In an emergency or disaster, the event’s scale may overwhelm first responders. In some situations, you may be unable to reach a hospital, clinic, or pharmacy. That’s why it’s important to keep medical records, supplies, and prescriptions easily accessible and to learn simple first aid techniques. A “stay healthy” kit for medical readiness is a key component of your household emergency preparations. Your “stay healthy” kit should include:
- A week’s supply of each family member’s medicines in a separate plastic bag, labeled with that person’s (or pet’s) name;
- A week’s supply of testing equipment such as glucose strips, similarly labeled;
- First aid supplies such as bandages, antiseptic cream, pain reliever, cotton washcloths, and hydrogen peroxide/isopropyl alcohol;
- Spare medical devices and supplies, such as eyeglasses, contact lenses (and cleaning solution), hearing aid batteries, and denture adhesive;
- A list of prescription medicines, copies of medical insurance, copies of Medicare/Medicaid cards, and a list of medical conditions, known allergies, etc.;
- Instruction tags for any specialized equipment so someone unfamiliar with an item can still provide help.
Use the household health information sheet in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Rx For Readiness” guide to fill in medical information for each family member. Make copies of the sheet to keep in your home, car, and workplace.
The whole kit should be in a waterproof container to keep it dry and airtight. It should be stored with the rest of your emergency supplies so it’s easy to find and ready to go when you need it.
If a disaster disrupts basic services like water, contagious diseases can spread. Simple preventive measures, such as using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, can help you avoid getting or spreading germs.