Home medical supplies list
Learn what medical supplies expert preppers keep stocked in their homes.[See the full post at: Home medical supplies list]
Another Millennial - August 29, 2019
Great article! It’s reassuring to see that I already own 99% of the list as far as things I’d be willing to own… plus a handful of extra supplies for good measure.
John RameyStaff - August 30, 2019
The peace of mind from knowing you have the right stuff is so valuable!
Jay - March 9, 2020
Lots of great information, thanks for writing! Would be great to get some recommendations on storage options for all this (e.g. bags, cabinets, etc.).
Nick - April 21, 2020
I’d also love to see some recommendations for storage, with photos. Currently putting this kit together, bit by bit, and am finding the overall volume a little daunting in regards to storage and organization. A lot of this stuff doesn’t do much good if you can’t find it when you need it.
Tom RaderStaff - April 21, 2020
It is really more about the organization. There are plenty of EMT style bags out there, but they can get expensive. I’ve found using a large Rubbermaid container and assorted zip lock freezer bags works well. You can fit nearly everything in it, the bags are see-through, and you can write on the bag (label the contents). If you want to get a little more organized with it, you can buy colored duct tapes and use that to mark individual bags for category (like red for bleeding control, etc.)
With a home kit, you are not as worried about rugged durability. It doesn’t really get disorganized. I keep mine on the bottom shelf of a storage rack. When I need something I pull it off the shelf, pop the lid and grab the bag that contains what I need. After I’m done, the bag gets reset/cleaned/restocked and put back.
If you keep medications in the kit, and you have little ones around, you should secure those separately.
Josh Levin - April 15, 2020
Is there any advice for extending the shelf life of OTC meds? A box of pseudoephedrine may be necessary when you get a cold but how long can it sit in the supply closet before it’s truly ineffectual? Dose vacuum sealing help? Are the expiration dates a half life kind of thing?
JB - February 17, 2021
Here is a video from a YouTube prepper talking about medication expiration dates. He goes into a study that is being conducted by the military about how many medications remain potent months or years after they “expire”. What that expiration date means is that it remains 90% of it’s potency within that time in the original sealed container.
Exposing medication to oxygen, heat, and humidity deteriorates it and causes that shelf life to go down.
So vacuum sealing half of your large costco bottle of multivitamins will be better than just storing them in the bottle.
And here is another video saying the opposite and that you should toss medication as soon as it’s expired.
So i’ll let you be the judge for yourself.
My philosophy is that if you have access to medicine at the store, keep them updated and replace when within the expiration date. But in a survival situation where you really need it and you can’t get to the store, you’ll probably be safe.
Krag - April 27, 2020
Great list! On top of that I would recommend seeking training; having the equipment doesn’t always mean effective use of it. The standard EMT courses are always great but they rely too much on an ambulance worth of gear enroute to a level 1+ facility. Two courses that come to mind which represent more of the conditions we would have to perform austere first aid in are Wilderness First Aid and the more lengthy, Wilderness First Responder.
M. E.Contributor - February 17, 2021
Despite having been vaccinated against shingles, I came down with shingles during the pandemic. For the love of all that is holy keep calamine lotion and an antiviral like Valtrex in your kit! (You’ll need a prescription for that second one). I have been through many painful experiences in my life and shingles is THE WORST. I shudder to think what would happen if I came down with them during an even bigger crisis, as the pain makes it almost impossible to think clearly or rationally (and all you “tough guys” who think you’re tougher than shingles? They will have you crying in hours, I assure you). The calamine lotion at least makes them bearable for an hour or two so some sleep is possible. I think a lot of people (like me!) would shrug off the recommended calamine in the medical kit recommendations thinking “Oh so I get a bug bite? Big deal!”) But I’ll never be without it again. 1/3 of adults over age 50 will come down with shingles, and they are more likely to happen after times of intense stress – like an emergency. Get vaccinated (even though it didn’t work for me, I’m the exception) and stock up on meds to make it more bearable.
David Huffman - July 9, 2021
You recommendation are great. But why you won’t add cbd pain oil. As it is used for stress which is common now a days and has no side-effects.
Isabel - July 14, 2021
What has been your history with CBD products David? Does it help reduce your pain and stress?
I’ve never tried it myself, but have given it to my elderly dog with arthritis and it seems to help give him a little more pep in his step.
When asking my massage therapist about it, he said to stay away from the topical creams because there was an upcoming study that they are ineffective due to the fact that the CBD molecule was too large to be absorbed topically. He recommended an oral dose if I wanted to try it out. He also said that the CBD market is not regulated at all and one that says EXTREME STRENGTH could have just as much as a mild dose in another brand and it’s hard to know what you are actually getting
brownfox-ffContributor - July 12, 2021
Great, well-organized article.
Do you have any advice on Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), and when it may make sense to include one of these in a home base kit? The cost may be too high for most normal home kits, but it is interesting to consider.
I’m guessing a Naloxone kit would fall into the same category as “condition-specific meds like epinephrine, glucagon, and inhalers” – consider whether you need it and how easy it is to obtain in your area.
Isabel - July 14, 2021
What a coincidence, I was reading about AED’s the other day. I’m getting up there in years and am starting to have signs of heart problems so I wanted to know what I could do to improve things. This Harvard article (https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/aed-cpr) says that an AED increases your success rate from 14% with CPR alone to 23% if you combine it with an AED. Not the best odds to be honest, but 1/4 chance of success is something someone might want to invest in if they have the extra money, training, and are living with someone more likely to have a heart problem like me.
CoolMook - August 29, 2022
Consider adding Israeli bandages to the list of medical supplies. They are good for bigger wounds, allow you to apply pressure if wrapped correctly, in a variety of body locations and can even be applied to oneself fairly easily.
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