What’s in your first aid kit? Here’s the deal, most of us have bandaids and some Neosporin, maybe some rubbing alcohol or Hydrogen Peroxide. That’s a great start, keyword “start”.
Today, I want you to think about what you have in your hall closet or first aid kit, whether large or small. The power is out in your neighborhood and your entire city, or at least as far as you can see there are no lights except the stars and it’s 10:00 P.M. Yep, it’s called a blackout, no power or electricity anywhere.
You have walked across the street to see if the neighbors know what’s going on. No, their lights flickered off as well. Your home phone and cell phone don’t work. No internet, no way to hear what has happened. Yes, the radio works, but it’s not telling us what happened in our little community, at least not yet.
Let’s just say the power went out on Monday. It’s now Friday of the same week. No power. The gas pumps don’t work, sure glad I filled the car with gas on Saturday, I think to myself. I don’t need anything from the store, but my neighbors do.
They have driven into town and the stores are all closed. It’s called a real power outage. No one knows when the power will come back on. Some neighbors become sick and they have very little food or water stored, let alone simple first aid kit supplies.
I love this First Aid Kit, it will only hold smaller type containers, but that’s okay. I have to rotate them often. It’s perfect for my car or on a pantry shelf. It would be great in my car as well. I had someone make me some new Printables for you to print out. I forgot to have her remove the Zantac, but life happens.
I bought this one: FIRST AID KIT
What’s In Your First Aid Kit?
90 Days Worth Of Prescription Medications
My experience, as illustrated with my neighbors and their need for food and possibly prescriptions needed, helped prompt me to update a post I did almost three years ago dealing with first aid kits.
I’m so glad I have 75 days of my 90-day prescriptions filled. Whew, that’s a relief. Some may not be so lucky. What, the pharmacies are closed? Of course, they are, they have no power and no internet. Plus, they don’t have any insurance information about us because the internet doesn’t work without power.
Oh, and the pharmacies are closed because they are totally out of the basic items that people could pay cash for. Besides, debit cards, credit cards, and EBT cards don’t work. Just giving you the heads-up here. Another reason we all need to store some small bills in a safe place.
Please check your first aid kit supply today rather than tomorrow. What you have in your house today may be all you have for a week, two weeks, or a month. We all assume the power will come back on, but you get it, right? We need to be prepared for the unexpected.
The list below is probably much more extensive than most of us consider for a “First Aid Kit.” That could be true, but each of us has different priorities and needs. The list should be used as a guide, but also as a means to get us brainstorming.
I’m probably over the top with first aid supplies, but that’s how I roll. Let me share the items I like to store, and please add yours to the list. We all use different things, but this will maybe help us think about what we may need to rotate or pick up before an unforeseen emergency happens. I think it will. May God bless our country and families as we deal with lots of issues right now.
What’s In Your First Aid Kit?
Please look over this list, and add the items you and your family use. This is just a start for things that I feel are important. It is fairly extensive, and may actually be considered a full-fledged Emergency Kit that goes beyond just first aid considerations. But better to be overly cautious and best prepared. I will add other items when you let me know your suggestions. I’ve made some short comments in hopes it will prompt thoughts on your part regarding why YOU AND YOUR FAMILY might need the item for your health and safety:
- Ace Wraps / 3-inch & 4-inch: you never know when you might fall on the ice or pull a muscle in sports or working out.
- Allergy Medicine: with spring just around the corner, all kinds of allergies could be part of the season change.
- Anti-Bacterial Wipes: flu and cold season should prompt more caution and action to keep germs and virus at a minimum.
- Antifungal Ointment: our feet seem to be more prone to fungus issues. Have some just in case.
- Anti-Diarrhea: getting dehydrated from the flu is a real problem. Stopping that diarrhea is a key step to proper hydration.
- Anti-Itch Cream: I’m not sure if it’s the furnace or fans, but my skin gets dry this time of year. A good cream is essential.
- Aleve (Naproxen): many swear by this pain medication since it’s supposed to last up to twelve hours for mild pain.
- Alcohol: 90-100% proof rubbing alcohol: this item is so handy as a first aid anticeptic and for massaging muscles. It can also be used to clean surfaces. Interesting, but the lower concentrations may prove better since they don’t evaporate as fast.
- Anesthetics, Lidocaine or Xylocaine: used to reduce pain. You may need a prescription for many anesthetics.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: very helpful to clean surfaces / kill germs.
- Aspirin/Advil: used for mild aches and pains. Careful, do not to use with infants.
- Baby Wipes: not only good for the baby’s fanny, but also to clean up other things too.
- Bandage Scissors: these scissors are so handy and sharp when cutting thicker bandages.
- Band-Aids/Butterfly, Several Sizes: you can never have too many band-aids. Yes, get a good variety for different uses.
- Bee Sting Kit: we may not see many bees this time of year (winter), but again, spring is just around the corner.
- Benadryl, Liquid, and Chewable: can be used as a mild sleep aid, but great to help with allergy issues.
- Betadine/iodine swabs: great to use as a germ killer.
- Birth Control: if in your kit, you won’t be as prone to forget taking them along when away from home and as a home backup inventory.
- Boudreaux’s Butt Paste: could be a good diaper rash treatment, but also good for us older folks for rash treatment too.
- Bug Spray 100% Deet: a great insect preventative for those who spend much time outside.
- Burn Gel: whether from the sun, a hot pan, or open fire, burns can be so painful. This helps healing and pain suppression.
- Calamine Lotion: great for poison ivy, bug bites, scabies, swimmer’s itch, and more.
- Castor Oil: can be used for hair treatment, but most often as a laxative to help eliminate constipation.
- Celox: a clotting agent to stop bleeding.
- Cold Medicine/Cough Syrup: pretty self explanatory. I’ve had a cough the past couple of weeks and this syrup has made all the difference.
- Contacts/Contact Cases/ Extra Glasses/Saline: eye care is so critical. You don’t want to be without proper sight during emergencies.
- Condoms: just as with birth control mentioned above, always good to have a stash at home and in your kit.
- Cotton Balls: used for so many “applications” of ointments, oils, gels, creams, etc.
- Cotton Swabs: see cotton balls.
- Dental Supplies, a temporary filling, and glues: if you break a tooth or a filling falls out, good to have a back up plan.
- Distilled Water: great for cleaning wounds.
- Dramamine: helps treat motion sickness.
- Dressings for open wounds: it is so important to keep wounds clean and free of dirt and germs.
- Duct Tape and medical tape: I did a post about duct tape and its uses, check it out. Get different sizes of both types of tape.
- Ear-Loop Masks (N-95): the past couple of years has prompted us to have medical masks of all sizes.
- Ear Plugs: particularly good for those with sensitive ears, but handy if you do much target shooting or hunting.
- Elastic Gauze Bandage Rolls: helps hold bandages and dressings in place.
- Epsom Salt: it can be used as a laxative, but I use it to soak my sore feet.
- Essential Oils Book: the book provides guidance on which essential oils work with different malidies. I like these oils!
- Eye Patches: hopefully you won’t experience eye damage when away from home, but a patch could help until you get professional help.
- Fire Extinguisher: a small one could prove very valuable.
- First-Aid Book: it’s great to have these items in your kit, but the book provides helpful guidance for us all.
- First-Aid Shears: just like the bandage scissors, these come in handy to cut some many fabrics and other things.
- Flashlights w/Batteries: I like solar flashlights and have some on my window sills all the time. Remember, for regular flashlights, having different kinds of betteries that are “fresh” is most critical.
- Floss: not only do we need to floss when we face emergencies, this stuff is great to tie small things together.
- Gloves (non-latex): protecting our hands is so important. I hate it when I get blisters if I forget my gloves.
- Gauze Pads (sterile and non-sterile): helps to cover and protect cuts, open wounds, blisters, etc. Careful not to let them stick to burns, removal can be very painful.
- Hand sanitizer: should be used all the time to ward off germs and viruses, not just for first aid purposes.
- Headlamps: very useful during power outages or at night when you’re outside and don’t have a flashlight.
- Heat packs-Heating pads-Hot water bottle: helps with pain swelling reduction.
- Hemorrhoid Ointment/Suppositories: you never know when these pesky things will show up, and they’re painful.
- Hemostats/Forceps: can be used to hold things in place, and when used carefully, to remove foreign objects.
- Hydrocortisone: removes redness, itching, and swelling.
- Ibuprofen: for minor pain relief.
- Israeli Bandages: helps to stop bleeding from hemorragic wounds and open sores.
- Mylar Blankets: light weight blankets to protect against hypothermia.
- Lip balm/ ChapStick: help protect and repair damaged lips. Consider getting some with sun protection.
- Lotion or Body Cream: keeps skin soft and can protect against rash, itching, and more.
- Magnifying Glass: very handy if you have a sliver that needs to be removed.
- Menstrual Pads and Tampons: good to have, just in case. Also, pads can be used to cover open wounds.
- Mucinex: for cough and chest congestion.
- Mucinex Dm: for coughs brought on my colds, bronchitis, and to help loosen mucus.
- Motrin: for minor paid relief.
- Monistat (Yeast Infections): the use of antibiotics often causes women to get a yeast infection. Have some Monistat at home and in your kit.
- Mouthwash: not only keeps your breath more fresh, can kill germs that often cause tooth decay.
- Molefoam/Moleskin: cotton fabric that is very soft and can cover the skin. Also, some versions are said to be windproof.
- Multi-Task Tool: the awesome thing about one of these tools is that they truly are multi-task, with a knife, screwdriver, pliers, and more. They are a real space saver.
- Nasal Decongestant: breathing in every situation is critical to our overall health and well being.
- Nasal Spray (Afrin): sometimes we need a quick fix for nasal issues rather then waiting for a drop or pill to do their thing.
- New Skin Liquid Bandage: some cuts need extra support to close off and start the healing process, not to mention stopping the bleeding for small wounds.
- Non-stick Sterile Pads: when it comes to closing off a wound or covering some burns, having a pad that doesn’t stick to the effected area is important to healing and softens the pain when it needs to be removed.
- Nystatin and Triamcinolone Acetonide: good for treating fungus related problems.
- Nail Clippers: they are not only good for keeping your fingernails and toenails trimmed up nice, but can cut away small pieces of lose skin and fabric.
- Neosporin: a quality ointment that acts as an antibiotic. Consider using Polysporin for longer term use.
- Orajel: sometimes we experience some pain along the gum line due to infected teeth. Apply this for temporary relief.
- Oximeter: if you or family members seem very sick this handy gaget can tell heart rate, oxygen percentage, and more.
- Pedialyte Powder Packets: used to help children replace vital minerals and nutrients lost, particularly from diarrhea.
- Petroleum Jelly: the most common brand is Vaseline. I recently wrote a post about the benefits of having and using it.
- Pepto-Bismol Chewables: help to relieve upset stomach.
- Peroxide: has more uses than for bleaching the hair. It kills germs on small cuts and can be used to clean surfaces.
- Phone Numbers: you may need to get in touch with your doctor, a nurse hot line, Poison Control, a pharmacy, or other key professionals.
- Pregnancy Test: you may not want to wait until an emergency situation is over to determine your status. It could be days or weeks before you experience normalicy in your circumstances. Also, you need to take special care of your body if expecting.
- Quickclot: not for large wounds, but can help stop the bleeding for smaller cuts / wounds.
- Rolled Gauze: a true space saver and a means to apply gauze over a larger area by rolling it out.
- Scalpel blades and holders: most of us don’t feel comfortable using a scalpel due to lack of training, but there could be times when opening a wound to remove debris would require a sharp tool.
- Scissors-regular, plus tiny sharp scissors (for removing sutures): scissors are a mainstay for so many uses at home, the office, and in emergency situations.
- Self-adhering tape 3 Coban: band-aids come with the sticky component, but we’ll probably need sticky tape to hold in place gauze, pads, and other materials that we’ve applied to cover cuts and small wounds.
- Silver Gel: I’ve had positive experience when using medicinal silver products. Do your research and determine what products you feel comfortable having in your kit and using around your house.
- Silver Liquid
- Silver Cough Lozenges
- Sleep-Aid Medicine: many of us, particularly those prone to joint pain, need a sleep-aid to get us to sleep and keep us there.
- Splinter Removal Kit: having a sliver or splinter can be very painful. Having the proper tools to remove them safely is vital.
- Splints: these come in handy when someone has experienced a broken bone and needs the bone to be stabilized until professional help is available. They come in various sizes, so if you have children, you’ll want some smaller versions.
- Soap: the washing of hands has been emphasized for months now. Having soap to clean the area around an open cut or burn is important. I’d suggest soap bars that can be counted on to kill the majority of germs and viruses.
- Stethoscope: I’ve never used one, but if you have the training or want to learn, it wouldn’t hurt to have one to monitor heart status.
- Surface Mat: you may need to have yourself or others lie down for treatment, and it may not be dry where you are.
- Syringes, several sizes: can be used to not only administer properly prescribed drugs, like insulin, but also to administer clean liquids necessary to clear debris from wounds.
- Sunscreen: should be applied before and during periods of exposure to the sun. Most of us don’t use it often enough or in the amounts to really be effective.
- Surgical Face Masks (N-95 or N-100), all sizes: these work as your best mask protection. Make sure you have sizes needed for all family members.
- Sutures, all sizes (learn how to do suturing): we took a CERT class and practiced on some meat products. Good to know how to properly use it, and how to remove it, if necessary.
- Suture needles, all sizes
- Thermometer: if someone is feeling sick, it would be great to know if they have a fever, and if so, what meds to use based on the severity of the fever.
- Tick Remover: if you spend much time in the wild, you’ll need to know how to locate ticks on the skin, and how to properly remove them without leaving the insects head under the skin line.
- Toothbrushes/Toothpaste: as mentioned earlier, proper dental care, even during emergencies is vital to our overall health.
- Tourniquet (for severe bleeding): stopping excessive bleeding can truly save a life. The proper use of a tourniquet is necessary so a person’s extremeties aren’t put at risk from not receiving enough blood for survival. Get some training!
- Tucks Pads-Which Hazel: another pad solution to clean and cover open wounds. The Which Hazel can help with the cleaning and treatment for mild pain.
- Tweezers: great to remove splinters and pick up small items.
- Tylenol: popular mild pain reliever.
- Vicks VapoRub: great product to help open air passages when you’re congested.
- Whistle: you can yell if you need help, but a whistle works much better.
- Zantac (Acid Reducer): good product to consider if a family member experiences frequent upset stomach episodes.
- Ziplock Bags: very useful to store many of your kit supplies, but also to carry out soiled items after use.
- VITAMINS: the next few items cover vitamins and other minerals we often take to maintain our health. You’ll want to continue that approach even when in an emergency situation. The kind and amounts should be taken based on your doctor’s recommendation.
- B-12 Vitamins
- B-complex vitamins
- D-3 Vitamins
- Mature Complete Multivitamin
- Omega 3 Fish Oil
- Vitamin C
Other Key Considerations
If you have pets, you need to consider what to have available if they are hurt or get sick.
If you have young children, you may need to consider having items to pass the time if the emergency situation has an extended period involved. The items could be books, games, puzzles, toys, and their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Some paper, pencils, crayons, markers, coloring books, etc. are also helpful. You should also consider having each child carry some kind of identification just in case the family members get separated.
Young families should also consider more child-related items like snacks, burp rags, pacifiers, formula, nursing pads, infant pain relievers, etc.
UPDATED PRINTABLE: 2022 First Aid Kit
My Favorite Medical Books: Dr. Alton’s Antibiotics and Medical Handbook I know these first aid supplies may be a little over the top for most people, but what if the power is out for two weeks or more and our support infrastructure either waivers or fails completely? Just think about what’s in your first aid kit, today, not tomorrow. May God bless this world. Linda
Please take a few minutes today and review what you have in the home or car that will make you more secure than just a simple first aid kit. If you have taken some CPR, EMT, or CERT classes, you rock. Thank you, paramedics, doctors, and first responders, we will need you sooner than later.