Be Prepared For Any Emergency

A well-stocked first-aid kit is crucial for preparing for many types of emergencies. Experts recommend keeping one first-aid kit in the home and one in the car. These supplies should be stored somewhere out of reach of younger children, but easy to get to for adults. What emergency supplies should go in a first-aid kit?

center for family medicine How To Stock A First Aid Kit What Emergency Supplies Do I Need

Back to the basics

First-aid kits can be tailored based on a family’s needs. However, some essential items should be in all emergency kits. Band-aids, elastic wrap bandages, an aluminum finger splint, instant cold packs, duct tape, hand sanitizer, a thermometer, and hydrogen peroxide are just a few of the supplies every first-aid kit should have.

Mind the medications

Store any personal medications in the first-aid kit, as well as aloe vera gel, antacids, hydrocortisone cream, cough and cold medicines, and calamine lotion. If someone in the family has a prescription for an auto-injector of epinephrine, keep this in the first-aid kit as well. Aspirin is another must for a first-aid kit, as this can be lifesaving for an adult who has unexplained chest pain.

Emergency supplies

A home first-aid kit should also have provisions in case of a natural disaster, such as a fire, flood, or hurricane. Often these emergencies can cause power outages, so stock the emergency supply kit with a small, waterproof flashlight, extra batteries, a backup phone charger, waterproof matches, an emergency space blanket, and emergency contact information. This contact list should include the numbers for the family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, and emergency road service providers if the kit is for the car.

Can I buy a first-aid kit?

Many pre-stocked first-aid kits come with many of the necessary supplies a family might need. If purchasing a pre-made kit, however, be sure to check all the items and add any items that may be necessary for the individual family.

How often do I need to check my kit?

Because medications, hand sanitizers, and other items can expire, check the first-aid kit once a quarter. Look for out-of-date contents and replace or restock as necessary. Double-checking the emergency contact list quarterly is also a good idea.

In case of emergency

Some minor emergencies, such as a small laceration or a short power outage, can be dealt with at home. However, when there is a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1, and seek emergency care right away. For more information about emergency preparation, speak with a healthcare provider.