It was the deadliest disaster since 1928…
Hurricane Katrina hit an area of approximately 90,000 square miles and resulted in the displacement of approximately 1 million citizens.
We all know of the horror stories these “refugees” faced in the Super Dome (theft, violence, even rape and murder!) but few people realize the horrific health problems that ripped through families because of all the sewage, chemicals, and other contaminants that polluted every drop of water in the area.
Here are some secrets that will help you avoid…
The 4 Deadliest Diseases You And Your Family Will Face During A Disaster…
When it comes to “disaster diseases”, the biggest threats don’t come from dead or decaying bodies or spoiled food.
They mainly come from the complete FAILURE of basic public-health services like sewage disposal and water purification.
And it can come from ANY disaster – not just hurricanes or flooding – even just a major blackout power outage (I’ve seen this during combat when sanitation workers aren’t able to get to work).
No power means no air conditioning… no fans as back-up… no refrigeration to keep life-saving medicines stable… and no open pharmacies to dispense medications.
No transportation means no access to hospitals – and during Katrina, even the people who reached them found that many had no power, no supplies, and no water to drink.
Without these basic infrastructure services, medical care goes back to the 1800’s and you and your family are prone to illness from:
E. Coli Contamination
E. Coli is a very common bacteria that can have devastating effects – including diarrhea and severe cramping – especially for those already weakened by malnutrition and dehydration.
Normally, washing your hands and food can prevent exposure, but disasters aren’t “normal” and everything you touch can be laced with fecal matter – even in your home if sanitation services stop.
I remember getting Dysentery when on a mission in Honduras many years ago from drinking just 1 cup of what I “thought” was safe water.
I was wrong (BIG TIME!) and thought I was going to die because there wasn’t even a hospital in the area I was at (kind of what you might experience in a real disaster when medical help is over-strained, eh?).
I managed to pull through… but trust me, you DON’T want to experience this problem where it’s hard to even keep water inside your body!
In some cases, you can be exposed to the germ “Vibrio Cholera” and diarrhea can be so uncontrollable that you or someone you love could literally go from “perfect health” to DEATH in just a matter of a few hours from severe dehydration!
Actually, we rarely see cholera in the United States because we have proper-working sewage and water treatment systems.
But remember… during a disaster or collapse, these protective systems go down and germs run rampant throughout your environment.
More than 100 years ago, a female cook in NYC (you may have heard of her – “Typhoid Mary”) infected about 50 fellow co-workers, starting the spread of this dangerous disease.
Typhoid is always a threat due to carriers already in our society… but at a much greater risk when sewage and water purification controls are wiped out – and can cause high fever, collapse, and death.
Treatment Of Deadly Water-Borne Diseases In A Disaster…
Given that medical treatment in the after-effects of a disaster will be scarce (or non-existent), you will most likely have to provide self-care for yourself or a loved one who had fallen ill from these horrible illnesses.
For the most part, you can get by with antibiotics and LOTS of hydration.
Of course, BOTH of those could be a real problem to get your hands on when hospitals are overrun, pharmacies have been looted and picked clean, and water sources are contaminated (which got you in this trouble to begin with).
This is why I always advise people to stockpile antibiotics for your own personal use in a crisis.
I buy mine on visits to Mexico where I can get them cheap at any local pharmacy without a prescription… or you can pick up some Fish-Mox (best for Typhoid) and Fish-Zole (best for Cholera) at a pet store that sells fish products since these “fish versions” are the same as our medical prescription antibiotics.
But the real key is to stop the diarrhea and stay hydrated… or you WILL die!
Having anti-diarrheal medicine is a MUST for your home supply (and your bug-out bag).
For hydration, an IV is really helpful here, but few people have several bags of IV solution for hydration, nor do they know how to administer it.
Again, this is why it’s so critical to have an endless source of clean, drinkable water to avoid deadly dehydration.
Filters can really help, but most don’t work where there are chemical spills contaminating water – a really big problem people don’t realize happens in “super storms”.
The best thing you can do is be sure you have filters that can truly clean your water, no matter what the contaminant.
If you can't have an endless supply of clean water, then at the very least be sure at all times to have a good supply of bottled water in your home, and make sure you rotate the stock every so often so that it's good and fresh.
For so many people in the U.S., clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it…and once it's unavailable things can (and will) go south FAST.
But if you remember these tips and plan ahead, you can be ready BEFORE things go bad!