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How we need to prepare

Recent Comments


Population reduction

During and after an event we are working on the assumption that there will be a reduction in the population due to the event or in the aftermath with the lack of infrastructure leading to death.

To put it in a less clinical and more emotive way we are looking at people dying either by the event itself, by whatever means that dispenses, or disease, thirst, starvation or general injuries and accidents. These deaths will have massive repercussions beyond what we seem to expect. We skip over the problems that having thousands of bodies would bring us as we try and survive in a suddenly hostile environment which is a big mistake. We must find an efficient way of dealing with the bodies for our own future health.

The usual way of digging a grave and putting the body in or cremating the body will not be efficient enough for our needs considering the number of bodies we will be looking at. After all even if you were looking at the immediate area surrounding your home there will be anything from 50 bodies up depending on where you live and that is nowhere near a wide enough area that we need to ensure is clear of diseased and dead bodies for our health. We are potentially looking at disposal of several hundred people over our local area of several hundred yards around our retreat.The further the beeter but it does depend on logistics. After all we always talk about when we meet new people. We expect to be alone for some time, what do we think is going to happen to everyone we we saw and were talking to yesterday?

Putting aside OPSEC considerations of have an area clear of bodies we have several options for the implementation of this task. I see four ways;

  1. Removal
  2. Storage
  3. Burial
  4. Burning


This is where we load up the bodies and transport them outside our selected area and simply place them in the open. No burial or treatment. Scavengers will deal with them as they do with the rest of natures dead.
Ad: Quick and easy. Could use carts or transport.
Dis: They need to move far or the scavengers will be your neighbours and bring diseases with them as they scavenge further and with a taste for humans.


Consider relocation to a building such as a warehouse or something of solid construction. There are several on our local industrial area. You take the bodies and fill the buildings. Close and seal if possible when finished and put warning signs on.
Ad; Quick and easy.
Dis: Finding a building not too far away that can be sealed from large predators like rats, cats and dogs.


Find a spot a little away from your retreat and nowhere near your water table and dig a big hole as deep as you can. Put the bodies into it, cover with lime and repeat till you are near the top, about 6 feet, then put the earth on top. Consider disused quarries or natural depressions such as valleys.
Ad: Effective. Buries disease and the bodies are away from predators. Will provide a fertile area for planting in the future. The cycle of life.
Dis; A lot of work to dig and fill the holes necessary. Even if you find a hole it will need to be filled in over the bodies.


The way they used to do it of the battlefields to quickly dispose of the bodies and reduce the risk of disease. Pile the bodies on a pyre and set light to it. Not singly like in the films when the heroes die but in groups.
Ad: Quick and relatively easy. Disease and bodies destroyed.
Dis: OPSEC issues with the smoke and smell. Finding the fuel to use in the pyres.


It is impossible to plan now. You have no idea how many bodies you will have, nor do you now if there will be any help. I’m assuming that as people started dying we would club together to dispose of the bodies, certainly at first, but that may not be the case. We may have access to equipment to help and fuel or we may not have any to spare for this task. It may be in the middle of winter where the ground is frozen and bodies will be preserved. It means that we just cannot plan.

However it is worth considering now and preparing at least our though processes. Is there a disused quarry in the area or a old style brick factory that can be sealed up? How many people in your area, how many within a mile of your retreat? Large metal containers like fuel tanks? Think long term storage or disposal and predator proof.

Disposal of bodies is something we seem to just skip over. Even if you live out of town away from others it will impact on you. If you are in a built up area it certainly will be an issue orders of magnitude worse. Don’t bury your head in the sand on this. Disease will follow even back in the old days bodies were disposed of safely because of health issues.

14 comments to Population reduction

  • Dana

    One thing to consider here are corpses that are the result of a Pandemic or Biological warfare. Disposal will very much depend on what the Pandemic was as they could still be a threat – May need HAZMAT suits.

    Another thing to consider is of seeing and handleing corpses. Believe me, they are heavy. I have seen and handled a fair few, most of the time I am okay with it, but the odd one catches you out.

    Disposal is very much going to be determined by the cause of the deaths in the first place and also by shear numbers, not only of corpses but of how many survivors.

    It maybe only a case of clearing your immediate area.

  • Skean Dhude

    Good point. In which case we will be in big trouble.

    I knew someone in the funeral business he said the words ‘dead weight’ meant exactly that.

    Agree with the conclusions.

  • jeff

    use a wood chipper to shred the remains. many bodies could be blown into a small area this way.a body goes in and a bloody spray comes out.

  • So Very Doomed

    I hereby nominate jeff for the position of Disposer in Chief.

    Anyone prepared to second my nomination?

  • Silent Storm

    how long will it take for the bodies to naturaly decompose? I was wondering because that is how long you will need to stay at yr BOL if THSHTF and you can get away.
    The only other way is to burn the bodies as you said, car tyres are good for this, they burn for a long time and you can make a quick easy pyre out of them.
    I reckon there will still be sporadic fires breaking out so I don’t think it will endanger yr OPSEC too much if you set up yr own crematorium a mile or so from where you are based.

  • Dana

    Time to decompose will depend on the season and weather to a certain degree. Also you need to factor in the local wildlife/scavengers. Roadkill doesnt take very long to be broken down nor do farm animals (such as sheep) that have died naturally. The real worry is if there was/is disease present and more importantly is the disease a communicable one.
    Luckily, most communicable diseases do not survive long outside of the host, HIV is an example of this, Hep B is more dangerous as it can survive longer.
    In a ‘Normal Death’, the cadaver is actually quite clean (for awhile) as all your natural flora and fauna quickly die off as they cannot thrive/survive on a dead host.

  • Skean Dhude

    What about generally. Even with hundreds of bodies I would not see them being there a year later. Not a problem if you live far enough away but if you live in is clearly an issue.

  • Dana

    Putrefication and bodily fluid leakage to a corpse will start within hours of death and may take a few weeks to months. Skeletal remains could last for years. A lot will depend on scavengers/bacteria/flies to break down the corpses as these will speed up the process.

  • Skean Dhude

    Don’t forget those trapped in houses and other buildings, bigger scavengers may not be able to reach them. If we want to utilise the building we will have to deal with that even 12 months down the line when it will be a lot worse.

  • So Very Doomed

    If things get truly desperate then there is another means of disposal – cannibalism.

    Remember, all meat tastes the same once it has been curried.

    Bon appetite.

  • Skean Dhude

    So Very Doomed,

    Nobody eats meat that they don’t know how it died. Of course that may change but it will be bad enough at that stage without food poisioning.

    And at that early stage if you have to resort to eating dead people your preps must have involved simply stocking up on ammo for the zombiw hordes.

  • Northern Raider

    Dunno if this little article from PUK will help when your facing lots of dead or very ill in a pandemic. ( please delete it if it breaks any of your forums rules.

    Reacting to a CONTAGION
    © 2011Northern Raider

    With the advent of the new movie CONTAGION and as we head back into the winter I thought we could look at preps to minimise the threat from global pandemics, IE what real world practical steps you can take to protect yourself from a worldwide outbreak of a highly contagious disease.

    Obviously the greater threat lies to those who insist on living in larger towns and cities and those who use public transport systems, especially to those who continue to shop and work DURING an outbreak. But rural communities can be just as easily infected if refugees or wildlife carrying the virus pass through your community

    INTEL GATHERING, if you are to survive a plague be it viral or bacterial you absolutely must have first rate intelligence coming in. You must study multiple media sources to see how the outbreak is progressing, For example an outbreak may be ravaging the European continent but not yet have reach the US or UK, that gives you time to prepare BUT only for a very short time if international air travel is still happening. If planes are coming and going from abroad you know that in seat 32A on the flight into Heathrow or JFK someone is brewing a fever, and that same person is going to use the subway or underground to reach the city centre.

    Your best real world defence is SELF RELIANCE &ISOLATION, if you are not exposed to the disease you cannot normally get it unless it is an airborne pathogen. Do not believe the government advice of to “not panic and keep working” because this has more to do with protecting the economy and little to do with caring for the community. It’s amazing how quick the authorities will use the quarantine and isolation cards on individuals but we try and any costs to keep everyone else out and about working, earning and shopping.

    If we are on the receiving end of a really nasty virus your best defence is to not become exposed to it until at least a tried and tested inoculation is available. You need to bug in and lock down until the crisis has passed. You will need to stop travelling into cosmopolitan areas or areas with large public transport hubs, you may need to stay away from work, and certainly visits to the Theatre, Movies, Diners and Malls must stop. You may choose to keep your kids away from school especially if the outbreak is claiming lots of lives.

    Buses and bus stations, taxis, trains and stations, planes and airports, ferry’s, boats and harbours must be avoided and especially underground rapid transit systems must be avoided.

    To achieve this you will need to have a good cache / stockpile of FOOD, WATER, MEDICAL and FUEL supplies, enough at least to sustain you in isolation for a month or more.

    You need high quality foods to help keep you as healthy as possible so ensure you have vitamin supplements as well and a broad range of food. It must be able to survive storage for extended periods without refrigeration. Of course there is nothing wrong with consuming the fresh produce from your fridge or freezer at the start of the self-imposed quarantine, far wiser to use it and eat it than to let it go to waste. But in general you must plan on a diet of tinned, freeze dried and basic essentials like flour, rice, pasta, preserves etc to sustain you for the duration. Make sure you have enough formula etc for infants to sustain them for a long period.

    You will need lots of clean drinking quality water, both for drinking and for keeping everything as clean as possible, your home / retreat and personal hygiene must be first rate. I keep a full box of 72 tubs of alcohol based hand sanitizer to deploy around the house, bathroom and kitchen, I keep aerosols of Detol and Detox sprays to spray onto work surfaces and crockery. I have gallons of concentrated Flash liquid to keep floors clean and sterile.

    ALL WATER regardless of source will be passed through our Berkfield water filter fitted with the silver treated ceramic filter candles.

    Each person will have one individual set of coloured pots, pans and eating irons that no one else can use.

    If we have to go into LOCK DOWN the family pets are going to have to get used to living outdoors for the duration, we cannot take the risk of them bringing in any disease on their coats or paws.

    No Mail or Parcel deliveries will be accepted during the crisis unless the contents and packaging can be sterilised before they are brought into the retreat.

    All waste will be sprays with disinfectant and if we are unable to incinerate it in the garden it will be double bagged and stored.

    Plastic sheeting, nylon tarps, various plastic bags, roles of duct tape etc will be kept to seal up windows and doors that are not required for ventilation or entry / exit from the retreat, or for wrapping any unfortunate people who pass away during the outbreak.

    All clothing that has been outdoors will be treated or washed to kill off any pathogens as will be any tools.

    Note that disposable face / dust / particulate masks tend to only be effective against pathogens for about 20 minutes because as soon as your breath makes the cloth moist it loses its protective value. So wear one whilst putting the garbage out in a lock down situation but dont rely on one for any length of time.

    A very substantial medical kit is kept with an extra set of all prescription medicines and items such as dentures, eye glasses, insulin pumps and syringes

    Anti-viral medications do not always work and viruses can mutate at an alarming rate soon making themselves resistant to AV drugs.


    You are going to need enough fuel to heat your home for at least one month independently of the national gas and electricity networks. If the power workers go sick it could be months before the power comes back on. You must have enough fuel to keep your home or retreat warm and lit AND to ensure you can continue to provide plentiful hot water for essential hygiene protocols, cooking and cleaning for the duration of an extended outbreak. Heating oil, coal, firewood, bottled gas etc should be a high priority issue before a pandemic stops normal commerce or drives prices through the roof.

    You must also keep enough treated and stored fuel to keep your vehicles ready in case you need to bug out if your area becomes too dangerous to remain in.

  • Skean Dhude


    Thanks for that. Any objections to making that an article/

  • northern raider

    No Sir, feel free to use it any any of the articles on PUK to help this forum grow and flourish. We NEED a healthy cross community of info and intel to help prepping and survivalism to grow, and grow it must but not in an elitist way they do on certain forums.

    I know its selfish but in my mind the more well established and informed preppers we have in the UK then the better my families chances are of surviving

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