Keep It Clean

Prepping 101:

Disinfection refers to the reduction of pathogens (disease causing organisms), while hygiene refers to the quality of cleanliness.

Everybody hurts sometimes, or rather everybody gets hurt sometimes, or sick. When this occurs, sterilization and disinfection becomes crucial to survival.

When a disaster occurs and you fear for your family’s health and safety, it might be too late to get the supplies you need.  Think about those times when a bad storm is headed your way and the store sells out of essentials.

In a survival situation, it will be difficult to get the most important things you need, so you need to stock up on them ahead of time and be prepared. 

Let’s take a look at the most important things for sterilization you’ll need to keep on hand.

Bleach is an inexpensive solution for cleaning and it kills germs better than just about anything else.  You can use it to sanitize surfaces by diluting it with water.  You can also use it to clean soiled linens to disinfect them if someone in your own home is affected by illness. 

Bleach can also be used for water purification when needed.  Because you dilute bleach for every use, you don’t need to have huge amounts on hand.  But having two or three gallons per person in your household is a good idea.

Bleach needs to be stored in a temperature controlled environment away from very high heat or temperatures below freezing.  In the proper conditions, it has a shelf life of about one year, so make sure that you rotate it and replace it when necessary.

Gloves are essential safety equipment to allow you to touch surfaces and infected people without worrying about infection.  It’s best to purchase non-latex gloves so that anyone can use them regardless of skin allergies.

Make sure that you have gloves in a variety of sizes.  Remember that gloves can only be used one time, so you want to have a good amount.  A good number to aim for is 4 boxes of latex gloves per household.

One of the best things you can use to clean your home is plain old soap and water.  You don’t need to have antibacterial soap since it only causes bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics and doesn’t do anything special for viruses. 

Brands such as Dawn and Ivory or Castile soap are all good for storage. Make sure to add extra when you find these items on sale.

If you’re running low on cleaning supplies, you can also get natural disinfection by using sunlight.  Items exposed to direct sunlight for at least six hours will be disinfected.

Hanging items on a clothesline or placing them on the ground where they get direct sunlight are great alternatives to help you conserve your disinfecting supplies.

Disinfection is a very important step in minimizing the spread of organisms. Do not ignore this step during your prepping efforts.

Together We Are Strong,

Robert Taylor
Survival Society

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