SHTF Survival: First Response Packs for Medical Emergencies

When there is a  medical emergency, time is of the essence. Typically, medical rescue workers who respond to accidents work swiftly by having their supplies organized and at times, pre-assembled (wound care, trauma packs) to treat patients more efficiently.  Having these items pre-packaged cuts down on response time, and gives the responders more of an advantage in properly caring for the wounded. That efficiency can easily be replicated for your medical supplies or added to your SHTF sick room.

Medical first response packs can be made ahead of time using most of the medical products that you have on hand. In fact, these first response packs are not limited to medical emergencies, they can also be used for dental emergencies as well. To prepare for a SHTF scenario, it would be beneficial to take into account the most likely medical situations you may come in contact with and plan accordingly.

Knowledge is Power

Not all of us have a background in medicine. Therefore, it is a good idea to do have medical books or instruction guides on hand to correctly guide you through the proper ways to treat a wound. There are some great medical books that can help you gain a better medical perspective for dealing with these types of scenarios. Some books to consider are:

Keep It Organized

Many preppers use gallon sized zip-loc bags or their vacuum sealers to seal up the necessary items for future use. Label your response packs according to the pre-determined disaster and store with your existing medical supplies.

Advanced Wound Care Supplies

It is important to emphasize that proper medical tools and advanced wound care supplies are a good investment for a long-term emergency. Caring for open wounds, deep lacerations and bleeding cuts will be very likely during this time and hospitals may not be available.

Note: This website has an extensive amount of medical products and surgical tools.

For instance one advanced wound care product to consider is a blood clotting agent called Celox.  Many emergency responders, as well as military personnel are now carrying Celox in their medic packs. This product is made from a natural polymer extracted from shrimp shells called chitosan and has the capacity to stop bleeding in 30 seconds.

Many preppers have found that buying the ultra absorbent sanitary pads to use for wound care is another product to invest in. These absorbent pads can be used on gunshot wounds or any bleeding wounds. The adherent strip on the back is helpful in that it will assist in holding the pad in place.

Here are some suggested items to include in different types of response packs:

Response packs for superficial wounds

  • Latex-free Gloves
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Antiseptic
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Steri-strips
  • Bandage
  • Instant cold packs

Response packs for hikers

  • Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • Knuckle adhesive bandages
  • Butterfly closures
  • Gauze pads (assorted sizes)
  • Non-adherent pads
  • Sterile top sponges
  • Moleskins
  • Abdominal/pressure pad
  • Stretch gauze roll
  • Medical tape 
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Triple-antibiotic ointment packets
  • Sting relief wipes
  • Iodine wipes or swabs
  • Antimicrobial hand wipes
  • Safety pins
  • Latex-free medical gloves
  • Bandage scissors
  • Splinter forceps

Response Kits for wounds that require sutures

  • Latex-free Gloves
  • Hemostat, probes, forceps, surgical scissors, suture lip scissors
  • Alcohol pads
  • Antiseptic
  • Non-adherent sterile pads
  • Gauze bandage rolls
  • Absorbing and non-absorbing sutures or nylon fishing line
  • Non-Suture wound closure strips
  • Suture needles

Suture Removal Kit

  • Suture scissors
  • Forceps
  • Tweezers
  • Gauze sponge
  • iodine swabs
  • Gauze wrap

Response packs for advanced wound care: bleeding wounds, gunshot wounds, stab wounds

  • Latex-Free Gloves
  • Roll Bandage
  • Gauze
  • Iodine swabs
  • Abdominal Pad
  • Respirator Mask
  • Triangular Bandage
  • Tape
  • Occlusive Dressing
  • CPR Microshield
  • QuikClot® Sponge or Celox

Response packs for advanced wound treatment: open or bleeding wounds fractures, falls

  • Latex-Free Gloves
  • Roll Bandage
  • Gauze
  • Iodine swabs
  • Sterile medical sponge
  • Abdominal Pad
  • Triangular Bandage
  • Tape
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • CPR Microshield
  • Respirator Mask
  • Blood Clotting Agent

Response packs for 72-Hour Kits: Intended for the treatment of open or bleeding wounds caused by gunshots, knife cuts or punctures

  • Latex-Free Gloves
  • Roll Bandage
  • Gauze
  • Abdominal Pad
  • Triangular Bandage
  • Tape
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Iodine swabs
  • CPR Microshield
  • Emergency Signal Whistle
  • Thermal Mylar Blanket
  • Blood Clotting Agent
  • Tourniquet

Note: Items in the response pack for hikers can also be included in your 72-hour response pack

We must prepare for the unexpected, and there are times when the unexpected will be time sensitive. Having medical response packs pre-assembled for those time crucial moments can help in better and more efficient medical care.

Disclosure: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. Nothing contained on this web site should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician or other qualified health care providers with any questions regarding medical care.


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  1. Please note. The way you have this article formatted – it is unreadable to me.

    Might have something to do with the fact that I’m color blind, but so are a lot of people.

    The color match of the text and background is awful!

    Just saying.

  2. As a Veterinary Technician, may I add a suggestion? Most people have pets but don’t think about their medical care in an emergency. Some good supplies to have on hand are a muzzle (dogs may bite when they are injured), a towel or blanket to wrap up a cat so they can’t scratch you, duct tape (for covering wounds), and super glue for fixing small rips in ears or covering wounds. These are suggestions for when you can’t get to a vet right away, not to be used as standard practice.

    Another thing I keep in my animal medical kit is an ongoing supply of Frontline for both cats and dogs. Nothing adds misery to a disaster more than having fleas/ticks invading your space. You can buy some of your basic animal medication on online pet store sites to keep on hand as well. Love reading your blog, by the way!

  3. antibiotics anyone? It wouldbe a damn shame to recover from a fall down the cliff, the open femur fracture, respiratory arrest and panther attack to die from an infected hang nail.

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