I am aware of at least one individual on Utah Preppers that had doubts about this article ever seeing the light of day. Catching up on honey-do lists (building 2 can rotation systems, etc.) and everyday life was keeping me busier than I would have liked. Besides, seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water (well, except for Utah), so what’s the big deal?
The truth of it is, without water, your chances of surviving an extended emergency are greatly diminished.
“Humans can survive 3 days on average without water — less when it is very hot or one is very active (as opposed to weeks without food). A single day without water significantly reduces bodily and mental performance.” – Wikibooks – Outdoor Survival/Water
I was given a document as a starting point. The document contains many useful pieces of information regarding storage containers and purification methods, but I was left with several questions. Thankfully, the document contains links to additional resources that elaborate on some of the topics covered. I was able to answer any remaining questions with a few quick searches.
In particular, I was unaware of the Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) method. Although SODIS shouldn’t be your primary method of water purification, it is one of the simplest methods and doesn’t require any complicated equipment or chemicals. The top search result on SODIS turns up a site dedicated to SODIS with a very helpful FAQ that answered all of my questions about its effectiveness and uses.
I was also surprised to learn that chlorine bleach has a very limited shelf life (1 year from manufacture). Chlorinating concentrate used for pools has a much longer shelf life (15 to 25 years) and is more effective at purifying larger volumes of water. In spite of its effectiveness, my inner chemist feels obligated to inform you about some of the dangers involved with using chlorinating concentrate. Chlorinating concentrate is harmless after it has been diluted in a large volume of water but it can be highly dangerous in it’s raw form. I have included an excerpt of a vendor’s warning.
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IMMEDIATE CONCERNS: DANGER: CORROSIVE: Causes irreversible eye damage. May be fatal if inhaled. Harmful if swallowed or absorbed through skin. Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing. Do not breathe dust, vapor or spray mists. Wear goggles, face shield, or safety glasses. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling. Remove contaminated clothing and wash before reuse.
——————– WARNING —————–
Water is one of the most important elements in your emergency preparedness plan. I hope this information is helpful and I encourage you to become familiar with the information outlined in the referenced document and to educate yourself further with resources you can find on the internet.