One might not instantly consider hygiene as a community crisis, but that’s only because most people in the western world have taken public hygiene for granted. When a natural disaster or some other calamity recreates the conditions often seen in the third world, basic hygiene becomes front and center. The team here at Convenience Kits International has seen our solution rushed to the frontline of these disasters with great effect. We know what it means for a mother to be able to wash her baby with nothing more than a bottle of water and we have seen dignity restored with nothing more than a shower. Hygiene matters as the body is the armature of the self. When the body is well taken care of, humans can face adversity head on. As such, we’re doubling down on our convenience kit solutions and appealing to community leaders, elected officials and nonprofit organizations to stand ready to meet the next community hygiene crisis from a state of proper preparation. If we can borrow a few minutes of your time, we’d like to show you what that looks like.
It is quite often that we get a sudden rush order for bulk hygiene products and that usually corresponds with some natural disaster. However, what really moves our heart is when we see community and nonprofit leaders ordering bulk hygiene product packs in advance. Those are the communities who are going to be prepared and that preparedness likely extends far beyond hygiene.
Those will be the communities with water on hand. Those will be the communities with proper shelter available. Those will be the communities ready to rebuild and as it pertains to us, those will be the communities that avoid a major public hygiene crisis. Where a public hygiene crisis exists, a public health crisis is sure to follow.
Communities that do not prepare look a bit more like New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. It was a national tragedy to witness the lack of preparedness of that community and it is not a stretch to say that many of our fellow citizens died unnecessarily. If you are preparing as a community down to the level of proper hygiene, then you will be prepared for whatever else may come your way.
Unfortunately, far too many local leaders and nonprofit executives just assume that someone will be coming in to save the day during a disaster. Such was the case with Hurricane Katrina and we see how well that worked out. However, any good disaster response professional will tell you that disaster response starts local and ends local. Local leaders, it is on you to begin the response process before help arrives and it will be on you to wrap up the response long after help has gone.
Moreover, every part of this country from sea to shining seas has the potential for a generational disaster to unfold. We’re not talking about your standard tornado, wildfire, or flood. The Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of Oregon and Washington has the potential to slip at any time and create a wall of water that will cause unprecedented destruction. The New Madrid Fault line once produced an earthquake so powerful that it caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards and create Reelfoot Lake.
We could go on and on about the potential for disaster and yet, the solution is still the same. Preparedness is the only way forward and the only approach that should be taken. In our case, that means we prepare your community to continue to take showers, change diapers, brush teeth, and stay clean to avoid watching a disaster turn into a public hygiene health crisis.
Disasters can seem infrequent, but homelessness is a public hygiene health crisis that faces this nation daily. Our products are routinely used by communities throughout this nation to address elements of that crisis. It does not seem that any community has truly been able to eliminate homelessness, but every community has the ability to tackle the hygiene crisis that comes along with that.
Please don’t fail to understand the power and potential of a warm shower to restore one’s dignity and give them a glimpse of what can be. Even those in the throes of addiction and mental health crisis can feel restored when their body is clean. When people on the bus or in the street don’t feel the need to shy away from them, a human can feel like a human again.
Before we return to talking about a looming community hygiene crisis, we just want to take a quick break and reassure you that we are still providing solutions for the individual traveler. This is, after all, where we got our start. Sure, we have those pesky TSA requirements to thank for some of our success, but the truth is that there was always a demand for convenient travel hygiene solutions.
We offer customized solutions for men, women, parents and more to ensure that travel takes place without any hygiene mishaps. If you’re the busy mom who is responsible for doing all the packing for a family vacation, these kits can be a breath of fresh air. If you’re the busy traveling executive who prioritizes time above all, our kits give you the gift of time so that you can get busy doing what you do best.
There is no guessing or wondering whether or not you packed the toothbrush or deodorant. Our kits are affordable enough that you can even treat them as a one-time use solution and just toss what’s left on your way home if you so choose. They just check the box of hygiene without thought and with much ease so that you can focus on the actual trip. Whether that is travel for business or pleasure, we’ve got you covered.
Back to preparing for the next community hygiene crisis, we want to wrap up by appealing to smaller communities with smaller budgets to take advantage of federal and state emergency preparedness grants. They exist and it takes just a little bit of research to uncover them.
There is something about a disaster striking our largest cities that fascinates us as humans. In the movies we might see the Statue of Liberty in ruins or a giant wave overwhelming the Golden Gate Bridge. However, our small and rural communities are just as much at risk for a disaster. Moreover, they can often be the least prepared.
Many communities just assume that The Red Cross or The Salvation Army is just going to show up with everything you need, but that is just not the case. Particularly if it is a regional disaster and the larger cities are getting all of the attention. Small communities in Louisiana that prepared ahead of Katrina fared well. Small communities that did not prepare fared poorly.
We routinely work with nonprofits as our ability to stock and ship hygiene solutions is second to none. When a disaster hits, we’ll often field multiple orders for nonprofits in the same community. What we find works best is when all nonprofit organizations take public hygiene seriously. It is a basic human need that will exist, regardless of the human population that your organization serves. Once again, please don’t just assume The Salvation Army is going to swoop in and save the day.
Meals on Wheels organizations serving vulnerable seniors at home should have hygiene kits on hand to deliver with the meals. Homeless shelters should have enough kits to hand out when shelters are overwhelmed due to excessive heat or cold. Foster care programs and youth residential facilities should have enough on hand to make sure hygiene takes place. When every nonprofit in a community prioritizes public hygiene and takes responsibility for ensuring it continues unabated, a public hygiene health crisis can be averted. If you are a nonprofit, please check out the good work we do and ways we can help you accomplish your mission.
It is up to you as local leaders to prepare your communities for the worst. Yes, that includes public hygiene kits that you can order in bulk. That might seem a bit self-serving given that we sell hygiene kits in bulk, but there is ample evidence from past disasters and emergency responses that prove its importance. We’re not making this up and whether you call us before the disaster or after the disaster, hygiene is going to be a present need in such scenarios.
We just think that you serve your communities well as leaders by preparing in advance. We’ve got some fairly fast shipping solutions, but we can’t get you the hygiene products you need at the speed of a spontaneous tornado or in time for an earthquake that was ordained to take place since the tectonic plates started moving. We’re fast, just not that fast.
We do have a great team on hand that can work with you as a local community or nonprofit leader to help you discover which solution is right for your community. Whether you want simple unisex kits or a variety of custom solutions, we can help you find the right path forward for every community and for every single budget. Reach out to us and we’ll help you prepare for the next community hygiene crisis.