Emergency Preparedness: Sanitation

During a disaster, we must all think about our personal sanitation needs. If Tigard is severely affected by a major earthquake or other natural disaster we may have to survive without running water and toilets for weeks. You need a sanitation plan to help prevent deadly diseases.

Web Resources 

  1. Emergency Toilet Guidebook: www.EmergencyToilet.org
  2. Take 5 to Survive information: take5tosurvive.com

The most common and inexpensive solution is to use a Two Bucket System. For this system you’ll need to make just a few purchases to get ready.

Two Bucket System Items 

  • Two 5-gallon plastic buckets with lids 
  • Toilet seat to fit bucket (optional and available online) 
  • Heavy duty 13-gallon garbage bags 
  • Bucket labels – Tigard CERT can provide labels 

Using the two-bucket system for pee and poo can help you reduce the chance of disease and reduces the amount of waste and odor by separating the two. Always be sure to thoroughly wash your hands using clean water after using these toilets.

Liquid Bucket – Pee 

  • Only pee goes in this bucket – toilet paper goes in the poo bucket for proper disposal at a later time.
  • This can be emptied in your lawn or garden safely.

Solids Bucket – Poo 

  • Line this bucket with a heavy duty 13-gallon garbage bag .
  • Cover each use with shredded paper or bark chips to help dry the waste and reduce odor.
  • Fill the bucket no more than half full.
  • Double-bag and store the waste in a separate location away from food and water for later disposal after sanitation services have resumed.
  • Be sure to keep waste from pets, flies and rats.

Month 4 Preparedness List

Aim for several weeks of supplies in all categories 

Items to Purchase 

  • 3 cans of vegetables per person 
  • 2 cans of proteins (e.g. meat or beans) 
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste and/or denture care 
  • Any special foods for your diet 

Things To Do 

  • Check house for hazards; secure loose and heavy objects (e.g. TV, shelves) or anything that may tip over during an earthquake.
  • Locate gas and water shutoffs and your electrical panel. Make sure you know how to shut off all utilities and have any necessary tools.

Tigard CERT Inc. is a local non-profit organization allied with the City of Tigard that trains volunteers in basic emergency response and organizational skills following the Federal Emergency Management Agency model and guidelines for local Community Emergency Response Teams. Tigard CERT volunteers provide support during emergencies when our community’s professional emergency services teams may be overwhelmed by the situation.

Tigard CERT also provides staff and support for community events such as the Tigard Balloon Festival, the City of Tigard Public Works Day, the Community Preparedness Fair, and other events. For more information about Tigard CERT, please visit our website at tigardcert.wordpress.com.