There are some necessities that you must have in order to sustain life. Water is something that you can’t live without. Yet, sadly, it’s one of the things that many people don’t get prepared for.
Some people do prepare, but then something ends up happening to the water supply. Regardless of whatever occurs to cause you to not have water, you have to be able to find it – and you need to get to it fast.
If you have it and lose it, then you need to be able to rely on a backup plan. We’re going to look at a variety of prepping plans you can make to ensure that you and your family have access to drinkable water.
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You can last for up to three weeks, depending on the climate and what type of shelter you have if you don’t have food. But you can only make it three days if you don’t have any water.
Since it’s essential that you have water in order to survive, it’s always best to make sure you have a supply on hand for when a crisis hits. But if you don’t, there’s no need to panic because there are multiple ways that you can find water both out in the wild and in your own home.
You need to consume 64 ounces of water on a daily basis. But there are other factors that can change how much water you need to drink day to day. Consuming 64 ounces is the minimum when factors are in your favor.
However, you’ll need more water in different conditions. If the area that you live in is unusually humid or if you have high temperatures where you are, then you’ll need more than the standard 64 ounces.
Your need can also change if you happen to have a higher altitude as compared to a lower one. In an emergency situation, you’re probably going to be more active and maybe even traveling more.
If you find yourself having to hike for awhile to get to a safe area, then you’re going to lose water through the physical exercise. Whenever you’re moving or working, your body’s need for water is more imperative.
The more active you are, the greater amount of water you’ll need. You might also need to have more water depending on what the weather is like. Under the hot sun, you’ll have a greater need than if you were walking under a gray sky filled with clouds.
Consider all of the factors when you’re figuring up how much water you’re going to need for yourself and your family. Without getting the water that it needs, your body does more than simply become thirsty.
Without the proper supply of water, your body can’t function properly. You won’t be able to function as well. Your body can’t break down food as easily and your organs won’t work as well.
In the first 24 hours without water, you’ll start to feel the effects. Your mouth will feel like you’ve stuffed it with cotton balls. You’ll experience a loss of energy and you’ll feel tired and sluggish.
You’ll have a thirst that’s uncomfortable. There won’t be as much urine produced as your body desperately tries to slow down water loss. Your skin will start to dry out.
You’ll develop headaches and feel lightheaded. As the dehydration progresses, the thirst will become almost unbearable. You may not be able to urinate at all. Your skin will appear to cling together if you do the pinch test.
Your eyes will have a sunken appearance. Your heart will start going into tachycardia. Your blood pressure will drop as the body continues to try to fight but by now, your organs are being overwhelmed by the lack of water and no oxygen is being transported by your blood cells because they can’t function to deliver what your body needs.
Hallucination can start to set in. Many people pass out from the lack of water at this point. If immediate re-hydration doesn’t occur, at this stage, the organs will shut down and you will die.
If you don’t have water on hand in an emergency situation, your first priority is to find some and then deal with any other needs you may have. Not having the right amount of water doesn’t affect everyone in the same way.
People who are older will succumb to the effects of dehydration quicker. So will people who have certain types of diseases. Young children and babies will not be able to survive as long as an adult can if they don’t have water.
You don’t want to put your life or the lives of your loved ones at risk – not when there’s a simple way you can avoid it. All you have to do is be prepared and spring into action the moment you recognize that there’s a need.
Different Ways You Need to Prepare
Nothing is worse in a survival situation than not knowing what you’re going to do when disaster strikes unexpectedly. It’s one thing to not be prepared, but it’s quite another to not know anything about what to do so you end up panicking.
When a crisis hits, especially if it’s widespread, what often gets disrupted first are the utilities. People lose power to their homes. Most people don’t really take notice of this as a major emergency right when it happens – it’s not even a blip on their radar.
They don’t react because when the power goes off, it’s usually back on within a matter of hours. They’re used to the city coming to their rescue and making sure everything’s running as it should.
In times of bad weather, it’s usually back on within a few days at the most. When everything is restored to normal, people forget about the interruption and annoyance to their daily routine and life goes on.
However, when a chaotic situation hits that has the potential to last for awhile, you will lose your ability to have clean water. You won’t be able to turn on the faucet in your home and pour yourself a glass of water.
Forget about using the line from your refrigerator to have some. You won’t be able to take a shower or flush your toilet. While that might seem extreme, it’s already happened all over the world and you can bet it’s going to happen again.
Because what happens when major power grids go down is that people also lose their ability to have water. Your water supply source is usually produced through the use of electricity.
When that’s interrupted for awhile, you’re going to quickly run out of water. So unless you know how to survive off the grid, you won’t. That’s why you have to know what you’re going to do right now, today, before there’s an emergency need for water.
If you’re like many people, you might think that you can hang tight and just use whatever water you have around the house. Or you might think you can just hop into your car and head out to the grocery store where you’ll buy some.
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Even if stores are open, you can bet there will have been a run on the water supply and those shelves will be sitting empty. If you think that the government will step in and run to your aid, think again.
Just look back through major disasters at how quickly the government was overwhelmed with the level of need and people suffered without water, food or shelter while waiting for help amid the ruins of their broken, chaotic lives.
It’s up to you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can just hike out and quickly find a source of clean water. Water that’s outside is subject to all sorts of things that can make it unsuitable to drink in its natural state.
Don’t be afraid to stock up on filtering systems. You’ll want to make sure that you have an abundant way to prepare the water to make it safe to drink. You’ll also want to make sure that your on the go filtering system isn’t complicated.
You want something that will make the water ready to drink in as little time as possible. Plus, you want to make sure that any on the go filtering method isn’t bulky, since you may be traveling on foot for awhile.
The biggest key to surviving a crisis situation is being able to get to the water. There is plenty of water in nature but if you’re not sure where to go or how to get to it, then it might as well not exist.
Learn now where you’re going to go to get to the water. Before there’s an emergency, know exactly where all of the water resources are located in your area.
But you’ll want to be careful that it’s not in an area where it’s heavily populated. In a crisis, people are always the surprise element. You’ll want to be armed if it’s a heavy survival situation – to make sure people don’t steal anything from you.
Knowing Where Water Sources Are
When you know where to find water, you can make it safe for your family to be able to drink it. But if you’ve never had to search for water, you might not be aware of exactly how to find it.
Remember that water isn’t always silent. When you’re searching for water, stop moving to pay attention to the sounds of nature around you. Water has a very distinct sound as it moves across rocks.
You’ll be able to hear the trickle of it over rocks in a creek bed and the solid rushing sound if it’s a river. You might end up having to hike for awhile to find it, but keep stopping to listen for the sounds of it.
You should also note that water has a tendency to cause whatever grows near it to be thick. So look for areas of thick plant growth. Also, keep in mind the slant of the ground when you’re searching for water.
If you’re in a hilly area, water will run down a slope, but it won’t collect there. Since you want to get to the main body of water, you’ll need to travel downhill or to the area where the ground is the flattest.
Water is more likely to pool where the ground is level. Some people believe that water that travels down mountain rock to a spring is cleaned as it travels over the rock but this isn’t true.
Bacteria, bug carcasses and animal feces can still make its way into the water – so before you use any of it, make sure you treat it through a purifying process first.
Nature will always leave clues so that you can easily find sources of water when you need to. Every creature that lives outdoors must have access to water. Wild animals know where to find water and by studying the signs of animal activity, you’ll be able to locate the water.
Pay attention to mosquitoes as well. They’re more likely to congregate in moist areas and that usually means that a source of water is nearby. Of course, there are areas of the country where water is more plentiful than it is in other areas.
If you happen to be an area that’s experienced a drought, it will be harder, but not impossible to find water. If you live too far away from a large supply of water, then you’ll need to take steps to make sure that you can hold on to rain water when it does rain.
Whenever it starts to rain, you’ll need a reliable system that you can use to trap that water. In an emergency situation, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can be something as simple as plastic that you use to form a pouch so that it catches water.
Although rainwater is not usually as bad for you as standing water as far as having bacteria, there is still the possibility. As it rains, the water travels over the leaves of trees and other things in nature where there can be bird feces that could contaminate your water.
It’s always better to be safe and treat any water that you plan on drinking. One trick that you can use to find water is to remember the firmness of the ground. In areas where the ground is firm, the soil beneath it is usually not covering any water sources.
But if you’re walking in an area and you notice mud, it means that the soil is too saturated with water below the dirt for the ground to be able to absorb it all. If you start digging, you’ll see that water will then spring up from the ground.
It won’t look good and it won’t seem that appealing, but you can treat the water and still be able to use it for your drinking needs. Of course, it’s not hard at all to find water if the emergency situation takes place during winter and you happen to live in an area that gets snow.
You can collect snow and melt it down into water. Always make sure that you change snow into its liquid form before you attempt to use it. Even though it can be tempting to believe that snow is pure and should be okay to use without purifying it, you shouldn’t take that chance.
Snow can still contain contamination that can harm you. When you’re looking for water, you should pay attention to the dew that falls on plants. Plants with wide leaves will hold a greater amount of dew.
You can easily collect dew from these plants and you can let it trickle into containers. It’s a slow process, but you can gather enough water to be able to survive if you have to.
Preparing Your Water Supply at Home
When a crisis happens, if you don’t have water on hand, it’s going to quickly become a matter of survival for you and your loved ones. You need to start now setting aside water for your use.
You’ll want to put aside as much of it as you possible can. This means setting aside a massive amount of water that may take you months to accumulate. After an emergency situation hits, whatever water supply brings the water to your home might not be fit to actually use anymore if you even do have the electricity to bring it into your home.
So you’ll need to be prepared. You need to store water according to how many people and animals you’re going to be providing for. The rule of thumb when it comes to setting aside emergency drinking water is to put aside 7 gallons of water a week for every person or animal that must be taken care of.
You’ll need to make adjustments when figuring in things like the weather. If the weather is hotter where you live, then you’ll need to set aside more. People who live in areas where it’s hotter end up losing more water as they go about their day.
Also make sure that you consider the individual needs of each person. You’ll need to figure in more water for a woman who is expecting a child or for an animal that’s expecting to give birth.
The barest minimum amount of water supply you should set aside is 72 hours to get you through that crucial first three days of an emergency. However, some people do set aside water above that amount.
Remember that water doesn’t have a date for when it’s no longer usable. While there are expiration dates on bottled water, the water itself doesn’t turn foul. What happens when water is stored for long periods is that leaching can occur.
Whatever water you set aside can absorb odor from how it’s stored. So you can end up with perfectly good water that tastes terrible. You can prevent this by making sure you store it properly and that you switch out older water with newer batches every so often.
Some people recommend changing out your stored water twice a year, while others suggest every four months. While the best bet is to buy water already sealed, space can sometimes be an issue with this method.
Not to mention it can be pretty expensive by the time you’re done collection the amount that you need. You can set aside water yourself from your own home before an emergency strikes if you use the proper containers.
These would have to be top grade containers that didn’t allow sunlight or temperature changes to impact the quality of the water. You would also have to make sure the containers were safe to store water in.
Some plastic containers contain chemicals that make it unsafe to keep water in for any length of time. One think you can do if you decide to store water yourself is to treat the containers before using them.
You can do this by simply de-contaminating the container by using household bleach to clean it with. Make sure that you wash down the sides as well as the bottom and the lid of the container with the bleach.
After you do that, do not dry the container with a towel since you could accidentally end up contaminating the container. There are a few prerequisites to follow when you’re keeping water stored for emergencies.
Any type of container that you use shouldn’t have warnings on it that it can’t be used for food. If it has that, then it can’t be used for water storage either. You’ll need to use containers that can seal completely.
If there is even a small opening, bacteria can get into the container along with pests and other undesirables. Never use any plastic jugs or containers that aren’t safe to store water in such as ones that have been used for bleach, pesticides or other chemicals that are harmful.
Once you decide what you’re going to use to contain your water, make sure that you mark the container’s contents. You’ll also want to put the month, day and year that you stored the water so that you can keep up with a rotation schedule.
Make sure that you keep your water stored in a dark area away from direct sunlight or extreme heat. It’s always best to place your water supply in an area that has a temperature not greater than 70 degrees.
If you prepare, you can easily set aside enough water to supply your family’s needs to get you through a crisis.
Always be on the lookout for a way to get water – especially if you have a lot of animals depending on you. You can set up rain barrels outside your house to collect water for pets and livestock.
Water running off the gutters of your home during a rainstorm can be used and stored for use. When a crisis first occurs, you want to do everything that you can do to protect your water supply to make it last as long as possible.
You should immediately go into proactive mode. If you lose the ability to have fresh water brought into your home because the utility company has shut down or there’s been some other type of interruption, you’ll want to do what you can to preserve every drop.
That means making sure not a drop of what you already have is wasted. Most people don’t realize that they have many gallons of water already inside their house that’s perfectly safe to use for drinking.
Remove the hose from the back of your washing machine and hang it down into the washer. Turn on the water at the faucet and let the washing machine fill up with water.
You wouldn’t want to use this water for drinking unless you had no choice and treated it with purifying treatments, but it could be used for other things. Some appliances already contain water that you can use right away.
Your hot water heater can store numerous gallons of water depending on what size tank you have. Many tanks will have as much as 50 gallons of water on hand.
You can remove that water and use it for your needs. All you have to do is drain the water and transfer it to whatever water storage system you use. You want to get it out of the hot water tank before anything can contaminate it.
The minute that you realize there’s no water coming to your house, close the hot water heater valve and shut off any power leading to it. Never leave the power attached to a hot water tank once it’s been drained since this can damage the unit.
While you can drink the water once you remove it as is, most people do still sanitize the water just in case. Homes today are constructed with pipes that don’t contain lead.
That means that the water in those pipes is also safe to use for drinking or for other purposes. Drain the water from each pipe in your bathrooms and your kitchen.
Store this drained water until you need to use it. In the event that it was a natural disaster that caused you to lose the water supply to your house, make sure you prevent water that’s been standing in outside pipes from getting inside the house pipes.
You can do this by shutting off the water outside to prevent it from reaching your house. Many houses today have at least a full bathroom and a half if not more. For every bathroom that has a toilet, there will be water stored in the tank that can be used.
This water isn’t dirty, but most people only use it for drinking if they’ve run out of other options. If you don’t like the idea of drinking this water, you can still use it to wash your clothes, bathe with, or to water livestock or family pets.
Swimming pools are also a supply of water. However, since pool water isn’t the cleanest source of water, you won’t want to use this source for drinking needs. Instead, use it for things like bathing, washing up, or watering animals.
When you have water in a pool, you’ll want to find a way to store as much of that water as possible because bacteria will quickly gain a foothold in water that’s standing still.
Always treat pool water before using it – even for pets – because the bacteria and pool chemicals can make animals ill. Pool water can also be used to remove waste products from your toilet once you no longer have any water available to use for flushing.
If you happen to have a well on your property and your electricity is off, if you have a pump that relies on electricity to work, you’ll need to find a backup method to use to get to the water.
Water Storage and Usage Tips
If you decide that you’re going to set aside storage containers filled with water before a crisis hits, that’s an excellent idea. Some people will take the time to pre-treat this water before putting it into the container.
That’s a waste of resources. If you get the water from your faucet, you don’t have to purify it before storing it. The water that comes into your home has already been treated and is safe to drink as it is.
When you’re rotating out your water, any water that has absorbed an odor is not useless. If you can’t get the taste of the water to such a degree that you can stand to drink it, don’t waste it.
Use it to water plants or set it aside as emergency water to be used for flushing the toilets. Just make sure that you label it that way. Water that goes through a purifying system, even if that water has developed a taste, can usually be returned to drinking status.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, water can still become contaminated. The standard advice seems to be that in order for water to become safe to consume, it has to be boiled for awhile before anyone can use it.
Water doesn’t have to be boiled for awhile. It only has to reach a certain temperature to kill off bacteria and other things that would make you ill. There is a mistake among some people who store water in how the water is stored.
Many people think that water shouldn’t be stored in things like soda bottles that have been washed and prepped for water. It’s thought that any plastic jug would somehow pass the chemicals used in the plastic process into the water over time as it’s stored.
But that’s not true. Water will not be changed by any plastic container unless that container held harmful chemicals such as pesticides, bleach or other dangerous toxic material.
You can keep water tasting as it was originally and as safe as it was originally if you closely monitor the amount of heat the water is exposed to. It’s the temperature change that damages your water’s viability.
There is a debate on whether or not you can safely store water in plastic milk jugs. Some experts say that you can’t get a milk jug clean enough for water to be safely stored which opens the door for contaminants.
However, if you don’t have anything else to use and can’t afford to buy water storage containers, you can use milk jugs in a pinch as long as you do purify the water before you drink it.
When an emergency does hit and you’re ready to use the water that you have stored or that you’ve brought into your home, the purification method that you use can vary.
You should already have whatever method you’re going to use all planned out. If something happens to your water purifying method, it’s always best to have a backup plan.
However, if you don’t have anything that can purify the water, you can use household bleach. But be aware that bleach doesn’t always kill off every type of bacteria.
That’s why it’s best to have a better method. If you absolutely have to use bleach, for every gallon of water you use, put in 16 drops. After you put the drops in, let the water sit and check on it in 10 minutes.
The water should be clear and though there may be a slight chlorine scent and taste, it should be okay to drink. When you use bleach to purify water, always make sure the bleach is the plain kind.
Never use bleach that has any type of perfume or added scent since these chemicals are not safe to drink. And don’t put too much bleach into the water because that can be dangerous to your health.
Remember, most uninformed survivalists focus on food and weaponry when it comes to prepping, and water is the most important primary need your family will have.
Make sure you buy filtering systems for each member of your family and then begin storing water around your property for availability in the event of a disaster. Some preppers even have underground storage units buried so they’re not easily spotted by others.
Also don’t forget that certain foods hold a good deal of water, such as soups. Make sure you buy the low sodium kind, so that it doesn’t make you more thirsty than before.
Water is bulky, but it’s relatively inexpensive, so this should be a prepping task that’s easily doable for all families. From a backpack bladder or water pouches to 55-gallon tanks at home – you can be ready for anything if you stop and take the time to plan.