Many of us are diligent in storing food and water for possible emergency use, but tend to forget to store items relative to sanitation. There are many items we use daily and would continue to need and be grateful to have during an emergency.
Walk through a typical day in your imagination, and make two lists. First, list the items you definitely will use. Second, list the ones you may also need to help keep your surroundings clean. Begin with the first list and start to add those items to your home storage as soon as you can. Then, progress to the second list. Plan to rotate your supplies so that they stay fresh and do not lose their usefulness.
YOU decide which list the following items belong on. Consider them and add a few more of your own:
- Toilet paper - figure how many rolls your family typically uses in a week, and multiply that by the number of weeks in your plan
- Bath soap
- Liquid dish soap
- Laundry soap
- Toilet cleaner
- Liquid bleach
- Toothpaste and extra toothbrushes - consider the emergency toothbrushes that come with their own toothpaste, sealed in a disposable bag
- Feminine sanitary supplies
- Plastic bags, garbage-sized and smaller
- Paper towels
- Powdered cleanser such as Comet or Ajax
- Glass cleaner
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hand lotion
- Razors, blades and shaving cream
- Baby products - diapers, wipes, bottles, etc.
- SPF lotion or wipes - consider Emergency Essentials' SunX SPF 30+ Towelettes (individual packs or packs of 16)
- Cleansing facial and body wipes - consider Ready Bath Basics Antibacterial Formula Total Body Cleansing System
- Emergency shower equipment - consider Zodi Extreme Portable Hot Shower, which Heats to over 100 degrees F in about 5 minutes
For a great emergency (or camping) kit that supplies the basics for three to four people for several days, consider the Family Sanitation Kit from Emergency Essentials, which includes one six-gallon bucket, one tote-able toilet seat and lid, four rolls of toilet paper, six Double Doodie™ Waste Bags, one Epi-Cleanz® Plus Hand Antiseptic, four Fresh and Go™ toothbrushes and three ReadyBath® packets.
If you're interested in preparing your own cleaning products, there are many recipes available (see Cookin' with Home Storage by Peggy Layton). You may want to consider storing ingredients that can be used to make cleaning products at home including, canned lye, powdered borax, glycerin, grease, ammonia, coal oil, kerosene, vinegar, turpentine, and aromatic oils such as rose or lavender.
Not only will emergency sanitation supplies make your experience during an emergency more comfortable, they will also keep you healthy and your surroundings clean!