Water in Emergencies
Tips For Assuring Safe Water in Emergencies
Water is a very important resource in any situation which is why having a source of water in emergencies is absolutely necessary for survival. Not only do we feel inconvenienced by not having safe drinking water; in many disaster cases such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and others, humanitarian aid almost always includes water on top of food and other basic necessities. Extreme emphasis should be put on having a dependable source of water in emergencies so a household can power through a tragedy or disaster without losing their valuable water supply.
The first consideration for finding water in emergencies is to try to be as independent from bottled water sources as much as possible. First off, tragedies like floods and tornadoes can permanently shut down a store. In other cases, you are competing against the whole neighborhood for safe drinking water and store shelves can quickly empty in a matter of hours. Instead of thinking of getting water in emergencies from bottles sold in stores, try to build your own water source.
Your first and easiest bet is to use containers that you can stock inside your own home as a precautionary measure. A rule of thumb suggested by most disaster relief agencies like FEMA is to have 1 gallon of water stored for each person for every day of necessity. Simply put, if there are 5 people in the household and you expect to be cutoff from water sources for up to 7 days, then you need 5 galloons per day for 7 days or at least 35 gallons of safe drinking water ready for use at any time. To do this, you can purchase water containers, clean them thoroughly, fill them with safe drinking water and store them in a cool, dry place.
Make it a point to regularly empty and clean the containers even when not in use. Cleaning and refilling every 1 to 2 months is enough to keep the water free from potential biological contaminants. Pertaining to storage, do not put the water container in the basement. It can be the first part of the house to be submerged underwater during a flood. Keep it safely stored in the room where the family plans to stay when waiting a disaster out.
Alternatively, households can commission the services of a water tank for water in emergencies only. In many cases, and particular to households connected to the main supply line, it is easy to take water for granted. When people get used to turning the tap on and getting water, it can become expected to be there so much so that we take it for granted until it’s too late. To address this, use a commercial water tank mounted on a strong steel structure or placed at ground level around your house, enclosed and covered from the elements. This can provide drinking water for many days and should continue to remain viable as long as it is not damaged during the disaster.
Finally, include water purifying kits in your emergency pack as an additional precaution. Common examples of water purification kits include hand pumps, multi-stage portable filters, chlorine tablets, and a small stove for boiling the water. Should you suspect your water to be unfit for drinking, you can turn to these purification aids to make sure your water is potable and contaminant-free.
Water should never be taken for granted. Everyone needs it for survival. The presence or absence of water in emergencies can transform your situation from merely inconvenient to life threatening, so make the necessary precautions to give yourself the best chance for surviving any disaster via a reliable source of water in emergencies.
For a wealth of information on obtaining and purifying water in emergencies be sure and look further at our large selection of good articles on the subject.