One of the most overlooked disaster planning measure is a sanitation and hygiene plan just in case there is a disruption of sanitation services and access to hygiene supplies.
People don’t realize that a lack of proper sanitation is the leading cause of disease and death and can even claim more lives than the disaster itself.
Disasters typically damage existing sanitation facilities and displace people, increasing pressure on facilities that may already be under strain. If even just a small portion of a community is practicing open defecation, the whole population is at greater risk of diarrhea diseases, worm infestations and hepatitis.
When preparing your household for disaster, be sure to include enough supplies to reduce the possibility of disease as much as possible.
- Its extremely important to stay as clean as possible.
- Frequent hand washing, or use of an antibacterial hand sanitizer.
- Extra care should be taken when handling and cooking foods.
- When using stored water be careful to not contaminate the bottle cap or neck of the bottle.
- In a survival situation extra precautions should also be taken to prevent cuts, scratches, or scrapes. Any time the skin is broken the wound, however slight, should be treated, immediately.
- Watch children closely. They tend to ignore minor injuries, fearing treatment more than they do disease. Many elderly people also ignore minor wounds because they do not want to be a bother.