One part of preparedness that we often see overlooked and taken for granted is clean water. Water is a necessary element that we need for not only the basic functionality of survival, but also for hygiene, first aid, cooking, and more. While the more primitive form of water collection and purification may exist in most of your EDC, mobility bags, or everyday carry, the question lies within whether or not you’ve given yourself the accommodations and supplies to have a P.A.C.E. (primary, alternate, contingency, emergency) plan for water purification within your own home.
If you’re familiar with life on the gulf coast or eastern seaboard you may know the pains that accompany an infrastructure affecting hurricane; one of those being tainted water supplies. Sure, water is often accessible, but is it safe for our consumption and food preparation? You can mitigate this question and the risks posed within impure water by supplying yourself with a few of our suggestions. Natural disasters, affected municipal water supplies, and economical shortages are very unpredictable, often rapidly acting, and rarely afford extensive forewarning of their impending presence. Doing the tasks now of securing what you’re able to secure within the space your home allows is a preventive or prophylactic practice that we would all do well to heed.
One of the primary ways that I keep filtered water in my home is using a gravity filter. I use and love the Berkey water filtration and purification system. The system is considered a purifier as well because it removes 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria and 99.999% of viruses. It also removes arsenic, chlorine, chromium 6, E. Coli, endocrine disruptors, fluoride, glyphosate, haloacetic acids, heavy metals, lead, micro-organisms, monochloramine, nitrites, pesticides, VOCs, PFAS, PFCs, pharmaceutical drug contaminants, trihalomethanes, and zinc.
I add tap water to my filter daily for our general consumption but I also know that in an emergent situation I can take water from other sources and process through the Berkey without the need for electrical components to do the filtering and purifying. The filter is freestanding and can be set on your counter or on a stand of sorts in a room where it’s often used. You can purchase your own Berkey by following this link and choosing the size best suited for your family’s needs. I use the Royal! https://www.berkeyfilters.com/?a_aid=613a25e1c7329&a_bid=91332cde
How much water do you need?
1 gallon per day per individual. 1/2 of this gallon is used for drinking, 1/4 for cooking, and 1/4 for washing on average. I like to keep at least 3 days of water on hand in an easy-to-access form. This could be something as simple as gallon jugs of purified water to meet that calculation need. (example: I have 4 people in my family, so 4 people x 3 days x 1 gallon each = 12 gallons of water). You could even stock water bottles making sure to supply enough quantity to meet those basic calculations. Bottled water of any kind, however, does expire, so be sure to rotate them out according to those expiratory dates. Use the water in your routine before the expiration and then replace it with new bottles to avoid waste.
I know that in case of an emergency or disaster I can source more water of which I could then purify, but for immediate needs and sustainability, I have a minimum of 12 gallons there to provide an easy method of surviving for a short period.
Another water option I like to utilize, space permitting, is water storage vessels. These can be food-grade plastic barrels or something smaller and stackable, like water bricks.
Next in my water preparedness lineup, I keep methods of securing water that isn’t constant and only accessed during contingencies. One option, if I’m not having to displace from home is a WaterBOB. This is a food-grade bladder that would be set in a bathtub, filled with water, and capped off and siphoned when needed. A great option for those that normally “fill up their tubs” to prepare for water outages during freezes or hurricanes without running the risk of open contamination, accidental drainage, or even worse, accidental drowning of a young child.
I also like to keep a supply of water collection systems for emergencies, like this collapsible rainwater barrel.
While we can do our best to ensure we never arrive at an emergent state because of our previous proper planning, we must account for even these primitive measures of water purification and filtration simply because we cannot go without clean water.
Thankfully, we have simple and easy-to-store options.
- Chlorine Dioxide Tablets
- Aquamira Water Drops
- Bleach (unscented) and pipette to drop
-Make sure to unscrew any container you’re using to treat your water a few turns, and turn your water upside down to allow the water to touch the threads, then return upright while the treatment finishes. This ensures that the rim of your glass your jar is also being treated so you don’t ingest bacteria or viruses once you do go to drink
-Keep a pipette taped to a bottle of bleach with the ratio you would use to treat water. 8 drops of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Or 2 drops of bleach per 1 liter of water. Let sit for 30 minutes
-Do not add bleach to hot water
I hope this write-up has given you insight into one more simple step for preparedness that you can add to your home management to mitigate risks and hardships in the future.
If you liked this post, you might enjoy this YouTube video on how to teach children about water treatment and purification. Click HERE!