Disasters can strike at any time and in any place. Floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, power outages, terrorist attacks and many other unforeseen events can occur and throw your life into helter-skelter. Knowing what to do during such events is of paramount importance when it comes to ensuring your safety and survival.
During a time of crisis, very often people are in shock and reeling from what has just taken place. Not much though is given to sanitation because it slips to the back of their minds since everything else seems to be getting their attention.
However, staying clean and maintaining hygiene and sanitation is crucial to preventing sickness and disease from taking root in your body. This article will list a few tips that you should follow to stay healthy and sane.
- Follow Instructions from the Authorities
Usually, during an emergency, there will be first responders and directions from the authorities to help you stay calm and avoid danger. For example, if there’s a forest fire, dust masks may be given out to protect your lungs from the pollutants.If there’s a flood, you might not be able to drink the water from your tap or use the water in your shower. Listen to the authorities and follow their instructions accordingly. They’ll have a plan of action for you.
- Focus on your Hygiene
Just because times are difficult and your surroundings are a mess isn’t a reason for you to let yourself go. Wash your hands often and try not to touch your face. If you have injuries or cuts, keep the wounds clean and sterilized if possible.The goal here is to prevent the spread of germs which can lead to infections and health problems.
- Only use Potable Water
Only drink and bathe in potable water. It would be wise to stockpile as much safe drinking water as you can. This can be used for cooking too. You’ll need this water to wash your hands, take quick showers and brush your teeth.
- Making Water Safe
If you have distilled water, this will be great for cleaning wounds or washing your hands. In the event that you don’t have distilled water, you can boil water, let it cool and then clean your wounds with it.
Depending on the quality of the water, you may need to filter it or disinfect it too.
When there are no other options besides the water around you or in the tap, you might have to doctor the water so that it is safe to use. This typically involves filtering, boiling or disinfecting the water that you have available to you.
To filter water, first boil it till it reaches boiling point for a minute. Then allow the water to stand for 2 minutes so that the sediment settles at the bottom. Next, gently pour the water off the top into another clean jar and allow it to cool before sealing it.
Disinfecting the water will require you to use water purification tablets. That’s why it’s always good to keep these handy for times of need. You may also add household bleach that is unscented. Use 1/8 of bleach per gallon of water. Stir it well and allow it to sit for thirty minutes before use.
If the electricity is out or circumstances are such that you can’t boil water, you can use the water in your heater tank or even in the toilet tank. The toilet tank is NOT the toilet bowl. Just ensure that the water in the toilet tank has not been treated with cleaning agents.
You can always collect running rainwater for use too. Avoid collecting from stagnant bodies of water. Usually, these could be infected and be full of germs.
Besides water, use antibacterial sprays or gels to sterilize common areas or yourself if you are in a mess. Wet wipes work just as well too. It may be difficult to stay clean and hygienic but the extra effort will help you be healthy and disease-free till help arrives and the situation is under control.