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Contaminated go bags  RSS feed

 
Antony Serio
Posts: 6
Location: Watertown NY
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I am involved in an Amateur Radio group. A few years ago, one of our former members who was an EMT, made up a dozen or so go bags with medical supplies, bottled water, hard candy, granola bars, etc. for the group. The go bags were not maintained/rotated and were stored in an unoccupied building for four years with no heat/air conditioning and a mouse infestation. Yesterday, I decided to salvage what I could out of the go kits. Of course most of the granola bars were eaten by mice. Quite a few of the bottles of water had ruptured, either from mouse gnawing or too many freeze/thaw cycles. I tasted water from a bottle that survived, and it had a definite aftertaste of rye, so I doubt if it is potable anymore. A majority of the hard candy had melted, in many cases, mixing with leaked water to coat everything in the bag with a sticky pink sugary slime. So, I have several packs of adhesive bandages, gauze pads and surgical dressings that got slimed by the hard candy. They were in their original wrappings, and I rinsed off the slime as much as I could last night. Is there any way to tell if if they are still sterile and safe to use? There were also several plastic wrapped boxes of adhesive bandages that apparently have water infiltration, so I question their usability as well. There are tubes of triple antibiotic that was stored well outside it's recommended range of 68-77 degrees F. Would freezing cause problems? Can sunblock be frozen and survive? In fact I'm starting to question if anything in the go bags except for the bars of ivory soap (that didn't get eaten by mice) is still good.
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Antony Serio : Been there, done that ! You have the makings of a Science Experiment gone wrong . As an Old Combat Medic I would trust nothing from the bags !

The bags themselves MAY be Salvageable, You will have to try one (1) bag as a representative sample,and presoak in a bleach solution then wash them in a washing machine !

All bleach is the same, the labels on the cheap stuff from the "Dollar Stores" will give better directions on mixing ratios - or just google it .

Up here in St.Law County there has been an inter-marage between our local Amateur Radio Groups and the Fire Departments' Fire Police that has served this region well !

I am probably less than 35 miles away from you ( If Fort Drum was not in the way )

You might want to look at the Permie-type programs at - Local living Ventures - (We also have a Facebook page )

Good luck and good hunting ! Big AL





 
Antony Serio
Posts: 6
Location: Watertown NY
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Thanks for the advice, Big Al. The 'bags' were oversized ziplock bags, and had all been moused, so they have already been tossed. Also, thanks for the heads up about the Local Living Ventures. I enjoyed going to the festival you had a few years ago, and am glad to hear that you are still going strong. I wanted to go up last year, but was out of town. It looks like you hold the festivals every other year, is that right?
 
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