When an emergency strikes, after the initial shock wears off the first things we probably think of are food, water, and shelter. These definitely are essentials, but up there should also be sanitation. Sanitation is probably one of the last things most people think of in emergencies and because usual hygiene practices may be disrupted after a disaster, the risks of illness and disease are greatly increased. The reality is that, frequently, just as many or more people will get sick/die from the unsanitary conditions that exist after a disaster than the initial disaster. Even in an emergency our bodies will still do what they were made to do.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have compiled a list of health and safety concerns for disasters. Among that list is illness and injury prevention. It’s important to know how to prevent disease by learning how to properly dispose of trash and human waste, and by making sure you have access to clean water. There’s a reason why many third world countries, without proper sewage and water purification systems, have the highest rates of disease. Remembering a few simple tips about sanitation can help keep you and your family safe from a serious threat that can cause serious harm. Below are some great resources to help you become “sanitary” prepared including some ideas for setting up hand washing stations.