Shelter, Sanitation Water

Shelter, Sanitation Water
Lancaster Stake Personal and Family Preparedness Seminar
“The Peace of Preparedness”
WaSHS: Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Shelter
May 2010
Presented by Debbie Kent
We live in a time and place where disaster is just around the corner. It could be a BIG
Earthquake, flooding, a giant windstorm, heavy snow storm and/ or prolonged extreme hot
or cold spell or pandemic causing quarantine. Any of these things can cut water and power
to our homes for a few hours, weeks or months. But whatever “It” is we know something is
coming and probably sooner rather than later. It is our job to “Prepare Every Needful Thing”
and feel peace and instead of being fearful, we can we can look at these “experiences” as
adventures. Here are a few quotes concerning this:
President Ezra Taft Benson said in God, Family, Country, p.331,
“A man should have on hand sufficient supplies to sustain himself and his family in
an emergency.
For many years the leaders of the Mormon Church have
recommended, with instructions, that every family have on hand at least a year’s
supply of basic food, clothing, fuel (where possible), and provisions for shelter…
It can and will be useful in many circumstances in the days ahead.”
President Hinckley said in October Conference 2001,
“We cannot provide against every contingency.
But we can provide against many contingencies.”
So What Lies Ahead??
“Natural Disasters Up More Than 400 Percent in Two Decades” The earth is currently
experiencing approximately 500 natural disasters per year, compared with 120 per year in the
early 1980s, the number of weather-related disasters in 2006 was 240, compared with 60 in 1980.
The question is not if but when we will be hit by a major earthquake
not to mention things like: storms, power outages and a bunch of other things.
Most of the effects are predictable and preventable.
Secure Your Home
Gather Emergency Supplies
Basic Emergency Preparedness
In survival as in all aspects of life, it is easier to be organized if we prioritize.
The priorities, during a disaster or emergency are, in order: shelter, medications,
water, sanitation and hygiene and then food. Keep in mind “Disaster”. That
means good chance no utilities: gas, water or electricity. This is really not much
more than preparing for camping. Plan for every contingency you can.
“When Ye Are Prepared…Ye Shall Not Fear”
Survival Goals…..What You NEED!
Clothes (both regular and for extreme weather)
sleeping bag, pad/cot and a GOOD tent
Stored water (15-165 gallons per person) and supplies
Purifying plan and supplies and good filter/purifier
Dish and clothes washing & drying supplies, toilet and additives,
disposal plan, garbage disposal supplies and plan,
Hand washing, teeth, bathing, privy and supplies
Each of these topics is covered in detail below.
I have given you A LOT to think about.
We’ve just touched on the areas of emergency preparedness. In a crisis, having
provisions for: shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene will mean the
difference between: surviving well, poorly or not at all. Some you may be set
in these areas; others of you are just starting and may be feeling overwhelmed.
Don’t be. Ponder it, pray about what you need to do for your family. Also,
Inventory: What you already have, keep list in safe place
Set Goals: Make a list of what you need.
Gather Supplies: When there are special orders for things, try and take
advantage of them. When you go to the store, take your list and get a few
things and then cross them off.
• Practice Makes perfect: know how to use what you have, helps in
knowing other things you will need. Builds confidence.
You will feel so good, knowing you are following the council of the Lord. When
you are doing all you can do, then He will do the rest. And lastly, as you are
preparing share your thoughts and feelings about the importance of preparing
with your family and friends and neighbors. Because when the trials come it will
affect ALL of us.
Why Do We Prepare?
It is Not a Matter of IF but WHEN…
‘’In mercy the Lord warns and forewarns. He sees the coming storm, knows the forces
operating to produce it, and calls aloud through His prophets, advises, counsels,
exhorts, even commands—that we prepare for what is about to befall and take shelter
while yet there is time. But we go our several ways, feasting and making merry,
consoling conscience with the easy fancy of ‘time enough’ and in idle hope that the
tempest will pass us by, or that, when it begins to gather thick and black about us we
can turn back and find shelter.’’ James E Talmage, The Parables of James E. Talmage, p. 50
On June 5, 1976 the Teton Dam in ID collapsed, resulting in a wall of water 50 feet high
being unleashed on the valley and communities below. On June 10, 1976 at the
dedicatory services of the Deseret Mills and Elevator in Kaysville, UT, Pres. Spencer
Kimball said: "I hope, and this is my brief message to you today, that no one ever reads
one word about that terrible flood and the sadness that it has brought-the loss of life, the
loss of livestock, the destruction of farms, the suffering that has come to those good
people--I say again, I hope no one here will ever read another word about that
disaster without saying quietly to himself, 'No moment will ever pass when I will not
be prepared as the Brethren tell me to do.' One year's supply of commodities, well
cared for, well selected, is a minimum. It's the minimum [President Kimball hit the
podium for emphasis], and every family, if they have only been married a day or a
week, should begin to have their year's supply. Now that's basic, and we mean it!
[He hit the podium again.] There should be no family under the sound of my voice who
isn't already prepared for whatever eventuality may come. We can't anticipate it, of
course. We don't know where another dam is going out, or where a river is going to
flood, or whether an earthquake is going to come, or what's going to happen. We just are
always prepared because the Lord said, 'If ye are prepared ye shall not fear' (D&C 38:30).
And the only way to have peace and security is to be prepared. May the Lord
bless us that not one family of us will go from this room without a determination
from this moment forward that there will never be a time when we will not
be prepared to meet the hazards that could come."
Disaster Strikes… Now What?
1) Will you be in a position to “camp with your family” enjoying warm clothes,
shelter from the elements, clean drinking water, a shower and clean clothes and a
“private bathroom”?
2) Because you have followed the counsel to be prepared in ALL things, will you be
in a position to share with others and care for their needs?
3) Or will you be dependent on the Red Cross or others to take care of your family
and have to stay in a gym along with hundreds of strangers, who may be sick,
with no privacy, no choice in food and wearing strange clothes that are ugly or
don’t fit right?
The choice is yours: Heed the warnings in the scriptures and that still, small voice within
OR depend on others for the welfare of your family. Which do you choose?
“The earth must be prepared to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and we must
help with this preparation in the midst of wars, turmoil, natural calamities, and
an increase of evil. There has not been a time in the history of the world when
a full-scale relief effort was more needed…
The Savior saw our day as “the beginning of sorrows” when many would be
deceived. He told of wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and
pestilences. This describes the world we live in today, and it is essential that
“we” take hold of our responsibility to be prepared in all things.”
Julie B. Beck, Relief Society President, Ensign October 2007
The Best Reason to Prepare
Why do you think you are here now, at this time in the earth’s history; a time when all
humanity looks forward and prepares for the return of the King?
What are you doing to prepare?
I have a strong testimony of the importance of food storage and being prepared in all things. I know that
the lives of my family and others depends on my ability to follow this commandment.
It is time to put our houses in order. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.
Coming Up Next Month
Money Matters…Budgeting and Getting out of Debt June 24th
You can live 4-6 weeks without food; 3-5 days without water; but hypothermia will kill
you in 30 minutes. Therefore, shelter is the first priority! Shelter may be defined as
anything that protects the human element from nature’s elements. In putting together a
good short-term preparedness kit, you may think it necessary to initially purchase items
that are of inferior quality. You will regret going second class. Quality tents and sleeping
bags are critical and should be considered a serious investment, with a little time and
effort you can find quality items that are in your budget.
We will be touching on 3 areas of shelter: clothing, sleeping bags and tents.
“Concerning clothing, we should anticipate future needs, such as extra work
clothes and clothes that would supply warmth during winter months when there
may be shortages or lack of heating fuel. Leather and bolts of cloth could be
stored, particularly for families with younger children who will outgrow and
perhaps outwear their present clothes.” President Ezra Taft Benson in 1973
It is easier to survive in the summer with winter clothes
than in the winter with summer clothes.
Clothing is not usually considered in planning for a disaster. Yet, it is something that is
advised by church leaders and common sense. Finding suitable clothing will be a very
real concern in a disaster. In normal times when your clothes wear out or they are outgrown,
you just drive to the store and buy what you need. When there is an emergency, normal
commerce stops. If it is a small problem, like a power outage you will have plenty to wear,
however, if it is a long lasting emergency such as a pandemic or a natural disaster, it could be
months before shopping is available. If you want to have clothes for your family in an emergency
situation you will need to get them now.
Suggested Clothing Minimums
(per person - double for year supply*)
You may already have most of these; however, if you have growing children storing
clothes poses a problem, especially for pants and shoes. Sweatpants are good for storing;
if the children or you grow taller or rounder they will still fit.
Where Do I Get it All?
You don’t have to buy everything new for adults or children you can find; hand-medowns, thrift shops, yard sales, end of season sales. If you find a good source of
inexpensive clothes, buy lots of things in all the average sizes. Remember that most
people will not be at all prepared for a crash so any clothes you don’t need will be
excellent barter items. Also some church clothes would be a great addition for longer
term storage.
Grab and Go Bag
Mild Weather
COLD Weather
1 pair sturdy pants
1 pair pants/sweats
1 heavy coat
1 set foam clothes
1 long sleeve shirt
3 short sleeve shirts
1 warm hat
1 sweatshirt
2 long sleeve shirts
2 pair warm mittens
3 underwear/socks
4 pairs underwear
1 scarf
1 pair sturdy shoes 4 pairs socks
1 good rain suit
1 hat/gloves
1 light jacket
1 pair winter boots
Shoes may be the most difficult clothing problem we have. The shoe purchase procedure
is the same as with your other clothing concerns: figure out what each child will need for
at least 1 year, allowing for growth, buy it now and put it away. Be sure and store
comfortable shoes that will hold up to lots of wear.
Severe Winter Weather Clothes
This may seem a bit extreme to some of you. However, there may come a time when
you will find clothing like this invaluable. If you are in a position to make or purchase
these, it would be a really good idea.
1 set PALS Clothes
1 pair good winter boots
1 good Rain Suit (Harbor freight)
“Anyone can be truly warm and comfortable at temperatures from above freezing to well
below zero with ease. It's not magic, it's science. The technology and equipment have
been in development for over 30 years. It is called "P.A.L.S." (The Phillips Arctic Living
System). P.A.L.S. is an approach to winter clothing with performance advantages over
anything you've ever worn. Simply described, the P.A.L.S. clothing system will (when
properly used) keep you dryer and warmer than other layered technology clothing on the
market.” Jim Phillips:
1” Foam Clothes
Winter Boots
Rain Suit
Sleeping Bags and Pads
(By Larry Bethers - edited by Debbie Kent)
A sleeping bag is a critical piece of survival equipment, especially in winter. Emergency
survival situations rarely occur on warm sunny days, and you can just about bet it will be
on a dark, rainy or snowy night when the world comes apart. Be respectful of your
sleeping bag, it could be the driest, warmest most comfortable shelter available when all
else is wet, cold and out of control.
How Sleeping Bags Work
A sleeping bag traps and holds air around your body. Your body warms the air, which is
in turn insulated by the sleeping bag. These fabric sheets are stuffed with various types of
material to trap air for insulation and comfort. Look for hoods too.
HINT: A fleece sleeping bag liner will add 10º-20º more in insulation value.
Types of Sleeping Bags
The two main shapes of sleeping bags are mummy and rectangular. These two shapes can
each be filled with either down or synthetic fill.
Mummy bags are tapered at the feet and insulate most effectively.
Rectangular bags permit more movement and comfort.
Evaluating and Comparing Sleeping Bags
Compare each bag for: temperature or comfort rating, total overall weight, size when
compressed, overall size, and types of insulation,
Temperature or comfort rating describes the minimum temperature the bag is designed
for. The ratings the manufacturer provides are only a guide. Select a bag with a
temperature rating that exceeds the low end of the temperature range you expect. Look
for a bag rated +35° for summer camping, +10° to +35° for spring and fall, a 0º bag for
cold weather or high altitude, and an "Extreme" or -30º bag for winter camping or if you
get cold easily. If a +20° F bag sounds right for you, a +10° bag would be better. If you
easily get too hot you can always undo the zipper to cool down.
Total overall weight: If you are just using it for “camping” then weight isn’t really a
concern. Fill weight just refers to the insulation weight.
Size when compressed. This is a personal choice.
Overall size is not to be taken lightly. Do you need a "regular" or "long" model? The
general rule is as follows: If you are no taller than 6 feet, choose a "regular" length bag. If
you are up to 6-feet-6, you want a "long" bag. If your waistline is more than 40", you
want a "long" bag. Bags that can zip together are also helpful.
Down filled bags weigh less and provide better insulation than synthetic-filled bags.
They also compress into smaller shapes and tend to be of better quality. However, if they
get wet their insulation value goes down to nothing.
Synthetic insulation bags are filled with materials such as Qualofill, Polarguard,
Thermolite, Hollofil, or Lamilite which will keep you very warm on cold nights. They are
bulkier than down bags and weigh more but they cost less, and a wet synthetic bag can
be wrung out when wet, and will still work well in keeping you warm
Garage Sales
local sport goods store
Sleeping Pad
Sleeping pads perform 2 important functions -- first, they provide an important layer
of insulation between you and the ground (to cut down on conductive heat loss).
Second, they keep you comfortable when you're sleeping on hard, uneven ground.
How do they work?
Sleeping pads insulate the same way that sleeping bags and clothing layers do. They trap
and hold a layer of dead (non-circulating) air between your body and the cold (in this
case, the cold ground). Your body gradually warms this layer of dead air and it becomes
an insulating barrier. How well this works depends upon how much air it holds inside and
how free that air is to circulate.
Things to think about when Choosing a Pad
The kinds of weather you expect- Plan for extreme cold.
The level of comfort you want while sleeping- some people prefer to save money, space
and weight by sticking with very basic pads. Others prefer to spend (and carry) a little
more to stay as comfortable as possible in the wilderness.
How much extra weight/bulk you want to carry with you- Thicker, more comfortable.
Consider Your Sleeping Pad Options
Air mattress
Open cell closed cell self-inflating Paco Pad Memory foam
Air mattresses- basic, inflatable air bladders (do not use pool mattresses)
Positives- They're comfortable, adjustable and inexpensive.
Negatives- They are heavy, bulky and they can be punctured/ripped easily. Air inside is
free to circulate, so they tend to be poor insulators. Bad Choice.
Open-cell foam pads- sponge-like foam pads made up of tiny, open air cells
Positives- They're comfortable, lightweight and inexpensive. The cells restrict air
circulation, so they are also more effective insulators than air mattresses.
Negatives- It is absorbent (bad if wet), is less insulating than closed-cell(must be four
times as thick to get the same insulation). Bulky, difficult to roll and not very durable.
Closed-cell foam pads- Made of dense foam filled with tiny closed air cells
Positives- They're cheap, durable (won't pop when tromped on) and extremely insulative
(almost no circulation of air in pad. Closed-cell foam is also non-absorbent.
Negatives- Relatively stiff and firm, with far less cushioning than open-cell foam
Self-inflating pads- open-cell foam pads wrapped in air-tight, waterproof nylon shells.
Positives- As comfortable as open-cell foam, good insulation and don’t soak up water.
They're adjustable (opening built-in air valves let you control the amount of air inside and
thus the firmness of the pad) and they're extremely compact when rolled up. Paco Pads
Negatives- They're more expensive than the options listed above. Can be punctured or
ripped (though field repairs are not difficult). Heavier than open or closed.
Memory Foam: Gets hard below 60°, Really Bad Choice
Try Before You Buy: check for comfort, ease of use, and quality.
Resources:,,,, sporting goods stores.
Bunk Bed
Single w/storage
Storage Space
Cot/Lounge chair
Cots have a similar purpose as pads, they add more comfort in sleeping and will give the
added bonus of storage under the cot. Cots have the added benefit in the summertime of
air flow underneath, however, in the winter you will need to add an air barrier under your
bag. They come in a variety of sizes; for kids, extra long and wide, double-decked,
double-wide, and short and tall. A couple of online places where they can be found are:
"When we really get into hard times, where food is scarce or there is none at all,
and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be
nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together
to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.' (Church News, November 21, 1953, p. 4.)"
Just like your house you want your tent to be able to protect you from the elements. A
fierce wind, or a drenching downpour tests the effectiveness of any tent, especially if it is
not built to take abuse. Your tent is an expensive investment, if it is properly treated, will
provide years of service. Get the right tent, and you can expect years of dependable
shelter from almost any storm you might encounter. There are many types of tents and
you may want to have a combination: screen tents, summer tent, cooking tent, 3-Season
Tent, and a 4-Season or Winter Tent.
3 Season
4 Season
Kinds of Tents
Summer and Screen
Primarily used as shade provider for summer outings with a roof that protects against
light summer rains, and large mesh panels in almost every wall to keep the breeze
flowing in and the insects out. The large space design is perfect for summer family
camping. They can come in many varieties, including models that are all screen,
providing shade, and area for outdoor food preparation, eating and bug free chatting.
They worthless when the weather turns cold or there is wind, rain or snow.
Cooking Tent: You will want to have a separate tent for cooking/washing. There are a
couple of reasons for this. You don’t want the walls, sleeping bags, etc. to have a coating
of cooking grease on them and more importantly you don’t want the inside of your
sleeping quarters to have even the smell of food which every camper knows is an
invitation for insects and varmints small and LARGE to visit you. It needs to be well
ventilated and can have an eating area.
Three-season tents are for just that - protection for you in spring, summer or fall. Usually,
they will have numerous options for ventilation such as mesh ceiling panels and
windows. However, they are also provided with a sturdy rain fly that can be quickly
installed to protect against downpours, dampen the wind, and hold in heat on those cold
spring and fall nights. Some three-season tents are even convertible to four-season, or
winter tents. These models will have a zippered nylon panel that can be used to block off
all of the ventilation panels, giving you an option for all seasons.
A four-season tent has to be able to keep out the cold, stand up to strong winds, brush off
heavy snow, and generally repel all forms of precipitation. It also should ventilate well.
In dry, cold air, you exhale about a liter of moisture overnight. If trapped inside the tent,
that moisture will transform into frost covering your walls and ceiling come morning, it
can "snow" down on your bag and clothing or melt during the day, rendering your tent
wet and heavy. High-end winter tents feature hooded, zippered vents that can be left open
in any weather. These vents are usually located at the top of the tent so warm, moist air
can escape. At a minimum, you'll want a tent with two-way zippers on the tent body and
rain fly doors. That way you can leave a crack open at the top of the tent rather than at the
bottom, to release moisture without directing an icy draft on sleeping campers. Some
come with extras such as a removable floor panel to put in a wood burning stove, and a
stove jack for the roof.
Tent Styles
Wall Tent
Modified A-frame: Named for it’s “A “shape. It has a center hoop pole or diagonal center
poles which causes the sidewalls to be angled outward to increase the space within. This
increases the lateral stability, helping the tent to hold its own against the wind.
Dome Tents: They come in many shapes and sizes that slightly resemble a curved dome.
They are very strong due to their shape and the modern materials used in the frames and
covers. The curved sidewalls shed rain and snow, causing it to run off before it can
collect and with no straight walls wind is deflected. Dome tents are also freestanding.
This means you can put the tent together without first staking it down. Then you can
position it on the desired location and secure it with stakes. Domes are constructed with
interconnected bars that criss-cross, forming a frame to support the fabric. The result is a
large room inside the tent with up to 50% more room than the A-frame design. The
number and strength of the poles determine the amount of structural stability. Some with
their criss-crossing poles can handle hurricane force winds.
Wall Tents: They have been around for hundreds of years and proven themselves in all
types of weather. They can be any size. A big down side to wall tents is their weight,
flat walls that resist high winds and guide ropes that extend far beyond the sides.
Tipi: The best design was by the Plaines tribes. They were the innovators of the open
flap at the top to be adjusted for air circulation in hot or cold weather. The flaps also
allow for an open fire inside. Tipi's can be small or extremely large. Tipi's are heavy and
have long poles to consider when transporting. They are wind resistant due to their
Choosing a Tent
Purpose of Tent: For summer, cold or rainy weather, for backpacking, for
a temporary home after a disaster, by a whole family or just one person.
All of these will determine the kind and size of tent you will need. Prepare
for the worst conditions.
Size: The size of a tent is normally determined by how many people can
sleep on the floor if packed together like sardines. You really need to
check out the actual floor dimensions of each model since the "man"
ratings can definitely be misleading. If it says 4 man, that really means
sleeping for 2 along with some supplies.
Weight: Weight is a consideration because you will have to move your
tent. It is great if it can be divided up in 50 lb or less packages, instead of
one, large 100+ lb package that would take many men and a truck to
move. For backpackers; the lighter the better.
Easy of Set-up: Can it be set up quickly and easily by one person or does
it take hours with two or more people. Laminate instructions and keep
with tent, set up before needed.
Windows/Doors: Does it have several windows and two doors for cross
ventilation and good netting for looking thorough and keeping out the
insects as well as a way to zip them closed? For cold weather, does it have
vent for moisture from breathing?
Fly: For a 3 or 4 season tent you need a full fly that extends all the way
over the tent and down the sides and stands out from the tent. This will not
only repel water and snow, but add a layer of dead air to keep it warmer.
Poles: Steel poles are used in older model family and cabin tents. They are
strong and provide sturdy support, but they are heavy. Aluminum poles are
more expensive, but they are much lighter in weight and offer greater
strength. Look for aluminum poles such as a 6000-7000 series alloy to
provided a bit more strength.
Tent Fabric/Fly/Seams: Fabric should be strong, durable and tear resistant.
It should be light colored for summer, dark for cold weather. The tent floor
and fly should be waterproof, but not the tent walls. The fly should be a full
fly. A decent value for waterproofness is 1000-1500mm. All seams should
be double or triple stitched with small stitches and sealed. Reseal seams
completely each year: put on a coat, dry 2 hours, repeat.
Zippers: Are they heavy duty, do the zippers open and close easily on
windows and doors, do they that cuffs to keep rain out, do they get stuck?
Vestibules: Vestibules are the front or back porches of a tent. They are
usually an extension of the rain fly, and therefore, they usually have no
floor. They provide an area for wet gear and even cooking. Some are
roomier creating a small second room.
Stakes: In mild weather, staking merely keeps the floor taut; however, if
you expect windy conditions, good-long sturdy stakes are recommended.
Always have extra stakes.
Tarps: Under tent: 2” smaller than tent floor-protects floor, Inside tent: 4” bigger than
floor- protects floor and keeps inside of tent dry during hard rains.
Extras: Hammer, shovel (to flatten out area), broom, repair kit, seam sealant.
Practice Makes Perfect: Don’t wait until a disaster strikes to put
together your tent. Have several dry runs either on a weekend campout
or in the backyard for weekend sleep outs.
Shelter Goals:
Where to Find Good Tents,
Appropriate Clothes and shoes for each family member
Good Sleeping bag and if possible pad or cot (per person)
A Good Tent
“Store enough drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be
polluted or disrupted. Water is more essential than food in sustaining life.”
Store clean water before the crisis.
Water is essential for life. Most of us just take it for granted. We turn on the faucet and
clean clear water comes out day and night. It is not until some major disaster or calamity
occurs that the true value of water truly becomes apparent. In some cases it becomes
“more valuable than gold.” Many of us may be prepared with our 72 hour emergency kits
which contain a bottle or two of water. But how many of us are really prepared for an
emergency that could last for a week, a month, several months….and yes, perhaps even
up to a year.” There is much information out there about storing water. The following
are some ideas of what is the best and safest way to store and treat water.
Two important considerations to drinking stored water are:
Safety: It has been treated to kill the unseen “buggies”(additives/pasteurization)
Taste: Aeration (shaking to add air) and/or filtering
Read “Treating Water” section below for detailed information about this.
Store at LEAST 15 gallons per person, 2-55 gallon per person preferable, and THEN
purchase some type of water filter/purifier that will allow you to make available a
larger supply of safe drinking water.
Other Sources of drinking water: Toilet Tanks and Water Heater; pool for washing water.
How Much? One Gallon, per person, per day x14 days=14 gallons
FEMA recommends a minimum of ½ gallon per person per day; more for children or in
times of stress or in hot climates. Most recommendations are 1 gallon per person per day
for drinking. Allow more for first aid, cooking, cooling down, etc. (minimum 2 gallons
per person per day)
My recommended amount?: 3-55 gallon barrel per person = 8-12 week supply)
Water Storage Containers
New 55 gallon food grade barrels (blue) BEST for drinking; Cheapest and easiest way
to store water. New blue barrels are safest for drinking water as they do not provide a
residual food source for bacteria or any residual tastes and block UV rays which feed
mold growth, rotate 2-5 years. Used barrels are safe for washing or drinking IF you can
purify and filter to be sure water is safe. Rotate water yearly.
Blue Plastic Drums (5, 15, and 30 gallon) Cost: New $38-90 Used: $10-20.
Tanks: 275 or 525 gallon tank, $450-$575; (
Totes (hard and soft) 100+ gallon (
Mylar water storage bags in cardboard boxes, or collapsible jugs
Clear plastic soda bottles with screw on lids (PETE), bottled water
Pools: washing water only
NOT soft plastic water bottles (leak) or bleach bottles or milk jugs (not safe).
Where to Store
Store where easily accessible for emergency use and water source to fill. Best stored in
dark, cool place. Can be stored outside, off of ground, covered, in shade if possible.
Store away from insecticides, petroleum or anything else with a strong odor.
Cleaning Barrels
FEMA recommends that used containers to be used for storing water be
rinsed with a diluted bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water before
filling and roll around to clean then empty and rinse thoroughly 3 times (use
regular Clorox Bleach - must not contain soaps or scents).
New barrels just need to be rinsed out.
Filling 55 Gallon Barrels
Put barrel where it will be stored (weighs @450 lbs when full). Use plastic hose* to fill
allowing water to run clear for a few minutes before filling to wash out any sitting water.
Clean water in, clean water out. Fill, leaving 2”space at top to allow for freezing. Add
additive when filling so it can be thoroughly mixed through water.
*White Hose: (can be found at RV suppliers / Walmart). NOT rubber garden hose
(Consumer Report May 2003 “Dare you Drink from a Garden Hose”)
Additives for Long Term Storage:
Water Preserver
Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen
Also Needed:
Bung Wrenches- required to open and close
Pump or Siphons- to pump water out of barrels (at least 2)
Portable Dispensers- 5 gallon jugs; easy house usage and for evacuating
Storage Ideas
Treating Drinking Water
Remember: During a crisis you must consider all water (including ground
water or tap water) to be contaminated and dangerous and it should be
purified and before drinking. Water may look and smell okay, but bacteria or
microorganisms or toxins with nice little names like Giardia, Lamblia or
Cryptosporidium may still be lurking in the water waiting to cause gastrointestinal
problems. It is crucial to use only treated water for; drinking, cooking, dish rinsing,
hand washing, cleaning, cooking, bathroom surfaces, any prepared drinks, making ice
cubes and brushing teeth.
Treating Water 3 Step Process
Pre-Filtering: removes what you can see: silt and sediments (coffee filter)
Sanitize: kills what you can’t see: nitrates kills pathogens, bacteria and virus, etc.
Filter/Purify: removes chemicals, chemicals, metal, VOC’s; makes it taste good
Be prepared to use several ways to pre-filter, sanitize,& purify water.
Coffee Filter
Cloth Diapers
You want to remove all visible solids by filtering water through a porous
membrane such as cloth or coffee filters. Greatly extends life of filters and purifiers.
Ways to Sanitize Water
In order to kill pathogens in water you have to sanitize it. This can be done by: boiling;
with the Sun; with Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen; with ozone; with chemicals (Purification
tablets or Iodine or bleach); or with distillation. These methods will kill the
bacteria/viruses but won’t do anything for the taste or getting rid of chemicals or heavy
metals. For that you want a good filter. Pool water NOT safe to drink even if filtered.
Boiling Pasteuration WAPI A.S. O2
Distilling GSE
Boiling: Boiling has been the traditional way to treat water. It does a good job of killing
parasites, bacteria, and viruses but it does not neutralize any chemicals or improve the
taste. The old way was to boil for 5-10 minutes, now, just bring to a boil.
Solar purification:
When water is heated to 165º for 10 minutes it kills all bacteria, parasites and viruses.
Water is pasteurized most quickly (@ 2 hours in mid-day) when put in black bottles or
thin black pots w/ lids in a solar oven. If NOT using a solar cooker, then it could take 4-6
hours in sun to pasteurize. Let cool before drinking.
WAPI's are used to monitor water pasteurization. These are small tubes with soy wax in
them that act as a kind of thermometer. When the wax melts and goes to bottom you
know it is safe to drink. (For more info and to purchase:
Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen: ( Aerobic Oxygen is safe, non-toxic, and
destroys harmful bacteria without the need to boil the water. Unlike chlorine or iodine,
Stabilized Oxygen acts selectively and DOES NOT harm beneficial aerobic bacteria
which is needed for good health. It kills any infectious disease such as: Salmonella,
Cholera, E.Coli, Streptococcus, Pseudamonas, and Staphyloccus A and Giardia-Lamblia.
Directions: Immediate Drinking :20 drops per gal. for potable water purification; 20
drops per 8 oz. of questionable water; 20 drops per gal. for water storage. ½ bottle per 55gallon barrel. Bacterial contamination on food: 60 drops to a gal. of water, spray or dip
food for 30 seconds or more. It can be used as "natural" antibiotic and to disinfects
scratches, cuts and minor wounds. It has an unlimited shelf life. ( $18)
Ozone: Ozone, aka O3 is made with oxygen and electricity. It is many times more
powerful as a purifier than bleach. The down side is it needs electricity and has a short
life span. Ozone is used to purify all bottled water we buy. Ozone machines cost as
little as $150 or a house unit for about $1,500.
Micropur Tablets: The only purification tablets that are EPA registered on the market.
They are effective against viruses, bacteria, cryptosporidium, and Giardia. Unlike iodine
tablets, these tablets leave you with only the taste of fresh water. Each tablet treats up to
one liter of water, eliminating all microorganisms. Tablets come in a bottle of 30.
( $13)
Bleach: (unscented Clorox) When storing outside in hot climates.
(if storing in cool/dark places like a basement then 1 t.= 55 gal)
amount of water
clear water cloudy water
1 quart
1 drops
2 drops
1 gallon
4 drops
8 drops
5 gallons
1/4 t.
1/2 t.
55 gallons
2 T.
¼ c.
Before drinking shake vigorously for 30 seconds, let sit uncovered for 1 hour before
Distillation: It is a process of boiling the water and collecting the evaporated of water.
This method does not remove all chemicals but it does give you clean water from
polluted or salt water. The easiest form of distillation is solar but you can also boil it.
This method does not make much water nor does it taste very good. 1.2 hours to distill 1
gallon of water. (that is a lot of fuel) Cost: about $300 for non-electric.
GSE Nutribiotic (Grapefruit Seed Extract): Put 5 drops in 16 oz water and let sit for 30
before drinking. Has bitter taste, best w/juice. Can also be used to wash fruits, vegetables
and meat, sanitizing, and as a natural antibiotic. See complete list at end of handout. This
is used by people serving missions in South America and other places to prevent diarrhea.
Water Preserver: is a liquid additive that disinfects, preserves and extends the safe
storage life of emergency drinking water. The first and only product accepted and
proven safe for 5-year water storage. It is recognized and licensed by U.S. and state
EPA's. It kills, and prevents the re-growth of Coli form bacteria and other diseasecausing microorganisms for 5 years and also the pathogenic organisms responsible for
typhoid, dysentery and other serious diseases. It also kills and prevents growth of yeast,
mold, fungi and algae which also make water undrinkable.
Kaydyn Filter
Katydyn Filter
Big Berkey
Homemade Berkey
Filter: The technical classification of a filter is removing .20 to 4.0 microns. They will
also remove chemicals; like chlorine and lead and heavy metals. High end ones will
remove most pathogens like bacteria and cysts but they will NOT remove all viruses.
Low end Filters (meaning they only remove a few chemicals and bacteria, silt):
homemade and Pur/Britta
Filter/Purifier: Most have activated carbon to remove some chemicals and improve
taste. Most also have a ceramic filter impregnated with silver or iodine that kill the micro
organisms, bacteria and viruses and filter them out. What this means is very clean, good
tasting water. A good purifier can cost between $180-$900 but it also comes with the
benefit of filtering out everything mentioned above plus it may removes viruses such as
Hepatitis A, Polio, and Norwalk. These include: Katadyn’s, Aqua Rain’s and Berkey’s.
Filter Choices
When looking for a water filter or purifier, you first need to decide where and how often
you will use it. Filters are offered in many sizes, models, and prices to fit you and your
budget. Also, be sure to look at the output rate. Some only put out one quart per hour,
others seven gallons per hour. Also remember that purifiers can be used to filter your
everyday drinking water. Don’t forget to buy extra filters.
Hint: Use pre-filter to extend the life of your filters and purifiers.
Aqua Rain
Light & Big Berkey
Katadyn Pocket Micro Expedition Water Straw
AquaRain Natural Water Filter: It has 4 filters, and will filter up to 1 gallon per hour,
up to 2,500 gallons per filter, of good, clean drinking water for a total of 10,000 gallons.
The ceramic filter removes cysts and bacteria. Inside the hard ceramic shell there is a
concentrated bed of Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC) that contains a self-sterilizing
metallic silver. The silvered GAC absorbs various chemicals and improves the taste and
odor of the water ( Cost $319).
Berkey’s: These filters with the Black Purification Elements claim to be the most
powerful gravity filter element currently available. They are classified as a purifier. The
filter elements have micro-pores so small that harmful pathogenic bacteria, cysts, or
parasites cannot pass through them. The filters also remove and reduce unwanted
chemicals, solvents, metals, etc. foul tastes and odors and are self-sterilizing. Yet they
leave in the healthful and beneficial minerals that your body needs. They filter up to 3000
gallons per element. (For complete list of filtering results see
Berkey Light is made of Lexan, the same material used to make bullet-proof glass. It's
upper chamber contains 2 Black Burkey purification elements which filter 2-4 gallons of
water per hour, up to 30 gallons per day, into the 2.75 gallon reservoir. ($209)
Big Berkey: It produces 3.5 gallons with 2 filters or 7 gallons per hour with four
elements. The Big Berkey® has a 2.25 gallon storage capacity. Cost: $250
Seychelle: Provides great-tasting water wherever you are. Ideally suited for situations
where the drinking water source is questionable or not disinfected. It removes up to 99.99
percent of pollutants and contaminants found in drinking water. Cleans up to 100 gallons
of water per filter. Great for 72 hour kits and every day. Cost $22
Katadyn Gravidyn is a no-pump gravity filter for providing drinking water for families,
groups, and camps. The Gravidyn features a 2.5-gallon water container and a simple
water dispenser valve. The unit's three silver impregnated ceramic elements with built-in
carbon cores will filter 1 gallon per hour, up to 39,000 gallons. These field-cleanable
elements bacteria and protozoa and they also reduce chemicals in the water.
( Cost: $169)
Katadyn Pocket Microfilter is the most rugged, highest-capacity microfilter on the
market. Katadyn's exclusive silver-impregnated ceramic element eliminates most
waterborne bacteria, protozoa and cysts, and filters up to 13,000 gallons before needing
to replace the cartridge. The heavy-duty construction lasts throughout your travels and
comes with a lifetime guarantee. Includes prefilter, bottle clip, carry bag, measuring
gauge and cleaning pad. Filter rate: 1 qt. per min. ( $240)
Katadyn Expedition Water Filter: The indestructible high performance filter. It is ideal
for large groups and relief organizations. It is indestructible and easy to use. The best
choice for expeditions, river raftings, camps, etc. It's 0.2 micron ceramic depth filter
technology will output up to 4- liters per minute. It's cartridge capacity is up to 100,000
liters (depending on water quality) ( $900)
Frontier Water Filter Straw safely filters contaminants down to two microns in size,
including commonly found pathogens such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Can be used
to drink from any bottle, cup or directly from water sources. Ultra-lightweight and
compact size fits easily into the smallest daypack, fanny pack or emergency kits.
( $10)
Goal: Good: 15 gallons of water per person
Better: 2-55 gal. drums & 1-5 gal. jug (per person), pump and bung wrench
Best: Filtering system. Include: pre-filter, sanitizing and filtering processes.
Bestest: We really suggest to prepare for 90 days (3-55 gallon drums + filter)
I am not sure you could store too much water.
The biggest cause of death after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 that
initially killed over 230,000 was the lack of clean water and poor sanitation practices in
the weeks and months AFTER the wave hit. During times of emergency it is critical that
sanitation be strictly observed in the cleaning of clothing, bedding materials, and all
kitchen and food preparation utensils. Typhoid fever, amoebic dysentery, diarrhea,
infectious hepatitis, salmonella and Giardia are diseases that spread rapidly in times of
emergency and threaten all, yet are all diseases that can easily be controlled by simply
following the rules of good sanitation.
Clean Body
Hand Washing
Sponge Bath Solar Shower
Hand Washing / Sanitizer: Keeping hands clean by washing often with an anti-bacterial
liquid soap and or with use of sanitizer is extremely important in unclean conditions.
Wipes also helpful to wipe hands and faces.
Goal: 3 bottles per person of each PLUS lotion to prevent drying and cracking of skin.
Teeth: Having clean teeth not only helps you feel better but reduces infections of the
gums. (swish with Hydrogen Peroxide good for infections)
Goal: 1 toothbrush, 1 floss and 1 tube toothpaste per person (x4 for year supply)
Sponge Water Baths: Water is precious resource in emergencies. When you need to
bathe, use a small amount of water and sponge/washcloth to wash, share water, if
possible (no illness) cleanest to dirtiest.
Goal: Small tub; washcloth, soap, towel (per person)
Solar Shower Solar Heater Propane Heater
Portable Showers
Solar Shower
Shower: (if enough water) Solar Showers and propane heated showers are available as
well as portable shower enclosures that include a shelf for the solar shower.
Available at: and and camping supply stores.
Soap: Cuts down on grease, oil, grime and germs keeping us not only fresh and clean but
healthier too. Soap comes in bar and liquid forms. Can sit on a ledge or hang on a rope. It
can be store bought or homemade from simple, natural ingredients. The choices are
Goal: 1 bar of soap per month and 2 washcloths and towels per person.
Clean Clothes
In emergency situations that last longer than a few days, you will need to wash at the very
least your underclothes and socks to prevent fungal growth/infections. You will need the
following supplies: Tub, plunger, heavy rubber gloves (to protect hands), clothes line,
clothes pins, laundry soap, and washboard/brush.
Washing Clothes
Hand Washing
Washer Board Rapid Washer
Bucket washer Wonder
To wash your clothes there are several methods available:
Hand Washing: Let clothes soak in soapy water 1 hour before washing. Start with
lightest colored, least dirty clothes. Scrubbing then squeeze and scrunch and swish and
scrub them with your hands and against each other; using a floor scrubbing brush on the
work clothes that are very dirty. Squeeze out, then swish in clean rinse bucket, squeeze
then rinse in 2nd clean water bucket. It takes about 15 minutes (not including soak time)
to wash and rinse a large load of laundry without power. You can use cold water (if warm
water is wanted can heat in black tub in sun (summer), in solar oven or on stove).
Bucket: Use a 5-6 gal. bucket with a 2” hole cut in lid, use clean toilet plunger or a rapid
washer, Use 3 buckets; one for washing, two for rinsing. (the rinse tub then becomes the
wash tub to save water).
Washboard and/or Soft Brush: for really dirty clothes (
Rapid Washer ( $13): plunger type washer, much more effective than
hand-washing alone. All you do is raise and lower it like a plunger. The special internal
baffle sends water rushing through clothes to flush out dirt.
Wonder Washer (Emergency Essentials $47): The Wonder Washer has a 15 quart
capacity and is great for camping and for emergency use.
Wringing and Drying
Mop & bucket press
Drying Racks
Wringers: After rinsing run through ringer to remove excess water.
( $135-185,, $110, Ebay, 2nd hand Store).
You can twist clothes or use mop wringer but does not wring out as much water.
Bucket Press: 3-5 gal buckets: 1) reg.w/lid, 2.)lots little holes in bottom, 3) 1”drain holes
in side at bottom.. Put rinsed clothes in #2, put #2 in #3, put #1 on top. Sit on stack,
pressing water out.
Drying: Summer... hang the clothes outside on clothesline. For heavy clothes return
every once in a while and squeeze the water from the bottoms.
Winter...Use accordion -style wooden racks to dry the clothes near the woodstove.
Clothesline: Use nylon rope or coated wire and lots of clothespins, (
Drying Racks: Take up little space for indoor or outdoor drying.
Found at: local stores, and
Goal: Washing tub and implements; laundry soap; drying implements
Laundry Soap
You can store your own favorite liquid soap or make your own for pennies a load.
Liquid Soap Homemade Ingredients
Homemade Dry Homemade Liquid
To Make Laundry soap:
For laundry soap making videos: you search box): homemade laundry soap
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap (hard water version) See handout
1/2 - 3/4 c. per load = 64 loads .01 per load
For One Year Supply: 1-Box Washing Soda, 2-box Borax, 6-bars soap (about $18)
6 c. Hot Water
Bar Soap (1/2 bar:Fels Naptha or Zote or 1 bar Ivory) see below
3/4 c. Washing Soda (A & H) see above
3/4 c. Borax (20 mule team) see below
2 gal bucket w/ lid to mix in
4 c. hot water & 1 gal + 6 c. cold water
10-15 drops essential oil (for fragrance – optional)
Grate soap and add into sauce pan with 6 c. hot water and heat on low until dissolved.
Takes about 10 minutes. Stir in washing soda and Borax. Stir until thickened and remove
from heat. Put 4 c. water to bucket, add soap mixture and mix well, add in essential oil
(opt). Add cold water stir. Let sit for 24 hours and it will gel. Store covered or used liquid
laundry soap bottles or 1 gal.water jugs; keep labeled. This is a low, sudsing soap. It can
be used in HE machines. For really dirty cloths, use ¾ c. soap and/or Oxyclean.
Homemade Dry Laundry Detergent
(1-2 T. per load / 56 loads)
1 c. Bar Soap (Fels Naptha /Zote ½ bar or Ivory 1-bar)
Zote: 99 Cent Store; Fels Naptha: Walmart, Albertsons, Winco
1 c. Powdered Borax (20 Mule team Borax) found at Walmart, Winco laundry isle.
1 c. Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda- Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda.)
Grate bar soap into fine flakes; mix in borax and soda until blended. Store in airtight
Homemade Fabric Softener Mix and use (1/4 c. per load).
2 c. cold water
1 c. baking soda
1 c. vinegar
Citrus Fabric Softener
1 gallon white vinegar
Rind from two large oranges.
Cut rind into strips to tuck in jug and set it aside for two weeks. Use ¼ c. in washing
machine fabric softener dispenser.
All-purpose fantastic cleaner
1 t. borax*
1/2 t. washing soda
2 T. vinegar
1/2 t. liquid dish soap
2 c. very hot tap water
Combine the borax, washing soda, vinegar and liquid soap in a spray bottle. Add very hot
tap water, shaking the bottle gently until the minerals have dissolved.
All-purpose floor cleaner
2 T. liquid dish soap
1/2 c. vinegar
2 gal. warm water
Put soap and vinegar in the bottom of a bucket. Fill the bucket with warm water, swishing
the ingredients around a bit to activate the soap. Wash the floor as you normally would.
Overnight toilet cleaner
Pour 1 c. borax into the bowl before going to sleep at night. In the morning the stains will
be effortlessly brushed away.
Heavy duty tile cleaner
1 c. Super Washing Soda
Scoop some washing soda onto a damp sponge, wash tiles, and rinse well. Washing soda
has good grease-cutting ability and is an odor absorber. This recipe is recommended only
for heavy cleaning jobs because the washing soda requires a lot of rinsing.
Mold & Mildew Cleaner
1 quart water
1 qt white vinegar
1 tsp. laundry soap
Spray or apply with a sponge and scrub the moldy area. Rinse well.
Disinfectant and mold killer
1 t.-1/4 cup borax
Up to 2 cups hot tap water
Place the borax in a container and dissolve completely in hot tap water. Saturate a sponge
with the mixture and wash the moldy area. If really moldy, use an even higher
concentration of borax and/or leave the solution on for a few hours or overnight, then
rinse well. The more borax, the more residue to rinse off, but borax really works. This
can even be used to clean plaster walls that have been penetrated by mold by using an
almost straight borax paste. Leave the borax on the walls for a number of days and when
it is completely dry, and vacuum up the powder.
Pet Stain Carpet Cleaner
12 oz hydrogen peroxide
1/2 a teaspoon of dish soap 1 1/2 t. baking soda.
Pour all ingredients in a plastic trigger bottle and gently tilt back and forth until mixed.
Test this on a hidden piece of carpet first. Completely saturate the stain then block it off
to keep pets and kids out of it and let it dry on its own. Note: it bubbles up a lot as it
dissolves the stain also releasing the smell into the air so this is best done on a day when
you won’t be in that room for a couple hours.
Washing: Wash dishes in hot water with anti-bacterial soap whenever possible, rinse in
sanitized water and allow to air dry (germs can hide in towels). You can sanitize dishes in
a solar cooker (leave in for 1 hour in full sun).
Have 2 tubs: 1 wash – 1 rinse
Drying Dishes: Let air dry on rack instead of towel drying.
Sanitizing: You can put non-plastic dishes in solar oven to sanitize.
Other Ideas
Paper Products(cups/plates/utensils/napkins)are VERY useful if low water supply.
Goals: Laundry and Dish Soap for one year, tubs and rack for washing dishes.
Human Waste / Garbage Disposal
What will you do if your toilet stops flushing and no one is coming to take your garbage
away? If an emergency like this happens you MUST find a way to safely dispose of the
human waste (sewage) and garbage yourself. If you don’t, you will soon be spending
most of your time and energy treating sick people, including yourself.
The three most important things to do are:
Bury or store all garbage and human waste at least 100 feet away from water
wells or open water and at least 18 inches deep.
 Keep flies, roaches and animals out of the sewage and garbage.
 Wash or clean your hands whenever you handle something dirty, BEFORE you
touch something that might be touched by someone else.
Human Waste
Water Off
Plug Drains
If no water service. Turn off water, plug drain to shower/tub and toilets with rubber ball
(pumpball), in old sock (sock is to make removal easier), covered in Vaseline (prevents
backup smells) or seal up with plastic and duct tape.
Emergency Toilets
Keep toilets covered when not in use.
2 kinds of emergency toilets: Traditional (non-composting) and Composting.
Emergency Toilet Hints
*Change bag when ½ full. Tightly close top of bag.
*Carefully put in pail or something sturdy to move bag (really bad when bag rips open).
*Bury it at least 18” deep because dogs can sniff through 16” of dirt and they will dig it
up and then the rodents will LOVE it. If you won’t have to unbury bag, when bag is in
bottom of hole poke a couple holes with shovel and then cover completely with dirt.
Leave extra dirt piled so you remember where you buried it.
*If the ground is frozen use a pick ax.
* If you don’t have a yard to bury it in find one.
Traditional Emergency Toilets (non –composting)
Home Toilet
Luggable Loo
Collapsible Hassock
Home Toilet Conversion: With water turned off, flush toilet a couple of times to
completely drain the toilet bowl. While wearing gloves, spray toilet with a 10-1 water to
bleach solution, wash then dry thoroughly. Put rubber ball, in old sock, smothered in
Vaseline and shove tightly into hole. Line the bowl with a sturdy plastic bag and tape
down with duct tape. Put sturdy 13-gallon, trash bag inside the line toilet and either tape
down or lower seat to hold in place..
Portable Toilets: These are plastic buckets with seats that are used like the Home Toilet
Conversion, except you only use one Heavy (2-3 ply) 13 gallon bag in the bucket. Large
families might want to have two.
Bucket: a bucket with a toilet seat resting on top.
Luggable Loo: 5 gallon bucket with seat and cover combo that effortlessly snaps-on andoff for easy assembly and cleaning. $18
Collapsible: Folding toilet chair, with padded seat, it uses bags for waste $24
Hassock: Lightweight, self-contained toilet. It has a removable inner bucket that allows
for easy disposal. Lid has storage for one roll of toilet paper. $34
Found at: Walmart,,,
Trench Latrine (for longer term): Use a shovel to dig a pit 4-6 feet deep and 1 foot wide.
Place a bucket/box/ barrel or anything with a hole in it that you can sit on over the pit.
Whatever you do you MUST cover the pit and toilet tightly so that flies cannot get in it
while no one is using it. Clean seat regularly with water/bleach solution. When the pit
fills to within eighteen inches of the top, fill the hole with clean dirt and mound it over.
Traditional Emergency Toilet Additives
With either the Home Toilet or a Portable toilet you will need add one of the following to
help break down “your deposit” and keep the smell down.
Powdered Chlorinated Lime & Borax: Sprinkle “your deposit” with 1 T. each, keep in
covered pail (Lime at Lowe’s by bricks-$8.50 for 50 lb.bag) Helps with smell and
breaking it down. For family of 6 - 6 months.
Bio-Gels (digester/deodorant): Put one packet of each in (Walmart)
Pooh Powder: mix of a non-toxic absorbent (similar to what is in baby diapers), along
with an organic decay catalyst an odor neutralizer (no perfumes). When liquid waste
comes in contact with the powder, the powder gels the liquid waste, encapsulates the
solid waste, removes odors and begins the decay process One scoop treats about 32oz of
waste. Container contains 120 uses.
Supersorb: Sprinkle 1 T. over “deposit”. It absorbs 60 times its own weight immediately;
eliminates odors; lemon scent. $8 for 12 oz canister. (janitorial supply)
Composting Toilets
( large area-long term)
A long term method of disposing human waste is found in the Humanure Handbook, it
can be download for free at
Guide to Humanure
Sawdust Toilet
Composting Schedule
Humanure Piles
Using a Sawdust Toilet
“The sawdust toilet works on the principle of aerobic (with air) decomposition, as
opposed to sewer, septic or lagoon systems that use anaerobic (absence of air)
decomposition. Aerobic decomposition is what makes compost, leaf litter, etc. and
results in an earthy smell. The sawdust toilet can consist of a 5-gallon bucket housed in a
box. It's "flushed" by covering with dry, organic material. We found that sawdust works
best and provides as much odor control as a conventional flush toilet. When the bucket is
full, it's covered and taken out to the composting area and dumped. The fresh contents
are covered with some of the older compost. The bucket is washed out, sprayed with a
bit of bleach water and returned to the box. In the year that we've used it, we've noticed
no flies, no worms, no evidence of animal activity and no odor from the composting
area. After about 9 months we started a new pile, and now the original pile is
decomposing nicely and has shrunk to less than 1/2 it's initial size. The whole project has
worked so well that we've decided that in our situation it just doesn't make sense to waste
good water with poop.” Human manure can be composted with organic garbage.
Composting Toilet AdditivesOrganic (sawdust, leaves, shredded paper, grass clippings, etc). Put 2 inches in bottom of
“toilet”. When done with “your deposit” cover completely with 1 inch of composting
material. When bucket is ½ full dump in middle of composting pile and cover with layer
of hay or other organic material.
Other things you will definitely want to have on hand
Flannel Squares Peri Bottle
Kotex Heavy Gloves Trash ‘Bag Sanitizer
Toilet Paper (5 rolls per person, per month)
Flannel Squares (reusable TP)(4”double thick/edged, put in bleach/water after use, wash)
Peri Bottles – used to rinse off (if lots of water available) (
Feminine Hygiene Products (sanitary pads/ tampons)
Heavy Duty Gloves: At least 4 pairs for cleaning
Heavy Duty Trash Bags: (trash compactor bags work best) 90-365 bags.
Sanitizer: To clean toilet area. (bleach water or steramine in spray bottle)
Privy (potty room)
If you don’t want to smell up your house or just be doing your business in the middle of
your yard, then you will want to think of how you can have some privacy.
Basic Model: $20+ PVC pipe and tarp or shower curtain
Prefab Privy: Shower tent $50-$100 (at Walmart, Cabela’s, Sportsmans Warehouse)
Deluxe: Wooden Outhouse
Ropes/sheets-tarps, Portable (, or Outhouse
Goal: Toilet; additive; toilet brush, sanitizer; shovel; toiletries; Privy, hygiene supplies
13-gallon trash bags (trash compacter bags- Costco $12=60 bags).
Garbage is trash that has food or anything else it in that would attract insects, rats or other
critters. It should not be allowed to accumulate where these pests can get into it. If
garbage service is expected to resume in a few days then dry garbage should be tightly
sealed in bags or kept in tightly covered garbage cans. If garbage service is out for more
several weeks and you are unable to store it, then whatever can’t be reused, or fed to the
animals should be burned or buried. Avoid keeping garbage inside your shelter.
Bagging: Crush containers to make them smaller. Garbage should be drained before
being placed in storage containers. If liquids are strained away, garbage may be stored for
a longer period of time without developing an unpleasant odor. Liquid wastes that don’t
have a lot of fat in them can be poured out outside if kept more that 100 feet from open
bodies of water and water wells. Keep all garbage in a closed container. A tight-fitting lid
is important to keep out flies and other insects.
Burying: If no can space is available in covered containers, dig a hole deep enough to
cover trash with at least 18-24 inches of dirt, which will prevent insect breeding and
discourage animals from digging it up. If burial is not possible then it will have to be
Burning (not toilet paper) To burn garbage you must use a metal barrel with holes in the
bottom and a grate or screen over the top to act as a spark arrester to prevent wildfires.
Only dry garbage should be burned. Wet garbage should be buried.
Garbage Goal: Heavy Trash bags; shovel; covered trash cans; matches (to burn trash)
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