Storing medical supplies in the home for a possible disaster could save some one’s life if they need immediate medical assistance. In the event of a major disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake, if someone in the home is injured, emergency responders cannot always get to the injured victims in time. Experts suggest having a well stocked arsenal of medical supplies in this instance.
Suggested Home Medical Supplies
The idea of having medical supplies in the home is to be prepared for any given situation that could arise. In the long run, if supplies are adequately organized and ready to go, the person administering medical assistance will have everything in place and be ready to act. Making an inventory list of everything that is needed for all family members (include children’s needs as well as family members with special needs) as well as items that have already been purchased can help with organizing the supplies for storage.
- pain reliever
- Children’s pain reliever
- First aid book
- Prescription medications (keep copies for records)
- Cold/flu medicines
- Blood clotting
- Sterile gauze
- Dressing bandages
- Dressing rolls
- Medical tape
- Bandages of all sizes
- Alcohol wipes
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Eye flushing solution
- Anesthetic solution
- Hypodermic needles (for the antiseptic solution)
- Electrolyte tablets
- Cold Packs
- Warm Blankets
- Antibiotic ointment
- Skin irritation creams
- Suture needles/string
- List of medical contact phone numbers
- Medical history file (if needed)
Animals and house pets can often fall victim to an injury as well. Having medicine and first aid supplies for them will ensure their health and safety.
Storing Medical Supplies
Medicines can break down and spoil if they are subject to moisture, temperature fluctuations and exposure to light. For example, aspirin has a tendency to begin the breakdown process when it is exposed to a slight amount of moisture. Unless the medicine indicates otherwise, store the medicines in a cool, dark place that is out of children’s reach. If possible, try and find a place to put the medical supplies that is in an easily accessible area in the event of a medical crises. Check expiration dates periodically to ensure the medicines are still good to use. Additionally, storing a first aid kit in the car and in the 72 hour bag will provide additional medical assistance if needed.
Signs of Expired Medicines
Although there is data that medicine can last longer than their expiration dates, knowing the signs of expired medicine can help indicate when new items are needed.
- Creams or ointments which are discolored or have changed in texture.
- Creams or ointments which have cracked or separated.
- The medicines smell has changed since it was opened.
- Tablets are broken or chipped and have changed color.
Organizing medical supplies to be ready for a possible disaster is not a time consuming event. In a disaster situation, having supplies on hand to deal with a medical emergency can expedite the stabilization process and possibly save a life.