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Get Prepped Newsletter: November 11, 2011

This week we will revisit the importance of sanitation and learn to create a more sustainable and sanitary community using various latrine styles. We will also find out where to buy bulk sanitation items and learn about low-cost, multipurpose preparedness items that can help aid in overall sanitation.


We’ve made it half-way through! If you have been following our newsletters weekly, you are 50% through building a solid preparedness foundation for your family to rely on in the case of an unexpected disaster. For those of you who missed a few episodes, we acquired enough supplies in the last 25 weeks to carry us through an extended short-term emergency. But as we all know, short-term emergencies can often extend into longer-term emergencies. Our focus for the next half of our program will not only be to continue stocking up on supplies, but to begin developing essential skills to help you be more self reliant, so that you will have the tools carry you and your family through a disaster.

This week we will revisit the importance of sanitation and learn to create a more sustainable and sanitary community using various latrine styles. We will also find out where to buy bulk sanitation items and learn about low-cost, multipurpose preparedness items that can help aid in overall sanitation.

We were so excited to see that Ready Nutrition was mentioned on the Reader’s Choice Awards as a popular preparedness website on Survival Top 50. Thank you all so much for continuing to come back to Ready Nutrition as an information source. Don’t forget to share the prepared love and invite your friends and family to read Ready Nutrition to help build our community. We have made things easy for new readers to the site by having a food storage calculator to start planning your preparedness supply, and also an easy-to-access banner with access to all of the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series, to help new readers catch up.

On a special note, I wanted to wish all of the servicemen and servicewomen a Happy Veteran’s Day. We honors all of those who have served, at home and abroad. Thank you all for your sacrifices you made so that we can enjoy the freedoms and the life we live.

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 If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter or see what we are doing on Facebook. I love to interact with the preparedness community, because, after all, we are all in this together!


Tess Pennington


Week 26 of 52: Emergency Sanitation (List 2)

In 2010, after a devastating earthquake leveled Haiti, people all over the world wanted to help. Despite all of the aid pouring in, the reconstruction process was put on hold in order to deal with a cholera outbreak, an illness spread from the contamination of food and water. This epidemic was caused by open-defecation and could have been avoided if individuals knew where and how to properly expel waste.

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Ready for the shocker? It is a documented fact that more people die after a disaster due to poor sanitation than from the disaster itself. You can do everything right regarding emergency sanitation measures, but that will in no way protect you from all those around you who did not. During times of extended disasters, those that live in close proximity to one another will be at the greatest risk for contracting illnesses from unsanitary conditions. Teaming up with those around you to create a community led sanitation system can assist in avoiding epidemics caused from unsanitary conditions. In this case, the group as a whole takes full responsibility for its success and will see fewer instances of illness.

Quite simply, wherever humans gather, their waste also accumulates. This creates a perfect storm for E. coli and bacteria to invade most of everything that you touch. Not to mention carrying the risk of infectious disease, particularly to vulnerable groups such as the very young, the elderly and people suffering from diseases that lower their resistance. Fly infestations can also pose a problem for sanitation, and if waste is left out in the open, then it will lead to the possibility of epidemics. The following are a few examples of structures that can be built to maintain sanitation during a longer-term disaster:

  • Simple pit latrines are the easiest and cheapest way to dispose of waste.
  • Ventilated latrine and an odorless earth closet that prevents fly infestations, are also good choices. Learn more by clicking here.
  • Decomposing toilets are above ground latrines that are another option and once the waste is decomposed, it can be used in the garden. Click here for more information.

Ever hear of humanure? Solid and liquid waste can be decomposed and composted to be used in the garden. For more information on using liquid waste in the garden, click here.

Toilet paper is always a concern for emergency preparations, however, there are alternatives and in a long-term scenario you will need to begin thinking outside the box. Some off-gridders use rags and thoroughly wash the soiled cloth for other uses. However, if you are opposed to this, other alternatives are available and can be viewed here. And for the lovers of disposable toilet paper, you can purchase larger quantities online at Amazon or at online janitorial supply stores. According to Wikipedia, one American person uses an average of 23.6 rolls of toilet paper per year. In a long term disaster, toilet paper will be a hard to find luxury item and could be a great bartering item. I would like to add however, that stocking up on thousands of rolls of toilet paper will take up a lot of space. So having some on hand for extended emergencies is a good idea, however, for longer term scenarios, you may need to get creative.

Because we are getting into more longer term preparedness items, you want to find prep items that are are multi-functional in order be as efficient as possible. Soap nuts are a great multipurpose prep item. They are cheap, have many uses, and can be composted after use. Soap, both antibacterial and regular, can also be purchased in bulk from your local dollar store.

Preps To Buy:

  • 2 weeks or longer toilet paper
  • Cat litter
  • Bleach
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Clothespins
  • Laundry plunger (optional)
  • Wash boards (optional)
  • 2 large storage bins to do laundry
  • Women’s sanitary needs
  • Soap or a multipurpose alternative (in bulk)
  • Hand sanitizer (in bulk)
  • Mesh screening to use for long term latrine
  • Space bags to store toilet paper

Action Items:

  1. Ensure that you have sanitary items for all members of the family, including women, children and elderly.
  2. If you have not done so, create a sanitation kit for the home.
  3. Print this Hesperian health guide on sanitation and add it to your emergency manual.


In the Home:

Come springtime, I’m college bound! For the last few months I have felt a strong need to learn more skills for my family’s long-term survival. Although I had a lot of training while I worked at the American Red Cross, I really want to beef up some of my skills. So, I am following my own advice. After all, what kind of person would I be if I didn’t follow my own advice? I have signed up to take some EMT courses. I also found a women’s defense class that has caught my eye as well. So cross your fingers for me!

Family Preps:

Guess what we’re financially preparing for over here? One word, Christmas!  I’m sure you can agree that Christmas gift expenses take a large chunck out of our budgets. We try to use our credit cards sparingly as to not get in the habit accruing debt. So to avoid that, we have already begun tightening our finances by eating out less and saving money as much as possible in order to get ready for the barrage of gift purchases. Between me and you, I have been saving up to get my husband a set of binoculars.

In the Garden:

I have been spending a lot of time enjoying the outdoors. I took my kids on a few hikes and have enjoyed working in my garden. Now that the cooler weather has finally made it to Texas and we are getting more rain, my Fall garden is growing well. I even have a few tomatoes growing and have been enjoying the radishes that are pushing through the dirt. The lettuce and spinach should be ready soon.

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To ensure the safety of your family, ensure that you properly dispose of any type of human waste. If you are using the ground to dispose of small amounts of solid waste follow these steps:

  • Dig a hole be 6- 8″ deep that is roughly 100-200 feet (or 30-60 meters) from any water sources, living quarters, walking areas or trails.
  • Remember to keep your waste disposal far and away from water and highly frequented areas, and downhill.
  • If possible, locate a waste disposal area where it will receive maximum sunlight (The heat from the sun will aid the decomposition).

If you are using the ground to dispose of larger amounts of solid waste follow these steps:

  • Build one of the latrines stated in this newsletter or keep on the premises an extra 10-gallon garbage can or other waterproof container with a tight fitting cover. This should be lined with paper and/or a plastic bag. And the lid should be fastened to the can to prevent its loss.
  • Ensure that flys do not have access to the area where the waste is stored.
  • Dig a pit 2 to 3 feet deep and at least 50 feet downhill or away from any well, spring, or water supply.
  • If the waste cannot be buried immediately, it should be stored in a manner so as to not contaminate your living area.


One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: getprepped@readynutrition.com

This week’s question addresses salt storage:


I was looking for ways to store salt safely and for long term storage. I have some no 10 cans but what about 1 pound boxes, salt blocks, and large bags of 25 pounds or more?



Hi Joanna,

Salt is a cheap, multipurpose prep item that we should all have in large quantity. For anyone living in an inland area, I consider salt the highest priority barter and charity item. If you are preparing for a long-term disaster and if your budget and space allows, buy a lot of salt, in several forms. James Rawles, author of the Survival Blog suggests people to store “20 to 30 of the 50-pound plain white salt blocks can be purchased from your local feed store. These are great for bartering — both for folks with livestock and for people that want to attract wild game. Buy a couple of 25 pound sacks of iodized salt for your own use. Also buy 100 to 200 of the standard cardboard one pound canisters of iodized salt for small scale barter transactions.” There is also many benefits to having sea salt on hand. And I have heard that kosher salt is much more resistant to moisture and clumping than iodized/table salt or pickling salt.

When storing salt for the long-term, try to avoid adding desiccant packs to the storage container. Salt needs a certain amount of moisture to stay activated, and if desiccant is added to it, they will turn into a hard brick. If you prefer, add a food liner to the bucket to further protect the contents. Because large quantities of salt can be heavy, you can use smaller food grade containers or I have even heard of people pouring the salt into cleaned soda bottles. You could even go a step further and use the soda bottle trick and add the closed soda bottles to a food grade container for easier storage.

I hope this helps. Thanks so much for your question.




This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on November 11th, 2011

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