Who needs emergency water when it’s all around us, right?
What’s the big deal about having water for an emergency since it’s always coming out of the faucet? There’s no way that an entire town or city water system could go offline or become unusable, right?
The word of the day is “contamination”. An entire city or town municipal water system could become contaminated.
It wasn’t long ago (for example) when the drinking water in a region of West Virginia became contaminated from a chemical spill in a river upstream from a water treatment plant that served 300,000 people. Residents there were driving long distances to buy emergency water to drink, and this lasted for more than just a few days as the chemical spill moved into the Ohio river and affected residents of Kentucky downstream.
There have been other water contamination stories in the news during the past year – I just can’t remember them all. I’m also certain that there were other situations which simply didn’t make the national news. The point is – it happens.
Any hurricane (for example) has the potential to contaminate the drinking water of the entire region (remember Katrina?). Flood waters (from a hurricane or major storm) can overwhelm water treatment systems and contaminate drinking water from ground runoff.
I have also been reading about potential terrorist threats to drinking water systems. If you think about it, you might imagine how easy it might be for a terrorist(s) to contaminate a drinking water system. After all, these places don’t have armed guards patrolling, etc.. and given the radical element of a certain faith that begins with “I” and/or “M” who evidently have a mission to rid us all off this planet, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised…
Another (but less sinister) possibility is a loss of power which could result in a temporary water outage – particularly if your water comes from a well. Having a supply of emergency water will get you through the event.
Having emergency water in your vehicle is always a good idea (although Northerners will have an issue with this during the freezing winter).
Emergency water for any hiking excursion is (should be) an obvious prep.
In general, I recommend that you do two things (for at home).
1. Keep a supply of emergency water stored in a container or containers. You might choose to hold your drinking water in small bottles, 5 gallon water jugs, or even 55-gallon barrels. I use all three methods because they each have their purpose and advantages.
2. Keep a quality drinking water filter at home which will enable you to filter potentially contaminated water (or even your stored water if you suspect an issue). Just be aware that unless you have a water distiller, a typical drinking water filter will purify organic contamination whereas they will likely not filter out potential ‘chemical’ contamination. I use the Big Berkey Countertop Water Filter for my primary drinking water filter. I also use a water distiller (the ultimate pure water).