DIY Emergency Toilet

A natural disaster has just occurred and the sewer line is broken. What do you do? Are you prepared? The kids really need to use the potty. Where are they going to do go?  You can make a simple emergency bucket with a 5-gallon bucket and some trash bags. Ideally, you should have two separate buckets one for urine and one for feces. Keeping them separate will cut down on the smell.

Emergency Toilet Bucket 


  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Pool Noodle
  • Heavy Trash Bags
  • Toilet Paper
  • Pliers
  • Drill
  • Utility Knife
  • Small bungee cord
  • Gloves
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Flashlight
  • Tarp and rope
  • 2-gallon bucket
  • Wide Mouth Bowl
  • Kitty Litter


  1. Start by popping out the handle on the 5-gallon bucket. Use pliers to bend the end of the handle. This will make putting it back together again much easier.
  2. Measure about three inches from the hole for the handle. Drill a small hole through the first layer of plastic. Don’t go all the way through the bucket.
  3. Thread a roll of toilet paper on to the handle. Place the end of the handle in the newly drilled hole. This will allow enough room for the toilet paper roll to fit quickly nicely.
  4. Line the 5-gallon bucket with heavy duty trash bags. Ensure its a snug fit so it won’t fall down. This will keep the bucket clean. Don’t get the cheap bags, a ripped potty bag is the last thing you need.
  5. Cut a three-foot section from the pool noodle. Cut a line down one side of the pool noodle. Line the edge of the bucket with the noodle. This will provide some padding and make your emergency bucket a bit more comfortable to use.
  6. Drill another small hole near the edge of the toilet paper roll. Remember only to drill through the first layer of plastic. Don’t go all the way through the bucket.
  7. Wrap the bungee cord around the handle and through the hole. This will hold the toilet paper roll away from the bucket and make getting to the roll a lot easier.
  8. Fill the 2-gallon bucket with extra supplies; gloves, hand sanitizer, flashlight, and kitty litter. Gloves will make cleaning the bucket less messy. Soap or hand sanitizer will allow you to wash up afterward. A flashlight will make using the emergency toilet in the dark easier. Toss in a scoop of kitty litter or dirt after using the bucket, this will prevent it from smelling and attracting flies.
  9. Turn the 2-gallon bucket over and place the wide mouth bowl on top and it becomes a wash basin. You can even add a towel to dry off with.
  10. Use the tarp and ropes to section off a private place to use the potty.
  11. Store all the supplies inside the bucket when not in use. When a disaster comes you’ll be prepared. Simply pull out your emergency toilet bucket and get down to business.