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First Aid (cont.)

Disaster, Home, Office, Boat, Car First Aid Kits

Patient Comments

There are a variety of commercial first aid kits available that can be used at home, on the road, and at play. They share the same basic supplies for wound care (cuts and scrapes), as well as supplies for making a splint or a sling. Outdoor first aid will have a blanket, gloves and a signaling device. The benefit of a premade kit is that the supplies are assembled in a hard box or nylon bag and are easily accessible, and the can be restocked easily. The downside is that you pay for that convenience. Most of the supplies are inexpensive and can be stored in a plastic container.

Disaster Supply Kit for the Home

FEMA suggests the following for a basic disaster supplies it.

A basic emergency supply kit could include a first aid kit and the following recommended items:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Basic First Aid Kit for the Home

In any emergency a family member or you yourself may suffer an injury. If you have these basic first aid supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. You may consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help in a medical emergency.

The best place to keep a first aid kit is in the kitchen. Most family activities take place there. The bathroom has too much humidity, which shortens the shelf life of many items.

A basic first aid kit should have the following:

  • Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves if someone is allergic to Latex
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn ointment
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications that are taken every day such as insulin, heart medicine, and asthma inhalers. Periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies

Non-prescription drugs:

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Laxative
  • Oral antihistamine (diphenhydramine [Benadryl], etc.)
  • Anesthetic spray (topical lidocaine [Bactine, Lidocream, etc.]) or lotion (Calamine) for insect stings, bites, or rashes
  • Oral decongestant

Other first aid supplies:

  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

First Aid Kit for the Boat

Since it may take significant time for a boat to dock, or if for an emergency on the water, having the full home first aid kit is reasonable. In addition, the following should be available:

  • A reflective warming blanket.
  • meclizine (Antivert) over the counter tablets for nausea or seasickness
  • Benadryl over the counter tablets for allergic reactions
  • Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. Aspirin would be the medication of choice should someone complain of chest pain.
  • Moleskin

First Aid Kit for the Car, Camper, or RV

Less equipment is needed for the car, and climate and geography will also play a part in designing a first aid kit. Some additions include the following:

  • A warm blanket and some food and water supply is worthwhile, especially when travelling in wintry or isolated conditions
  • Emergency flags
  • Lite sticks or Glo sticks
  • Rain poncho
  • Gloves

Medication is usually not needed, especially anything that may cause sedation as a side effect (like diphenhydramine or meclizine). Driving is not recommended after taking these medications.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


"What You Can Do To Prevent Falls."

"Basic Diaster Supplies Kit."

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/7/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about First Aid:

First Aid - Emergency Actions

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First Aid - Experience

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First Aid - Planes, Trains, Boats, and Automobiles

What first aid measures or kits do you keep prepared for your car, boat, RV, or camper?

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