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Sanitation During Times of Emergency

Keeping clean during a disaster is obviously very difficult. In a crisis situation, you will not be guaranteed access to the amenities of modern day living you have easily grown accustomed to. In order to maintain healthy in terms of hygiene, it is advisable that you prepare in advance a sanitation kit for you and the family. The express purpose of a sanitation kit is to have the necesarry emergency supplies to keep yourself, your family members, the tableware and the dishes, and the clothes clean during a crisis.

An Example of a Sanitation Kit

  • Antibacterial soap, hand sanitizers
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste
  • Washcloths and towels
  • Shaving kit for men
  • Feminine products
  • Portable potty lid
  • Five gallon bucket
  • Portable potty chemicals
  • Latex gloves
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Water purification tablets
  • Laundry detergent
  • Clothesline
  • Insect repellant

If you look at the list above, you will realize that included within the items is a portable poty lid and a five gallon bucket. These items are not that expensive at all, and will also allow you to collect human waste and turn it into compost that can be used as fertilizer for the garden. In addition, if you have some extra money and want to go a step further, you can purchase for yourself a stylish portable toilet that has many of the features of a standard toilet. They come in a variety of choices.

How to Bathe When Water is in Short Supply

When times are tough, and the supply of water is at best intermittent, the most practical way to keep your body clean is by sponge bathing. With sponge bathing you should be able to both clean yourself and conserve water.  The process is rather simple: First lather up the sponge with soap, apply it to your body, and rinse off with clean water. Finally, dry up as usual.

Washing and Drying Your Clothes

Our ancestors knew best when it came to washing clothes with the little resources they had. They would either go by the river or wherever water was easily accessible, or wash the clothes in a large pot heated using wood or coal. You should first heat the water with some soap inside, and wash the garments by hand and rinse in an adjacent pot filled with clean hot water. As a last step, hang your clothes on a clothesline to air dry.

Washing Dishes

It is important to reuse water glasses or bottles throughout the day and to wipe all utensils used, unless meat was served. That will drastically reduce the load that is to be washed. Before washing, remove all food debris from the plates. Then use the hottest water you can come up with for the wash water. Hot water, even moderately hot, will help the soap get rid of the grease on your dishes. Incrementally start adding soap to the water that suds begin to foam. In my opinion, it is best to use a piece of cloth for washing the plates. Finally, rinse the plates with water in the adjacent bowl, and dry with cloth.


Maintaining your environment sanitary during an emergency is crucial to your and your family's survival. By preventing the spreading of harmful microbes and diseases, you will ensure that life returns to a degree of normalcy following an emergency. The important thing is to make it through the crisis, and not fall victim to something that could have been avoided had you been a little bit more careful. More often than not, populations suffer immensely and lives are lost due to poor sanitary conditions during emergency situations.


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