Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink!
This is what recent victims of Texas and Florida hurricanes experienced. They were literally at risk of drowning in water too dangerous to sustain them!
The first provision we should consider for emergency preparedness is water. A human can live up to three weeks without food, but only three days without this basic but precious commodity.
Like most people, especially in the developed world, you probably get your water from a faucet or refrigerator dispenser. You may grab a chilled bottle of water as you head out to work or play.
As long as your municipal or well water source is up and running, and an emergency hasn’t depleted water supplies at your local store, you’re good to go!
But what if any number of unforeseen circumstances eliminate the availability of safe drinking water? Where will you find some? Preppers find water close to home and have some on hand to spare.
Make water storage a priority.
Always have extra water available, even if it must be boiled before using. There are many resources available to help you in this effort: a bathtub bladder can be stored and filled rapidly when bad weather or other emergencies threaten ready water supply. Water bricks are available to be filled and stored according to instructions.
I advise against using box store or grocery store water bottles and containers, as they tend to leak more easily.
Do you have a rain collection barrel attached to one or more downspouts of your home? (Check local laws to be sure you are allowed to do this. Don’t get me started on this absurdity!) Rain collection can be used primarily for non-potable water needs: watering a garden, cleaning tools, etc. This water can be boiled for drinking, hygiene, cooking and washing.
Do you know where the closest natural sources are, and how to get there on foot, if necessary? Do not collect water from areas where the plants are sickly or dead. Running water is better than standing water. Store empty handled containers and keep that old children’s wagon for this and other foraging needs. Always boil or chemically purify water from natural sources before use. Outdoor and sporting stores offer chorine, potassium permanganate and halazone tablets. Use accompanying instructions.
Invest in Water Straws for G.O.B. (Get Out Bag) storage. The dirtiest water can become drinkable using this device, especially when boiling is not practical or possible. http://waterislife.com/clean-water/the-straw
Clean water is safe water.
If you are able to boil water, first filter it through a clean cloth to remove larger impurities. In order to ensure clean water for drinking or cooking, you must boil impure water for at least a full five minutes at a rolling boil.
This brings us to the need for fire. Do you have a fireplace or outdoor fire pit in your home? Do you have wood or fire logs stored? Do you know where the closest supply of more fuel is located? When electricity or gas is shut off in a crisis, you still need heat for cooking and boiling water. Store extra matches and flints in your home and G.O.B.s so that you can start a fire quickly and efficiently.
Ideally, you should have 3 gallons of water on hand, or readily available, per person, per day. More is necessary for cleaning and personal hygiene. This adds up, but for a necessity like water, you can’t have too much on hand.
A common Prepper proverb advises: One is none, and two is one. Redundancy is perfectly reasonable in a world fraught with unlimited dangers.