Toilet News: The Three P’s of What to Flush


Toilet Paper in EmergencyToday is September 1. Today, in Japan, hundreds of thousands of people are taking place in a disaster drill on the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. And this year, they are being encouraged to stockpile toilet paper.

Japan’s disaster planning may have started in earnest in 1923, when 140,000 people were killed in Tokyo alone. And planning has intensified as a result of the 2011 Fukushima tsunami and resulting atomic power plant catastrophe.

But why a campaign to . . .

Stockpile toilet paper?

It turns out that some 40% of all toilet paper in Japan comes from one region – a region that is earthquake prone. According to government reports, within a month after the 2011 earthquake, toilet paper shortages began.

“Along with food and water, toilet paper was among the first items to disappear from store shelves,” said Toshiyuki Hashimoto, an industry ministry official in charge of paper products.

As part of this year’s campaign, paper manufacturers have come up with a special, 500 ft. roll of tightly compacted toilet paper. Price? Around $5 for a six-pack, that should last a family of four for a month.

No toilet paper in your house?

And in the U.S.? What do you do when you run out of toilet paper?

Most people reach for a tissue.

The problem? Kleenex, or tissue paper, is designed to hold together when wet – so it can block your toilet (if you are lucky enough in an emergency to have workable plumbing).

What about baby-wipes?

These are great for your baby, and for your emergency kit – soft, strong. But again, unless they are specifically labeled as “flushable,” they too will clog the system . . . and really mess up a septic tank.

And even the flushable variety is creating problems in many systems, because they take too long to disintegrate.

Anything else at hand?

We’ve heard of people using other items as toilet paper in an emergency: paper towels, newspaper, the Yellow Pages (Who has a phone directory anymore?), Sears and Roebuck catalog (stopped being published in 1993) and even corn husks.  (Corn husks?)

The point is, consider how much toilet paper (or wipes) your family would need in an emergency. Flatten rolls so they will take up less room. This is something you really don’t want to run out of.

If you’re interested in buying something specifically for your emergency supplies, try Amazon for “compact” toilet paper.

Oh, and to get back to the . . .

Three P’s of what to flush?

Whether it’s every day, or in an emergency, the answer is the same: pee, poop and (toilet) paper.  Period.

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team — Virginia Nicols

 

 

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