Importance of good hygiene and sanitation after a natural disaster

Jun 14, 2022, 8:24 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — When we talk about emergency preparedness, a lot of us probably haven’t thought about hygiene and sanitation.

But experts say deadly diseases can surface after a natural disaster if Utahns don’t stay on top of hygiene and sanitation.

“We have kind of a phrase that we call the disaster after the disaster, and that’s referring to disease,” said Wade Mathews with the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

So it’s important to keep yourself and your living environment clean.

Want to be better prepared for emergencies? Here’s what Utah Emergency Management suggests

Experts recommend washing your hands, setting up a hand washing station and using a bar of soap, if possible, and drying your hands with paper towels. Hand sanitizer is a good alternative if you don’t have soap or water.

What do you do with all the garbage and trash? Do not flush or put anything down drains until you know sewer drains are safe.

For waste, experts recommend you use a two-bucket system, separating liquid and solid waste.

“Something else you can do is create your own porta potty with a five-gallon bucket again using garbage can plastic bag liners,” said Mathews. “And have just a box of those with an empty five-gallon bucket you can get a toilet seat lid like at an emergency preparedness store or order it online.”

There’s a ton of information on bereadyutah.gov.

Be Ready Utah: how to prevent potential hazards in your home

You can print out a checklist and see more information on bereadyutah.gov.

Our friends at KSL NewsRadio will be discussing more about hygiene and sanitation Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

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Importance of good hygiene and sanitation after a natural disaster