Solutions to Post-Event Problems, by Old Bobbert

Post-event situations can be surprisingly difficult to discuss.

Let’s first cover more positive and productive word usage. We can all readily agree that there is nothing positive, enabling, or uplifting about the acronym WTSHTF. The Editor of this blog euphemistically uses “When the Schumer Hits The Fan”, in defining it.  But we all know what these letters really stand for, and that is often felt to be negative or low class language. Moving up in the world of solution communications, we can instead choose to say or write “Event.”

Our newly adopted word (much more expressive) can convey a disaster date, a dangerous situation, a current environment, and a correction starting point. Using the word event will immediately include those folks who have maintained a sense of honor and personal standards. They have demonstrated positive proprieties in the new world we will be attempting to make more usable. Such positive and generative people will help make a better life for ourselves, our families and our many others.

Now, moving forward to our favorite topic, preparing to survive any disaster that happens to smack us directly, affecting the pantry and in the medicine cabinet located in the utility room right next to the useless circuit breaker box opposite the suddenly defunct food freezer. Ah, you saw right through my not so funny description of a sudden regional power outage.

Remember this cute rule of curt response: When the power is out all over town, don’t waste time trying to find out how come who did it and is there fuel for the generator… “Why not?”, you ask.

Because those answers will not help the power to come back on any time soon and those answers will just create even more not very helpful questions.

Light are Out, Supper is Delayed

It’s still daylight and your household folks are getting frantic about the lack of lights and supper. Somehow some of us didn’t consider what should have been done at some time prior to yesterday so as to not have a problem today.

Security starts with a secure attitude. Most of my neighbors have seen our dozen solar panels. Although we will not be using that power at first, instead we will function by the numbers following our “Grid Down Response Plan”.

We will go outside and gather the dozen solar-powered outdoor driveway/walkways stick-in-the-dirt small battery powered lights, cleaning the dirt-crusted stakes so as to have peace in the house just prior to bringing them into the house. Now we have inside lights in every room, to be turned on only as may be needed.

Remember to turn off all lighting in a room with a door to the outside before opening that door at night. Do not announce to the world that you have lights and are more prepared than the folks nearby who might want your lights and your other stuff.

WHAT IS A TOILET?

The Event has occurred. Now everyone in the house will use the people waste production processing equipment located in the bathrooms (toilets) while we still have water pressure.

The first one in each bathroom will start filling up the tub with water. The person who is last in each bathroom will be responsible for turning off the water when each tub is full. You may need to sit and watch towards the end of the filling process, so smile nice and feel important ‘cause that is important.

BTW – Who Flushed The Toilet Too Early? Effective the very minute the water pressure fails, there will be an immediate new, and very much an absolutely unbreakable, rule about using the toilets. Here it is for you folks new to smart smelly rules of good health:

Liquid waste (that is commonly called “#1”) only and a single/ once only /daily flush late at night by a rotating “weekly” assignment for all toilets in the house.

At that same time-scheduled occasion, all solid waste (that’s called #2) from a bucket toilet will need to be in a sturdy plastic bag in the bathroom and then deposited outside in a freshly dug trench, with the shovel always kept nearby.

In our rear area patio we have an abundance of happy Mullein plants, an excellent easy soft safe substitute for toilet paper. You ask, “what is Mullein? Do a web search on the phrase “Mullein cowboy toilet paper”.  (The plant’s proper name is Verbascum thapsus.)

The Gas Station

Looking seriously at another common concern about a sudden area-wide power outage, the gas stations just shut down, immediately, and for two reasons. Neither of those were caused by you, and both of which are gonna just be real bad. Yes, bad things do happen to good people.

First, the gas transfer pumps need power to move your much needed fuel from the underground tank up to your fuel tube in the side of your near empty car or truck.

Second, even if you could dip a bucket down into that tank to get the fuel up to the car / truck, how will you measure the fuel correctly, and then pay for the fuel? The station attendant is rarely the owner and can not make money decisions anyway!

Third, there is a simple perfect solution readily available just for you, and it works every time: Keep your fuel tank at least half full, at all times. That should be the rule for serious preppers. At our home we keep the car’s fuel gauge above the midpoint. We just never even give it another thought, as it is our regular unspoken habit. So why are you not doing the same thing? Now it’s your turn to do it, and teach it, and proclaim it. Don’t let yourself be the one left with a gauge that reads “empty” when it really counts for you and yours.

Now just a few ideas about Problem solutions versus Problem elimination. So far have you noticed that these problems – solutions are actually not new, not always free or not overly expensive, seldom very complicated situations. Most solutions, provided they are determined well in advance, are simple and safe, for discussion anywhere, any time, and with any body! A commonsense response has no politics, no nationality, no gender or status, and certainly no religious denomination.

There is currently not a single law we know of against anything in this article, I think. Usually those are dangerous words, the “I think” part. Actually the dangerous part usually starts with, “By The Way, to be safe, you must commit do your own personal research and homework.”

Moving on to other sorta simple but still serious problems and answers, located somewhere between the cans of beans and the beef stew, and very near to the powdered potato flakes, there is an unwritten chapter about opening canned foods and cooking them when the power can opener has failed and the electric cook top is so very cold and totally useless and is causing severe embarrassment when the family is finally in full agreement:  “We want cooked hot food, now.

You will find yourself in one of two situations, each symbolized by a single short sentence.

So pick yours now, well in advance of the sad choices others will have to make under future severe family power-out stresses.

1st (best) selection – Well, here is the solution to your problem as I see it today.

A Propane Gas Grill

This is an example of a possible very best response to your family during the power down problem. Our budget could not afford about $250 for new equipment so I went one better than expensive and new a while back. A few months ago I went down to the local thrift store when they called me. Just as I had asked, they called to tell me they had a nice used outdoor propane gas barbecue cook stove, with an empty 20-pound propane tank, for sale. I rushed down there and bought it. They asked $35 and I paid them $40 and bought three extra empty propane tanks for another $20. We did really good for just $60. I was able to fill the 4 propane tanks at my local Wal-Mart for another $60.

We will have hot food for as long as we might need to cook outdoors. Also, a lot of foodstuff in cans can be eaten cold just fine. We can mix hot and cold items at meal times. So I bought 20 P38 mil-spec can openers. We are ready to be ready to use and to barter. We bought three deluxe manual can openers on sale from Amazon Prime for $15 total, delivered free. Let’s eat.

And yes we did do just that. You will also be successful. Simply search the Internet for the local area thrift stores and telephone to ask about availability of items on your prepper shopping list. Visit personally as may be appropriate. Be friendly and generous. Be kind and remember OPSEC about your prepper status. You are getting “camping supplies.”

2nd ( sadly ) Selection – Sorry kids. We do have mom’s old can opener, but we will be eating cold food for a while. Let’s drink the warm water from the toilet’s back tanks, and we can save the canned juice in the pantry for later.

And still moving to another sorta small and yet simple, and doable, situation during a continuing power outage.

Underground Insulin Refrigeration

How about considering what can be done to keep refrigerated medications safe while waiting for the grid power to be restored? Personally I’m speaking of my 90 day supply of two kinds of insulin. I need both Novalog and Lantus. My Lantus supply is 10 small bottles at 70 units daily and the Novalog is two small bottles at 10 units daily. Each bottle new has 1,000 units each.

Personally we have both solar and wind turbine alternative power with a battery bank system. But if you did not, and it is very likely that you will not, you need solutions to your medical refrigeration needs.

Begin by digging a hole approximately 4-5 feet deep and about 16-20 inches wide. The average temperature 4+ feet deep is cooler than at ground level and very much cooler than in a closet. Try to pick a spot that stays shady during the day. Put a bucket upside down over the finished hole.

Then cut some large empty cardboard boxes into 24+ inch wide strips. Turn them into round tubes “almost too big” to fit into the round hole. Use duct tape or string or whatever you can to make the tube secure. Tape both sides of the tubing and tape the top and bottom edges for strength and security.

FIRST, Push the tube into the hole and let the tube top sticking up above the ground level.

SECOND, push some cloth rags loosely into the bottom of the tube so as to keep the dirt out and the lower level ambient cold in the tube.

Then bag the meds, or what you may be storing, in plastic with a string sticking out the top of the tube a few feet, not just a few inches.

THIRD, then very loosely bag up some dirt from the hole, also with string coming out the top of the tube. Make at least three small dirt-filled sturdy bags to fill the void above the bag of meds. Keep all of these parts very loose in the hole so as to not create an extraction problem when your bags are removed as needed. But these bags will insulate the tube, to insure that the bottom of the holes stays at the ambient ground temperature.

If we were using this method I would go directly to my wife’s flower garden 18” tile walkways and just lift one up and start digging.

BTW, and this is exactly how we would handle my personal supply of insulin at a safe temperature availability. I read the Internet instructions very closely and I follow the safety rules to the letter. Exactly this way.

I know our house is very well insulated because I did it myself 19 years ago. In a grid-down situation our alt power systems will keep the refrigerator, the freezer, and the microwave working. The AC will just be a memory of better days. My insulin will be in the refrigerator most of the time. Cold insulin stings badly. Oops. Don’t ask how I know about the stinging!

So now how can I help you to actually be more secure in your prepper efforts? Simple answer in two parts:

FIRST: There are a few warm and strong maxims that will better your days every day. Let’s start with this one….. it’s my personal favorite:  “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.”

SECOND: There is available to you at YouTube a free 9-minute video of U.S. Navy SEAL Admiral William McRaven as the University of Texas commencement speaker, in 2014. His remarks have become world famous. I have two of his books, and I watch the video often. He will teach you to MAKE YOUR BED EVERY MORNING.

How to download the good stuff

I regularly use the free App called ClipGrab to download from YouTube those items I want to have forever in my Mac or PC.

Moving on, my web browser’s homepage of SURVIVALBLOG.COM has a section named Resources. Just click it once and therein you will find a treasure trove of usable simple prepper “WORDS OF WISDOM”. There is some sound, proven, prepper advice and commentary, found nowhere else.

Go there now. Be Smart now, not later – Prepare now.




36 Comments

  1. Yeah, couldn’t make it past the sh*t bag leftist McRaven. He is anti-2nd amendment and anti-free speech. He “knew” better than everyone else as UT Chancellor that guns were bad m’kay. He can pound sand.

  2. Dig your hole so a sonobuoy [gray plastic shipping tube] will fit. Push it into the hole and you won’t worry about dirt falling into your hole. Get some building foam and cut out a piece to fit your tube for the bottom and put silicone sealer around it to hold your foam in place. Also cut a couple of pieces of foam to put inside tour tube from the top. You can run para cord thru a hole and cut a circle of plywood 2 to 4 inches in diameter for the bottom and run you cord thru it. You could also use a rod for pulling it up and out . Just make sure you don’t make it to tight. You can buy all these thing at most building supply stores.
    You might want to look for an old chest freezer and put it in the ground. After you get it in, cover it with 4 inches of foam that you can pull off to open the lid. It should keep the temp cold enough for you insulin. You may also store root vegs. in it also. If you think it’s going to hit the fan do it”now” as you will be busy trying to do many other things.
    Folk remember cooking out side the smell travels away from you so your neighbors my be over for dinner with out an invitation. You can cook inside in your kitchen with a propane camp stove on top of you unless electric stove. Just crack a window for a little fresh air.
    Just try and plan ahead for what you think will go down. No matter how well you plan there is always something you missed. Make a master list of your preps. Have a plan that the family can follow as a guide line What , Where, and How.
    God Bless
    Gman

    1. If you buy a normal kitchen stove, with a propane oven, and one that has NO electronic controls, you can just continue to cook in your kitchen with your kitchen stove as usual. I had fifty gallons of propane, and cooked for five years with it, not to mention boiling dye.

      Electronic controls won’t work without power, but with manual controls, all you have to do is light a match.

      Also, if you have a Woodstock soapstone stove (about 400 lbs of stone), your house will be warm, and you can cook on top of that too, with wood as fuel. The Fireview is gorgeous, and the Hybrid Progressive is not bad. One load of wood lasts twelve hours or more, and it will heat the house comfortably, unlike a cast iron wood stove.

  3. “….If we were using this method I would go directly to my wife’s flower garden 18” tile walkways and just lift one up and start digging….”

    18″ tiles will work, but 24″ are much better. While the power is on, the sun is shining and cold drinks are available, find a tile that is in a shady spot, one that is in shade as much of the daylight hours as possible. remove that tile. Dig a 12″ diameter hole 48″ deep beneath it; insert a 42″ length of 10″-12″ PVC pipe equipped with a coupling and threaded cap. Backfill around the pipe, lightly moistening and gently tamping as you go; this improves the contact between the cool soil and the PVC pipe. Cover the end of the pipe. Replace paver. Next time you need an “emergency fridge” it’ll be only 4-6″ down under The Secret Paver.

    For extra points: Install thermal conductors inside the pipe. Copper is great, but steel or iron will work, at least until it rusts into nothing. Drive 6-12 lengths of something thermally conductive several feet into the ground inside the pipe; ideally, to a depth of 3-6 feet below the pipe and which extend nearly to the top of the pipe. They will absorb heat from the length of pipe nearest the ground – where it’s warmer – and transfer it to deeper soil where it’s cooler. Pro Tip: 1/2″ or 3/4′ copper water pipe works well, is often available at scrap prices, but is too soft to drive in. A metal rod or pipe driven in first will make a suitable hole, a perforated drill point on the end of a galvanized pipe will “wash” in the required distance. Pro Tip 2: When the thermal pipes are in and the hole around the outside the PVC pipe backfilled, fill the inside of the pipe with water and let it drain. As it drains the soil will become wet and somewhat like a thick slurry, improving the pipe-to-dirt bond around the thermal conductors.

    If you have a length of well casing – which is steel – that’s better than the PVC pipe because it’s a much better thermal conductor. Scrap compressed gas cylinders will also work well if the ends are cut off. Old, de-certified SCUBA tanks are aluminum and also work well. Note: ALL CAUTIONS ABOUT HANDLING AND DEALING WITH GAS CYLINDERS OF ALL TYPES APPLY. IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY EXPERT IN DEALING WITH THEM, THEN DON’T DO ANYTHING WITH THEM AND STICK WITH STEEL OR PVC PIPE.

    1. And if you are burying anything that you may need to access in a freezing winter climate, bury not with dirt but with smooth river gravel and protect against water incursion…much easier to dig up in sub-freezing temps. It could be inside an accessible shed so neighbors can’t see you digging.

  4. It’s easy to say “dig a hole 18″ across and 4-5 FEET deep”, the reality of that is something else. The width vs. depth means using a post hole digger after the first foot or two, and that’s a LOT of effort.

    I recently had to dig a couple of holes, and for anyone who hasn’t done it lately, it’s exhausting. Digging is really hard work. If you’re on some sort of maintenance drug regimen, you are probably not in the best physical condition anyway. You DON’T want to have a cardiac event after SHTF. You don’t even want the chest pains that come from using muscles you don’t normally use.

    If you think this is something you might need, by all means do it slowly and early. Don’t wait until SHTF.

    It’s always good to think about new things, and being reminded that our ancestors used holes in the ground to keep stuff cool is valuable.

    Personally, my plan for keeping a small quantity of things cold post-SHTF is a small solar panel, a small 12v battery, and a vehicle cooler like the six pack cooler by Coleman.

    This is an example of the size and shape, https://www.amazon.com/Wagan-Quart-Thermoelectric-Cooler-Warmer/dp/B07CSSM2HV/ although I don’t know that brand.

    I have picked up two that are Coleman branded at yard sales for <$20 each. One of them was actually manufactured by Dometic, which is a leader in the 12v cooler market. They use a solid state device to cool the box, and a fan to move the air over the outside of the device. Other than the small 'muffin' fan, there are no moving parts. The older units are very well built and stay cold even when not plugged in for a while.

    You can get bigger coolers, but they will use more juice, need a bigger battery, and a bigger panel.

    If I was not up to digging waist deep holes, or my soil wasn't conducive to that, I'd be looking hard at alt-tech like terracotta evaporative coolers, or 12v coolers and solar.

    I count the small panel, battery, and cooler at <$100, (less than $200 for a complete backup), and NO ER visit for chest pains as a big win.

    (no reason not to later dig a hole if you have a problem with the cooler either. With ideas as well as gear, 2 is1, and 1 is none.)

    nick

    1. This won’t work for most people, but may for some. I have a neighbor who has to relocate his well. I’m going to ask the well driller if he would like a small side job – putting in a few four foot steel well casings for me.

      But if you have a local well driller, you could ask if they would be willing to do this on a day when they have nothing else to do, or are in your area anyway.

  5. The spectrum of those readers who are interested in preparedness is a broad one. Some are interested in being prepared with extra non-perishable food and stored water for a few days after a power outage following an ice storm, or for the disruption following a hurricane that might last for a week.

    On the other side of the spectrum, some are already living in remote areas with scattered populations in homes in which they could ride out events that will end modern society. If a Mad Max World becomes reality, they are as prepared as they can be to meet the threat with their “beans, bullets, and band-aids,” and to make the best of it.

    It is not very often that I come across the rather basic advice in an article on this fine blog. Let me make a few points:

    For the author to chide readers who might use the acronym “SHTF” because they are not maintaining “a sense of honor” causes me to wonder just how prepared the author, who is apparently a gentle soul, is to face a world “without rule of law.” It speaks volumes about the mindset of the author in facing all but the mildest social upheavals where no particular “grit” will be needed. This mindset is often the type seen on survival sites that dwell more on household hints than on how to survive major society-changing events in a feral environment.

    Here are a few specific comments about points that were made:

    1. The author says, “When the power is out all over town, don’t waste time trying to find out how come who did it and is there fuel for the generator…” Really? If the power is out, I want to know if some driver struck a power pole a half mile away, if conditions following an ice storm took power lines down, or whether the country has been hit by a major EMP attack with years-long repercussions. My actions in the next two or three days will be dramatically different with these scenarios, and how I respond could have a huge impact on the survival of those I hold dear.

    2. Where gathering solar lights is discussed, the author saying that this should involve “cleaning the dirt-crusted stakes so as to have peace in the house just prior to bringing them into the house,” I find this curious. We’re talking about a SHTF event here, regardless of what the author wants to call it. “Peace in the house” is dependent on the careful removal of all traces of soil from the spike at the bottom of this light source. Really?

    3. The author discusses issues regarding the treatment of bodily waste that is at the most basic level. I find it interesting that he is recommending using mullein in dealing with “#2” as he calls it. Yes, I expect that it is better than using the “hunter’s friend,” tree leaves, but I am wondering just how common it is in many areas. Regardless, there is little excuse for not laying in considerable amounts of toilet paper in advance. (Think Costco or Sam’s Club.) Rudyard Kipling once said, ““A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition.” If he had thought about it further, he would likely have added “or too much toilet paper.” Most women, in particular, would agree.

    4. The author describes the problems with trying to obtain fuel from a local gas station. If it is not a SHTF situation, the gas attendant will be there to handle the transaction. If the situation truly is a SHTF situation, the gas station will be closed, as will the malls, supermarkets, etc. The issue of obtaining fuel should come down to just how badly you need the gas, and what you are willing to bear in the way of consequences for your actions. The author says that the solution is to simply keep the “fuel gauge above the midpoint.” Really? What happens when that fuel is gone? And if keeping the fuel gauge above the midpoint is a good solution, why isn’t storing more toilet paper a good solution rather than resorting to the use mullein?

    5. I really have nothing much to say about gas grills and extra fuel. It’s a pretty simple concept: more fuel is better.

    6. About preserving insulin for use with diabetes, first, “I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV.” It is my understanding, however, that all Type 1 diabetics (juvenile onset) and some Type 2 diabetics (adult onset) are dependent on insulin. Because insulin is a finite resource, no matter how much insulin is kept on hand, once that insulin supply is exhausted, the outcome is inevitable. (See “One Second After” by William Fortschen. And, yes, those with sufficient lab skills can make it, but I am talking about the “average Joe” here.) While those who are dependent on oxygen can store extra oxygen bottles, the difficulty in getting extra insulin and just how long it would last, even under ideal conditions, are issues that someone else will have to address.

    It is my understanding that most Type 2 (adult onset) diabetics, are initially treated with medication. Many progress to insulin dependency, however. There is a “whole lotta” information out there that Type 2 diabetes can be controlled or eliminated by not eating the foods that raise blood sugar the most, e.g., carbohydrates, and by adding more of the foods that don’t raise blood sugar at all, e.g., fats. Eliminating sugar and carbohydrates, including alcohol, grains, starchy vegetables, legumes, and most fruits, and starting a low carb high fat diet, one that includes protein, fat, and non-starchy vegetables, will be very helpful. Adding exercise to the program will also be extremely helpful. (Note that you seldom see any actors in diabetes medications commercials that aren’t “chunky.” Coincidence? I don’t think so.)

    For every person who has told those living near an urban area to “just move,” there ought to be one telling diabetics to “just cut out the carbs.” While trying such a program may not solve many Type 2 diabetics’ insulin dependency issues, it seems to me that it should always be attempted.

    1. Survivormann99,

      I totally disagree that a person who won’t swear should be written off as too “gentle” to survive. My neighbor is a Mennonite and he doesn’t swear, nor do I swear around him out of respect. The man and his family grow their own food, raise several beef cows, raise chickens, makes his own butter, Apple sauce, sausage, can repair all kinds of stuff and above all would give you the shirt off his back to help you. So he doesn’t have an AR15 and a plate carrier with a gill zillion mags. With that said he is more than cable of surviving. Should someone threat him or his family with harm, well we are NOT Mennonites. That is the power of community.

      As far as you other comments I gotta agree with you. I thought the same thing about the solar yard lights. In fact why do you even have to take the stake part inside? Most of the lights I have seen the light can come off the stake and pole.

      Gas? Plan on getting a diesel that will allow for more and safer fuel storage.

      1. 3ADScout,

        You wrote,”I totally disagree that a person who won’t swear should be written off as too “gentle” to survive.”

        First, using a scatological noun is not swearing. Swearing, to me, has to do with the Almighty. Scatological terminology involves profanity. There is a difference. Personally, when I am in polite company, I might say, “When the stuff hits the fan,” although I am sure that everyone knows what I mean, yet, I haven’t actually said it.

        Second, alas, you are trying to put words in my mouth! I never said that someone who doesn’t swear should be written off as being too gentle to survive. What I said was “For the author to chide readers who might use the acronym ‘SHTF’ because they are not maintaining ‘a sense of honor’ causes me to wonder just how prepared the author, who is apparently a gentle soul, is to face a world ‘without rule of law.'” I believe that an author’s gritty outlook or preparedness level in negotiating a world in which the enforcement of law is only a dim memory is the subject of fair inquiry and commentary. If a person is offended by an occasional coarse word, trying to wend one’s way in a feral world where there is no law enforcement will be a daunting task.

        Your Mennonite neighbor sounds like an extraordinarily valuable resource. Not only out of friendship, but out of pure self-interest you should maintain and strengthen that relationship. I am reminded, however, of something I read in “Empire of the Summer Moon,” an extraordinarily well-written history of the Comanche tribe and the settlements on the Texas frontier. At one point, the author describes a family that moved from Illinois to the ragged edge of the Texas frontier in the 1840s. Perhaps they were Quakers, but I don’t remember whether the author mentioned this. In any event, they brought no firearms. I expect that you can fill in the rest of the story and figure out how it ends.

        After a total societal meltdown, you will need your neighbor for the necessities he can offer, and he will certainly need the protection you can offer him. I would call it a symbiotic relationship in “times that try men’s souls.” As a former soldier, I’m sure that you recognize the undeniable truth in the words, “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

      2. 3AD Scout.. regarding diesel vs gas storage. I learned from StevenHarris1234.com that actually gas is easier to store longer term than diesel, and much easier to rejuvenate than contaminated diesel.

        PRI-G can actually restore gas viability. Steven Harris has stored gasoline for 10 years, is an automotive engineer from Detroit. His on line classes give the details.

  6. You lost me at drinking out of the toilet back tank, I guess it was a joke? I don’t know about you, but mine would have to be sanitized and filtered, as it is nasty back there. I also use back of the tank cleaning tablets occasionally (see above) so my water would be non-potable.

    Side note, speaking of non-potable water, in case anyone doesn’t know, you can flush a toilet simply by pouring in water manually. However, be aware that sewer systems can back flow (and flood your home with Event) especially if pumps fail (power down), there is flooding, etc.

    1. Having grown up in an area prone to snow storms, ice storms and blizzards and the resultant power outages, sometimes for multiple days or weeks, and in a house that was dependent upon well water, and many years and climates later, including hurricane zones, I have grown up knowing how to deal with “events” all my life. Therefore, I have always been aware of how to flush a toilet without running water, namely, the bucket-o-water method. For anyone unfamiliar with it, a word of warning… carefully pour the water directly into the bowl. Someone once poured the water from melted snow into the tank and then used the handle to flush. All the twigs, pine needles and sand that were in the snow ended up in the tank after flushing, requiring a thorough cleaning afterwards. Save yourself energy, time and aggravation and pour the water into the bowl, then allow gravity to do the work for you.

      As for the clean up issues, I would certainly hope that toilet paper, facial tissues and paper towels are high on the list of priorities to stock up on. And don’t forget the feminine hygiene products. Even if there are not any people in your family or group who need them, they come in handy for lots of other uses and as barter items.

      Another thing to keep on hand are disposable adult underwear (Depends), for both men and women. Consider how much work laundry will require without power. Then consider how your body will react if you drink contaminated water. Now, put the two together. Oh, yes… Lay in a few bottles of Kaopectate and some Imodium AD, while you’re at it.

    2. If you are hooked up to municipal sewers be prepared for them to back up into your residence,either have expanding plugs for all drains(especially basement) or have a antiflow back check valve installed(if your local plumber is not familiar,have him call a plumber in Chicago-they raised the houses but not the sewers and homes flood during heavy rains)
      A home with a septic system is preferable for this reason the water conservation would be the only draw back.
      Any situation is under Murphy’s law,so anticipate the coldest,wettest situation and be ready to heat.
      The propane tanks are ok but Walmart doesn’t fill tanks that I know but has a exchange station that is notorious for underfilled tanks a mostly free solution is a brick rocket stove and it can be landscaping until assembled and fuel is anything that burns.

  7. It can be easier to dig a narrow, deep hole using any kind of long bar (rebar or breaker bar) and any shop vac to suck up the dirt as you loosen it. You don’t even need to have the dirt go in the vac unless you want to move it elsewhere.

  8. The “event”, “SHTF” or whatever is here now. We’re in a period of collapse right now. The latest climate data alone is bad enough. The 1972 MIT/Club of Rome study projections are tracking on schedule. Don’t think about prepping up for what’s coming. We’re already in it.

        1. Every year there are places that break records for heat AND cold. The trick to discovering that this is a scam is when people cherry pick these stats in an attempt to prove their agenda is correct. Some people simply repeat what they read and are not aware enough to know when they are being scammed.

    1. My friends out in the hinterlands live off-grid. For them, the “event” has happened.

      They raise their own food and live without a flush toilet. How? Visit this site: http://humanurehandbook.com/

      Be aware that using the “product” before it has been composted in a hot system (described by the author) may have dire consequences. Be careful handling #2. #1 is safe to carry in a bottle and pour at the base of plants you want to encourage in their leafy growth–think kale.

      Carry on

      1. First, let me say that gardening knowledge is one of the biggest holes in my prepping efforts, so take this comment for what it is.

        I would want to hear from someone who has actual experience with using urine on vegetables and such. I have read other articles in which, if memory serves me, it was stated that the urine should be used in a 1:20 ratio with water so as not to damage plants.

        My hillside property is covered with ground cover and I have no grass now. I seem to remember that, “back in the day,” urine spots on lawns became evident after considerable pet activity. I am concerned that using straight urine on the ground around vegetables will be risky.

        Just sayin’.

        1. Yes I’m using urine as a nitrogen source and have mentioned it twice on this blog. Weird how no one has asked a follow up Q.

          I keep a larger-opening plastic milk jug with lid for collection. Roughly 13 oz collection, fill to top with rainwater from collection trough, gives the recommended 10% solution.

          Yes it works, especially for crops requiring heavy nitrogen additions such as sweet corn. Vermont colleges published studies of their work.

          When you don’t have a good source on nitrogen such as animal waste, this works. Use as a soil-applied root application, and for young fruit trees with NO fruit on them, a nightly foliar spray has nearly eliminated deer damage.

        2. Some 35 years ago I lived in San Bernardino. Liked the area and the weather there. But it is hot and dry especially in the summer. At a local bar there was this one guy who choose to go out to the side of the bar in the evening to relieve himself rather than use the rest room. He was a regular there almost every night. One day another regular unaware of the other man’s habit commented to the owner/bar tender that the weeds outside were “huge” and green while all around us everything was withered and brown. She replied that it was all because of this one guy pissing on the weeds every night.
          Not sure this is the testimonial you were looking for…

        3. Hi SUrvivorman99, I have been using urine on my garden pkants for more than twenty years. Folks rave over the size and quality of my greens and kale.

          You want to focus your attention to the safe handling of #2. That is where potential danger lies.

          This article may help you with #1.

          Why You Should Pee On Your Plants
          Depending on which gardening circles you hang with, the concept of urine in the garden may already have surfaced as a discussion topic. So what’s the deal? Should you seriously pee on your peas, tinkle on your tomatoes, and take a leak on your lettuce?
          ByRodale’s Organic Life, Contributor
          Living naturally in the modern world
          09/22/2015 11:54am EDT | Updated December 7, 2017
          This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
          Discover the incredible benefit of urine in the backyard.

          by Jean Nick, for Rodale’s Organic Life

          Depending on which gardening circles you hang with, the concept of urine in the garden may already have surfaced as a discussion topic. So what’s the deal? Should you seriously pee on your peas, tinkle on your tomatoes, and take a leak on your lettuce?

          Related: Is People Poop Good For Plants?

          Well, not on them, exactly, but if you aren’t using your urine in your garden and on your compost pile, you are, pardon my French, pissing away a free, valuable resource and missing out an easy way to help close the gaping hole in your household nutrient cycle. Using urine in the garden can help you cut your water use (less flushing) while also cleaning up the environment downstream (no water-polluting fertilizer runoff).

          Your #1 Choice For Fertilizer

          Recent scientific studies have shown urine is a safe and very effective fertilizer for cabbage, beets, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and pretty much anything else you want to grow. Urine boasts a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) ratio of 10:1:4, plus more modest amounts of the trace elements plants need to thrive. The nutrients in pee are highly available to plants, too—an extra plus. One estimate suggests a family of four can produce the equivalent of more than 100 pounds of all-purpose garden fertilizer every year. Oh, and the best part? It’s free! Oh, be still, my nickel-pinching heart!

          Related: The 10 Best Garden Crops to Plant This Summer

          But ewwww…yuck! Is it safe? Yes! Unless you have a serious infection, urine is usually sterile, and the chances of disease transmission from it on the household level are very, very small. And any slight odor dissipates almost immediately once it’s applied to the soil. While we’re not suggesting you drink your urine, know that astronauts on the International Space Station do drink the stuff—after it’s purified. So comparatively speaking, sprinkling it on the soil in the garden is a pretty tame use.

          How To Use Your Very Own Garden Gold (Free Deliveries Daily!)

          Depending on your personal plumbing arrangement (guys have the edge here) and the privacy of your garden, you may be tempted to deliver the product to the soil directly. But in most cases, the concentration of nutrients could be too great, which can damage soil microorganisms and burn plants. Direct application is fine, in moderation, for compost piles (especially if you have loads of dry brown, high-carbon materials like fallen leaves, straw, or shredded paper that are crying out for nitrogen) and for straw bales being conditioned for use as planters.

          Otherwise, it’s best to collect the raw product in a container with a lid, perhaps with the help of a funnel or a “nuns cap” (a plastic contraption hospitals use to collect samples, which makes it easy for gals to contribute while sitting on the toilet as usual). Experiment until you find a system that works easily for you. Once a day or so, empty the accumulated urine into a watering can, dilute it with 5 to 10 parts of water, and sprinkle the mixture onto the soil around your plants, avoiding getting it on the plants themselves—especially the parts to be eaten—as much as possible. Rotate where you’re applying golden irrigation so that all your plants get a turn every so often.

          Related: Deter Garden Bugs Naturally

          Apply diluted urine to the soil only when the soil itself is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temp, the soil microbes will be active and ready to soak up the nitrogen and other nutrients. In colder weather, you can either go back to flushing your urine down the toilet or stockpile your liquid gold in tightly closed containers (if you have the space and the inclination). Storing in closed containers for a couple of weeks is also a good way to kill off any potential pathogens if someone in the family has been sick.

          Add Ashes For More Flowers, Fruits, + Roots

          The high nitrogen content of urine makes it perfect for seedlings and leafy crops, but the low potassium content leaves it a bit skimpy on the stuff that flowers, fruits, and roots need. But we can fix that for free, too: Finnish researchers discovered that adding wood ashes to urine fertilizer for tomato plants resulted in sweeter fruit—and four times as much fruit! Adding wood ashes also boosted beet root size. This makes sense, since wood ashes have an N-P-K ratio of about 0:1:3, plus a lot of calcium. A handful of sifted wood ashes (save the chunks for the compost bin) will boost the potassium level in a bucket of liquid gold very nicely.

          You can also sprinkle a handful of wood ashes over every 2 to 3 inches of new organic matter in the compost pile. But don’t go overboard: Ten to 15 pounds of wood ash a year is enough for a 1,000-square-foot garden. And if your soil is very alkaline, wood ashes might not be the best choice, as they make soil even more alkaline. Be sure to only use wood ashes from untreated wood (hardwoods’ ashes have the most potassium), avoid burning large amounts of glossy paper, and never, ever use coal ashes.

          A Note On Salts

          Urine contains significant levels of salt, which can build up in the soil in containers or even in garden beds when the climate is dry, injuring plants. Salt damage can show up as scorched-looking leaves; wilting, even when soil is moist; and stunted growth. There may even be a whitish crust on the surface of the soil. You can reduce salt buildup by watering generously (enough so that water runs out of the bottom of the pot after the soil is completely saturated) at least once a week.

          Related: 7 Secrets For A High-Yield Vegetable Garden

          Taking It Up A Notch

          In Europe, where a lot of research is focusing on closing the nutrient cycle and decreasing environmental costs, you can purchase a standard-looking toilet that has a urine diversion bowl, which makes the entire collection process hands-off. In some areas, you can even contract with a service to come and empty the tank periodically and deliver your accumulated urine to an appreciative farmer. While less of that is going on in the U.S., urine diversion toilets are available through specialty plumbing supply houses if you want to make the investment. And if you live near Burlington, Vermont, the Rich Earth Institute is actively researching the collection and use of urine as a fertilizer and is looking for donations. The Institute’s website offers good advice on collecting urine in general.

          1. Once a Marine,

            My comment was my effort at humor.

            I am reminded of the scene in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” when Chevy Chase discovers an issue about the sandwich he’s eating and the family dog.

  9. Any one talking about the Russian nuclear accident? Here In the PNW we are having a spike in wind borne plutonium ,,, not a lot but there ,and why are radiation monitors turned off , just asking ? Hum ,yes I worked at Hanford and Idaho falls once upon a time ,,
    Oh well who is John Galt?

  10. We are in the ‘event’ now with so many states ignoring Federal law. These states also are infringing on gun rights and other rights with the Red Flag laws.

    It seems the economy is based on debt and debt instruments. The Europeans have negative interest rates, now how does that make any sense?

    Than we have a brutal trade war with China which can turn into a hot war quickly. Also India and China are talking about using nuclear weapons.

    So it’s obvious there are so many Black Swans out there that anyone of them will change things globally for a long time.

    Bottom line Get Right with The Lord now while He can be found.

  11. Good simple ideas for moderate “events”.

    Regarding WTSHTF vs. “event” I see nothing wrong with the authors preference and his thoughts about perhaps elevating the conversation. I can swear with the best of them but whether one does or not is trivial IMO.

  12. As far as keeping drugs cool I’ve always wondered if a person could put said drugs in a water tight container and weight the container down so that it would not float, tie a rope to it and lower it down to the bottom of your pond. My pond is 12 feet deep and I know as a scuba diver that water can be pretty cold at that depth especially if the water is murky where sun light can’t penetrate. Maybe in the near future I will sink a thermometer to that depth and take a reading.

  13. When I was young, (many years ago) we kept things cool by lowering into our water well.
    Also there is a way to cool/heat your home using only a squirrel cage blower.
    Using a backhoe dig down 10-15′. Place 12″ pipe in the trench bring it up on both ends and cover.
    The ground that deep is a constant temp year round.
    Place a blower and feed into your home.
    It won’t replace AC but its a viable method to give you some relief.

  14. Greetings all. I’m a field geologist who just ran a summer field campaign wherein 6 of us stayed “low impact” on a pristine desert dry lake bed for 3 weeks. These comments are about my experiment/field trials of bucket-based latrines. We were happy with a 5 gallon bucket using a store-bought snap top lid & seat. We used the “double doodee” plastic bag-within-a-bag product pre-loaded with a waste-stablizing gel. 6 folks-worth of solid waste (us 5 guys pee’d elsewhere) went thru a bag nearly every day. We had this sitting outside of course, best bathroom view ever! Alongside was a reused plastic coffee can holding a roll of toilet paper. The final part of the system was plenty of feminine/masculine/antibacterial wipes (even our lady preferred the “masculine” wipes; 20/$1), and lastly a big bottle of antiseptic hand sanitizer. Flies and odor weren’t a problem. It all worked well, left no trace, but did cost a bit for supplies.

    Then, we tried my homemade version of the above. To make the bucket’s toilet seat, I cut a slit along a ‘pool swim noodle’ and placed around the rim. Then pre-stacked many (~10-20) 20 gallon kitchen garbage bags (quality thick ones are best, for obvious reasons), folded over the lip. These were secured with a bungee cord around the bucket. Then a final bag upside down to serve as a lid over the bucket when not in use, and secured with a second bungee. We tried out some similar waste-neutralizing gel but also found simply cat litter was fine (and scented/baking soda litter was an additional plus).

    So, 2 very similar systems but the ‘homemade one’ saved some money and used more common materials. For limited periods, this system worked well and cost little. I’m keeping a bucket system now in my overlander truck. I’m not shy about digging a deep hole behind a bush, but this is more convenient, more ‘newbie’ friendly, and lower impact (assuming you have a good disposal site). For longer ‘events’ another system may be better…

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