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Drugs! Depending on what type of emergency you find yourself in, medication can be extremely useful. Make a note of medications you buy on a routine basis for you and your family, and that is what you will base your emergency kit meds on.

OTC: Obviously, over the counter meds will be the easiest to supply for your pack. Refer to your list and decide which you need to include. The bonus about medications is that they are small and lightweight. They can go into any nook or cranny in your pack. So jam those suckers in! Here’s a list of general ailments you should have medications for in your pack.

Some notes before we get started:

  • I am not a doctor. Repeat. I am not a doctor.
  • Do not include any medications you have never used before. We don’t want any horrendous allergic reactions adding to your emergency stress.
  • Generics are fine. You don’t need brand names (I rarely buy them). Just make sure you’re buying the correct medications/doses if you decide to switch it up.
  • Expiration dates: Be aware of when your medications expire. Keep them up to date.
  • Go with what you know. Include medications you know work for you. Example: Excedrin gets rid of my migraines. Tylenol does not.

Pain Relief: Some sort of pain relief medication should be included in your pack. That is the bare minimum for your medication requirements. Pick one or more of the following for pain relief.

All of the following are marketing to reduce these general symptoms: Reduce/Relieve pain from fevers, headaches, muscle aches and joint stiffness.

Acetaminophen (Example: Tylenol)

*Aspirin (Example: Bayer, Ecotrin): Aspirin is good to have on hand in case of heart attacks, and a must if you have already had one. It would be good to have some, for that reason alone.

Ibuprofen (Example: Advil, Motrin)

Combo: Excedrin – contains Acetaminophen, Aspirin and Caffeine.

Allergies: Even if you don’t have allergies that you’re aware of, an anti-histamine is always good to have around.

Some of the following are marketed for cold/flu relief, nausea etc. Many times, anti- histamines are combined with other medications to soothe multiple symptoms. Don’t be fooled – all of the following are various anti-histamines.

Brompheniramine (Dimetapp), Chlorpheniramine (Clor-Trimeton), Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Doxylamine (Ny-Quil), Loratadine (Claritin), Cetirizine (Zyrtec).

I have 2 included in my pack. I know that both work for my allergies, and how I react to them. (One is for daytime, because it doesn’t make me sleepy, and the other is for nighttime, when I would like to be sleepy….)


Anti Diarrhea: (Example: Imodium AD, Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol). Most likely during an emergency you will be consuming food and drink your body is not used too. Many times this can lead to diarrhea. No one wants to be dealing with that issue ever (dehydration, frequent bathroom trips, cramping etc), let alone when a disaster strikes. Save yourself some grief and pack something that will help.

Constipation: (Example: Ex-Lax, Dulcolax – there are a ba-zillion forms of laxatives out there friends). This may also be a problem during an emergency due to abrupt eating/drinking changes.

Heartburn Relief:  (Example: Tums, Pepcid AC, Pepto Bismal). My husband gets excruciating heartburn from time to time. Not often, but its horrible when it does occur. I included Pepcid for him just in case.  Some of these meds can also help with nausea, upset stomach, indigestion etc.

Menstruation: (Example: Pamprin, Midol) This is for you ladies out there that have a tough time getting through that “time of the month” without some help. Pack some. It may be your lucky day and a disaster will strike during your period. Awesome.

There you have it. A colorful array of the day-to-day ailments you might want to plan for. If you’re prone to one or more, you need to include the medications for them in your pack. I’m a glass half empty type of gal – so I like to plan for the worst. I have pretty much all of the above in my pack, and then some…..

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