It’s sum­mer here in the North­east, and it is get­ting hot quick­ly.  Hon­est­ly, I love it.   It’s June, and in the mid 80’s and as I was watch­ing a movie this evening on TV, it hit me.  What hap­pens if the pow­er goes out.  And, what if it stays off for a day or two and I do not Bug Out.  Hmmm… My water stops mov­ing.  That means, I am com­plete­ly depen­dent on my 35 gal­lons of stored water.  Let’s say, bug­ging out is not an option, hypo­thet­i­cal­ly.  Maybe it is win­ter and there is a hel­lu­va snow storm that has brought down pow­er for a few days or more.  A storm, etc… I think you get my drift.

Let’s say the pow­er is off, and, well, there is only about two flush­es in your toi­let.  What do you do.  Well, you could fill your tank up with water and have anoth­er flush or two, wast­ing a LOT of water, or you can come up with a dif­fer­ent solu­tion.  Chances are if you live in the sub­urbs, there are strict reg­u­la­tions and maybe even laws about the dis­pos­al of poten­tial­ly harm­ful waste byprod­uct (how is that for polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect).  So I want to exam­ine a few ways that might make a dif­fer­ence in some short term options to help you mud­dle through a short term SHTF.  Unfor­tu­nate­ly, if we are look­ing at a long term SHTF, I’m out of Dodge, so those of you hang­ing about can deal with this issue…

First, let’s try to under­stand that dur­ing a SHTF of any kind there is stress on every­one in your group, your­self, and every­one around you.  This may come in the form of lack of med­ical care, poor san­i­ta­tion, poor nutri­tion, phys­i­cal stress, lack of sleep, emo­tion­al stress, etc.  I think you get my drift.  Oth­er stress can come from ill­ness or injuries.  Prop­er han­dling of human waste or byprod­uct can be crit­i­cal.  Have you ever thought about this?

If encoun­ter­ing a short term or long term dis­as­ter in a city and in sub­ur­bia, no doubt water lines will be / can be down, sew­er and elec­tri­cal sys­tems will be affect­ed.  What does this mean?  Tech­ni­cal­ly this means water is not flow­ing.  Which means, flush­ing and using the sink is out… This is not a good sit­u­a­tion in the sub­urbs or in the city.  Peri­od.  Human fecal mat­ter is with­out a doubt one of the dead­liest sub­stances on the plan­et.  It does­n’t mat­ter how healthy you are, human fecal mat­ter car­ries dis­ease.  And should the sew­ers not work or start back­ing up in to apart­ment build­ings and homes, there could be dis­as­trous reper­cus­sions.

So, how do you han­dle human waste?  There are a cou­ple of ways, and here are the sug­gest­ed meth­ods:

  • Human fecal mat­ter:
    • Get your­self a spare 5 gal­lon buck­et, and keep it sealed.  Add a 1 to 10 bleach to water ratio (one part bleach to 10 parts water) to san­i­tize the buck­et.  Keep it tight­ly sealed so that insects and rodents can­not get into it, and crawl out and poten­tial­ly spread dis­ease.
  • Urine:
    • Keep it sep­a­rate from the fecal mat­ter.  The rea­son is that if the urine and fecal mat­ter mix there is much more con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed mate­r­i­al that must be dis­posed of.  If you are in an apart­ment with a ter­race, keep it out­side your apart­ment.

So, what hap­pens if the sew­er ser­vice in your area is not restored in a time­ly man­ner?  Aside from your 5 gal­lon buck­et fill­ing up, you’re going to need to bury the fecal mat­ter.  You’re going to have to go out, dig a hole in your back yard, if you have one, and bury it.  The point of bury­ing the fecal mat­ter is so that rodents and insects do not get to it and spread dis­ease.  The bonus is that it won’t smell either.  Now for the hard part.  You will need to dig a hole at least a foot deep.  I sug­gest at least 18 inch­es if you can get away with it.  You should also cov­er it with ash or lime, and then cov­er it back up with dirt.  After refill­ing your hole, you should cov­er it with some­thing so that if it rains, the fecal mat­ter does not imme­di­ate­ly mix with the rain water and leak to the sur­face.  This is a real threat.  You don’t want your kids play­ing in a pud­dle of poop and mud.

As an option, a com­post­ing toi­let in your home or apart­ment might be an option for you.  These toi­lets run about $1,500 dol­lars.  There are sev­er­al dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers, and they claim the com­post is a dry, safe com­post.  I am not sure how true this is, as many peo­ple cau­tion against com­post­ing human fecal mat­ter or any fecal mat­ter of a car­ni­vore.  How­ev­er, the toi­lets work by ven­ti­lat­ing the waste and keep­ing it at a tem­per­a­ture that kills the bac­te­ria and pathogens, and decom­pos­es the fecal mat­ter to com­post.  Gen­er­al­ly, a com­post­ing toi­let is an indoor device and can be installed in your home.  They vent to the out­side of your house and there are dif­fer­ent mod­els, some of which are elec­tric.  Again, I do not know much about them, and may look into them just for the edu­ca­tion fac­tor.

I also came across this arti­cle, and thought I would share:

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