Survival Strategies; water supply

Posted: 27/06/2009 in survival
Tags: , , ,

Since I know we are in for some pretty rough times ahead, I thought I would start to share some tips, commentary and the like regarding the development of a personal survival strategy. There’s a lot to think about when the crap hits the fan, but if you take the time to think before that happens, whatever does happen after that event makes it a whole lot easier.

The primary consideration in any survival situation is of course to stay alive, so we need to consider those things that will keep us alive first. One of the most important things we need to have available to live is that old friend of ours, water. Without clean water, we will be looking forward to a very short lifespan.

I found these tips on water storage at the FEMA site. I know, never trust the government. However, their information can sometimes be incredibly valuable, and this is one of those instances.


How Much Water do I Need?

You should have at least a three-day supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.

Additionally, in determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:

  • Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.
  • Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.

How Should I Store Water?

To prepare safest and most reliable emergency supply of water, it is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open it until you need to use it.

Observe the expiration or “use by” date.

If You are Preparing Your Own Containers of Water

It is recommended you purchase food-grade water storage containers from surplus or camping supplies stores to use for water storage. Before filling with water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap. Follow directions below on filling the container with water.

If you choose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles – not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Cardboard containers also leak easily and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not use glass containers, because they can break and are heavy.

If storing water in plastic soda bottles, follow these steps
Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap. Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.

Filling Water Containers

Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water. Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so that you know when you filled it. Store in a cool, dark place. Replace the water every six months if not using commercially bottled water.


Back to my own thoughts. Remember the point about not using the milk and juice containers. It’s a good tip, and we cannot count on there being medical attention readily available should a catastrophe occur. The simplest route, as they say, is to purchase store bought water in one gallon jugs. It may be more expensive that way if you need to store a lot of water, say for a family of six. But for most situations where only two or three people may be involved it’ll be the better value, usually.

I would suggest, however, that it would be more prudent to keep at least a week’s worth of water on hand. The one gallon jugs are best, price-wise and convenience-wise as well. Water for drinking should be kept away from water for cleaning so as not to mix them up. Why? Because you can use water for cleaning that is not as safe as for drinking. And you can use it for more than one person at a time. When camping out, how often have you shared the wash water with other family members? Think back to the good old days when you use to go camping or to an old cabin with your folks. That will get you on track to a survival mentality.

When a major catastrophe occurs, you cannot count on any of the things we take for granted during normal times. There may be no public water supply. And this may include sewerage as well. Roadways may not be passable. Stores and supply houses would not normally be able to open in these instances. Bear this in mind at all times. If you feel you may need supplies of any type to get you through an emergency, get them before you need them. After the emergency strikes, you probably will not be able to obtain the supplies.

Survival is not an exercise of learning. Survival is a state of mind. And if you have the right state of mind, you will learn to survive long before you ever need any of those survival skills.

And yes, I know this is a little different from my usual doomsday ranting. The time for prophecy and complaining is over. It is time to prepare for the coming times.

As an aside, you can install filters on your own faucet, and simply refill your current water supply bottles when they expire. Also, you may be able to obtain clean, new containers from a local farm or natural foods supply house in your area. Here is a video on installing a water faucet filter;


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