Emergency Planning

Essential Emergency Medical Supplies: A Comprehensive List

Joel Lim

|

January 11, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

essential emergency medical supplies

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Having a prepared mindset in an emergency helps you evaluate dire situations and react accordingly. One of the easiest ways to develop that mindset is to invest in an essential emergency medical supply kit, which can immediately prepare you better.

This guide lists the essential items everyone should have in their emergency medical kit. It includes items for both home environments and travel. You’ll also learn some general tips on how to use your kit efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • Emergency medical kits provide tools and treatment options to help those suffering from injuries or illnesses to improve their health and help them recover.


  • Emergency medical kits should only have essential items, including basic supplies, medications and emergency items.


  • While having a medical emergency kit helps you be prepared for future disasters, knowing how to use them properly will help your odds of success further. 


Why Is an Emergency Medical Supply Kit Important?

emergency medical supply kit

People use emergency medical supply kits whenever a disaster strikes. A good medical kit is useful for a variety of purposes, such as treating injuries and illness, as well as offering tools and items to offer preventive healthcare to avoid future injuries.

Emergency kits aren’t as good a treatment option as seeing a professional. However, having one greatly helps one’s chance of survival after sustaining an injury or becoming sick. For example, if a cut goes untreated, it could get infected and cause more issues.

An emergency kit offers many tools at your disposal, and they’re compact and easy to take with you. A well-stocked kit can treat various injuries from cuts, sores and sicknesses.

Ultimately, a major reason for having an emergency kit is the peace of mind that comes with it. Knowing you’re well prepared for any kind of emergency helps you remain confident to handle challenges.


Emergency Medical Supplies List for Home & Travels

Planning for emergencies can be overwhelming, which could lead to you stocking it with the wrong things. Here’s a list of the most essential items to store in your emergency kit.

Basic Supplies 

Basic supplies are items commonly used for everyday needs and situations. These include:

  • Medical scissors

  • Adhesive tape

  • Antiseptic wipes

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Safety pins

  • Band-aids

  • Cotton balls

  • Tweezers

  • Thermometer

  • Instant cold packs

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Surgical mask

  • Medical-grade gloves


Narrowing down what is considered basic is tricky. Think in terms of the item’s practicality. What is necessary if you’re hurt in your home or while traveling? 

Medications

Having a variety of medications in your kit is a useful way to treat illness and symptoms immediately. It’s also helpful as a backup when access to those medications is limited or restricted.

The most common medications to include an emergency kit are over-the-counter products. 

These items include:

  • Aspirin

  • Aloe vera gel

  • Cough medications

  • Laxatives

  • Antihistamine (Zyrtec)

  • Painkillers (Tylenol)

If you’re on prescription medication, include that in your emergency kit. Also, consider loved ones and what they need when including medications.

Emergency Items

Emergency items range from medication consent forms to medical history information, or documents containing important contact information or instructions.

You can use Trustworthy to store all your important family medical documents online in an organized and secure place. That way, you’re more prepared when an emergency arises.

Environmental factors also come into play regarding what items to include in this category. If you live in an area prone to flooding, consider waterproof matches. 

Sunscreen is another important consideration if you’re exposed to the sun’s rays over a long period of time. Additionally, include insect repellents and flashlights.


Where Should You Have Emergency Medical Supplies?

where should you have emergency medical supplies

Typically, people store emergency medical supplies in an easily accessible location. You can store them at home or a place nearby, depending on your needs and preferences. You may need several emergency medical kits, depending on your specific needs.

Anytime you go on a camping trip or backpack, you should always take a first aid kit. Be sure to include one in your backpack containing essential items such as Band-aids, rubbing alcohol, and other necessities to treat wounds.

At home, people commonly store them in bedrooms or sleeping areas. If you’re asleep and wake up to a medical emergency, you can access the items you need without walking to another room.

Keeping a kit in your car is beneficial if you’re on the road a lot. In the event of an accident, you can treat your wounds, which could buy you some time until help arrives. In case you're stranded, pack emergency blankets, water and food in your kit.

Some people even have emergency medical kits at their workplace. For instance, individuals with chronic illnesses may need to have an emergency kit in close proximity at all times to access items like medications. 


Tips for Using Emergency Medical Supplies

tips for using emergency medical supplies

Here are some general tips and practices to consider if you want to get the most out of your emergency kit.

Consider Learning First Aid Basics

Having first aid items and equipment means nothing if you don't know how to use them properly. In the event of an injury, for example, you want to know when to apply pressure to a wound or avoid it entirely.

Fortunately, there are many ways to learn good first-aid practices. You can take first aid in the form of classes, which are found in communities or school settings in the form of in-person or online classes.

There are also plenty of clinics with blogs and reputable books to explore.

Look for ways to practice your skills hands-on. Classes offer that experience, but you can also try practicing on dolls or mannequins if accessible. You can also ask close friends or family members if they’ll let you practice on them. 

Check and Update Supplies

It's important to periodically update your emergency supply kit to ensure it’s well-stocked and updated with new items and equipment.

People store emergency kits for long-term purposes and don’t access them often. It can be easy to forget that items such as medications and foods can expire or go rancid over time.

Beverly Schaefer, a pharmacist and owner of Katterman's Sand Point Pharmacy, gives advice to stockpile medication:

“So the idea would be to get your prescription refilled at the earliest possible date for several months, and you can kind of scootch ahead just a little bit, getting a few more tablets each month.”

It’s also important to check your prescription plan. Some insurance companies will allow for a one-month vacation supply.” 

Tools can also go bad if not stored correctly or placed in an environment that could affect them negatively. Anything made of metal has the potential to rust in moist climates. If rusted, they’re considered unsafe to use, and you should replace them.

Check your emergency kit at least twice a year to ensure nothing has expired, and everything is still usable.

Ensure Supplies Are Well-Organized

Keeping your medical emergency kit organized is a bigger deal than you may think. Emergency situations are usually time-sensitive. Accessing exactly what you need without having to look through a lot of items saves precious seconds that could make a difference.

Try categorizing your items into different compartments when assembling your emergency kit. For example, separate medications and medical tools for physical injuries.

After using your emergency kit, set a reminder to go back and reorganize it whenever you have the time. In most cases, whenever you use the emergency kit, the items get moved or misplaced. You should reorganize it as soon as possible so you can reaccess it quickly at a later time.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What medical supplies should I stockpile?

The best medical supplies to stockpile are everyday items to address common injuries and symptoms. Some generally recommended items are adhesive bandages and tapes, cotton balls, swabs, and tools such as tweezers and scissors. 

You may also include over-the-counter medicines such as painkillers, cough medicines and allergy medication.

What items are taken in a 5-minute evacuation list?

During a 5-minute evacuation, take only essential items to sustain you and your family. Grab your ID, essential medications, cash, communication devices, and, if possible, some food, water and clothing.

Which items should not be in a first aid kit?

Non-essential items, such as items for entertainment purposes, should not be included in an emergency kit. Don’t take consumables with signs of expiration. Also, avoid taking bulky containers.

What does “DRAB” mean in first aid?

DRAB is an acronym short for “Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing.” It's essential to know in first aid training because it outlines the basic assessment and response process to help someone who is suffering. Start by ensuring the environment is safe first, then check the patient's response and their breathing.

Emergency Planning

Essential Emergency Medical Supplies: A Comprehensive List

Joel Lim

|

January 11, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Having a prepared mindset in an emergency helps you evaluate dire situations and react accordingly. One of the easiest ways to develop that mindset is to invest in an essential emergency medical supply kit, which can immediately prepare you better.

This guide lists the essential items everyone should have in their emergency medical kit. It includes items for both home environments and travel. You’ll also learn some general tips on how to use your kit efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • Emergency medical kits provide tools and treatment options to help those suffering from injuries or illnesses to improve their health and help them recover.


  • Emergency medical kits should only have essential items, including basic supplies, medications and emergency items.


  • While having a medical emergency kit helps you be prepared for future disasters, knowing how to use them properly will help your odds of success further. 


Why Is an Emergency Medical Supply Kit Important?

emergency medical supply kit

People use emergency medical supply kits whenever a disaster strikes. A good medical kit is useful for a variety of purposes, such as treating injuries and illness, as well as offering tools and items to offer preventive healthcare to avoid future injuries.

Emergency kits aren’t as good a treatment option as seeing a professional. However, having one greatly helps one’s chance of survival after sustaining an injury or becoming sick. For example, if a cut goes untreated, it could get infected and cause more issues.

An emergency kit offers many tools at your disposal, and they’re compact and easy to take with you. A well-stocked kit can treat various injuries from cuts, sores and sicknesses.

Ultimately, a major reason for having an emergency kit is the peace of mind that comes with it. Knowing you’re well prepared for any kind of emergency helps you remain confident to handle challenges.


Emergency Medical Supplies List for Home & Travels

Planning for emergencies can be overwhelming, which could lead to you stocking it with the wrong things. Here’s a list of the most essential items to store in your emergency kit.

Basic Supplies 

Basic supplies are items commonly used for everyday needs and situations. These include:

  • Medical scissors

  • Adhesive tape

  • Antiseptic wipes

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Safety pins

  • Band-aids

  • Cotton balls

  • Tweezers

  • Thermometer

  • Instant cold packs

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Surgical mask

  • Medical-grade gloves


Narrowing down what is considered basic is tricky. Think in terms of the item’s practicality. What is necessary if you’re hurt in your home or while traveling? 

Medications

Having a variety of medications in your kit is a useful way to treat illness and symptoms immediately. It’s also helpful as a backup when access to those medications is limited or restricted.

The most common medications to include an emergency kit are over-the-counter products. 

These items include:

  • Aspirin

  • Aloe vera gel

  • Cough medications

  • Laxatives

  • Antihistamine (Zyrtec)

  • Painkillers (Tylenol)

If you’re on prescription medication, include that in your emergency kit. Also, consider loved ones and what they need when including medications.

Emergency Items

Emergency items range from medication consent forms to medical history information, or documents containing important contact information or instructions.

You can use Trustworthy to store all your important family medical documents online in an organized and secure place. That way, you’re more prepared when an emergency arises.

Environmental factors also come into play regarding what items to include in this category. If you live in an area prone to flooding, consider waterproof matches. 

Sunscreen is another important consideration if you’re exposed to the sun’s rays over a long period of time. Additionally, include insect repellents and flashlights.


Where Should You Have Emergency Medical Supplies?

where should you have emergency medical supplies

Typically, people store emergency medical supplies in an easily accessible location. You can store them at home or a place nearby, depending on your needs and preferences. You may need several emergency medical kits, depending on your specific needs.

Anytime you go on a camping trip or backpack, you should always take a first aid kit. Be sure to include one in your backpack containing essential items such as Band-aids, rubbing alcohol, and other necessities to treat wounds.

At home, people commonly store them in bedrooms or sleeping areas. If you’re asleep and wake up to a medical emergency, you can access the items you need without walking to another room.

Keeping a kit in your car is beneficial if you’re on the road a lot. In the event of an accident, you can treat your wounds, which could buy you some time until help arrives. In case you're stranded, pack emergency blankets, water and food in your kit.

Some people even have emergency medical kits at their workplace. For instance, individuals with chronic illnesses may need to have an emergency kit in close proximity at all times to access items like medications. 


Tips for Using Emergency Medical Supplies

tips for using emergency medical supplies

Here are some general tips and practices to consider if you want to get the most out of your emergency kit.

Consider Learning First Aid Basics

Having first aid items and equipment means nothing if you don't know how to use them properly. In the event of an injury, for example, you want to know when to apply pressure to a wound or avoid it entirely.

Fortunately, there are many ways to learn good first-aid practices. You can take first aid in the form of classes, which are found in communities or school settings in the form of in-person or online classes.

There are also plenty of clinics with blogs and reputable books to explore.

Look for ways to practice your skills hands-on. Classes offer that experience, but you can also try practicing on dolls or mannequins if accessible. You can also ask close friends or family members if they’ll let you practice on them. 

Check and Update Supplies

It's important to periodically update your emergency supply kit to ensure it’s well-stocked and updated with new items and equipment.

People store emergency kits for long-term purposes and don’t access them often. It can be easy to forget that items such as medications and foods can expire or go rancid over time.

Beverly Schaefer, a pharmacist and owner of Katterman's Sand Point Pharmacy, gives advice to stockpile medication:

“So the idea would be to get your prescription refilled at the earliest possible date for several months, and you can kind of scootch ahead just a little bit, getting a few more tablets each month.”

It’s also important to check your prescription plan. Some insurance companies will allow for a one-month vacation supply.” 

Tools can also go bad if not stored correctly or placed in an environment that could affect them negatively. Anything made of metal has the potential to rust in moist climates. If rusted, they’re considered unsafe to use, and you should replace them.

Check your emergency kit at least twice a year to ensure nothing has expired, and everything is still usable.

Ensure Supplies Are Well-Organized

Keeping your medical emergency kit organized is a bigger deal than you may think. Emergency situations are usually time-sensitive. Accessing exactly what you need without having to look through a lot of items saves precious seconds that could make a difference.

Try categorizing your items into different compartments when assembling your emergency kit. For example, separate medications and medical tools for physical injuries.

After using your emergency kit, set a reminder to go back and reorganize it whenever you have the time. In most cases, whenever you use the emergency kit, the items get moved or misplaced. You should reorganize it as soon as possible so you can reaccess it quickly at a later time.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What medical supplies should I stockpile?

The best medical supplies to stockpile are everyday items to address common injuries and symptoms. Some generally recommended items are adhesive bandages and tapes, cotton balls, swabs, and tools such as tweezers and scissors. 

You may also include over-the-counter medicines such as painkillers, cough medicines and allergy medication.

What items are taken in a 5-minute evacuation list?

During a 5-minute evacuation, take only essential items to sustain you and your family. Grab your ID, essential medications, cash, communication devices, and, if possible, some food, water and clothing.

Which items should not be in a first aid kit?

Non-essential items, such as items for entertainment purposes, should not be included in an emergency kit. Don’t take consumables with signs of expiration. Also, avoid taking bulky containers.

What does “DRAB” mean in first aid?

DRAB is an acronym short for “Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing.” It's essential to know in first aid training because it outlines the basic assessment and response process to help someone who is suffering. Start by ensuring the environment is safe first, then check the patient's response and their breathing.

Emergency Planning

Essential Emergency Medical Supplies: A Comprehensive List

Joel Lim

|

January 11, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

essential emergency medical supplies

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Having a prepared mindset in an emergency helps you evaluate dire situations and react accordingly. One of the easiest ways to develop that mindset is to invest in an essential emergency medical supply kit, which can immediately prepare you better.

This guide lists the essential items everyone should have in their emergency medical kit. It includes items for both home environments and travel. You’ll also learn some general tips on how to use your kit efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • Emergency medical kits provide tools and treatment options to help those suffering from injuries or illnesses to improve their health and help them recover.


  • Emergency medical kits should only have essential items, including basic supplies, medications and emergency items.


  • While having a medical emergency kit helps you be prepared for future disasters, knowing how to use them properly will help your odds of success further. 


Why Is an Emergency Medical Supply Kit Important?

emergency medical supply kit

People use emergency medical supply kits whenever a disaster strikes. A good medical kit is useful for a variety of purposes, such as treating injuries and illness, as well as offering tools and items to offer preventive healthcare to avoid future injuries.

Emergency kits aren’t as good a treatment option as seeing a professional. However, having one greatly helps one’s chance of survival after sustaining an injury or becoming sick. For example, if a cut goes untreated, it could get infected and cause more issues.

An emergency kit offers many tools at your disposal, and they’re compact and easy to take with you. A well-stocked kit can treat various injuries from cuts, sores and sicknesses.

Ultimately, a major reason for having an emergency kit is the peace of mind that comes with it. Knowing you’re well prepared for any kind of emergency helps you remain confident to handle challenges.


Emergency Medical Supplies List for Home & Travels

Planning for emergencies can be overwhelming, which could lead to you stocking it with the wrong things. Here’s a list of the most essential items to store in your emergency kit.

Basic Supplies 

Basic supplies are items commonly used for everyday needs and situations. These include:

  • Medical scissors

  • Adhesive tape

  • Antiseptic wipes

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Safety pins

  • Band-aids

  • Cotton balls

  • Tweezers

  • Thermometer

  • Instant cold packs

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Surgical mask

  • Medical-grade gloves


Narrowing down what is considered basic is tricky. Think in terms of the item’s practicality. What is necessary if you’re hurt in your home or while traveling? 

Medications

Having a variety of medications in your kit is a useful way to treat illness and symptoms immediately. It’s also helpful as a backup when access to those medications is limited or restricted.

The most common medications to include an emergency kit are over-the-counter products. 

These items include:

  • Aspirin

  • Aloe vera gel

  • Cough medications

  • Laxatives

  • Antihistamine (Zyrtec)

  • Painkillers (Tylenol)

If you’re on prescription medication, include that in your emergency kit. Also, consider loved ones and what they need when including medications.

Emergency Items

Emergency items range from medication consent forms to medical history information, or documents containing important contact information or instructions.

You can use Trustworthy to store all your important family medical documents online in an organized and secure place. That way, you’re more prepared when an emergency arises.

Environmental factors also come into play regarding what items to include in this category. If you live in an area prone to flooding, consider waterproof matches. 

Sunscreen is another important consideration if you’re exposed to the sun’s rays over a long period of time. Additionally, include insect repellents and flashlights.


Where Should You Have Emergency Medical Supplies?

where should you have emergency medical supplies

Typically, people store emergency medical supplies in an easily accessible location. You can store them at home or a place nearby, depending on your needs and preferences. You may need several emergency medical kits, depending on your specific needs.

Anytime you go on a camping trip or backpack, you should always take a first aid kit. Be sure to include one in your backpack containing essential items such as Band-aids, rubbing alcohol, and other necessities to treat wounds.

At home, people commonly store them in bedrooms or sleeping areas. If you’re asleep and wake up to a medical emergency, you can access the items you need without walking to another room.

Keeping a kit in your car is beneficial if you’re on the road a lot. In the event of an accident, you can treat your wounds, which could buy you some time until help arrives. In case you're stranded, pack emergency blankets, water and food in your kit.

Some people even have emergency medical kits at their workplace. For instance, individuals with chronic illnesses may need to have an emergency kit in close proximity at all times to access items like medications. 


Tips for Using Emergency Medical Supplies

tips for using emergency medical supplies

Here are some general tips and practices to consider if you want to get the most out of your emergency kit.

Consider Learning First Aid Basics

Having first aid items and equipment means nothing if you don't know how to use them properly. In the event of an injury, for example, you want to know when to apply pressure to a wound or avoid it entirely.

Fortunately, there are many ways to learn good first-aid practices. You can take first aid in the form of classes, which are found in communities or school settings in the form of in-person or online classes.

There are also plenty of clinics with blogs and reputable books to explore.

Look for ways to practice your skills hands-on. Classes offer that experience, but you can also try practicing on dolls or mannequins if accessible. You can also ask close friends or family members if they’ll let you practice on them. 

Check and Update Supplies

It's important to periodically update your emergency supply kit to ensure it’s well-stocked and updated with new items and equipment.

People store emergency kits for long-term purposes and don’t access them often. It can be easy to forget that items such as medications and foods can expire or go rancid over time.

Beverly Schaefer, a pharmacist and owner of Katterman's Sand Point Pharmacy, gives advice to stockpile medication:

“So the idea would be to get your prescription refilled at the earliest possible date for several months, and you can kind of scootch ahead just a little bit, getting a few more tablets each month.”

It’s also important to check your prescription plan. Some insurance companies will allow for a one-month vacation supply.” 

Tools can also go bad if not stored correctly or placed in an environment that could affect them negatively. Anything made of metal has the potential to rust in moist climates. If rusted, they’re considered unsafe to use, and you should replace them.

Check your emergency kit at least twice a year to ensure nothing has expired, and everything is still usable.

Ensure Supplies Are Well-Organized

Keeping your medical emergency kit organized is a bigger deal than you may think. Emergency situations are usually time-sensitive. Accessing exactly what you need without having to look through a lot of items saves precious seconds that could make a difference.

Try categorizing your items into different compartments when assembling your emergency kit. For example, separate medications and medical tools for physical injuries.

After using your emergency kit, set a reminder to go back and reorganize it whenever you have the time. In most cases, whenever you use the emergency kit, the items get moved or misplaced. You should reorganize it as soon as possible so you can reaccess it quickly at a later time.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What medical supplies should I stockpile?

The best medical supplies to stockpile are everyday items to address common injuries and symptoms. Some generally recommended items are adhesive bandages and tapes, cotton balls, swabs, and tools such as tweezers and scissors. 

You may also include over-the-counter medicines such as painkillers, cough medicines and allergy medication.

What items are taken in a 5-minute evacuation list?

During a 5-minute evacuation, take only essential items to sustain you and your family. Grab your ID, essential medications, cash, communication devices, and, if possible, some food, water and clothing.

Which items should not be in a first aid kit?

Non-essential items, such as items for entertainment purposes, should not be included in an emergency kit. Don’t take consumables with signs of expiration. Also, avoid taking bulky containers.

What does “DRAB” mean in first aid?

DRAB is an acronym short for “Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing.” It's essential to know in first aid training because it outlines the basic assessment and response process to help someone who is suffering. Start by ensuring the environment is safe first, then check the patient's response and their breathing.

Emergency Planning

Essential Emergency Medical Supplies: A Comprehensive List

Joel Lim

|

January 11, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

essential emergency medical supplies

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Having a prepared mindset in an emergency helps you evaluate dire situations and react accordingly. One of the easiest ways to develop that mindset is to invest in an essential emergency medical supply kit, which can immediately prepare you better.

This guide lists the essential items everyone should have in their emergency medical kit. It includes items for both home environments and travel. You’ll also learn some general tips on how to use your kit efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • Emergency medical kits provide tools and treatment options to help those suffering from injuries or illnesses to improve their health and help them recover.


  • Emergency medical kits should only have essential items, including basic supplies, medications and emergency items.


  • While having a medical emergency kit helps you be prepared for future disasters, knowing how to use them properly will help your odds of success further. 


Why Is an Emergency Medical Supply Kit Important?

emergency medical supply kit

People use emergency medical supply kits whenever a disaster strikes. A good medical kit is useful for a variety of purposes, such as treating injuries and illness, as well as offering tools and items to offer preventive healthcare to avoid future injuries.

Emergency kits aren’t as good a treatment option as seeing a professional. However, having one greatly helps one’s chance of survival after sustaining an injury or becoming sick. For example, if a cut goes untreated, it could get infected and cause more issues.

An emergency kit offers many tools at your disposal, and they’re compact and easy to take with you. A well-stocked kit can treat various injuries from cuts, sores and sicknesses.

Ultimately, a major reason for having an emergency kit is the peace of mind that comes with it. Knowing you’re well prepared for any kind of emergency helps you remain confident to handle challenges.


Emergency Medical Supplies List for Home & Travels

Planning for emergencies can be overwhelming, which could lead to you stocking it with the wrong things. Here’s a list of the most essential items to store in your emergency kit.

Basic Supplies 

Basic supplies are items commonly used for everyday needs and situations. These include:

  • Medical scissors

  • Adhesive tape

  • Antiseptic wipes

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Safety pins

  • Band-aids

  • Cotton balls

  • Tweezers

  • Thermometer

  • Instant cold packs

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Surgical mask

  • Medical-grade gloves


Narrowing down what is considered basic is tricky. Think in terms of the item’s practicality. What is necessary if you’re hurt in your home or while traveling? 

Medications

Having a variety of medications in your kit is a useful way to treat illness and symptoms immediately. It’s also helpful as a backup when access to those medications is limited or restricted.

The most common medications to include an emergency kit are over-the-counter products. 

These items include:

  • Aspirin

  • Aloe vera gel

  • Cough medications

  • Laxatives

  • Antihistamine (Zyrtec)

  • Painkillers (Tylenol)

If you’re on prescription medication, include that in your emergency kit. Also, consider loved ones and what they need when including medications.

Emergency Items

Emergency items range from medication consent forms to medical history information, or documents containing important contact information or instructions.

You can use Trustworthy to store all your important family medical documents online in an organized and secure place. That way, you’re more prepared when an emergency arises.

Environmental factors also come into play regarding what items to include in this category. If you live in an area prone to flooding, consider waterproof matches. 

Sunscreen is another important consideration if you’re exposed to the sun’s rays over a long period of time. Additionally, include insect repellents and flashlights.


Where Should You Have Emergency Medical Supplies?

where should you have emergency medical supplies

Typically, people store emergency medical supplies in an easily accessible location. You can store them at home or a place nearby, depending on your needs and preferences. You may need several emergency medical kits, depending on your specific needs.

Anytime you go on a camping trip or backpack, you should always take a first aid kit. Be sure to include one in your backpack containing essential items such as Band-aids, rubbing alcohol, and other necessities to treat wounds.

At home, people commonly store them in bedrooms or sleeping areas. If you’re asleep and wake up to a medical emergency, you can access the items you need without walking to another room.

Keeping a kit in your car is beneficial if you’re on the road a lot. In the event of an accident, you can treat your wounds, which could buy you some time until help arrives. In case you're stranded, pack emergency blankets, water and food in your kit.

Some people even have emergency medical kits at their workplace. For instance, individuals with chronic illnesses may need to have an emergency kit in close proximity at all times to access items like medications. 


Tips for Using Emergency Medical Supplies

tips for using emergency medical supplies

Here are some general tips and practices to consider if you want to get the most out of your emergency kit.

Consider Learning First Aid Basics

Having first aid items and equipment means nothing if you don't know how to use them properly. In the event of an injury, for example, you want to know when to apply pressure to a wound or avoid it entirely.

Fortunately, there are many ways to learn good first-aid practices. You can take first aid in the form of classes, which are found in communities or school settings in the form of in-person or online classes.

There are also plenty of clinics with blogs and reputable books to explore.

Look for ways to practice your skills hands-on. Classes offer that experience, but you can also try practicing on dolls or mannequins if accessible. You can also ask close friends or family members if they’ll let you practice on them. 

Check and Update Supplies

It's important to periodically update your emergency supply kit to ensure it’s well-stocked and updated with new items and equipment.

People store emergency kits for long-term purposes and don’t access them often. It can be easy to forget that items such as medications and foods can expire or go rancid over time.

Beverly Schaefer, a pharmacist and owner of Katterman's Sand Point Pharmacy, gives advice to stockpile medication:

“So the idea would be to get your prescription refilled at the earliest possible date for several months, and you can kind of scootch ahead just a little bit, getting a few more tablets each month.”

It’s also important to check your prescription plan. Some insurance companies will allow for a one-month vacation supply.” 

Tools can also go bad if not stored correctly or placed in an environment that could affect them negatively. Anything made of metal has the potential to rust in moist climates. If rusted, they’re considered unsafe to use, and you should replace them.

Check your emergency kit at least twice a year to ensure nothing has expired, and everything is still usable.

Ensure Supplies Are Well-Organized

Keeping your medical emergency kit organized is a bigger deal than you may think. Emergency situations are usually time-sensitive. Accessing exactly what you need without having to look through a lot of items saves precious seconds that could make a difference.

Try categorizing your items into different compartments when assembling your emergency kit. For example, separate medications and medical tools for physical injuries.

After using your emergency kit, set a reminder to go back and reorganize it whenever you have the time. In most cases, whenever you use the emergency kit, the items get moved or misplaced. You should reorganize it as soon as possible so you can reaccess it quickly at a later time.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What medical supplies should I stockpile?

The best medical supplies to stockpile are everyday items to address common injuries and symptoms. Some generally recommended items are adhesive bandages and tapes, cotton balls, swabs, and tools such as tweezers and scissors. 

You may also include over-the-counter medicines such as painkillers, cough medicines and allergy medication.

What items are taken in a 5-minute evacuation list?

During a 5-minute evacuation, take only essential items to sustain you and your family. Grab your ID, essential medications, cash, communication devices, and, if possible, some food, water and clothing.

Which items should not be in a first aid kit?

Non-essential items, such as items for entertainment purposes, should not be included in an emergency kit. Don’t take consumables with signs of expiration. Also, avoid taking bulky containers.

What does “DRAB” mean in first aid?

DRAB is an acronym short for “Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing.” It's essential to know in first aid training because it outlines the basic assessment and response process to help someone who is suffering. Start by ensuring the environment is safe first, then check the patient's response and their breathing.

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