Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This article is provided to get you started thinking about being more prepared. I do not give medical advise and no attempt is made to diagnose or treat any illness or injury.
I hope by now you have realized that I am not a person who preaches beans, bullets, and band aides. Being prepared for the things that are most likely to occur is so much more than that. I have found that medical preparedness is an area that an individual either does nothing or goes way overboard.
Unless you have medical training you do not need a trauma kit, but everyone should have some basic over the counter supplies. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and allergy medicine should be in everyone's supplies as should some type of bandages and topical salves.
Take time to educate yourself on basic first aid. Everyone should know CPR, how to make a splint, and how to apply a tourniquet. Hopefully you will never need these skills, but odds are high you will need some of the skills taught in the CPR course. I have personally assisted in the Heimlich maneuver.
There are lots of herbal remedies that can be made from plants that grow around you everyday, but if you don't know what you are doing you can cause more harm than good. A plant may be a great medicine if prepared properly but if it is not done correctly that same plant could kill someone.
There are several very good books that cover everyday medical needs. You can cover the basics. I know you can.
How much medication should I keep on hand in case of an emergency?
Several times I have referred the the governmental preparedness site www.ready.gov and their recommendations for basic preparedness. Today I am going to reference another governmental agency. The Center for Disease Control. According to the CDC emergency preparedness guide you should keep a minimum of 7 days of medication on hand in the event of a crisis. I like this recommendation a lot more than the 3 days suggested by ready.gov.
Pain medications are generally not thought of as life sustaining. They may help you maintain a better quality of life, but normally you will not die if you don't have them. Prescription pain medications tend to be fairly highly regulated due to the likelihood of abuse. In fact, narcotic based pain relievers cannot be refilled until after a certain length of time. This means you will either not be able to have a surplus on hand or it will be more difficult to obtain a surplus. If you are in an emergency situation and you take regular pain medications realize there may come a time when you will simply have to deal with it. I am not saying this is easy and I actually even hate to have to write that, but this situation has been caused by people abusing medications.
Maintenance medications are prescribed for long term chronic illnesses like asthma, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. These are the medicines to not have them could endanger a person's life. These types of medications are much less likely to be abused. To the best of my knowledge none of the true life sustaining medications produce a "high".
Due to the fact that maintenance medications are for many people required to sustain life and few of these medications are abused, many insurance companies will fill a 90 supply. Only one catch. You have to talk to your doctor and ask them to write a 90 day prescription. This action alone will help insure you do not run out of the medication you need.
I also mentioned a very important thing you need to do. Talk to your doctor. If need be refer them to the CDC website and tell them you are trying to build an emergency kit as suggested. Ask your doctor what you should do it an emergency strikes and you are out of medication. I may be that you will have to temporarily adjust your diet or activity level. Your doctor may have other suggestions that will help you get through an emergency.
Now for the singly most important thing you can do for your medical preparations. Have a file will all of your pertinent medical information in it. You can have a file one your phone or other digital device, but I suggest very strongly that you have a hard copy.
Things that should be in this documentation package include ALL of your medications, any conditions you may suffer from, ALL known allergies, and contact information for your primary care physician.
If an emergency occurs you may have to leave your home. A little planning can help insure you get to live out your
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More Posts in this series:
#17 A Case for Long-Term Preparedness
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