Month 2: Prepared Pouch and Sanitation Plan

This month’s 2 Steps are to create a:
Step 1: Prepared Pouch
“Prepared Pouch” that you carry with you 24/7 that has some essentials to keep you safe and healthy until you can get to a larger kit
Step 2:   Sanitation Plan
Create a two 5-gallon bucket toilet system to keep you and your community safe if the water goes out. One for urine and the other for feces and menstrual products.

Here is the Month 2 Emergency Preparedness Steps letter.

Month 2 Video on YouTube

Tip of the month: If your water supply is cut off, you can find a gallon or 2 of fresh water in the tank (not bowl!) of your toilet. Use your bucket for going to the bathroom and don’t waste that fresh water on a single flush. Water can also be drained from your hot water heater.

Community Organizing Tips:

  • Get a bunch of friends who want to make Prepared Pouches together. Ask people how many pouches they want to make. Then have one person order emergency blankets on-line and go to a dollar store or drugstore to pick up the other items. If someone is crafty, have them sew handkerchiefs for the group. When you do them together, and sew your own handkerchiefs you can make each kit for about $4-4.50 without a flashlight and about $6-6.50 with a flashlight. Packs of decent LED flashlights can be bought at a cost of about $2/each.
  • Giving Prepared Pouches are great gifts!
  • Get your neighbors together to make Prepared Pouches at a neighborhood meeting.
  • 5-gallon buckets can be picked up for free from recycling centers, painting contractors, and some restaurants. See if you can get a neighbor or friend to get a whole bunch and distribute them to your community.

Teacher Resources:

  • Buying emergency blankets on-line in bulk is the best way to do the Prepared Pouch. You can get the cost down to a little under $2/blanket. The difference can help to provide blankets for kids that don’t have the funds. You can also have a fundraiser selling the blankets to help raise funds while providing a valuable service to your community.
  • Here is the Student Version Month 2 Emergency Preparedness Steps letter.
  • Students needed to either bring have their parents sign the 2 Steps Month 2 letter indicating that they completed the 2 Steps, send me an email or the students could send me an email of their pouch and sanitation plan.
  • Students were encouraged to make Prepared Pouches for other family members.
  • Get your school to get a bunch of 5-gallon buckets and educate the school community about the 2 bucket system. Once again, you can get lots of them for free if you ask around.

Additional Resources:
Emergency Composting Toilet – lessons from New Zealand; great local resilience and emergency response strategies for building and maintaining a composting toilet. Note the warning at bottom about which system is not suited for high water tables.
A Sewer Catastrophe Companion: Dry Toilets for Wet Disasters – a very helpful booklet from Portland
Personal Hygiene and Handwashing After a Disaster or Emergency – some good basic ideas on hygiene with additional resources on how to deal with different emergencies and their impacts on water. Source
The Humanure Book – a detailed explanation of how to compost human waste and use it safely. Source Joseph Jenkins
Liquid Gold
a book about how to make urine separating toilets and use urine in a safe manner for fertilizer. Source Carol Steinfeld