Emergency Water Plan
Emergency Water Plan
In any disaster preparedness effort, nothing can be more important than having a sound emergency water plan. As the survivalist saying goes, one can live for up to 3 weeks without food but not more than 3 days without water. This emphasis on having access to clean and potable water, both via saving beforehand and via purification, can be the ultimate difference-maker that allows you and your family to survive an impending disaster.
Now, we’ve already hinted at the two most important facets of an emergency water plan. The first has to do with saving water for an unforeseen disaster situation. The second requires knowledge of purification methods that can help augment the saved water supply. In a disaster situation, one’s saved water supply can only go so far; without purification methods to continually replenish that supply, the whole idea behind an emergency water plan can falter within a few days of the disaster happening.
On saving water for the tough times ahead, survival experts recommend a few rules to help guide in determining the optimum amount of water that can service a family. In the case of potable water, the recommendation for most emergency water plans is to have 1 gallon per person per day. This means that if you are planning to shelter 5 people during a tragedy for a period of seven days, the total amount of water to be saved is 35 gallons in order to see the group through that time frame.
On top of this, additional water will be necessary for performing common chores and tasks such as going to the bathroom, maintaining hygiene, washing dishes, cooking etc. Experts recommend another 5 gallons of clean – but not necessarily drinkable – water for each person in the group. For the same scenario, that means that an additional 175 gallons of water will be necessary to ensure a somewhat comfortable living situation in case a disaster strikes and access to running water is cut off.
But there is always no assurance that any emergency or disaster resolves itself quickly allowing for the restoration of a continuous supply of potable water. In many cases, disasters drag on for an indefinite period rendering the stored water in your original emergency water plan inadequate for the needs ahead. Consequently, it may not be practical to store as much water as possible given that a bigger water volume will require bigger tanks with more sophisticated pumping mechanisms. This is where the need of a water purification plan comes into the fore.
There is no single best water purification method available because it is necessary to tailor the method to the state of the incoming water supply. In the case where only physical contaminants are present in the water, simple filtration using a few layers of cloth or a basic commercial filter may already be sufficient. However, when pathogens like disease-carrying bacteria are present, it may be necessary to find other purification means including boiling the water or adding chlorine or iodine tablets to disinfect it.
All told, an emergency water plan must take into account both facets of saving water and replenishing the stores as the emergency drags on. It is very important to not disregard one in favor of the other as various scenarios and circumstances may require that a robust emergency water plan be put into place to deal with the challenges of surviving in times of calamities. Naturally, if you have an emergency water plan that takes care of these facets, you are more likely to survive any disaster thrown your way. If you would like to learn more about emergency water purification methods, be sure and browse some of our many articles on the subject.