The most important supply to have on hand for any emergency is drinking water. It’s also the bulkiest item.
I’ve focused on frugal emergency preparation, but one place where we really splurged is an excellent water filter. Ours is a hand pumped filter that we use for camping, and also actually used to pump a daily household supply for several years when we lived in a house where the water taste was unpalatable. So our expensive purchase paid for itself, since most people in that area purchased an in-home system for thousands of dollars. WEll, it would have saved us money if we would have purchased a more expensive system, but we wouldn’t have.
Ours is a Katadyn with an extra filter for flavor which the Headmaster added. Because we are a large family with frequent guests, we bought a large capacity. A smaller version would suit most of our readers quite well, and other brands might be just as good or even better.
Meanwhile, you don’t have a filter and you don’t have money to go buy jugs of water at the grocery store, so what do you do?
You store water. If you live in a hurricane or typhoon area you have plenty of advance warning. During that time you fill your bathtub(s), a trash can, an ice chest, pitchers and jars- whatever containers you can round up. You want about a gallon a day per family member, plus extra for pets. You can continue to flush the toilet by pouring water into the bowl of the toilet, but it requires more water to flush it that way.
You should have some water on hand anyway for those emergencies you don’t have time to prepare for- terrorist attacks, earthquakes, flash floods, etc. Use soda bottles, canning jars, gallon jugs, etc. Check them every 3 to 6 months to make sure they don’t smell funny, and go ahead and water all your plants (or flush a toilet a few times) with the old water and refill your bottles with fresh.
Store water away from light.
If you are caught without water, in a pinch you can drink the water in your hot water tank and even from the tank on teh back of the toilet (if you don’t put nasty blue chemicals in there, and you shouldn’t). This website has tips for emergency preparedness, and this link will take you right to the water page. Please read it and implement the suggestions in it. Copy the page and put it in your emergency notebook.
Another really cool tool for emergency preparations is the U.S. Army Survival Manual (that link is to a PDF file. This link takes you to a text website which also has diagrams). This is an excellent book to have. It’s a great homeschooling textbook, too. Boys especially will love learning nature craft and survival skills from the information in this book. Even pacifists should have a copy- go on, just because it says ‘army’ doesn’t mean it doesn’t have useful information! It is a really fun book to read.
I like the ideas in chapter 6, which is the chapter on Water Procurement.
What little boy won’t be enchanted to learn,
“Wherever you find banana or plantain trees, you can get water. Cut
down the tree, leaving about a 30-centimeter stump, and scoop out the
center of the stump so that the hollow is bowl-shaped. Water from the roots will immediately start to fill the hollow. The first three fillings of
water will be bitter, but succeeding fillings will be palatable. The stump
… will supply water for up to four days. Be sure to cover it to keep out insects.”
“You can use stills in various areas of the world. They draw moisture
from the ground and from plant material. You need certain materials to
build a still, and you need time to let it collect the water. It takes about 24 hours to get 0.5 to 1 liter of water.
To make the aboveground still, you need a sunny slope on which to
place the still, a clear plastic bag, green leafy vegetation, and a small
To make the still—
Fill the bag with air by turning the opening into the breeze or by
“scooping” air into the bag.
Fill the plastic bag half to three-fourths full of green leafy vegeta-tion.
Be sure to remove all hard sticks or sharp spines that might
puncture the bag.
Do not use poisonous vegetation. It will provide poisonous liquid.
Place a small rock or similar item in the bag.
Close the bag and tie the mouth securely as close to the end of the
bag as possible to keep the maximum amount of air space. If youhave a piece of tubing, a small straw, or a hollow reed, insert one
end in the mouth of the bag before you tie it securely. Then tie off
or plug the tubing so that air will not escape. This tubing will allow you to drain out condensed water without untying the bag.
Place the bag, mouth downhill, on a slope in full sunlight. Position
the mouth of the bag slightly higher than the low point in the bag.
Settle the bag in place so that the rock works itself into the low point in the bag.
To get the condensed water from the still, loosen the tie around the
bag’s mouth and tip the bag so that the water collected around the rock will drain out. Then retie the mouth securely and reposition the still to
allow further condensation.
Change the vegetation in the bag after extracting most of the water
from it. This will ensure maximum output of water.”
The link I provided will take you to chapter 6, where you can even find pictures!
Start your water supply today. It’s important.
Previous posts on this important topic are all linked from THIS post.