Sunday, March 21, 2010

Welcome to another episode of the Be Prepared Channel. Today is just a quick follow-up to the earlier podcast where we compared two off the shelf first aid kits. I have had a couple of questions about a sample shopping list. So I decided to just type up a list that includes some of the things that I have on my list. As part of this series on getting ready I have found things that I overlooked and didn't have covered myself. So any review is good to sanity check your plan. So here is a sample list. It is far from all encompassing. So feel free to give me a shout if you see something I overlooked.

Sample First Aid(emergency medical supplies) Shopping List

At the top of our list is presciption supplies:
- Prescription medications
you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
- Prescribed medical supplies
such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.

Over the counter items:

Isopropyl alcohol
Neosporin(triple antibiotic salve)
Hydrogen peroxide
eye wash/saline solution
dry/itchy skin treatmen(Cortiad)
Burn ointment
Sting relief
Calamine lotion
Lip ointment
Pepto Bismol
Surgical scrub
Hand soap
burn gel
petroleum jelly
antibiotic towelettes

Associated Supplies:
cotton balls
cotton swabs
alcohol wipes
sterile sponges
gauze bandages (various sizes from eye patch size up to something to cover a large wound)
surgical dressings
health care gloves
ziplock bags
garbage bags
body wrap bandages
adhesive tape
bandaids(various sizes)

Magnifying glass
Small flashlight
emergency surgical instrument kit(Assorted scissors, probe, sutures, scalpel, hemostat, pen light, tweezers, alcohol pads and ointment)
batteries(for flashlight)

Some things to know:
In the case of prescribed medications talk to your doctor and tell them what your doing. I am sure he/she will understand and will be glad to help you get the supplies and extra prescriptions you need to stock your emergency first aid kit. I am sure you doctor will wish he/she had more patients like you!

Now it is recommended that you have your emergency kit and first aid kit ready in the case of an emergency. That emergency could very well require you to leave your home. So having this packed up and portable is a good idea. Possibly next to a door or exit. Choosing the container, pack, or bag for this purpose needs to be thought out. It needs to be movable or packable by your family members. Each member of your family should have an emergency pack(you might hear some refer to this as a bug out bag). We will get into bug out bags(or BOB's) in a later episode. In a bob you will have a very basic first aid kit sized for individual needs, but not to be confused with the first aid kit we are talking about here.

Why have this larger kit? How long will it take for emergency services to get to you? Will they come in a major emergency or large scale disaster? Don't be one of the people out scavenging for basic supplies. It isn't the disaster that is the issue, it is the way that people react to that disaster that could mean life or death. When things get bad people will panic. So have the supplies you need to ensure your not part of the problem.

I am sure I have overlooked items in my list. There are some things that I would love to have on my list like our military troops use in the field, but frankly the cost is too high for some of these things like burn blankets, IV bags, and various other amazing technology being deployed today. Maybe some day the cost of these items will drop so that we can afford these things. In the mean time we keep our eyes open for possible additions to our kits to improve our preps.

I am still in the process of adding things to my first aid kit, and I am adapting a plastic footlocker with wheels for containing this first aid kit. I will be adding some reflective tape to the outside that indicates a cross like a red cross so that in the dark I will be able to find it with a flash light. I would suggest that all of your emergency kit containers/packs etc are identified in some way that can be seen in the dark. These footlockers are stackable, and with the wheels can be moved by most older children or adults by grabbing one end and letting the wheels do the work. Obviously it takes more muscle and size to stack something like this. I have setup my basic short term kit items all up in footlockers like this so that in the case of an emergency they can be readily moved into the back of my truck and we can leave an area quickly. My short term water storage is the same with containers that have a handle and wheels so that they can be moved by anyone and we can gather our things quickly. I will show you how this is done later on in a follow-up to building our basic kit.

Over the next few weeks I should be able to put the finishing touches on my first aid "footlocker" and I will show it to everyone so you have an idea how I have it organized.

I believe the difference between being a victim and someone who comes through an emergency unscathed is the degree they were prepared. Think of your emergency kit in terms of a 1 month supply minimum and you should be able to address just about any short term emergency. If you search the web you will find many people who learned the hard way with Katrina or with the hurricanes in Houston. You will see their blogs and web sites and what they went through. And you will see many who learned the lessons and are prepared now for the next. Don't take chances. Get prepared now.

Many of us see a long slow emergency developing due to the financial crisis. We are watching the news that the main stream media seems to barely mention and connecting the dots. In that case the short term storage like I mentioned above of 30 days will not last long. This is why we ultimately want to work toward a 1 year storage plan as a minimum. I know I am still working on it myself. There is a lot to get accomplished which is why I urge you to begin this journey now with me. It takes time, money, and work. Don't procrastinate and then wish you had done something. I did that for years and barely got any closer to being prepared than if I knew nothing. Which is worse not knowing any better or to know what what you need to do and have done nothing to help you, your family, and your neighbors? The choice is yours.

In the news...
7 more banks close
Yuan poised to become the new reserve currency

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