Emergency First Aid Supplies

Torey Posts: 5,640 admin
edited May 2023 in Shelter-in-Place

Emergency First Aid Supplies

First aid kits come in such a variety of sizes, sometimes with a very different selection of supplies. They can be everything from small pouch types for hiking or full-on paramedic style bags. You need to choose one that is the best for you and your family and the situations in which the kit(s) might be used.

Larger kits would be for people who might live in quite remote areas and may have to depend on themselves for longer periods than people who are less remote. Anyone with medical training is apt to have a larger first aid kit (jump kit) or medical bag. The Grow Network Medicine Bag is a good place to start if you are making your own. It’s a great size for travelling or emergency evacuation. I have two. One for my herbal supplies, medications & homeopathy kits and one for my equipment (tools, bandages, tape, etc.).

All first aid kits should be personalized for the people who are going to be using it the most. But it should have the most basic first aid supplies and then customize it from there. If you are more familiar with herbal medicines or homeopathics, then carry those in your bag. If you are more comfortable using OTC (or prescription) medications, then by all means use those. An emergency is no time to be learning about new things. If you require live-saving or sustaining medications, make sure you carry enough with you for at least a few days.

Basic Supplies for any First Aid Kit: Disposable gloves, Bandaids in an assortment of sizes, gauze pads - Telfa (non-stick) are best, in an assortment of sizes, tape, field dressings (aka pressure dressing or compress dressing), triangular bandages, moleskin, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, 81mg Aspirin, small scissors (manicure type scissors work well), tweezers, plastic re-sealable bags, small knife, lighter. These items will fit into a utility belt pouch or fanny pack for short walks or foraging trips.

A mid-size First Aid Kit (add to the above items): tension (Ace) bandage(s), crepe bandages, cling bandage (aka VetWrap), blister pads, safety pins, magnifying glass, small flashlight, antiseptic wash or spray, antiseptic cream or salve, pocket (CPR) mask, saline (comes in individual use tubes or a larger container, depending on the size of kit you are making).

Larger First Aid Kits would add in: Abdominal pads (these come in a variety of sizes) for bleeding, extra field dressings, tourniquet, additional triangular bandages, speed straps, butterfly sutures, larger selection of gauze or Telfa pads, roller gauze, eye pad & ring pad, burn dressing, crash scissors, eye cup, SAM splints, immobility device (neck collar), instant hot & cold packs, blanket.

Depending on your personal (and/or family) needs for medication or for those you might encounter, you may want to include: an epipen and/or an antihistamine, anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS), glucose, antacids, throat lozenges, anti-diarrheals, anti-nausea meds and any personal medications or prescriptions.

You never know where you might be in an emergency. Many people have multiple first aid kits (in different sizes) that are left in vehicles or at their place of work in addition to an emergency travel kit and home first aid storage.

Include a list of emergency phone numbers in your first aid kit. It could be taped to the inside of your first aid kit or make small laminated cards to carry in your kits. Poison Control, Hospital, Doctor (or other practitioner), Emergency Contacts. You would be surprised at how quickly your memory can fail when in stressful or emergency situations.

Making up small first aid kits for kids is a great way to make them feel more secure, responsible and independent. A small fanny pack can easily be customized depending on age and skills, with specialty-design bandaids (cartoon characters, glow in the dark, etc.), moleskin, gauze pads, wipes, hand sanitizer, cough lozenges, whistle and the following where age appropriate, a small container of an anti-sting cream (Kids After-bite), small container of herbal salve (or Polysporin), sunscreen, small pair of blunt scissors, tweezers, triangular bandage and field dressing.

If you have pets, you may want to have a pet first aid kit.

Keep a first aid manual in your kit. It’s helpful if you are not accustomed to doing first aid on a regular basis or for someone else on scene who may need the prompting of a first aid manual. There are ones designed for all ages and skill levels.

Taking a First Aid course is part of being prepared for an emergency. You can take a basic course and then proceed from there to your comfort level. Doc Jones’ Herbal First Aid course is an excellent choice as is 7Song’s Herbal First Aid course. The Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance, the Heart & Stroke Foundation and several other providers offer a variety of first aid courses depending on the needs for your individual situation.

Online courses are no substitute for in-person practical courses, however, they are a good introduction to the subjects that will be covered in a regular course.



Kids can learn first aid just as easily and there are courses designed for various age levels. Simple skills can easily be taught at home.




  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    I just received e-mail from Doc Jones with regards to a Travel & First Aid Tincture kit that he is selling.

    This could be a good solution for those who are looking for herbal medications but aren't sure where to start for emergencies and travel. It can be quite overwhelming when you start to think of all the emergencies that you might want to prepare for.

    If you already have your own selection of herbal remedies in your emergency supplies, compare it to his list. There might be things that you want to add.

    There is a very good description of the items, what they are used for and how to dose.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,279 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey thank you for this great information on first aid kits. I just got another First aid kit with 175 pieces. I usually get the smaller ones but mine are all old. I do keep a very small first aid kit in the glove box in the car. I am in the process of making another car kit and will include the first aid kit.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was just thinking I needed to update my first aid kit. Thanks for sharing @torey.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    I definitely need to increase the size of my first aid kit. One question that I have is for storing remedies in a car, how often should they be replaced do to the high heat during summer?

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I ordered my kit. It's on its way. Thank again, @torey. ☺️

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    @Cornelius I leave a first aid kit in the car with bandages and other supplies but my medical bag with remedies, tinctures, pills, etc., is beside the door and I take it whenever I leave the house and bring it in when I get home. That way they aren't in the heat for any length of time. I try not to have salves in my bag that will melt in the heat. It means having 2 bags but I'm OK with that.

    I should have added a note about this for the main post. Check your supplies regularly to make sure that none of them are getting out of date.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2022

    @torey I wanted to ask if you recommend any place specific to get bandages and the like? Is a big box store, Walmart or Target, a good place? Or perhaps a certain website?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina I buy my supplies wherever I can get them cheapest.

    The pharmacy sections of most big box stores have first aid supplies. I have found (at least in my area) that Walmart is the cheapest for isopropyl alcohol and peroxide. I also found nice-sized, convenient spray bottles of iso and peroxide at the dollar store. I think my magnifying tweezers came from the dollar store.

    Cling wrap or Coban (aka vet wrap) is often cheaper at a feed store than a drug store.

    Supplies will be more expensive in stand-alone pharmacies but sometimes you may have to go there for things that you can't find in box stores. I had a very difficult time finding glass eye cups (they are all plastic now) and had to go online to a medical supply store (I bought their remaining stock of 10). For things like cervical collars, oral airways, SAM splints, etc. you would have to go medical equipment supply store. Sometimes St. John's Ambulance or the Red Cross have store fronts where they sell medical supplies and equipment.

    I've never thought to check Amazon before but just had a quick look at their medical supplies and they are all quite reasonable. (I typed in "medical supplies for wound care" into amazon's search bar) CPR masks are quite inexpensive compared to what I pay.

    A word of warning from experience. Cheap triangular bandages are very cheap quality. Spend the extra little bit and get good quality ones.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    This is great information! When my girls were young they both carried small first aide kits in their back backs. My youngest is very accident prone like me.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great information. Thanks for sharing and reminding us to not only have first aid kits, check them regularly and learn how to use them as well.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great, thanks, @torey. I'll check when I'm at the store again.👍😊