Water is Paramount to Your Survival
Every cell and organ in your body needs water to continue working properly. Water leaves the body when you sweat and breathe, so you have to keep replenishing and drinking throughout the day.
Dehydration can cause fatigue, dry mouth, and headaches. It can also cause dizziness and lightheadedness, which can be mistaken as signs someone is getting sick.
When it comes to survival, the top of your list should always be marked for water. It’s important that you have enough to survive on in the case of a pandemic and you should make sure that you have it stored correctly.
How Much Water You Should Have in Store
The amount of water you store depends on what you feel your needs are based on how much water you normally consume. However, it’s best to have at least a week’s worth of water for every person in your family.
Every person should have a gallon of drinking water per day, including pets. That gallon doesn’t count toward washing clothes or personal hygiene – so that needs to be factored in as well.
The week’s worth of water is only if you have a plan in place that will help you replenish that water supply after a week. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll need to put more water in storage.
Pool water for personal hygiene
In the event of a pandemic and you just can’t get to water – or if you discover that you don’t have enough water stored – you can use pool water for personal hygiene.
It’s imperative that you never drink pool water. The chlorine in it can cause permanent kidney damage if ingested in large quantities. Use the pool water sparingly and keep it out of your eyes.
By using pool water for personal hygiene, you save the stored water you have set aside for drinking use. The way that you store water is important. Many times, after water has been stored for longer than a few months, it can develop a flat taste.
Keep water containers in dark plastic bags
To prolong the shelf life of stored water, group the gallons or bottles in translucent containers and place those containers in dark plastic bags. This keeps the light out and keeps the water fresher for longer periods of time.
Make sure you keep your water supply stored away from chemicals or odorous things like gasoline, bleach, and pesticides. Water can absorb other odors. You should check your water supply every few months to ensure the gallons or bottles are still sealed tightly and that none of the containers have started leaking.
If you live in a large house, consider storing half your water supply in one area of your home and the other half in another area. For example, keep half stored in the basement or garage and the other half stored in a closet.
This way, if you can’t get to one end of your house, or if someone comes and takes your water stores in civil unrest, you still have half your water supply. If you’re not prepared in the case of an emergency situation like a pandemic, there are a few ways you can get water.
Ways to get water
The first and most common way is getting water from a stream or river. If you live near one, you can dip out water, put it in clean containers and take it back to your house for purification.
The second way you can get water is to use rainwater. This is a very simple way to collect water. You can invest in a rain harvesting kit, which allows you to collect rainwater every time it begins to rain.
Rain is safer for personal hygiene than pool water is, but you still have to purify it before it’s safe for consumption. The safest and easiest way to purify water for drinking is to bring it to a boil.
By heating it to a boil, you kill the germs and viruses that could be in it. If you want something more reliable in an emergency, you can consider investing in a well for your home.
Paying to have a well drilled for your house can be pretty expensive, but it allows you to have a safe supply of water. However, well water typically has more contaminants than municipal water does.
Test your water for bacteria
For this reason, you should have your well water tested for bacterial and nitrate contamination on a yearly basis. Any time your water starts to taste weird or has a different color than normal, it should be tested.
Another way to get water if you don’t have enough stored is right in your home. The first is water that’s stored in your pipes after you have shut off the water line that runs into your house.
For this to work, your house has to be multilevel. You have to open a faucet at the highest level and the gravity will drain the water to the lowest level, where you can harvest it.
Use the hot water tank
Another way to get water from your home is through the hot water tank. For this to work, the water tank must be upright. You can prevent contamination of the water in this tank by shutting off the main water line that runs into your house.
Once the water line is shut off, turn off any electrical or gas supplies to the tank. Close the faucet at the top of the tank and this will close the water intake valve. Place a container under the faucet at the bottom of the tank and then open the faucet.
The water will drain out into the container and you can close the faucet again. Don’t turn the electricity or gas back on until water is back in the tank and the faucet on top is opened.
If you drain the water like this every four to six months, you prevent rust from building inside the tank. Not only will it keep your tank running smoothly, but it also keeps your water free from minerals and rust deposits.
If you’re really in a pinch, you can dip out the water used in the flush tank of the toilets in your house. Never use the water in the bowl. If the water in your toilet is chemically treated, it’s not safe to use. Always purify water you dip out of the toilet tank.