Sunday, May 17, 2009

When There’s No Toilet Paper

A major disaster could disrupt everything you take for granted today, even the availability of simple toilet paper. A supply or substitute is needed in your plans.

How many rolls of toilet paper should you store?
You need to be accurate about this so count the rolls used in your home over seven days. Multiply that by 52 and that’s your base line minimal number of rolls for just one year. Stock as many years worth as you feel comfortable with. When storing, be sure the containers are rodent and moisture proof. Using metal garbage cans with a plastic bag liner then seal the liner when filled will work. Because TP is so bulky, long term storage can be in the attic or an outside shed or at a rented storage facility.

OK, you just used your last roll of stocked toilet paper and none will be available for possibly months or ever agian. Now what?
My first choice will be wash rag sized pieces of terrycloth and wash them like we did with cloth diapers. For you 30 something’s it was before disposable diapers were invented. This method will last as long as cloth is available or just about indefinitely. Use a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and use it like a diaper pail until your ready to wash the cloths. Use tongs and rubber gloves when prewashing. You will also need a large supply of laundry soap and gallons of bleach, two items you should have 5-10 years of in stock. If your stock of bleach and soap runs out then boil the cloths for 15 minutes to kill germs and viruses.

A very good second choice. This assumes you still have city water or a small solar power system to run a well pump. Or 55 gallon drums of bleach treated rain or river water and a 12 volt water pump to create pressure with to operate the bidet.

Printed Paper:
Newspaper would be my first choice here and then phone books, both yellow and white pages. Crumple the sheets up until reasonably soft and use it. Best way to dispose of is by fire. Store the same way as toilet paper.

Phone Books:
Every year millions of these books are thrown away so collecting several garbage cans full of them will be free and easy. Store the same way as toilet paper.

Sort Term Outage:
If your TP outage is only going to be a couple weeks the Paper Towels and Paper Napkins from the kitchen will work just fine.

Sanitary Napkins:
Before disposables a terry cloth towel was folded and used. Here’s another reason for storing lots of laundry soap and bleach.

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