Author Topic: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?  (Read 4651 times)

Offline bluprint

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Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« on: April 30, 2014, 09:25:17 AM »
You might have heard about the massive tornado that wiped out two towns in Central Arkansas. That was in my back yard. It was close enough to my house I was making minute-by-minute decision on whether to get my own family in the storm cellar. I had friends affected. Co-workers. People lost their lives…

Anyway right now I would like to put together an order for medical supplies. First responders often purchase medical supplies out of their own pockets. The local volunteer fire depts are tapped out. I’m not asking for any money I plan to fund it myself.

Does anyone (maybe dr bones/nurse amy) have an idea of where/how I could get good prices on this type of stuff in some bulk? I don’t know anything about it really. 4×4 bandages, stuff like that. If not then I’ll be purchasing from Amazon, I can get 2-day shipping from there.

Any advice on stretching my dollars would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

nelson96

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 09:52:32 AM »
You might have heard about the massive tornado that wiped out two towns in Central Arkansas. That was in my back yard. It was close enough to my house I was making minute-by-minute decision on whether to get my own family in the storm cellar. I had friends affected. Co-workers. People lost their lives…

Anyway right now I would like to put together an order for medical supplies. First responders often purchase medical supplies out of their own pockets. The local volunteer fire depts are tapped out. I’m not asking for any money I plan to fund it myself.

Does anyone (maybe dr bones/nurse amy) have an idea of where/how I could get good prices on this type of stuff in some bulk? I don’t know anything about it really. 4×4 bandages, stuff like that. If not then I’ll be purchasing from Amazon, I can get 2-day shipping from there.

Any advice on stretching my dollars would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Off topic. . . . .  Why is that so many wait for the right time to get in their storm shelter?  If it's not comfy enough to want to stay in it for hours, change it.  It's just like a shooting or a fight in the street.  Why do people stand by to watch?  Get the heck out of there as soon as the first bullet fly's.  And why is it that those that decide to stay in a tornado area, some don't have a shelter.  That would be the first thing I built and if I couldn't afford one I couldn't live there.

On topic. . . .  Can't be much help, but I find Amazon (which you already mentioned) to offer the best prices.

Offline bluprint

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 10:04:51 AM »
Thanks for the response nelson. Might I ask we keep this on-topic for now? I would happily discuss my own plans at a better time.


This is an ongoing disaster. I've lived in this county nearly my whole life. The areas hit are some of the most densely populated areas (except Conway proper). Lots of people lost everything. One family of 11 lost their father and two daughters. People are working to respond, help, clean up, feed and clothe those affected, provide spiritual support, etc.

This particular need was brought to my attention last night and I'm working to quickly and effectively resolve. The TSP community is amazing; second to none. I thought I could get some good advice here. After posting this I did find a thread pointing to what looks like might be a good supplier. Still looking though so if anyone else has any specific suggestions I'll appreciate it. I plan to place an order today if I can. My wife is a former flight medic so she will have input on the particular needs. Right now I'm working from a logistics side to find a good supplier.

Offline bluprint

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 10:09:17 AM »
I would also appreciate suggestions on supplies I might not think of. There has been a request for masks, for example. Thousands of volunteers are cleaning up and debris is in the air, so I intend to get some cases of those white masks to help the volunteers a bit on that side. Gloves...I don't know what else.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 10:10:14 AM »
Jeffers Vet Supply and other vet catalogs.

Amazon. They had a Trauma Medical Kit that is normally $200+ dollars on sale for $28 last year and we bought two of them. Z's dad is a doctor and he was very pleased with what was in them (he bought two too).

January has a sale usually on medical stuff at many stores.
Discount stores.
Keep your eye open.
Costco.

Worst case scenario for me? Dish towels, kotex pads, vet wrap. You can make splints out of TIGHTLY rolled up newspapers and duct tape. Sheets can work as slings and bandages. Cayenne peppers works as a bloodstop (and weirdly enough it does not burn).. Paper towels. Diapers. 7-11 Used to throw away TONS of diapers because someone would steal ONE out of a package.. ask them. Diapers and Kotex pads make for a good semi-sterile bandage.

And that fascinates me too nelson. My friend Colleen spend one summer sleeping in her basement in Alberta due to massive storm threats one year.. If the tornado was far enough away I could see it and could not feel the winds, I might watch, but have one hand on the cellar door to get down. If I felt any wind at all, I would be down there in a flash.

I have been close to two. One was when the Mount Angel one came through. The winds slammed my house on that one, even though I was 12 miles away and it never crossed my mind we had a tornado (We are in Oregon after all), but the tornado in Wisconsin while I was there. I was concerned enough to consider going INTO the outhouse with SP since the trees were bending sideways, but my friend who is from there was not concerned at all. Found out later there was a GOOD tornado 5 miles away that day. If I had really known it was that close, SP and I would have been into the unused outhouse pit. It was the only place to go.

Cedar

endurance

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2014, 10:24:58 AM »
Working on a volunteer department myself I can say that often what's needed most in these endurance rescue events isn't medical supplies, but basic human needs.  Bottled water, gatorade, calorie dense, non-meltable bars (granola, clif, power, luna, etc.), blankets, clean socks, teddy bears to give to kids, wet wipes... those are the things that are always welcome.  Homemade cookies and brownies, yep, please.

Otherwise, most departments are well stocked on bandaging and dressings.  That's cheap stuff they buy in bulk.  I think you'll find the other items listed above as much more welcome. 

Offline bluprint

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2014, 10:33:11 AM »
Endurance I can tell you for a fact the two main affected volunteer depts are out of these supplies (I am double checking w/my contact). Like I said I've been here my whole life I know a lot of people and my wife is very plugged into the EMS community (being a former medic and later flight medic in this county). I'm pretty plugged in to the community.

The other stuff is good too, no doubt. Baby wipes were also specifically asked for. I'm doing what I can and right now I'm looking for medical stuff. Thank you for the input.

Offline bluprint

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2014, 12:21:08 PM »
Thanks for the quick feedback everyone. I ended up ordering on amazon. Quick fulfillment and shipping was important. It should get here nearly as quick as I could get to Little Rock probably.

Nelson to answer your question:
As I said I've lived in Ark my whole life. Tornados don't scare me at all. They are what they are. Radar now a days is pretty good. Between the local news casts monitoring the track of the vortex plus my own tracking I felt comfortable that we didn't need to take cover. It was supposed to track further south and we were well out of harms way. It turned a more north-easterly track and  we were in a danger zone, but still relatively low probability at being hit. I estimated 20% at the highest level of probability. Even with the turn toward the NE it still was about 7 miles south of my house. Between all the technology and my own judgement standing outside, there was not a need for us to retire directly to the cellar. I have a 2-year old and 4 year old. I didn't make the decision lightly.

Had it been much close at all I likely would have sent my family down if only to protect against smaller tornados on the outer edge of the storm. Once the storm passed we took the kids to grandmas and headed out to help. Total devastation in some areas. Honestly we ended up not helping anyone. It was chaos. Hard to know what to do. Overhead shots are one thing, trying to drive around and find someplace to really help is more difficult. I will be significantly modifying my approach in the future.

Three years ago was a similar tornado. Took the exact same path. Some people who lost their house last time lost it again this time. A new school 3 years ago was knocked down, rebuilt and now is rubble again. I don't think anyone has ever had a class there.


Standing outside my house watching as the storm passed, everything turned dark and calm. You could hear things (trees? buildings?) crunching in the distance. Friends around me report all kinds of debris. I found some roof shingle and insulation in my yard. It was raining little bits of debris. A man I know, his brother went to move his truck. Was on the phone and said he needed to move his truck cause the storm was getting bad. The end of that sentence was the end of the conversation. They found his vechicle later.

Another family we know hid in a closet. He was on the phone with his business partner (these are clients and friends of ours). He reported being in his closet and as he walked out of the closet was shocked to find it raining in his house...no, the roof was gone...no he could see his neighbors house...he could see his neighbors house was gone.

Lots of stories like that. Lots.

nelson96

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 01:03:39 PM »
Nelson to answer your question:
As I said I've lived in Ark my whole life. Tornados don't scare me at all. They are what they are. Radar now a days is pretty good. Between the local news casts monitoring the track of the vortex plus my own tracking I felt comfortable that we didn't need to take cover. It was supposed to track further south and we were well out of harms way. It turned a more north-easterly track and  we were in a danger zone, but still relatively low probability at being hit. I estimated 20% at the highest level of probability. Even with the turn toward the NE it still was about 7 miles south of my house. Between all the technology and my own judgement standing outside, there was not a need for us to retire directly to the cellar. I have a 2-year old and 4 year old. I didn't make the decision lightly.

I hope it didn't appear that I was judging you, it's all just hard for me to understand.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 01:23:00 PM »
sometime when the emergency is over, please let us all know what you and your community learned and would do differently. It would be good to know HOW to help, although my driving down to help would likely be for a massive earthquake, I imagine a tornado, a massive earthquake, and an air raid bombing would all be fairly similar devastation and problems and maybe overlapping ideas and solutions.

I am so sorry to hear of all the devastation and loss. Good luck to you all and your community

Offline bluprint

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2014, 01:31:27 PM »
I hope it didn't appear that I was judging you, it's all just hard for me to understand.

No worries. It's how we all get better. I've lived with the idea of tornadoes my whole life. Around here lots of people are like that. Here is a story in which the first few sentences describe me (and probably lots of other people).

http://thehodgepodgedarling.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-cheerleader.html?m=1


Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2014, 01:33:30 PM »
Keep us posted on recovery. I know your state and others like Miss. got hammered.

Some notes I had filed away awhile back may be useful as a resource for antibiotics that you can get from the pet store or Tractor Supply that is safe for humans to take. I'm not up on what all these are useful for as I haven't gotten around to getting myself, so do your own research.
fish-mox = amoxicillin 250mg
fish-mox forte = amoxicillin 500mg
fish-cillin = ampicillin 250mg
fish-flex = keflex 250mg
fish-flex forte = keflex 500mg
fish cycline = tetracycline 250mg
bird biotic = doxycycline 100mg
fish flox = ciprofloxacin 250mg
fish-zole = metronidazole 250mg

endurance

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2014, 01:46:39 PM »
The wise thing would be to think about the future and have on hand what is going to take everyone else days to receive.  A box of 100 or 200 sterile 4x4 dressings might cost $10-15 and a few rolls of tubular stretch bandages might run $5 a roll, but the value of having them on hand when they're needed is priceless.  Sure, dressing sterility has an expiration date, but for the price it seems worth keeping a box or two on hand is worth it.

And it never hurts to have a few boxes of brownie mix around just in case. (hint, hint)

nelson96

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2014, 01:56:11 PM »
I've lived with the idea of tornadoes my whole life. Around here lots of people are like that. Here is a story in which the first few sentences describe me (and probably lots of other people).

http://thehodgepodgedarling.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-cheerleader.html?m=1

Dang it, now you've forced me to pass judgement  ;)  :D . . . .  Knowing how quickly (I'm told the destructive ones can move 1 mile per minute) they can move and how destructive they are, I don't know why one with young children would not play it safe and go to the shelter right away.  What is the harm in sitting in your shelter for an extra 7 minutes or more, if their is any percent chance of it coming your way?

.

Offline bluprint

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2014, 02:14:40 PM »
My estimate was something like "20% chance we get hit at all", not "20% we get hit in the next 30 seconds". I use the tools available to me. It's a danger but you CAN monitor it and respond appropriately. Less dangerous than an average day in a big city, imo. 

"Any chance at all" would mean we constantly live in fear. I also let my daughters go play in the woods. They might die while there. Last fall I looked down to see a large copperhead snaking its way over my 4 year-old's rain boot (I was standing right beside her). Then she stepped on it. They still go play.


It can happen fast. A storm can pop up and you can miss it. Also, a tornado has to *start* somewhere. This one was well-developed and I was tracking it. One time...before kids, my wife and I moved to a new town. We didn't have cable (decided to get rid of it) and a storm came up while we were watching a rented DVD. It happens. I get a phone call from a friend I've known my whole life that went like this:

Him (sounding very concerned): "Hey bud you ok?"

Me (sounding chipper): "Yeah I'm fine."

Me (now concerned): "You ok?"

Him (confused): "Um...yeah. Did you know there's a tornado over your house."

Me: "Didn't see it...but it's raining like a MF."

Turns out one had come within a few miles. Wife's grandfather lived around the corner. Tried to go check on him (he was ok) but got stopped by the trees in the road. Not one or two trees. Some shit that *I* wouldn't even drive through. Huge pines piled up like matchsticks with powerlines weaved through. Crazy. Later driving around there were mobile homes hanging 50+ feet in oak trees. That was a bad one.

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2014, 11:03:46 AM »
@ blueprint,

Sorry I didn't find this thread earlier.  Hope you were able to locate the medical supplies you were seeking.  A local medical based charity to which I donate, Heart to Heart International responded immediately to the need in Central Arkansas with their medical semi and team.  They should have been able through not only their on-site medical, but the kits they distribute (sponsored by Johnson & Johnson), to alleviate some of the strain on your local First Responder networks.

I've lived in tornado alley all of my life. We used to watch the tornados come across the Kansas plains, destroy businesses a couple miles away, pick-up, and come down a couple miles on the other side in Missouri to continue their destruction.  I've gotten to the point that I can read the greenness of the sky and feel the barometric pressure drop and know that there is tornadic activity in the area.  This usually occurs a minute or so before the official sirens go off. 

I've been in two situations of a near miss from a direct hit by tornados.  Property damage to the structures occurred both time.  Once I was in FL, in a trailer, and it was a wild ride (middle of the night and I was awoken by the sound of a train (tornado).  The other was in my current home, not typical tornado season and I had unplugged my weather alert radio, and it was the middle of the night and I was awoken from my sleep by the sound of the wind. I argued with my normalcy bias about 30 sec. .  By the time I made the bedroom doorway the house was shaking and I held onto the doorway frame as I felt the pressure inside the house change dramatically, by the time I made it down the stairs to the basement entry, it was over.  While the local weather station refused to call it a tornado, or even a micro-burst, the length of the path and signs of destruction were unmistakable that it had been an EF1 or EF2 passing directly overhead.

That said, I am of the opinion that when the time comes that you are debating whether it is time to go to shelter, it means you should already be there and are allowing your survival instinct to lose the argument with your normalcy bias.

I'm glad you and your family were safe this time.  Betting on technology when your gut says maybe it is time to send the family to the shelter isn't one I'd be willing to take a second time.  It would be a horrible bet to lose.  "Better to be safe than to be sorry" comes to mind.  Just my $0.02,  YMMV.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 11:22:03 AM by Bonnieblue2A »

Offline ThinLine

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Re: Best Place for Bulk Medical Supplies?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2014, 07:51:43 PM »
I've had good experiences using Bound Tree medical. 

I understand your sense of community.  Last year, I purchased $300 of mass casualty supplies for my child's pre-school. 

We also use the Tuxedo Trauma Kits at work:  http://buyhandh.com/collections/kits-and-packs
(Pricey, but in a convenient package).