Saturday, August 13, 2011

Preparedness Challenge 21 - Sanitation

This week on the Preparedness Challenge I made a jar of refrigerator pickles! :) It may not seem like much, but I did it and now I know I can do it. The recipe is for the fridge or I can can them. I am going to give a try at preserving this month too. I have been reading all of your canning blogs and I am so inspired to get something done. I only have a water bath right now but I can preserve using other methods too. We are going to the market tomorrow to get some squash. It has been crazy delish lately so I am going to freeze as much as my freezer will allow.

I wanted to touch on Sanitation in an emergency situation so to help write this post, I Googled the subject. Luckily, my computer knows I am in Florida and brought up a document from my local County Extension office. After reading this, it is probably only good for a short to midterm sanitation problem. Here is what they say…
·         A medium sized plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid
·         Plastic garbage bags
·         Chlorine Bleach
·         Soap or liquid detergent
·         Toilet paper
To build a temporary toilet…
Place a garbage bag inside the toilet bowl. If the toilet is backed up then use the bucket to make your own. Line the bucket with the garbage bag and then place 2 pieces of (smooth) wood parallel to each other to make the seat. If you have an old toilet seat you could use that, but I always throw mine out.
To sanitize the waste…
After each use, pour some bleach into the container. It doesn’t say how much exactly, so use your own judgment. This prevents infection and stops the spread of diseases. Cover tightly when you are not using it. Side note: add bleach to your list of storage supplies if you haven’t already.
Dispose of waste…
Bury the bag of human waste to avoid rats and insects getting into it and spreading disease. Dig a pit 2 or 3 feet deep and about 50 feet from your water source. If the garbage bag can’t be buried soon strain any liquid into the emergency toilet and wrap the residue in several layers of newspaper. Store this away from the home and close up tightly in a can with a tight fitting lid until it can be buried.

Water substitutes for cleansing
Water should be reserved for drinking so you should have some back up methods for cleaning yourself. Following is their list.
·         Rubbing alcohol
·         Lotions containing alcohol
·         Shaving lotion
·         Face creams and lotions
·         Towelettes
·         Wet wash cloth – use to clean your teeth, wash your face, clean your hair and wash your body.
·         Makeshift shower – use a spray bottle to shower.
From all I have read the best choice is going to be one part bleach and 10 parts water. Other commercial choices could be HTH (calcium Hypochlorite; available at swimming pool supply stores) and powdered chlorinated lime, which is available at big building supply stores.
Stomach Ailments
Eating or drinking contaminated food or water can cause diarrhea, poisoning and stomach diseases.
·         Keep your body, hands and utensils clean
·         Use paper plates or eat from original food containers if there is limited water for dishes
·         Wash & peel all fruits and veggies
·         Keep all food in covered containers
·         Prepare only enough food for each meal that you will eat.

Controlling Rodents and Insects
·         Keep your living area clear of all garbage and waste
·         Repair any holes to keep rodents out of your living area
·         Household pesticides will work in small and enclosed areas.
I know this is a subject that we don’t think about daily but you need to have some options in case you have this issue. We are on a well and would probably have a lot of these issues. I think if this was long term you would definitely have to think of something else; but in an emergency you will have to make that call.
Be prepared and link up to the Homestead Revivals Preparedness Challenge.

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on this subject. Check on your county's extension website and see what recommendations they have for you & your area.


  1. VERY important things to consider when prepping. But often we overlook this.... until you go camping! When you're out in the wilderness, this issue comes us and you've posted some great ideas! Thanks Dollwood!

  2. Great to know. I am still in the garden hoe and cover group. I love learning new things that will be useful!



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