Shelter in Place: Home First Aid Kit

Get Ready for Extreme Weather: Week 14

Shelter in Place – Your Home First Aid Kit

Every Home Should Have First Aid Supplies

  • A bleeding knee from a fall on the sidewalk
  • A burn from a hot pan on the stove
  • A cut from a piece of broken glass
  • A bee sting

There are hundreds of ways you or your children could get injured around the house and yard. Most of these injuries can be easily handled without an expensive doctor visit if you have the right supplies.

Store-Bought First Aid Kits

You can buy a pre-stocked first aid kits at Walgreens, Target, CVS, etc., but you will probably find that most store-bought kits are inadequate. They don’t have the range of supplies, and they will have some, but not all of the sizes of bandages that will be useful. You may also find the quality of the bandages to be lacking (not sticky enough).

Take a look at the list provided below and then consider creating your own first aid supply bag, or buying a pre-stocked kit and adding to it.

If you already have a first aid kit, check it against this list to see that you have everything you need.

Red Cross Recommendation

The Red Cross recommends that first aid kits for a family of four include the following:

  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet

Consider adding:

  • Basic medications: anti-diarrhea, antihistamine, painkillers, bugbite
  • An old pair of eyeglasses. Better than nothing if your glasses break!
  • Contact lens solution and case, if you wear contacts.
  • Sunscreen
  • A heating pad
  • A list of medications, dosages, and administration schedule for family members who are taking medications.

You may also want to have some basic first-aid supplies in a purse or children’s backpack for everyday emergencies, such as:

  • Band-aids
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Sunscreen
  • A whistle (to attract attention if you are in trouble)
  • A pocketknife

A Note About Medical Supplies

Check your supplies once a year for expiration dates. Over-the-counter medications do expire. Very old bandages lose their stickiness.

Bathroom medicine cabinets are not an ideal spot for first aid supplies due to high humidity. Humidity can affect bandages and medicines, even if they are in a bottle. Consider putting your medical supplies in a linen closet.

Keep at least a 3-day supply of your prescription medication on hand, in case you have trouble getting it refilled.

This email series is brought to you by neighborhood volunteers at Transition Longfellow. It is designed to help you become more prepared for extreme weather emergencies. Transition Longfellow does not endorse or recommend any of the products mentioned in this email series. Neither Transition Longfellow nor Transition Twin Cities receives any compensation for products mentioned on their websites. Products are mentioned for illustration purposes only.