Thursday, June 5, 2008

How To Survive The Coming Apocalypse (Part II)

Well folks it is Wednesday (ok it is really Thursday and I am a lazy, lazy boy) and as promised it is time for Part 2 of our “How To Survive The Coming Apocalypse” series.

Today we will be discussing something that if you don’t have it for three days you are dead: Water. Water is needed for life to exist…humans are no exception. Dehydration is a horrible way to die and can be easily avoided with some proper precautions.

If there is an extended disruption in the water supply pumped to your house there are several ways to mitigate dying a slow death from dehydration:
1.) Water Storage
2.) Water Collection
3.) Water decontamination

If you have these three areas covered you are in great shape for any extended disruption in the water supply. Water storage is key component and any survival regimen. Storing AT LEAST one gallon per person per day is an absolute minimum. Three gallons per person per day would be a more comfortable situation and would allow for even comforts like a sponge bath. Water should be stored in containers designed to do so. I highly recommend those blue 5 gallon containers (which go up to 55 gallons) as opposed to using recycled two liter bottles and such. Those blue containers are not clear for a reason…light benefits bacteria growth and believe it or not those containers while not fool-proof will do a better job of prohibiting that growth.

You can find containers like the ones I am speaking of in many places:
Emergency Essentials, Nito-Pak and QuakeKare just to name a few. If you will not be rotating the water it will help if you throw a few drops of bleach into the container as well after you fill them. If you follow that process the water in the containers should be fine for up to a year or more. I personally rotate my water every six months to keep it fresh tasting.

If you use any container larger that five gallons or so make sure you have a hand pump and a bung wrench (if required) handy…getting water from a 55 drum that weighs close to 450 pounds when full will not be fun without that pump. I supplement my water stored this way with shorter term storage of cases of bottled water. I currently have about 10 cases of bottles water that I rotate on a weekly basis as we drink it…BUT there are always 10 full cases on hand. This will be my first line of defense if there is a water disruption that will allow me to go to my main storage only if the crisis is extended for some period.

NOTE: Keep in mind if you store freeze dried food you will need EVEN MORE water stored as this stuff NEEDS WATER to be used correctly!!!

Water collection can be achieved many ways utilizing containers and tarps in various configurations. What I plan on doing is cutting one of gutter pipes on my house so I can place a 35 gallon drum under it. I placed some window screen over the top of the barrel to catch the big stuff and use some bleach or iodine to make sure no nasties were picked up will running off the roof into the gutters. Rain caught directly into clean containers and immediately collected can most likely be drunk without and kind of purification, I personally always throw some bleach or betadine in there and let it sit for a while.

This leads us to purification. The most primitive and actually the safest way to purify water is to let it boil for five or ten minutes (I am talking rolling boiling here don’t be impatient). If you can do this your water should be free of just about everything at that point. Chemical purification works good as well but “could” miss something. Chlorine and Iodine are two most common methods of purifying water. I keep chlorine bleach and betadine solution in my house at all times, they could both be used to purify water if needed. For bleach 8 drops per gallon seems to be the magic number. YOU MUST WAIT a minimum of a half of an hour before drinking that water. I would wait an hour or so to be safe. You need to be careful with iodine because different brands could have different potencies. If it is a 2% solution I would put roughly 20 drops per gallon of water and wait at least 2 hours before I drank that water.

Well, there you have it. Get to it start storing some water for insert your disaster here and make sure you live more than three days.

...that is all.

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  1. dude put a nipple on that 55 gallon drum and set it on a couple of 2x6's screwed together and rol it back and forth to pour easily, growing up I did that with diesel fule for the tractor and crawler on the farm... the pump we had would only get about half the fule as it had an extendable pipe and the seal went bad, having the nipple already on hand would make trying to pour out of the barrel and hit the bucket a whole bunch easier.

    I got here via bison survival blog link to you. have an ordinance day ;-Þ


  2. For Y2K I had quite a few of those big blue barrels in the basement and when nothing happened they got emptied out and eventually taken to the dump (think close to 600 bucks in the landfill).
    I live in Georgia and we are drought central with rationing and all that good stuff. We were close to running out of drinking water during the winter so I looked for a cheap method to have water on hand. Got a kind size waterbed on ebay along with liner for 50 bucks. Spent another 12 bucks to buy wood to make a frame around it and set it on the slab in the basement and filled it up. About 250 or so gallons I think. Not great for drinking because of the smell of the mattress but great for flushing the commode and easy to boil and use for washing up and could be treated and drank in a pinch. If needed I could put some reinforced plywood on the existing frame and set up another bladder (mattress) and fill that up taking up the same foot print and doubling my area. The liner will hold in any leaks or spills.
    Got your link from Bison and really liking what you are saying. Like the way you changed the look from earlier this morning too.

  3. Good stuff man....Another thing that I have found to be real handy is to buy a bunch of britta filters and one of their jugs. Using clorox is great, but the taste is a little strong. A britta filter can make the clorox treated water pretty dang good

  4. many people overlook the possibility of using the ground water that enters the basement through the pump hole... I've used it for many purposes- watering plants, housing aquatic animals ect... where I live, that water is constantly flowing- the only saving grace for our basement is the sub-pump! I think if people realised the abundance of water that actually lies within their homes there would be a little less panic in an apocalyptic situation. easy to harvest, easy to sterilize.