Emergency Preparedness – Using the Bathroom and Kitchen

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,847
    Wilderness expert Tim MacWelch discusses emergency preparedness tips including how to use your bathroom and kitchen in the event of an emergency.

    Tim MacWelch: Hi! I am Tim MacWelch of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills near Fredericksburg, Virginia. This is our video clip series on emergency preparedness. In this clip, we are going to talk about the fact that your bathroom and your kitchen still work in the event of an emergency, sort of. Now in the event of a utility outage, for example, our power goes out or maybe our water has stopped, or maybe the gas supply to our home has stopped working. We can still do some basic daily tasks like using sinks, bathtubs, even toilets, but we just need a little something extra to make them work. Now in the event that our water runs out, of course we need to go to the bathroom. Now, to flush a toilet, the water comes out of the tank and goes down into the bowl, and then drives away the water in the waste. Now we can actually, artificially do that with a bucket or pot of water, and we don't even need this much, about half this much will suffice. Just one gallon can flush a toilet, but a gallon and a half or two gallons makes a better flush. So to flush the toilet, we are simply going to pour the water in the bowl. Once the water reaches a high-enough level, it will naturally flush by itself. And then all we have to do is, have another pot of water standing by for the next time we want to flush. We can even raise the water level up higher from that bucket flush. When we do a bucket flush, there is only a tiny amount of water left behind. This is a trick that plumbers use all the time. If they need to empty out a toilet from water, they will do a bucket flush. But if we want to restore to a normal level of water, we can just add a little bit more. Now it's not the cleanest flush in the world, it's not quite right for the way the toilet is set up to operate, but it still gets the job done. Now, our bath tub and our sink still work as well. We still wash our hands in the sink, just like normal. We can still maintain hygiene and sanitation. We can still kind of, take a bath. We can go to the bathtub with a bucket of warm water, we can heat that water up over a stove, either a wood stove or a camping and cooking stove, either kind of stove. We could also heat that water up outside, over or near a campfire we had to. So we made a little bit of a mess. Sometimes emergencies get a little messy, but we can still use our house and use most of the things in it during an emergency. Now let's talk about cooking and working in the kitchen. So here we are in the kitchen. Our sink still works, sort of. The water can drain out of it. If we are in a rural area and on a septic system, any water we put in the sink will drain out into the septic system naturally, by gravity, and then it will disperse into whatever drain field you have, that will work for years without any maintenance or modification. If we are in the city or the suburbs, our waste water system is going to gravity fed to a water treatment facility. Now when that stops working, then we may have a problem. Your water lines may not drain anymore, and you won't know it until they actually stop draining. So this could be a significant problem. But let's just say that we do have our water draining. So we can get water from any kind of source, whatsoever, creeks, ponds, lakes, rivers, whatever, if we don't have any water in our house stock piled just for washing and then cleaning purposes. So we could get our water and hit it with some good old fashioned Clorox, or some other bleach. We don't want bleach that has fancy flavors and fancy odors and all kinds of bells and whistles, we just want plain old boring bleach. We can take a cap full, this is a good-old measurement. You fill up the cap of bleach, try not to get any in your shin, it will burn a little bit if you have any dry skin or any cuts or wounds, and put this in a couple of gallons of water. We are going to stir it up and let it sit for 45 minutes, an hour, an hour and a half. We can take this water, put it some soap here, wash our dishes just like normal, get them cleaned up. We are going to rinse some off in the chlorinated water. You could even have two vessels, one vessel full of chlorinated soapy water and one vessel full of chlorinated plain water, and that would your final rinse before you put it some place to dry. If you have dish washer, you already have a drying rack, you can just set it there to dry.

    Now, let's talk about cooking for a moment. Now just because we have a utility outage, doesn't mean we can still use our stove to cook on. It's a flat, stable, solid, fireproof surface that we can use to cook on by using a little camping stove like this, or even cans of Sterno. Your camping stoves are going to already have, some kind of stand with them to support pots of food, pots of water. Your Sterno can, you may have to rig up something like a couple of bricks or some safe, stable, fireproof way, to support a pot over top of the burning can up Sterno. But either one of those will provide quite a bit of heat and we can actually use that to cook on. Let's say, we have got some water stock piled in the house or we went put and got some and purified it, or we purify the water by boiling it. We want to have a rolling boil for ten minutes to kill all the viruses, bacteria, protozoa and pathogens. We don't start that count until the water actually starts to boil, so we would get our fire going, cook up whatever we were cooking and just try to go about our business as normal. You want to make sure you have a fire extinguisher; you want to make sure that it's an ABC fire extinguisher. Here is the ABC listing and this A is for trash, wood and paper. The B is for flammable liquids and grease, and the C is for electrical equipment. So this will take out any kind of fire that may start in your home. So, this concludes our video series on emergency preparedness. We hope you found some very good points in it and we hope it keeps you safe in any type of emergency.