Clean water is almost always overlooked until it’s too late. You can survive up to three weeks without food, but without drinking water only few days – typically only three to four days. Therefore it’s essential to know how to get clean water in an emergency and how to purify water.
We get some water from food, but drinking water is the best and the main source of water for human body. Drinking juices and milk helps also keep you hydrated. However it’s important to ensure that you have drinking water available at all situations. In emergency situation you need to avoid foods that cause increased urination and you need to avoid alcohol because it dehydrates quite effectively. It’s good to keep on your mind that dehydration that causes more 10% loss of your weight is a medical emergency. You don’t want that in critical situations.
At least 60% of human body is made of water and it’s essential to drink clean water constantly. Things gets complicated because drinking water needs to be clean of toxins and bacteria etc. and furthermore it can’t be salt water.
Water is also heavy to carry and it takes lot of storage space. Those things makes it hard to carry and transport not to mention that storing, carrying and transporting water requires clean and obviously waterproof containers.
So, how are you going to survive if normal water supply is not anymore available and you don’t have access to clean water because of an emergency situation? To survive you must have only emergency food strategy but also emergency water strategy and that’s what’s always almost overlooked. One reason for that could be because of most of use live in the conditions where water is not an issue and there’s water everywhere. There’re lakes, oceans, it’s raining and clean drinking water comes from faucets and wells. However that might not be the situation when SHTF.
The recommended quantity of water from many sources is 1 gallon per man for every day. That includes water for cooking, cleaning and drinking. However just for surviving you will need at least about a gallon of clean water for every 72 hour. Can you fit it on your 72 hour survival kit and can you carry it and are you family members strong enough to carry their bug out bags packed with gallon of water in addition to all other essential survival items? Most likely it’ll be a problem.
Therefore you need to know how to get clean water in an emergency and how to purify water when normal water sources are not available. Here’s SurvivalBarracks.com‘s guide to emergency water strategy for every prepper.
Keep water bottles and containers ready
First of all you need to have a water tank or container and smaller water bottles ready. If you have a have a survival shelter, you should keep there bigger container there ( and of course if you have storage space, some at home) and smaller bottles ready at home – so you can quickly fill them’up and carry on bug out bag. Consider also specially made bug out bags with a water container or specially made hydration backpacks.
Get these now while you can because those might not be anymore available when crisis hits or at least price will be expensive. Trust me. Most are not thinking about water storage and when emergency situation appears they’ll run to shops if those’re still open and buy everything they can including water containers and bottles.
Long time storage of water
Of course it’s best to have water tank, containers and bags & bottles already & always fully filled with water. Emergency situations usually appears without warning leaving little or no time at all for preparation such as filling your water tanks! However long time storage of water requires some caution because you need to be sure that water stays clean. that’s especially important with drinking water. If you ‘re storing water for long time, you should change it from time to time just to ensure that it’s still fine for drinking.
In addition to recycling water remember to use some type of water stabilizer that enables the water to be stored without changing quite long time. Of course you need to also make sure that your water tanks are in good condition inside and outside and that there’s no leaks. However, if you have closed water container, do not open it without a good reason. Open it only when you’re changing the water. When opened it’s exposed for microbes such as bacteria etc.
Have a water filter that is portable. You should have actually multiple water filters if you have multiple survival locations. For example one at home, one at survival shelter / cache, one at car and smaller one at your bug out bag. With a decent water filter you can purify contaminated water and make drinking water from rivers, lakes and other not necessary clean water sources. Smaller water filter are easy to carry on backpack and you don’t need necessary carry heavy water bottles. Anyway if you have water tanks, containers and bottles, you should have also water filter(s) because if emergency situation last long your water reserves might need to be full filled.
Please remember that micro water filters will remove protozoa and bacteria in the water, but will not kill viruses.
Water purification pills
Have water purification tablets always ready. Water purification tablets work pretty fast (usually within 30 minutes) and those can kill effectively most viruses, protozoa and bacteria, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Water purification pills are also easy to carry and those takes very little of space compared to heavy to carry water bottles and containers or water filters.
However it’s best to have stored clean water, water filter(s) and water purification tablets. You can first use water filter and then re-purify filtered drinking water using pills. (Filters do not kill viruses!)
Boiling and collecting water
Of course you can also purify water boiling it, but in long run it gets difficult because you need water quite much just for drinking. Furthermore boiling requires fire which needs something to burn, creates smoke and is visible. However if you don’t have bottled / stored water available, you don’t have water filter or purification pills, you should boil the water before drinking it.
You can and you should be ready to collect rain water for example using waterproof tarp. Rain water is usually good to drink without cleaning it first.
Be ready when SHTF!
Keeping how to get clean water in an emergency in your mind you should be fine and ready for any situation. Just remember that you need to ensure at least availability of drinking water on all possible emergency situations because dehydration kills and fast. If situation looks really bad, don’t waste any water for washing or cleaning anything including yourself. Save all available water for drinking and regulate daily consumption.
More information about water in general can be found from the USGS website.
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