I could not believe reading that some people started crapping in the hallways because the toilets were not working in some apartments hi-rises. Then again I thought OWS showed how filthy people can be when they don’t understand what sanitation means when they don’t have a clue of living without all the modern things we take for granted. I’m sure many people simply dumped body waste into storm drains. In my city the storm drains run into the river with very little treatment. I know of a several people who think that they will just get water from the local creek or river in a disaster. Heck the weight of carrying a couple of 5 gallon buckets any distance for about 1-2 days of water should stop them if they tried to do it in real life. I mean carrying 80 pounds of sloshing water is darn difficult in the best of times. If they have no gas for the car I wonder exactly how far they would get from the river with those full buckets?
Make a poo bucket, many home improvement stores sell 5 gallon buckets for mixing up paint, cement etc. for under $5.00. While you are at the store get some Construction Grade trash bags 4-6 mil thick, some wood shavings or straw bedding that you buy for hamsters or other pet rodents and a poo bucket seat and lid for the bucket from a prepping site like Emergency Essentials. For under $40.00 you have a nice little porta-potty you can set up quickly in a disaster. Place the trash bag in the bucket after you do your business toss a hand full of the shavings or straw in the bucket. When the bag gets half full switch it out and take the used bag to your trash collection point and mark it with some kind of label. If the emergency goes on longer than a couple of bags full you need to get out of the city as disease will become rampant. Wash your hand with hand sanitizer if water is not available or in short supply.
Buy extra toilet paper on sale, I mean you will need it for the rest of your life so stock up when sales happen and your storage space and paycheck will allow. Don’t throw away all those phone books and yellow pages you get, they are a substitute for toilet paper in your poo bucket and shredded could take the place of the wood shavings! Store about 1 roll of Toilet paper per person per week and hand sanitizer in your poo bucket until you need to use it. Add baby wipes when you find them on sale and your extra feminine hygiene products.
Washing clothes. One of the best and cheapest ways to go is a janitor’s mop bucket with a wringer and a plunger. The mop bucket can be bought for about $30.00 at a supply store like Cash & Carry. If you already have a wash board remember put your soap on the board not on the clothes. Add one of those indoor drying racks for sweaters and you can do small loads of laundry without electricity. These things are multi taskers as a rolling bucket full of water will save your energy and the drying racks are great for drying homemade pasta.
Cleaning supplies: Bleach, vinegar, baking soda, Borax and Ivory soap will clean about 90% of your home. Bleach is a sanitizer for food production and cleaning sick rooms. Ivory soap is great as it is usually cheap and if you shave off soap chip and let them dry over night they make a good laundry soap. 6% bleach will treat your water and in a spray bottle of 1 part bleach and 10 parts water will sanitize any hard surface. All of these items could be stored in you mop/laundry bucket and if you are interested you can make your own cleaning supplies. Vinegar can clean windows, remove hard water stains and lime scale. Vinegar is rich in vitamin C and can pickle foods add flavor to all kinds of food. Baking soda will absorb odors and will work like Ajax for scrubbing in the kitchen and bathroom but it won’t scratch up the material. Baking soda is great for smothering grease fires and you can make baking powder adding in a bit of Cream of Tarter for quick breads. You can make your own cleaning supplies cheap just google it! You can use news paper in place of paper towels for everything from cleaning windows to draining deep fried foods. It might take less space to store newspaper compare to paper towels.
One item I found useful was those insulated drinking jugs or thermoses. If you have to heat or boil your water doing it one time in the evening will warm your place up before going to bed, you can make your coffee and store it overnight and it will be hot in the morning. I can’t tell you what a morale booster it is to have warm or hot water to wash up with in the morning. Just place some hot water in the jug/thermos for about 15 minutes to prime it, dump the warm water in a tub for a quick cleanup and then fill the jug/thermos full of what you want to keep hot. I found most will keep the water warm for 18-24 hours depending on how well insulated they are.
You have to be very proactive to keep clean as best you can with whatever you have stored. Medical type gloves are very cheap to buy, are great for normal living and can save water via hand washing. Easy to strip off the gloves after doing a cleanup job and your hands stay some what clean. Hand sanitizer are cheap most require no water and while the don’t make your hands clean looking they will ward off those bugs that cause disease. Staying clean, and drinking safe water is the first line of defense on staying healthy and that brings us to first aid.