JoDana Bright Taylor

EDITOR’S NOTE: The North Lincoln Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) works to help the community be prepared for disasters and various emergencies. One concern often heard is how overwhelming it seems to take all the steps needed to be prepared for a disaster. To address that issue North Lincoln CERT has embarked on a 52-Week Personal Preparedness Challenge.

Several years ago I participated in a flood response in a neighborhood that was downstream of a major mudslide.  No one was killed or seriously injured, but the mudflow that rushed through this little valley with such force and depth that every surface was covered in mud up to six feet.  

As neighbors were helping each other to dig out and clean out, what I heard often was the desire for people just to get clean, to take a shower, to find a clean tooth brush.  All the everyday items they didn’t think twice about were caked with mud.

In this week’s preparedness challenge we’re going to discuss personal care and the simple comforts of personal hygiene.

You should already have in your go kits a wash cloth, towel, moist towelettes, a small bar of soap, and hand sanitizer.  These things are not only important for basic sanitation, they are also important for our personal moral; we just feel better when we can clean up.  

This week add to your kits, for each household member, a brush or comb, travel toothbrush and small toothpaste (store in a ziplock back), deodorant, and a small bottle of mild shampoo.

Choose either several travel size or a smallish bottle of mild shampoo, something that doesn’t foam too much and won’t take much water to rinse.  Mild shampoo, such as baby shampoo, can be multi-purposed as a body wash, or even a dish or laundry soap if needed.  

Store bottles in ziplock bags to prevent leakage.

Also in your kits, make sure you have at least one pair of clean socks and underwear for each household member, and a cotton t-shirt.  A cotton t-shirt can also be multi-purposed for uses besides clothing.

Since you’re going through your go kits this week, make sure you have a dust mask and role of duct tape in each kit, and add a few food items as well, a package of trail mix, one can of vegetables, 1 can of meat/tuna/protein, and enough vitamin supplements for 7 days.

If you would like a representative from your local Community Emergency Response Team to come talk to your neighborhood group, church or business, please contact North Lincoln County CERT Public Information Officer JoDana Bright at 541-994-2700 or


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