At a frontier trading post in eighteenth-century America, you would find rolls of fabric for trade right alongside tools, guns, and other items. Traders did not have the luxury of going to a nearby clothing store. They very often had to make their clothes — something most people cannot do today.
So what would happen if you lost all your clothing during a disaster? Well, if it were a localized disaster relief agencies would be there to help, but what if it was a nationwide years-long event?
I had not given this question much thought in the past, but lack of clothing is a real problem after disasters like floods, fires, and hurricanes. During hurricane Katrina, I saw families getting in fights with one another over a pair of shoes like it was “Black Friday” at the relief shelter.
So how could people, with closets full of clothing, end up with none?
1 – Clothing could end up destroyed or contaminated.
2 – The disaster could be so devastating that it goes on for years, and they get worn out.
Either way, to get more, you would need to do one of the following.
1 – Use the rolls of fabric you stored with your other emergency supplies to make new clothing. Assuming you have the tools and skills to do so.
2 – Barter with other survivors if you have something of value.
3 – Loot. Now, this might not be a problem. If a significant portion of the population died quickly, but it’s a dangerous path to take regardless.
So what’s your plan, do you have one? Have you ever thought about clothing as a barter item?