Category: Indoor Living

Sanitation And Survival: Dealing With Human Waste

One of the essential elements of survival when it comes to an SHTF scenario is keeping you and your family healthy in less than ideal circumstances. When you factor in that any scenario that will slow or halt the power grid means a serious lack of medical issues or access to care, it becomes even more essential to practice good hygiene and sanitation techniques.

And one of the most crucial aspects of survival sanitation is going to be proper disposal of human waste. The average person produces a pound of feces and 2 pints of urine every day. Dealing with these elements will be a very serious challenge in any major disaster. Depending on where you live and the situation, you have several options:

Septic Systems for Human Waste

If you’re lucky enough to have your own septic system and access to a steady gray water source, you’re probably in the best position. Because you aren’t attached to a city sewer line, you will still be able to flush your toilet. To flush without running water, fill the tank with gray water until the water reaches the float. You can then use the lever to flush.

Of course, even if you do have your own septic system, water may not be plentiful enough to maintain this system–especially in scenarios where running water and power would be down full time. In that case, then you’re better off following some of the non-water dependent procedures for dealing with waste.

Rural and Semi-Rural Areas

If you live in or near the country, you probably have the most options for taking care of business, starting with the very simple cat hole. The single most important thing about digging a cat hole is the location. Any holes dug for human waste should be at least 200 feet from ANY water source, including runoff water. Underground well water, springs, lakes, rivers or any other source, keep your waste as far from all water as possible.

Using a shovel, trowel, or post digger, dig a hole roughly 10 inches deep by 8 inches around. Once you’ve done your business, use the dirt you excavated for the hole to cover your waste back up. Disperse your holes over as wide an area as possible, and try to aim for spots that get plenty of sunlight, as this will aid the natural decomposition process.

Urban Areas

Most often, those who live in city or suburban areas don’t have access to enough land to dig cat holes. In those cases, you can transform your existing toilet into a viable option.

Start by removing any remaining water from the bowl. Next, take a heavy duty black trash bag and tape it to the inside of the bowl, allowing the bag to fill up the cavity of the toilet before lowering the seat again. You can now use the toilet as you normally would. Keep a large box of cat litter or wood ash next to the toilet, and add a hefty layer over your waste when you’re done. This will keep both smell and flies at bay.

Once you’ve used the same bag 3-5 times, tie it up as best you can and place it in a sealable 5-gallon bucket to be disposed of whenever you are able. Alternatively, you can drape the bag directly inside a 5-gallon sealable bucket and place your toilet seat directly over the bucket.

By My Family Survival Plan Contributor

Recommended Survival Fiction By Wolverine

I would like to thank Wolverine for sending this list – looks like we have a lot of reading to catch up on. If you have other suggestions please let us know in the comments below.

Patriots by James W. Rawles, Economic collapse scenario. Lots of useful information on tactics, food storage, fuel storage, retreat security, survival medicine, etcetera. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about survivalism for the first time, as well as for long-term survivors. It’s full of great information and is an eye-opener. I may not say that the survivors made the best choices possible in the story, but I learned from it.

Footfall by Jerry Pournelle. Alien’s similar to elephants invade the earth. A good deal of how to survive in urban areas without the infrastructure we would normally have.

Lucifer’s Hammer by Pournelle. A comet strikes the earth, many survival skills and scenes. Also deals with cannibalism.

Tunnel in the Sky by Heinlein. Survival in an unexpected, long term situation.

Sixth Column by Heinlein. Survival after enemy invasion of the US.

Farnham’s Freehold by Heinlein. One mans preparation and success in surviving nuclear war.

Pulling Through by Dean Ing. Post nuclear war scenario, Mr. Ing manages to discuss a wide variety of pertinent survival skills.

The Stand by Stephen King. All reports suggest the book is better than the miniseries on TV was, I didn’t watch the series. Starts out with a plague killing most people on earth, gets very supernatural.

Unintended Consequences by John Ross. The first two-thirds of “Unintended Consequences” comprise a fictionalized chronology of various characters on three continents experiencing the effects of being armed – and being disarmed – from 1906 to the present. In the final third of the novel, set after Waco and Ruby Ridge, America’s gun-grabbers finally go too far.

Gun owners find themselves pushed to the point where they realize it’s either give up all their weapons or fight back. Individually, without getting together to form any giant conspiracy, they start killing their oppressors. A few at first… then by the hundreds.

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. The first (?) survivalist book. Nuclear war survival in rural Florida.

No Blade of Grass by John Christopher? A plague wipes out all food grains over most of the earth. People fleeing London for Wales, also forming local alliances and groups.

The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner. Survival in an ecologically damaged America.

Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. Life in an oppressive police state, within an ecologically damaged world.

Malevil by Robert Merle. Post nuclear war survival in rural France. Interesting social dramas, not too good for survival skills.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Useful for understanding the people responsible for the problems.

Wolf And Iron by Gordon R. Dickson. Post economic collapse. Lone wanderer scavenges and learns his way across several states. Finally sets up as blacksmith and farmer-rancher.

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller. A fascinating book about long-term post-apocalypse story, about the value of books and knowledge.

The Postman by David Brin. A great book about a traveler in the medium-long post-nuclear war environment, the establishment of local and regional governments, and the value of a traveling postman to carry news from one region to another.

Earth Abides by George R Steward. Pandemic survivors find each other and build communities initially based on scavenging. Inertia causes little of pre-disaster technology and culture to be passed on, causing great anguish to the main character.

Survivors by Terry Nation. Pneumonic plague strain spread by air travel kills off most of the population. Set in Great Britain, a survivor group failing under pressure from bad weather and hostile neighbors migrates to the south of France. Strangely enough, Brits will use guns if they can get them.

All Fools’ Day by Edmund Cooper. A new type of radiation (yuk yuk) causes most of mankind to commit suicide. The immune is ‘creative artists of all kinds, lunatics, political and religious fanatics, prostitutes and pathological animal lovers.’ Set in Great Britain.

Harvest of Stars by Paul Anderson: America where political correctness has become a religion and taken over. One must think ahead and be on one’s toes at all times in dealing with a police state; acting experience is a plus!

Vandenberg by Oliver Lange. Life in a United States occupied by Soviet(or whatever) troops. Frightening.

Nature’s End by Whitley Straub.

The Ends of the Circle by Paul O. Williams.

Some Will Not Die by Algis Budrys. Post-pandemic in New York City Son of initial main char forms the “Reunification Army” to create the “Second Republic.” Guns, guns, and more guns and living on 20-year-old canned goods. Still not a bad story.

Only Lovers Left Alive by Dave Wallis. Set in Britain, virtually everyone over 19 commits suicide over a 2 year period. A street gang rises to the conquest of London metro area but finds it tough going in the country when the canned goods run out.

Out of the Ashes series by William Johnstone. The first is excellent on establishing an attitude and the others each have a few tidbits in them. His Tri-states concept is developing almost a cult-like following in some areas. Most of the later volumes are just pay copy (Is there any other reason to write?) so you have to wade through a lot of storylines to pick out the good parts. He writes interesting copy so it isn’t a chore.

The Guardians – series by Richard Austin (pretty darned good until you get to around # 20 or #23, then they were done by ghost writers and the characters just got too weird).

Deathlands – series by James Axler (survival value very little, but I think they’re darned good reading, especially the first 10 – 15 books).

Death Wind by William C. Heine. The plot is that a pandemic suddenly sweeps North America, killing within minutes anyone exposed to an infected person, even being downwind is sufficient. The story follows a Canadian family who retreats to the far North to avoid the plague. There are several elements that bear directly on survival. First, there is a sudden onset of the emergency with no prior warning.

The immediate response reaction is instructive. Second there are the North country survival techniques. Third, there are psychological factors of being a survivor in a situation where most others die. And there is more, dealing with post-disaster situations, though I won’t go into that because it would spoil the book for you. It’s a page-turner, though of course not a survival handbook.

Path to Savagery by Robert Edmund Alter. The world after a minor nuclear war. The polar ice caps have melted, flooding the coastlines. North America is suffering from a drought and millions of people are dead. The hero is a “loner” who avoids interacting with the tribes that most of the survivors have joined. He has a Thompson sub-machine gun and the right attitude.

The Castle Keeps by Andrew J Offutt. American life has gradually gone to hell in a handbasket, especially in the cities. The story of a family that moved to a farm determined to do what it takes to survive and lives well. My only complaint with this book is that the protagonist uses a Colt .45 SAA instead of an M1911. Other than this, the scenes involving firearms are very well done.

The Long Loud Silence by Wilson Tucker. Bio war wipes out USA east of Mississippi. The story of an “immune” (all such are careers). Cannibalism is adopted by some survivors.

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. A meteor shower blinds most of the inhabitants of the earth. A group of people who still have sight fight against flesh-eating plants while they try to survive.

Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien fictional account of a young woman surviving the aftermath of a nuclear war on her parent’s farm. Very weak on science. She lives in a protected valley, and everything outside the valley is dead. Then one day a man shows up who invented a radiation-proof suit with a pushcart (since cars are radioactive). She hides in the woods, unsure of what to do. Finally, she shows herself, but not before he drinks from a radioactive pond. He gets sick, she helps him, he eventually tries to rape her, and she hides again.

It had some good points, such as hiding her garden, getting fuel from pumps w/o electricity, and what to do with her dog, since it could be used by the man to find her. (reviewer) read it in Jr. High School in the school library, so its at least 13 old, and intended for younger readers.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. The basis for the Omega Man movie, a plague kills almost everyone.

Earth Blood (3 book series) and The Death lands books by James Axler. The Earth Blood books are about an earth where some sort of biological agent has destroyed most of the plant life throwing the world into chaos. The Death Land books take place 100 or so years after a nuclear holocaust.

Fire and Ice by Ray Kytle c 1975 D McKay & Co. It is the story of the effects of a Middle East War/Oil Crisis on a (liberal, although not for long) University professor and his family and friends. The oil fields are sabotaged/destroyed and Western Civilization gradually, then with increasing speed, grinds to a halt. Then, it becomes a story of survival, as the characters must contend not only with food shortages but looters, gangs, and even the military. Then, the weather begins to change, affected by the burning oil fields.

Future Eden by J.M. Morgan. People in the biosphere project survive a plague like the one in the stand and 20 years later have found a way to go back outside.

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny. A man has to make a cross country run in a post apocalyptic America.

Long Voyage Back by Luke Rhinehart – the story of a family who survives a nuclear holocaust by sailing along the coast of North and South America.

Dark Advent by Brian Hodge – another story about a illness that wipes out much of the world population.

Swan Song by Robert McCammeron – A post nuclear war story.

Well, that’s it for my recommended survivalist fiction – please list your favorites in the comments below…

By M.D Creekmore

Emergency Food Recipe Of The Week #6: Tuna Pizza

Emergency Food Recipe Of The Week #6: Tuna Pizza

I was just dying for a pizza the other day, but not any kind… I was craving for the pizza my mom used to make me when I went home for holidays. I remember how amazing it smelled when she took it out of the oven… and the taste! I wouldn’t even put ketchup or garlic sauce on top, it was that good!

I don’t know what made me remember all this, but I just had to cook one of those divine pizzas. And what do you know? My usual recipe inspiration,, had a tuna pizza recipe in their survival food recipes category. I didn’t have any tuna cans in the pantry, but I went to the store and got four. This way, I’ve updated my stockpile with a new type of canned food.

And not any type of food, but one with a whole lot of health benefits. Just check out a few reasons why you should eat tuna, according to

1. It’s very nutritious: “You always hear about eggs and various meats being a high source of protein, but what about fish? One of the nutritional highlights of tuna is its high protein content. How high in protein content? Try 23 grams in a serving size of three and a half ounces. Talk about a good source of protein to help keep those muscles strong. Protein is also good for the blood, skin, hair, and nails.

2. It protects your heart: “Tuna can help you avoid the risk of having a stroke. A recent study has shown that adults who include one to four servings of fish as a part of their regular diet had a 27 percent lower risk of having an ischemic stroke. Five or more servings of fish per week reduced the risk of stroke to 30 percent.”

3. It lowers your blood pressure: Tuna has omega-3 fatty acid, which helps prevent high blood pressure. Studies have shown that foods, like tuna, that contain omega-3 fatty acids helped test subjects maintain healthy blood pressure. Those who have yet to develop high blood pressure experience an even stronger beneficial effect from omega-3 fatty acids.”

4. It lowers your cholesterol: With just two servings of tuna a week, you can lower your triglyceride levels. Why is that a good thing? Triglyceride in the bloodstream indicates the amount of fat being carried. If you have a high level of triglyceride, you are probably also experiencing “bad cholesterol” and low levels of “good protein.”

5. It boosts your immune system: “Tuna is a good source of selenium, an antioxidant that helps improve the body’s immune system. The immune system is a vital part of the body that is integral to fighting off sickness, diseases, and infections.”

After reading all this, I’m seriously thinking of eating tuna more often… starting with this delicious pizza. Here’s what you need to cook it:

• 1 Boboli® pizza crust

• 15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained

• 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves

• 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

• salt and pepper to taste

• 6 oz. can solid pack white tuna, drained

• 1 (7 oz.) jar roasted red pepper, drained, chopped

• 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, well drained

• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

These ingredients will be enough for 4-6 people. Now it’s preparation time!

First of all, clear your schedule for 20 minutes. Then get a medium bowl and throw in beans, vinegar, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Next: Mash beans to get a sort of sauce, but leave some texture in the mixture. Spread the bean mixture over the Boboli® pizza crust. Put tuna, red peppers, and tomatoes on top. Sprinkle cheese over all and it’s ready to go into the oven. Enjoy it with your family!