We’ve been told to remember our hat, our coat, and sometimes even a clean pair of underwear, but in my opinion, no preparedness efforts are complete without the proper gloves. Yup, gloves—and I’m not talking about the obvious ones needed to protect our hands from freezing weather. I’m talking about the other gloves that you’ll wish you had if you get thrown any of the potential curve balls of more widespread and challenging times.
First and foremost are good, heavy work gloves.
An earthquake, flood, fire, or other angry acts of Mother Nature naturally involve clean-up, and believe me, regardless of your present work ethic, it’s doubtful that you’ve ever worked with your hands nowadays as much as you’ll need to amidst clean-up work. Heavy gloves will protect your hands and make the work much easier. The last thing you want to do when you’re life is thrown into chaos is to cause unnecessary wounds to your hands in the form of cuts, blisters, splinters, skin punctures, or burns. Such wounds could actually end up as life threatening if ready access to medical services is compromised. There have been all too many stories I’ve read throughout history in which someone died because of an untreated, seemingly insignificant wound. Keep in mind too that with hard work, a single pair of gloves isn’t likely to endure an entire year of hard labor, and since I believe in being temporally prepared for at least a year in all things, I’d suggest having backups for your backups. The good news is that I am always finding great, rugged gloves on sale. As such I’ve stocked up not only for myself but for those of you who didn’t read this article. *grin*
Now, let’s move on to the gloves which serve medical purposes. I suggest that you have plenty of latex or vinyl gloves on hand. I can’t watch the movie “Pearl Harbor” or an episode of M.A.S.H. without convincing myself that I need some more medical gloves. A mere 30 minutes of frenzied medical care will cause even the most well-stocked supplies to be depleted rapidly. Keep in mind that regular folks like you are the first responders to any and all scenes of chaos. Remember that the nurses and doctors use gloves to provide protection against disease for themselves as well as to others by changing their gloves as they move from one patient to another. Medical gloves will come in handy in the event of a contagious environment (as will air masks) such as a pandemic or quarantine situation. While yes, some of you may be allergic to latex, I would assume that you’d stock up on an alternative. However, nowadays medical facilities are required to provide a non-latex option for patients as they may be severely allergic. I’m just going to give you my opinion here on that. If there comes a time when this squeamish gal is needed to adminster first aid to either an individual or a multitude of individuals, I can guarantee you that the last thing that will be on my mind is whether or not I have non-latex gloves and hope that I’m not trying to save the life of one of the 4 percent of the human population that’s sensitive to it. If you find yourself unprepared with medical gloves when needed, try putting your hand in a plastic bag when dealing with blood or like-body fluids; or you may use a clean pair of household cleaning gloves. The wholesale clubs also sell food handling gloves. These are much less expensive than the traditional medical gloves and don’t contain any latex, so they may be a viable option.
Next—the garden gloves.
Yes, I realize you may be reading this from the comfort of your 10th floor condominium in the middle of a concrete jungle, but I presume that if you’re reading this you have a mind which thinks about "what if" scenarios, not what is right this minute. I’m sorry to even have to say this, but I am 100% positive that there will be a time of a serious food shortage right here in the United States (and certainly in other nations). That means that you may very well have to grow your own food. (presumably if you’re in a metropolitan area now you’ll relocate to one that’s conducive from growing food.) Something as simple as pulling the sucker stems off of tomatoes goes a lot easier when you have proper gardening gloves to give your hands protection, without compromising the dexterity like heavy work gloves would. And believe me, I’m grateful for garden gloves every time I have to handle the prickly stems and leaves of my squash plants or when weeding the garden or pruning my roses. (Rose essential oil contains the highest amount of beneficial constituents and the most applicable to all of the body systems; so yeah, I could envision myself purposely growing them, especially in a time of widespread challenge.) Now is the perfect time to find these kinds of gloves on clearance at your local stores or plant and garden nurseries.
Lastly, the gloves needed for sanitation. In our precarious position of living among such a volatile infrastructure, it wouldn’t take much to prevent us from having access to the luxuries of "clean and sanitized" that we’re used to. Our own homes could quickly become a cesspool of waste and biohazard with just the right amount of rain, earth tremor, or even budget cuts at the municipal level. If there’s even the slightest interruption to our water supply household cleaning gloves will become a necessity (along with air masks and high top rubber boots). To be blunt, no, you do not want to tackle the sewage mess coming up from the drain in your shower without proper protection. I am constantly cutting coupons for these items; picking them up free of charge or dirt cheap. And in a pinch, they can serve as medical gloves, albeit a shame to use them for such.
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Great thinking. I rarely go outside to do anything without some sort of gloves. They sure don't last like they used to.
What needed message! One bad cut or blister could cause life threatening complications or to lesser degree a really bad infection that puts your hand out of service for awhile.
One thing to think about though...there are those who go into anephylatic shock when touched by latex. Not many but it's smart to be aware.
Well, now you have touched on a subject that is near and dear to my heart - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the "official" response world. The life net for everyday responders, the armour against the invisible and savagely invasive diseases and grunge that lurks everywhere we touch - especially in a disaster scenario. Many responders not only "double glove" medical calls, but many also wear them as protocol under heavy work gloves on vehicle accident calls or other rescue type calls. You can never be too safe when it comes to your personal protection! Unfortunately, after MANY years of latex use, I now fall into that 4% - only I don't just get a squimish and irritating rash, I get to engage in full-blown respiratory issues that a couple of benedryl type meds just don't cut. I have been on top of the non-latex world since it became widely available....so for me, would you please consider acquiring only the non-latex type of gloves, I promise it will be worth it. I love this article, it is always about the correct tool for the task at hand! I am a huge fan of leather work gloves (and muck boots). Especially those soaked and worked in saddle soap or mineral oil to make them soft and pliable. I have MANY stock of these, and some I don't even know I have - I replace them everytime I turn around and my current pair is missing. Kudos Kellene!! Another EXCELLENT article. What will you think of next....hmmm
Denise, if it were me, given your allergic reaction to latex, I would make sure that you have a couple of bottles of quality Eucalyptus Essential Oil. (The radiata species, nothing else). It will put the breaks on a respiratory attack (even an asthma attack) and one drop provides 21% of the needed oxygen to every cell in your body within a matter of minutes--so it's even good for "emergencies."
Just so you know, I have both types of gloves, but there may very well be instances in which I'm trying to tend to a person with no idea that they have such an allergy. (They have been issuing the medical warning tags for that though for the last 5 years, about the same time that they made it mandatory for hospitals to offer non-latex solutions upon a patient's request.)
Thank you! As it happens I am hoping that is in my kit I just ordered from Five Star....;) if not I will certainly get some! Still learning the EO aspects....and I do carry the med alert for all the assorted and weirdness of my allergies...a certain lifesaver!
Very timely and well written.
I use vinyl gloves all the time. Can get boxes of 50 for under $5 at the local discount store. They are more comfortable than latex, are more durable, and are just as "liquid proof". I don't mean the wimpy clear things that look like plastic bags, these are seamless & stretchy. They are in same dept. as the latex ones.
what about sanitary pads
I'm not sure what question you're asking. Sanitary pads are indeed a part of my medical supplies for their intended use as well as for bandages.
Get a KEEPER or DIVA cup. They are silicone cups that are washable and sterile for use for years! Means you don't have to do anything but wash the cup, no other waste.
I*'m sitting smack dab in the middle of the Central Texas wildfires and have been packed for three days in case we need to evacuate. 30,000 acres and 500 homes have been lost so far in Bastrop County where I live and the fire is ZER0 percent contained.
Gloves are in my 72 hour bag. If I have to live in a motel room, I'm going to sanitize it before I unpack. Walmart and grocery stores sell the 12pks of Mr. Clean blue nitrile gloves for around a dollar and they consume almost no space.
Donnella, seriously, my prayers are with you. Fire is probably the only thing I truly fear and feel like I can't possibly be completely ready for. That's definitely one issue I've put in the Lord's hands completely.
Our prayers are with you. It's good you are prepared with a plan of action. Is the smoke bothering you and is the winds blowing the fire in your direction?
The wind has been so vicious. Please stay alert and aware!!!!
Just a quick reminder on the nitrile or latex gloves, they do deteriorate over time. I'm sure they last better in an unopened box then in a glove pouch, but they do get brittle eventually. Make sure to check these and rotate them. I also have some of the heavy duty kitchen gloves which I don't normally use, but would want to have on hand if there was clean up of potentially infectious materials. Jumping back to the latex and nitrile gloves, if you are getting into a very messy, bloody, etc, situation put on two pairs. Take on off when it gets covered or if you need to touch something that you don't want bloody or contaminated.
I like the two pairs recommendation. Thanks!
Go to your local custodial supplier or janitor store.
Waxie is a national company and might have a front store at their warehouses.
I use nitrile disposable gloves and nitrile non-disposable gloves in my workplace. Nitrile gloves are the usual household solvent and chemical resistant type of glove---better than food service gloves made of flimsy plastic which are not solvent or chemical resistant gloves. I can't vouch for latex being solvent or chemical resistant either.
Our Custodial Department tests for the best type of gloves available--we have gone to Hospeco Blacknite Disposable Nitrile which uses a thicker nitrile, and use Ansell non-Disposable Nitrile gloves (these are thick 'green' style one associates with cleaning).
I don't know much about latex, but the nitrile uses a technology so that the glove will shred if there is a hole (however minute)in the glove.
Sterile gloves cost more, so opt for what you think you will use them for and purchase accordingly. Also, learn how to take off your disposable gloves correctly so you don't cross contaminate yourselves or others.
Thanks for everyone's prayers this morning. We're still home but staying inside due to the smoke.
Aside from that, I'm madder than a wet hen. Texas is a big state with a big heart. Firefighters from 100s of miles away drove all night on their own time and gasoline to be greeted by the Feds saying "we're in charge now. If your car doesn't squirt water, go home". Day Four and we have a special fire fighting plane on loan from California but there's a "mandatory" down time for the crew and the Feds are letting the plane sit on the ground until Friday.
Kellene, I'm with you on the ONE thing it's hard to prepare for. I can hunker down here for months without leaving but have been talking with my husband about purchasing a small motor home that we keep packed with fresh water, an extra litter box for the two cats, etc, an extra crate for the dog, etc. Kind of a huge bug out vehicle. That would also be more alternative fuel sources with the Propane tanks and generator.
Anyone have specific recommendations on work glove manufacturers?
I have tried the Mechanix gloves and generic goat-skin gloves which I really liked. It might depend on the anticipated work I'd be doing but it's hard to know all the scenarios and glove types that are out there.
Kelleen, a good article, however please reconsider the latex problem. If things go South do you really want
To worry that you might accidentally cause a anaphylactic reaction to someone you love? My daughter developed a latex allergy after getting dysentery along with this she is now allergic to many tropical fruits and nuts and some temperate fruits. Allergies can develope anytime in a persons life. And using latex gloves which may have powder on them or small aerosolized particles can become airborne and affect bystanders. It's a JACHO requirement that hospitals use latex free equipment as much as possible, and there are a lot of allergic people out there. I do like your idea of Using essential oils for this tho.
Other gloves I would consider having are gloves for handling chemicals used by paint strippers or in chemical handling industry, there are a lot of chemicals that are actually wicked up by regular gloves and don't protect you. Quell shampoo or lotion used for head lice is one thing that can go through a glove and give you a chemical exposure. Then there are chemicals that melt gloves like paint stripper.
Thank you for the article you put your " hand" on a good problem.
For heavy work gloves the tan US Army work glove is the hardest wearing I have ever used. I have a pair that is well over 15 years old and they just seem to be getting broke in. I also like the US Army Black shell leather glove and the have a wool glove insert that goes with them that makes a good light leather work glove. I think I my hand is small for a man about average for a female. Wide palms but short finger I take a size 6 US Army glove. I think you can buy the work glove or black shell for about $12.00 surplus, wool liners around $5.00. You might check second hand stores. A little saddle soap and mink oil will help to keep them good for years.
I've not read about anyone using vinyl gloves for medical areas here. I have used the vinyl gloves. They seem to be a bit thicker, so you don't get the tactile feedback quite as well. On the other hand you probably won't need wear 2 sets of gloves either. I do have all types of gloves for 1st aid and sanitation. I don't seem to be allergic to latex, but some of my family members are sensitive. So I buy a little of everything when on sale. That sounds familiar....
I've invested in TP but if STHF takes longer than my TP supplies for things to get normal. I store phone books, then next to the "Roman method" of an individual sponge and cheap plastic(one time use gloves). I don't know if it will work it's just what I have thought up in my "What if?" scenarios. Also if you have an RV with a dump tank you can toss a whole box of 1 time use plastic gloves and a small bottle of hand sanitizer for when you are at the RV dump. Impresses the heck out of folks. I always hear folks say they just didn't think about it.
Thank you for all your hard work.
Harbor Freight Tools has their work gloves on sale this month many different types.
Were able to pick up smalls for the ladies in the house. Heavy duty work gloves, plain garden gloves and rubberized garden glove (for wet soil). This store always has a good selection of larger size for the men - I ask the clerk and found out he the shipments arrived and pick the gloves up then.
Leather workgloves are all I use for my heavy garden work. But my hands are small and I really don't like bulky gloves. That's why I like the reinforced leather gloves at intergalacticshipping.com. I have 2 pairs, thinking I'd need a backup due to wear, but they're very durable and I keep the backup pair in my car. I never know when I might see some greenery in a field that I can use in my flower arrangements.