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There’s gold, and then there are items worth their weight in gold in an emergency or situation of need.

Basic medical supplies certainly fit that description.  In times of shortages and uncertainties, it’s prudent to make sure the following basic items are on hand.

    • Unopened First Aid Kit: Basic First Aid kits can still be found pretty inexpensively. But at least one fresh kit that has quality items and a beefed up trauma item checklist, is worth the investment. Kits should also be in all vehicles. Basic first aid kits should have a variety of bandages, antibiotic ointment, a thermometer, and other common sense items. 
    • A Power Generator / Battery: Gas, solar, whatever.  A power back-up that can run medical equipment in an emergency, can be a life-saver. Make sure the generator and / or power pack system is powerful enough to run the needed medical device or equipment.
    • A List of Emergency Instructions: This tip came courtesy of Nationwide, and makes a lot of sense: “Tape a list of emergency phone numbers (doctors, Poison Control), medication instructions and allergy remedies inside the [medicine] cabinet door.” Also having the list in electronic form and easily retrievable is a good idea. 
    • Reserves of Prescription Meds: If necessary, talk to the prescribing physician about having at least some reserve of vital prescription meds, in case of emergency. If there’s one thing COVID underscored, it’s that an emergency scenario isn’t some far-fetched probability.
      • People with certain allergic conditions are sometimes prescribed an “epipen” emergency allergy injection device; it’s important to have these on hand
    • Basic Non-Prescription Meds: any basic checklist will include the following items:
      • Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers including Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen and Aspirin.
      • Allergy medicines including the “pink emergency” Diphenhydramine (original brand name Benadryl); plus any other allergy meds / antihistamines that are personally effective 
      • Cough and Cold Medicines: remedies that have effective decongestants, breathing relief, and fever reduction can make getting through a bout of flu easier. Find one that works, and stock up.
      • VapoRub: this is a personal favorite, effective at relieving stuffy noses
    • Thermometers: slick powered thermometers are easier than ever to use, but a basic non-powered thermometer should also be on the list.
    • Antibiotic Ointment: First Aid kits will usually have some, but an extra supply is highly recommended.
  • Heat and Ice Packs
  • Heating Pads
    • Vitamins: while technically not medicine, many believe it can’t hurt to take (and have on hand) a basic, vetted multivitamin. 
  • A Good Manual on Medicines and Emergency Medical Procedures
      • The movie The Edge has a scene where Anthony Hopkins, confronted with a medical emergency of a companion, takes a book on what to do, and sits and begins calmly reading.  It seems counter-intuitive, given the dramatic situation. But he realizes it's the only way forward, since he doesn’t possess the knowledge. That scene brings home the necessity of having a good medical guide on hand—and perusing it before an emergency happens!
  • Basic Emergency Medical Training
    • Localities often conduct CPR and other basic medical emergency training classes. It’s a good idea to sign-up and take advantage. 
  • Electronic Docs Folder With ready Access: If you’re like this author, you probably come across articles and info you like to save. Create a “Medical Articles” folder on google drive or whatever cloud storage you may use, and save articles there (pdf format recommended) for retrieval when desired or needed. You could also go to the extra effort of storing files on a thumb drive or local folder on your smartphone for access when the internet might be down.

There are other items some preparedness advocates recommend, which are more controversial. Some say finding ways to stock antibiotics is crucial, for example. But the above list is a good start toward being prepared with basic medical items.

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1 Comment
  1. A Great article so common sense You can’t fix things if you don’t posses the proper tools, Materials and Knowledge with application Thank you Mr. Doran i like all your stuff.

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