MESSAGE FROM TESS
The 52-Weeks to Preparedness series is in its 16th week of getting you prepared for life’s unexpected disasters. So far we have stockpiled enough food and supplies for a short-term emergency. By purchasing the suggested weekly supplies, each of you has created a preparedness foundation that your family can fall back on when you need it the most.
This week, we will refocus on adding medical supplies to our already existing stockpile and discover which medical emergencies are most common. There are many suggested medical supplies for your preparedness kit, and as such, this list can become costly. I have broken up the lists to make them more manageable. Click to see List 1  and List 2 .
If you have not already done so, you can view  previous newsletters at Ready Nutrition if you need to review. They are there for you to learn from, print out for on-hand preparedness information or to share with others.
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PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 16 of 52: Emergency Medical Supply (List 3)
Last week, my 5-year old slammed her finger in the door so hard that we thought it was broken for sure. Immediately, her finger began swelling and my husband and I were about to bolt out of the door to take her for an X-ray. She was terrified and crying, and all we wanted was to take her pain away. I grabbed an instant ice pack out of our medical supplies for her finger and decided to wait 30 minutes to see if the swelling changed. I laid her on my bed and cuddled with her while ensuring her fingers were in between the ice pack. When I checked her finger, the swelling had begun to subside and I breathed a sigh of relief. You never know when a medical emergency will arise, but you are always hoping that when it does, you will be ready for it.
Because medical emergencies can occur suddenly and without warning, your medical supplies should be diverse and unique to your family’s needs. Situations may arise and getting to the store or the emergency room may not be a viable option. Therefore, having a wide array of medical supplies at your home can help diffuse an alarming situation.
When creating a medical supply, think about which medical issues will most likely occur and prepare accordingly for them. Also, having some supplies on hand for any family members who have pre-existing conditions would make a prolonged disaster more comfortable.
In 2006, The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) released a 2006 Emergency Department Summary that gathered statistics of emergency department use, including the most common reasons adults and children sought medical care and treatment. Having medical supplies that could assist in these common medical emergencies would be proactive on your part.
- Children Fever
- Childhood Earaches
- Various injuries such as sprains, strains, broken bones
- Chest Pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Back Pain
- Shortness of Breath
It is very important to have vitamins in your medical supplies. Vitamins are essential in regulating body functions and also help in the healing process. Storing the right types of food  that have the highest amounts of vitamins would be one way of ensuring that your diet is vitamin packed. Therefore, prepare by having first hand knowledge on what vitamins the body needs on a daily basis . Storing multivitamins such as, Centrum multivitamins or Centrum Silver multivitamins are great options to have for short and long-term emergencies.
Ensure that your vitamins and medical supplies are stored appropriately and organized  in a way that is easy to access. When an emergency arises, the person administering medical assistance will be appreciative that everything is in place and be ready for use.
Preps To Buy For Week 16:
- Anti-fungal cream or powder
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Nasal spray (saline)
- Saline solution
- Lip balm
- Flashlight (Small)
- Allergy relief medication
- Vitamin Supplements
- UTI meds
- Medical reference books or e-books on handling medical crises
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Adhesive tape or duct tape
- Gauze pads (assorted sizes)
- 2-4 instant ice packs
- Sterile roller bandages
- Sterile gloves
- Latex gloves
1. Create some first response medical packs  to make emergency situations easier to care for.
2. Take another first aid course, or purchase a first-aid book.
3. Practice basic first-aid techniques regularly.
WHAT WE’RE UP TO
In Our Home:
All week, the kids and I have been puttering about town getting ready for school to start back up. I hear the kids talking amongst themselves about school, so I think they are excited to get back and see their friends. While they are excited about returning to school, I am busy prepping their personal preparedness kits  for their backpacks and their emergency identification cards .
This week we stocked up on some supplies that we have been living off of for the last month. I like to rotate my supplies to ensure that our food supply is fresh. Last week, we were eating out of the freezer to make space for some new frozen foods.
My garden is barely alive. I am continuing to water and fertilizing the plants, but the heat just beats them down. I am holding out hope for next month. Hopefully, the temperature will decrease enough to perk the plants up so they can begin bearing fruit.
STATS AND FACTS
When a prolonged disaster occurs, emergency supplies and food supplies should immediately be inventoried if you have not already done so. Having an inventory list  of preparedness supplies and food stockpiles already prepared would cut down on time during an emergency situation. When food is concerned, follow these tips to make your food supply last as long as possible:
- Days One to Two: Perishables Dairy products and meat in an unpowered refrigerator can keep up to 4 hours. Frozen food lasts up to two days. If you have doubts about freshness, use a meat thermometer–anything above 41 F should be thrown out. If there is limited power look into dehydrating, preserving or canning any perishable meat or vegetable/fruits.
- Days Three to Seven: Fruit and vegetables can last up to seven days at room temperature. Potatoes can stay fresh longer than a week if stored in a cool, dark place. Canning any extra vegetable or fruits is a way of prolonging their lifespan.
- Beyond Seven Days: Packaged Goods, Jars and Cans Pantry goods such as flour, granola bars and crackers last around six months when sealed. Food in cans or jars–such as beans and peanut butter–lasts up to one year, unopened.
- Long-Term: MRE’s, dehydrated foods, freeze dried foods, Daltrex bars, foods from survival gardens.
This list adapted from Popular Mechanics 
LETTERS TO TESS
One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org 
This week’s question addresses the difference between oxygen absorbers and desiccant:
I was wondering if you could explain the difference between oxygen absorbers and desiccants?
Thanks so much!
Great question! When I first began prepping I was also confused about these two. Here is some information on the differences between the two:
Oxygen absorbers are used to prolong the shelf life of stored food. They absorb the oxygen from the container, and by doing so, inhibits the growth of aerobic pathogens and molds. Oxygen absorbers begin working the moment they are exposed to oxygen. Therefore, it is best to work as efficiently as possible. Oxygen absorbers are not edible, not toxic and does not effect the smell and taste of the product.
Desiccant packets, on the other hand, moderate the moisture level when placed in a food container. They do not absorb the moisture. Please note that desiccant is not edible. If the packet somehow breaks open and spills onto the stored food, the entire contents of the container must be thrown away.
Note: There are certain food items that desiccant should not be added to. Specifically, flour, sugar and salt. These items need a certain amount of moisture to stay activated, and if desiccant is added to it, they will turn into a hard brick.
Hope this helps!