Buy a kit vs Create your own Emergency Survival Medical Kit
You never know when disaster will strike. Knowing you have a great survival medical kit will give you peace of mind when there is an emergency.
You might want to buy a medical kit because:
It’s easy. Companies like Red Cross do all the research for you. It might even be cheaper as they get bulk discounts.
However, creating your own kit gives you the freedom to customize it to your needs.
How to create a your own survival medical kit
When choosing the perfect medical kit container, you should look for the following:
- Intention: Are you creating a stay-at-home (bug-in) or an evacuate kit (bug-out)? This is an important factor to consider as it will affect the weight, size and shape of the kit.
- Stay-at-home kit (bug-in) can be a box basket or storage containers.
- Evacuate kit (but-out) can be in a bag that is easy to carry, either on your back or in your car.
- Size: For how many people are you preparing for?
- Shape: Will it be a sling bag, duffle bag, travelling bag?
- Weight: If you are creating a kit for a potential evacuation, will you need to carry it?
- How much can you carry? Or can you put it in your car?
- Purpose: What emergencies are you preparing for? Hurricane, flood, earthquake or fire? Having a clear purpose will help you decide which items to include in your kit.
What to put in your ultimate survival medical kit?
The following list is a recommendation by the Red Cross:
- Light-weight blanket
- Surgical mask
- Non-latex gloves
- Medicines (antibiotics, aspirins). See below for a detailed list.
- Antiseptic wipe packets
- Adhesive cloth tape
- Roller bandage
- Antibiotic ointment
- Hydrocortisone ointment
- Betadine and alcohol
- Oral thermometer
- First aid instruction booklet
- Compress dressing
- Sterile gauze pads
- Instant cold compress
Consider adding these over the counter medications:
- Ibuprofen (advil)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Throat lozenges
- Bismuth tabs
- Oral rehydration
- Cranberry extract
- Stool softener or laxative
Remember, consider the needs of all your family members and add supplies to your kit. Talk to your family about it, have them suggest things that they think will be important. Make it a family adventure.
Here are some examples of supplies that could be relevant to your family:
- Medical supplies: hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes
- Baby supplies: bottles, formula, baby food, diapers
- Games and activities for children: Books and toys.
- Pet supplies: collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl.
- Essentials: two-way radios, portable radio, extra set of car keys and house keys, manual can opener.
Develop your first aid survival skills
You can have the best survival medical kit in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it, it’s just a bunch of stuff. Make sure you buy or print out a first aid book, and ideally take a first aid course.
You’ll feel much more confident in your ability to take care of yourself and your family!