Body disposal post SHTF

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by scrapman21009, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. scrapman21009

    scrapman21009 Chupacabra Hunter

    Not the most pleasent thread but it is going to be a problem, has anyone here considered the stench of those unfourtante ones who did not prep and any possiable solutions to this problem. My BOL is not exactly an unpopulated area and I have been thinking how my neighbor and myself would deal with this. Anybody have any plans of their own? [yukface]
  2. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    theres a bottomless swamp near me, they gave up tryin to keep a road thru it 40 years ago
    other than that bodies make damned good fertilizer
    bait for coyotes wolves and dogs (extra guards on your perimeter)
    and great warnings to others that you aint to be f'd with
    im sure youve seen the old movies with heads on stakes or impaled bodies
    set out to ward off trespassers
    Mountainman and VHestin like this.
  3. scrapman21009

    scrapman21009 Chupacabra Hunter

    A few as a warning is a great idea, but I was thinking more along the lines of a few hundred rotting in their house downwind of me on a hot summer day type of problem. I would hate to have to change BOL because it stank too bad!
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    If the Bodies are in a house, you just burn down the house. Problem solved..... ...... YMMV....
    limpingbear, VisuTrac, beast and 4 others like this.
  5. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Downwind ain't so much a problem - if the corpses are UPWIND, you got troubles.......

    Yep, burning the houses may be best, also to help slow the spread of disease. If y'all have access to a dozer, bucket tractor, etc, you can dig a hole and dump them in - mega-sized 'cathole'......
    dragonfly likes this.
  6. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    The stench is the least of your worries. There is one thing that only Bruce, I think has inadvertently (or directly without mentioning it) addressed, but SeaWolf hit head on. Disease. Handling your own dead is one thing. Handling the masses of dead people after a major SHTF event when the die-offs end is a whole different game.

    Approaching a corpse, even a long dead one (days, weeks, or even perhaps a few months dead), carries many risk factors. The least of which is the "gag" factor. Disease and rotting flesh go hand in hand. Besides the odor, you have insect vectors, airborne contaminant vectors, and animal vectors/issues (scavenging packs of once domesticated, now feral dogs comes to mind, as do wild scavengers). All of these things have to be looked at. Additionally, a human typically voids their bowels when they die, adding to the disease issues. Just walking through an area with corpses can stir up airborne vectors you cannot see or smell.

    You will typically have no idea how a person died, be that starvation, dehydration, disease, violence (including suicide), or natural causes. Clean up of corpses after a major disaster like the Japanese Tsunami or even the Haitian Earthquake this year were handled with utmost care, and clean up crews wore personal protective equipment that ranged from just masks and gloves to full on sealed suits with independent air supplies. Mass graves, like SeaWolf suggested are a good way to handle a large number of corpses. Bear in mind, heavy equipment operation is noisy, and requires some skill (that could attract unwanted attention). Burning the domicile down, like Bruce suggested is a 100% way to ensure no contamination (no corpses being handled and fire kills all disease vectors). However burning also throws a huge beacon into the air - smoke. Dark black smoke. The smell of a fire lingers for weeks afterwards. It also would destroy any potential food or most any other scavenge-able goods in the structure.

    Another question to ask - when lighting a fire - can we control this blaze? What happens if the grass surrounding the building is dry, or the woods the building sit in are dry, and they catch fire from a stray spark, and the next thing you know your BOL is under threat of fire, a fire you started?

    My group has very well understood protocols. All corpses are disease ridden. No exceptions except perhaps our own group members. Handle with gloves and a mask (even our group members) at the minimum, if at all. We will not venture from our BOL for at the minimum of 6 months after a SHTF scenario. That gives time for disease vectors to cycle, clear the area, and reduces our risk of accidental exposure. We will say a prayer over the dead, and most likely leave them where they lie. Sounds cold, perhaps crass, but it is practical. We cannot consume our time disposing of the dead ecept and only if they pose a direct threat to our group/locales hygiene/sanitation.

    If you are blessed enough to be in a smallish town, corpse disposal would then be a community discussion and effort that would very likely not take away needed manpower from other essential tasks for survival. Then mass burial, or even individual burial may not be out of the question.

    As with anything, YMMV. My advice - if you are in a major city or a major city suburb and have to bug-in there - is to consider alternative locations well away from the city/suburbs for a time (6 months to a year) after a SHTF scenario. If you need to return to your origination point for any reason, care and caution are the watchwords.

    Just my input.
  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I hesitate to burn the houses down except during rain season. Wildfires are too much of a threat. However opening windows and doors, and securing them open is an option. Feral hogs, Buzzards, Vultures and Coyotes all need to eat also.
    Falcon15 likes this.
  8. pmbug

    pmbug Golden Cockroach

    Time to start investing in soylent green factories.
    Falcon15 likes this.
  9. scrapman21009

    scrapman21009 Chupacabra Hunter

    tac - I agree, purify by flame, waste to many resources and to much danger

    falcon - good points, ppe is standerd equipment at BOL, bio level 3 as well as a backhoe and skid loader, so mass graves may work, depends on body count in our "safety zone", a 1 mile radius around our houses. I guess the waiting game might be the best idea, my main problem is I only have about 2 months of food and water put up,a good reason to increase my stores. Preps have kicked into overdrive for the last few months, things going down way too fast for my liking
    Falcon15 likes this.
  10. gomer

    gomer Hooligan


    Seriously though, I'm thinking an open pit burn. Treat with boric acid to remove moisture and then diesel fuel. I've located a few places within two miles, but not within one mile where this could be accomplished. Any flaws in this idea?
  11. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    There are many things to consider, before deciding to embark on a "corpse clean-up", IMO.

    Consider time and resources (PPE, heavy equipment etc.) to dig the pit, place the bodies in it, treat the pit (loads of boric acid/diesel fuel - I could think of a lot better uses for any amount of fuel) and the smoke involved.

    You are going to burn a lot of personal energy - ie. food, just doing this. Unless you are very well established, food wise, and do not have to consider food gathering/planting/growing, you will be wasting precious time and energy that could be spent hunting, farming, or even just gathering fuel - firewood lets say - to cook and heat your locale.

    I note you are in NY. It gets mighty cold up that way. Your summers are short, comparative to the more southern states. You have a limited window to ensure you have gathered and stored adequate fresh food to carry you through even a mild winter. I am very familiar with NY winters/summer, especially those in and around the Upstate areas, Albany/Herkimer/Adirondacs in general, having lived there in the past. I also lived in *le gasp* Jersey for 5 years. Those winters can be harsh to say the least.

    I am not advocating ignoring the issue, I am saying consider very carefully before undertaking a large endeavor in an effort to do what time and nature will do eventually - dispose of the dead. Unless it is a very real threat of contamination to your immediate living environment it should not be on your "worry about this right away" list.

    Any preppers priority before or after a SHTF event should be the basics:
    water, food, shelter, heat, security. If you are blessed enough to have manpower and resources where these are handled and you have extra people doing little to nothing, then consider it. Then again, with the passage of enough time, body disposal may become a moot point, nature will have taken care of the bulk of it.

    As with anything, YMMV. Your circumstances may be such that you can handle this issue easily - few nearby homes, etc. Not knowing your exact circumstances, I am offering only things to consider.
    beast likes this.
  12. gomer

    gomer Hooligan

    Eventually, body disposal will become an issue. Whether it's someone in your group dieing of natural causes or cleaning up after defending your home or helping with mass burials.

    Just an aside, but in the spring, you can watch the snowbanks on the side of the road melt, exposing animals that had been hit and killed by traffic and then buried in the bank by snow plows. Sure, eventually nature will take care of your dead, but what to do with them until then? It can sometimes take a while.
  13. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    In this part of the world we have plenty of D9 cats and open land.(y)
  14. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    1) The cost in terms of fuel, be it liquid or wood, would be a hindrance...
    2) If I had to dig a hole that would also prove to be a real issue,too heavy of caliche deposits in the area...
    3)Only choice left is to drag them further to the north, and leave them in an open area near the national forest...But then the people up there won't be too happy with that idea either....
    4) Southwards, I have a huge canyon, but the winds come in from that direction and the few residents in that canyon would be a little upset with that disposal idea as well....
    Not a topic you see much about, and it's something that must be taken into account...I do not relish the idea at all of having to deal with it, but it's just another one of those "reality time" things...!
    I'd like to hear more ideas on this and see where it could go....
  15. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

  16. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Dealing with your own dead is much different than cleaning corpses out of the suburbs. Your own dead should be washed, wrapped in a sheet and buried 5-600 yards from your water supply, at a minimum. A pine box coffin would be nice, yes. Again, time, materials, and effort. Cleaning up after you defend your home - IMO food for the wild animals. Load them in a wagon or truck haul them off to an isolated area, mile, maybe a mile to mile and a half away, and dump them. Burial or cremation is too much effort for those who wanted you and yours dead. Hogs and coyotes have got to eat too.
    Hauling dead animals away, or even corpses of attackers/undesirables consumes less time, effort and thought. Handle your own the way your morals and religious beliefs lead you.

    This is how my group will handle these things during a SHTF event, before civilization is "restored".
    Space Ghost likes this.
  17. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    The only thing to remember if you burn them the smoke is going to let the zombies know where you are and that there is life and probally supplies to try and loot. Another thing the stench will help mask the odors coming from your BOL cooking. I would probally only worry about the ones within a few hundred feet of my camp and I would prob dig a pit cover with lime the put dirt back a little more work but a better choice than giving your location away.
  18. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    I remember learning somewhere about how a custom, think it was in some African villages, not sure, was to touch the brain of the deceased, and there was a very specific nasty disease resulting from it. And I've told my mother time and again that she is NOT ALLOWED to die in winter cause I ain't trying to dig her grave when it's too frickin cold and the ground is frozen.
    Alpha Dog likes this.
  19. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    The disease is known as Kuru. It was common in New Guinea and came from consuming human brain tissue. Cannibalism. NOT Kosher.
  20. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

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