Friday, July 9, 2010


If there was an earthquake or other disaster what would you do for sanitation?

This can be a very serious problem and needs to be prepared for when you cannot use your home toilet or there is no running water or trash pickups.

The items you will need for a toilet:

1. 5 gallon plastic container (like paint comes in) with a tight fitting lid and an improvised toilet seat or a portable plastic toilet you can purchase from a survival supply store like Majors at 435 W Alondra Blvd, Gardena (310-324-8855) or check out their online website at They cost about $20-$40. You can also purchase a portable toilet with 2 enzyme packets from for about $14.95

Note: If you have small children that use a child's potty chair, you might want to purchase one to keep with the one above.

2. Enzyme 300 Packets--You will need several of these. They break down the waste bacteria like in the portable toilet. You can purchase them from for 60 cents a packet. 

Or, you can purchase Rid-X Septic Tank Treatment. The powder is about $10 a box at Walmart. 

Note: You sprinkle a little of the Enzyme 300 Packet or the Rid-X powder on the waste to break down the bacteria. 

3. Large sturdy black plastic trash bags (biodegradable are best so you can bury them) that can hold weight (size to fit in the 5 gallon plastic container). You can purchase large sturdy black plastic trash bags at most large box stores like Costco and Sam's Club.


4. Large trash container with a tight fighting lid to empty the small container (#1 above) into until you can bury the refuse.

5. Cat litter (several bags), the clotting kind, a serrated large spoon.You can purchase this at discount stores like the 99 Cent Store or Dollar Tree or Dollar General.

6. Toilet paper--purchase enough for your family for 1-3 months supply. Costco and Sam's Club or other big box stores usually have the best prices for several rolls.

7. Paper towels 

8. Baby wipes--Purchase several packets or at the big box stores like Costco and Sam's Club. You can purchase individual packets of about 80 sheets at discount stores like the 99 Cent Store, the Dollar Tree, Dollar General, etc. 

6. Disinfectant (Bleach, Lysol spray and hand sanitizer)--
You will need items to clean up properly.

7. Privacy shelter--You can purchase this at for $89.95. Or, construct your own with a large blanket or ex-large plastic tarp, rope, clothes pins, duct tape, nails and hammer.

How to use a portable toilet

1) Line the plastic portable toilet with a large sturdy (heavy) black trash bag.
2) Place a layer of cat litter in the bottom the trash bag.
3) Once someone uses the toilet, only bow movements, sprinkle with some of the enzyme 300 or the Rid-X
4) Cover with the lid tightly when not in use.
5) Continue this process until the portable toilet is about half full.
6) Remove the trash bag careful so as to not tear it.
7) If there is no trash pick up, bury the bag. See below how to bury it.
8) If you can use your in door home toilet, but there is no water to flush with, use the same process.    

Tip on burying refuse--Important

It must be buried 12-24 inches underground to prevent animals and rodents from digging it up and spreading disease.

Tips on sanitation
Have a good reserve of heavy black plastic bags, newspapers, toilet paper, soap and disinfectant.

You want to use as little water as possible.

Bury all waist appropriately as mentioned above. This also goes for food waist. There will probably not be any trash pickups for quite awhile.

Updated--February 2014


  1. Those buckets of laundry detergent are great for that!
    Alexia Saunders

  2. Instead of burying refuse, could we burn it if an emergency should occur? Fire sanitizes too right?:) Of course using safety precautions, may need fire dept. supervision or find out where you can dump it beforehand.