Being without electricity for days at a time is becoming more and more common. Ice storms, tornadoes, and severe lightening strikes are part of our lives these days. Add the remote, yet not impossible, prospect of terrorist attack, labor strikes or power station shut down, and being prepared for the worst becomes a necessary reality.
After food and water, sanitation is certainly something high on my list of priorities. I know how to potty outside – I just don’t want to if I don’t have to! For those of you with diapers still in the house . . . well, all I can say is – think it through in the event of a long-term power outage.
Let’s start with pottying outside. Going Number #1 for boys is obviously not a problem. Girls have to squat.
How to prepare: exercises to strengthen the squatting muscles! Or learn how to potty standing up! (I think I prefer the squatting method.)
Going Number #2 is much more of a challenge. If it is going to be just a short-term proposition, then just do the best you can. If you are faced with ‘sanitary challenges’ for a longer period of time, there are a few things to consider. Avoid streams, creeks and other water sources. Dig a hole and bury your deposit, or spread it out on a rock so that it will dry and flake away, leaving less impact on the environment.
Wiping? Please know what poison ivy looks like! Better yet, have a supply of baby wipes (or the ingredients to be able to make your own) stocked up. One tip is to save all of those phone books we get for free. They are easy to store, and the paper inside is clean and perfect for paper wiping. I think I would like that better than big oak leaves.
When You Don’t Want to Potty Outside
What are our other options? I think the most practical is to have a way to potty inside at night, and potty outside during the day. Or a variation on that is to have a way to potty at night and do Number #2 inside. Urinating outside isn’t THAT bad and will save on resources.
*A five-gallon bucket with a seat on top. This is a great idea indoors or out, just because I don’t want to do exercises to strengthen my squatting muscles!
*An inexpensive Port-A-Potty. This container holds a lot of waster, has disposable bags and chemicals to control odor. Be sure you stock up on bags and chemicals!
*A fancy-shmansy portable toilet! Here’s a Cadillac! If you are in a position (no pun intended) to go with ultra convenience and comfort, do it! Personal sanitation is not an area that one needs to feel guilty about wanting to be spoiled. What a morale booster if you are in a tough situation but you can at least manage this one aspect of daily life comfortably and conveniently. All it takes is pre-planning!
Diapers During a Long-Term Crisis
Stocking up on disposable diapers is one way to do it. However, they take up a lot of space, you’ll need a variety of sizes, many of which may not get used up, and you have a disposal problem. Stocking up on cloth diapers is one way to do it, but how will you wash them? Sigh . . . Also, keep in the back of your mind the possibility of becoming pregnant during a major crisis. So, how to prepare?
Imagine yourself camping for several days with a child in diapers, and the campground does not allow disposables – due to excessive waste. How would you manage that? (In this pretend situation, you HAVE to go and a Motel 6 is not an option!) Figure that out and then multiply your supplies to be prepared for a long-term situation. New And Green Camping Company has the best advice I’ve seen. While I don’t have and don’t anticipate anymore children in diapers, a survival situation may bring grandchildren to our farm. So, I am as interested in anyone in how to manage diapers in a disaster. (But all I’m going to do is provide the materials – their parents can wash the diapers on rocks!)
I sincerely I hope I have access to an indoor, air-conditioned/heated bathroom with running hot water for the rest of my life. But in the event I should lose that access for a period of time, I want the next best thing. And thinking ahead and preparing is the way to make that happen!