MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Discussions of the best (or worst) equipment to have on hand for use in the event of an injury during an emergency.

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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by shrapnel » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:59 pm

DannusMaximus wrote:
shrapnel wrote:... It's going to smell terrible for a while...
That doesn't even begin to describe the smell of a rotting human, and I simply can't imagine what dozens or hundreds of rotting humans would smell like.

Can't argue with the logic of leaving a small number of corpses out in the open (prefereably downwind and hauled a good distance away) for mother nature to dispose of, but I would be concerned about leaving piles of bodies out in the open. The clouds of flies alone would be :shock:
I know what they smell like. It is hideous. There would be horrible flies everywhere, and I'd definitely try to be upwind as much as possible, but if there are thousands and thousands of corpses, I can only assume there are more pressing survival issues at hand that need attending to, rather than spending days and days clearing out increasingly bloaty and horrifying bodies. If I had heavy machinery and knew how to use it ( :crazy: ), sure, go to town. But if it's all The Stand and it's just me and a shovel? You'd waste most of your time and energy just dragging horrible, but still, you know, human weight, more or less, bodies around, leaving a trail of nastiness and vomit behind you.

Basically, finite number of bodies (tens), or hundreds to thousands plus something more than just muscle power? Yep, let's get cleaning. A ludicrous number of them, with and just me and my hands? Move or burn the worst/nearest ones, break out the Vaporub and a cloth to keep the flies out of my mouth, and try to just deal for a while. At least that would be my tentative plan (that would probably go all to hell the moment it hit the real world).
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Gingerbread Man » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:42 am

Just an anecdotal example, a deer was hit next to a guys house that lives around my mom. The deer expired on his property and he didn't want it removed. I'm not sure on his reasoning having a rotting deer carcass around but whatever. I'd drive by the carcass quite often and it was picked down to bones by turkey vultures and bugs in about a month. The bones were the only thing remaining for about 2 years before they just erroded into the ground.

It stunk for about 2 weeks and then as far as I could tell didn't stink anymore. I'm with Shrapnel and leaving any bodies that aren't on or near abouts your dwelling right where the lay. If there are that many bodies around there will not be enough hours in the day to collect them all.

I worked a few major disasters caused by hurricanes in 3rd world places. Welp, there were bodies everywhere. There was a small army of people that went around removing the bodies, they had flat beds and trailers filler with body bags. It took about a month for that business to die down. I'm not a small army of anything so unless they're in the water supply or family, I'm leaving them where they lay unless I have a excavator.
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Gothboy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:22 pm

Regular Guy wrote:Just an anecdotal example, a deer was hit next to a guys house that lives around my mom. The deer expired on his property and he didn't want it removed. I'm not sure on his reasoning having a rotting deer carcass around but whatever. I'd drive by the carcass quite often and it was picked down to bones by turkey vultures and bugs in about a month. The bones were the only thing remaining for about 2 years before they just erroded into the ground.

It stunk for about 2 weeks and then as far as I could tell didn't stink anymore. I'm with Shrapnel and leaving any bodies that aren't on or near abouts your dwelling right where the lay. If there are that many bodies around there will not be enough hours in the day to collect them all. .
On that note one must keep in mind the finite number of animals and critters who do such disposing of bodies. If there truly ARE that many bodies laying around it will stink for a LOOOOONG time until the population of such creatures catches up to the "food supply" and cleans up. Just a thought. :)
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by shrapnel » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:32 pm

Gothboy wrote:
Regular Guy wrote:Just an anecdotal example, a deer was hit next to a guys house that lives around my mom. The deer expired on his property and he didn't want it removed. I'm not sure on his reasoning having a rotting deer carcass around but whatever. I'd drive by the carcass quite often and it was picked down to bones by turkey vultures and bugs in about a month. The bones were the only thing remaining for about 2 years before they just erroded into the ground.

It stunk for about 2 weeks and then as far as I could tell didn't stink anymore. I'm with Shrapnel and leaving any bodies that aren't on or near abouts your dwelling right where the lay. If there are that many bodies around there will not be enough hours in the day to collect them all. .
On that note one must keep in mind the finite number of animals and critters who do such disposing of bodies. If there truly ARE that many bodies laying around it will stink for a LOOOOONG time until the population of such creatures catches up to the "food supply" and cleans up. Just a thought. :)
Bacteria and fungi do most of the decomposition heavy lifting. A lot of what's left is done by fast-reproducing arthropods like flies and beetles and shit. It likely wouldn't take *too* much longer than usual.
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Gothboy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:54 pm

shrapnel wrote:
Gothboy wrote:
Regular Guy wrote:Just an anecdotal example, a deer was hit next to a guys house that lives around my mom. The deer expired on his property and he didn't want it removed. I'm not sure on his reasoning having a rotting deer carcass around but whatever. I'd drive by the carcass quite often and it was picked down to bones by turkey vultures and bugs in about a month. The bones were the only thing remaining for about 2 years before they just erroded into the ground.

It stunk for about 2 weeks and then as far as I could tell didn't stink anymore. I'm with Shrapnel and leaving any bodies that aren't on or near abouts your dwelling right where the lay. If there are that many bodies around there will not be enough hours in the day to collect them all. .
Bacteria and fungi do most of the decomposition heavy lifting. A lot of what's left is done by fast-reproducing arthropods like flies and beetles and shit. It likely wouldn't take *too* much longer than usual.
Ah yes. An angle I had forgotten about! Good catch my friend! :)
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by cauldron » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:42 am

I have booklets at home about... bodies and where they get left and what happens. My wife signed up for the body farm in Kentucky a few years back...

I wasn't as on board with it as much as I thought I would be...

Anyway, we've gutted deer in the woods while hunting, and sometimes all the guts were gone the next day. Whole dead animals take longer, a few weeks sometimes, and the bones a couple years.

Burying the bodies might cut the smell, but also might be bad for ground water, worse if you waited too long, and takes muck longer than in the open. If it's a mass problem, I would be concerned about having enough fuel.
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by DrJack » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:50 am

What about covering bodies in mass graves with strong acids/bases to aid in chemical breakdown?
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Gingerbread Man » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:50 am

Gothboy wrote:
Regular Guy wrote: :words:
It stunk for about 2 weeks and then as far as I could tell didn't stink anymore. I'm with Shrapnel and leaving any bodies that aren't on or near abouts your dwelling right where the lay. If there are that many bodies around there will not be enough hours in the day to collect them all. .
On that note one must keep in mind the finite number of animals and critters who do such disposing of bodies. If there truly ARE that many bodies laying around it will stink for a LOOOOONG time until the population of such creatures catches up to the "food supply" and cleans up. Just a thought. :)
Sure, but the inverse is handling dead, decomping bodies which I'm unwilling to do unless the body is a family member or a direct health issue for me, my family or water/food supply. By removing them I'm exposing myself to LOTS of nasties. As far as I know, the bodies no matter the number will be taken care of, no matter the method in about a month. I hope I'm not sounding too argumentative, I'm just offering my opinion.
It's something to consider in preps and responses to disasters, it's why I have way more than a month of food and water, it's going to be nasty outside for lots of reasons. I don't want to mess with the nasty so I stay low. :D
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Gingerbread Man » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:55 am

DrJack wrote:What about covering bodies in mass graves with strong acids/bases to aid in chemical breakdown?
Well, just me, but you'll need lots of chemicals and a large earth moving machine. Now you've got an area that is a mass grave rather than having the toxicity spread out.

This sounds harsh to me and my civilized mind doesn't like it however, things die all the time. All over. Sure, humans are bigger but nature is amazing with it's ability to balance things out, usually pretty fast. I think as Sharpnel stated, let the dead decompose. It's harsh, I don't like it but if it's that kind of disaster where there is mass causalities, you're going to be damn busy with other things.

My take anyway.
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by shrapnel » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:09 am

DrJack wrote:What about covering bodies in mass graves with strong acids/bases to aid in chemical breakdown?
Do you have gigantic vats of chemicals just sitting around, in case of mass casualty incidents? I'm not being snarky (well, only a little), but you'd need a LOT of stuff just to make a dent in the mess. If I recall correctly, unless you're giving concierge, personalized attention to each individual body, the best you'll manage is corroding them unevenly and maybe making identification a bit harder. But in terms of mass graves, plenty of regimes have tried it, and it seems like a bulldozer and some ground is really the most efficient way to make thousands of bodies disappear. Considering that mass murders like that are basically the best case scenario, in terms of the problem of dealing with a bunch of bodies (they all died at once, in a single place, of known non-pathogenic causes, and you have state or at least some form of institutional backing so presumably you have access to, say, bulldozers and chemical vats if you need them), and they use mass graves, with maybe some token attempts at throwing acid on the bodies, but it isn't very effective.

I'm on my phone and will edit for coherency later. In the meantime, looking at how people have historically handled mass numbers of bodies, I just don't think chemicals would be effective on a large scale.

Edit: also, it isn't chemical breakdown you're aiming for. You want biological breakdown. Nothing rots without decomposers. As such, they are exquisitely fine-tuned to thrive in the conditions that are present in a rotting body, and can accomplish what would otherwise take huge energy inputs, just by existing and doing their decomposer thing. Burying them inhibits the process. I can only assume that throwing chemicals on them would also inhibit the process.

To me, there is no sense in literally getting in the way of something that will take its natural course in a month or two (an unspeakably gross month, but a month), and investing huge quantities of time, energy, and resources (and possibly risking my health), to do something that will be done for me if I just wait a little while. Bodies are just bodies (to me. Not denigrating anyone's personal or religious beliefs), and they'll be ok out in the open. I understand that we would all like our loved ones, and to a lesser extent everybody else, done right by. But in my estimation, the costs and risks far outweigh the mostly intangible benefits.
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by raptor » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:47 am

This topic is one of those details that most people and Hollywood of course glosses over. With millions dead what do you do? Can you imagine the population boom in flies and bugs that will feast on this horrible scene? Can you imagine the odor that will permeate the area for months (years?).

I would think living next door to a sewerage treatment plant would be far more pleasant.

In pandemics there may be need to burn the bodies (for instance smallpox). However as shrapnel pointed out unless you go disturbing the bodies and handling them bodies are not a huge disease vector. That said they will attract a large number of insects which may be disease vectors.

Burning bodies requires a huge amount of fuel and digging holes is labor intensive.

In a true PAW situation IMO the best thing you can do is remove and bury the bodies closest to your AO. A back hoe is what cemeteries use, because they work well. Another alternative that was not discussed is to not bury the body but simply cover them with earth. Where do you get the earth? instead of digging a 6ft deep hole simply dig a shallow grave and use that earth and grave to cover them.

Depending upon the climate nature will run its course on decomposition. In SO LA in the summer the bodies decompose quickly in the frozen north...well they may never decompose.

If you have to handle the bodies be sure you are are wearing proper PPE, Tyvek suit, Boots, gloves and a face shield. The "fluids" that spill can be quite hazardous if ingested or get into a cut on your body.

I would likewise take note from coroners of today. They roll the body into a body bag, zip it up disinfect any external parts of the body bag with a bleach or ammonia solution. Then they carry the body via body bag. They also stack the bodies in 40 foot trailers that are refrigerated. That said a 40 ft trailer sealed (refrigerated or not) sounds like a great place to dispose of a large number of bodies near your AO. You can even drive it elsewhere (preferably downwind) to allow nature to take its course.
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by cauldron » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:45 pm

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Toe tags are also available...
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Gingerbread Man » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:11 pm

I hadn't considered just throwing a layer of dirt on top of the bodies. That is a good idea. A few points I can think off the top of my head:
1. Improved moral from not seeing bodies
2. Decreased smell
3. Improved body recovery/identification because animals wouldn't be carrying bones off.

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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by DannusMaximus » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:32 pm

raptor wrote: Another alternative that was not discussed is to not bury the body but simply cover them with earth. Where do you get the earth? instead of digging a 6ft deep hole simply dig a shallow grave and use that earth and grave to cover them.
I like the general idea, but think that any scavenger worth it's salt would be happy to dig through a few inches of dirt for the meal below, uncovering the bodies and various nasties that follow.

Anybody care to do any research into what was done during the plague years of the Middle Ages? With no power equipment and a population decimated, did folks burn the dead, just leave them alone, or expend the energy to dig mass graves?

I assume there would still be working vehicles in a modern pandemic, and we have a number of natural ravines and stripper pits in our AO, relatively close by but still a good distance away from major population centers. Ready made mass graves? You would still need to handle and transport the bodies, but I still can't wrap my mind around leaving thousands and thousands of bodies to just rot in the sun during a nice, humid midwestern summer...
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by raptor » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:01 am

DannusMaximus wrote:
raptor wrote: Another alternative that was not discussed is to not bury the body but simply cover them with earth. Where do you get the earth? instead of digging a 6ft deep hole simply dig a shallow grave and use that earth and grave to cover them.
I like the general idea, but think that any scavenger worth it's salt would be happy to dig through a few inches of dirt for the meal below, uncovering the bodies and various nasties that follow.

Burying deeper than a few inches is better but a few inches is better than nothing. I was thinking about a foot of dirt mainly to keep the insects and odor in check.

In a situation like this I suspect that the non insect scavengers will be fat, happy and lazy...if you get my drift.

If you have access to machinery and fuel to run it; a back hoe/front end loader can quickly dig a 50 foot long by 7 foot wide by 6 foot deep trench. Use the front end loader for the pick up and transport of the corpses and then fill in the hole. That should not require more than 10 gallons of fuel to dispose of say 100 or so corpses. A much more efficient use of fuel than burning them.

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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by azrael99 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:44 am

to dispose of them i thought of something, what if we burn them .............with thermite ?

you probably heard of that, it is a mix of oxidized steel powder with aluminium powder and maybe others stuff i'm not aware of.

i thought of that since that stuff can burn at a few thousand of degree, enough to melt steel. what would happen if you put biological stuff under it ?...................only ash remaining

this is the most known video i know about thermite

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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Boondock » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:19 am

azrael99 wrote:to dispose of them i thought of something, what if we burn them .............with thermite ?
You'd need a lot of Thermite. A lot. A lot more than would realistically be available, especially in a PAW with other concerns to address. Even a couple of Thermite grenades won't do it--those essentially are blowtorches in a can. But Thermite is one way to get the fire going.

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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by shrapnel » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:29 am

raptor wrote:
DannusMaximus wrote:
raptor wrote: Another alternative that was not discussed is to not bury the body but simply cover them with earth. Where do you get the earth? instead of digging a 6ft deep hole simply dig a shallow grave and use that earth and grave to cover them.
I like the general idea, but think that any scavenger worth it's salt would be happy to dig through a few inches of dirt for the meal below, uncovering the bodies and various nasties that follow.

Burying deeper than a few inches is better but a few inches is better than nothing. I was thinking about a foot of dirt mainly to keep the insects and odor in check.

In a situation like this I suspect that the non insect scavengers will be fat, happy and lazy...if you get my drift.

If you have access to machinery and fuel to run it; a back hoe/front end loader can quickly dig a 50 foot long by 7 foot wide by 6 foot deep trench. Use the front end loader for the pick up and transport of the corpses and then fill in the hole. That should not require more than 10 gallons of fuel to dispose of say 100 or so corpses. A much more efficient use of fuel than burning them.
I really think that you want insects. Without them, you're just going to prolong the process. Sure, bury anyone who died right next to your house, but insects, particularly in climates like you and I live in, will make everything wet disappear in a very short time. It's a good thing. The gross stuff will be all gone, rather than just hiding until something larger uncovers the dirt and starts the whole process up again. Circle of life, kumbayah, and so forth.

Regardless, the other issue that I would think of with the front end loader idea (which is for the most part a very good one), is that I wouldn't think that everyone would have died all together in a bunch. In basically any scenario I can think of that isn't a deliberate execution, there are going to be bodies, mostly in houses or in sheltered areas, all over the place, in ones and twos. I mean, there might be clumps of them here and there, and that's when earthmoving equipment would really shine, but mostly I would think it would be singles. You'd waste a lot of fuel going from place to place, picking them up one at a time (maybe? What sort of mileage do backhoes get?), going back to your trench, dropping them off, finding the next one, going to it... It just seems like a gigantic waste.


I'm not trying to be overly argumentative, and if it is coming off like I am, please let me know. :)
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by azrael99 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:15 am

Boondock wrote:
azrael99 wrote:to dispose of them i thought of something, what if we burn them .............with thermite ?
You'd need a lot of Thermite. A lot. A lot more than would realistically be available, especially in a PAW with other concerns to address. Even a couple of Thermite grenades won't do it--those essentially are blowtorches in a can. But Thermite is one way to get the fire going.

well since it was melting metal burning at thousand of degree i though it would be more effective than that

but if you say so.
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Boondock » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:46 am

azrael99 wrote:
Boondock wrote:
azrael99 wrote:to dispose of them i thought of something, what if we burn them .............with thermite ?
You'd need a lot of Thermite. A lot. A lot more than would realistically be available, especially in a PAW with other concerns to address. Even a couple of Thermite grenades won't do it--those essentially are blowtorches in a can. But Thermite is one way to get the fire going.

well since it was melting metal burning at thousand of degree i though it would be more effective than that

but if you say so.
Thermite burns hot, but flesh, fat and bone burn differently than metal. I'm not saying it isn't possible, rather, there's probably better methods.

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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by ZombieGranny » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:56 am

...
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Gingerbread Man » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:59 am

Having about 15 years of heavy equipment operation under my belt I just want to say, they don't have mileage, they have hours of use and a fuel guage.

But as Raptor stated, a backhoe is very well suited for the task. You can run one about 12 hrs a day for a few days before you need to fill up. Remember to let the equipment warm up before operating it.
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:12 am

azrael99 wrote:
Boondock wrote:
azrael99 wrote:to dispose of them i thought of something, what if we burn them .............with thermite ?
You'd need a lot of Thermite. A lot. A lot more than would realistically be available, especially in a PAW with other concerns to address. Even a couple of Thermite grenades won't do it--those essentially are blowtorches in a can. But Thermite is one way to get the fire going.

well since it was melting metal burning at thousand of degree i though it would be more effective than that

but if you say so.
Thermite is a very directed heat. I got to see an engine block cooked with one. It just made a relatively clean hole right through. IT's too hot to look at,much less try to direct it in any way. Honestly it would be easier to find something that sticks and burns. Motor oil, napalm-like-substances, pitch, etc. A large clay oven with a slider rack might be a better way to go about it.
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azrael99
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Re: MA, Body Disposal, etc.

Post by azrael99 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:33 am

well, that another miss then

i thought it was a good idea..........and it wasn't
"We stopped to look for monster under the bed , the day we realized that they were inside us"

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