Crises bring about all types of problems.
Natural disasters or terror attacks cause all kinds of suffering that people can understand.
But there’s one lethal enemy people don’t pay enough attention to when there’s an emergency.
One serious problem that doesn’t get enough attention during a crisis is the threat of infection.
During emergency situations, hygiene and cleanliness can take a backseat to triage and other pressing concerns.
But this is a mistake.
Poor sanitation is just as big a threat as anything else.
Two-thirds of the over 600,000 people killed during the American Civil War was a result of abysmal hygiene and sanitation conditions.
The pandemics that decimated Europe’s population in the Middle Ages were largely spurred by medieval sanitation.
Pandemics as recent as the 1960s killed millions due to substandard conditions.
While cuts and scrapes may seem trivial today due to modern medicine and hygiene, a lot of that acquired knowledge is taken for granted in a SHTF scenario.
Suddenly people don’t take care of themselves and cut corners.
Hygiene and waste disposal aren’t planned for with the same seriousness as defense or food supplies.
This miscalculation can be a major problem for preppers.
Hygiene and sanitation are even more important in SHTF situations, because there are more germs in the midst.
Public services like waste removal may be suspended, hospitals may be overrun or out of commission, and trash could be strewn everywhere.
As a survivalist, all prepping plans need to take into consideration cleanliness.
Have a plan for waste management and maintaining hygiene.
Here are a few strategies.
First, keep a healthy stock of trash bags, paper towels, toilet paper, wet wipes, and other related supplies to make sure you’re keeping your survival area clean.
Sawdust is also a good way to cut down on odor, which can become unbearable.
Failure to keep the area clean could expose you to infection, particularly if you have several people confined to a relatively small space.
The chance of infection goes up, and a quick trip to the pharmacy or urgent care may not be possible.
Next, keep a robust stock of first-aid materials.
You’ll need bandages, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, clean towels, over-the-counter medications, and possibly prescription medications for any chronic conditions.
If anyone does get sick in a quarantine situation, have a separate area for the ill.
You don’t want them infecting anyone else in tight quarters.
Also, try to have one designated person deal with the sick so the least number of people are exposed to illness.
Without gains in medical technology and the understanding of hygiene, our life expectancies would be cut in half and look like they did in the mid-19th century.
It’s easy to lose sight of that because of all the things we take for granted.
Cleanliness is not a choice or an inconvenience when SHTF, it’s a necessity.
If you incorporate it into your preparation, you give yourself a much better chance of survival.