In my previous post I talked about how toilet paper is one of those preps that is often overlooked. In this post I wanted to expand on that idea just a little bit because I talked about hygiene being important in a survival or post crunch event.
These days it is not uncommon to experience blackouts or brown outs and that is even without there being any kind of disaster. With aging infrastructures and increased burden on our power systems the possibility of being without power or any kind of utility provided to us is a real possibility. Now add on a natural disaster occurring and not only does it knock down systems where the storm hit but you are putting extra strain and burden on the surrounding systems which could cause a cascading failure event that could affect an area much much larger than the one receiving the brunt of the storm.
But what if it wasn’t a storm? Perhaps it is an attack on the systems themselves. We know other countries like China have been attacking the US daily with their cyber-attacks, and even the US has successfully implemented cyber-attacks against other countries. An example being the attack against Iran to disrupt their nuclear program. Point being that we don’t need an EMP or solar flare or physical attack to cause long term disruptions to the nation’s grid; it could be caused by an industrious hacker group acting on their own or perhaps funded by an enemy state.
Wait, wait, what does all this have to do with toilet paper?
Well… directly not much.
But if the utilities we have come to rely on like electricity, running water, trash removal, waste treatment ever see a long disruption in service, the following riots and pandemonium will pale in comparison to the number of deaths we will see in the coming months due to disease and pandemic caused by improper sanitation and water treatment.
Your ability to do something as simple as wash your hands and keep clean could be the difference between surviving or being part of the mass die-off that will sweep through the country and claim upwards of 90% of the US population as estimated by congressional committees.
Proper sanitation supplies and practices need to be known and understood and practiced by every member of your family or prep group. Knowing how to properly dispose of human waste in the long term when water and electricity is not available so as not to contaminate your water or food supply is key. Also, handwashing and the practice of separating your cleaning stations from your bathroom areas and food and water handling areas is important to understand and practice now so that it will be less difficult to have that kind of discipline when it will really count later.
Paper products like toilet paper and facial tissue are a favorite of mice and other rodents. To store this long term be sure you keep it in a dry area that is secure from chewing or nesting bugs or animals and it is suggested you keep it off the ground to help keep out moisture. Some will say that the container doesn’t need to be air tight, but I would recommend that it is. Also include moisture and oxygen absorbers. Personally I would suggest that you avoid using a trashcan as a storage device. They are typically flimsy and difficult to secure so that you can be sure to keep out moisture and bugs. 5 gallon buckets would work if they have the proper sealing lid but they are small and will limit the amount of supplies can store. If 5 gallon buckets is what you have and they are abundant, then go for it. What I would prefer to use are 55 gallon blue barrels with a large enough screw on bung or lid that allows for easy access but that you could seal with Teflon tape or a waterproof caulk. I would also consider using a steel drum with a locking lid, as they can be very inexpensive compared to other containers in that size range. Just make sure that the previous contents of any barrel or drum was food grade and that the container has been completely cleaned and dried. We aren’t going to just store toilet paper in these containers.
Since toilet paper is most likely to be sold to you in roles, there will be a lot of empty space available that you could store other lifesaving hygienic items. Yes, you could go through the trouble of crushing the cardboard tube or removing it so that you can compact the space more, but I think it is just easier to make use of the spaces rather than try and eliminate them.
Buy soap bars, feminine products, q-tips, cotton balls, shaving supplies, tooth brushes. Preferably non-liquid bathroom supplies that will help you maintain excellent hygiene. When you go to the store just buy a couple extra soap bars. When you buy a pack of toilet paper, buy an extra one. When you get home, just throw it in the barrel until it is full… then seal it up. This is the easiest and least financially intrusive method to stock up on truly live saving preps.
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