Emergency Water Purification
March 31, 2013 - Since a man-made or natural disaster can happen anywhere and at any time, it is not a bad idea to learn some basic survival skills. One of the most important of these is emergency water purification and/or storage. You can live for weeks without food, but without water you only have 2 or 3 days before your body starts shutting down. Your body's organs need fluids to function.
Emergency Water Purification Methods - 2013 update
When faced with an emergency situation, one of the most important things you will need to survive is water that is clean enough to drink without causing serious illness. Individuals have been know to survive weeks without food to eat, but if the body does not have water, it can only live three to four days even in the best of circumstances. If the temperature is very hot or very cold, or the individual is forced to be very active, that amount of time could shorten quickly.
The main thing to remember in an emergency situation is not to panic. This will only make things worse. Think things out and try to come up with what you feel are the best options. Since potable water is important to survival, emergency water purification knowledge could be an asset that could save your life.
If you have found yourself in a situation where the only water available is more than likely contaminated, you need to do everything you can with available resources to purify the water as much as possible. Contaminated water can cause a number of serious illnesses including hepatitis, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. If you think there is a possibility you will receive clean water in a few days, it is better not to drink the suspect water. If you get dysentery, or another disease that causes rapid loss of body fluids, your chances of survival are greatly reduced. There are ways to make water at least drinkable. Here are a few water purification tips that you may want to remember. It is better to use more than one in cases where you feel the water is extremely contaminated.
First, try to get as many particles out of the water as possible. One way of doing this is straining it through piece of clothing or paper towels. Once you have done this, try one or both of the emergency water purification methods listed below.
Boiling – Even in emergency situations, there are many times people have matches, lighters, or some way to start a fire. If this can be done, it could be a lifesaver. Boiling water is one of the safest and surest ways to perform emergency water purification. Just bring you water to a rolling boil for 10-12 minutes, and let it cool before drinking. You can also improve the taste by pouring it back and forth in separate containers for a few minutes. This adds oxygen to the water and gives it a more natural flavor.
Chlorination – Another possible way to purify water in emergency situations is with regular chlorine bleach. If you are in an area where there are homes or businesses, you can surely find a bottle of unscented chlorine bleach. For every quart of water use two to four drops according to how cloudy the water is. After putting the bleach in the water, let it sit for 30 minutes. If after this amount of time the water doesn't have the smell or taste of chlorine, add another 2 – 4 drops, and let sit for another 15 – 20 minutes. To improve the flavor you can once again pass the water back and forth between two containers. If you feel the water is exceptionally contaminated, and are fortunate to have both fire and chlorine, you might combine the two processes to be even safer.
The best way to resolve the problem of emergency water purification, is to not allow yourself to get in the situation of needing purified water. If you are on a camping trip or traveling in some desolate area that is one thing, but if you are at home when an emergency happens this problem should not be occurring. An emergency can happen anytime and anywhere. You and your family should always be at least partially prepared for the worse.
Always have an emergency back stock of food, and at least five gallons of water for each family member. With rationing this will last you for two weeks. If you feel you would like to have a longer lasting supply, add at least half a gallon more per day per individual. Also, don't forget you will need water for cooking and hygiene. If you use any of your drinking water for this, it will reduce your supply, so it is better to have extra for these purposes. Remember, every family should have some sort of plan to be carried out in case of an emergency. A good water supply should invariably be one of the items at the top of the list.
Another way to be prepared for the need of emergency water purification when you are away from home or when in the home, is to buy some water purification tablets. You can buy them at Walmart, and it wouldn't hurt to carry a supply with you on camping trips or vacations, as well as keeping some around the house.
Hopefully this article has given you some ideas for the preparation of an emergency situation, as well as how to obtain drinking water if one occurs. Remember that most natural catastrophes wreak havoc on the water lines and electrical lines, so you could be without water and electricity for an indefinite period, according to the part of the world you live in. Also remember that the human body can live without electricity, but it can not survive long without potable drinking water. An emergency water supply and a knowledge of water purification methods could really make a difference when it comes to survival.
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