The messy business of emergency preparedness

In recent months I have been slowly starting to be more concerned with our family’s emergency preparedness. So we have flashlights, a portable rechargeable radio, a first aid kit, a fire ladder, and a few other items. My next big things will be to stockpile 3 days of food and water (and diapers). We’re on our way to preparedness.

Last weekend at the Portland Water Walk I became aware of the potential need for emergency toilets. In a large earthquake, sewer and water service may be disrupted, leaving no recourse for nature’s call except, well, nature. However, a group called Phlush had an info booth at the walk with instructions to make the Christchurch Twin emergency toilet. It is so named because of the earthquake which struck Christchurch, New Zealand recently. So I decided to make my own.

The premise is simple:

  • Two 5-gallon buckets, with lids
  • One for pee (which can be emptied safely outdoors as-needed)
  • One for poop (which can be layered with sawdust or coffee chaff after each use)
  • A toilet seat

I have acquired the buckets, and got some coffee chaff for free at the walk, so all I need now is a toilet seat. Seats for 5-gallon buckets are for sale, but I’m trying to find one in the area before resorting to an online purchase and shipping fee. Let me know if you know where to find one locally. Otherwise I may consider adapting a cheap standard toilet seat to fit on a bucket. Fun stuff!

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