Emergencies cause all kinds of problems that can get neglected.
One of the major things people often overlook is their own health.
Here’s how to avoid one deadly killer in the face of a health emergency.
A dire injury that doesn’t get taken seriously enough during a crisis is the possibility of infection.
Hygiene and cleanliness aren’t the first things people consider, especially in the face of a crisis.
But doing so will have grave consequences.
Unsanitary conditions are just as dangerous as anything you will encounter.
The pandemics of the Middle Ages that devastated Europe’s population were mainly caused by abject hygiene conditions.
Rat infestations were rampant, and they spread diseases like the Black Plague.
Over 600,000 people died during the American Civil War, and two-thirds of those deaths were due to poor sanitary conditions.
More recently, pandemics in the 1960s killed millions in Asia because of shoddy health standards.
No one freaks out over a cut or scrape today because of modern medicine and hygiene, but it’s easy to take that for granted when an emergency strikes.
One of the reasons surgery is so risky is because of the risk of infection, and that’s in the most sanitary conditions possible, so poor hygiene outside of a pristine operating room can be deadly.
Hygiene and waste disposal aren’t given the same seriousness as self-defense and food supplies, and that’s a mistake.
Cleanliness is arguably more important during an emergency, because there are likely to be more airborne contagions.
Public services like waste management and hospitals could be overrun, or entirely shut down.
That’s why you must have a plan in place.
Here are some tips that will help you maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness.
First, have a robust supply of trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, and similar related supplies in order to keep your living space clean.
Sawdust is another good item to keep, because it helps cut down on odor.
If you’re confined to a tight space, smell will be a serious problem.
If you don’t maintain your living area you leave yourself susceptible to all kinds of infection.
And there may not be a fast remedy such as a hospital or pharmacy.
Also, have a healthy cache of first-aid supplies.
Bandages, clean towels, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and over-the-counter medications are important to maintain a sterile environment.
If you have chronic medical problems, you might need to stockpile prescription medications, which can be difficult without proper planning.
Make sure to have a separate space for the sick, and designate a specific person to tend to their needs.
This limits the amount of exposure within your household.
Finally, have a lot of potable water and a system in place for keeping your clothes clean.
You’ll still need to be able to do laundry if the power goes down.
These issues might seem incidental in the midst of an emergency, but taking care of these problems are why life expectancy has risen exponentially over the past 150 years.