Emergency Preparedness – Week 3 “First Aid Kit”

December 29, 2012

The third step to creating an emergency survival station for your home is to put together a well stocked First Aid Kit. If there is an emergency and the parametics are unable to get to you, you may need to know how to apply basic first aid or give needed medications. A well stocked first aid kit may be the difference between life and death.





This week your goal is:

1. Choose a box for your First Aid Kit.

2. Gather  your medications & supplies, then organize them into separate compartments, boxes, or baggies.

3. Make a list of what medications you have and the expiration date for each. (Include this sheet in your Emergency Binder).

4. Label each compartment. (See my example)




There are many types of “boxes” to choose from. I chose a tackle box simply for the many compartments it has. You can also use any type of plastic box with a lid and separate your medications with ziploc baggies or smaller boxes.  My tackle box was about $45 from Walmart. I bought the largest one they had.





As a Registered Nurse, I know the importance of stocking up on medications needed for those “surprise” emergencies!  You never know when the day will come, so its best to be well prepared ahead of time.  In the case of a natural disaster or weather emergency, you may be stranded in your home without the ability to get to the pharmacy or even call 911.  So having everything in your First Aid Kit  will assure that you are well prepared if you ever need to utilize it.



The following contents are my professional medical opinion on what to store in your First Aid Kit. You can add or take away to suit your families needs.

  • Large tackle box
  • First aid book,  medication list with expiration dates printable (Included in E-Book)
  • Bandaids (assorted sizes), medical tape, 4×4 pads, splints, cotton swabs, q tips, gauze, ace wrap, dental floss, sling
  • Non Latex Gloves, Hand Sanitizer, N 95 Face Mask, Gown
  • Neosporin, Wound Spray, Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Betadine Swabs, Scissors, Tweezers, Steri Strips, Tournakit
  • Acetamenophen, Ibuprofen (adults & children), Aspirin
  • 1 month supply of daily vitamins & prescribed medications
  • Cough syrup, Cough Drops, Menthol Inhaler Stick, Sinus Meds
  • Bee sting kit, Benadryl (adult & childrens), Anti itch cream, Insect repellent
  • Anti diarheal, Anti Gas, Stool Softener, Laxatives
  • Glucose Tablets (For low blood sugar)
  • Digital BP cuff, Stethoscope, Thermometer




You do not need a sphygmomanometer.  A digital BP cuff will work just as well.



Glucose tabs are great to have in case you or a loved one gets low blood surgar.  They are only 99 cents at walmart.  Also, a CPR mask is a nice thing to have.  I keep mine in the top of the kit for easy access.



Bowels & Belly medications



Allergy & Bites



First aid supplies (bandaids, gauze, tape, ointment, gloves)



Wound management (iodine, butterfly closures, gauze wraps)



Fever & Pain Medications



Keep gloves at the top of the kit.



Reference manuals are great for the kit. You may not have electricity to look something up online.




Once you create your list of medications & their expiration dates, add the list to your emergency binder.







When purchasing medications for your First Aid Kit, select generic meds when available.  You may not have the extra funds to go out and purchase everything at once.  If that is the case, can make your list and purchase a couple of things each week when grocery shopping. You can also purchase travel size bottles & replace as needed. Also, go out into the garage and look for an old tackle box.  Clean it out with chlorox wipes and its as good as new! Finally, if you don’t have the money to purchase a first aid book, go online and look for free printables including how to treat shock, a heart attack, a stroke, CPR, and hemorrhage.



If you would like a copy of the 8 week series, you can purchase my “Emergency Preparedness” E-Book below. It includes the entire 8 week series, along with several Emergency Binder Printables. The E-Book is a great tool to refer to while setting up your station. (Here) are the details of the E-Book. Purchase your copy for only $10.



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Please welcome our week 3 “Emergency Preparedness” series sponsor, Angie Jesse, from RightResponse Fundraising.  Visit Right Response (http://www.rightresponseiowa.com/) to find out more about WONDERFUL fundraising opportunities for your organization.  Would you like to help others in the community get prepared as well, Host a First Aid Kit fundraiser!  Email Angie if you are interested in learning more – Angie.Jesse@myrightresponse.com.

PS – Check out her special December giveaway at the bottom of her ad!  RightResponse is NEW and definitely something you should learn more about if you are interested in the following:
1) BUYING an affordable first-aid kit (instead of making one)
2) Making your home & community a safer place
3) Earning dollars to support an individual or group (who can’t think of someone who could use a donation?)


55 comments on “Emergency Preparedness – Week 3 “First Aid Kit”

  1. laura says:

    Is this first aid kit the one you use in your home on regular basis or is this specifically for emergency purposes only?

    • AJ says:

      I’m wondering the same thing… Did you get an answer?

    • rachel says:

      This kit is set aside for emergency purposes only. Sorry about the missed reply. We get so many comments and emails it can be difficult to stay on top of things! Now that I’m helping Toni out, we hope to change that!

      • Love the idea… will help get rid of the disorganized mess in our corner closet.

        I think it would be best to use this kit on a regular basis, cycling through the inventory just like any other prepping inventory. Too often we have found ourselves getting ready for a hike or campout with expired supplies; keeping the kit filled with all of the supplies and using it would prevent that problem.

      • Vic says:

        Thanks for all the great ideas. Awhile back I thought about a fishing tackle box or the tool divers containers much like a tackle box. But I think after seeing yours, the tackle box is a much better idea. I will share it with my group. Thanks, Vic NW Preppers and Survivalists, on: Meetup.com (Spokane, WA)

  2. Sue says:

    WOW I love your tackle box. Would you please tell me which brand of N95 face masks you purchased? Thank you.

  3. ILona McFerrin says:


    I have purchased Ebook from you and I love it. Thank you for putting it together!
    I have a question regarding CPR mask. Where is the best place to buy it. I found it on Amazon but it comes in the pack of 10. I do not think that I will be needing 10 of them. Please advise.

    Thank you!

  4. Heather says:

    Thank you for this! We have been thinking about making a much larger first aid kit. It seems like all the ones that we buy at the store mainly contain band-aids and bacitracin. I feel like if we did have a need for it, we might want something besides that 🙂 How often do you change out the meds? Do you go by expiration date, or do you wait longer (which I have heard a lot of people do because of cost).

  5. FL Prepper says:

    Wow! I am not an RN, just an average mom and I have never seen a list as good as this. Thank you! Most helpful is the reference manuals tip. I never thought of that! Again, thank you!

  6. Damian says:

    This is great advice! Fishing tackle boxes seem made for a basic first aid kit.

  7. Erin Hughes says:

    As a “former-EMT-turned-photographer,” this is the ULTIMATE First Aid Kit! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience and turning it into priceless information.
    After working in EMS for over 18 years, it’s almost a curse knowing how bad the injuries could be to my children, my husband or myself living here in the “Earthquake Country” of So Cal. I will certainly be modifying my kit to look just like this one (and maybe add a suture kit or two as well). 🙂

  8. Debbie says:

    This would make a great wedding gift for a young couple!

    • Kathy says:

      This makes a great Christmas gift, too. I am giving a car emergency kit and a smaller first aid kit to my nephew who just got his first car.

  9. Very thorough list but what about the potential of bugging out? Would you be able to carry this if you got away on foot?

    • NikP says:

      We (Hubs and I) also feel that this would not be good for bugging out, especially considering how much other weight they are planning on carrying. great for bugging in but as far as bugging out, i hope you have some mini kits in each BOB.

  10. Michelle says:

    I love that you “manuals” are the same ones I used in nursing school and in the beginning of my nursing career! We nurses do tend to have more extensive kits than others.
    Thank you!

  11. Carrie says:

    I’m very motivated to get this on my “done” list, but I’m curious about the one month supply of meds. My husband is diabetic and I can’t imagine his doctor or our insurance company facilitating an extra months supply for the kit. Any suggestions on how to make this happen or an alternate plan?

    • Admin says:

      Carrie, If you ask your Doctor, he may give you an extra one month prescription so you have a back up. I dont know about the insurance but Im on a daily med and my md gave me an extra prescription and the insurance paid.

    • Ashley says:

      Most insurances will allow you to refill your medications between 5 and 7 days before your actual due date (when you are really out of pills from your last fill). Try refilling your meds a week early each month until you have the opportunity to be a month ahead. I did this with my BCP until I always had an extra pack in case I lost one.

      • Bob G says:

        Ashley, I bought a tackle box very similar to the one above but got it a lot cheaper at Bass-Pro shop. I happened to be there and it was on sale for around $30.00. Since I use it for fishing, I’ll buy another one as close to this one shown as possible. I like it because it has the see-through slide out tray.

        One suggestion: I have been keeping empty medicine bottles for several months now. Since I take Rx’d meds and a lot of OTC products, I have a huge drawer full of empty bottles. They’ll come in handy for exactly this purpose.

  12. Natalie says:

    I know what I will be doing this week..revamping our first aid kit! Can you please tell me where you found the tackle box! Great idea!!

  13. Debbie says:

    What a great kit. The tackle box is a classic idea. I used a tackle box years ago and it’s still in great shape. This box is much better than some boxes because you can sort the items by category. Your example makes me want to run out and re do my kit.

  14. Terri says:

    As an ex-paramedic for over 10 years, this is THE best website i’ve come across as I start my “prepping” steps. We survived the massive tornado that ripped through our tiny Tennessee town last April. The mile wide path of destruction from Ringgold, Ga to Cleveland, TN (Apison is located between the 2 cities) completely isolated us from any help or resources for almost 2 weeks. Every major road and back road was blocked due to destruction, cleanup..and body searches. We were so unprepared. It’s a helpless feeling to have the “knowledge” of what to do, but don’t have the physical resources and supplies to do anything. Never again. I am disabled, and take care of my elderly parents. I am also raising my 7 year old severely austistic and disabled grandchild. If disaster ever strikes again, I plan to be ready. God bless you for what you are doing. I got alot of new ideas and suggestions!

  15. FL Prepper says:

    I love, love, love this post. I completed my “kit” this week. I added a couple of things to mine that I thought might be helpful to others.
    *** Don’t forget to include a copy of Children’s dosage amounts which are based on weight & age. I made a spreadsheet with the dosages for Children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, etc. I laminated it and attached it to the inside of the appropriate plastic container.
    *** Label or keep separately adult and children’s medications. I purchased the generic brand medicines for some items and I noticed that the adult and child versions looked very similar. Under stressful conditions, it might be easy to grab the wrong one. I used my label maker to make a label for each bottle to say “adult” or “child”.
    *** I added a magnifying glass to my kit. Handy for splinters and who knows what. Mine is lighted as well which I love and recommend.
    *** Pen Light can come in handy.

    • Kendra says:

      I would add a formulary for dog and cat med dosages as well if you have pets. I would also include a tourniquet or two, suture packs, and teramycin eye ointment (you can get it at tractor supply). An epy pen would be a good idea too, child and adult sizes (more than one if there are known allergies in the family). I don’t remember if tweezers were on there or not, and a lighter for sterilizing.

    • Robbie says:

      Hi My Husband and I have such a kit and we keep adding to it.Though for my prepping spending for Dec I am going to purchase the same tackle box used here.We were wondering if its possible to get a copy of the medicine dosages you came up with? My husband came up some.We appreciate your help if you don’t mind. Thank you Robbie

      • Rachel says:

        Toni can’t give out medical information like that. The dosage amounts will be something you’ll have to look up and configure on your own. It’s a liability issue.

  16. Deanna says:

    Just went to Wal-Mart and bought this tackle box! Now that I see it in person its perfect for a first aid kit. All the separate boxes with movable dividers so you can make each one work how you want it is wonderful! I also found lots of items at Dollar Tree to fill it up! They had the alcohol prep pads 50 ct for $1 and all the bandages, tape, gauze, ointments, wipes and gloves. Thanks for this idea!

  17. kelly says:

    Where do you store the BP cuff and Stethoscope? Thank you for this informative series….it is helping so many of us get prepared 🙂

  18. Amy says:

    I added eyewash/saline to my list for my kit. Eye emergencies almost always need an eye rinse.

  19. Amy says:

    P.S. I’m putting the expiration dates of medications in my calendar. (When I first looked at my pathetic kit, I found all the medications in it were 10+ years past expiration. EGAHDS!)

  20. cee says:

    Going out at lunch time to get the tackle box and some first aid items…thanks peeps for adding items such as a lighter, pen light, eye saline, magnifying glass, etc…and especially separating the adult meds from the children.

  21. Amanda says:

    As a fair-skinned person, something else that would be great to add would be sun-burn relief spray. As a paramedic I would also recommend a first-aid burn cream.

  22. Kate says:

    Hi, just found your Emergency Preparedness series via Pinterest and am so thankful! I wanted to let you know I found the tackle box on Amazon if you want to add to your store http://www.amazon.com/Plano-Molding-Company-728-000-Angled/dp/B006PKXVAA/ref=lh_ni_t?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    • Admin says:

      Thank you Kate!!

    • Cheryl says:

      This doesn’t appear to be the same box – or at least, doesn’t appear to have the same storage boxes inside it.

      Toni – do you have the Plano number? There’s another one on Amazon that looks like it has the boxes that slide into the sides (which this one does not) but only includes 2 boxes in the main compartment.

      I’d love to know the exact model number – I plan to make one of these for my husband to take along camping.

  23. Julie says:

    Love this! We had something similar, but I just had to add to it to make it this grand! As we use things from it I will re-stock and update my expiration sheet! I found this tackle box, but it doesn’t have bins for the sides. Were yours bought separately? If so, do you remember the size that fit best in there?

  24. Lyana says:

    This exact tackle box is on clearance at Walmart.com for $27.95. If you use ship to store and pick up there, you’ll pay no shipping.

  25. Lyana says:

    I’m finding that getting everything I think we need into one kit is impossible. I previously used a large red plastic tool box with lift out lid but like your tackle box idea better. Now I’m using it for basic everyday first aid but adding a number of additional items including a dental kit with clove oil, dental wax, instruments and temporary filler. Having backup meds and vitamins for the whole family can take up a lot of space so I have a small duffle bag for those. I also have a clear tote with a handle on top for cold and flu stuff (if any of you want that list just give a shout). Lastly, but very importantly, I’ve ordered this kit for trauma: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003H2EODW/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_8?ie=UTF8&psc=1 There will be some redundancies so I’ll shift items from one kit to another and also add: Israeli bandage, wound seal, military style tournaquet, save a tooth kit, ammonia inhalant, mylar blanket, etc. You can also add any left over pain medication from previous injuries (if in date). Keep all the kits together for “grab and go”.

  26. Lyana says:

    One more thing to think about: Ipecac and activated charcoal for accidental poisonings. Activated charcoal is useful in the case of “bad” food. Here’s to being organized and prepared.

  27. Liz says:

    Hey, great post. Love the e-book. Just wondering what you would use the iodine swabs for? Trying to decide if they are necessary.

    • rachel says:

      Hi Liz, iodine is a broad-range antimicrobial that kills bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and yeast. So it protects the skin against microbes until the solution is washed from the skin.

  28. Marty says:

    Found your blog last night via pinterest and I am hooked on it. I love this first aid kit, especially using the tackle box. I am needing to get my house more organized, can’t wait to start.

  29. Agnes says:

    This is honestly a great idea, and a see through makeup box/tackle kit is perfect; yet, I would probably want to get one with more compartments, so I could subdivide the areas better using more of the small sticker labels.

  30. Jennifer says:

    I am glad to know that I am not the only one that thinks like this. 12 years ago when my son was diagnosed with Leukemia I put together a first aid kit like this and I am still using it! On family Vacations my friends know where to come to treat Boo-Boos big and small.

  31. NT says:

    You may have already had this question but I am interested in your reference manuals. The ones you have posted in your photo, are they manuals that someone who is not a nurse would be able to follow/understand in case of emergency?

    Thanks so very much!

  32. I say to all please collect your personal First aid kit. because this kit help to us in emergency. Save Life….

    Thanks to sharing nice Stuff!

  33. Rebecca says:

    I am highly allergic to benzocaine. What would you suggest as an alternative to steri strips?

  34. Nicole says:

    Tis whole series is brilliant and potentially life saving! Just a tip: Instead of a tackle box, I found a craft ogaizer at JoAnn’s on clearance for $20. It is a lot like the box that Toni used with the inserts, etc, it’s just pink and green. So that might be an option for any crafters out there that have some spare crafting organizers!

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