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Preppers and toilet hygiene- Sanitation in Emergencies

Updated on April 6, 2014

Get some things together.

If you are reading this, chances are you have at least 3 days worth of supplies, or access to them. Water, food, alternate housing, security, and back up transport, in the event you can't use the car.

You need to explore some things not thought out by many.

Humans have an amazing capacity to pollute water supplies when support infrastructure stops working, or is poorly functioning. Our hygiene will be CRITCAL to long term outcomes in emergency situations.

ANY water will be valuable in an emergency.

Water in streams and ponds, and, if you can get to it, wells, will be crucial to survival. Planning now will prevent long term issues that can affect your family even after the event is resolved. Toileting activities must be planned for and managed in order to minimize additional burdens on those enduring emergency situations.

Simple supplies and a logical thought process is needed.

Anything to manage raw excrement is truly a must. Burying is very useful when done correctly. Chemicals and supplies that can't be replaced easily, in emergencies, are less useful. Consider only those processes that can be supported by your immediate surroundings.

Protect all water.

Any thing going down a storm drain, or on the soil's surface is going to create significant health issues. Do not use a process that requires direct contact with fecal material. Think of where your water is, and the slope if it should rain. E-coli is a significant pathogen causing sickness and death. It gets worse from there, dysentery, cholera, and the list goes on. First thing to occur in Haiti was the death of thousands of infants, when the earthquakes hit. The water became contaminated, and hygiene could not be managed. The old and the very young died first. the remaining ones, the stronger, were often very sick at a time when their strength was needed to help ensure the survival of their families.

Put a shovel, and a five gallon bucket with your supplies.

Educate, teach, and instruct at length about this matter. Be a part of solving the problem, don't make it worse. Have a shovel, a trowel, a five gallon bucket, a toilet seat, and a toilet seat to fit your bucket.

Practical steps to take.

Urine can be near plantings and out of walk ways with out significant health issues, in low population groups. Urine is usually sterile, and free of SIGNIFICANT pathogens. Solids however, are a management issue. Never on the ground, never touch and never close to ANY water. Bury, only for a short time, and in small amounts, as water can percolate fecal pathogens through soil to water, water you need to keep clean. Using plastic bags only means you will need to handle the material a number of times before disposal. Each situation will present different issues.

If you are in place, without infrastructure support.

Do not use septic system, you have no way to pump it out, if your services are not available. If you are in your home or other structure, long term, consider using a sawdust toilet. In it's simplest form, a 5 gallon bucket, with 2 inches of soil, leaves or sawdust, in the bottom. Use bucket, then cover the deposit with enough material to hide your deposit.

A few dollars at a thrift  store, put your composting bucket underneath you're ready to go.
A few dollars at a thrift store, put your composting bucket underneath you're ready to go.

When the bucket is full, place in compost.

When full, place contents in compost, cover well. The heat from the action of composting destroys pathogens. After a year the compost can be useful for the garden. If you have toilet seat built above where you place your bucket, you can safely, and with some comfort, have an hygienic toilet.

Above all, protect your water.

You will need water, to drink, to wash, and to clean your living area. Give it some thought, and develop a plan. Acquire some supplies.

Review other materials in print and online to choose the hygiene plan that you may need.

Water, shelter, food, hygiene, security, and emergency medicine. If you want to be part of the self sufficiency movement, all these things are HUGELY important. The well prepared, and the well thought out plan, will help secure your family, 'just in case'.

Maintain supplies of water.

Since water is so critical to life, hygiene and personal cleanliness, a way of securing it is mandatory. Look for ways to prepare water in the environment for your family's use. Prepare easily acquired items before the emergency occurs. Ancient peoples used settling out the particles, then using the top 80% of the water, then discarding the remainder, The water was then boiled before drinking. We have amazing technology for cleaning up water for use, from our surroundings.. Look for in place systems, and some way of purifying when moving to a different area on foot. Smiple and easy to maintain are going to give best outcomes.

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