This is the first blog dedicated to a specific stockpile topic. These stockpile blogs are geared more toward an extended two to three year survival period. We will call this situation the “We’re All Screwed” scenario or the “WAS” scenario. Actually, those of us who are prepared will not be screwed, but I like this term and I’m going to use it.
Anyway, the first big stockpile item I am writing about is medical supplies for a WAS scenario. To give you some insight, the hospitals you and I are used to are not going to be around. When the power goes out and there is complete anarchy in all of the major cities, hospitals are not going to be open for business. This means that to be prepared, you are going to need to learn some basic first aid and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get some training in intermediate emergency medical procedures (I talk more about this in the medical posts on this site). A WAS Scenario also means that pharmacies will be out of operation. When the power goes out and the looting starts, the pharmacies will get hit first and medicines and medical supplies will be scarce.
Stockpiling medical supplies and medicine is important for two reasons: 1) To take care of your medical needs and the needs of your loved ones and 2) To barter with other people as a form of currency.
Here are the medical supplies that I suggest you start building up at least a two to five year supply of:
1) The Basics – Bandages, bandaids, disinfectant, gauze, etc…This is your basic supply for just day to day bruises and scrapes. Properly treating even minor wounds will prevent infection and will make you more comfortable.
2) OTC Medicines For Common Illnesses and Inconveniences – Think cold and fever medicine, pain reliever, allergy medicines, throat sprays and lozenges, Medicine for Diarreah relief and other digestion issues. Also, it isn’t life or death, but think chap stick, sun screen, lotion for dry skin, eye drops, nasal spray, and anything else that you will wish you had when you have these symptoms. If nothing else, they will be great for bartering.
3) Prescription Medicines You Require – This is a little tricky because they are more expensive and by definition, you need a prescription to get them. Depending on the medicine, your ability to acquire the medicine will vary. Just do your best. You might even consider explaining to the doctor or the insurance company what you are trying to accomplish and that you are just planning ahead. You might even consider trying to get off of the medications you don’t absolutely need. I know that is not possible for every medication, but just do your best to avoid being dependent on anything if you can help it. In any case, make sure you are stocked up on an abundance of other items (food, ammo, etc…) you can barter for more medication (and that goes for anything that you have trouble stockpiling).
4) Surgery Equipment and Sterilization Supplies – Medical procedures you (or someone in your group) may require include stitching/suturing, setting broken bones, cauterizing and even amputating (I know that is disturbing, but it may be a matter of life or death). On that note, you will want to have medical gloves, forceps (think removing bullets and other shrapnel or foreign matter), medical stitching material, medical needles for stitching, slings and braces, scalpels, tourniquet material. You should also have sterilization equipment and get basic training on how to sterilize medical equipment. You will also want a supply of local anesthetics and injection needles for these medical procedures.
5) I.V. Equipment and Fluids – I.V. Bags with saline solution, pumps, needles, tubing, etc… There are some procedures where blood loss is a huge risk and you will want to have the patient hooked up to an I.V. so you can keep fluids pumping into their body. You should also begin stockpiling your own blood in sterile medical blood bags so you have your own blood type readily available.
6) Vaccines – We don’t think much about vaccines, mostly because most of us have been vaccinated at a young age. In a WAS scenario that lasts several years, people are still going to be having children. Babies will require vaccinations. They are a little hard to come by if you are not a health care provider facility, but if you can acquire some sort of supply of vaccines for polio, MMR, DTP, Hepatitis B, and Varicella, it may really come in handy for your own use or for barter.
The best way to approach any type of stockpiling is to brainstorm and really think about what situations might arise in a WAS scenario. Don’t get overwhelmed. Just take it one step at a time and before you know it, you will have things pretty squared away. If you find that it is too expensive and difficult, read my post on budgeting and prioritization for doomsday preppers.