All survival situations will require the supply of clean drinking water. If the power fails in most first world countries, from an outage or storm, so does the means to pump safe drinking water.
After making yourself safe and sheltered, water becomes a pressing priority for you and everyone else.
Most people won't have an adequate back up supply or means to gather water and those unprepared people will quickly succumb to the ravages of thirst and dehydration.
With no water to wash and maintain hygiene, disease opportunities flourish and already backed up sewage systems will be rapidly overwhelmed if they aren't already.
Sounds bad – it is!
And this doesn't have to be a long term disaster scenario. A hurricane can knock out power supplies leaving people without power for days whilst maintenance crews battle the elements to try and restore power.
If you haven't prepared for this, it's now too late. You are in the same situation as everyone else, worse as you know you could have been better prepared!
It will be a huge ask to be able to stockpile enough bottled water to keep even a small home with enough water. However I do recommend stocking up at least enough for a few days.
So what can we do to make sure we have enough water should a disaster happen that effects the water supply in your neighborhood?
If you are safe enough and are going to stay put – then you will have to anticipate storing enough clean water to see you through at least a minimum of a week.
If you are lucky to get power back, it may not be safe to drink the local town water for days after.
Its important to plan in advance how you will handle your water requirements before you are up against it in a long term powerless situation.
You'll need to locate primary water supplies like springs, rivers and lakes and have the means to transport, filter and purify the water you might have to collect.
The most ideal source of water is gravity fed spring water.
It's not without its problems though as in disaster conditions these may become contaminated by run off and debris.
Fresh out of the ground spring water is usually safe to drink without treatment.
Wells and Boreholes –
Power is needed generally to pump up water from a well or borehole, so if this is your primary supply, you will need a power supply for the pump. Alternatively you will need a mechanical pump to hand pump the water up.
If its a traditional wide well then dropping a bucket in may be all you need to be able to draw up water. Make sure that no matter what your source is, you have the means to get at it without power.
Countries that have low rainwater seem to make better use of every drop. One side of the island of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean for example is a rain catchment system.
I think we should make better use of gathering rainwater for our potable water requirements, rather than just letting it run off our roofs.
I have a friend who gathers all his rainwater into an underground concrete tank of 5,500 gallons. His annual water needs are easily met with this system. (It does rain a lot!)
It may not be possible for you to do this due to building codes now, but you may be able to install a rain water system for “the garden”!
Being surrounded by water that isn't safe to drink is a scenario you may face after storms and flooding.
Don't risk drinking contaminated water – You will risk disease and other ailments that may be impossible to treat in the field. Getting a dose of the shits will also dehydrate you quicker and leave you in a vulnerable state if you are faced with any outside dangers.
Most deaths after disaster situations, especially third world are from drinking contaminated water supplies. You only have to look at some of the situations after Hurricane Katrina to see how “Third World” areas can rapidly become.
All gathered water must be treated to make it safe to drink.
You can make a start by filtering most of the crud and larger debris particles through a couple of towels. You'll make your filtering system last a lot longer by doing this as the pores of the filters won't get clogged up so quick.
Water Filters – Activated charcoal filters like Berky Filters, can be rigged up in line with your water tank or water pipes if this is allowed, otherwise you will need a portable system to make safe any water you have gathered.
There are home sized water filter systems like the Big Berky which is available on Amazon. It looks bomb proof!
However a much more reasonably priced system can be found here at Get Prepared Stuff – it's less than $50 bucks and its proudly made in the USA. You will need to get some food grade buckets with lids to complete the filter but the plan and video is pretty easy to follow.
It would be great as home emergency system and sure beats a lot of messing around with sourcing bits and designing your own.
Click Here for More information about this system.
If you don't have ceramic or charcoal based filters you will need to kill any bacteria by using a disinfectant like bleach or potassium permanganate.
Potassium Permanganate also known as Condys Crystals about 4 crystals will treat a quart.
Iodine – 5 drops of 2% will kill most nasties.
Chlorine Bleach (Regular Clorox) – 2 drops per quart or 8 drops per gallon. Clorox recommend double the amount if the water is cloudy.
There's some more useful info about purification from the EPA here –
Whatever you decide to do about water, get it sorted now. You don't want to be caught out like most other people are sure to be!
Finding a good water source that you can rely on will need to be a big priority, and you'll need to make sure you can make it safe to drink.
So….stockpile some water!
Make up a filter so that you can make safe potable water….
Or stock up some water purification chemicals
Maybe best to do all three?
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