by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

What items would I suggest for a first-aid kit? I get that question a lot. Well, first, it depends on a lot of things.

  1. Is this for home storage or for on the go? If on the go, the items need to be lightweight. It’s great if one thing can be used for multiple purposes. Breakage and leakage becomes an issue.
  2. How many are you packing for? You, your family? Do you expect to be treating others?
  3. What’s your expertise? IV supplies are bulky. If you haven’t ever started an IV, they’re pretty useless to you as well.
  4. And, of course, everyone has different needs. I’m pretty blind without my glasses, so I better pack an extra pair. Don’t go off and leave your prescription medicines. Store them in an easy-to-locate space, safe from water spillage and extremes in temperature. If you’re prone to indigestion, pack extra antacids. If you’re allergic to bees be sure to have an EpiPen handy. You get the idea.

Learn the best ways to use your supplies—and makeshift substitutes—in The Survival Doctor e-books!

For specifics, I’ve started a page of general medical supplies I’d suggest you carry. In a disaster, you may not be able to get home. Have a small bag in your car and at work. Also, you’re going to need a lot more supplies than just medical, so for travel, I start with a small, light bag of essentials. The bigger the space you have, the more suggestions I make.

After you’ve looked over the page, would you please come back here for comments and suggestions? The list is an ongoing project and may change as I get other ideas.


Photo by Marshall Segal on Flickr.