Medicine Cabinet Essentials…That Aren’t Medicine

portrait of a smiling urban woman outdoors( — Whether it’s a common cut or something scarier like chest pains, you need the right items to handle a medical emergency. But some of the things you need have nothing to do with pills, syrups or creams.

“People either have no first-aid kit, or the materials are insufficient or expired,” says Manoj Singh, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio.

Just as important: You need to be able to find them quickly. That’s why experts advise that you keep emergency supplies in one place: either in a traditional first-aid kit or a designated medicine cabinet.

Here are the top five non-medicinal items that medical experts say should be within reach in any healthy home. They’re available at your local drugstore…and don’t require a prescription.

1. Plain bar or hand soap.

This may seem obvious, but the old-fashioned soap-and-water combo is still the best way to clean minor cuts and scrapes.