Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Starting From Scratch: Water

Kirsten is back today to share with us more on one of your first needs in prepping: WATER. Didn't catch her first post? Check out the beginning of Prepper 101 here.

Everywhere you read anything about water storage for emergencies will tell you that you need approximately one gallon per person, per day for cooking, drinking, and hygiene. When you figure that for your one month supply that you will initially prep for, depending on your family size, that is a LOT of water and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how best to accumulate it quickly without breaking the bank. After all, water is the absolute most important thing to have on hand during an emergency/survival situation. For my three person family, that is roughly 90 gallons. I also have to increase that for our two dogs, two cats, four chickens, and rabbit. Either prepare for your pets or prepare to eat them, but don’t let them suffer dehydration!

Now, the number one rule of prepping is this: always have a backup. Once you have one backup, get another. Then another. Each backup will provide you with another level of security and peace of mind. The easiest and fastest way for us to get to our water storage goal was to buy 55-gallon food grade (have only stored food products- no chemicals) barrels and fill them with water. We found a feed store near us which had used certified food grade barrels (typically bright blue) for only $25. This was almost immediately after we had already ordered a brand new one from Sam’s Club online for roughly $80 + shipping. Let my mistake be your advantage. Buy used certified food grade and get three for the price of one new one. So, one expensive barrel and two affordable ones later, we now have one 55-gallon barrel for each family member; nearly double the amount we would need to survive for one month.

I also store cases of water bottles. I store them everywhere I can cram them: a few cases in each closet, under beds, in the “dungeon” which is what we call the under the stairs closet in our house, in the pantry, etc. Basically anywhere that will remain cool or semi-cool. You do not want to store bottles outdoors or in the garage that will leech BPA into the water once they become hot. No sense in surviving an emergency just to die from cancer from your water. Cases can be pricey, but for their easy portability I find it easy to pick one up every now and then when I’m at the store and then stash it somewhere. This has given me approximately an additional month in water supply for our family. Backup number one complete.

Another water storage prep that we have is called a WaterBOB. There are several different kinds/brands out there, but essentially they all do the same thing: you deploy them in a bathtub if you are aware of a pending emergency or shutoff of water supply. You hook up the “sock” to the water spout of your tub and fill’er up. Depending on the product and size of the bathtub you can store around 100 gallons. Once it’s full you seal it up and then use the pump provided to gain access to the water for up to two weeks without risk of bacterial growth. Here is an option from Thrive Life called the Aqua Pod. Backup number two complete.

It is important to have methods of physical and chemical filtration of water in the event that your supply becomes contaminated, you run out before the event has subsided, or you need to become mobile. There are many, many products on the market for water filtration. There are tablets which will chemically treat water, physical filtration devices, and another very simple line of defense is boiling the water. Many of these should be done in addition to each other. One water filtration device that has very good reviews is the Life Straw, which can be ordered on Amazon for roughly $20 and boasts a 1,000 gallon filtration capacity. Backups number three, four, and…well, you get the picture, right?
Thank you so much Kirsten! She'll be back tomorrow sharing more. Today's challenge: Evaluate your water storage (or lack thereof) and plan out what you can do to improve. Leave a comment letting us know how you're doing in your preparedness. Have a question? Post that too! We'll work hard to answer your questions either in the comments or an upcoming post.

1 comment:

  1. I try to store water in any and all "used" juice bottles. I buy a gatorade and drink it, clean it well, fill it up with water and there ya go...(this "storage" idea didn't make my Dad happy in the 3 moves this year though!...needless to say, I have to start over but at least still have my bottles)