First Aid Kit, Supplies, & Prescription Medications: Home Safety Week

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{See all of the Home Safety Week series.}

Did you decide how you wanted to handle food and water storage for your family?

Will you be putting a kit together yourself, buying a ready made kit, or waiting to decide based on who wins the ARK kit we’re giving away?  ;)

Today, we will be tackling the longest of the lists: supplies and first aid kits.  I was initially overwhelmed and worried at how expensive getting together all of the items on this list would be, but it was actually fairly inexpensive!  And it took me about an hour at two stores to put together!

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You can print this list by clicking HERE.

The list is pretty obvious, but a few things I want to point out: make sure YOU know how to turn off the utilities…and not just your husband.  Also, if you have kids that are old enough (I’d guess 12+), you might consider teaching them as well.  I bought cheap little flashlights for each of my kids…it seemed that it would be comforting for them to each have their own light source in a scary situation.  My kids love butterscotch candies…I might be crazy, but kids are so easily distracted and some of their favorite candy might also be of comfort to little ones.  Have an out of area contact and write down everyone’s phone numbers on paper.  You might not have your cell phone, and we all know how hard it is to remember numbers now that we are spoiled by saved contacts!  Also, PHONE REMINDERS.  Set them.  Now.

I know that’s a long list, but here’s how I made it affordable:

1.  Shop your home first.  Start by seeing what you might already have that can be used for your kit.  But be careful: the items must be EXTRAS that you can set aside and you don’t need to use for everyday life.  If you are constantly dipping into your emergency stash, you might find that it’s 3/4 empty when you really need it.  And no, having a box of Phineus and Ferb band aids in the kitchen drawer doesn’t count for crossing off your list.  It needs to be set aside and all in one spot.  Not sprinkled all around your house.  Ahem.

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2.  Shop the dollar store.  I was shocked at how much of my list I was able to check off at the dollar store!  I was able to get about 90% of the items for a buck or less!  Anything I couldn’t get for $1, I found in the camping section of Target/Walmart.  In the end, I spent less than $75 to have a complete first aid and supply kit for my family of six!


I did my shopping solo, but when I got home, I asked Henry to lay out the contents of my bags on the kitchen table while I put the girls down for bed.  When I got back, I asked him if he knew why I had bought all of it.  We then talked about emergencies, being ready, and discussed how each item would keep our family safe as we put it into the storage box.  I loved that there was an easy/built in way to talk about emergency preparedness with him, while showing him that we had what we needed.


All of the items fit neatly into my plastic tub and I taped a small note to the top with the date…and set a reminder in my phone to take a peek inside every 6 months to rotate meds and check expiration dates on supplies.  Way easier than I thought.  Way.  I can’t believe it took me this long to do.

Okay, now I want to take a minute to talk seriously about prescription medications.  

My daughter has a complex case of epilepsy that requires her to take daily medication.  Missing her meds could be life threatening.  Like, seriously.  I realized one day that if there were ever a major disaster at the end of the month (when we are nearing the end of our normal prescription) and the local Walgreens were shut down…we could be faced with another emergency situation.  Panic.  Sheer panic just at the THOUGHT of that scenario.  I have a pit in my stomach just typing it.

If you, or someone in your home requires prescription medication, please take the steps to have a back up supply in your emergency kit.

This can get tricky because typically insurance companies will not cover more than you NEED in a one month period…so a back up supply is out of the question from their perspective.  Talk to your doctor about your concerns and why you want a back up supply.  I mentioned it to our doctor and I was all embarrassed convinced she would think I was the crazy paranoid neurotic mom…but she jumped up and exclaimed “Yes!  Yes!  That is SO important!  Hold on…I have samples in my cupboard!”  Pharmaceutical companies hand out samples to doctors like Halloween candy…so check to see if you can have some of the freebies.  If they don’t have any, you might be looking at paying out of pocket.  If the meds are cost prohibitive (my daughter’s are $750/month!), you can ask your doctor to write you a separate small prescription for just a few days’ worth of pills.  It might cost you $25/pill, but if your prescription helps keep you alive, it’s worth it, right?  Just be sure to set a reminder in your phone to rotate your medications before they expire with meds from your current stash.  There’s no sense in having an emergency supply if it’s 5 years expired.  (Have a minimum of 3 days’ worth of back up…but I would personally recommend at least a 2 week supply.  Because it’s really that serious for us.  In fact, we may or may not have a full month back up.  The thought of running out terrifies us.)

 Okay, so…your assignment:

Print the list.

-Shop your house.

-Go to the dollar store.

-Finish up at Target/Walmart.

-Talk to your doctor.

-Set a phone reminder.

Enter to win the ARK kit because there’s still a few days and you might as well.

How are you fairing so far in getting your family prepared?  Are you still overwhelmed?  Are you gonna knock this all out this weekend?  Why are you still waiting?


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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1

    This is great. We have these things, but not all in one place. That is going to be my goal over the next week or so. My daughter also has epilepsy, as you know, so I understand the importance of having the meds and NEVER being w/out! I am also on medications, and being without could be life threatening, or at least cause severe complications. So it really is essential.

    This is such an awesome series. I hope it is being seen widely…

  2. 2

    With two kids with cystic fibrosis in our family, having a full month’s worth of Rx meds is vitally important since many of their medications are relatively unusual and not the kinds of things on the first trucks to restock even a chain pharmacy. Is it expensive? Yes. Is there an easy way to put a price tag on peace of mind? No. It’s well worth the extra cost to us (and the consequent sacrifices made initially to get it all. But, once you have a full month’s extra supply, then you are set for years since you can swap it out from your emergency kit each month when you get refills for the following month. Doing this guarantees that the emergency stash of Rx meds is never more than one month old.

  3. 3

    Just a side note – you know that aspirin isn’t suitable for kids, right? Even at low doses. I’d add in a different analgesic for the kids like an ibuprofen or paracetamol based preparation as a liquid. Don’t forget your medicine spoons as well.
    Great series though. We are not emergency ready here but then the weather in the UK is less extreme. I should probably get round to putting a kit together none the less.

  4. 4

    I love you for doing this series. Really. I do. Thanks. xo, ab
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