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Hygiene in a SHTF/long term outage situation?

(54 Posts)
DoYouRememberJustinBobby Wed 05-Oct-16 12:45:58

I've been thinking recently about what we would need hygiene wise if water/electricity was cut off for a few days or even a week. Not so much a mass outbreak of illness because I don't want to be around to deal with that type of thing.

We have some water stored away and a good store of soap too but I do worry that illness could spread quickly without access to hot water and sanitation. I have a chronic illness which means my immune system is shot and I worry about tummy bugs setting me back or making me incapable of looking after my family.

We don't tend to use a lot of bleach in our house but I recently saw it on 3 for 2 in the supermarket so I've stashed away a few bottles in the utility room.
I'm not a fan of wipes but I wonder if it might make sense to have a few packs of anti bac cleaning wipes and toilet roll wipes to make sure everything is kept extra clean.
I also have a few bottles of anti bac gel in our camping box. I don't really go in for anti bac this and anti bac that long term but I think it might well be useful.

What are your plans?

VenusRising Wed 05-Oct-16 12:47:18


cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 12:51:22

You'll need any stored water for drinking, I'd have thought. (I'd also forget brushing teeth for the duration.) With your particular issues, I'd go for some wipes, probably. (Remembering to recycle them regularly and put to landfill in the interim - not down the loo.)

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 05-Oct-16 12:58:12

I always think the loo situation would be grim if you couldn't flush it. If you were guaranteed everything back to normal after a week then you could use your bottled water for flushing. Any length of time though, and you'd need loads of cat litter to use the cat litter system if you don't have running water.

Other than that, liquid hand washes you don't need with water. And lots of antiseptic creams to deal with cuts and grazes.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 13:01:11

Lots of plastic buckets, Through. Yes, it might be grim - but it's doable.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 16:29:05

I suspect that people massively underestimate the amount of water they'll need.

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Wed 05-Oct-16 17:24:46

I think it's storage though with water, isn't it? It takes up a vast amount of space. We have about 70l of bottled water (and other drinks) each (we rotate) and 3 huge rain butts but I doubt it would be enough. This is why I'm thinking along the lines of disposable wipes for emergencies, they don't require water so we can at least have a semblance of hygiene without running down vital drinking supplies.

I hate the thought of the wipes environmentally but I think it's the only real option.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Oct-16 18:06:24

Yes - they're bad environmentally but your particular situation has particular requirements.

Storage is a difficulty for the overwhelming majority of people which is why I think you're right to have wipes rather than using potable water which you might need for drinking.

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Wed 05-Oct-16 18:35:17

How are you storing water cozie? I love your input.

Ginmakesitallok Wed 05-Oct-16 18:37:47

I'm confused that you are considering the environmental impact of wipes in the sort of situation you are preparing for?

Hand sanitiser....

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Wed 05-Oct-16 18:42:05

gin I know, I know! It is a bonkers way of looking at it. My husband works in the environment sector and I think it's all so deeply ingrained inside me that I seriously struggle with the idea of using wipes and bleach. I need to carve my brain into two halves.

atticusclaw2 Wed 05-Oct-16 18:55:19

Bleach should always be a in a prepper's stockpile in any event since you can use it to make water safe to drink. I don't use any for cleaning but have it sat there for emergencies.

There is a list of the first things to disappear from the shelves in a SHTF scenario. A portable camping toilet is right at the top of the list.
If the power goes out you need to stop using the toilets straight away. Otherwise it will all get very grim very quickly.

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Mon 10-Oct-16 16:25:40

Do you have a recommendation for a decent, budget friendly camping loo cozie? Or are they all much of a muchness?

cozietoesie Mon 10-Oct-16 16:37:25

I'm afraid that I'm a plastic bucket person, Do. (Available, with lids, pretty cheaply on the net.) Others may be able to steer you towards something more 'official'.

Mozfan1 Mon 10-Oct-16 16:43:43

Can you use sterilising tablets to make water drinkable? Or aren't there special water bottles that filter out crap to make it drinkable aswell- think I saw them on the one show once

Mozfan1 Mon 10-Oct-16 16:44:24

You can buy sterilising wipes aswell

Mozfan1 Mon 10-Oct-16 16:44:45

Also dettol make bar soap

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 10-Oct-16 16:49:09

I think I would be planning to dig a latrine at the bottom of the garden.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Oct-16 17:00:06

You can, Moz. But a very small amount of bleach is just fine in an emergency situation.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Oct-16 17:04:19

Regular bleach that is. Not stuff with 'added' goodies - e.g. Perfumes, cleaners etc,

Mozfan1 Mon 10-Oct-16 17:05:48

Excellent! I was just thinking as I have a big stock of the tablets! I do have bleach too. Could you use thin bleach in the toilet in the event of a water outage as a temporary solution?

cozietoesie Mon 10-Oct-16 17:08:43

I'd forget the toilets if it were a SHTF situation.

Mozfan1 Mon 10-Oct-16 17:11:37

Good shout. So should the excrement be buried?

cozietoesie Mon 10-Oct-16 17:21:37

Eventually. (If it's safe to go outside/you have the facilities.)

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Mon 10-Oct-16 19:25:42

I think I might stick with the lidded bucket route too. I've got a stash of kitty litter for our icy front steps, so that might come in doubly handy. We have a couple of specific (red) puke bowls but buckets are going straight on my shopping list.

I did a first aid course a few months back as part of a work thing and they gave us a few boxes of St Johns Ambulance products including gloves, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, those gel cool pack things but I don't really know what to stock for a flu outbreak or something.
Is there a good list?
I have a good amount of aspirin, paracetamol, brufen, codiene, a back log of our regular meds, rehydration sachets, cough sweets, cough mixture, sore throat medicines, vapour rubs, child friendly alternatives. But I'm sure I'm missing something.

I wonder if sealing the toilets should be an option? Tape the seat down? Is that daft?

I appreciate I've asked a lot of basic questions on Preppers recently, so I'm sorry if I'm bugging you all I am just trying to set up my home and family with the basics!

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