Monday, March 28, 2011

72 hour kits

{First Aid Kits}
I have been working on getting our 72 hour kits put together. For reals this time. Real ones that have ALL necessary supplies, and a kit for each member of our family. While it is definitely a daunting task, I have broken it down and am first just working on getting our first aid kits put together. I have also decided to get our first aid kits updated in our 2 cars and our home as well. In total I am putting together 8 first aid kits (2 cars, home, 5 people). While there are a ton of websites out there, I have gleened information from here to give me ideas and keep me motivated.

(This post is lengthy, but hopefully it helps anyone who may be putting their kits together to be able to see what they need and where they can save.)

As I was going through our kits, I noticed that alot of the items were expired and needed to be tossed. We did have a lot of band aids of all sizes, gauze, and antiseptic wipes, and a few other things, but other than that I pretty much needed to buy everything else. Our kits were pretty wimpy. I wanted to get them where they would be well stocked and have everything we needed if we were ever really in an emergency situation.

I sorted through everything that we had, made a list and went to Walmart to get the needed items. I had to buy a lot of stuff and while I was there I picked up other non first aid items such as toiletry items, headlamps, emergency blankets, ponchos, flashlights, and a few other things. What I came to realize as I saw my total at the check out stand was that 72 hour kits are not cheap.

When I got home, even though I had purchased other items besides my first aid kit items, I still had much to buy (food, equipment, etc.). I needed to cut corners anywhere I could. So, I headed to The Dollar Tree to check it out and see if there was anything that I could find there. And surprisingly enough, I found quite a bit.

I found the following items and compared prices, sizes, and ingredients to the Equate brand at Walmart.
Walmart: elastic bandage $2.98 2" Dollar Tree: $1.00 2"
Walmart: elastic bandage $2.98 3" Dollar Tree: $1.00 3" they also carried a 4" bandage too.
Walmart: antihistamine $2.96 for 24 tablets Dollar Tree: $1.00 24 tablets
Walmart: ibuprofen $.98 24 tablets Dollar Tree: $1.00 40 tablets
Walmart: children's Tylenol $2.13 for 30 tablets Dollar Tree: $1.00 24 tablets
Walmart: aspirin $3.28 for 120 tablets Dollar Tree: $1.00 60 tablets
Walmart: triple antibiotic ointment $2.52 1 oz. Dollar Tree: $1.00 .33 oz.
Walmart: hydrocortizone cream $2.76 1 oz. Dollar Tree: $1.00 1 oz.
Walmart: rolled gauze $2.17, 2 inches 2.5 yards Dollar Tree: $1.00 2.5 yards
Walmart: acetaminophen $.98 24 tablets Dollar Tree: $1.00 40 tablets
Walmart Total: $23.74 Dollar Tree Total: $10.00

Everything that I compared to the stuff bought at Walmart had the exact percentage of ingredients and was either the same size or had more in it. I normally wouldn't buy Dollarstore brand medicines (and buying a cheaper brand may not be a comforting move when it comes to an emergency), but their labels were all but identical in both the wording and the ingredients. Then again during an emergency you may not care what brand it is, you may just be thankful to have anything at all. (Unless you know something I don't know about generic brands......please tell.)

One thing that really made it easy to buy the dollarstore items was the fact the I wanted to be able to put antibiotic ointment in 5 of the kits I am making. I was able to pay $5 bucks and get five ointments and if they expired before we used them up, then no big deal, they were a buck a piece. If I bought five of them at Walmart at $2.52 each, that would be $12.60. The expiration dates on the dollar store ointments was a year longer than the expiration date on the Walmart ointments.

Same with the "Ace" bandages. I wanted them in 5 of our 8 kits. At $2.98 each at walmart, that would be $14.90 for 1 bandage in each kit. Buying them at the dollar store, I was able to put 2 different sizes in all 5 kits for $10 bucks. (I did open up the packages to compare the material. The dollar store bandage was very comprable. The only real difference I saw were the metal clasps that hold the bandage in place. Walmart clasps were nicer. Keep extra safety pins in your kit and they'll work just fine.)

Other items I was able to buy at the dollar store to include in our 72 hour kits were:
box of individually wrapped moist wipes (great for after meals)
manicure set
rain ponchos 2/$1 at walmart $.88 each
pill holder
I used the same first aid list that preparedldsfamily used. I have our 72 hour first aid kits stored in large zip loc bags. I'm wandering if there is a better storage for it. It seems like it would be the most compactful. I have just a couple of more things to get in my kits, and then it's onto the next phase of the 72 hour kits.


Carpenter's said...

WOW! Good information. You don't really think about this kind of needs until you see the devastation somewhere else, like Japan. I don't have 90% of what you have.

Alicia said...

N i i c e!

Megan B ♥ said...

After I pulled myself out of guilt-induced fetal position, I love this post and feel inspired!! I shall PIN you with my PINTEREST account :)

Kris said...

ooh keep updating with this stuff, I want to get started on ours too. My problem is space, we have little to none to store them, soon we will have a house, soon!
Thanks for the Dollar Tree advice, that saves so much money!

MiriamR said...

I just googled 72 hour kits and found yours! Love it! Love breaking it down so its not too overwhelming. I am pinning this! Thanks for sharing


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