emergency preparation: water

photo by Brothersoft.com

Water is the most critical of basic needs

65% of the human body is water. It flows through the blood, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and flushing wastes out of the body. It cushions our joints and soft tissues. Without water intake, we cannot digest or absorb food. In hot conditions, dehydration will set in within an hour.  Depending on our physical condition, we can survive for only 3–5 days without it.

Even though 780 million people in the world are without access to clean water, we expect it to flow from our taps when we turn the spigot. Any disaster that interrupts the electricity may interrupt water flow. It is better to store some water while you have access to a safe water supply. FEMA recommends storing a two weeks supply, at one gallon per person per day, that’s fourteen gallons. You can store this much water in two 7-gallon plastic “Aqua-Tainer” jugs per family member. They are designed for this purpose and are available at WalMart for about $11 each. With a molded handle and a recessed spout, they are stackable. When you fill the containers, rinse them first and then fill about half way.  Add 7-8 drops per gallon (1/8 tsp) of detergent-free bleach. Shake it up to mix the bleach and then fill the container all the way to the top. Screw the cap on tight. Store more water than this if you live in a hot climate or plan to use dehydrated or  freeze-dried foods. 55-gallon food grade plastic drums are also useful.

Should your water source run out, you will want to learn at least two ways to collect and disinfect  water from other sources, like nearby ponds, a hot water tank, and rainwater collection barrels. The SunOven® is a excellent way to pasteurize filtered water using the WAPI kit. (See July, 2013 – Every Needful Thing). Coffee filters are a valuable item to take the sediment out of water.

September 2013, Every Needful Thing                                          Billie A. Nicholson

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