Clean water survival

6 Ways to Prevent Illness After a Disaster With Clean Water

In the aftermath of a catastrophe, once you’re safe, having clean water and not getting sick from it will be crucial to your survival and to prevent illness after a disaster.

Let’s be honest, who’s thinking about moist wipes while they are busy staying alive?

As soon as the immediate danger has surpassed, sanitation is really vital and must be one of your priorities. Let’s dive into how to stay safe and clean to avoid getting sick.

1. Proper Hygiene Will Prevent Illness After a Disaster

Preserving proper hygiene and sanitation can help save you from infections. So it’s very important to stay as clean as possible and comply with proper hygiene practices whenever you’re able to. Hand washing specifically is among our strongest tool to fight germs and sickness. Especially if you have any cuts or injuries, maintaining cleanliness is of the utmost importance.

Infectious disease outbreaks of diarrheal and respiratory illnesses can occur when access to safe water and sewage systems are disrupted, personal hygiene is difficult to maintain, and people are living in crowded conditions, such as shelters.

2. Avoid Drinking Dirty Water

Especially after a flood type disaster, tap water may not be safe to drink or even bathe in. Observe the directions of your local government and await the go-beforehand to apply water from taps.

This one is simple, just avoid dirty water that hasn’t been purified in any way.

Which brings us to our next point.

3. Find and Store Clean Water

Whilst you are making plans for emergency preparedness, stockpiling safe consumable drinking water ought to be one of your largest priorities. It’s important that you have sufficient water to drink, however, there has to be enough water to also brush your teeth and follow other sanitation procedures.

  • Store one gallon of water per person, per day–enough for at least 3 days.
  • Store-bought, factory-sealed bottled water is your best option.

In conjunction with consuming water, it is a good idea to preserve a sufficient amount of distilled water for cleansing wounds and washing your hands. Washing hands alone can keep you from getting sick or ingesting unnecessary bacteria that can make you sick.

  • Store water only from a safe supply.
  • Store water in washed plastic containers such as soft drink bottles or food-grade plastic buckets.
  • Store water in sealed containers in a cool, dark place.
  • Label bottles with dates if possible and replace the water every six months.
  • Never store water in a container that held toxic substances such as pesticides, chemicals or oil.

4. Make Water Safer

When there aren’t any other alternatives besides the water around you or in the tap, you should also make the water safer to drink. This generally entails filtering, boiling or disinfecting the water which you have available to you.


Clean out the water the best you. You use towels or even coffee filters if you have some. In case you do not have a way to filter it, let the water stand for a while in order that the sediment separates and settles, and then pour the clean water off the top.

Bring the clear water to a full boil and let it boil for a minimum of one minute. Permit the water to cool down and store any water that isn’t used for later in an air sealed container to avoid recontamination. Caution: Many chemical pollutants will not be removed by boiling.

  • Bring the water to a boil for one full minute minimum.
  • Let your water cool before drinking.
  • Add two drops of household bleach per gallon. (This will help to maintain water quality while in storage.)
  • Store extra water in a clean, sealed container.


You can use iodine, water purification tablets, or maybe household (unscented) bleach to disinfect water. You’ll want to filter the water first, after which for the pills or iodine observe guidelines from the manufacturer.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, upload 1/4 teaspoon of household bleach in a gallon of water, stir and allow sit down for 60 minutes before drinking. A word of caution, bleach will not kill some disease-causing organisms commonly found in surface water. Bleach will not remove chemical pollutants either.

5. What to Do When No Clean Water is Available

If you aren’t in a position to boil or disinfect your water, you may find water that is safe enough from many other places. In your own home, the reserved water in your water heater tank and the water for your restroom tank (not the bowl) is commonly used because it hasn’t been treated with cleansing chemicals.

Other options for cleaner water is from moving bodies of water:

  • Rainwater
  • Lakes
  • Rivers and streams
  • Natural springs
  • Ponds

These sources will be a lot cleaner than standing or stagnant water that would be infected with god knows what.

6. Wash Your Hands

Wet wipes, antibacterial gels, and sprays aren’t the best at keeping you clean, however, they’ll work if you have not anything else at your disposal.

Always wash your hands with soap and boiled or disinfected water before preparing or eating food, after toilet use, after participating in cleanup activities, and after handling articles contaminated by floodwater or sewage. Use warm water when available. Wash children’s hands frequently (always before meals).

After a disaster, the most crucial aspect to be safe from germs and sickness is simply clean water. Follow these recommendations and strategies to locate or make clean water.

Be safe and keep surviving!

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