This is not a comfortable subject for most folks, but it is essential.

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by arleigh, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    In a post apocalyptic event there are dead that must be dealt with .
    I am sure there are those more qualified than I to share their knowledge in this matter please , those of you whom have this knowledge share with us.
    There are serious heath concerns ,keeping disease at bay and coping with dealing with some one that dies among ones group post SHTF and there is no coroner or mortician to deal with it.
    One of the things a friend recommends that he did while dealing with a crime scene and the bodies are in different state of decay, is that he smoked a cigar to mask the smell, while others put Vicks under their nose.
    Believe me the smell is over whelming, and you need the courage and knowledge to deal with the situation as quickly as possible.
    Having large trash bags and disposable gloves is another must , the presents of ticks and fleas and other bugs need to be avoided as they leave a dead body looking for a living one.
    Please those of you with more skills in this area share your insight
    Ura-Ki, Tully Mars and Motomom34 like this.
  2. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Imagine every communicable disease you can and plan for it. And yes the smell can be totally overwhelming and not just when decomp has set in, a face mask (disposable respirator type) and Vicks etc are most helpful. Professional body snatchers use heavy rubber gloves (chemical type) or HD kitchen gloves and disposable overalls.

    In an end of the world situation individual graves are not going to be practical. A big pit and lime is one way (if the deaths are going to be ongoing but I think fire is more practical and sanitary.
  3. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Where I live they have the "atrium gardens". Was on the edge of town when it was first opened many years ago. Its a stepped pit disguised as a community garden and gathering place, they grow lots of pretty flowers and people have their weddings and stuff in there.
    But I know a pre-dug mass grave when I see one. With an all too conveniently located baseball field almost right across the street, incase you need a vacant lot to excavate a few hundred yards of dirt from in a hurry.
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  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Back in the 1950's US Airforce used heavy rubberized bags with zippers to protect the mattress, ie far# sacks, from urine, vomit etc in normal use, and for body storage and transport if needed. Short term plans were to use refrigerated trucks, and then burial. We all had two dog tags, one to go for records, one for the body and to be jammed between the teeth. Couple fatal crashes I saw, seems that feet in shoes were more likely to stay intact than hands, and dental records were most often used, that was before DNA and if TSTF, I don't really expect that to be around. There was a book, I think called 1491, that speculated that a good portion of the native population of the America's died of diseases after their contact with the Europeans due to their burial customs and customs with treatment of the sick. Ebola etc and an Irish style wake don't really seem like a good idea. It may well be that your actions in contact with the ill and the dead and their proper treatment may determine who survives and who doesn't. In the 1700's they knew that the small pox disease would stay in the ground and reinfect those who dug later graves. A town near where I live in NH had a small pox out break, the ill were kept in an isolated farm house, with no contact with anyone else, buried in graves at the corner of the field, graves covered with stones, and after the out break, the house and all its belongings were burned. It worked and the out break was contained to a few people, and not most of tribe as happened with the Mandan's.
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  5. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++

    I did not foresee individuals I cared about dying in groups at my BOL. I purchased 4 body bags online a few years back. It takes a lot of heat to completely consume a body so I don't think burning is the answer. My plan is to pre-dig four graves in the far corner of my property and fill them with sand so they can be reopened quickly and easily. The key thing will be to handle them in a protected manner (gloves, mask, boots and clothing) and get them in the ground ASAP (hours, not days). There are online articles describing how a body should be handled, the cause of death being the determining factor (disease or unknown vs gunshot). Individuals who can perform this task should be trained ahead of time, to avoid mistakes and delays. It's going to be a hard world with little time for grieving over a body. Individuals, not part of the group, will be identified, photographed and catalogued if possible, hauled off as far away as practical for nature to follow its course. That's my plan until I know to do better.
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  6. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Why use euphemism for the title of this thread. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: Call it what it is. "How to dispose of bodies."

    Idk why people are so squeemish about basic body functions including birth and death
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  7. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    I am by no means an expert, but I have looked into this before and came up with some interesting information:

    • Dead bodies are generally no more of health risk than they were as living people, meaning, if they did not have a communicable disease when they were alive, then they will not suddenly get one when they are dead. Healthy people who died from an accident, for example, pose very little danger to the living.
    • Most of the health hazards associated with dead bodies are post-mortem causation: Improperly buried buried bodies attract animals, who themselves carry diseases, or, a body is buried in a way that contaminates food or water sources.
    • Of greater concern should be the physical and psychological demands. In a mass casualty situation, dealing with the dead takes away time and resources from dealing with the living. And being exposed to death and dying causes depression and stress.
    • People who think they can easily handle these situations without any special training or post-incident counseling are usually the first to break down from PTSD and depression. In other words, the more badass you claim to be, the less likely it is you actually are. Studies done with military and police personnel who have been in real-world situation bear this out to be true.
  8. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    In sheriffs S&R they offered us counseling if we had a problem , but for the most part, the more frequently you deal with it the less traumatic it is .
    The first few incident's though are gut wrenching for most guys .
    Many here I would bet, would have a hard time dealing with a severe laceration, or amputation, on them selves, or a loved one, much less fellow survivalist .
    Many people in this generation rarely go to funerals much any more, and view the dead .
    I did growing up almost once every few months it seemed .
    My parents was a part of a very large church with a lot of very old folk, that, and my dad worked for a coroner and we were family friends ,so dealing/talking about death was like talking about the weather.
    As a kid though you take things for granted .
    There is so much I could have learned , but I was 8 years old then .
    I believe that it is important that kids attend funerals along with adults and let the reality sink in .
    Though it might be inconvenient for many ,I think it would be a valuable experience to work in a hospital and in that environment for a while .
  9. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    The smell of death will never leave your nostrils nor memory once it has entered. The 8th Air Force was tasked with bombing the German 7th Army trapped in the Falaise Pocket trying to retreat from Normandy, 8/44. This bombing lasted for several days in the heat of summer, about 15,000 Germans were killed. The guys in the B17;s had to wear gas masks to try and block the smell of death wafting high into the air from the carnage on the ground.
  10. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    Personally I think only on small scales will this be manageable.
    One has to think it SHTF, the likely hood either eventually or at once will be the use of technologies and vehicles will dwindle.
    I live in a town of 20,000 if half died you are talking 1.5 million pounds of bodies if all weighed 150.00 after death.
    There would not be enough excavators or fuel one could waste to remove that amount of material.
    If there is a limit to vehicle usages the last thing people will spend dwindling supplies on will be the dead.
    There are so many more people here then we can even fathom. I understand the topic but people have a hard time clearing a whale off a beach with modern equipment imagine 10's of millions of individuals even the government would have and impossible task.
    The task at hand would be overwhelming, ever small a forest fire 75 miles away we would be smelling that of bodies for months on end
    its not something that passes by fast and weather makes it way worse. Just my take.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    When you live in a Fjord, getting rid of Bodies is very easy.... They make Great Crab Bait..... You first give the deceased a Viking Funeral, and anything left over becomes Crab Food.... Then you catch the Crabs and have a Crab Feast, and celebrate the Life of the deceased...
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  12. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    The only experience I have (that I'll share, heh) with disposing of dead bodies involves animal carcasses. Here are a few things I've learned.

    1. It takes an incredibly hot fire to do a bit of damage to a corpse. I tried to burn a 150 pound dead goat by pouring gas on it and tossing a match. Mostly all I did was worsen the already putrid stench. I kept that fire burning all day and it did very little good. Finally had to drag the now crispy carcass off and there was a big gross grease spot where she'd died. Hair burns, fat melts, but the body just cooked. Not exactly the ash pile I was hoping for. Now you can roll your eyes and think no chit idiot, but I think we've all seen movies or whatnot where they put the body on a scaffold or in a boat and set it on fire so not like I'm the only fool to think that would work. If you're gonna opt for fire, you'll need it white hot. An incinerator, or a rocket stove on steroids maybe. Used an old incinerator at the city for the dead animals we scraped up and that worked well but the stench is pretty rank while it's running.

    2. Dead bodies magically increase their body weight by what feels like 50%. At least. The term "dead weight" will suddenly make a lot of sense when you attempt to drag a formerly 100 pound body out of the barn. Or the house next door. Imagine if the guy who croaked two houses down weighed 350.

    3. Sick, dying creatures like to find a place no one else can when they crawl off to die. Sick, dying humans aren't much different. Sometimes, if it were not for the swarm of flies leading you to the honey pot, you would never find them. By this point, the smell is unimaginable, especially if it's the middle of August and they're in an enclosed space with no ventilation. I have a cast iron stomach and a weak sense of smell. Not everyone is so lucky. Vics Vaporub on your upper lip will help.... tho I'm talking about 1 or 2 corpses. A mass die off... the smell would be like wrapping a rotted corpse around your face. You would taste it in the air, it would seep into your pores and hair and clothing.

    4. Never allow your well meaning boyfriend to attempt to burn the 3 day dead, flyblown dog that crawled under your pier and beam house to die in the hottest part of a Texas summer. Not even when the leg rips off when he tries to drag it out. See #1. Also see your home owner's insurance.

    Speaking of legs pulling off, unless it's cool weather and you find the deceased fairly quickly, be prepared for it to be nothing like what you see at a funeral. You may need a shovel and some spoons to get it all up. And that's not me trying to get a laugh. Heat, flies, rain if they died out in the elements, they can turn a body to greasy soup shockingly fast. I had an old goat die once up against the barn, in full sun and right next to a leaky water faucet. Out of morbid curiosity I didn't rush out to haul her off right away. Second or third day it rained, then back to 90-100F heat. Before the week was out, she was soup and bones and squirmy things. At that point there was no hauling off possible so I just covered her in about an inch of lime and then threw dirt all on top.

    It ain't like the dried out corpses on TV, not if the weather and beasties have anything to say about it. Lots of lime to suck up the mess and help with the odor and flies, lots of plastic bags and protective clothing, and a twisted sense of humor will be must-haves. The phrase "cordwood" keeps coming to mind, from a book I read written by an Auschwitz survivor. He was tasked with tossing the bodies into wheelbarrows or trailers or something, and he kept telling himself he was just stacking cordwood. He said it sounded awful and heartless, but it was the only thing that kept him sane.

    Or maybe that was from Stephen King's "The Stand". Read so many books they get mixed up in my head.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
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  13. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Our plan is to bury the dead. No other plan.
    Ganado likes this.
  14. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    We have bags of lime we use at the farm... when disposing of dead chickens /animals etc . I would use the lime to sweeten/ dispose of the bodies.. it cuts down on the stench... additionally we have an incinerator if it becomes necessary....
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
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  15. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Lindsay Technical Books used to offer a book on undertaking, but they are out of business now. It seems like Kirk Saxon, Atlan Formularies, had one too. I know that here in the South during the 1861-1865 war, people general abandoned their property adjacent to and on battlefields due to the stench of the aftermath, and that could encompass many miles of territory. I know the families that lived on the Chickamauga Battlefield, where the 10,000 dead were unburied, left their farms and never came back as mentioned there in the museum, the sights and smell were too much even after everything had normalized with time.
  16. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    The Lindsay Undertaking book is still available from other sellers, one is below:
    Coffin-Making and Undertaking

    Of course, the undertaking portion is only 6 pages long...
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  17. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    If the cause of death was a radiological event burial is not an option.
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  18. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Sure it is Sec.... Who would dig up a Dead Guy... Dead and buried... Or use my approach, just sink him, in 300 Fathoms of Sea Water...
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    A little short on sea water up here, and what there is just is not that deep. And yes, rocks are good shielding, the problem is not with radiation, it's with soluble radioactive materials migrating as in a hazardous waste dump.
  20. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    IN BC Pickton used Pigs , for YEARS .
    Fire takes fuel & lots , were 95% water by mass of weight X 5 times the fuel @ sea level ..
    Alkaline decomposition is just water & huge PH factor !!
    I learn't that to treat the deceased as I wanted to be treated ,REGARDLESS of anything .
    REspect :
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