January 22, 2019 When you start looking beyond the popular consumer literature about emergency and disaster preparedness, and start diving into case studies and government records, one of the recurring themes that arises is the incidence of disease spread as a result of breakdowns in sanitation systems and practices. From municipal sewage systems flooding and spilling into the streets to breaks in lines contaminating drinking water supplies; to people’s toilets backing up from a lack of water to flush. Once shit starts piling up, disease vectors start ramping up, and people get sick and die. Even as a kid in the 1980s, reading government Civil Defense handouts from the 1950s and 1960s, and survivalist literature of the era, and Army Field Manuals I purloined from my father’s bookshelves, one of the recurring suggestions for dealing with that included a bucket with a trash bag liner. Once full, you, you were supposed to tie up the bag and “dispose of it safely.” Beyond “bury it” (in which case, why not just use a fucking slit trench?), I don’t recall any specific instructions on what constituted “dispose of it safely.” The second common suggestion I’ve seen over the years is the time-tested and approved “dig a hole and build an outhouse.” When I was a young kid—really, even into high school—in our rural community, everyone had an outhouse, even though we all had indoor plumbing by then, and running water (well, most. We did have a couple neighbors that, even in the early 1990s, still used a hand pump from a shallow well for household water). The final suggestion was usually only mentioned by people who’d been in the military in combat arms, and/or were Vietnam vets, which was, shit in a metal barrel, mix in diesel or av-gas, and burn it when it gets close to full. Before I offer a much better option, let’s look at some of the inherent problems with each of the above. Buried Bags of Poop! Cat holes and slit trenches go back, at least to the beginnings of recorded military history, and probably further than that. Common in Roman military practice, with the rise of castles and siegecraft in the medieval period, they found a new lease on life. Having a besieging army of thousands, just shitting wherever was convenient was…well inconvenient, when it results in half the army dying of dysentery or cholera. Putting it all in a hole and burying it keeps it mostly safe from rodents and flying vermin who then transmit the pathogens to human food stores…the presence of microbes and mychorrizal in the soil that exists just to break down waste into plant nutrients helps that process. So, what’s wrong with bagging it and burying it? A plastic bag creates an anaerobic environment, because no oxygen can reach the waste. The microbes that grow in that waste in the anaerobic environment are the ones that stink, and are harmful to human health. Further, when the bag does rupture, the stench attracts vermin…that transmit the harmful bacteria and any disease pathogens to human food stores… Yay! Cholera! Here’s a pro tip: Dying of fucking cholera is antithetical to survival. Privies are for Privacy! more info on site... seems legit... IMHO... Dealing with Shit….or, Cholera is Fun!