- Cooking Basic Food Storage
- Cooking Without Power
- Food Storage
- Fuel Storage
- Home Production
- Risk Evaluation
- Staying Warm Without Power
Emergency Toilet Options
Mother Nature's call can not be put off for long regardless of the nature of the emergency or crisis. In fact, these circumstances may actually make the call more frequent and intense! Take time to carefully consider these basic toilet options or explore more of your own. Don't put it off while you save for a nicer, more expensive option. Purchase supplies for a basic option while you work toward a nicer alternative if desired. Get your basic sanitation kit supplies together as soon as possible.
Every family should have a supply of toilet paper, garbage bags, plastic buckets, deodorizers, sanitizing chemicals, insect repellent, and lime.
Basic Sanitation Kit - toilet paper, feminine products, household chlorine bleach or other sanitizing chemical, plastic buckets (with tight-fitting lids for storage of waste), 13 gallon garbage bags, disposable gloves, duct tape, disinfecting wipes, baby wipes, and spray deodorizer. Each person requires 5 gallons of waste storage per week. Save used laundry soap or other buckets with tight-fitting lids for economical waste storage. Never throw human waste or garbage on the open ground! Store in large covered containers (i.e. garbage cans) until authorities direct you how to properly dispose of it. If there is no other alternative, bury in deep trenches and cover with at least 2-3 feet of dirt.
Luggable Lou or bucket toilet - may be a good option for a lightweight portable toilet that you can grab along with your 72 hour kit. Keep basic supplies inside so that it is ready to go - toilet paper, baby wipes, garbage bags, disinfecting wipes, feminine products, spray deodorizer, and chlorine bleach or sanitizing chemical.
This will definitely work for an emergency, however, it is stinky and I would not recommend it as a long term solution. Line the bucket with a plastic garbage bag. Mix one cup liquid bleach (do not use powdered bleach as it is caustic) with two quarts of water and pour into the lined bucket. Add a little more disinfectant after each use. Change the bag when it is 1/3 - 1/2 full. Carefully tie the top and place in a larger lined can. Close the lid after each use to control odors. Possible disinfectants (sanitizing chemicals) include: Enzyme 300 (made for use with Luggable Lou), Luggable Lou liner with bio-gel, sodium hydroxide (blue liquid in chemical toilets), liquid chlorine bleach, Pine Sol, ammonia (never mix ammonia with bleach!!), baking soda, alcohol, laundry detergent, or other disinfectant. Some of these work much better than others - the goal is to minimize odor and germs.
Poo Powder is a great solution for the portable bucket. It instantly gels liquids and contains a disinfectant which helps to control germs and odors. It is available in powder form and also in ready to use bags.
Permanent Port-a-Potty - your household toilet can be easily converted to a port-a-potty in an emergency and provide a familiar, inexpensive toilet option. This option assumes that you have been able to stay in your home and do not have sewage backing up through your toilet.
Start with an empty toilet bowl. Water in the tank may be harvested for other non-potable uses. Flush the water in the bowl away.
Lift the lid and seat. Place a 13 gallon garbage bag in the bowl and duct tape the edges around the back and sides of the bowl. Tape the handle in place to prevent accidental flushing.
Use the toilet as usual. Pour a small amount of disinfectant into the bag after each use to help prevent the spread of germs and disease. The bag may be used several times before changing.
Change the bag by lifting the lid and seat. Carefully remove the bag by loosening the taped edges, twisting the edges of the bag together and sealing with a twist-tie. Place an empty plastic bucket right next to the toilet and lift the bag into the bucket. Use this bucket for transport to decrease accidental spills. Place bag in a large bucket with a tight-fitting lid. Store outside if possible.
Cover entire toilet with a 30 gallon trash bag to control odor. Air fresheners or room deodorizers may also be helpful.
Chemical Toilets - these toilets are a great option and are regularly used by boaters and campers. They use very little water and the chemicals help to keep the smell and spread of disease to a minimum. Be sure to store plastic buckets with tight-fitting lids to store waste until you can safely dispose of it. Be sure to store the appropriate chemicals for the toilet. The chemicals do have a limited shelf life. Check with the manufacturer.
Trench Latrine - If an outdoor toilet becomes necessary, a trench latrine can be constructed in a short amount of time. Be sure to locate it away from the home and all water sources. Create some type of shelter to provide protection from the weather along with privacy. Dig a trench 1 x 4 feet and 2 1/2 feet deep. Add a little bit of dirt or lime after each use to help control odor and flies. When the trench is filled within one foot of the surface, sprinkle with lime, fill with dirt, and mound with an additional foot of dirt. This toilet is used by squatting or straddling the trench.
Deep Pit Latrine - An extended crisis may require a more long term solution. A single-seat latrine may be built over a 2 feet wide x 2-6 feet long x 6 feet deep pit using available materials to create a shelter and seating area.. Make sure that the seating area is large enough to prevent collapse into the pit. It is important not to dig a pit deep enough to contaminate the ground water. Be sure to sprinkle with lime after each use and before closing the pit.
Composting Toilet (sometimes called biological toilet, dry toilet and waterless toilet) - is frequently used in remote locations such as cabins. A composting toilet system converts human waste into a fertilizer or useable soil through the natural breakdown of organic matter back into its essential minerals. They are very expensive, but use little or no water and are nearly odorless.