First Aid Kits

In any emergency a family member or you yourself may suffer an injury. If you have these basic first aid supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt.

Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. You may consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.

  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn ointment
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
  • Thermometer
  • Two pairs of latex or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to latex

Non-Prescription Drugs

  • Antacid
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Laxative

Other First Aid Supplies

  • Scissors
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Tweezers

Supplies For Unique Needs

Remember the unique needs of your family members, including growing children, when making your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan.

For Baby

  • Bottles
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • Medications
  • Moist towelettes
  • Powdered milk

For more information about the care and feeding of infants and young children during an emergency, visit the California Department of Public Health website.

For Adults

  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses

Ask your doctor about storing prescription medications such as heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin and other prescription drugs.

Living in a cold climate, we must think about warmth. It is possible that we will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:

  • Jacket or coat
  • Long pants
  • Long sleeve shirt

Maintaining Your Kit

Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.
  • Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded.
  • Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.
  • Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
  • Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.