In the event of a catastrophe, whether natural or man-made, water is perhaps one of the most crucial elements lacking in an urban setting. Earthquakes can disrupt the water mains, the water treatment plants could be shut down or destroyed and then all we are left with is what we have in bottles and storage. Careful planning and forethought can help you maintain a sufficient supply of water when natural sources such as streams and lakes are unavailable.
Collection: If you find yourself at home during a catastrophe – you should run to the bath tubs and sinks and fill them up first. By doing this, you can have a supply of fresh water for several weeks if not months by rationing. The water will most likely be filthy from soap suds and grime so we will go over some simple purification methods later in this article. Another lesser known method for water foraging is ice in your fridge, especially if the power is still on.
Now assuming you are not in Arizona where the water never hits the ground, there will be moisture and rain fall for collection purposes. The simple methods are to use buckets or barrels by placing them at the end of a water drainage downspout of a house or building – during a mild rain this should allow for collection of a few gallons of water. Using a tarp can as a collection pool is very effective when buckets are not available, simply tie up the tarp and allow for a sag for the water to collect or dig a shallow wide hole in the ground and line it with the tarp. Remember that rain water is not always pure and may require purification.
Storage: Barrels and garbage cans are great storage devices for water, just ensure to clean them well before the first use. But storing water in a plastic device exposed to the environments and changing temperatures can breed bacteria and bugs, therefore, pore a small amount of gasoline into the water. The gasoline is lighter than water and will float atop and will act as a barrier against bugs and some forms of bacteria. Already mentioned was storing water in tubs and sinks at home and in any jug you might have. Try to use store bought water last as it is already sealed and can last several months without bacteria and bugs when sealed.
Purification: This is the most important step, as not purifying your water can lead to illness, loss of energy, and even death. Boiling the water for several minutes is a common method if man-made purifiers are unavailable. Many sports and outdoor enthusiast stores carry portable water purifiers for around $100 dollars a pop and work well in most situations. Boiling leaves a weird taste in the water and therefore adding Tang or some fruit flavoring is preferred.
In the end, water is the source of survival. Without it you will perish, with it you can clean yourself, cook food, and survive. Be sure to purify the water thoroughly and use proper storage techniques.
– Stay Safe