Whether you're a diabetic, undergoing cancer treatment, or dealing with another medical condition that requires ongoing treatment or medication, you may find yourself spending a lot of time waiting at doctor's offices and pharmacies for checkups and prescription refills. An interruption in your ability to pick up medical supplies or check your blood sugar could have potentially serious consequences, and you may put a priority on being prepared to get yourself through a long weekend or holiday without pharmacy access. For example, a major power outage, terrorist attack, or other event that could send you off the grid for a few days, which might wreak havoc on your health if you're not prepared. Read on to learn more about your "bug out" bag and what you'll need to get to ensure your health and safety through a period without access to your normal medical services.
What non-medical supplies should be in your emergency bag?
When you're packing an emergency bag to get you through a weekend (or longer) off the grid, you'll want to include only the essentials so that the pack will be light enough to quickly grab and haul. Matches or a lighter, a pocketknife, a flashlight, a rain poncho and change of clothes, a bottle of water and a few granola bars or other shelf-stable snacks, and some cash or easily pawn-able valuables (like jewelry or ammunition) should help get you through most emergency situations without taking up much room.
What medical supplies should you purchase and pack in your emergency bag?
For those with a chronic medical condition (or two), having an extra set of the supplies you need (from wound bandages to insulin or diabetes test strips to prescription medication) can be the difference between confidence during any emergency and panic as you try to gather the medical equipment you'll need for the foreseeable future. You may want to talk to your doctor while setting up your emergency bag so that you'll be aware of any potential restrictions on storing certain medications or equipment for the long term.
You'll want to start taking drugs like antibiotics or steroids out of your emergency bag and putting them into your regular rotation a few months before their expiration to ensure that your emergency bag doesn't contain expired or ineffective drugs. You'll also want to pay attention to the expiration dates on other equipment or test strips you've packed in this bag and replace them when they begin nearing their "best by" date. Continue here for more information.