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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Disaster Prep Wednesday: Emergency Waste Disposal

One disaster can quickly escalate in to many more if some basic sanitation needs are not taken care of - especially dealing with human waste. This is a very good thing to think about and plan for in advance.

A good starting point is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's Sanitation Solutions in Emergency Response Settings
- In response to disasters and emergencies, prevention of indiscriminate open defecation and containing waste is critical to reduce disease transmission.
- While planning for long-term waste management, immediate sanitation solutions are often needed to minimize public health impact during emergencies, and should include sanitation facilities, hand washing facilities with soap and water, operation and maintenance regimes, operator training, and community education. ***
While the CDC is mostly concerned with large scale solutions, the fundamental principles identified are important down to the individual level - it is vital to stay healthy and that includes keeping your bio-waste away from drinking water, food and habitation.

If you are building your own emergency kit, there are a number of alternatives:
  1.  Include a dedicated shovel with which to dig latrines or "cat holes" to bury your scat.
  2.  Buy a "bucket toilet" kit (Amazon has one for $36) that includes a "toilet seat," and bags to line the bucket.
  3. As noted here,  "Your first line of defense for emergency sanitation will still be the toilet in your own home—for a little while at least." - that "little while" being the time it dawns on you how much water is involved in flushing a toilet, most of it good potable water.
  4. One interesting product is the $30 "GottGo Toilet" from Global Sanitation Solutions

Of course, burning collected waste is another option - one used in extreme situations. There may or may not be health effects from using this method, see here.

If the plan is for a "privy" or "outhouse" special consideration must be given to safe placement so clean water supplies are not contaminated. See here,here and here.

Planning for disaster includes trying to estimate duration of the problem. Planning for 3 days without power and water is different than planning for a disaster that throws us all back into a pre-electric era as in an EMP event. As usual, it is probably a good idea to have some quick bucket or other limited use toilet available with the plans on hand to expand into a privy if necessary.

1 comment:

  1. Providing specialised waste clearance service when one most need it, is crucial for most companies. In case someone needs it instantly, you and your crew should be able to react immediately. In other words, "we must be ready to dare all for our clients"! Building your own emergency kit is a good idea as well!