Monday, June 15, 2009

Matches and Salt Substitute...

I have an acquaintance who is a RN and recently went to an Emergency Preparedness workshop about pandemics in general. She had some great advice that I thought I would share with you.

I am not an alarmist, but I am very practical and I like to be prepared. When we had the ice storm here in February, my father-in-law's power went out and we had to put two kerosene heaters in his house to keep the pipes from freezing [he stayed with us, and also was in the hospital part of the time]. We had matches, but only one box, so I thought I would pick up another box to keep at his house. Do you know I could not find ANY matches at Kroger, Wal-Mart, Dollar General or our local IGA? They were totally sold out. So, after the storm when things were restocked, you can believe I stocked up on matches.

So, that leads me to this list of what you should buy now, to have on hand if you need it. Because, if you do need it, and lots of other people do too, you may not be able to get it.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS [Electrolyte formula and essentials]

I recommend that everyone get a stash of these supplies and keep them in a plastic tub or bucket in a handy place. I put mine in a 6 gallon bucket with a lid, labeled it, and put it in my basement. Most of these things you probably have.

* Thermometer
* Soap {I have a lot of this}
* Box of disposable gloves (They sell these at Wal-Mart and pharmacies; a 50 count box was about $5.50]
* Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
* Ibuprofen (Advil)
* Bleach (REAL...chlorine bleach--UNSCENTED!)
* Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (those little pumps are great next to a sick one's bed
* Paper towels
* Tissues
* Surgical face masks ( Wal-Mart or pharmacies; 20 count for under $3.00)

Ingredients to make homemade electrolyte fluid:

* Sugar [I bought a plastic container with a screw lid so it will not get clumpy]
* Baking soda [I tucked this into a large zip-loc]
* salt
* sugar free Kool-Aid packages [I tucked these into a zip-loc]
* Salt Substitute(highlighted because most households do not have this on hand.) It is sold next to the salt. I paid $4.52 for a rather large canister, smaller salt shaker size was about $2.50. {This gives the drink potassium, which is essential}
Electrolyte Recipe:

1 qt water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
3-4 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt substitute

Mix well. Can be flavored with lemon juice or sugar free Kool-Aid.

If a family member is having trouble keeping down any fluids, this can be spoon fed. Some will prefer it cold...others just room temperature. KEEP SPOONING. This is the mix that is used in crisis situations world-wide, when IVs are not available. It can save lives.

NOTE: Check with your pediatrician or other MD regarding their opinion on the situation. In normal circumstances...a MD will want to see a child who is dehydrated. This mix is for when things go bad in society or the weather is too bad to reach medical help or when there is an epidemic...and a doctor visit may not be possible.

To make a good disinfectant...mix 1 gallon of water with 1/4 cup of bleach. Make a fresh batch every time it is used.
Compile these supplies and keep the two recipes with the supplies...and you will be prepared to help others...It is not too expensive and not a difficult thing to do.

My old Girl Scout training comes to mind: Be Prepared

Take care,


  1. I hadn't heard of the electrolyte solution before. Cool. Thanks!


  2. For those of us in Florida, you never know when you will really need stuff like this! I am going to add it to my hurricane kit. :-)