What to include in a basic emergency kit for first aid

First Aid Kit SuppliesCredit: istockphoto.com


It's always a good idea to prepare a basic emergency kit for first aid in the home to avoid searching cabinets, drawers and closets for band aids, scissors, ointments etc. when someone gets hurt. You'll want to be sure to have any necessary items handy to avoid running all over the house for supplies when cuts, scrapes, abrasions or worse happen as accidents seem to happen when we least expect them. A basic first aid emergency kit is also useful to take with you during outdoor children's sporting events or vacations.This is how my wife (she's a nurse) and I created an emergency kit for our restaurant just in case of accidents and you can use the same steps to make one for home or travel.

(image courtesy of amazon)


Here's how to make your own basic emergency kit in 8 simple steps:

Things You'll Need:

  • Any shoebox sized clear container

  • band aids(assorted shapes and sizes)

  • gauze bandages

  • peroxide

  •  a pair of bandage scissors

  • tweezers

  • bandage tape

  • anti-bacterial ointment

  • steri-strips

  • splints

  • ace wraps

  • instant ice pack


  • sterile gloves

Step 1

Use a clear storage container

To prepare your kit, first get a shoe box sized clear container that will be easy to find when an emergency happens. We chose a clear storage container like this. You'll want something that everyone in the home could locate quickly and a clear container allows everyone to see some of the contents as opposed to a colored container.

Purchase the first aid supplies to fill your kit at a local drug store, medical supplies store or online. Look for first aid supplies sold in bulk for accident prone children if you find you often need a particular item. Add any items specific to any medical condition or special need that you or anyone in your family may have such as allergy medications, an epidural pen, glucagon or sugar/glucose tablets, insulin etc.

Step 2

Organize the supplies

This kit is meant to handle basic aid for emergencies items such as cuts, scrapes, small lacerations, strains, sprains or wounds. Organize the ointments, peroxide, braces, splints, scissors and tweezers at one end of the container.

Step 3

Keep items separated

Continue to organize the band aids, bandages, bandage tape together in another area of the emergency container. Store the gloves and gauze pads on top of everything else for quick access to control bleeding problems and to keep yourself safe from someone else's blood. Keeping the supplies organized together will make it easier to locate needed items in case of an emergency.

Step 4

Label the emergency kit

Find your local hospital's emergency phone number, place it on a sticker on the outside of the container to avoid having to look it up if and when an emergency arrives. Label the outside of the first aid kit for the benefit of anyone that may need it.

Step 5

Add extra numbers for emergency help

Find the phone numbers for the poison control center and your local Ask-A-Nurse department. Place these numbers on the outside of the basic emergency first aid kit as well using a sticker. This will prevent you or anyone else from frantically searching for these important numbers during an emergency.

Step 6

Store the container within easy reach

Store the container in a central location such as a linen closet, hallway closet or powder room cabinet so it is accessible to the entire family in any emergency situation. Review how to use all the items with all members of the family. Keep out of reach of small children.

Step 7

Keep your first aid kit full and ready for use

Replace items after the expiration dates (medications expire, bandages do not) as they're used to always keep fresh supplies in the basic emergency aid kit. You could make a list of all the items in your first aid kit and have each family member cross off an item taken out. Someone should be in charge of keeping the first aid kit filled at all times.

Step 8

Make your own kit soon!

Taking the time now to prepare basic emergency medical supplies will reduce stress if and when an emergency arrives if all the needed supplies are in one area that is easy to access.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the basic emergency kit for smaller emergencies like cuts and scrapes that do not require medical attention

  • Use a larger sized container if you would like to include more splints and braces

  • You may want to add additional items such as sunburn creams and sprays and mosquito repellant to your kit for easy access for everyone

  • Knowing CPR can save a life and all local communities offer classes that you may want to investigate

  • Seek professional medical advice for major emergencies

  • Call 911 if unable to handle any emergency on your own

  • This is a basic guide to preparing for at home or away medical injuries, speak to your medical professional on what to have for any particular need such as allergies or medical conditions

Good luck with your first aid kit, Cheers!

Emergency First Aid Kit

because we never know when accidents or emergencies will happen.

First Aid Kit With Hard Case- 326 pcs- First Aid Complete Care Kit - Exceeds OSHA & ANSI Guidelines - Ideal for the Workplace - Disaster Preparedness (Color Red)
Amazon Price: $23.78 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 14, 2014)
Check out how much is offered in this complete all in one kit for everything needed to handle most at home injuries or disasters in a clear container, handle, with bright red accents can't miss carry bag. * Remember that medications expire, bandages and other wrapped supplies will be good for longer.