Emergency Water Supply
Health department and public water safety officials use many safeguards to protect the sanitary quality of your daily drinking water. However, this protection may break down during emergencies caused by natural disasters.
During times of serious emergency, the normal water supply to your home may be cut off or become so polluted that it is undrinkable. A supply of stored water could be your most precious survival item!
You and your family may then be on your own to provide a safe and adequate water supply. Remember that typhoid fever, Dysentery, and infectious hepatitis are diseases often associated with unsafe water.
Don't take a chance! Generally, under serious disaster conditions, no water can be presumed safe--all drinking and cooking water should be purified.
A minimum of two quarts and up to one gallon of water is needed per day, depending on the size of the person, the amount of exertion, weather, and perspiration loss. A minimum of seven gallons pure water per person would be needed for a two-week survival supply. With careful rationing, this amount would be sufficient for drinking, food preparation, brushing teeth, etc. Fourteen gallons per person will allow for hygiene care.
Keep an emergency supply of drinking water in plastic containers. Commercially bottled drinking water is available. It stays pure for months and has the expiration date clearly marked on it.
There are several other sources of water if your water supply is turned off--water drained from the hot water tank (usually contains 30 to 60 gallons of usable water), clear water from the toilet flush-tank, if kept constantly clean ( not the bowl !), melted ice cubes, canned fruits and vegetable juices, and liquid from other canned goods.
Mix thoroughly by stirring or shaking the water in its container. Let it stand for 30 Minutes.
A slight chlorine odor should be detectable in the water; if not, repeat the dosage and let the water stand for and additional 15 minutes before using.
Use an eye dropper to add the chlorine or the iodine to the water. Use it only for this purpose.
Keep the drinking water safe from contamination by carefully storing in clean non-corrosive, tightly-covered containers.
Use one-gallon containers, preferably made of heavy opaque plastic with screw-on caps. Plastic milk bottles are not recommended. Sterilize the bottles.
A high quality filter system should possess the following characteristics: light-weight; have fewer parts (less to go wrong); a fine pre-filter; a replaceable or clearable filter; tight, well-made pump; high volume output; quick filtration; should screen out organisms over 0.5 microns (0.2 microns is best).
A system with all of these features may not be inexpensive, however. The cost will usually reflect reliability as well as technology of design.
Always use a filter properly. Use clearest water available, allowing suspended matter to settle out. Use pre-filter if your system has one. Do not let outlet end of filter come in contact with contaminated water. Be sure vessel you're pumping into is clean.