Do You Have A Water Plan?
Here’s the thing about water that most of us already know… you can’t live long without it. In fact, ‘it’ will be your NUMBER ONE concern in any major disaster. As I’ve said before, I believe that many or most people who are actively involved in preparedness, often overlook the importance of water by making an assumption that water is and will be easy to obtain. This assumption is based on the readily available supply that most of us take for granted, and the fact that we often ‘see’ water in our natural surroundings as we travel here and there.
There are several issues to consider though.
A major disaster will likely coincide with a loss of electricity. Not everyone associates running tap-water with a dependence upon electricity. In nearly every case though, you cannot have one without the other. Pumps are required to move the water around the utility system and to supply the pressure necessary at your faucet. There are some locations and systems that are gravity fed, but in most of these cases a pump is still required to move the water up into a holding tank. When the power goes out, the system pressure will begin to reduce until there is no more – which could happen fairly quickly as people continue to consume the water in their homes.
People also tend to put the water issue out of their minds because they feel that should their faucets run dry, they could simply collect water from a nearby source – perhaps one that they pass every day in their travels like a pond, lake or stream. There are several problems with this though. One is that water is HEAVY, and weighs about 8 pounds per gallon. Another problem is transportation and the containment vessels to be used to collect and transport the water from the source to the home. Will a means of transportation be readily available, and if so, for how long? How will the water be collected and moved?
Plus, once you have obtained the water, where and how will you store it at home? And do you have the means to purify it for safety and to make it drinkable? If you will be relying on boiling, how long will you have the fuel to continue to boil water? Do you have a quality water filter that is capable of purifying many many gallons over a period of time?
There are serious things to think about, and problems to have a solution for in the event of needing water to survive. Without solutions in place ahead of time, you will probably NOT be able to procure the water that you need, which will force you to leave and be on-the-run. A very dangerous and life-threatening situation for sure.
Here are some ideas to consider to help solve the problem of losing your running tap-water during a collapse or disaster.
As a minimum precaution, it should be obvious that you should have some amount of stored water for use in case you need it. Surprisingly, I believe that many people do not have any more than a case of water bottles around their home. You need to store water in bulk, and there are a variety of ways to do so.
You could store many cases of bottled water. You may choose to purchase larger water storage containers, perhaps a number of fairly manageable water containers like this one, 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container, which would weigh a bit north of 50 pounds each when full. You might also consider storing water in even larger containers such as a barrel or drum size. An issue to consider will be the weight, and the structural support of the floor that the drums will rest on. 50 gallons will weigh about 400 pounds.
Remember this… your hot water heater stores drinkable water in its tank. You may have 30 to 50 gallons of water readily available there, and all you would need to do is open the drain valve for the water to pour out. In a disaster, your neighbors may not realize this. If you run out, maybe you could offer the tip to your neighbor in exchange for a few gallons
If the power goes out and the event is associated with a known or probable disaster that may last for some time, you should immediately fill your tub with water. A bathtub can hold a-lot of water (between 40 and 60 gallons). You should never drink the water that you’ve saved in the bathtub without purifying it first. It will also obviously help the situation if you maintain a clean bathtub. There are water bladder for bathtubs available that will fit in your tub and will help protect and maintain water purity.
It should go without saying, that for the same reason you may be filling the bathtub, you should also fill any other water vessels that you may have on hand. This brings up the question, do you have any water storage vessels? You could also use 5-gallon pails in a pinch. Food-grade buckets are a better choice than standard buckets (check Emergency Essentials.com), but if you only have the standard variety, fill them anyway. It’s better off to be alive than to risk the slight contamination that may leach into the water over time from your plastic pail.
Having a water supply storage is one thing. But the problem is, what if it runs out (and it will if the disaster runs on long enough)? You will need a backup plan to procure more water. If you are fortunate enough to have water nearby, you will need a way to get there and back, and buckets to scoop and transport the water. If there are no problems with having an operating motor vehicle, and no problems with the road traveled, then you are in luck. You simply need the water vessels.
Without a motor vehicle, you will have tremendous difficulty moving even a small amount of water. So having a wagon or cart will be of great assistance.
You could also choose to install a rainwater collection system to capture the rain that falls on your roof. It is stunning as to the amount of water that you could capture. For every inch of rainfall there will be 0.623 gallons of water falling on every square foot of roof surface area. If your roof measures 50×30 feet, you will capture more than 900 gallons of water per inch of rainfall!! There are rain gutter adapters available to divert water into storage barrels.
The same principle applies if using a plastic tarp, which you may set up on four poles and have a hole in the middle which drains into a barrel, or whatever. A 9×12 tarp will capture more than 60 gallons of water per inch of rainfall!
You could choose to have a well dug on your property. This is an expensive option (thousands of dollars), but it is an option to consider. The well will require a pump (which runs on electricity), but you could use a backup alternative energy source such as a few solar photovoltaic panels which charge some heavy-duty 12-volt DC batteries (or a DC battery bank of your voltage choice design) which in turn will convert to AC power with an ‘inverter’ to run your well pump (assuming you have a 120-volt AC pump motor).
Always remember to purify your water before drinking it. This can be accomplished by boiling it for one minute. I also recommend to always filter your water for contaminants. Berkey Water Filters are one of the best available and I highly recommend the investment.
Having a natural source of water on your property is a HUGE benefit to those who are preparedness-minded. It is the number 1 requirement for sustaining your life, well before that of food. Do not overlook this. Think about your water plan. Do you have one?