Proper hygiene and sanitation are essential for the prevention of disease following a disaster. When water is limited, this could be difficult. You may think you can rely on hand sanitizers to stay clean, but hand sanitizers are not effective against all germs, and they won’t help if your hands are visibly dirty.
While boiled or disinfected water can be used for hand washing as well as washing dishes, it is wise to have a supply of water stored for emergency use. This can be used for cooking, bathing and wound care.
Even though CDC recommendations are to store 1 gallon of water per day, per person, that is a bare minimum and you are likely to need more. Storing water in 55 gallon barrels will help ensure that you have enough safe, clean water for all of your family’s personal hygiene needs. Treat stored water with Water Preserver Concentrate and it will be safe to use for up to 5 years.
Clean water is just one part of hygiene after a disaster. Proper waste disposal is also essential. If there has been flooding, sewer systems cannot function the way they should, resulting in sewage backing up into your home.
In this modern age, it is hard to imagine using something other than a normal bathroom with a flushing toilet, but after a disaster, you may need to resort to other means. Outdoors people may feel that simply digging a hole in the ground and burying waste is sufficient, and in many cases that is just fine, but if the ground is saturated after a flood, this can cause more contamination to surrounding wells and water supplies.
Keep a portable toilet or bucket with disposable plastic liners to use as an emergency toilet. You should also have chemicals to disinfect your portable toilet. This will help you keep your living area clean and reduce the spread of germs.
When liner bags are full, seal them with a twist tie so you can dispose of the entire bag. A large plastic trash can with a tight fitting lid can be used to store bags of waste until normal disposal methods are restored.