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Emergency Preparedness: Essential Menstrual Products for Women

Thank you to Giada Lemmens, the author of the book The Period Prepper, for writing this guest post. Please be advised that it contains language relating to female anatomy and femenine hygeine products.

A woman wearing a backpack kit with a variety of femenine hygeine products peeking out

During an emergency disaster one of the sought after items are period products.

In November 2021, the Fraser Valley was engulfed by vast amounts of flooding that would later be called The 2021 Pacific Northwest Floods. People were stuck in their homes as emergency crews worked around the clock to clear highways and repair infrastructure. As a result, grocery store shelves cleared faster than employees could restock, and due to the flooding, delivery trucks could not deliver necessary goods fast enough to replenish supplies.

During emergency disasters like this, one of the most requested items is menstrual products. In the beginning of an emergency, local charities have some supply, but they can quickly run out as the demand for these products grows. This is why it’s essential to be proactive and prepare your own emergency period kit so that, should a flood or any emergency disaster happen again, you and the women in your home will be prepared. Here are some necessary products to consider adding to your emergency period kit:

  1. Disposable Menstrual Pads and Tampons: You may already have some in your bathroom cabinet. Disposable products are very useful for situations where you don’t have access to clean water. While in November 2021, we were fortunate with our drinking water remaining intact, extreme flooding can cause pollutants and heavy debris to enter the water system, making it undrinkable. Disposable menstrual products are single-use and don’t need to be washed, making them an excellent addition to any kit.
  2. Cloth Pads: Cloth pads are the reusable version of a disposable pad. After using, simply wash and hang to dry. They are very well constructed, and with proper care, can last around 10 years. Cloth pads come in many different shapes, styles, and fabrics, making there a wide variety to choose from.
Cloth pads in a variety of sizes and designs

There are a wide variety of reusable cloth pads on the market.

3. Period Underwear: Period Underwear looks like regular underwear but has built-in period protection. They are a must-have for any emergency period kit, whether you use them by themselves or with other menstrual products. If you have to evacuate your home and sleep at an emergency shelter or a family member or friend’s home, using period underwear with your overnight pad or other period products will provide an additional layer of protection so you can sleep restfully without leaking.

A pair of period underwear in burgundy.

Period underwear are a helpful addition to any emergency period kit. These ones are from Treehugger Cloth Pads (treehuggerclothpads.com)

4. A Reusable Menstrual Cup or Disc: A menstrual cup is a reusable period product that sits in the vaginal canal. Unlike tampons, which absorb blood, a menstrual disc will collect it to be dumped later. A reusable disc is similar to a cup but fits differently. It also sits higher in the body, past the vaginal canal, in the vaginal fornix directly underneath the cervix. I highly recommend researching online to see if a menstrual cup or disc is right for you and how to properly select one based on your body. A regular menstrual cup or disc user can get away with packing a much smaller period kit because a menstrual cup or disc can be reused multiple times and with proper care can last for years.

Examples of a menstrual cup and menstrual disks.

Left: A reusable menstrual cup from Diva Cup. Right: Two reusable menstrual discs in different sizes.

5. Important Medications: If you use hormonal birth control, speak to your doctor about getting a one-month supply to store in your kit, plus a written prescription. This way, if you have to evacuate to another town, you will still be able to get your prescription. The same is true if you take other prescription medications.

If you are prone to yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and other vaginal irritation, you are very susceptible to a flare-up of your symptoms during an emergency situation because of the increase in stress. Your environment may also be less sanitary. Non-prescription medicines such as Canesten, Vagisil, lysine, cranberry extract, and other medicine are essential, even if you have not had these issues in a long time. I would avoid buying vaginal washes and soaps since these can have irritants that increase the likelihood of vaginal irritation.

Pain medication to ease menstrual cramps is a must have in your kit. You will want to select a brand that you are most familiar with using but make sure it’s in tablet form and not gel capsules. Gel caps can leak and alter in hot and cold weather whereas hard tablets last much longer. 

These are some of the main period products to incorporate into your emergency period kit. If you have these set aside in a travel bag, you are off to a great start. To learn more about what period products to include in your kit and other menstrual health information from an emergency preparedness perspective, check out my book “The Period Prepper – Make Your Own Period Kit for Emergency Preparedness and Survival” on Amazon. For more information, visit theperiodprepper.com.


This guest post was written by Giada Lemmens, the author of the book The Period Prepper – Make Your Own Period Kit for Emergency Preparedness and Survival. She teaches women how to create their own period kit for extreme weather and other emergencies. If you like giveaways and prepping advice be sure to check her out on Instagram @theperiodprepper and theperiodprepper.com. 

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