Practical Prepping Blog

Preparations for a very uncertain future. . .

Most Overlooked Prep: Prescription Medications

Last year, I read an excellent SHTF ( is that an actual genre?  If it isn’t – it should be.) novel entitled One Second After by William R. Forstchen.  In a nutshell, the story covered the time following an EMP attack on the United States and the near total societal breakdown that ensues as seen from in and around a small town nestled in the mountains of North Carolina.  The protagonist is made to deal with the problems associated with a total grid-down situation and all the ramifications thereof – especially the inability to refrigerate or obtain additional supplies of insulin for his 12-year old daughter who has Type 1 diabetes.  Before I leave this brief discussion of the book, let me take a moment to highly recommend it.  It’s clever, instructional, poignant and just plain, old well-written.

As a prepper, it was impossible to read that book and not attempt to apply the painful lessons learned by the main character.  Not the least of which is to make sure that you have access to enough prescription medication for any chronic health condition you or a member of your family might have.  How much is enough?  Where can I obtain ‘extra’ medication?  Let’s explore those and other questions.

It must be noted here that I am NOT a doctor.  Nor am I a pharmacist.  My purpose for writing this post is get you thinking about your unique  medical circumstances and how you might improve the chances of survival during an emergency and NOT of offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to your problem.

That said, I have moderate asthma and chronic bronchitis and use prescription medication daily to help mitigate the effects those problems.  I also run and do other exercises which help me to stay on top of my medical condition to the degree possible.  When I started prepping several years ago, I realized that I somehow needed to find a way to stockpile at least a few months worth of my prescription medication in case of emergency.  I mean, what good would it do to have 12 months worth of water when you can’t breathe?  The first thing I did was to start making use of the ‘3-Month Supply’ mail-order prescription drug option offered by my health care provider.  This required me to ask my doctor to write a prescription for a 90-day supply of each medication take, which she did gladly.  Not only did it save me money compared to what I was spending monthly at the local pharmacy, but it allowed me to have, at least for the few weeks following the arrival of my 90-day supply, a 3-month stockpile of my needed meds.  This was a start, but just that.

The next thing I did was to actually go to my doctor at the beginning of hurricane season some years back and ask her if she could spare an free samples of the medication I take so i can have a modest stockpile of them in case we get hit by another hurricane and they became unobtainable for a few weeks or months.  You would be surprised at how sympathetic many doctors are for people who are trying to prepare for such emergencies.  My doctor handed me two months worth of both medications I take.  Sweet.  By doing this for the last few years, I have accumulated a six-month stockpile of my needed medications.  Is that enough?  I don’t know.  But is sure is better than having no reserve at all.  And a six-month supply should be enough to hold me over for most emergencies short of a total societal collapse.  Besides, if need be during a longer term emergency, I’m sure by keeping in reasonably good cardiovascular shape, I can stretch that 6-month supply into into something closer to 9 months or more.  I hope I never have to find out.

Of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary).  Everybody’s situation is different where medication and illness is concerned.  The important thing is to begin to seriously think of ways and means of accumulating a supply of your needed prescription drugs and the time to start is NOW.

Be safe.  Be Prepared

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September 22, 2010 - Posted by | Food, Water, etc, General

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