It is said that more people die of illness than as a direct cause of a disaster.
A lot of disease is carried from hand to mouth and that is down to the survivor.
After all it’s too easy to skip on hygiene.
So what should you be doing?
- Staying clean by following a rigorous regime of personal hygiene.
- That includes your clothing and bedding
- By establishing a safe method of getting rid of personal and general waste to stop contamination of water sources or foodstuff.
- Keeping your camp environment clean so not to attract pests.
- Concentrate on keeping your water supply safe and your methods of processing raw water into a safe state (potable).
- Storing that potable water in a safe sterile way keeping it cool and out of the light.
- Sourcing only the freshest and safest of raw foodstuff or only consuming safe material like MRE’s, canned, or dried foodstuff.
- Storing dry supplies in the best most secure way you can achieve protecting them from wet contamination and attack from insects or man-imals.
- Never eating anything raw and wash fresh foodstuff using clean safe water.
- Prepare and thoroughly cook foods immediately before consumption to prevent bacteria growth.
- Keep cooking utensils, preparation surfaces, eating utensils and crockery clean and hygienic. Washing them carefully after use with clean potable water and soap then putting them safely away.
As for other disease vectors like insect borne illnesses.
Some disease carriers are not worried if you wash or not.
The only way to top them is to put physical barriers between you and them, or use some form of deterrent or put insecticides down for them or on you..
Yet some carriers (lice, fleas, ticks, mites, and other blood suckers) thrive in dirt, dark, and moist conditions. Therefore you need to consider:-
- Where you sit, lay, eat, toilet, sleep, and wash.
- Using incorrect techniques that attract insects (or worse, dogs, snakes, man-imals).
- Where you travel may have local insect, vegetation, or physical hazards.
- Other survivors you meet may be hosts for bacterial, viral, and insect borne disease.
Only what can you do about that?
- Keep areas open, clean, and free from debris or discarded foodstuff.
- Keep the ‘unwashed’ away from your clean areas.
- Restrict their access to your personal areas.
- Use physical and chemical barriers to stop insect and man-imal invasion.
- Dress appropriately to suit local conditions and hazards
- Establish protocols for meet and greet with others.
Now all this may sound very “formal” and possibly look ‘book like’.
Except it isn’t and in the main it’s simple common sense.
Only what if you don’t. What if you live like a slob in austere conditions?
Here is a list of common disaster diseases you could catch.
Cryptosporidiosis, Enteroviruses, E. coli, Giardiasis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HBV, HCV, & HIV. Leptospirosis, MRSA, Norovirus, Rotavirus, Shigellosis, Tetanus, Toxoplasmosis, Trench or Immersion Foot. Tuberculosis, Chickenpox, Cholera, Typhus, Weils and Lyme disease. Foot rot, crotch rot, thread worms, tape worms.
Need I go on?