Monday, November 17, 2008

Sanitation, Part 2

"...we took a look at the great need for personal sanitation of our body waste to prevent the spread of disease. I would like to continue the look at the need for sanitation in other aspects of our life in an emergency situation.

It will be quite important to have a variety of different kinds of soap to maintain the cleanliness of ourselves, our clothing and the items we cook and eat with. Such things as hand soap, mild shampoo, dish soap and laundry soap will be very important to keep a good supply of that will at least match your year’s food supply. It may not be a bad idea to look at recipes for making different kinds of soap by hand. These recipes can be found in preparedness manuals and on the internet. Sanitizers such as cleaning agents and bleach should also be kept to sanitize and sterilize items as needed.

Should there be a long period of time without having a reliable supply of water and power, you may want to look at creating kits that will give you the means to clean clothing and yourself using a minimal amount of water. ...

Another piece of equipment that you may want to create is a hand powered clothes washer. An easy way to do this is to use a 6 gallon bucket with a small hole in the center of the lid cut out to allow for the handle of an unused toilet plunger. The plunger can be used as an agitator to work dirt out of your clothing inside the bucket. This is a simple idea that you can put together yourself. ... Another option you may want to look at are wash boards and hand-powered wringers from such places as Lehman’s, which can be found on the internet.

There is another area of concern that you should look at and plan for if there is a long term situation where there is a reduced supply of water and the use of the sewer system. When washing and cooking, there will be some amount of liquid water that will have soap, grease, food and other items in it that will need to be properly disposed of. Digging a small soakage pit will give you the ability to more safely dispose of such waste materials. Dig the pit and replace the dirt from the hole with fairly large rocks for the liquids to drop into and be absorbed by the surrounding soil. You may want to recover any kitchen fat and grease to be used in making homemade soap. If not, you may still want to recover it with some screen material, which can then be removed and then buried with other solid wastes. Food scrapes will also need to be separated and then put into solid burial to keep vermin and insects away from it. You may want to have a pit to burn any trash items to keep the amount of buried items to a more manageable size. When the waste items come to about one foot’s depth to the surface, it is then time to finish burying it and then mounded over with about another foot in height of soil.

The material for this information comes from a very good book on preparedness: The Sense of Survival, by J. Allan South, c. 1990 by Timpanogos Publishers."
(Source: R. Hatch, Ward Preparedness Specialist)

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