Water is the second cornerstone of all the building blocks within the world of preparedness and survival, and is right next to the air we breathe in importance. Water is more important than food, because we can last longer with a good supply of water and little food than we can with little to no water and a good supply of food.
To that end, it’s important from time to time to revisit the importance of planning for the supply, purification, and amount of water needed for each person in your family or team. It’s really not that difficult to prep a good water supply that will last through most situations when remaining in place, and the purification tools available are relatively cheap on average, and only basic information is necessary to properly purify water for human consumption.
Water that’s not purified, or ‘non-potable’ water, such as captured rain water, is useful for hygiene (so long as it’s not ingested) and saves the purification agent used for water to be consumed. Be careful, though, in warm weather, to keep saved rain water covered to minimize parasite growth.
A good rule of thumb for storing water is to obtain several six to ten gallon water jugs with spigots, such as those used for camping. They are very reasonably priced, and when determining how many to get, simply having one or two per person in the home is usually sufficient for most disaster/emergency conditions not expected to last more than a week or ten days.
If using bleach to purify water, the bleach must be unscented, uncolored, with no additives whatsoever. Then, 8 drops of bleach per gallong of clear water; 16 drops of bleach for cloudy water. After adding the bleach, let it sit for 30 minutes or so.
When you purchase your containers, take a quarter cup of bleach, add it to the container, and fill about 1/4 with tap water. Shake the container so that the heavy bleach mixture gets into any small crevice, and drain. allow to dry thoroughly before adding more water for storage, and you have disinfected your container of any possible pathogen or vector larvae.
When you fill your containers, fill as completely as possible in order to have as little air as possible in the container. It should be understood that the person filling the containers should have disinfected their hands as well as the working area (such as a mud sink or the head of the hose or spigot) used to fill the containers. Once the water container is sealed with as little air as possible, store the water in a cool, dry, place not exposed to direct sunlight. The water will last for years. If you’re anxious about it and don’t trust the water, change it out every six to nine months and use the old water to water your garden or house plants or to wash the family dog. DTG experiments have included drinking water stored for well over a year with no adverse affects when treated and stored as described.
If you want better water from your city system, or your well, you can purchase a variety of water filters/purifiers that range in price from very inexpensive to very expensive. Just as anything else, you get what you pay for, so buyer beware. Listed below are a few that DTG has experience with and recommends:
http://zerowater.com/ The Zero Water system costs under $80 for it’s gravity fed filtration system and removes everything but water from the water. DTG staff use this in their homes and reports are all positive.
http://www.berkeyfilters.com/ The Berkey models are on par with the Zero Water, and have a full range of gravity systems that can range into a few hundred dollars. There are also web sites that demonstrate using the Berkey filter elements to make an ‘on the cheap’ model that will work fine, however ‘rustic’ it may look in the kitchen.
Lifesaver Systems ‘lifesaver bottle’ and ‘life saver jerry can’ are also very, very good systems when mobility is a concern. Check them out at http://www.lifesaversystems.com/water-purification-systems (you can also order anything they sell on Amazon if you prefer).
There are many more water systems on the market, some less expensive; some unbelievably high in price; the objectdive is having good, potable water to see you and yours through an emergency. Planning now will ensure you have something that will become priceless in a disaster situation.