Monday, November 5, 2012

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From The Cloth Diaper Whisperer Archives: Cloth Diapers in an Emergency

This blog post originally posted on September 11, 2010. With the recent after-math of Hurricane Sandy we thought we would re-post for you:

The renewal of hurricane season and active storms has made me re-evaluate my emergency plans and preparations. I have given thought to water supply, food, batteries, important documents, and more...but with my decision to use cloth diapers exclusively, and the disappearance of the very last disposable diaper, I have new plans to make. Part of my preparation will no longer include picking up an extra pack of disposable diapers. It is important to me to find an environmentally safe emergency plan.

How will I wash my stash if we were to lose power and water? What happens when I run out of clean cloth diapers? Do I really plan on washing everything by hand with a limited water supply? Many questions began spinning through my head, and I realized I hadn't planned for conditions without a washing machine.

In formulating my plan, I slowed down and asked myself the following questions:
  • How many diapers does my child use in a day?
  • How often will I wash diapers? (As a load, or individually?)
  • Do I have enough diapers to rotate clean/dirty diapers in time for them to be dry and ready?
  • Where will I wash the diapers? (In a bucket? The sink?)
  • Do I have extra needed accessories (diaper rash cream, laundry detergent, wipes, liners)?
  • Where will the waste water be disposed?
  • How will the process maintain sanitary conditions? (Hand-washing/disinfecting?)
  • How long will I be prepared to be without power/water?
My stash of cloth diapers includes mostly One Size FuzziBunz and bumGenius, with a few Rumparooz, and Thirsties. I also have 3 Bummis Whisper Wrap Covers which I use with a Kissaluvs Hybrid One Size Contour (I really need to get more inserts!). I have enough diapers to last 3 or 4 days, but from experience realize that it is necessary to plan for a week or more in an emergency situation. My planning decision revolved mainly around the question of hand-washing diapers that I already have (counting on enough extra water to the supply to enable this), and/or finding an alternative solution. Standard disposables for me will be an absolute last resort, and I won't stock them.

Kelly's Closet offered me a very appealing solution: GroVia Bio-Soakers! With this option, I can reuse a cover multiple times and replace the insert as needed...without a significant water resource impact (I'll only need to clean covers). I will always have my other cloth diapers and inserts, as additional options available in my emergency kit. Even if I ran out of Bio-Soakers (my first choice for avoiding a heavier wash load), I will still have a wonderful supply of fluff to wash and reuse. GroVia also makes Bio-Diapers, an alternative to disposable diapers that may be another option.

Cloth diapers are actually a perfect solution for emergency situations. Long before washing machines, cloth was THE only option, and mothers (and fathers) made it work. Granted, emergencies can be slightly different without a known unlimited source of water, but the same principles apply. Reliance on modern convenience is not necessary to making cloth diapers effective. The biggest added bonus is not having the worry of a panicked sell-out of all disposables at the grocery store...my cloth will always be right there.

I'll be ordering some GroVia shells and Bio-Soakers to test drive this solution. In the meantime, I may come up with other ideas, but at least I'm on the right track for being prepared in an emergency with cloth diapers. Are you?

By Julie G.

1 comment:

Pix said...

I would say buying any of the "cloth diaper" disposable insert options would work - grovia, BumGenius, and gDiaper all have them.

I would actually say that you don't need to add the brand covers to your stash if you have other covers or even pocket diapers. You can lay these disposable soakers in any cover or on top of (not inside) any pocket diaper.

Interesting thought though:)