Water in Life or Death Survival

Have you considered how you can obtain water during and after a disaster strikes? If not, consider the rule of 3's in a survival situation. Most healthy adults can live without air for 3 minutes. Most healthy adults can live without water for 3 days. Most healthy adults can live without food for 3 weeks. The 3's are based on healthy individuals, 5' 8" and weighing 150 pounds, who are not in unusual circumstances such as hard labor, extreme environments, or even factoring in individual metabolic rates. The bottom line is if you are breathing your first priority is water in any survival situation.

Water in Life or Death Survival

Having a readily available supply of water at home is great. I recommend storing what you can. There are also tons of articles on how to find water in the home; like drinking from the toilet tank, hot water tanks, etc.

Most articles suggested by the government and "experts in survival" stress the need to have at least a 3 day supply of water (one gallon per day per person) to carry with you in the event you have to evacuate your home for a shelter or "head for the hills".

The mere weight of water is a very serious consideration. At 8.33 US pounds per gallon, it will require a person to carry 25 pounds of water to match that gallon a day for 3 days solely for themselves. If you have a family or carrying water for others, how much water can you reasonably carry with all the other items needed for the shelter or your camping trip in the hills?

I suggest your disaster planning include knowing ahead of time where sources of water would be readily available during and after a crisis. You have approximately 3 weeks to find additional food supplies, but remember you have on average only 3 days (or less) to procure water for you and your family. Where can you locate water in your immediate area, be it in an urban environment, rural, coastal beach or at the edge of a wilderness?

I recommend you start your search with your local disaster shelters. Contact the shelters in your area and learn what provisions they have made for obtaining water during and after a disaster. If they reply they only have municipal or a local water supply, ask if there is a well on site or nearby. Do not expect normal water from a facet during an emergency at one of the shelters for the local water companies may be out of service for days, weeks or even longer.

Look for additional alternatives in your urban neighborhood. Many schools and factories have large water holding tanks that may be available to you in an emergency. Parks often have lakes; many cities have rivers flowing through them and do not forget about the source of the city's water supply.

In a rural area I would suspect you already have some ideas where you can find water. But do not stop considering alternative sources, for that pretty pond out in the pasture maybe unusable when the time comes. Most all older properties relied on well water and I would suggest scouting out the locations of a few for "just in case". If you do have access to a well, also consider what is required to get the water to the surface. You may need a pump and generator in your list of needed survival items.

Wilderness areas are often misconceived as being full of crystal clear streams and large lakes. While this may apply to some regions of the country, many other wilderness regions have a limited amount of readily available water. If you live in such an area, take some time to study the maps and take a leisurely Sunday stroll to check them out in person.

Most large rivers and streams now have become much polluted with trash, chemicals and even medicines now are found in major watersheds throughout the country. In the past, one could simply dig a few feet from the water and allow the hole to fill up with water that would suffice after purification. While this would strain out the bulk of the crud, I am doubtful as to chemicals and medicines being removed. I am not even sure if distillation methods in the field would work with the chemicals and medicines.

I am suggesting that instead of relying on your ability to carry all the water you &/or your family will require during and after an emergency, that you seek out and plan for alternative water sources in your immediate area.

Keep in mind that wherever the water comes from it will need to be purified. Even the "safe drinking water" from a city supplied source should be purified for a time if it was interrupted during the emergency. I recommend on having at the minimum two methods of purifying water in your kit. Three days is an awfully long time to go thirsty.

-Jerry B Blaine


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