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  • 3 Reasons Why Water Is Essential for Emergency Storage

    Why WaterWhen we talk of emergency preparations, we think of food and gear and all those other things that will make our lives feel as normal as possible (three cheers for the portable Bluetooth speakers!). However, there is one resource that you will want to secure as soon as you find yourself in an emergency situation. That resource is water.

    According to The Organic Prepper, there is a “Rule of Three” that applies to survival. The Rule of Three reminds you that you can survive with:

    Three minutes without air.

    Three days without water.

    Three weeks without food.

    So, the first step is to check your breathing. Still good? Great. Now make sure you have water. I find it interesting that, although we as humans can last about three weeks without food, we can only last three days without water. Why, then, do we sometimes forget about this all-important fluid? We worry about filling our basement with emergency food storage (which is awesome, by the way), but we might look over our water storage preparations (which isn’t as awesome).

    In truth, your emergency water storage and preparations should be the first thing you start with. Water is an essential part of any emergency plan. Here are three reasons why water is a great idea for your emergency preparations.

     

    1. Drinking

    Ready.govWhy Water- Drinking recommends keeping at least one gallon per day per person in order to stay sufficiently hydrated. After all, your body is made up of about 60% water, so when an emergency happens, you’ll want to keep it nice and healthy in order to perform the necessary tasks involved with surviving. That being said, children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.

    Don’t forget pets, either. Just like humans, they need to stay hydrated, too. Just as you wouldn’t take your pet goldfish out of its bowl and expect it to survive, you wouldn’t evacuate with your cat or dog and expect them to do well without the necessary water.

     

    1. Hygiene

    Why water - HygieneI already mentioned that you should have at least one gallon of water per day per person, but did you note the “at least” part? You should have at least that much, because that’s what you need for hydration and light sanitation. If you intend to stay hygienic as well (which we all hope you do), you’re going to want more water than just a gallon. Practical Preppers consultant Scott Hunt suggests having an extra four gallons of water for personal hygiene.

     

    1. Health and Well-being

    When we become dehydrated, our body tries to warn us that we need to drink more water by giving us warning signs in the form of discomfort. The Prepper Journal listed these symptoms out: headache, irritability, dizziness, weakness, disorientation, thirst, dry skin, and lethargy. So, if you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, chances are your body is screaming at you to drink more water. Drinking plenty of water can also improve your skin completion, so there’s that, too.

     

    While it’s good to be prepared with food and gear, water should be your first priority. Without it, you’ll be in a heap of trouble. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult to begin stocking up with water. Start with a liter here and a gallon there. Make sure you keep your water in food-grade, plastic containers. Milk cartons aren’t the best idea because the proteins can’t be removed effectively enough. Two-liter pop bottles, however, would be a good place to start. Check out our water storage options for other ideas.

    Water is essential in your emergency preparations. Don’t wait until you know you’ll need it. Go out and start preparing today!

     

    How do you store your water? Let us know why water is important to you in the comments below!

    Posted In: Water Storage Tagged With: well being, hygiene, drinking water, why water, health, water

  • How Much Water Should You Store?

    When things get crazy out in that wide world in which we live – say, an earthquake or a tornado (or both!) come through town – bad things could happen that will disrupt the way you live. The grid could go down, and several water mains could break. It’s not just natural disasters, either. Your local water supply could become contaminated from e.Coli or from a diesel spill, which means you could be without water for at least 48 hours – or longer – until they get the water clean again.

    So now there you are, at home, without the running water you’ve come to rely on. Years ago, you wondered if this sort of thing could happen. You were reluctant at first, but eventually you began storing water, just in case something like this happened.

    But did you store enough?

    How Much Water for Kids?The general rule of thumb is to store one gallon of water per person per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also suggest that, in an emergency situation, you should drink two quarts (half a gallon) of water a day – more if you’re in a hot climate, sick, pregnant, or a child. The other half gallon can then be used for hygiene (thanks in advance).

    Of course, you should remember to store extra water for your pets (after all, they’re part of the family, too). An additional gallon of water should be stored per day for each cat and dog. Now you know how much water per person (or animal) per day you need. Now the question is, how many days’ worth of water should you have?

    As a minimum, you should have three-day’s worth of water. That means, if you have a family of four, you’ll want at least 12 gallons of water stored up. That should keep you going during minor emergencies where you just have to wait a couple days for the city to fix whatever problem it’s encountered.

    Perhaps a safer minimum would be to have enough water to last for at least two weeks. This would enable you to survive much longer should a much more devastating disaster come through. And, going back to your family of four, this would mean you would need at least 56 gallons of water.

    This is where you’re beginning to ask, “Where on earth am I supposed to store all this water?” Wonderful question. Allow me to go ahead and answer that.

    How Much Water?There are plenty of ways to store water. If you don’t have much storage space, you can begin by getting a case or two of water from the store. Those are easy to keep under your bed and therefore won’t take up any extra space. We also carry cases of boxed water as well as cases of emergency canned water. Empty pop bottles can be filled up to store water in, too, but be sure to thoroughly wash them first. This is also a good option if you’re on a tight budget.

    If you have a tad more room, you can add to your cases of water with some 5-gallon water jugs. Those fit nicely in many storage areas and are made of good, clean, water-safe material. In fact, it would be wise to have a couple of those around anyway, as they would make a great grab-and-go option should you have to bug out.

    If you need to store a lot of water - and have the space to do so - then consider investing in a water barrel or two (or three, or four…). They can be small, such as the 15-gallon water barrel, or larger like the 55-gallon barrels. Of course, you could always have more water, and if you do have the room, then by all means, go big or go home! This 320-gallon water reserve should keep you going for quite some time. Remember, water is the most important resource you can have, so the more the merrier! If you do want a ton of water but are out of room, you can always commandeer your bathtub. With the AquaPod, you can store 65 gallons in a clean container that fills up your tub. Of course, bathing might be a wee bit difficult with that in there, but in an emergency, I’d rather have drinking water. Fortunately, it can store nicely under a bed or in a closet, so if you know a hurricane or other disaster is coming, bust that thing out and get filling!

    How Much Water?One more thing. If you’re filling your own water containers, you’ll want to make sure your water is clean before it sits on a shelf for months on end. If it’s coming straight from your faucet and is treated by your city, then you should be fine. If you’re getting your water from a well or other source, consider treating it with bleach before consuming.

    To treat with bleach, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water, and let it sit for 30 minutes before using. If you don’t notice a slight chlorine odor to the water, add two more drops and let the water stand another 15 minutes (these steps can be found at ready.gov). Or, if you prefer a pre-prepared method, get yourself some water treatment solution to drop in your water storage.

    If your water hasn’t been commercially treated, you should rotate it every six months.

    So there you have it. Now you know how much water you need, and have some different options for storing it long-term. Water is so very important during disasters and survival scenarios, so don’t forget to get your emergency water storage in place.

     

    How have you gone about establishing your emergency water storage? Let us know in the comments below!

    Posted In: Water Storage Tagged With: gallon, water barrel, water storage, water

  • 6 Ways You Are Not Prepared For Disaster

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    In regards to a May 7 story from the Weather Channel web site (weather.com) described “10 Things You’re Not Doing to Prepare for Natural Disasters,” I conducted a non-random, tiny sample size survey of 11 friends and relatives to see what they were and weren’t doing. Some of them said they felt pretty prepared for an emergency.

    I asked 11 questions based on the story from weather.com. The questions and results are at the bottom of this post.

    Let’s look at the top six things people weren’t doing.

     

    Do you have a disaster plan for your family?

    Not Prepared? Be Prepared!Only two people surveyed said they have a disaster plan.

    “I have a plan if there’s a [house] fire,” one said.

    A disaster plan covers what you might face in your area: wildfire, hurricane, or winter storm for example. Where do you meet if some of you are away? Do you shelter at home or evacuate? What are your escape routes? It should answer all those questions.

    FEMA has multiple templates for disaster planning including a “Family Communication Plan" and “Emergency Financial First Aid Kit.”

     

    Have you set aside a few hundred dollars in small bills?

    Not Prepared - Dolla billzSeven survey participants had not.

    “But we do have an emergency fund in a bank,” one said.

    You need cash for about a week, suggested Ann House, coordinator of the Personal Money Management Center at the University of Utah.

    “In three days, usually the electricity is back on, the heat is back on and stores are up and going, so if you want to be on the safe side, [keep cash for] a week. The rest can go in the bank,” House said.

    Another respondent had cash in larger denominations.

    House said that might not work.

    “If you were out of water and somebody came by with a water selling wagon, you might be giving the person a $100 bill for water. It’s $1 bills that are going to come in handy for emergencies,” she said.

     

    Have you got a full first aid kit including prescriptions?

    Not Prepared - First Aid KitOnly three participants kept a first aid kit ready with prescriptions.

    FEMA’s pamphlet “Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Special Needs” recommends keeping enough daily medication for at least a week along with copies of prescriptions and dosage information.

    Many insurance providers won’t allow you to get more than a month’s supply of prescription medicines. One survey participant said his family keeps their prescriptions where they can grab them as they’re going out the door. That way they don’t have to get around insurance to obtain extra medicines.

     

    Have you practiced for a disaster?

    Not Prepared - PracticeFive said they had.

    One survey respondent said her church congregation hosted a community disaster event a couple of years ago. She didn’t say if she’d practiced since then. FEMA recommends practicing at least twice per year.

     

    Is your car ready for a disaster, including a gas tank at least half full?

    Not prepared - gasSeven said no.

    Start by getting a car kit together. It should include emergency supplies, tools, and a change of clothes, according to ready.gov.

    Next, make sure the vehicle is in good condition. Then plan where to go and how to get there. Ready.gov provides a commuter emergency plan where you can fill out alternate routes and modes of transportation.

    Most importantly, keep your gas tank at least half-full, Gwen Camp, director of individual and community preparedness for FEMA told weather.com. If you hit gridlock during an emergency and your tank is empty you might not make it to a gas station.

     

    Have you stored at least three gallons of water per person in your family?

    Not prepared - with waterCamp told weather.com you should store at least one gallon per person per day for drinking, cooking and sanitation.

    FEMA offers information about how to prepare and store water including bottle types to avoid and how much bleach to sanitize water.

     

     

    How are you doing in your emergency preparations? In what ways are you not prepared? You can take the survey and see my results below.

     

    - Melissa

     

     

    Survey:

     

    How many of the following things have you done to prepare for an emergency?

     

    Y             N             1. Do you have enough food for your family for three days?

     

    Y             N             2. Have you set aside a few hundred dollars in small bills?

     

    Y             N             3. Do you have all your important records stored somewhere safe and easy to obtain?

     

    Y             N             4. Do you have an out-of-area emergency contact?

     

    Y             N             5. Have you stored at least three gallons of water per person in your family?

     

    Y             N             6. Do you have a disaster plan for your family?

     

    Y             N             7. Do you have a place to stay in an emergency, especially if you have pets? (many places won’t allow them)

     

    Y             N             8. Are you trained in CPR and/or first aid?

     

    Y             N             9. Have you practiced for a disaster?

     

    Y             N             10. Is your car ready for a disaster, including a gas tank at least half full?

     

    Y             N             11. Have you got a full first aid kit including prescriptions?

     

     

     

    Results:

     

    Table 1:

    Yes No Maybe/No answer
    1. Food for 3 days 11 0
    2. Savings in small bills 4 7
    3. Records easily accessible 8 3
    4. Out-of-area emergency contact 8 3
    5. Three gallons of water per person 7 4
    6. Disaster plan 2 7 2
    7. Emergency shelter 10 1 "our car"
    8. First aid trained 6 3 2 "not certified"
    9. Practiced for a disaster 5 5 1 "somewhat"
    10. Car prepared for disaster 6 5
    11. First aid kit with prescriptions 3 7 1

     

     

    Graph 1:

    Survey Graph

    Posted In: Additional Reading, First Aid and Sanitation, Planning Tagged With: small bills, gas tank, not prepared, water, disaster

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