Thursday, October 4, 2012

Seldom Mentioned Preparedness Items

There are a few things about emergencies that I never see anywhere. There are a couple of them that I believe people, including my readers, should think about. 

One of them is that during many emergencies, notably earthquakes, but others as well, broken crockery is involved. What are you going to drink your coffee if all the coffee cups are broken to smithereens?

I have reserved some dishes for such emergencies. One of these is a metal coffee cup. It is one of those old speckled enamel ones. You can't put it in a microwave and it will burn your hands if you touch the cup part. It is not nearly as nice as a ceramic coffee mug. It will not get smashed nearly as easily as a ceramic mug, however.

I have a few plastic drinking glasses for water and other cool liquids during an emergency. 

You can always use a tin can to drink your coffee out of, if all of your dishes get smashed during a tornado. You will have to use cloth or something to keep the sides of the can from burning your hands. 

Another big lack in most prepper information is toilet paper. You will probably run out of it before your emergency is gone. Catalogs used to be the toilet paper substitute of choice for rural areas that were still using outhouses. Corn cobs were used before that. ("Rough as a cob?" Did you ever hear that saying?)

I believe phone books would make excellent toilet paper substitutes for emergencies, although one might end up with ink in usually hidden spots. This might be an especially attractive use for the government and some ad pages.

Don't even try to flush any of the above substitutes. 

A few blogs suggest ways to substitute for toilet paper. One of these involves having a container of water and some rags handy. When I have mentioned this to some acquaintances, they invariably react with a shudder and mostly unprintable language. This may be necessary whether you like it or not. 

Even worse: You will also have to wash the rags and use them again. This is actually not that much more terrible than washing baby diapers and rags used to clean them off before changing them. 

I know. The yuck factor is why disposable diapers and paper towels have become so popular.

Emergencies are often messy in many ways. Because of this messiness, part of your preparedness supplies should be plenty of rags and cleaning supplies. Not having these rags for emergencies may mean that you will have to tear up things that you would rather not tear up. 

Costco and Wal Mart have bargain bundles of various sorts of rags. Wal Mart frequently has sales on bundles of 18 or so terry washcloths. If you have a choice, pick plain white ones because dyes can aggravate injuries sometimes.

Costco has bundles of white terry towels in their regular stock. They may be found in or near the automotive section in the Costcos that I know. They also have bundles of microfiber towels, and red cotton shop rags. 

It is not necessary to buy your emergency preparedness rags. You can take old clothes or linens and cut or tear them up into handy-sized rags. I prefer to hem them, but it is may not be essential to do. 

Hanging threads could become stuck in wounds, if your rags are used for cleaning or bandaging injuries, however. It could be painful to remove the threads from a wound, and may cause more risk of infection.

It would be a good idea to leave some larger pieces of rags to be used for splints and larger injuries. 

I use these cloths from the store bundles and my own rags that I make in my everyday life. I do keep a lot of extras for emergencies. I doubt it would be easy to have too many of them. I think your storage and funds should be the limit on it. If you happen to have more than you need during an emergency there will be others who will need them.

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