One thing most preppers know is that you have to wear many hats during a crisis event. Including being a medic. In a Crisis YOU are the Doctor. Are you Prepared? In this article we will cover some critical tips that preppers often forget to mention. If you are like most people living in suburbia, then you know nothing about medicine. A little bit of preparation can end up saving you or your loved one’s life. Only a small amount of research and supplies can make you and your family better prepared than 90% of most suburban families. So, enough with the side dishes, let’s get to the main course.
Medicine and Medical Supplies for Suburban Prepper Families
The information provided is for informational purpose only and is not to be considered medical advice.
Basic over the Counter Medications
You don’t need to be a doctor to get your hands on most medical supplies. I usually order the basics from amazon.com. Basic medicines everyone should have in their medicine cabinet include aspirin, to be given to someone you suspect may be having a heart attack and for pain relief. Aspirin has been known to cause stomach bleeding and aspirin should never be given to children. Have some ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) for pain and inflammation along with acetaminophen (Tylenol). Aside from aspirin, these pain relievers essentially provide the same relief, and as with any medication they can cause stomach upset and acetaminophen has been known to cause liver damage if taken in high enough doses.
Have cough medicines along with cold, flu and allergy relief medications, as well as throat lozenges/cough drops. Pepto-Bismol tablets or liquid should be available for stomach upset. Have Tums or generic brands antacids to control stomach acid and to provide a calcium supplement.
Have eyewash that includes a flush cup in case you get contaminates in the eye. Use eye drops for everyday eye irritations.
Prescription Medications for a Crisis and/or Emergency Kits
Antibiotics do require a prescription by a medical doctor before they can be purchased in the United States. You may be able to talk to your family doctor and explain you are putting an emergency medical kit together and ask if they would, prescribe what is called a “travelers kit” or sometimes referred to as an expedition kit. This is routinely prescribed to individuals traveling overseas to prevent and treat traveler’s disease/diarrhea.
Each medication, prescription or otherwise will have an expiration date. Note the date of expiration on each package and attach the name of the medication and expiration dates on the outside of the medical kit. One glance will tell you what medications must be disposed of and replaced immediately.
Oxytetracycline tablets brand name Terramycin is used for treating infections and severe cases of diarrhea. The name brand Terramycin is no longer available in the United States. However, generic labels may be available.
Have several broad-spectrum antibiotics for bacterial infections on hand such as rocephin and Zithromax and if you live in an area where malaria may be a problem you would need antimalarial medication such as doxycycline.
Medical Supplies for Emergency Kits
• One box of sterile gloves
• Alcohol wipes/individual packages of Povidone iodine swabs
• Eye wash
• Prescription medications such as maintenance drugs for high blood pressure, diabetes and so forth
• Stomach medications (Imodium, Pepto-Bismol)
• Antacid tablets or chews
The above list is typically what would come with an off the shelf medical first aid kit. It is recommended that you include some additional items.
• Bottle of 10% Povidone Iodine name brand Betadine which is a topical antiseptic
• Splints for limbs and fingers
• Additional alcohol wipes
• Additional supply of over the counter pain medications and medications for stomach upset
• Temporary dental filling material along with numbing agents for relief from gum or tooth pain
The needles should be pre-threaded and would be considered disposable in most instances. There are various sized needles. Some kits may contain a numbing agent that can be applied to or injected in the area prior to suturing.
Basic First Aid
Bleeding wounds need to be treated immediately and you should only attempt to treat if professional medical help is not available. Arteries carry the blood from the heart so an arterial wound is the most severe because the blood is under pressure and will spurt or pulse from the wound and the flow must be stopped immediately. Use your hands or a compression bandage to apply pressure directly over the wound to stop blood flow. Once stemmed wrap a compression bandage tightly but not so tight, it completely restricts blood flow. A compression bandage will be heavier in size and volume than would a pressure bandage. They typically will have ties attached to the bandage to secure it around the wound. Leave the bandage in place.
Veins carry what is called venous blood, blood that flows back to the heart and it is not under as much pressure. The blood will seep rather that pulse or spurt. Use a pressure bandage and do not tighten as much as you would a compression bandage.
If you cannot control bleeding of an arterial wound as a last resort, you can apply a tourniquet three to four inches above the wound between the heart and wound. Tighten until the blood stops. Leave in place and every 20 minutes loosen for up to two minutes. This allows blood flow to the surrounding tissue otherwise, the tissue will be destroyed and gangrene can set in.
If you must leave the patient with a tourniquet in place, write the time you applied it on the person’s forehead and place a large “T” next to the time. If you are alone and applied one to yourself, leave in place and do not loosen every 20 minutes. If you pass out while it is loose, you may bleed to death.
Assume anyone that has a traumatic injury is in shock and treat for shock once the wounds have been treated. If the person is awake, lay them on their back and elevate their legs. If the person is unconscious, lay them on their sides with their head to the side to prevent choking. Cover with a blanket and do not move the individual.
Splints are needed for fractured limbs. If the bone is protruding, treat to prevent blood loss using a compression or pressure bandage. Otherwise, immobilize the limb to prevent movement that may sever a vein or artery under the skin. Swelling will occur possibly after the splint bindings are applied so loosen and tighten as needed to keep the limb immobile.
It is important that everyone maintain proper fluid levels regardless of the weather conditions. You can become dehydrated in cold weather. The vapor you see coming out of your mouth in cold temperatures are fluids evaporating from your body. Sweating in warm climates is fluid loss as well.
Use hand sanitizer before you place sterile gloves on. Handling the gloves with bacteria on your hands will transfer the bacteria to open wounds. It is important you do what you can to prevent wounds from becoming infected. Use the Betadine around the wounds before and after treatment.
Personal hygiene is important regardless of your situation and using proper sanitation procedures will help prevent the spread of disease causing bacteria, pathogens and parasites.
Shelter, water, fire and food are your priorities in that order. Once you have established the life essentials then concentrate on medical if you find yourself in a survival situation. If you have an injury, you must have a shelter, water and heat from a fire. Whenever you venture into the wilderness, make sure you always have the means to construct a shelter, collect and purify a water source and have the means to start a fire. Hikers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiast will set off thinking they are only going to be gone for a few hours. Their supplies are only enough for three hours and then disaster strikes, an injury or an unexpected weather event leaves them stranded, sometimes for days or even longer. Always, carry enough supplies to last you at least 72-hours and in addition have the means to resupply yourself from natural resources.
PREP NOW – PREP HARD