Emergencies require all kinds of preparedness.
It can be a challenge to make sure all your bases are covered, especially in the middle of a chaotic situation.
But overlooking one survival issue could put your life in serious jeopardy.
A critical issue that doesn’t get taken seriously enough during an emergency is the threat of infection.
Hygiene and cleanliness aren’t at the forefront of most people’s minds, especially if they’re dealing with time-sensitive triage issues.
However, unsanitary conditions are arguably more dangerous than anything else you might encounter.
The pandemics of the Medieval period that devastated Europe’s population were largely due to horrific hygiene conditions. Rat infestations were widespread and spread illnesses like the Black Plague.
Over 600,000 people died during the American Civil War, and two-thirds of them lost their lives due to abject sanitation conditions.
More recently, pandemics in the 1960s killed millions in Asia as a result of substandard health concerns.
Nobody panics because of a cut or scrape today due to modern medicine and hygiene, but it’s easy to take that for granted when the SHTF.
A simple cut could become deadly if it gets infected and isn’t tended to.
Hygiene and waste disposal aren’t given the same consideration as self-defense and food supplies.
But this is a huge error that preppers can make.
In fact, cleanliness is even more important during an emergency because there are likely to be more airborne contagion since public services such as waste management and hospitals might be overwhelmed or completely shut down.
So here are some practices that will help you keep proper hygiene and cleanliness.
First, have a good stock of trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, and other related supplies that keep your living area clean.
Sawdust is another good item to stock because it helps cut down on odor.
If you’re confined to a tight space, odor could be a serious problem.
If you don’t maintain your living area, which can quickly get cramped, you leave the door open for all kinds of nasty infection.
Also, have a healthy stock of first-aid supplies.
Bandages, clean towels, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and over-the-counter medications are a necessity.
If you have chronic medical problems, you might need to stockpile prescription meds.
Be sure to quarantine the sick, and have a designated person to tend to their needs so the fewest number of people are exposed to illness.
Finally, have plenty of potable water and a system for keeping your clothes clean. If the power grid is down, you’ll still need to be able to do laundry.
Proper hygiene might seem trivial in the face of a crisis, but it’s why life expectancy has skyrocketed over the past 150 years.