Disasters happen on large and small scales and everything in between. Whether they are the result of nature’s fury or a response to human activity, the aftermath can be the most difficult time. Many of these incidents leave large numbers of people without easy access to water. While drinking water can be provided in bottles, water for cleaning, washing, and using the restroom is more difficult to provide. Some people live with a chronic lack of access to basic facilities, and mobile laundry trailers containing laundry facilities can help provide some relief for people experiencing such losses.
There are many different scenarios where people can find themselves without access to laundry facilities. For example, events that destroy homes such as floods, fires, and tornados or even situations where electricity is unavailable for an extended period of time can make access to clean clothes difficult, if not impossible. At times like these, mobile laundry trailers can make a difference. Most have several heavy-duty washers and dryers in addition to folding shelves. In addition, these units can be staffed by laundry workers, which allow people to drop off their clothes and pick them up later.
Homelessness and poverty are experiences that can greatly inhibit people’s ability to wash their clothes and other belongings. Several laundry trailers are deployed around the country to help people experiencing homelessness or poverty have clean clothes. This is happening in larch cities, including Los Angeles and New York, but also smaller cities. Access to laundry facilities can be important for basic human dignity and reduce the stigma surrounding afflicted peoples.
Seasonal, migrant, and other groups of traveling workers can also struggle to find adequate laundry facilities depending on their living conditions. This includes workers, such as those at large construction sites, oil field drilling sites, and agricultural fields. Most workers in these fields work with dirt, oil, paint and other products that can heavily soil clothing. In addition, working long hours and potentially being outside of cities where laundromats are not located can make doing laundry cumbersome and expensive for workers.
It is not uncommon to take clean clothes and laundry facilities for granted. However, when the washer or dryer at home breaks down, some may get a glimpse into the experience others know all too well. Disasters are unpredictable by nature, but homelessness can be chronic, and there will likely be a need for traveling workers. Therefore, the need for mobile laundry facilities will likely continue.