Search results for: 'water storage'

  • Each Monday in January, we’re sharing our Preparedness New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. If you’d like to make some Prepping Resolutions of your own, but don’t know where to start, borrow some of our resolutions or use this series to get some ideas.

    This week we're  talking about Survival Skills. Take a look at last week’s resolutions for Food and Water Storage.

    Prepper style New Year's Resolutions for Survival Skills

    Here is what our Emergency Essentials’ bloggers plan on doing to hone their Survival Skills in 2014:

    New Year’s Resolution Prepper Style: Survival Skills

    Sharon

    I resolve to experiment with and learn different alternative cooking skills, such as basic thermos cooking and one-pot meals on a Single Burner Folding Stove with a Heat Cell Canister. I hope to get a Volcano Collapsible Grill with an Oven Lid and learn to use it for both grilling and baking using the Volcano Dutch Oven. I also plan to continue learning how to grow vegetables successfully in pots. (Last summer’s results were mixed: the cucumbers and peppers were great, but the eggplants were so small I kept waiting for them to grow large enough to harvest while they were actually growing old!)

     

    Sarah

    You may or may not know that, growing up, I used to go camping and hiking with my family all the time. As I grew older, I kicked my inner tomboy to the curb and embraced the world of stilettos and manicures. This year I’m letting the pendulum swing back to middle ground and I’ll be spending some more time outdoors, practicing and learning some survival skills (like building a fire or a shelter, orienteering, etc.). I’m also going to do some canning and dehydrating this year, which will be a totally new experience for me. There are dozens of skills I want to learn, but I’m trying to pace myself, so the first thing I’m going to do is a winter camping trip where I’ll practice building an emergency shelter and a fire. (Wish me luck. But if you’re worried about me, also know that I’m absolutely taking a tent. And an armful of hand and body warmers.)

    Angela

    Sometimes my husband acts like he’s a “dead body” and tells me to try to carry him out of a “burning house” (yes, I know this is weird). It’s annoying when he does it, but I fail at dragging him even two feet every time. This makes me think that I need to strength train to be able to get him to safety if something happened. So my New Year’s Resolution for skills is to learn various methods for carrying another person, strength training (so that I can lift more than 30 pounds . . .), and exercising more in case we have to evacuate on foot, or build a shelter.

     

    Kim

    Once upon a time I was CPR and First Aid certified . . . that was like 6 ½ years ago. This New Year, I resolve to relearn (and get re-certified) in First Aid and CPR. I just hit my one year wedding anniversary this last December and it’s made me realize that I want to be able to be self-reliant in protecting my family, if it comes to that. My husband and I ski . . . a lot. By developing First Aid skills, I will be better prepared to take care of my husband if he gets hurt while we’re skiing (before ski patrol arrives, of course). Knowing CPR and First Aid will also help me in the future when I have children. Learning these skills now will give me confidence to heal/help my children when they are ill or get injured.

     

    What type of Survival Skills do you want to develop in 2014? 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills

  • Building your water storage today will give you clean drinking water tomorrow

    We often take for granted that with just the flip of a handle clean drinking water is dispensed straight into most homes. But how many of us actually know what is coming through the tap?

    A chemical spill polluted water supplies in West Virginia on Thursday. Schools and restaurants closed, grocery stores sold out of bottled water, and thousands had to go without drinking, bathing, cooking, or washing their clothes with municipal water.

    According to Tom Aluise, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman, the tank that leaked holds at least 40,000 gallons, but they’re “confident that no more than 5,000 gallons escaped.”

    Although not lethal, the chemical in question is harmful if swallowed or inhaled, according to a fact sheet from Fisher Scientific. It can cause eye and skin irritation, along with other symptoms.

    To read more about the chemical spill, check out the article here.

    Even if you don’t live near one of the nine affected counties in West Virginia, it’s important to prepare against the chance of water pollution. When you’re prepared, an emergency can seem less like a crisis to you and your family.

    Having a water storage supply and a means to filter and purify your water are useful during a variety of emergencies. In cases such as this, however, typical microfilters and purifiers won’t be able to cleanse the water from the chemicals. But the Hydropack will.

    The Hydropack has .05 micron (5 angstrom) sized holes for water to pass through when dropped into a water source. The spilled chemical (4-methylcyclohexane methanol) is larger than 5 angstroms; the cyclohexane molecule itself is 5.3 angstroms. That means the chemical molecules are too large to pass through the Hydropack’s forward-osmosis filtration membrane.

    Simply drop the Hydropack into your water source and let it absorb the water, filtering out chemicals and other contaminants to create an electrolyte drink much like a sports drink.

    Although the Hydropack can help in a situation like this, storing clean water is important so that you can rely on yourself in times of emergency without having to wait for a filter or relief groups to get set up. There could also be situations when the pollutant in the water is small enough that the Hydropack won’t solve the issue.

    Start building your water storage supply today so you have clean drinking water tomorrow. These articles have great tips to get you started:

    Water Storage Overview

    5 Myths about Water Storage

    Water, Water, Everywhere: The Importance of Water Storage

    Water Storage Options

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, water storage, emergency preparedness, chemical spill, west virginia

  • Holiday Gift Guide: $50 and Under

    The holidays are just around the corner, but there’s still time to get a jump on your holiday shopping this year.

    Over the past two weeks we’ve given you gift ideas that’ll help your loved ones get prepared. You’ve seen options for gifts $10 and under and for gifts between $10 to $25. Here are some ideas for gifts between $25 and $50.

    My family is crazy into outdoor adventures—rock climbing, backpacking, skiing/snowboarding, canyoneering—all of it. We’re always looking for new gear that’ll make our trips more comfortable. Whether your loved ones are diehard adrenaline junkies or just love the outdoors, these gifts will bring a smile to their faces.

      1. Suisse Sport K-2 5° Sleeping Bag-- $49.99

         

        This sleeping bag is perfect for three-season camping (fall, winter, and spring). The Suisse Sport bag features a durable outer shell, with an inner double layer quilting and insulation to provide maximum warmth. It also has a full chest battle and draft tube to keep your body heat from escaping.  So if you enjoy winter camping, or hate being cold even in the crisp temperatures of spring and fall, this bag will keep you toasty warm.
      2.  

        Holiday Gift Guide: Suisse Sport K-2 5° Sleeping Bag

         

      3. Castlepine™ Internal Frame Backpack (green)--$34.95

         

        When you have to carry all your gear on your back (I’m thinking 50 milers, campouts, or other backpacking trips), it’s important to have a pack that’s strong enough to hold the weight you need, and durable enough to last as long as you do (and likely longer). This pack is great for backpacking trips or larger-scale emergency kits with its 3,200-cubic-inch capacity. Available in red and navy.
      4.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Castlepine™ Internal Frame Backpack (green)

      5. Gerber Gator Combo Axe II with Saw--$50.00

         

        This combo is great because in one compact item, you get an axe and a saw. The Gerber Gator Axe II is longer than the original, giving you a stronger striking force. The handle is covered with the Gerber Gator texturing to give you a better grip, even in wet conditions. This is a gift that can be used in an emergency or in your regular outdoor adventures.
      6.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Gerber Gator Combo Axe II with Saw

      7. Katadyn MyBottle MicroFilter--$49.95

         

        Having clean water is essential no matter where you are. The Katadyn MicroFilter is a great filter for on-the-go expeditions because you can filter water as you drink it. The microfilter removes bacteria and pathogenic cysts (such as Giardia and Cryptosporidim).  This MicroFilter gives you clean, fresh-tasting water.
      8.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Katadyn MyBottle MicroFilter

      9. Twin Peaks Mountain Trails Tent--$49.99

         

        This is another great gift to give outdoor enthusiasts. Tents can be complicated, intricate, and just plain user-UN-friendly. But this lightweight, easy-to-set-up tent provides a quick shelter for 3-4 people. On backpacking trips, a quick set-up is ideal for when it starts to downpour before you’ve had a chance to set up camp—or if you just want to get through setup and focus on the fun stuff.
      10.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Twin Peaks Mountain Trails Tent

      11. Goal Zero Rockout Speakers --$39.99

         

        When we go climbing, my brother always brings along his phone and speakers to pump us up. These Rockout Speakers would be the ideal gift for him. They provide a great experience during outdoor adventures, playing your music while keeping your device nestled safely inside. These portable and lightweight speakers have an internal battery that prevents it from draining your device’s battery, so you don’t have to worry about your phone or other device dying so quickly.
      12.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Goal Zero Rockout Speakers

      13. Optimus Crux Lite Canister Stove--$39.95

         

        This lightweight stove is ideal for when you’re on the move. Being able to eat well when outdoors is great; being able to eat well in an emergency is luxury. This high-quality stove is built to last whether your loved ones need it now for adventures, or to store for future emergencies. Within 3 minutes, this portable stove can boil 1 liter of water—that’s pretty quick!
      14.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: Optimus Crux Lite Canister Stove

      15. MyChoice™ Hot Cocoa Combo (4 cans)--$25.95

         

        My family loves to drink hot chocolate with our dinner when we’ve just gotten off the snowy slopes and need to warm up. This combo gives you four delicious flavors (French Vanilla, Mint Truffle, Milk Chocolate, and Raspberry) for one price. This gift is a great option for all of your loved ones—whether or not they’re outdoor enthusiasts. Hot chocolate just makes the evening complete when you cuddle up to watch a movie or read a book with the snow falling outside your window.
      16.  

         Holiday Gift Guide: MyChoice™ Hot Cocoa Combo (4 cans)

      17. Goal Zero® Switch 8 Recharger--$49.99

         

        This power pack is fantastic outdoors or in emergency uses. The Switch 8 can power smart phones, flashlights, GPS, tablets, laptops, or anything else that powers with a USB. It can be charged with a USB plug or a solar panel, and is no bigger than a fat marker. It’s simple to use for when you are canyoneering, skiing, or need to charge your device on the go.
      18.  Holiday Gift Guide: Goal Zero® Switch 8 Recharger

      19. The Reliance Fold-n-Filter--$47.50 

         

        The Fold-n-Filter is water storage with built in water treatment. You can filter up to 200 gallons of water by simply squeezing the container to dispense the water you need to use. It even rolls up for storage and weighs in at just one pound. The filter is great to hang from a tree when camping, or to have on hand during an emergency. This is a great way to store clean, filtered water for you and your loved ones

      Holiday Gift Guide: The Reliance Fold-N-Filter

      So there you go—a few gift ideas costing between $25 and $50. Preparedness items (and the principle itself) are the gifts that just keep on giving.

      If these ideas don’t seem to be quite what you are looking for, check out beprepared.com for all of our products or our Pinterest gift boards for other great ideas.

      Happy shopping!

      -Kimberly

       

       

       

       

       

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, gifts, preparedness, emergency kit, emergency preparedness, holiday

  • 55-gallon water barrel combo

    The 55-Gallon Water Barrel Combo is a great option to give you peace of mind during an emergency or city/county-wide boil order. During the month of October, this combo is on sale for $81.99, a $124.85 value. This combo will allow you to have clean, usable water stored right in your home if your normal water supply is disrupted or contaminated.

    This combo includes:

    •  55-Gallon Water Barrel: The minimum recommended amount of water for an emergency situation is one gallon per day per person for two weeks. This includes water for drinking, minimal cooking, and simple hygiene needs (sponge bath and teeth brushing). This means the 55-gallon barrel will provide:

    -          1 gallon of water for one person for fifty-five days

    -          27.5 gallons  per person for two people (nearly a month’s supply)

    -          13.75 gallons per person for four people (about a two week supply)

     

    • 1 Emergency Siphon: Allows you to access your water quickly from your 55-gallon barrel.
    • 1 Barrel Buddies II Bung and Gas Wrench: This tool will help you to open the barrel bungs with ease, giving you easier access to your water and allowing you to siphon water out. This tool is great because it can also be used as a wrench to turn off your gas valve during an emergency.

    You'll definitely need these two tools to help you access the water stored in your 55-gallon barrel safely during an emergency. Our 55-Gallon Barrel Combo is a great value and an excellent way to get started storing water for shelter-in-place circumstances.

    Siphon water from larger containers into portable containers

    If you’re interested in getting a 55-Gallon Water Barrel Combo, but you’re a first time barrel buyer, there are a couple of things that you should know about how to safely store and retrieve your water. Here are 5 frequently asked questions that first-timers often ask:

     

    What are the barrels made of?

    The barrels are constructed of sturdy, food-grade, # 2 BPA-free polyethylene plastic.  Each barrel is dark blue, limiting light exposure that can encourage algae growth in your water.

     

    Where should I keep my barrel?

    If you have a basement, storing your barrel there would be ideal.  In the basement, your barrel would be protected from excess heat and light. But if you don’t have a basement, you can keep your barrel anywhere you have room for it—on a back porch, in a carport, laundry room, or mud room. However, we do not recommend keeping it in the garage near engine fumes and where products such as fuels, oils, and paints are stored.

    Even though thick plastic seems impermeable, it is actually porous and will eventually absorb any chemical odors in the environment. These odors could  then leach into your water making its taste unpleasant.

    We also caution against placing your barrel directly on a concrete floor. We recommend placing planks or a sturdy wooden pallet under the barrel before filling. This provides a breathable barrier to help prevent mold and mildew growth. Once it’s filled, it’s not going anywhere--the water itself will weigh 440 lbs.! If you keep your barrel outdoors, you might want to get a [Barrel Bag] to slip over it to reduce accidental contamination from soil, bird droppings, and dust.

     

    What in the world is a bung?

    Bungs are the two white plugs on top of the barrel that allow you to fill your barrel and access your water. They are nearly impossible to remove without the proper tool. That’s why the 55-gallon combo comes with a bung wrench to help you open your barrel without breaking the bungs.

     

    Do I need anything else?

    Additional tools available include the Siphon Hose Adapter, which allows you to attach your siphon hose to a regular garden hose—useful for filling your barrel or emptying it to your yard, garden, bathtub, or wherever you choose. We also offer a [Drinking Water Safe Hose] in 25 and 50-foot lengths, which would be helpful in filling your barrel from your kitchen or bathroom water source, and the Bung Seal Cap, which fits over the bung opening and helps prevent contamination. You might also want a jug for transporting water from your barrel into your kitchen or bathroom. For this purpose, we offer a Standard Five-Gallon Jug made of #2 food-grade plastic, with a separately sold spigot, and both a 5-Gallon and 2.5-Gallon Collapsible Jug that  come with spigots. You’ll also need Aquamira Water Treatment that can keep a water barrel free from “bugs” for 5+ years.

     

    How long will my water last stored in a barrel?

    Water, unlike food, doesn’t spoil or “go bad” with time. However, we recommend rotating your water once a year or using Aquamira Water Treatment to make sure that your water is absolutely fresh when it comes time to use it.

    If it was clean when you put it into a clean barrel, and hasn’t been contaminated since, it will last indefinitely. If it tastes “flat,” just pour it back and forth between containers to aerate it before drinking. If you notice any strange odor to your water, however, you can of course change it out or treat it with a purifying agent. (See our blog post on water filtration and purification.)

     

     

    One of the easiest ways to begin or increase your water storage reserves is to purchase a water barrel combo to help you with your water storage maintenance. The 55-gallon combo is a great introduction to water storage for beginners, but it is also perfect for those who have water storage experience, making it easier to store and retrieve your water. For more information on water storage, filtration, and treatment visit these links:

     

    Water Storage Insight Articles

    Water-related Blog Posts

    “Water” Search results on Beprepared.com

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: water, water storage, water barrel, water barrel combo

  • October Sale Items

    October’s sale items are a harvest of great bargains. And if you’re the organized, plan-ahead type of holiday shopper, that most of us only aspire to be, you might want to look through these sales with gift-giving in mind. We offer everything from substantial gifts to stocking-stuffers!

     

    Campers and backyard cooking enthusiasts would enjoy the SOS Sport Solar Oven Combo, on sale this month for only $189.99. With time and sunlight, you can cook pretty much anything from roast to rolls. It even works in cold weather! The kit includes two covered cooking pots, thermometer, manual, recipe booklet,  and solar reflector—everything you need, except the food!

     Solar oven

    Water storage is vital, and our sale on the 55-Gallon Water Barrel Combo is a great place to start. It includes the emergency siphon and “Barrel Buddies II” tool, which you will definitely need. These tools will help you to get the water out of your barrel and into smaller containers for the various emergency situations you may encounter or just to store in other areas of the house. These tools are great because you can get your water out without breaking any of the parts on your barrel or having to wait 30 minutes to fill up your water bottle. All for $81.99 (a $124.85 value). If you already have the tools and just need an extra barrel, the sale price is $72.99 (you’ll save $26.96).

    Siphon water from larger containers into portable containers

    Cooks who dive into a holiday baking frenzy would appreciate the 12-Can Baking Combo for only $109.99 (a $161.69 value). The combo includes 2 cans of whole wheat flour, 2 of white flour, and one can each of brown sugar, white sugar, salt, baking powder, shortening powder, margarine powder, instant milk, and powdered eggs. Enjoy fresh basked cookies, breads, and cakes this holiday season with our 12-Can Baking combo.

     12-can baking combo

    Our MRE One-Week Food Supply provides 21 meals, or 7 days’ worth of 3 ready-to-eat meals day for only $84.99, a value of $134.65. Includes main entrées, side dishes, desserts, drink mixes, bread or crackers, peanut butter, jam, cheese, and hard candies. MREs have an excellent shelf life--they last up to 7 years if stored in the proper conditions (un-opened in a dark, cool area with no moisture soaking into it). This one-week supply is an excellent holiday gift investment for those who want a quick meal in an emergency, camping, or backpacking trip.

     MRE One-Week Food Supply

    Interested in learning to cook with wheat? Try our Wheat Cooking Starter Kit, including an easy-to-use Hand Grain Mill, Dough Enhancer, a 1-lb. package of yeast, and the “Wheat Cookin’ Made Easy” DVD.  A great gift for yourself or any aspiring cook. Sale price $58.99, a saving of 21%.

    Wheat Cooking Starter Kit

     

    Look through our entire catalog for dozens of great sales items! Watch for red print or red SALE medallions.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • 5 Myths about Water Storage

    |12 COMMENT(S)

     Water-Storage-Myths

    Since storing water is very different from storing food, there are a few things you should consider if you’re new to water storage. Water storage needs to be protected against viruses, contamination, and bacteria. So you must take different measures to protect your water from these threats than you would with food.

    Here are 5 common myths and facts about water storage that you’ll want to consider as you start your water storage reserves.

    Myth #1: Water can expire.

    Fact: Water does not expire. It can become contaminated (chemically or biologically), but it doesn’t “go bad.” Water can have a stale taste, but that taste can be eliminated by rotating your water and purifying it. If a water storage source is in ideal conditions (it started out clean and was stored in a dark, cool area, not directly on concrete or near harsh fumes and chemicals), it technically can store indefinitely. Rotate water for peace of mind or if there is a risk of contamination.

    Myth #2: It’s fine to store water in any type of plastic container I have at home.

    Fact: Water should be stored in a UV-resistant, food-grade plastic container or in metallized bags. Traditionally, water storage barrels are blue. This color limits light exposure and biological growth (bacteria and algae) and also signifies that what is stored in the container is safe for human consumption (for example, gasoline is stored in red containers).

    The safest containers to hold water in are polyethylene-based plastics, or plastics #1, #2, and #4. Our water barrels are made out of plastic #2 and, unlike some other companies, have never been used to store other items before they are sold to you. This type of plastic is good for long-term storage and is BPA-free.

    You can figure out the number of plastic by looking for this symbol on the bottom of containers:

    Recycle1

     

    Other helpful tips for storing water in plastic containers:

    • Don’t use milk jugs for water storage. Since milk jugs are biodegradable, they will break down over time. Also, any live cultures in the milk that remain in your jug could make you ill if you store drinking/cooking water in milk jugs.
    • Disposable water bottles are not great for long-term storage. Water can be stored for long-term use in re-useable Nalgene bottles.
    • Soda Bottles and Powerade/Gatorade bottles can be used for long-term water storage. However, it’s important to remember that plastics absorb flavors, so your drinking water may have a cola taste. If you store water in soda or Powerade bottles, don’t use the water for cooking or else your soup might taste like cola!

    Myth #3: If I have a water barrel, I’m set for every emergency I’ll encounter.

    Fact: You can’t solely rely on the barrel for all the situations you may encounter. If you have to evacuate, you won’t be able to carry a water barrel with you. Also, if you only have one barrel or one water source you may run out of water given the number of people in your family and the number of days that you will be without water. Remember that the average amount of water to store is one gallon per day per person for a 2 week period.

    Store water in various sized containers and plan for different situations (grab-and-go, shelter-in-place, extra water for cooking, etc.). You can siphon the water from your barrel into other containers and refill it before emergencies arise.

    Myth #4: To save space, I can stack water barrels on top of each other.

    Fact: Most water barrels are not built to stack on each other. If you want to stack your water because you don’t have room, use water containers with grooves on the bottom for stacking like our 160 Gallon Water Reserve, Aqua Pak or Aqua Tainer.

    Water barrels are safest if they are stored standing. However, do not store your barrel directly on cement or on the floor in your garage. Plastics absorb flavors and odors from gasoline, liquids spilled on the floor, and chemicals used to create the concrete. These chemicals and odors will make the taste of the water unbearable to drink. Instead, place your water barrel on top of a wood board or cardboard so that odors and chemicals do not leach in.

    Myth #5: If I have a water purifier, I don’t need a filter.

    Fact: Water purifiers like Chlorine Dioxide will kill 99.9% of all microorganisms (like protozoa, bacteria, and viruses) in your water. Chlorine Dioxide is excellent for sheltering-in-place, and also great for treating water from your barrels or water you collect from streams or rivers while hiking.

    However, purifiers alone won’t remove turbidity (dirt, silt, “floaties,” and chemicals) from your water, so we recommend using a purifier and filter together to make sure your water is clean (especially if you are collecting water for drinking and washing, but turbidity is ok if you use soap while washing.)

    If you’re a first time barrel buyer remember that you’ll want to buy a water storage combo. Each combo includes a bung wrench, replacement bung (a bung is the white cap on top of your water barrel), siphon hose, and water purifiers for maintenance.

     

    These are just 5 myths about water storage. But if you’re new to water storage and want to learn more, check out these articles for more tips:

    "Not all Barrels are Built the Same

    "Water Storage Overview

    "Water Storage Options

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • iStock_000020440738Large

    Water is so vital to our lives and well-being that it’s a number-one concern during emergency situations. It's even more important than food for the first few days when dehydration could set in and cause illness, confusion, and even death.

    You may know this and have emergency water storage. But maybe you have some old stored water that has a strange odor to it—or maybe you aren’t sure that your city’s water supply is really clean. You may have to get your water from an untested source such as a private well or spring, or bring water from a lake or river into your home during an emergency.

    So what are the dangers of drinking untreated water and how can you be sure it’s safe?

    What could be in the water?

    Out hiking or camping, we may come across a cold, running stream with clear, sweet water; it’s safe to drink, isn’t it? Well, it may be—or not. We can’t always see, taste, or smell the tiny pollutants that may be present. There could be anything in the water, from mud and chemicals to animal waste and decomposed matter to microorganisms like viruses, harmful bacteria and protozoans. Many a camper has brought home Giardia as a souvenir from a camping trip, and suffered from the severe digestive upset that results. So how can we avoid getting sick from questionable water sources? There are several ways to filter and purify water that can give you peace of mind about the sources you have access to at any given time.

    Boiling

    Often when a community water supply has been compromised, officials will issue a “boil order,” advising everyone to boil water (a full, rolling boil) for at least one minute before using it to drink, cook, wash dishes, wash the face, or brush teeth. Boiling water from a natural source is effective, too, killing both bacteria and viruses. (This can take longer in high elevations where water boils at a lower temperature.) If you don’t have gas or electricity, either in an emergency or on a camping trip, the boiling can be done over an open fire, on a grill, with a Kelly Kettle, or even in a solar oven set in bright sunlight for six hours.

    Filtration

    There are filters and then there are microfilters—and it’s important that you know the difference. A regular filter blocks the larger (but still tiny) impurities in water, improving the taste and color—but a microfilter can block both impurities and microorganisms that cause illness.

    Katadyn Vario Water Filter from Emergency Essentials

     

    Filters are commonly made of three materials:

    • Ceramic—filters out impurities of 0.2 microns or larger
    • Pleated glassfiber—filters out impurities of 0.3 microns or larger
    • Activated carbon (or charcoal)—which filters out impurities of up to 2 microns.

    For perspective, consider that a human hair has a diameter of about 100 microns, so we’re talking really tiny (but powerful) particles!

     

    Purification

    There are two basic methods of purifying water—UV Purification and Chemical Purification.

    • UV Purification works by killing the microorganisms with shortwave germicidal ultraviolet light. This light (invisible to us) works by disrupting the DNA of the little pests so that they can’t cause illness. UV purifies 99.9% of all microorganisms in just seconds. See our Steripen™ Ultra purifier and our Steripen™ Sidewinder purifier for a couple of great purification options.
    • Chemical purification also kills 99.9% of microorganisms, but it takes a while longer—about four hours. Chlorine Dioxide is the preferred chemical for water purification. Pure chlorine does not kill Cryptosporidium in amounts that would allow the water to be drinkable, nor does iodine, as the Crypto organism is iodine-resistant—but Chlorine Dioxide takes care of it, and improves the taste of the water. (Iodine, even if it worked, would give the water a foul taste.)

     

     WP-T160

    What are the specific microorganisms to worry about, and what works to get rid of them?

    • Viruses (Hepatitis A, Norwalk, Rotavirus) are the smallest particles to worry about (.018 microns); they need purification, not just filtration. They are less common in U.S. natural water sources than in other parts of the world, but they can exist here.
    • Bacteria are .5 microns and up, and include such “bugs” as E. Coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. Either microfiltration or purification is effective in getting rid of these.
    • Protozoans range from 2 to 15 microns and include Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Both filtration and purification are useful against these. The EPA reports that 95% of the world’s natural water supply contains protozoan cysts.
    • Turbidity is the name for “gunk” in the water—floaties, waste, insect, dirt, silt, and chemicals. These affect the taste and the drinkability of the water. Filtration is the method to remove the first five, and activated carbon can remove some chemicals, but not all—so that it’s always important to find the cleanest source of water you can before treating it.

     

    Not only is it important for you to store good, clean water, but also to know how to and have the means to filter or purify the water you have at your disposal at any given time, be it from your tap or from a natural source such as a river or spring. Learn more about water filtration and storage in our Water Storage Insight Articles.

     

    Sources:

    www.beprepared.com

    www.water.epa.gov/drink/emergency/safe_water/personal.html

    www.cdc.gov/travel/page/water-disinfection

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: water, water filters, water purification

  •  brunette woman drinking water from a bottle on a warm day

    Every cell in our bodies contains water, and we need a constant supply to stay alive and healthy. We can do without food for a surprising period of time if we must, but we survive only a few days—3 to 4 in hot weather—without water. When we are dehydrated, our kidneys begin to shut down, our heart races, our body temperature rises, and our electrolytes get out of balance, causing fuzzy vision and thinking (making it even harder to find sources of water).  

     

    How much water do we need to store?

    Whatever kind of emergency arises, we soon realize that clean, drinkable water is the most important substance we need. At least one gallon per person per day is recommended—not only for drinking, but for cooking and hygiene. It’s wise to store at least two weeks’ worth (14 gallons) for each person in your household.

    What kind of containers are best?

    Water is heavy—8 lbs. per gallon. It’s great to have a couple of 55-gallon barrels for sheltering in place—but once filled, they can’t be moved. If you had time in an emergency situation, you could siphon some of that water into 1 or 5-gallon containers to take with you. We suggest, however, that you store some water in small, portable containers that you can grab and go in case of an evacuation order. Keep some in your car for unforeseen situations. Here is a list of the types of containers that work best for water storage:

    Small Containers

    • You can purchase water in small boxes—AquaBlox or Datrex metallized (Mylar-type) pouches for total convenience.WS-P100
    • Be sure that whatever containers you choose are BPA-free, Polyethylene-based plastics or those numbered #1, #2, or #4, or “Mylar” are safe for water storage. It is true, however, that plastic is porous (even though it doesn't appear to be), and eventually allows the water to absorb odors and tastes from the environment. Because of this permeability factor, we do not recommend using plastic milk bottles or similar bottled-water plastic gallon jugs for long-term water storage. Another reason is that they usually allow light through, and light encourages growth of any microorganisms that might be present. It’s difficult to get all bacteria out of a milk jug, for example.
    • For your personal water bottle that you carry with you, be sure it also is BPA-free. If it’s marked with a #1, “PETE,” or “PET,” it should be fine.

    Water Barrels and Combos

    • Large, shelter-in-place storage containers start with the 160-gallon reserve. It is made from an enhanced plastic which is BPA-free, UV resistant, and non-permeable, and which has a faucet for easy access. These can be stacked two-high.
    • Our water barrels (55-gallon, 30-gallon, and 15-gallon) are made from thick, durable food-grade plastic, blue in color to limit light-exposure and discourage bacterial and algae growth.
    • You will need a siphon and a bung wrench to fill and access these barrels. For both the barrels and the 160-gallon reserve, it’s advisable to place them on a wooden pallet rather than a cement floor, and away from sunlight.

    Siphon water from larger containers into portable containers

    Portable water containers and Aqua pods

    • Several other portable water containers are available as well, including 5-gallon Mylar-type bags which are good for short or long-term storage, and jugs with handles and spouts which are useful in case you must carry water from your large container to your kitchen or fetch water home from another source such as an emergency relief truck.
    • A unique, temporary water storage device is the AquaPod Kit—a giant bladder that fits into your bathtub and holds 65 gallons of clean water. This is excellent when a hurricane is threatening, or when you know ahead of time that your water supply is going to be cut off a while for repairs.

    How long does water keep?

    Since water (unlike food) does not “go bad” or expire, you can safely store it for an indefinite period of time in clean, appropriate containers. It can, however, become contaminated if chemicals or microorganisms get in, so there are ways to treat and purify it—see our next blog on that subject! If it makes you feel better, you can rotate your water supply every year or two to be sure it’s still good. Any “stale” taste in stored water can be quickly overcome by pouring some back and forth between glasses or pitchers to re-introduce oxygen into it.

     

    However you choose to store water, it’s a gift to your present peace-of-mind as well as a protection against possible dehydration—and in any emergency situation in which your water supply was disrupted or contaminated, you and your family would be very glad for your foresight!

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • One of the first steps you need to take to get prepared is make an emergency plan. Whether you live alone or with family, friends, or roommates, it’s important to be on the same page with your household, as well as those who don’t live with you but will be anxious to locate and touch base with you in an emergency.

    A basic plan is a good place to start, and we've got a great (and free) fill-in-the-blank Emergency Plan PDF so you can have a custom family emergency plan in 10 minutes or less.

    Sample Family Emergency Plan

     

    You can build a more comprehensive plan from there if you’d like, but this plan covers the basics:

    1) Grab survival kits/emergency kits/bug-out bags

    2) Designated meeting point near the home

    3) Designated meeting point in the neighborhood

    4) An out-of-town relative or friend that everyone can call to check in with (it’s pretty common for local lines to be busy following a disaster—your best bet for reaching each other is to call someone with a long-distance number and leave messages for each other).

    5) Out-of town meeting place/evacuation location

    6) Evacuation plan with primary and secondary exits from each room

    7) Emergency Contact Information

    8) Evacuation assignments (who will take what based on how much time you have)

    So, whether you’re just getting started in prepping or you’ve been building food and water storage for years, be sure you’ve got an emergency plan in place—it’s one of the most fundamental (and easiest) things you can do when it comes to emergency preparedness.

    --Sarah

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: planning, Emergency plan, emergency preparedness, getting started, Free Download, Family evacuation plan, preparedness basics

  •  

    Woman Fills Survey

    If you’re new to preparedness, the best piece of advice we can give you is this:

     You don’t have to do it all at once.

    This Preptember™ we want to help you start prepping one step at a time. There are six major areas that you should consider when you start to prepare. Here are a few articles, books, and checklists to get you started in each area:

    Emergency Plans

    Planning for an Emergency

    Evacuating from Home in an Emergency

    Practicing your Family Evacuation Plan

    Emergency and Evacuation Plan Checklist (downloadable/printable)

    Emergency Kits

    Emergency Kit

    Getting Started on an Emergency Kit or Bug-Out-Bag

    Special Considerations for Emergency Kits (small children/babies, elderly, etc.)

    Emergency Kit Checklist (downloadable/printable)

    Food Storage

    Introduction to Food Storage

    15 Tips for Food Storage Shopping

    Eat What You Store

    Storing Non-Food Items

    Water Storage (including filtration and purification)

    Water Storage Overview

    Water Storage Options

    Water Filtration and Purification

    Gear/Equipment

    Equipment Tools for an emergency

    Emergency Shelter

    7 Tips for Choosing a Sleeping Bag

    First Aid & Sanitation

    First Aid First

    Sanitation and Hygiene during an Emergency

    First Aid Skills (CPR, Allergic reactions, breaks and sprains, etc.) [See our Recent Blog First Aid Series]

     

    General Resources

    Checklist and Insight Articles

    Emergency Plans and Checklists (downloadable/printable)

    Insight Articles (educational articles that give tips, skills, and techniques in the 6 areas listed above)

    Books

    Emergency Essentials Tips for Preparedness Book

    Wilderness and Travel Medicine

    Food Storage in a Nutshell 

    Newspaper article

    2013 Deseret News Emergency Essentials Preptember™ Insert

    Check out our blog all this month for more prepping basics and articles in honor of National Preparedness month.

    Happy Prepping!

    Experienced and New Preppers: How did you start your emergency preparedness plan? What did you do to make emergency preparedness less overwhelming?

    We’d love to hear your advice!

    --Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  1. 11-20 of 48 items