Emergency Prepareness – Sanitation

Proper sanitation and hygiene are critical during the time of emergency.   Disease runs rampant after a disaster strikes if proper sanitation and hygiene standards are not kept high.  You probably already know this… but as many people die because of unchecked sanitary conditions during a disaster, than the actual disaster itself.   Proper disposal of waste is critical in your emergency preparation.


1.  Look around your present circumstances and imagine what you would do, in the face of a emergency, in dealing with  human waste.  Sure, it’s not a fun subject to confront, but a necessary one.    Look at the lay of the land.  Are you in a home, with a yard… or are you in a condo or a high rise apartment building.  Your environment  will determine your preparation.

If your in a condo or an apartment, contact management and has ask what plan has been put into place in the event of an emergency.   If you live in a home with a yard… contact your city or county to see what sanitation control methods have been adopted.

2.  For our purposes… in our “Closet Emergency Preparation”  here is what we suggest.  Put a side items that you could use in case apartment or city regulations can not be met.  In other words… be prepared for the worst.


3.   If your living in a home with a yard… your arrangements can be as simple as a shovel,  and a box of  enzymes.  Rid-X is an enzyme product used to break down solid waste in septic tanks.  It’s a natural ingredient  and is not harmful to people.  It can be found at your local hardware store.   Locate an area away from your living quarters that you can designate for bathroom purposes… or the disposal of waste.  Dig a hole or trench,  cover the waste with enzymes to aid in the breaking down of the refuse.  Cover the area with dirt.  Kitty Litter is great to control the odor.

However, using the bucket with the seat is far more comfortable.  You will need heavy duty liner bags, and enzymes to aid in breakdown of the waste.

4.  If you are living in a condo, or apartment, having a sanitation bucket is a must.  Again, check with your association or apartment management for the disposal of your filled bags.


5. The easiest answer  for our project is to purchase a sanitation kit from an emergency preparedness retail store or order on on line.  It will run you anywhere from $16.00 to $45.00 depending on the kit.   I found the prices at Emergency Essentials to be competitive if you are ordering on line.

6. In addition to your port-a-potty and enzymes,  you’ll  need toilet paper,  a box of latex  gloves,  disposable wet wipes,  anti-bacterial soap, and bleach.  You can add a couple of cans of disinfectant spray… but chlorine bleach is a good disinfectant and it’s inexpensive.

Tip:  if worse comes to worse…empty the water from  your toilet bowl.  Line the empty bowl with a heavy duty bag.  Use enzymes.  Tie up bag well and take it t a designated location in your yard or apartment complex.  It’s just safer if you can remove the waste in a bag lined bucket.

There are many sources you can visit on the internet you can visit that will give you more information about sanitation.  I did find this book to be an excellent source because it is so practical.   Just click on the book if you’re interested.  

What I’m giving you is just the basics you will need to add to your “Closet Emergency Preparation.”

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Let’s get our sanitation bucket and supplies in order… then we’ll talk about personal hygiene.

P.P.S.  Here is a one minute video you’ll find interesting.