Saturday, December 15, 2012

Are You Ready For The Stomach Flu?

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The stomach flu hit our home this past week. Of course sickness seems to happen in the middle of the night.  A child wakes me up and says they don't feel well, or they come in to tell me they already were sick in their room.  In either scenario I can't help to think at the time, how would I deal with this if we had no indoor plumbing or electricity??  I don't want to think about washing sheets in the dark in a bucket, but really, how would this play out in an emergency situation?  Do you have the necessary supplies to deal with a sick family member? 

There are several items I feel are a necessity when someone has the stomach flu.  These items are needed whether it's an emergency or not, so stock up on them and have them in your home.  

We always keep a few unused buckets on hand for when our children are sick.  Towels come in handy for keeping the floor from getting soiled, and I would also include paper towels or toilet paper to clean up any messes.  Having a few plastic grocery bags, or garbage bags, on hand will also keep the germs from spreading when you throw out the mess. Disposable gloves and face masks will also help the germs from spreading, and should be changed when dealing with more than one person who is sick.

 Disinfectants and cleaning products will be necessary in a situation like this.  I try really hard to keep the virus from spreading to all 5 of my children. One problem with being a germaphobe is the compulsion to sanitize everything in sight when one of my children has the stomach flu.  I like to have my cleaning supplies stocked at all times. Clorox wipes are probably the easiest thing to clean with, but homemade cleaners work just as well.  Cleaning all areas where someone is sick will keep the germs from infecting other family members. Hand sanitizers are a great way to clean hands without a lot of water.  Whatever works for you is what you need to have on hand. 

Fluids and simple snacks will be necessary for anyone who is throwing up.  Notice that the drinks I chose are not darkly colored, who wants to clean up dark red off of the floor?  Water is also needed to clean out buckets and other messes.  Keep enough on hand for drinking and cleaning.  And remember the BRAT diet when someone is sick.  Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast....All are available in a long term form.  Bananas come dehydrated, and so does applesauce.  If you have the ingredients to make bread then toast could be made.  Rice is a long-term storage item and shouldn't be hard to keep on hand.  Chicken noodle soup is something my kids ask for when they are starting to feel better, and not the homemade kind.  They want the canned version :)

My children got over the flu pretty quickly this time, but I can forsee a situation where sanitation does not involve indoor plumbing, and keeping everyone healthy will be a top priority.  A few other suggestions for dealing with illness in an emergency situation are:

  • Have a variety of pain relievers for adults and children to help with fevers and body aches.
  • Have all the supplies to be able to wash sheets, blankets, towels, and clothing Click HERE to see how to make a manual washing machine.
  • Have a portable toilet.  I would suggest having more than one of these on handClick HERE to see more info on a luggable loo.    
  • Any comfort items that your family may be used to when they are sick.
  • If you can keep the sick person (or persons) in one area of the house, the illness will hopefully not spread to other family members. If there isn't a way to keep the ill in separate room, have sheets or blankets that can be hung to partition off the sick from the healthy.

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