Thursday, March 15, 2018

CERT deployment and 72 hour kit load out revisited PART 3

CERT deployment and 72 hour kit load out revisited PART 3

  • Restrooms
  • Cleaning
  • Decontamination

Going to the bathroom during a disaster

First and foremost holding out for working restroom facilities isn't a good plan.  If you are deploying alongside a large team, that needs to be one of the first things you do after establishing a base camp is identifying and preparing a place where people can go to the bathroom.  Ideally a system which prevents contamination of water sources, prevents odor, flies and other problems.  Working plumbing is ideal, portable latrines/port-a-potties are acceptable, digging a trench is an option of last resort.  And lastly, someone needs to be staffed to keep it all clean and usable.  If it's just you and nature then hauling around a port-a-potty may not be a viable option so pack a folding shovel and some TP and prepare a latrine before you need it. 


You will need to bathe or wash yourself at some point if only to maintain good relations with your fellow responders.  Packing baby wipes or a biodegradable personal cleaning wipe package is a good idea.  Or at least pack biodegradable soap which you can use to clean yourself with.  If you have a stable water supply and some extra room then packing a sun shower may be advisable.  Clothes may also need to be washed as well as food supplies.  You can make good use out of isopropyl alcohol or hand-sanitizer to spot clean yourself.

Cleaning the dishes

If you have access to fire then use heat to sterilize your cooking utensils.  If using plastic utensils use boiled hot water and/or chemical sanitizing tablets.  Or pack disposable utensils and extra large trash bags.


Part of CERT training involves working with wounded victims.  If you do end up working with the wounded you will likely be exposed to body substances. It is very important to check your clothing for contamination and either clean and decontaminate it or discard it.  A simple solution is to pack multiple disposable coveralls when rendering medical assistance or pack enough clothing where used and soiled clothing can be discarded or packed for later cleaning.  You too need to undergo decontamination after exposure to body substances, be sure to thoroughly clean your hands face and and your body before eating and sleeping.  You will want to carry red bags to store contaminated items or conspicuously identify a bag as being contaminated.

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