How Do You Maintain Hygiene During A Water Crisis?
A prolonged power outage can cause a water crisis by inhibiting the means necessary to pump water out of the ground.
Your need for clean water is an understatement!
So how do you maintain your personal hygiene?
You do so by proper planning, and some common sense solutions so as not to expose yourself to filth and disease. Everything from stockpiling water to constructing a makeshift toilet will help you and your family get through a rough patch in time.
Among all the various things that are needed to prepare for a water disaster, it’s easy to overlook the need for personal hygiene.
You need to prepare now with some simple solutions I will share in this post.
A Water Crisis Solution Guide
During a water crisis, personal hygiene is necessary for maintaining health as sickness and disease often follow filth.
Even worse, one of the greatest spreaders of disease is human waste. Improper care of this waste can cause severe health problems.
Taking care of these things really is not all that hard even in a crisis, although it does require learning how to do things in different ways. More than anything, it requires cleaning in ways that require minimal water usage because you probably won’t have any to waste.
Here is a fun fact:
Water fact: The average American household uses 400 gallons of water per day! Would you still use that much water if you had to haul it from the river? Of course not. Yet, if the city water is down and you don’t have a well at home, you could find yourself hauling every gallon of water that you use.
Personal Hygiene Tips
- Stockpile Now. Don’t forget to stockpile personal hygiene supplies, along with the food and other supplies that you are collecting. A few extra tubes of toothpaste and some extra shampoo will last for quite a while. The big problem will be toilet paper, which your family probably goes through a lot. Stocking enough toilet paper to see you through a disaster can take up a lot of room. Don’t forget feminine hygiene supplies either, unless you want some very unhappy women in your home.
- Be Sure to Keep Your Hands Clean. The most important part of your body to keep clean is your hands. There’s a very good reason why it’s a habit to wash before eating. Your hands come in contact with everything, increasing the chance of them picking up bacteria that could get into your body when you eat. Especially during a no water situation where things can get pretty gamy. In an effort to save water, don’t use a basin to wash your hands in. If you do, you’ll just be passing bacteria from one family member to another. You’ll need to use running water, even though you don’t need a lot of it.
- Antibacterial Hand Cleaner. One of the greatest personal hygiene supplies that have ever been invented is antibacterial hand cleaner. This provides a waterless way of cleaning your hands, specifically making sure that you don’t have any bacteria on them. While it won’t do much for getting rid of mud, it will make your hands biologically clean and safe.
- Bathing with Minimal Water. The average shower uses 3 to 5 gallons of water per minute, and the average bath uses 30 to 40 gallons. However, you can bathe very effectively out of a bucket, using a small plastic container to scoop up water and pouring it over yourself. This is still common today in many third-world and emerging countries. With this method, you can actually bathe effectively with less than a gallon of water.
- Don’t Wash Your Hair so Often. Most of us are used to washing our hair daily. Of everything involved in personal hygiene, washing the hair uses the most water, especially if it’s long. However, we really don’t need to do so all that often. We do it because our scalp itches if our hair gets dirty, but it is possible to go a week or more without washing your hair without any problem. All it takes is getting used to it.
- Dig an Outhouse. If you don’t have water in your home, your toilet isn’t going to work. This is where the old-fashioned outhouse comes in. Dig a hole in the backyard, and construct an outhouse over it. The deeper you dig it, the longer you can use it before having to fill it in and dig another one. Make sure that wherever you put it, it’s a long ways away from any water sources. Bacteria from human waste can travel 100 feet through the ground, contaminating water sources.
- Make a Portable Toilet. If your ground is too hard to dig an outhouse, you can get by with a portable toilet. There are many ways of doing this, but the easiest is to mount a toilet seat on a five-gallon bucket. Put plastic bags inside the bucket a few layers thick. After it has been used a few times, remove the bag, and set it aside for disposal.
A little care and prior planning will make it easy for you and your family to maintain your personal hygiene and health. Stock up on necessary supplies, along with all the other supplies you are stockpiling. That way, you’ll have enough to see you through. Teach your family how to conserve water now so that they don’t waste it when the time comes.
With proper water conservation, your family can survive much longer with minimal problems. Failure to conserve water will cause you to spend more time hauling water than anything else. You can’t afford to be wasting water filling bathtubs if you only have a few gallons per day.
If you have a family member who refuses to conserve water, you can easily cure them of that by making them be the one to haul water. It won’t take long before they are the ones who are getting after everyone else for unnecessarily wasting water.
Learn How To Conserve Water Today
In this country, our ‘take it for granted’ water supply is something that should not be overlooked. There are parts of the world where whole families rely on considerably less water in a week than we do in a day.
Even in this country drought has taken its toll in some areas such as California where some parts of the landscape sunk over 30 feet due to the depletion of the groundwater aquifer.
A water crisis is a scary outlook that everyone should be concerned about because it can happen to anyone, anywhere.
You may not have any control over the wrath of mother nature, however, you do have control over how to conserve this precious resource today.
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and shaving. Water comes out of the average faucet at over 3 gallons per minute. Don’t let all that water go down the drain while you brush or shave! Turn off the faucet after you wet your brush, and leave it off until it’s time to rinse.
Turn off the tap while washing your hands. Do you need the water to run while you’re scrubbing your hands? Save a few gallons of water and turn the faucet off after you wet your hands until you need to rinse.
Fix your leaks. Whether you go DIY or hire a plumber, fixing leaky faucets can mean big water savings. YouTube DIY is an excellent resource on how to fix things.
Re-use your pasta cooking liquid. Instead of dumping that water down the drain, try draining your pasta water into a large pot. Once it cools, you can use it to water your plants. Especially the potted ones. Just make sure you wait, because if you dump that boiling water on your plants, you might harm them.
Cut your showers short. Older shower heads can use over 5 gallons of water per minute. Speed things up in the shower for some serious water savings. And while we are here, consider changing that old shower head into a newer more modern one that will save water all on its own. They are very easy to change out. (YouTube)
Choose efficient fixtures. While we are on the shower head replacement: Aerating your faucets, investing in a low-flow toilet, and opting for a Water Sense-rated dishwasher and front loading washing machine can add up to big water savings.
Shrink your lawn. Even better completely. Instead, opt for a xeriscaped landscape that incorporates water-wise ground cover, succulents, and other plants that thrive in drought conditions. And if you live in wetter climates such as South Florida, look into native plants that do well in those areas.
Don’t run the dishwasher or washing machine until it’s full. Those half-loads add up to gallons and gallons of wasted water. Better yet, hand wash those dishes. Dishwashers are very inefficient.
Keep an eye on your bill to spot leaks. If your water bill spikes suddenly, there’s a good chance that a leak is a culprit. Call in a plumber to check your lines to save water and cash!
Install a rain barrel. Rainwater harvesting is a great way to keep your plants hydrated without turning on the hose or sprinkler. And it’s a good source of available water during a water crisis.
Flush with less. Older toilets use a lot of water. You can reduce your usage by sinking a half gallon jug of water in the toilet tank. Do NOT use a brick, because it will break down and the sediment can damage your tank.
Water outdoor plants in the early morning. You’ll need less water since cooler morning temperatures mean losing less water to evaporation. It’s not a great idea to water in the evenings since this can promote mold growth.
Use less electricity. Power plants use thousands of gallons of water to cool. Do your part to conserve power, and you’re indirectly saving water, too!
Wash pets outdoors. That way, you’re watering your yard while you’re cleaning your pup. Just make sure that the soap you’re using isn’t harmful to your plants!
Water Crisis On The Google Net:
The Hill. Water crisis requires all hands on deck. The Hill. We need to engage the scientific and academic community to provide research and insight into the most creative and cost-effective solutions to our water challenges. Many groups including the hosts of Water Week and the Value of Water Coalition bring and more.… Continued….