Emergency Preparedness For Survival – Is Your Sanitation Preparation Up To Standard?

Emergency Preparedness For Survival –

Is Your Sanitation Preparation Up To Standard?

If I were to ask you to identify the most significant medical breakthrough in the past 150 years, how would you answer?

For most of us we immediately think of high-profile advances in medicine, such as the discovery of penicillin and antibiotics, or the invention of the X-ray. The elimination of major diseases such as smallpox, plague, and others, or the incredible life-saving virtues of automatic defibrillators, pacemakers, implants,  and so on are just as important.

In fact, if you were to search ‘Nobel Prize Winning Medical Advances’ you will find a host of incredible achievements, all that have improved longevity and quality of life. And yet, none of them win the prize for being the most significant medical advancement of the past 150 years. The British Medical Journal recently surveyed more than 11,000 readers, mostly physicians, and asked them the exact same question I just asked you: What was their answer to most significant medical breakthrough in the past 150 years? In one word: Sanitation

Detail of little girl washing her hands emergency survival preparedness

Perhaps the Indianapolis Star said it best, “How can it be that seemingly mundane, homely sanitation — including sewage, reliable clean water & decent housing — could possibly earn more votes than Nobel Prize-winning advances? Because the best measure of a medical advance is not its complexity, but what it does for the length and quality of our lives.”

hand with glove is cleaning hospital equipment emergency survival preparedness

Proper sanitation eliminated deadly diseases such as cholera and infection, and paved the way for the creation of a large and sophisticated network of agencies and infrastructure that have revolutionized our lives. Today we simply turn on the faucet and we have water to drink or push a lever on the commode  and flush our waste . Today we benefit from a public health system that keeps a constant watch to ensure that our sanitation needs are met.

But what if I were to remove all these conveniences. No running water. No flushing toilets. No agencies, institutions or infrastructure for you to rely upon for sanitation services. What would your life look like?

The hidden danger in natural and man-made disasters is not just in the actual event, (which is usually what gets all the news), but in the aftermath of that event. The most significant of these consequences is a disruption in sanitation services, consequences that transport us back to a time when lack of sanitation was a leading cause of disease and death. Don’t take my opinion on it, believe the 11,000 readers of the British Medical Journal.

How should a reasonable person prepare for a disruption in the provision that service? Here are three things you should be considering to prepare for events of a catastrophic nature, like this:

1) Clean Water. You must have clean water for drinking, washing and cleaning during a prolonged disruption in infrastructure. Most experts agree that the average person requires two gallons a day of water for cleaning and drinking. This includes water for washing as well as removing waste, (don’t forget that most toilets require 3 gallons to flush). We recommend that you keep a minimum of 7 days water storage for your family, (7 days times 2 gallons times the number of people in your family). A 30-day supply is even better.

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