Following a disaster, there will be plenty of changes we’ll have to deal with.
One of those changes will probably be the shutdown of the electrical grids. Another could be a major disruption in the food supply chain.
In addition to problems with power and food, there is likely to be a run on stores that sell other needed emergency supplies. Including flashlights, batteries, fire starters, hand-crank radios, etc.
Of course, this is why we at 4Patriots have repeatedly encouraged you to stock up on survival food and other essentials, including a generator.
Water will be contaminated during a crisis
Regardless of whether you are able to hunker down during the crisis or bug out, finding clean drinking water is going to be a major challenge.
No matter how much water you have stockpiled, eventually you’re going to run out. Probably sooner rather than later. Due to how much space it takes up, how heavy it is and how quickly it will go bad.
So, yes, stockpile as many large bottles of water as you can. But be ready to find water from other sources and – just as important – be prepared to purify it.
Because no matter where you find this water, it is likely to be contaminated in one way or another.
5 ways to find water
Here are some of the ways you can gain water following an emergency. Then we’ll discuss how to make it suitable for drinking, bathing and cleaning.
- Rainwater. Collecting rainwater is illegal in some areas, but following a disaster, that’s going to be the least of the authorities’ concerns. The easiest way to do this is in rain barrels under the downspouts from your roof.
- Water heater. The water in your home water heater tank is just sitting there at this point. It has already been boiled so you don’t have to worry about that. But be sure to turn off the gas or electricity before unplugging the drain at the bottom of the tank.
- River, stream or creek. Lake and pond water can be purified, but you’re better off collecting water from a moving source rather than one that is basically standing still. There are generally fewer contaminants is a moving body of water.
- Toilet tank. I know this sounds disgusting but your toilet tank probably has drinkable water in it, after it’s purified. After all, fresh water goes into it each time the toilet is flushed. The older and more rusted the tank, however, the more thoroughly the water will need to be purified.
- Obviously, this is dependent upon the time of year and where you are located. But melted snow can be a good source of water once the contaminants are removed.
5 ways to purify water
The one thing all of the ideas above have in common is the need for purification. There are several different ways you can handle this.
- Boil it. This age-old method can be accomplished in a clean pot. But run the water through a coffee filter or piece of cloth first to get rid of any larger pieces of debris or dirt.
- Solar cooker. This is another way to boil your water in order to remove pathogens and other harmful microorganisms that can make you sick. The solar ultraviolet light rays are converted into infrared light rays inside the cooker for purification. (See our top recommendation, here.)
- Portable water filter. Often called straws, these lightweight, portable devices are highly effective at filtering out a vast majority of the contaminants present in water.
- Bleach. After filtering the water to remove sediments and debris, a gallon of water can be disinfected with only 16 drops of chlorine bleach. Shake the container well, then let it sit for about 30 minutes before drinking.
- Purification tablets. Filter the water first, then add iodine tablets per the instructions. One small tablet can purify approximately one quart of water. As with bleach, shake the container and let it sit for a half-hour.
Our favorite multi-purpose personal “water heater”
Food, power, shelter, other essential items… they will all be important following a disaster. But nothing is more crucial than having clean drinking water.
An easy way to ensure you always have a way to purify water during a crisis is to have a solar cooker like our 4Patriots Sun Kettle on hand.
Now, this device may look like a thermos at first blush. But no ordinary thermos harnesses the power of the sun to safely boil water like this. It’s so easy, even a kid can use it.
It’s also great for camping, hiking – heck, even pop a couple hot dogs in there on a fishing trip and before you know it lunch is served. Now, as long as you have sun, you’ll always have hot water. Back in stock, but likely not for long.
Take a look for yourself here