There are a lot of things to consider when preparing for possible disaster situations. Yet many people fail to consider how they will maintain their personal hygiene when water scarcity becomes a problem.
Personal hygiene is an important part of maintaining your health and avoiding sanitation-related diseases. Dealing with human waste in an improper manner can cause a variety of diseases, some of which can be life-threatening.
In a water scarcity situation, it’s important to learn to do things in new ways to keep water usage at a minimum, while still maintaining personal hygiene, because most likely you won’t have any water to waste.
An average American will use about 100 gallons of water each day. Not a problem when all you have to do is turn on the tap. But if water scarcity becomes an issue and the taps run dry you’re going to need to be more careful with every gallon you use.
7 Healthy Tips
- Stock Up on Hygiene Products Now. Stocking up on personal hygiene supplies should be considered a part of your survival cache, along with food and other essentials. It’s easy enough to keep extra shampoo, toothpaste, and soap on hand. But do you have enough toilet paper? A family can go through a lot of it and keeping enough stocked to get you through an emergency situation can take up a lot of space. And if you have women in the house you’ll need a stockpile of feminine hygiene products as well.
- Wash Your Hands Often. It is very important to keep your hands clean. Mom was right when she taught us to wash our hands before each meal. Because our hands come into contact with all kinds of things, they most likely pick up bacteria and can spread it to our bodies when we eat. To avoid passing bacteria from one person to another do not use a shared basin of water to wash your hands. You should use soap and running water. Just use water sparingly.
- Use Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer. Soap and water are best for getting hands clean. But when it comes to maintaining personal hygiene in a water scarcity situation antibacterial hand sanitizer can be one of your most important supplies. They don’t get your hands completely clean but they have been proven to kill bacteria.
- Bathing with Minimal Water. After toilets and washing machines, showers are the third largest consumer of water in a typical American home. At 2.1 gallons per minute and with the average shower lasting approximately 8.2 minutes, a shower will use 17.2 gallons of water. But you can reduce the amount of water you use to bathe to less than one gallon, and still maintain your personal hygiene in a water scarcity situation, by using a bucket of water and a cup to scoop the water over yourself. It might not be very relaxing, but it gets the job done!
- Don’t Shampoo Your Hair Every Day. Most people like to wash their hair every day. But when it comes to personal hygiene washing our hair uses up the most water, depending on how much hair we have of course. We mostly wash our hair daily because it feels good. We certainly don’t NEED to do it. In a water scarcity
situation waiting a week or so to wash your hair won’t cause a problem, but it will save a lot of water.
- Consider Building an Outhouse. If the water isn’t flowing in your house the toilet isn’t going to work either. It may be time to consider digging your own outdoor toilet and then building you an outhouse over it for comfort and privacy. Keep n mind that the deeper you dig the less often you’ll need to fill it in and dig a new one. Also, be sure to locate it far away from any potential water source to avoid contamination. The bacteria from human waste can permeate the ground up to 100 feet.
- Make a DIY Portable Toilet. If the ground is frozen or too hard to dig for an outhouse, another option is to make your own portable toilet. One easy way to do this is to attach a toilet seat to a large 5-gallon bucket and line the bucket with several layers of thick plastic bags. Once a bag has been used several times simply remove it, secure it with a zip tie and place it aside for later disposal.
In a water scarcity emergency, you and your family can maintain good hygiene and health with a little planning ahead of time. Don’t wait to stock up on your survival supplies and start discussing ways to conserve water with your family ahead of time so they’ll be better prepared if the need ever arises.
If you learn these personal hygiene methods to conserve water your family can avoid many problems and survive longer when water is in short supply or not readily available.
You certainly don’t want to spend any more time hauling water than you have to! If a member of your family doesn’t do their share to conserve water, put them in charge of hauling water for the family. It probably won’t be long before they put themselves in charge of making sure everyone else is doing their share to avoid wasting water!