Water – The Original Lifesaver
Water – The Original Lifesaver
It’s a fact! Water is the original lifesaver – and is absolutely essential to life. Humans, animals, and plants have to have it or they will die. It’s hard to imagine being without water when it’s always been right there in the tap. But, what happens when we can’t buy or sell? What then? Have you ever stopped to think about how much water you actually use every day? Of course, we could (and will have to) cut it down to a minimum, but it will still be a lot of water to come up with every day.
If there’s no access to water, where could you get a continuous supply? And how could to transport it back to your house without a vehicle? Perhaps you have a basement or outbuilding where you could set up a large water storage tank? They come in all shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find one that would fit into almost any available space.
Do not delay, because you won’t be able to survive without an adequate supply of water.
Where to Find Sources of Water
Wells – If you have a well, can you get water if the electricity goes off? Do you have a manual pump? Most wells only have an electric pump, so it takes planning to figure out how to get that water out of the ground.
This has been a major undertaking for me. We actually live on a lake, but it’s 200′ straight down to the water. So, since this isn’t an option, I thought a well would be the answer. A well is fine as long as you have electricity, but when the power is off – so is the water!
So, back to square one! A large water tank is very helpful, but when it runs dry, it runs dry with no way to refill it.
What about solar power? Possible. But, I finally decided that my best option was to dedicate a generator to the well pump. If worse turned into worst – then I could run it about an hour a day to be able to fill water jugs, run some laundry and take a quick shower. I installed a 500-gallon propane tank for fuel, and that would last a long time with only using a gallon a day.
Then, because I ask a lot of what-if questions, I took it one step further! What if the pump quit working, or the generator went on the blink? Then what? I found a system that actually makes water out of thin air. Yes, you heard me right. It was developed by the military, and some smart people figured out how to make an inexpensive DIY system that you can also make. For less than $300, you can have a great back-up source for water! Click this link for information. I bought it and right now in the process of building it.
Please imagine yourself in different situations, and determine your best option for getting the life-saving water that your family needs. AND implement it immediately.
Other Sources of Water
- In case of any natural disaster, you must assume that your water may be turned off. Act quickly to fill every available water container that you can find. Bathtubs, cooking pots, sinks, plastic tubs…anything that will hold water. This is critical unless you have another source of water available.
- Stream or Creek – If you have access to a stream or creek, you’re in luck if you can depend on it to run year-round. If it’s a wet-weather stream, you won’t have any water during dry spells.
- Pond – These can be problematic if they are stagnant. Some of them have a stream running into them, which keeps the water fresher. If they are stagnant, you will have algae growing and who know what else.
- Swimming Pool – This is a lot of available water, but it must be well purified. This water is full of junk – chemicals, urine, dead leaves and animal waste to name a few things.
- Rain Barrels – This water is great for flushing toilets, or watering the garden. You’ll want to put one under each of your downspouts to catch water coming off the roof. But, you’ll have to do some work to get them ready for this purpose. They need a faucet down at the bottom, and a hole cut in the top for water to run in. Fit a mesh cover into this hole to keep leaves and other trash out of the water barrel. Also, place them up on concrete blocks to leave room for using the faucet. You can also attach a water hose to this faucet for watering the garden. Think gravity!
- Cistern – If you have water stored in a cistern, it would need to be tested for contaminants. If there is a way for junk to get inside, it always will.
Ways to Purify Water
Water must be purified before drinking or cooking with it. Here are a few ways that you can make sure your water is safe:
- Boiling – Strain to remove any solids, then heat to a rolling boil for at least a full minute. It only has to cool down for use.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – A very good way to purify water. Use 2 Tablespoons of 3% peroxide per gallon of water. Then let it sit for 30 minutes or so before drinking.
- Iodine – This will kill bacteria and viruses, but it is contra-indicated for pregnant women. You could use 5 drops of 2% iodine tincture per quart of water, or use iodine tablets. (Use more drops if the water is cloudy) Shake well and let sit for 30 minutes before consuming. Be sure to get the iodine water into where the cap screws on or those germs will not be killed.
- Chlorine Bleach – Use 8-10 drops per gallon. Remember that household bleach loses its potency after a few months in storage and could require more for disinfecting the water. It might be a good idea to store a few bags of swimming pool shock. This is granular and holds its potency longer.
- Ultraviolet Light – These units are great for purifying water, but if they are battery-operated make sure you have plenty on hand. Or use rechargeable batteries.
- Berkey Filter – These are great for filtering out contaminants. They offer regular and the more expensive, better black carbon filters.
If there are visible solids or particles in the water, you must filter to remove them. In an emergency water situation, you can use a coffee filter or even a bottle filled with sand and rocks to help purify water. Here’s a drawing to help you get an idea of what to use.
Top 10 Water-Borne Diseases
|Dysentery||Cramps, Nausea, Severe Diarrhea and Fever|
|Arsenicosis||Yes, arsenic poisoning! Affects lungs, kidneys & bladder|
|Polio||Affects the central nervous system|
|Schistosomaisis||Worms! They cause infections in the liver, lungs and intestines.|
|Diarrhea||Loose watery stools that can cause fatal dehydration|
|Cholera||Small intestine infection|
|Malaria||From parasite-carrying mosquito bites|
|Lead poisoning||Water can be contaminated with lead|
|Trachoma||Eye infection from poor sanitation or hygiene|
|Typhoid Fever||Bacterial Infection (salmonella) from bad food or water|