Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared at DoomAndBloom.net on February 8, 2013, and is reproduced here with permission. – John
Here’s my list of Survival and Collapse medical supplies with natural remedies included. We include natural remedies for first use or back up to save on items that won’t be produced in an austere setting. Dr.Bones and I spend a lot of time and energy researching “back-up” plans for traditional medicine. We want you to have the ability to provide medical help in a disaster scenario, and for that, you’ll need conventional medical supplies and some knowledge on what natural remedies are useful for certain situations. Below is a very ambitious list of things you should consider:
Oral antibiotics-(or if emergency, fish meds) may also include garlic oil, honey,cayenne,thyme oil,peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil as herbal alternatives or fresh garlic or ginger. If you can’t acquire prescription antibiotics, see our 4 part series that discusses antibiotics, their fish antibiotic equivalents, and how to use them. This is part one: http://doctorbonesandamyshow.blogspot.com/2011/11/antibiotics-and-their-use-in- collapse.html
Antibiotic ointment and/or antibacterial herbal salves ( with calendula/tea tree oil/lavender oils)
Multiple sizes of adhesive bandages- (spot, knuckle, size 1×3 or 2 x 4 is great to cover most lacerations
Ace bandages- multiple sizes
Self adhering “Coban” wraps
Kerlix or rolled gauze
Steri strips and butterfly bandages to close minor lacerations
TONS of gauze/dressings (BOTH: sterile and non-sterile 4x4s. Include lots of non-adherent “telfa” pads so healing wounds won’t stick to the dressing)
Xeroform petrolatum dressings (non stick)
ABD pads (usually 5×9), also called combine dressings
12×30 trauma dressings
Maxi Pads and tampons- multi use materials
Tapes- include DUCT, adhesive and paper ( for adhesive tape allergies)
Quality bandage scissor/trauma shears ( ALL METAL, the plastic handle ones break cutting jean material!)
Pliable splinting material (“sam” splints – everything from finger splints to 36 inch rolls that you can cut to size)
Cast material Kit (comes in fiberglass or Plaster of Paris)
Moleskin with padding- for blisters
Scalpels (#10, #11, #15 most popular)
Paracord- multiple uses for this
LOTS of nitrile gloves -hypoallergenic (NEVER touch an open wound with bare hands if you can help it)
A few pair of sterile size 7 1/2 or 8 gloves (or more!)
Hand sanitizer/alcohol for cleaning hands and instruments
Betadine swabs/wipes- wipes are great to make a betadine solution with water
60cc or 100cc syringe- for wound irrigation and cleaning
Antiseptics- get lots of various solutions, hibiclens is excellent
Universal Cervical collar
OPAs (Oral Airways) good for preventing occlusion of an airway due to an allergic reaction and while waiting for the epi pen or benadryl to reduce the swelling
BZK wipes-to clean hands/wounds – great for cleaning animal bites(may decrease rabies transmission)
Alcohol pads -to clean instruments/hands
Sting relief Pads
Masks- earloop surgical (for sick people)
N-95s (for healthy people to keep them from getting sick!)
Dermabond (Rx) or super glue ( may burn the skin)
Needle holder (if you are learning how to suture)
Sutures (2-0 nylon- don’t bother with 3-0 or smaller unless working with delicate skin on the face, eyelids, etc. (higher the number=smaller the needle!) – watch Dr.Bones’ youtube.com/drbonespodcast videos on How to Suture for instructions (in a collapse) and How to Staple Skin.
Skin stapler/remover and 2 adson forceps (if you or someone you know knows how to use properly)
Curved and straight Kelly clamps ( to remove foreign objects from wounds)
Several large safety pins
Light source -Pen light, head lamp, glow stick, flashlight
Some type of firestarter- to start fires for boiling water or sterilizing instruments, include a container for boiling water in your supplies!
Cold and Hot Packs (reusable and instant)
Cotton Sheets- can be cut into strips for multiple uses, or used to carry patients
Stretcher- lightweight, portable is best if one is needed
Cot/examining table- a bed is fine with clean sheets
Blood pressure cuff/stethescope- a good quality set would be best
Chux Pads- for use in austere conditions to make a clean surface, also used under a patient to catch fluids, leaking or with incontinence
Clotting powders/dressings (Quikclot, Celox)- cayenne pepper powder may help minor bleeding- use 35,000 HU as a minimum for bleeding.
** Remember- the more options available, the more likely you will find something that works!
Styptic pencil- minor bleeding
Tourniquet- such as CAT , only use in severe bleeding that will not stop with direct pressure or clotting agents
Pressure dressings – olaes modular bandage or Emergency Israeli bandage
Blood stopper dressings (dressing with 2 kerlix attached for wrapping)
Q-tips/cotton squares/cotton balls/cotton rolls
Cravat-style triangular bandages
Snake bit kit- must use within seconds of the bite or it is useless
Rubber bag (hot water bottle)
Re-useable GEL packs- can be cooled OR heated
Aquatabs -to help purify water
Fels naptha soap- to wash off poison Ivy,oak or sumac from skin and clothes (also a great clothes detergent)
Athlete’s foot powder (lasts longer than creams)
Monistat cream (or equivalent)- for vaginal yeast infections
Don’t forget that, in long-term survival situations, you will be responsible for dental care as much as medical care:
- Dental mirror,
- Dental extractors/elevator
- Cotton tip applicators / cotton rolls/ cotton pellets
- Dental filling material ( commercial or mix zinc oxide powder and 2 drops clove oil),
- Pill cups for mixing the dental filling
- Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and 2 drops of peppermint oil make a great gum treatment and toothpaste
- Hydrogen peroxide- makes a great oral mouthwash/gargle for gum swelling and irritations. Do not use on open skin wounds after the initial wound cleaning! HP may damage healing cells inside an open skin wound.
- Extra essential clove bud oil (numbs dental pain when applied directly
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Dental Floss
Just when you think you’re done:
Eye wash- weak Chamomile tea (1 tea bag for 2 cups water) makes a great eye wash also, may add 1/2 teaspoon raw honey to the tea for pink eye treatments
Eye pads/eye patch
An ear oil natural remedy ( usually has garlic oil and mullein oil)- use 2 warmed drops in the affected ear and place a cotton ball over the ear canal secured with paper tape, repeat 3 times daily.
Claritin (non-drowsy antihistamine)- hay fever/allergies
Benadryl ( drowsy antihistamine)-allergic reactions to stings/medication/food/contact with irritants/this is the other ingredient in tylenol PM! It really puts you to sleep at 50mg dose, but this is a better dose for serious allergic reactions!
Epi-pen (Rx), if needed for anaphylactic reactions
Eucalyptus essential oil- also a decongestant and good for coughs ( direct or steam inhalation/ a good insect repellent
Aspirin (not for children)
Witch Hazel- good for bug bites/stings and as an antiseptic for wounds. The main ingredient for treating hemorrhoids (with hydrocortisone cream).
Arnica essential oil/salve (great mixed with St.John’s Wort)- also an analgesic used externally in very dilute amounts (6-12 drops per ounce of carrier oil)Great for bruises, joint and muscle pain, fracture pain, use ONLY on intact skin.
Other Analgesic Essential Oils -Consider 1 or 2 of these – lavender,chamomile,rosemary,eucalyptus, marjoram
Gas X and Beano -to treat gas
hydrocortisone cream- anti-inflammatory, good for rashes
Gold Bond powder -for chafing, foot issues
Lip balm-I love carmex brand
Vaseline/Petroleum jelly- a million uses! Great to make non-stick dressings.
A&D ointment-great for rashes
Bag Balm-also great for rashes
Aloe vera- for burns
zinc oxide cream-useful for rashes and as a sunscreen
zinc oxide powder medical grade- to mix with Clove bud essential oil, and make a temporary dental filling
*RAW honey-externally for serious burns and wound treatment OR internally mix with garlic oil or fresh minced garlic for an antibiotic effect or sore throat remedy
Vinegar (apple cider)- a hundred uses like baking soda and raw honey!!
Tea tree essential oil-antiseptic/anti-fungal/insect bite tx/burn tx
Lavender essential oil-analgesic/antiseptic/calming effect for insomnia,stress/skin care-rashes and cuts
Peppermint essential oil-respiratory and nasal congestion/Headache tx 1 drop to temples or inhale vapors/also good for digestive disorders/achy joints and muscle tx/ use 2 drops on toothbrush with baking soda as a “toothpaste”
Geranium essential oil- decreases bleeding when applied to wound/lowers blood sugar/burn tx /antibacterial
Thieves blend essential oil- A mix of clove,lemon,cinnamon,eucalyptus and rosemary oils- Antibiotic/antiseptic/and a host of other actions.
Helichrysum essential oil- anti-inflammatory and, additionally, an analgesic
Garlic- fresh crushed if you can find it is awesome mixed with raw honey for a cold/flu/cough tx.
Chamomile tea bags- internally relaxing,headache tx and digestive problems/ external compress for burns,bee stings
Ginger tea bags- internally good for nausea, stomach aches, digestive problems like gas and bloating, also good for motion sickness (crystallized ginger is an alternative, but weighs more)
Echinacea/elderberry tea bags- supports immune system, decreases flu and cold duration
Laxative tea bags/(or OTC laxative)- usually contains senna mixed with other herbs for a better flavor powdered
Gatorade or rehydration tablets/powders- for rehydration drinks ( to tx dehydration)
Multi-vitamins, extra vitamin C (tablets and powder), zinc, and other supplements to strengthen the immune system
Herbal Tinctures for Sleep and Pain treatment. Headache, PMS, Joint Pain and Menopausal Tinctures may be helpful, depending on your medical issues.
I know this is a lot to stockpile, but you will be well-equipped to deal with multiple issues. With the above list you can handle:
- colds/flu/cough/sore throat/lung congestion aches and pains
- allergies/allergic reactions
- skin irritations and conditions
- achy joints/muscles
- digestive upsets and nausea constipation/diarrhea
- bug bites/ bee stings/
- contact dermatitis( poison ivy/oak/sumac)
- burns/sunburn minor cuts.
- bleeding, scrapes and lacerations-including wound cleaning, and closure materials such as: suturing or stapling
- sinus congestion
- ear/eye/dental issues
- fungal infections
- stress and anxiety
- oral hygiene and
- basic dental tx (treatment)with extraction/ dental fillers
- surface disinfectant
- insect repellent
- wash clothes!
Some items that are missing from this list are commonly part of some medical ktis. Unfortunately, chest decompression kits and ambu-bags are of limited help without a hospital to transfer the patient to. I would concentrate on the supplies you will need most and will likely be able use without too much training. You will still have the ability to deal with 90% of the medical emergencies you will encounter in times of trouble.
See also The Survival Medicine Cabinet: Infections for info on antibiotics and other anti-infection medicines to have on hand.
Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy provide a wealth of information on their site, which is a real public service to the prepper community at large. They also sell medical kits and supplies, which you can find here.
And be sure to get the best selling guide, The Survival Medicine Handbook.