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2023 Preparedness - Wednesday Wisdom: Week 44

November 1, 2023

Number five for beginning preppers and a gentle nudge for those who may need a reminder, it’s hygiene products time. Most people will not plan sufficiently to meet these needs so plan to help others.

1. Soap. There are so many ways to store soap. Save those small ones you are given at a hotel to give to others and/or add to your kits. Buy at the dollar store. Get a foaming soap pump. When you finish using the soap refill with about a one half to one inch of ordinary liquid soap and fill the remainder of the container with water. Tip to mix. You now have foaming soap using a fraction of liquid soap. Store bar soap as well as liquid soap as they can be used for different needs. Bar soaps will last forever. While not technically a soap, store some wet wipes for freshening up if you do not have safe water.

2. Toothpaste, floss, and toothbrushes. Good dental hygiene is essential for good health. Most people do not understand how many illnesses are caused by poor dental hygiene. Consider, dental cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, oral infections and reduced saliva flow, cardiovascular diseases such as endocarditis and heart problems, increased complications for those with diabetes, and even pregnancy complications and infertility, all can be caused by or made worse with poor dental hygiene.

3. Shampoo and conditioner. If you have a family member or friend who may be evacuating to your home who uses medicated shampoo be sure to store one or two.

4. Deodorant. Store both men’s and women’s even if they are not needed right now because you are an all-female household.

5. Feminine hygiene products. Again, even if not needed by you store some. Feminine pads can be used for first aid, incontinence, and many more things. Store a few sizes.

6. Shaving cream and razors. Store what you love.

7. Combs and brushes to share.

A few tips:

· You don’t have to spend lots of money. Purchase the brands you love, enough for a month, then purchase less expensive brands for the rest.

· Shop dollar stores. Extra toothbrushes and other items can be purchased much more inexpensively.

· Avoid travel size. Think toothpaste, these are far more expensive per ounce, and if you are sharing with a family a travel size will not be enough. The cost of a larger tube will actually be less expensive than 2 or three travel sizes. The same is true for shampoo, deodorant, etc.

· Ask for help. If people have said to you what they have often said to me, “I will just come to your house when I need something during a disaster”. Tell them if that is the case, they can help you by saving the free soaps, lotions, and shampoos they get at hotels. Ask them to contribute a little cash. You can say something like, “if that's your plan I'm accepting donations” and hold out your hand. Even better give them a hygiene supplies kit for Christmas!

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