottle of oil of clove (for toothaches)
dental repair kit to temporarily replace lost fillings and secure loose crows and caps
1 pack of electrolyte replacement (Gatorade) to be dissolved in one quart of water
For Snake Bite
snake bite kit (to be used only as a last resort when no professional medical care is possible)
So, here’s my finished kit.
Of course you may need to add other things to your kit. You may need to include an emergency asthma inhaler or some epi-pens if you are allergic to bee stings. If you have small children you may want to include some syrup of ipecac. I personally would like to include an Ace Bandage for wrapping sprains, but they are just too bulky to fit in my box.
When you get your kit put together, be sure and put it in an easily accessible place. I hung my kit on the inside of the coat closet door, right next to my front door. It’s easy to get to, and it’s easy to grab on the way out the door and throw in the car.
By the way, I never claim to be the end all and know all. If you can think of something that you think I need to add (keep in mind that this is a first-aid kit, not an EMT bag) then let me know in the comments.