Have you every though about how you are going to use the toilet if the sanitation system was not operational following a disaster? Not having a viable means to use the toilet, or wash yourself could pose a big problem if you have not given it some thought. There are serious health implications related to sewage that can cause death if left untreated, so it is wise to make sure you have a plan in place.
Read on and I will discuss how I plan on going for a poo if SHTF, and other alternative ways you can too.
There has been a major flu outbreak, millions of people across the world have been infected and are bed bound trying to recover. You have managed to keep yourself and you family protected, as you where prepared for such an event.
Millions are not showing up for work, this includes workers at sewage treatment plants, emergency services, and all local services. As time goes on, sewage plants start to back up with raw waste. This leads to a backup of waste in the underground sewage systems around towns and cities.
You are going to bed on a calm, cold night, and go to the bathroom to brush your teeth and use the toilet. You notice that the water is backing up in the sink when you are brushing your teeth. The tap starts to splutter and then the water stops flowing. You use the toilet one last time, and flush it with what water is left in the cistern. It backs up too, bringing up used toilet paper, shit and goodness knows what else. Ok, you think to yourself, this is what I have prepped for.
You know how to filter and purify water to make it safe for drinking, but how are you going to use the toilet, and sink if the water does not drain.
Things You will Want to Have
Flushing the Toilet in a Grid Down
When it comes to a grid down situation, lets just assume the water is off, how to you flush your toilet? This is pretty simple, yet many people don’t actually know how to do it. Just get a bucket of water, and throw it down the toilet, the waste will then be washed away leaving the toilet empty and ready for use again.
You could also empty the bucket of water into the cistern, and use the toilet as normal, and flush with the button, or handle. Both ways work the same, so its up to you about how you do this.
Using the Toilet in a City or when Bugging Out
This is probably the best solution to using the toilet in a grid down SHTF situation. If you live in a town, or city, and don’t have a septic tank system, then this is what you will want to do. I strongly advise you to look into using the toilet when the grid is down, as it could become a real problem. Spend £20 or £30 now in order to make sure you are prepared, after all, this is what prepping is about, right?
There are a number of emergency toilet options available.
A camping toilet is inexpensive, easy to carry around, and very suitable for short term disasters or bugging out. The do fill up quite quickly though, and you need to have somewhere to put all the waste, be it a hole in the ground, or a bin bag. It can be smelly and messy to say the least, but will be a great help if you have nothing else.
A composting toilet is a great off grid alternative to the camping toilet. They are very sanitary, don’t smell, and would be well suited for long term usage if the grid is down. The down side is that they are expensive to buy, and also need venting, so you should keep it in a room with a window open, or outside in an outhouse.
The twin bucket toilet system is very simple to make, and is probably the cheapest solution for anyone looking for a way to make a toilet for when the grid goes down or SHTF. It can be placed anywhere, and does not smell at all, since they are covered by lids. An ideal solution for bugging out, or bugging in. This is the toilet system that the official disaster websites of many countries recommend.
I am going to build a twin bucket toilet system for myself incase I have problems with my septic system, I have actually just ordered my 2 buckets, so once I have them, I will begin with the build, and post an article on it.
When we talk about human waste, many people think that pee and poo both contain germs. Pee is actually very sterile. You can simply dump pee in your back yard to dispose of it. It can also be used as a fertiliser!
Poo on the other hand, is the thing that contains germs and pathogens. You need to be very careful when disposing of it, as it can lead to the spread of disease. Another note, a days worth of pee, is usually 10x as much as poo, so, using the twin buckets toilet system, keeping the 2 of them separate makes it much easier to dispose of each.
Why the Twin Bucket Toilet is the Best
The twin bucket toilet system keeps pee and poo separate, and also contains smells, so, like I said above, this system can be stored anywhere. If you plan on bugging in, you could put it in your bathroom, or even garage if you wish. They system is hygienic, and prevents the spread of dangerous germs from your poo.
Most important, this is the cheapest option for building an emergency toilet for SHTF.
How the Twin Bucket Toilet Works
It is pretty simple, pee in one bucket, poop in the other. In the poop bucket, you will want to have some carbon material, such as shredded or cut up paper, saw dust, or even cat litter. In the pee bucket, you don’t need anything.
I would advise emptying each bucket everyday. The pee bucket can be emptied anywhere, and the poo bucket, you will need to dig a hole away from your bug out or bug in location, and dump the poo there. It’s really that simple.
Other, Non Water Dependant Methods
Before I jump into this section of the post, it is worth pointing out flies, and the problems they can cause. Flies wouldn’t think twice about having a feast of your dump, then landing on your dinner, and feeding on it too. What will follow is a faecal borne pathogens best dream, though a humans worst nightmare, health issues.
You want to do everything you can to stop flies and other pests from coming into contact with your poo, so make sure it is always well covered, and the lid is down on whatever toilet system you decide to use.
Waste Disposal in Rural Areas
You can use any of the toilets above in rural, and non rural areas but in this section of the post, I will speak about how you can go about your business in rural, or even semi rural areas.
The Cat Hole
A cat hole is a small hole in the ground, about 5-6 inches deep, you can dig this with your hands, survival knife, though not recommended, or a garden spade or trowel. Do your business in the hole, wipe, throw the paper in the hole, and fill it in again, Simple as that.
There are a few rules you will want to follow:
- Place the cat hole at least 200 feet away from your location, and any water source
- Don’t do your business in an area where water flows
- Try and dig your hole on lower ground, this will hopefully stop your waste getting into your immediate water supply.
The Trench Latrine
If you have bugged out, and are planning on staying in your location for a longer period of time, the trench latrine is what you will want to build.
A trench latrine is basically a bigger version of a cat hole, that covers a wider area, you use it multiple times, each time doing your business in a different place. You can cover it up as you go along, or leave it exposed, I recommend covering it up due to flies and other pests.
You should dig it around 1.5 ft wide, 1ft deep, and about 3 feet long.
You could also build a privacy partition around it using branches and leaves, or using a tarp.
So, thats it for todays post. Hopefully you understand how important it is to have somewhere to go to the toilet, be it the 2 bucket system, or a cat hole. I strongly advise you at least build yourself a twin bucket system like I am doing, that way, you won’t have to worry about the toilet if the grid goes down.