Sunday, September 11, 2011

Be Prepared: Disposal of Corpses during a WROL situation

As part of being prepared, one thing that is overlooked in our preparations is how to properly dispose of corpses, including your loved ones, in a disaster or WROL situation where you can't call a coroner or funeral home. 

In a disaster situation you must realize that your community will experience a higher level of death than normal, especially of the elderly and those who rely on medicine to fight certain diseases.  So what should you do when you have to dispose of the dead:

1) Before a disaster you should be prepared with the proper supplies such as body bags or heavy duty black plastic sheeting.  Shower curtains can work too.  Of course you should have rubber gloves, protective clothing, soap, disinfectant, and shovels.  You may want to also have lime to speed up decomposition and mask odor when the body is buried.

2) Be sure to know where all the cemeteries are located in your community.  If at all possible, you should only bury the dead in existing cemeteries.  By burying in existing cemeteries you can be fairly sure that they are not in the area of groundwater drinking sources.  However, there is no absolute guarantee that a cemetery is not in the path of drinking source. 

3) Before burying any dead, be sure they have been identified.  If you are unable to identify the dead, be sure to take a picture or describe the person in writing as best you can for future identification.

4) When burying the dead, whether at a cemetery or in your community, you should locate the grave at least 150 feet from the nearest groundwater drinking source.  The further away the better. You should try to bury the corpse 6 feet deep.  It may be difficult to dig a grave 6 feet deep with a shovel so at a minimum 4 feet should be sufficient.  You must be able to place at least 3 feet of soil on the corpse.  When burying the corpse be sure to wrap it in heavy duty plastic or a body bag.  Also, the corpse must be at least 5 feet above the water table.  So if you have a high water table, you may have to move your grave location to higher ground.

5) In a WROL situation, I would not consider cremation as an option unless absolutely necessary.  It takes over 600 pounds of firewood to cremate a body, the smoke will draw attention to you and your location and there are no health advantages over regular burial.  I guess the only reason you would need to cremate a body is if your area does not meet the requirements I listed above for burial.

Hopefully we will never be in a situation where we have to bury our own dead.  But we if do, you should know how to properly bury the dead.

See the below video from SouthernPrepper1 about burying the dead.  This is one of his scenario videos which have been helpful to me.

Live the Motto - Be Prepared!