Originally posted September 12, 2017.
Across Florida right now people are living the reality of no electricity, and no water. The Keys were hit particularly hard by Hurricane Irma, and now it looks like thousands who weathered Irma may be evacuated from the chain of islands. There’s no power, there’s not much water, and with trees down there’s little mobility.
With water service down in many places, an article from Modern Survival back in 2014 may be helpful to those in the area. Ken Jorgustin discusses how to flush a toilet with no running water. He writes:
Having said that, under temporary water outage conditions, you can easily flush your own toilet. You will still need water, but you don’t need running water (as in your house plumbing).
Remove the toilet tank reservoir lid.
If you have already flushed the toilet once since the running water stopped, the tank will be empty.
Use any bucket or container to fetch water from a nearby source (a swimming pool, a stream, pond, etc..) and fill the toilet tank up until the water almost reaches the top of the overflow tube as shown.
Note: Chance are that you won’t have to fill the toilet tank all the way to the top of the tube. Experiment with less – enough to ‘get the job done’ (e.g. try 2/3 the way up).
Then flush the toilet!.
Note: Most modern efficient toilets only require about 1.5 gallons (or less) of water to flush the toilet effectively. Older toilets may require several gallons or more.
Read more from Ken here.
It’s also helpful to secure your own water supply with a hand pump.