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Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 1, by A.&J. R.

Disclaimer: The following is for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should always consult your physician for any questions regarding your health or that of a family member. The authors are merely discussing items you may wish to have on hand to care for a family or group, for when a licensed healthcare provider is available but supplies are hard or impossible to come by.

We write from the perspective of patients (a Type 1 diabetic with hypothyroidism and his wife who has had her spleen, gall bladder, most of her pancreas, and half a pinkie removed) and parents of numerous children with their own experiences (gastroparesis, abdominal wall injury, duodenal ulcers, kidney stones, lots of stitches, chronic constipation, migraines, tendinosis, failure to thrive, corneal abrasion and ulcer, excruciating menstrual cramps—are we leaving anything out?); basically, the stuff of everyday life.

We have absolutely no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned; they are merely sources where we’ve been able to purchase (sometimes difficult-to-find) supplies.

The Bring Your Own Band-Aids Clinic

Most SurvivalBlog readers have prepared and continue to prepare for their families’ well-being in the coming crises. We cover our bases with the four G’s—God, guns, grub [1], and gold, or the five B’s—beans [2], bullets, Bible [3], bullion, Band-Aids [4]. But how many Band-Aids should you have? What kind? This article is for those who are planning to stockpile medical supplies for themselves and others, and for those who aren’t.

Grid-Down Medical Courses, Importance of Acquiring Basic Essential Supplies

Over the past eighteen months, I’ve attended two separate grid-down medical courses offered through SurvivalBlog writing contest sponsors Gunsite Academy and OnPoint Tactical. Both were taught by former Special Forces physicians with a wide range of experience on the battlefield and in emergency rooms. Both courses were for lay people who want to be able to give medical care to their family/group when there is no doctor available.

While the classes focused primarily on treatment options, also emphasized was the importance of acquiring basic essential supplies and medications, even if we did not know how to use them. History has shown us, and Venezuela is showing us now, that in a long-term crisis, it will be much easier to find a physician who knows how to prescribe medications and utilize supplies to care for patients, than it will be to find those medications and supplies. This is the situation where you want to bring your own band-aids and supplies to the clinic.

Physicians Cannot Be Expected to Stockpile For Others

Realistically speaking, physicians cannot be expected to stockpile medications and supplies for others. There are reasons why this won’t be the case. For one, physicians are like the rest of the population in that most are possessed by the normalcy bias that afflicts others, namely that “it can’t happen here”. Those doctors will only have basic supplies on hand to care for their own families to avoid a trip to the emergency room. The few physicians who do recognize the crisis looming in our world may be in a better financial situation than the rest of us, but they can’t logically finance drugs and supplies for everyone in the community, even if they had the space and even if they were aware of everyone’s individual medical needs.

Today, Not Much Concern About Using Up Supplies

Furthermore, in an urgent situation today, there is not too much concern about using up supplies; there will always be more. Most supplies are relatively inexpensive. Carts and cabinets in hospitals, clinics, and offices are always stocked, and pharmacies always have basic drugs on hand. That won’t be the case when TEOTWAWKI [5] hits, but people will still have that mindset. When the crisis initially starts, community supplies will be used at the same pace and will be quickly depleted.

Stocking and Maintaining Supplies For Our Families

While stocking and maintaining supplies of Band-Aids and aspirin for a group shouldn’t be much of an issue, other items will likely be an entirely different matter. We need to recognize that we cannot prepare for everyone. We do have the responsibility to prepare for our individual families.

Prepare Ourselves Mentally For Deaths

All of us need to prepare ourselves mentally for deaths we will witness among our families and community in the initial days of the crisis as well as the long term. Some people will not be able to accept the reality of the situation and will opt for suicide. Others will be overcome by the stress and suffer heart attacks. We read of increasing numbers of suicides of chronic pain sufferers who can no longer get the relief they need due to stricter opioid regulation. In the months that follow, people dependent on life-saving/preserving medications for conditions such as congestive heart failure, renal failure, organ transplants, and other conditions will also pass on, as those drugs run out.

Without Advanced Medical Care

Then there are the injuries or events that aren’t necessarily life-ending now but will be without the advanced medical care that is only available in a fully functioning hospital. A patient with internal bleeding in the pelvic area, as is often seen in car accidents, can survive with the right care in a hospital. Without it, that person may live for a few hours, but there’s not much a lay person can do. It is likewise for a patient with burns covering 30% or more of the body. In a grid-down situation, that patient may survive for days or weeks, but they will use up so many supplies that could be used to save so many other people, and that person is going to die anyway.

Heart Attacks

And then there are the heart attacks. While cardiopulmonary resuscitation is used today to keep heart attack patients alive until they reach the hospital, without advanced care they will not survive. If a person has suffered a heart attack, s/he already has other underlying conditions that can only be addressed with advanced technology and drugs, which simply won’t be available. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation will not bring these people back. The three exceptions to this are those whose hearts have stopped due to drowning, choking, or, believe it or not, lightning strikes. The patients in these cases were healthy individuals before the event, and CPR has a good chance of restoring them without the need for any other medical intervention.

Those Who Do Not Have to Suffer Or Die If We Are Prepared

This article concerns those who do not have to suffer and/or die, if we are prepared. It is not meant to be a miniature medical handbook or a substitute for training. It is written and presented with the purpose of motivating readers to prevent medical issues in the first place and acquire supplies that will be needed to treat problems that will inevitably occur.

Greatest Medical Advances in History

Before getting into illnesses and injuries, let’s review what physicians surveyed in 2007 considered to be the greatest medical advances in history.1 There are many advances, but these four stand out.

Water and Sanitation

The greatest medical achievement in their estimation was clean water and sanitation. Unfortunately, our easy access to clean water will likely evaporate when our society collapses. The first order of business, therefore, before acquiring any medical supplies, is to assure that you have the supplies, equipment, and knowledge to treat water and manage waste. Numerous articles on SurvivalBlog and all over the web can help you with this.2


Running a close second to clean water and sanitation was the advent of antibiotics. Ideally, you will have established a great relationship with your personal physician who will prescribe a wide range of antibiotics for you and your family and who will be around to direct you on their usage when needed. Lacking the ideal, overseas pharmacies are another option. We’ve been happy with All Day Chemist in India. Numerous survival and veterinary supply stores sell fish antibiotics.

Walmart online carried them in the past, but they appear to be changing policies as the selection available through them appears to decrease daily. Remember, you don’t want to self-medicate when a physician is available. You are only acquiring these antibiotics for when the grid is entirely shut down and no help is coming. You should have hard copies of medical references that indicate antibiotic dosages. There are also several SurvivalBlog articles on antibiotic usage written by physicians.3


Placing fourth in greatest medical advancements was the development of vaccines. While there are those who will debate the safety of and need for some vaccines (Gardasil, anyone?), being current on tetanus should be a must for everyone. In a collapse situation, there are going to be a whole lot more dirty wounds in everyday life. Measles will be making a comeback. Hey, it’s threatening now. Make sure children are up to date on the vaccines you are comfortable giving them.

Hopefully, SurvivalBlog readers have already done what it takes to achieve the following and found that:

But just in case, or for review, or for encouragement, maybe you should:

Doing these things and taking other preventative measures will go a long ways toward keeping you and your family healthy, and they’ll help keep you out of the “Bring Your Own Band-Aids Clinic”.

Tomorrow, we’ll begin to focus on the supplies we will require to address the medical issues we are most likely to experience, beyond the first aid kit.

See also:

2 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 2, by A.&J. R. [7] (Active on 5/9/18)

3 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 3, by A.&J. R. [8] (Active on 5/10/18)

4 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 4, by A.&J. R. [9] (Active on 5/11/18)

5 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 5, by A.&J. R. [10] (Active on 5/12/18)

6 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 6, by A.&J. R. [11] (Active on 5/13/18)

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been part one of a six part entry for Round 76 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest [12]. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator [13] from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses [14], excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper [15]. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees [16] in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product [17] from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses [18].

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 76 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail [19] us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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Comments Disabled To "Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 1, by A.&J. R."

#1 Comment By Jarrett On May 8, 2018 @ 12:38 pm

Special forces physicians is a a bit of a misgnomer FYI. They may be an 18D, SF Medic, or a physician in a SF group who operates like any other medical provider. Splitting hairs I know. Thanks for the well done article!

#2 Comment By Rucksack Rob On May 9, 2018 @ 1:09 pm

Jarrett, Re: splitting hairs, we had a physician in our group that was both an MD and an 18A (probably as a secondary MOS?) It might not be common but I don’t think it’s unheard of, we also had a couple of PA’s that were prior 18D’s and when going through selection, the psychiatrist at McCall had a tab. Don’t know his history, never talked to him. (if you did, you were probably out of the course). Man… that was a long time ago!

#3 Comment By Tricky one On May 8, 2018 @ 2:01 pm

Thank you. You have covered the area of preparedness that I, and my family are the weakest in. I am looking forward to your forth coming article’s.

#4 Comment By A&J R On May 8, 2018 @ 3:05 pm

How kind! Don’t be overwhelmed by the information. Just take one step at a time as you acquire supplies and knowledge.

#5 Comment By Large Carl On May 8, 2018 @ 2:11 pm

I have dealt with InhousePharmacy.vu for several years. Good service.

#6 Comment By A N JR On May 11, 2018 @ 2:38 am

We looked up the site. We’ve never used them, so we can’t comment on their product or service, but their prices are substantially higher on most items than All Day Chemist. But thanks for the info. It’s always good to have more options. And Inhouse Pharmacy seems to carry a wider selection of medications.

#7 Comment By Cobol Kid On May 8, 2018 @ 3:08 pm

Interesting article and I look forward to further postings. Note that drug availability can be a highly variable factor due to demand and production interruptions; please search for “current drug shortages” to show a surprisingly long list of availability issues.

#8 Comment By Ladywest On May 8, 2018 @ 3:17 pm

I have the general over the counter stuff for the general stuff one gets in life, and antibiotics from on-line, but I’ve been hesitant to stock up on the other things I need because I’ve felt I don’t know how to use them so there’s no harm in waiting. I thought
that having something I didn’t know how to use didn’t make much sense.

It never occurred to me to realize that there might possibly be someone around me who does know how to use the supplies and would but the opportunity to help would be non-existent without the supplies. I’m not sure if that’s normalcy bias or what but I can’t wait to read your next articles with pencil and paper in hand.

#9 Comment By me On May 8, 2018 @ 3:35 pm

Drowning and choking not as survivable as you might think. With drowning, water can get in the lungs (in spite of what you may have hear heard). Folks who drown and are resuscitated should be hospitalized for observation if hospitals are still functioning.

Choking deaths need to have any airway obstructions cleared to be successfully resuscitated.

#10 Comment By A N JR On May 11, 2018 @ 2:44 am

Of course. We should have been clearer that airway obstructions have to be cleared. The point we were trying to make is that most times when CPR is currently used is for patients who already have underlying health issues and that need advanced care in a hospital. In a TEOTWAWKI situation, there will be no advanced care. The only ones whom CPR can be realistically expected to benefit (according to the docs teaching the classes) are those who had no other underlying health issues.

Drowning and water in the lungs can be a big problem, but hopefully all will work out well.

#11 Comment By Anonymous On May 8, 2018 @ 3:52 pm

Get your wisdom teeth extracted now, and get a tetanus booster shot, don’t wanna die from lockjaw by stepping on or being scratched by anything rusty or dirty, sepsis or gangrene is horrible way to go, slow and painful!

#12 Comment By A N JR On May 11, 2018 @ 2:46 am

Great reminder on the wisdom teeth! We totally forgot about that!

#13 Comment By Michael J. Gorga On May 8, 2018 @ 4:12 pm

Good article. I have a Philips AED in my house. Want to get another for the car, but they’re a bit pricey. Costco has them sometimes. I’ve tried the trainers twice and the dummy lived! 🙂

A useful item… [20]
Michael J.

#14 Comment By kerry On May 8, 2018 @ 5:18 pm

Good article. Thank you

#15 Comment By Anonymous On May 8, 2018 @ 7:03 pm

It was a very interesting article. While reading I soon realized that having supplies on hand for a Doctor would apply to any field ( car mechanic, carpenter , ect. ).

#16 Comment By cooked frog On May 8, 2018 @ 7:52 pm

Don’t think that the hospital in your area will be a storehouse of supplies. I have spoken with the materials handling department at my local hospital. They stock enough of everything for about one weeks normal use. They use just in time resupply to control inventory. When the last truck arrives that will be it.

Grocery stores are on even tighter turnaround. Albertsons told me years ago that they stock enough to cover about 1.5 days use. They get a truck every night. Again when the last truck arrives that is it.

You have been warned. Get prepared. If it going to be its up to me. Vaya con DIOS.

#17 Comment By ForwardPreppers On May 10, 2018 @ 1:42 am

Second that on the hospital inventory. We have a daughter who worked at a major heart hospital in a Capitol city – supplies are kept at a minimum level to save money. IDK if it’s branded as just in time delivery. Some drugs that should be kept close by on a floor are kept in the pharmacy so they don’t have the expense of having that med for each floor or department – I guess they’ve never had a need all at once that they couldn’t cover. It’s scary though.

#18 Comment By OneGuy On May 9, 2018 @ 12:49 am

Eugene Oregon has 12 confirmed cases of whooping cough. [21]

50 years ago I was living in the same house as a 2 year old baby with whooping cough. It would make you cry to hear and see it. I cannot tell you how many times I thought the poor baby died, it would turn blue and unable to breath and then another whoop and it starts all over again. You will never forget it if you see it or hear it.

Why a resurgence of these preventable diseases? Simple, the negative propaganda about vaccines. I would put vaccination as the number 1 medical advance in history with antibiotics #2. Not to under play the value of clean water and sanitation.

#19 Comment By CeeJay 0714 On May 9, 2018 @ 11:43 am

A&J R:
Yes – I’m trying to stockpile medical supplies.
No – I’m not going to try to set up a post-SHTF Clinic for the surrounding area.
I doubt I’ll have enough to use them as trade goods.
Low profile will be the order of the day…

#20 Comment By A N JR On May 11, 2018 @ 2:50 am

No, we’re not planning to set up a clinic either. But at a penny a pill for some OTC meds, having a few extra shouldn’t hurt. We definitely don’t plan on anyone else providing for our medical needs, so we just hope to acquire as much as we can to address most likely problems.