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Week 8 of 52: Emergency Sanitation

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your trash wasn’t picked up each week? Have you thought of how you dispose of it? What would happen to your town if trash was left to sit out in the sun to bake for weeks on end without anyone showing up to take it away?

The odor alone would be enough of a nightmare to face, but what about what is inside the trash itself (i.e., dirty diapers, contaminated medical supplies, rotting meat and food)? This type of situation would cause E. coli and bacteria to invade most everything that you touch. If a situation like this was allowed to fester, the potential for diseases and epidemics would create an entire new disaster to be dealt with.

No one really wants to discuss sanitation because it’s an unpleasant and dirty subject; however, it is one of the most important areas to focus on when preparing for a disaster. In a disaster where water resources are compromised, people within a 50 mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease just if one person handled the trash improperly. When trash cannot be picked up, it must be burned or buried by you; however, municipalities cannot risk contamination to the water source or soil from people who incorrectly bury their debris, so it is important to know how to properly dispose of your waste products.
If you find yourself in a situation where toilet paper is not available, you may have to resort to a more natural method of being hygienically clean. Below is a list of toilet paper alternatives for an emergency situation.

Toilet Paper Alternatives

Don’t forget that women [1] need to have sanitation items stored for emergencies. Prevention is the key to spreading communicable diseases, so prepare appropriately. If water services are interrupted during a short term emergency, consider these alternatives:

Long Term Disasters

Sanitation during a long term disaster requires the same sanitation supplies used in a short term disaster; however, a more permanent structure, (e.g., a latrine) must be put into place for long term use.
Having a sanitation kit ready for a disaster is essential to keeping your family and neighbors healthy. These kits fit easily into a bucket, and they are affordable. Also, having a natural alternative to cleaning yourself is a proactive way to prepare for better sanitation practices.  This article shows you ways of making your own hand sanitizer [3] by using natural ingredients.

Your suggested preps to buy this week will specifically target creating a sanitation kit.

Preps to buy:

Action Items:

1. Create a sanitation kit for your family.

2. If you are preparing a sanitation kit with infants in mind, ensure that you have accounted for their short- and long-term needs  (see list above).

3. Familiarize yourself with different methods of handling the sanitation problems that arise during short- and long-term emergencies.

The Prepper's Blueprint [5]

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint [5], a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint [5] helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook [6], which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com [7] for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition [8]

Originally published June 24th, 2011 [9]
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