Originally published February 9 2015
How to maintain hygiene and save your life in a water shortage emergency
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) When "things" are normal and everything is calm, it's easy to take the modern conveniences of life for granted and think little about a time when they won't be available. But in today's crazy world, where we are one natural disaster, one cyber attack or one major nuclear terrorist incident away from chaos, it makes sense to think about what you might have to do to be prepared for such contingencies now, before stuff happens.
In that vein, water is the substance of life, and you should do what you can to ensure that you will always have a good supply of it around. If you live in a rural area and you have your own deep well, then you don't have much to worry about. But urban and suburban dwellers -- and even folks who live in small towns and are on "city water" -- do have to worry about where they'll get a good supply of clean, potable water in an emergency.
But unlike many articles on this topic, this one goes beyond simply advising that you set aside enough water for consumption. You will also need to ensure you have enough to wash yourself (at least a couple of times a week) as well as to clean your cookware and so forth, because failing to do so can lead to sickness and even death.
Conservation is key, but you must have water to remain healthy
According to emergency preparedness website Preparedness Advice, water for clean-up and hygiene is vital:
One don't let the dish[es] pile up, this will attract, bugs, flies, rodents and other creatures you don't want. To do this you may have to change your cooking habits to use the least number of dishes possible. This includes pots, pans, plates and silverware. Keep what you cook simple. If you have electricity, like those people did use the microwave. The stores were open, they could have use paper plates and disposable silverware.
Human waste needs to be properly disposed off. In other countries, people have been forced to move out of apartment buildings because of their neighbors storing human waste in the bathtub and the toilet bowl.
In addition, the site says, keeping water usage to a minimum will be important, obviously, because if your supply of it is limited or diminished, you will run out quickly if you're not judicious with it.
Also, there are other ways to "clean" what is normally washed in lots of water, like clothing.
"Sun washing clothes - If you have a real water shortage, shake your clothes out and spread them out in the full sun," says the site. "The more the clothes are exposed to sun, the better. Sun washed clothing will feel cleaner and smell better. The ultraviolet radiation will kill off the bacteria that live in your sweat and dead skin cells. Do not forget to sun wash your sleeping bags and bedding."
Dirty water breeds disease
In fact, as the Prep For SHTF site notes, contaminated water can be deadly, listing some global statistics to make the point:
- Roughly, 783 million people do not have access to safe water on a daily basis, which is more than 2.5 times the population of the United States
- Approximately, 3.5 million people die each year because of a limited water supply, and from contaminated water, there are numerous deadly diseases present in untreated water
- Eighty percent of the sewage discharged in developing countries is discharged, without being treated, directly into water bodies, the same bodies of water that people draw their daily water supply from
So, hygiene -- as well as potable water -- is vital to ensuring your survival in times of an emergency.
Here are a few additional tips, to help you conserve water:
- Don't worry about what "washing" yourself everyday; a couple times a week will suffice, and even then, you can make water stretch by sponging off with a clean washcloth rather than a full bath;
- get foods that don't require any or much water to prepare; and
- stock up on paper goods like paper plates and such, to reduce your need to clean dishes.
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