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Medical Preparedness

1. Medical Planning

The best way to start preparing for a medical emergency is by means of building a medical supply kit/bag for your home and/or car.  It’s easy to underestimate the importance of simple over the counter medicines like ibuprofen and Benadryl, until we have a headache or an allergic reaction.  What about more critical items such as antibiotics, a suture kit or prescription medication you rely on?

Let's compile a complete list of every single item that needs to go into your medical preparedness bag AND what they do. We’ll also touch on expiration dates, essential antibiotics and how to get a stockpile of other lifesaving medications you may be taking on a daily basis.


D I S C L A I M E R ! ! !

I am NOT a doctor.  All advice I state is not how to diagnose, treat or cure any ailment.  This is a seminar about educating yourselves on what precautions you might take if you want to be prepared for a medical emergency.  I offer no advice or solutions to any actual medical episode you may develop.

2. Supply Lines / Shortages / SHTF

If supply lines stopped or get delayed and you need simple over the counter medicine would you need to run to the store?  What if you are on the road and you come across a situation where you or a stranger needs basic medical help.  Like most things in prepping, its easiest to go purchase them when things are calm, rather than panic buying when the stores are mobbed.

3. I Never Found a Good All-In-One Medical Kit!

  1. During my prepping journey I have never found a complete medical type kit that I thought was sufficient or diverse enough to cover a slew of ailments if:

    • As mentioned, extreme shortages in supply lines.

    • A long term natural or human caused disaster occurs.

    • Being far from emergency help where you have everything you need to diagnose, treat and hopefully cure most ailments.

    • Complete gird down/SHTF scenario.

4. Customize Your Kit

For these reasons, I have created my own emergency kit that I believe will get me through most disasters.  Of course, we are not talking about open heart surgery or removing an appendix in this video.  To cover those areas, you’ll need to refer to your mutual assistance group.  A MAG group is people in your neighborhood or prepping community that will pool their resources and skills for the betterment of the group as a whole.  But this is a medical preparedness seminar, talking about a mutual assistance group is a different topic for another day.


Before we delve into my Medical Bag, I would like to mention the best, most informative book to read and keep on your shelf if you need to step up to take control of your own medical needs.  It is called “The Survival Medicine Handbook, the essential guide for when help is NOT on the way!” By Joseph and Amy Alton.  The authors have thought of everything, and I mean everything you’ll need if we all suddenly become 100% on ourselves for any medical emergency you can think of.  Get it on Amazon for about $30

So, let’s get to it.  What are the supplies and skills you’ll need to be best prepared for a minor booboo or to stabilize broken bone.  What are the must have items to keep in your home or car that could save yourself or someone on the road who isn’t as prepared as you.  Let’s pick apart my medical bag and go over each item one at a time.  

5. What is in My Medical Supply Bag?

Here is an inventory list of everything I keep in my medical bag (see below).  Most of this stuff will be over the counter purchases.  Instead of telling what everything actually does, refer to the PDF/Printout.  One PDF will be an inventory list of what is in my bag, the other will be what each substance treats.  An inventory list should be printed and placed in your bag for easy reference. 


If I spend the time here explaining what each and every medicine actually does, we’d be here for two hours.  Instead, I will repack the bag and state what each item is when packing it away.  Bring the print out for your next shopping trip.  The list is extensive and can get expensive.  Purchase your supplies over the next several months as to not break the bank.

Download Inventory and Drug FAQ >

There you have it!  This is the bag I keep in both my car and a separate one at home.  Yes, in the prepping world, 1 is none and two is one.  When I am away from my home, 99% of the time I have gotten there in my truck.  I keep this bag, at all times, in my truck and this bag has been the number one prep I have continually used over the past several years.  I been places where someone needed a simple band aide, moleskin for a blister, Tylenol for a headache and Pepto for an upset stomach.  Yes I know, not lifesaving, but on a long enough timeline I may need the sutures, a splint or an EpiPen.

6. Areas of Concern:

Now that we have this all packed away, let's go over a few ares of concern when storing yoru bag in your car or home:

  • Heat:  If storing this bag in a hot car, the expiration dates and efficacy the medicine will be compromised.  Every type of medicine I can think of states “store in a cool/dry area”.  The biggest disadvantage of storing a bag where your car gets hot is you’ll need to replace the perishable medicines sooner, rather than later.  I’ll swap out the tablets and liquid solutions on a yearly basis.Bandages, gauze, tape and other items will obviously keep for a very long time.

  • The bag I store in my home is kept in a cool/dark/dry area.  I am not concerned about the medicines spoiling, going bad or becoming less potent than the label states.

7. Let's Talk About Expiration Dates:

  • Since 1979, the FDA required drug manufacturers to stamp an expiration date on all medications.This was said to guarantee the full potency and the safety of the drug.

  • Keeping your medicine stored in a cool, dry place can ensure the medicine last far beyond the expiration date with the exception of: Nitroglycerin, insulin and liquid antibiotics.

  • Solid dosage forms like tablets and capsules are the most stable beyond their expiration dates.Drugs that exist in a solution or reconstituted suspension, or that require refrigeration, are not as stable as pill form.The expiration dates should be adhered to more closely.

  • The FDA did tests on over 100 prescription and OTC drugs and found that more than 90% of all drugs tested were still over 90% effective, 15 years after their expiration dates.

  • A study done by the Shelf-Life Extension Program (SLEP) has a study that states 88% of over 122 different medications, stored under ideal conditions, recommended to have their expiration dates extended from 66 to 278 months (that’s 23 years!)

This means we can take expiration dates with a grain of salt.  In ideal conditions, you should always strive to keep your medicines up to date to guarantee the effectiveness and proper dose. However, we are preppers and we look at the SHTF scenarios where desperation may become a factor in getting medicine and medical care

8. How to Get a Good Supply of Your Prescribed Medication:

There are several ways to create a good buffer in your on-hand medicine to assure you have enough for a situation where supply lines tighten or you are worried about having a solid stockpile to get you through a longer-term scenario.

  • First:  Ask your doctor for a 3-month supply.  Most doctors can fill scrips for 90 days, especially for medications that aren’t highly controlled.  Blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds and other lifesaving drugs are not highly regulated and not abused.

  • Second:  Fill your prescriptions early.  In many instances, you can fill your one-month prescription up to a week early.  By staying vigilant by filling your script one-week early will give you an extra 90 days of medication after only 1 year.

  • Third:  On-line purchasing options:  I won’t get into this much, but do some research on your own to see where you are able to purchase medicines on line.  There are many reliable overseas pharmacies where they will deliver to the United States. 

9. Antibiotics; What Are They?

  • Antibiotics are used to fight bacterial infections.They work by killing the bacteria or by making it hard for the bacteria to grow and multiply.  They are usually taken orally, but can also be applied topically or through injection.

  • Common bacterial infections that antibiotics treat are: strep throat, urinary tract infections, E.coli, skin infections, ear and sinus infections, gastrointestinal infections, and many STDs.

  • Antibiotics are NOT for: colds, sore throat, the flu, many gastro-intestinal bugs that cause vomiting and diarrhea and most cases of bronchitis.

  • In normal times, you will go to your doctor, get tested for the bacterial infection, then get a prescription to fight off said infection.  But what about SHTF times?

10. Side-Effects of Antibiotics:

  • Some people are allergic to some antibiotics.  Also, if you’ve never taken a specific antibiotic before, you will need to be aware of common side-effects such as raised itchy skin, rash, hives or cough.  Penicillin is the most common antibiotic people are allergic to.

  • The bottom line is that having antibiotic on hand can be lifesaving.  We take for granted the quick trip to the doctor’s office to cure common ailments.  That all stops if things get to the point to where we need to be our own physician.

11. Several Ways to Get Antibiotics:

  • Your doctor.Ask your doctor if they will give you an “on-hand” supply of antibiotics for an emergency situation.Again, antibiotics aren’t highly regulated and your doctor may offer a prescription freely.

  • What kind of antibiotic should you ask for?  There are several “all around” antibiotics that will treat a number of infections if you cannot properly diagnose exactly what you may have.  The “kill all/strongest” main types of antibiotics are Penicillin, Flucloxacillin and Amoxicillin.

  • On-line purchasing:  Easily found on multiple websites designed for your pet's needs.  The EXACT ingredient is found in most antibiotics for both human and animal consumption!

<          Human Consumption

Animal          > Consumption

12. My EXTRAS:

Because I’m not only preparing for myself, I’m preparing for my neighbors, friends, family and other people who I may come across.Some of these you may have a prescription for, other items you may need to “come across”

  • EpiPen: used to treat anaphylactic shock.This is an extreme allergic reaction that can cause death by way of drops in blood pressure, narrowing of the airways.Symptoms include a rapid, weak pulse, skin rash, nausea and vomiting.Common foods, medications, stings and bites from insects usually cause anaphylaxis.It can occur within minutes or seconds of exposure

    • An EpiPen is an epinephrine injection used to immediately treat anaphylaxis

  • Albuterol:  used to treat bronchospasm or wheezing in patients with asthma.  Albuterol increases the flow of air through the bronchial tubes.

    • Can be lifesaving if someone is suffering from a severe asthma attack.

  • Alprazolam:  Used to treat anxiety and panic attacks.Works on the nerves of the brain to create a calming effect.

    • Although not lifesaving, but in a SHTF scenario, anxiety and panic will be of concern for many. Alprazolam can act as a temporary calming agent for people who become overly stressed.

13. Conslusion

Apart from the basic necessities of a medical preparedness bag, hopefully you’ll never need to use the items for the worse off stuff.  However, having these items on hand for the simple reason of having a backup supply can put you at ease when there’s shortage, panic buying and a hundred other reasons stores can run out of supplies and medical attention is not available.  We prepare to position ourselves against the unknown, difficult, and perhaps, the inevitable.

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