Medical Supply Checklist

Rugged First Aid Kit by Adventure Medical Kits

Medical supplies will in all likelihood be the one thing you wish you had in any doomsday scenario. Food and water can be had through creative means but when you need medical supplies the most is exactly the moment you won’t have time to find them. When the SHTF and you have an injured loved one to take care of, you will want to have your medical supplies adequate to the task.

There are a number of ready-made first aid kits that you can buy and lacking any alternatives you should absolutely purchase one. Something like this kit from Adventure Medical Kits would be perfect. It has medicine for pain management and nausea, wound care and all the staples you would expect to find in a well thought-out first aid kit with the added bonus of being light and waterproof. Perfect for a doomsday prepper. But...

The whole point of prepping is being prepared. I recommend you build your own kit and be familiar with it. Use it regularly so you know what you have and how to apply the tools appropriately. More importantly, be familiar with where everything is at in your kit so you know how to get to it in an extreme situation. No scrambling and looking for the right bandage or reading medication while someone is bleeding and screaming in poor lighting just to round out the scenario.

Your personal first aid kit should include the following three groups of products:

  • general medical supplies
  • medication
  • wound care

General Medical Supplies

For general medical supplies you want to include the following items:

  • nitrile gloves
  • forceps and tweezers
  • safety pins
  • cotton-tip applicators
  • tape
  • rubbing alcohol
  • scissors
  • thermometer (non-battery operated)

This is a general list but feel free to customize this list. The nitrile gloves are recommended since they are more puncture resistant than natural rubber but aside from a latex allergy, you can substitute any style you prefer.


This portion of your kit will be comprised of the following:

For the medications, stick to the simple medications and be aware of the expiration dates on each. Combination medications are typically not a good idea since it will expire on the medicine with the shortest expiration date. If you keep the medications separate, you will only have to replace the one medication.

For pain and fever medication, I recommend you include both aspirin and ibuprofen. Aspirin works well for general pain relief but doesn’t do much for reducing fevers. Ibuprofen is a good choice for muscle aches and does a good job at reducing fevers as well. Naproxen is the strongest over the counter pain medication you can get so you might want to include that in your kit as well.

For anti-diarrheal medication, you really have one choice. Loperamide Hydrochloride, sold over the counter as Imodium among other brands, is what you will need. Considering you may not have easy access to clean water supplies, bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract may make this a medication you will not want to miss in your first aid kit.

Diphenhydramine, sold commonly as Benadryl, works well for both allergy symptoms and nausea. The down-side is that it causes drowsiness. Loratadine works well as a substitute for an allergy medication and does not cause drowsiness but doesn’t work well as a nausea medication. Meclizine, commonly sold as Dramamine, is now available over the counter and works very well as an anti-nausea medication but will be more expensive. All the same, it is worth including in your first aid kit.

Wound Care

A large portion of your kit will be dedicated to wound care. You will need a supply of bandages, gauze, and supplies such as small splints in your kit. For larger splints, you can use materials at hand but for setting a broken finger, having appropriate splints handy in your kit will make your life easier at a time when you need it most.

You will also want to have antibiotic and antihistamine ointments. The antibiotic ointments will speed the healing process and minimize the possibility of infection. The antihistamine ointment will be invaluable for treating rashes, insect bites and itching.

You will find that you can get bandages already impregnated with antibiotic ointment but I don’t personally recommend them. For simplicity and flexibility you will want to keep your supplies simple. Combination supplies will likely not last as long and should be avoided for the sake of your first aid kit.

You will want to include the following wound care items in your first aid kit:

  • Gauze
  • Ace Bandages
  • Bandaids
  • Trauma Pads
  • Antihistamine Ointment
  • Antibiotic Ointment
For a low cost source for medical supplies check Amazon at this location (link).

Prescription Medication

This is a tough one. You will most definitely need any prescription medication to be available in case of a disaster but filling this need is not going to be easy. There are steps you can take to help but ultimately, you will need to get creative to fill this need.

During the Hurricane Katrina disaster, emergency rooms in Houston, Texas were filled with people who were looking for refills of prescription medication and didn’t have another more traditional source.

Addressing this issue will not be easy. First, your insurance will not pay for extra supplies and your Doctor will either not be able to give you a prescription for extra medication or will not want to do so. You might try Canadian or Mexican online pharmacies that can use copies of your prescription but are not part of the regulatory framework that restricts them from providing your medication.

One other possibility that you will have to pursue on your own is obtaining supplies of your prescriptions from border town pharmacies. This will require travel but if you have the opportunity do not pass it up. I have personally purchased premarin hormone replacement medication from border towns and while you can do this successfully, be sure and familiarize yourself with the border laws for bringing the medication back into the country. In general, you should have copies of your prescriptions and will only be able to bring back small quantities (30 days or less) of your medication per trip. If you plan this carefully, you can visit a border town and easily make multiple trips even during the same day.


Make sure you are familiar with the contents of your first aid kit regardless of whether you buy a kit or make your own. Know where the items are stored and what they should be used for and use it before a disaster restocking any items that you consume.

For medication in your first aid kit, be familiar with the expiration dates and restock any expired medication. Also, be familiar with the age appropriateness and the side effects of each medication. This information will serve you well when the SHTF.