xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Beyond the Basics - Water ~ The Prepared Guy

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beyond the Basics - Water

Now that I have hammered the firearm issue to death I’ll move on to other equally important preparations.


Water: 

I shouldn't have to even mention why we need to store water.  We can only survive about 3 days without it.  Our dehydrated and freeze dried food storage is useless without it.  Sanitation is critical in a crisis in order to maintain good heath to ensure survival.  

You should have more than just a few methods of making water drinkable. This should include multiple methods of filtration, treatment and purification. Iodine tablets and chlorine bleach both work well. UV light purification such as a Steripen works great with clear water and can be used with stream or river water or at home if your tap water becomes contaminated.  If you are an avid hiker and camper like I am then you probably already have a backpacking water filter. This is a great place to start. Don’t skimp on this item. Keep an additional filter or two in storage.

Larger gravity home filters are available that can filter out fluoride and other chemicals along with bacteria and even viruses. Even though you may have a water source you cannot survive for very long on contaminated water. Along with your food storage you should make storing, filtering and purifying water your highest priority. You can also, of course, boil water to sanitize it but this takes time and energy which means that you'll need to store more fuel just for this purpose.  Take time to learn and practice trying your purification and filtration methods so that you'll know exactly what to do when the time comes to use them for real.

In order to be able to purify water you must first have water. If the culinary water source is interrupted you must have stored enough water for your needs or have an alternate source. This alternate source should not be your neighbors’ water storage. Don’t plan on being able to run down to the grocery store for bottled water and don’t plan on getting help from the government either. 

Don’t forget that not only will you need water to drink but also to prepare meals, wash dishes, do laundry and keep your home clean. Take all of this into consideration when storing and sourcing water.  Plan on using about 1 gallon of water per person per day as a minimum.  

As our family water storage plan we have established a few different methods.  First, we take our used 2 liter soda bottles fill them with water and store them in our basement.  Water should be stored in a cool dark location.  Our plan includes refilling these bottles every year.  

We also have two IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers).  These tanks are 275 gallons each, were originally used to transport food products and are probably the most economical way to store water.  We also plan on refilling these about once a year.  The problem with these tanks is that they are 4' wide, which means that they won't fit inside a standard door, thus we have chosen to keep them in our garage out of the sunlight.  Exposure to sunlight will cause algae to grow. 

There are lots of options for emergency water storage so take time to do your research and determine which is best for your family and situation.

Because you can only store a limited amount of water you should also have a plan for how to get water if your culinary water source is interrupted for an extended period of time.

As an example, our family plan includes being able to hike to a nearby spring to collect drinking water.  This spring is small and well known so many others will most likely also plan on using it for their alternate water source, which could potentially cause some problems.  We are fortunate to live near the outskirts of our city and can hike to this small spring within about an hour.  To carry water this distance takes time and energy and with the size of our family we would potentially need to carry a minimum of 7 gallons of water a day.  At 8.3 lbs per gallon that would be 58 lbs.  That's a significant amount of weight to carry each and every day.  But at least its an option.  As another option, and our first plan, we will load up our trailer with our empty water tanks and take them down to the local river, which is about a a 6 mile round trip, where we can fill our tanks by hand using buckets or a gas water pump.  Buckets will take much longer whereas using a gas water pump will only take a few minutes to fill one of our large tanks.  We would only need to make this trip about once a month.  We also have to make sure that we have enough fuel for the vehicle and water pump.  We have identified a spot where there is a bridge so we can get as close to the river as possible with the trailer and make our water collection trip quick and as easy as possible.

Because we currently live on the edge of a large city we are not allowed to have a water well.  Our extended plans include purchasing land in a rural area and developing a well to ensure that we will always have a clean and dependable water source.  

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The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about what I have learned, my experience, and what my motivations are as a Prepared Guy. I have always felt driven to be ready for any situation by something powerful deep inside me. Being prepared has always served me well. I feel compelled to help others do the same.
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