Friday, March 2, 2012

12 My Suggestions For Additional Home Quarantine/Illness Supplies

There are some items not specifically mentioned in my previous post that I believe will be helpful for taking care of sick people at home:

Cleaning supplies
  antibacterial soap (an expert suggested antibacterial Dawn dish soap)
  Cleaning rags - microfiber cloths have a built in antibacterial quality
  Buckets - I like to have at least two, one for washing and another one for rinsing. I find that the rinse water must be changed much more frequently than the wash water.
  Steamer for cleaning - this will only work if you still have electric power, of course, but it is a great way to increase your ability to clean faster and more thoroughly without exhaustion.
Plenty of laundry supplies
  laundry soap
  borax powder - this is not absolutely necessary, but it is a powerful cleaner and is like insurance that you have killed everything contagious. You need to pre-soak your laundry for this to be most effective. I like half an hour of pre-soaking before letting the wash cycle continue. The container will have suggestions.

You may want specialized cleaners for different surfaces and materials. There are nontoxic and biodegradable equivalents of many of these that you can make at home. I do this myself, but that would be getting into an entirely different set of blog post subjects.

There are levels of preparedness that you may not want or be capable of this point, but I will briefly mention them here. Lack of electrical power is a common feature of disasters. If you are experiencing a lack of electrical power, then you might like to be prepared for cleaning without it. That would include doing laundry.

I bought a plain wooden washboard that will fit in my sink. I have used this during personal financial emergencies and am quite practiced at the use of this item. It does require some skill to use it without exhausting yourself and to get things clean without making a huge mess. You may or may not want to develop this skill ahead of time.

There are various kinds of laundry devices offered for people who want to be prepared for disasters. You can spend as little or as much as you want on them. A washboard does not take up much room and is cheap as well. It works for me now. They can be found in hardware stores.

A good sized stack of washcloths is very helpful for various medical uses. You can put them in hot water to make hot packs for infected wounds and soreness. They can also be used for cold packs, with or without ice.

They can also be used instead of tissues for sneezing and coughing. You may consider it either an advantage or disadvantage that they can be washed and reused. If supplies of tissues are short, it is very important to have a substitute.

I hope you never have occasion to use this information, but we had better not depend on that. Epidemics are increasing in frequency and in numbers of diseases that can cause them. For your personal security and safety and the security and safety of your loved ones, emergency preparedness must include provision for epidemics.

An expert also suggested the use of nitrile gloves for the person who is tending the sick room. He also mentioned a tyvek suit.

When I worked in a hospital, we used clean patient nightgowns that tied in the back. We put two of them over our uniforms. One was tied in front and the other in back. We used a set for each room that was being treated as a quarantine room. I think a pair of loose nightgowns split up the middle with ties, snaps, or velcro closures added would work in this capacity for home use.

More ideas like these may occur to me later. If so, I will do extra posts to include them.

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