In an emergency, a medicine cabinet can make the difference between life and death. It is important to have well-stocked emergency equipment with medications, bandages, water purification tablets and other accessories. It is very important to have well-stocked emergency equipment with medicines, bandages, water purification tablets and other accessories. In this article, we have put together some recommendations on how to prepare your medicine cabinet for an emergency.
Content of the medicine chest in times of crisis
Normal medicine cabinets are based on small emergencies to bridge the time to visit the doctor. A medicine chest for crises such as prolonged power outages or lockdowns includes all of this, but needs to be planned a little better and is important for your family’s emergency supplies.
The following list lists things you should have in your medicine cabinet for emergencies. The list of crisis pharmacies is regularly revised. We are looking forward to comments and additions!
List medicine chest / crisis pharmacy
- Prescription medications (for chronic conditions and for professionals)
- Non-prescription medications (painkillers, cold and flu remedies, fever reducers)
- Bandages, gauze bandages, plasters
- Adhesive tape or bandage clamps for fixing the bandages
- Disinfectants for wounds and hands
- Water purifiers (tablets)
- Tweezers, scissors and disposable gloves
- Medication for diarrhea
- Electrolyte solution to balance the electrolyte balance after diarrhea
- Antacid tablets for stomach problems (against heartburn)
- Antihistamines for allergies or skin reactions
- Corticosteroids for allergic reactions to insect bites or bites
- Clinical thermometer
- Shock blanket
Less important in times of crisis are medicine cabinet recommendations such as:
- Cooling pads or cooling compresses
- Hot water bottle
Because they both need a refrigerator or a stove or kettle and are therefore not available in a relevant crisis. Keep them in normal times, they make life more pleasant and do not consume much storage space.
Does iodine belong in the medicine cabinet?
In no case should you stock iodine tablets if they are not prescribed by the doctor. Iodine is usually prescribed for thyroid problems. Prevention with iodine tablets against radioactivity is not necessary, but endangers health.
You can find out more about this in the article Iodine tablets in the event of a nuclear accident.
Preparing for the worst
The medicine cabinet for the home
A medicine cabinet is a must in every household. It is a place where you store all your medicines, first aid kits and other necessary medical aids. The cabinet should be organized and easy to find what you need in case of emergency. It should be placed in a fixed place inside the building and not in direct sunlight. So he is found in an emergency and the drugs and aids do not expire so quickly.
There are many different types of medicine cabinets, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs. For example, the ones with shelves can be a good choice if you have a lot of things to store and want to have them handy. There are also cabinets that are wall-mounted, for those who prefer more space or want to save some floor space in their bathroom or bedroom.
What should you store in your medicine cabinet?
A well-stocked medicine cabinet should contain items such as bandages, duct tape, scissors, antiseptic wipes, gauze swabs and elastic bandages. In addition to the medications you take regularly, it also makes sense to keep some painkillers and remedies for diarrhea in the closet. The full list can be found above.
In addition, it is advisable to keep a first aid manual and a medical lexicon for laymen there, because in an emergency you must understand what the patient has and how you can help with simple means.
Medication in the medicine cabinet for emergencies
There are some medications that are helpful in everyday life. Some of these are hard to come by in a national or global crisis. If you are planning your medicine cabinet for the crisis, talk to your doctor about the following medications:
Strong painkillers in the medicine cabinet
Conventional agents such as aspirin or paracetamol are only weakly effective. There are far more effective painkillers, for example, opiates. Of course, this note only applies to emergencies. If your doctor prescribes strong painkillers, be sure to note the highest dosage on the package and keep the drugs under lock and key. Because they can be addictive or lead to life-threatening respiratory failure.
Antibiotics in the medicine cabinet
In a crisis, any bacterial infection can easily become life-threatening. If it spreads in the body, there is a risk of blood poisoning. Typical infections of this kind are pneumonia, skin and joint inflammation or diseases such as scarlet fever. Flu-like infections are often accompanied by bacterial inflammation.
Today, there are very effective broad-spectrum antibiotics that can reduce consequential damage and save lives in such cases. Unfortunately, in a crisis, you will hardly get to a doctor and will not find a stock in the pharmacy. Therefore, you should clarify with your doctor whether he prescribes antibiotics for the crisis pharmacy. He can explain the handling to you. He can also teach you how to recognize bacterial infections.
In this case, we generally advise against preventive antibiotic administration. As a rule, antibiotics should only be used in a targeted and pathogen-specific manner after a laboratory diagnostic examination. In the crisis, however, you will not have a laboratory result, but will have to rely on the appearance and high effectiveness of a modern antibiotic against many bacterial strains.
Tranquilizers in the medicine cabinet
If you create the medicine chest as a crisis pharmacy, then also think about the stress caused by supply bottlenecks, power failure, gas shortage and the tense situation in the world. Your GP may prescribe sedatives such as Valium (diazepam) as a precaution. Again, note the maximum dosage on the cardboard box and keep the medication under lock and key to avoid abuse and accidents.
Explanations of the list for the crisis pharmacy
First, think about medications that you and your roommates and family will need on a regular basis. These include such as antihypertensive drugs, insulin, migraine remedies, blood thinners. They are indispensable for some patients. Plan not to be able to re-obtain these funds for a month to be on the safe side.
If you have your regular medication prescribed by your family doctor, also think about other remedies, such as antibiotics, strong painkillers and sedatives. You only need relatively small amounts of it in your crisis pharmacy for a maximum of one month.
Effective fever reducers, mild painkillers, anti-inflammatories and antihistamines are available over the counter. Familiarize yourself with the versatile application in good time. Many simultaneously lower fever, pain and inflammatory reactions. Others help against insect bites and other skin reactions alike. We have already provided further information elsewhere in the health magazine, it is worthwhile for you to browse through our articles.
Disinfectants for wounds and hands
It is best to put three different disinfectants in your crisis stockpile.
- Alcohol (hard liquor) for sterilization
- Disinfectant spray for wound disinfection
- Iodine ointment for wound care
Water purifiers (tablets)
Drinking water lasts a long time when stored in sealed containers. Also, throw a tablet for drinking water treatment into such containers, just to be sure. The principle of action is usually silver ions, which attach themselves to the surface of bacteria and viruses and thus inactivate them. There are also preparations that act particularly quickly. However, most of these tablets only help if the water is already quite good. A review of tablets for water treatment can be found on Aquawissen.de.
If you expect a major disaster and want to be prepared, you can also put water filters in the emergency stockpile. This allows rain and even puddle water to be treated into drinking water using activated carbon filters. However, such drinking water filters belong in the pantry, not in the medicine cabinet. They should also not be confused with nonsensical water filters for the kitchen, because unfortunately they are not able to produce drinking water.
Electrolyte solution (for diarrhoea)
Those who suffer from diarrhoea for a longer period of time lose minerals. As a result, the body’s metabolism is completely out of balance. Anyone who was nursed up with pretzel sticks as a child understands what it is all about. The body must be replenished with salts.
Electrolyte solutions contain an isotonic mix of salts that return the body to its natural electrolyte balance. There are electrolyte solutions as gel and powder. The latter have a longer shelf life, the former are faster and easier to use. Decide for yourself what suits your situation best.
You know antihistamines as allergy remedies. In fact, they suppress inflammatory reactions of the skin and mucous membranes mediated by the immune system. This makes antihistamines suitable for many overreactions and is also a simple and over-the-counter remedy for previously unknown allergies. Pay attention to the package leaflet and talk to your doctor about this topic.
Corticosteroids (ointments, tablets)
Cortisone is a powerful remedy that is used for inflammation throughout the body. If you use it orally (in tablet form), it can cause many side effects. As an ointment with a low amount of hydrocortisone, it is available in pharmacies without a prescription and acts locally. The area of application is many types of inflammatory skin reactions, for example insect bites, hives or sunburn. Observe the package leaflet, because these ointments should not be used too extensively.
Insider tip from THW employees
Finally, we have a somewhat amusing (but serious) insider tip for you, which was actually shared by a volunteer engineer from the Federal Agency for Technical Relief in a prepper and crisis podcast!
Keep a few crates of beer in stock!
This is not about getting drunk in the crisis or trivializing alcohol! Although a beer in moderation can be very nutritious. If you urgently need help from neighbors and other volunteers in the middle of a natural disaster, then a bottle or two of beer will boost the morale of the entire team. Always remember: you are not the only one who needs help. Help is scarce and a little bit of cozy normality is a strong driving force.