We have been following A Bowl Full of Lemons weekly blog series Emergency Preparedness in 8 Weeks. Each week we have tailored the tasks for our needs a bit. Additionally, there have been somethings that we had already done in our prior preparations that we simply just skipped. But I believe this is a nicely structured step by step process for someone who does not know where to start. This is not an extensive long term preparedness plan, but a short term (few days) emergency plan.
|First Aid Kit Organization|
This week is Emergency Preparedness – Week 3 “First Aid Kit”. We did not have a formal first aid kit all in one place. In the same week I came across Dr. Mom To The Rescue~ Part 2: The Tackle Box First Aid and Wellness Kit via reThinkSurvival on Pinterest. Similar to Emily in the Dr. Mom post, we had a lot of first aid supplies, but they were in the kitchen medicine cabinet, bathroom medicine cabinet, under the bathroom sink, and in the upstairs closet. They were just all over the place.
First, let me say I really dig the tackle box idea. It is great. They come with customizable dividers that do make it much easier to make it fit your personal needs.
|Tackle Box Compartment Dividers|
You do need to get a large one if you want to have any room for large bottles and containers. That being said, I am cheap! I just couldn’t see spending $45 on just the tackle box. If we’d had anything that could have been reused I would have. So, I went a slightly smaller route, but still deliberated carefully on it’s design and compartments. I got one for $15 at Walmart instead of $45.
|Large $15 Tackle Box From Walmart|
Then, I took an inventory of what we already had and drug it all out. I started working with the list from week 3, what I had, and the space in the tackle box. Let me tell you, it was a little overwhelming. Trying to figure out how and where to put everything and to keep things logically grouped together. I rearranged things several times.
Then I had a list of items that we did not already have. I looked through this list and found somethings unnecessary like gown, betadine swabs, glucose tablets, and stethoscope. I just thought a gown was excessive. There are several other means of disinfecting a wound or area other than betadine swabs already included. It seemed somewhat redundant as well as I never saw them in the store. Nobody in my immediate family has blood sugar issues so I skipped the glucose tablets. And lastly a stethoscope? I am not a medical professional. I have no idea of how to use a stethoscope. Even with a first aid booklet or instructions, I think it is a bit difficult. What would I be checking for? Is the heart beating? Yep, you’re alive. Is it not, ummm well you’re not. I am pretty sure that would be the extent of how I could use them and I can do that by checking a pulse. And I added a few ideas from the pinterest post like feminine hygiene products. However, each person can use their own judgement on what to include.
After buying the rest of the items we did not already have I had spent $100! The BP cuff was $20. Who knows what a stethoscope would cost. I bought generic everything and tried to buy sizes that I felt would fit in the tackle box. Even with the many supplies we had scattered all over the house, it took $115 to build this first aid kit. Ouch! I budget a little money each payday for preparation or self sufficiency supplies, but this was over my budget. There are pre-built first aid kits that can be bought as well. But most of the ones I have seen in that same price range or cheaper did not have the same amount of items. Those pre-assembled first aid kits that were thoroughly stocked were well over the amount I spent.
Some of the things I needed to get were cold and allergy medications. I got a couple different kinds as some of us have seasonal allergies. The lady checking me out at the register looked at me a bit strange. I told her I was following this 8 week preparedness plan and this week was building an extensive first aid kit. She laughed a bit and said it prompted her it was a lot of medications, but must not be too many because she could keep on scanning. Gees, I guess I looked like I was going to go cook up some meth! I did have some scissors and other wound type items that I guess made me believable.
When I get home and dumped all of our new medical goodies out, it was a large pile! I was beginning to worry this all would not fit in there. Where possible I removed the packaging, but several items like allergy meds in those bubble packets only have the directions and information on the box. Some of the bubble packets did not even say what they were on the back of them. I wrote the name in sharpie on the backs and the instructions if they were brief and there was room. When not possible I chose to leave them in the packaging. If the name of the item was not visible due to the way it was packed I wrote the name in sharpie on the visible side of the packaging. Then I was having issues grouping all of the “like” items together because of size issues. I rearranged dividers and items more and more.
Due to all of my size issues and my unwillingness to buy the $45 model, our medical kit is not as neat, tidy, and labeled as hers. Some of the items are unfortunately stacked on top of each other, but still I believe this is an improvement having the basic essentials all in one place. If we did need to go on a road trip or “bug out” we could grab it all in this one box.
Then I went to pick up the tackle box and wow, it is pretty heavy. I mean not horrible, but heavy. Anything bigger would probably be even heavier.
All the various nooks and crannies throughout the house where everything had been stashed has a little bit more room. Space is a huge issue in our house. We are overflowing in every way. There is not a lot of space recovered from any one space, but a little in each. For instance now I may have room for an extra bottle of shampoo under the bathroom sink. I did leave a couple of the routinely used items like basic band aids, neosporin, cold, and allergy medicine in their usual locations. All other items not regularly used or duplicate items were placed in the first aid kit.
Now, where in the world am I going store the first aid kit?!? Have I mentioned we have no space?