Japan Data

Portable Toilet Bags a Key Part of Emergency Supply Kit in Japan

Disaster Society

When making disaster preparations in Japan, one important item to stock up on is portable toilet bags, especially if planning to shelter at home.

A survey of Japanese people who would prefer to shelter at home in the case of a natural disaster found that just 30% of respondents had made any toilet-related preparations such as stocking up on keitai toire (portable toilet bags) that may either be spread out over a toilet bowl or used directly. These typically have substances that absorb liquids and deodorize.

In a worst-case scenario, it is thought that as many as 70% of people could be without access to toilets during the time needed to confirm the safety of the sewer system since there is also a limit on the number of people who will be able to use toilets at emergency shelters. The survey was conducted by Unlog, a Tokyo-based provider of a bowel movement health app.

The survey also asked respondents about the number of toilet bags they intended to secure for use after a disaster, and found that around 40% said they wanted to have an adequate amount for between 1 and 10 uses. Given that sewer systems could be damaged and possible delays in delivery of emergency goods, it is recommended to prepare enough to last a week. Considering that a person on average uses a toilet around five times per day, around 35 portable toilets would be needed. However, only 12.7% of the survey respondents had prepared that quantity for emergency use.

Among those who wish to shelter at home in an emergency, 48.4% said that if the water in their toilet did not flow due to a water stoppage after a natural disaster, they would secure water elsewhere to flush the toilet. According to Unlog, pouring water out of a bucket into a toilet may lead to sewage overflowing or the risk of backflow if pipes have been damaged from a disaster. In apartment buildings, pouring water into toilets on the upper floors could cause contaminated water to overflow in the floors below.

Portable toilet bags can be purchased in Japan at home-improvement centers and ¥100 shops.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: © Pixta.)

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