Proper sanitation is one of the top priorities in emergency preparedness. After a disaster like a flood, hurricane, earthquake or blizzard we could be faced with many weeks of sanitary issues due to a breakdown of the plumbing and sewage systems. The lack of proper hygiene following an emergency brings serious health risks in the form of deadly and contagious illness.
Most people who live in urban areas will be using the main sewerage lines, which carry waste away. A shortage of water coupled with a broken plumbing system is a recipe for disaster but if you are prepared, you can stay safe.
The first step you should take is to designate an area for the toilet and for washing and keep those well separated from living and cooking areas.
This is to avoid contamination. A deluxe shower or privacy room like this one is ideal as it is easily set up and effectively seals off the toilet or shower area from the rest of your shelter.
The shelter will help to keep flies away from human waste which is an important aspect of sanitation. Especially in warmer weather, flies will land on waste and then carrying those germs onto food or food preparation areas.
You can either use a bucket toilet system or an outdoor latrine.
The bucket system is where you line a bucket with a garbage bag as a emergency toilet. You also need absorbent material like newspaper, cardboard, straw, sawdust or cat litter to layer into the bucket toilet.
If you are digging an emergency latrine, keep in mind that it should be at least one hundred feet from drinking water sources like rivers, lakes or wells as well as the same distance from your campsite or shelter.
Once you have the shower or privacy room erected, place hand washing supplies close by. You will need soap, clean disinfected water and clean towels or paper towels.