Friday, April 17, 2015

Emergency Preparedness: Week 2 - Water

My husband's television show interests are ever changing.  One week, he may be watching men run around the country scooping up antiques for a steal.... another week, he may be watching survivalist shows where you watch a person go from a bubbly, healthy, strong individual, to someone stuck in the wild, weak, dehydrated, and losing their marbles.
The next week he may be watching people debating back and forth about what their used item is worth in a pawn shop.  Barefoot Contessa makes more sense to me.
Something I've noticed, though, when watching the survivalist shows with him, the first thing that the people who are in the jungle (or wherever the show may be staged) notice their body needs is water.
Good ole' H2O.
It is so convenient to go into our kitchen or bath, turn a knob, and have ready to use water. 
We leave it on as we brush our teeth, wash our dishes, and watch it run down the drain as we bathe.
We are quite careless with the resource, but only because of the convenience of modern design.
But... what if we no longer had water at our fingertips.
There are so many different scenarios that could cause a water shortage.

It's always wise to plan ahead.
It is suggested that you store at least 3 gallons of water for each person in your home, to be used in a single day.  They also suggest you store at least three days worth.
So, for instance, I have three people in my household.  Three gallons a day for each person, and a three day supply, would total 27 gallons of water.
(suggestion by the US government)
That is a lot of water. 
BUT - something to consider is, those three gallons are not just for drinking. 
You need to bathe, brush your teeth, clean your food, etc.
It may seem ridiculous to keep 27 gallons of water bottles in your home.
I couldn't agree more - if you can do it, more power to you, but I simply don't have the space.
We keep several five gallon containers (we have a water cooler) of water, and we keep a rain barrel handy, and filled for extra water.

I've got a couple of goldfish in my rain barrels to keep mosquitos down, and if I need it for other things, it is available. 

We also use the water for gardening, etc... just to rotate it periodically.
If you store your water that way, you should note these purification techniques:
1)  Filter cloudy water using coffee filters, paper towels, cheesecloth or a cotton plug in a funnel.
2)  Bring the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute.
3)  Let the water cool before drinking.
4)  Add 2 drops of household bleach per gallon to maintain water quality while in storage.
Treating water with household bleach containing 5.25-8.25 percent chlorine
Volume of Water to be TreatedBleach Solution to Add
1 quart/1 liter 5 drops
1/2 gallon/2 quarts/2 liters 10 drops
1 gallon 1/4 teaspoon
5 gallons 1 teaspoon
10 gallons2 teaspoons

(They do caution that bleach will not purify chemical contaminates)

Bleach is a lot easier to store than just a mound of bottled water.
So, I hope this helps you in your quest for emergency preparedness.  It really is more simple than you realize, and simply knowing how to make your storage go farther will help improve your stockpile.
I always tell myself to keep it simple, and work smarter, not harder. 
Next week I'll be talking about storage ideas for your stockpile.
Go grab a bottle of bleach, y'all!

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  1. Great advice. I don't have room for storing water myself. But living in an apartment, I'd hope they'd get things right pretty quick!

    1. Absolutely! That's one of the things I miss about living in an apartment - little maintenance. If I were single, I would move right back to an apartment - in a heartbeat!