Tag Archives: drought

  • Don't Doubt the Drought

    Water Main CoverIn case you missed it, the state of California just passed a new set of water restrictions in its ongoing efforts to survive what experts are calling the second worst drought in US history. We’ve talked about the drought in this forum before. In fact, we spent a good chunk of 2014 looking at the varied effects of such a widespread dry spell—everything from gardening adjustments and grocery prices to wildfires and rattlesnakes!

     

    So, while Californians are already pulling out their lawns and keeping a wary eye out for parched pests, the San Jose Mercury News describes residents’ latest requirements:

     

    “[T]he rules adopted Tuesday:

    Watering Lawn

    • Ban all restaurants, bars and hotels from serving water unless customers ask for it.

     

    • Require all hotels and motels to provide signs in rooms telling guests that they have the option of choosing not to have towels and linens washed daily.

     

    • Ban Californians from watering lawns and landscaping with potable water within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.

     

    • Require cities, counties, water districts and private companies to limit lawn watering to two days a week if they aren't already limiting lawn and landscape watering to a certain number of days a week.”

     

    Yikes. And if no ice water at your favorite restaurant sounds drastic, it might not be drastic enough. In light of Gov. Brown’s call to cut water use by 20% in 2014, water activist Conner Everts points out, “we are failing”—the state’s water consumption went down by less than 10% last year, leading to the current restrictions. And then there’s Everts’ haunting question:

     

    “At what point do we accept that this might be the fourth year of a 10-year drought?”

     

    Water LevelsSo, while California farmers drain the last of what blogger Mark Morford calls “our ‘backup’ water” from the ground, we’ll be sending moist thoughts and rainy vibes westward. However, if you live somewhere supposedly unaffected by the drought, don’t think that you get to stop paying attention. Have you heard the adage, “When the time for decision comes, the time for preparation has passed”? In other words, if you’re not currently experiencing a drought, the time to prepare for one is now!

     

    As ever, start with good information. Check out the blog posts listed below to learn more about water purification, filtration, and (critically!) storage. Then don’t forget to browse our water products for everything from tablets and filters to barrels and pouches.

     

     

    How about you? How has your area been affected? What have you been doing to prep for or thrive during a drought?

    Posted In: Additional Reading, Disaster Scenarios, Planning, Water Storage Tagged With: California, drought, Prepare, water

  • A Tale of Two Winters

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

    Boston's Snowiest Winter (WBZ-TV Retrieved from cbs Boston) Attribution: WBZ-TV

    That’s how this winter has felt for most of the country. High amounts of nothing in the West can make for happy commuters, and yet equally unhappy farmers and anyone else who enjoys drinking water. The East coast received a pounding in snow storms, and Boston has even broken its own record (congratulations!) for snowiest winter, accumulating 108.6 inches of snow as of Sunday evening. That’s over 9 feet of snow! Now, as spring starts to set in, each side of the country is experiencing the aftermath of their individualized winter.

    Each side looks longingly at the other, wishing for what the other has. If only they could arrange a switcheroo, with the West taking some much needed moisture from the overly-watered East, and the East taking some dry weather from the parched West. But alas. To borrow from Rudyard Kipling, "East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet."

    Winter has definitely been a different story for each side of the country, and each story has its own villain and plot twists. The western drought is worse than ever as water levels are historically low, while in the East, spring flooding has become a huge problem with the Ohio River overstepping its banks, flooding areas in Cincinnati, as well as Kentucky and Indiana.

    As the drought drags on, water shortages will become more and more common. The clouds refuse to give a much-needed respite. Water tables are dropping, and farmers are in a pickle. And so are the rest of us…eventually. Food crops need water to grow, and so as the clouds remain petulant and refuse us their moisture, what will happen to food supplies? What will happen to the cost of groceries? Food tends to run short during food shortages (funny how that works). And of course, that’s when prices tend to rise.

    boston-snow (WBZ TV) Attribution: WBZ-TV

    On the other side of the country, melting snow and spring rain is causing floods, water washing over roads and flooding business. Ironically, one must ask, how does flooding affect your water supply? Impure flood waters can contaminate municipal supplies. Also, how do flood waters affect food supplies? The entire supply chain, from the farm to the highway, to the grocery store is interrupted. Assuming food finds its way to the store, and you are even able to there, you’ll likely find prices much higher when you arrive.

    It’s times like these when we can only hope we are prepared.

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the best time to prepare for today is yesterday. Or last week or last month. Basically, if we are constantly preparing for natural nuisances such as these, we won’t be in over our head when the floods rise or the droughts linger.

    Woman Looking In Empty Food CupboardsThese next few days could prove quite uncomfortable for those left with what’s in their cupboards. If you’re like many Americans and like to wait until the cupboards are completely bare before you do your shopping (after all, why go shopping if there’s no room to put the goods?), you could end up re-living your college days by only eating ramen noodles and Easy Mac. That’s one reason (among many) why it’s important to have food and water storage on hand. At a minimum, make sure you have at least 3-days’ worth of food and water stored.

    Instead of fording rivers to see what the stores have to offer, having your own food storage can really keep you afloat during these times. Starting a food storage may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You can start with a can here, a can there, and gradually build it up over time. Or, you could just dive in head first and take advantage of our year-supply offers by either getting it all in one go. We also has Prep As You Go plans, allowing you to gradually build up your storage over the course of a year, making it a much more affordable option.

    Droughts and floods may seem like polar opposites, but they can leave the same problems in their wake. Not being able to find food when you need it can be very scary. As we like to say around here, the best time to get prepared is yesterday. The second best time is now.

    How have you prepared for flooding? Droughts? What is the most important thing for you to do to get ready? Let us know in the comments!

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Food Storage Tagged With: Boston, drought, flood, Winter

  • When the Well Runs Dry

    What Happens When There’s No More Water?

     

    Do you have more than one water resource?

    Bob Marley once said, “You ain’t gonna miss your water until your well runs dry.”

    When Abelardo’s well ran dry nearly a year ago, he feared the worst. On fixed income and in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California, the four-year drought threatened to force the 81-year-old man to move away from his home. Hundreds of others are in the same situation, as the water shortage in California drags on. Fortunately for Abelardo, help came to him by the aid of a non-profit organization that dug him a new, much deeper well.

    As ground water levels drop in California, farmers pump more and more water out of the ground to try and save their crops. This causes the water levels to drop even further, drying up wells. Reservoirs are low, and there is far less snow in the mountains this year than there were last year. All these factors threaten to make the drought in California much worse this summer.

    The state of California pumps over 10 billion gallons of water per day. That’s an average of 258 gallons of water per day per person. That’s a lot of water! Now take into consideration that less than 1% of all the water on our precious Earth can actually be used by people (everything else is salt water or frozen solid). As a comparison, take flushing the toilet. Each flush uses about 3.5 gallons of water. So if you flush the toilet five times in one day, you’re using 17.5 gallons of water. That means if everyone in California flushed their toilet 5 times a day, that would use over 650 million gallons of water. So you can see how quickly water can go, well, down the drain.

    There are other ways for ground water to become unusable or inaccessible. What might happen if the power grid goes down? The municipal water facilities won’t be able to supply your home with water. What then?

    Polluted Water image Drinking water won't always be readily available.

    Or how about chemicals and other contaminants that can penetrate our precious ground water? Ground water gives over half of the total U.S. population its drinking water, and it helps grow 64% of our crops. Septic tanks or gasoline and oil storage tanks – all kept underground – may leak and spill their contents into the soil and water. This leads to contamination containing bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and other harmful substances. Even road salts can find their way underground. Landfills also give us other hazards, from leaking battery acid, paint, and other abandoned products.

    Think about how much water you use in a day, from bathing, cooking, drinking, washing, flushing, and all other things we use water for. How desperate would you be without that essential liquid? Personally, I’d be hosed (too soon?).

    As you can see, there are more reasons than just drought and overuse that can keep us without water. Fortunately, we have a way to prepare against such calamities.

    By building up your water storage, you’re preparing yourself for all of these unforeseen disasters. There are a lot of different options for storing water. There are large, 160 gallon water reserves available, which can even stack on top of each other, thus maximizing storage space. However, that may be a tad too large. If you’re like me and live in a small apartment, you might need something a little smaller. Boxed water kits and smaller 5 gallon jugs might be the only option you have, and that’s OK. Heck, if you have an extra bathtub, we even have a storage product that converts your tub into a 65 gallon water storage container!

    From bathtub to water storage!

     

    Essentially, water is important. Without it, life wouldn’t just be hard, it would cease. That’s why preparing for water shortages of any kind is vitally important.

    Now we want to hear from you! What are some other ways you have for storing water? What unique situations are you in that makes storing water more difficult? Let us know in the comments!

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Insight, Planning, Water Storage Tagged With: water pollution, water shortage, drought

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