Author Lee Flynn
It’s important to be prepared to keep your family safe in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. One of the most critical aspects of emergency preparedness is the availability of emergency food and clean drinking water. If running water is not available, you will need to purify water from other sources so that your family can drink it without getting sick.
Experts recommend that you store one gallon of water per person per day in case of emergency. If this supply runs out, water from lakes, rivers, streams as well as rainwater can be consumed after using one of the following purifying techniques.
Read on to learn more about methods for purifying water to drink in an emergency situation.
6 Methods for Purifying Water:
If you have a heat source available, boiling water is the simplest way to purify. Water should be boiled if it has been exposed to air for more than 48 hours. Heat it to a rolling boil and boil for ten minutes to kill bacteria.
If no heat source is available, 5 percent unscented bleach can effectively purify your water supply. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon of bleach to each gallon of water, shake it up thoroughly, and let sit for at least one hour before consuming. If the water is cloudy, run it through a filter before adding bleach.
3. Granular Calcium Hypochlorite
This chemical can be kept on hand to purify water in the event of an emergency. Add one heaping teaspoon of the powdered chemical to two gallons of water and allow to dissolve to make a chlorine solution. Next, add this solution to your drinking water at a ratio of one part solution to 100 parts water (approximately one pint to each 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected).
4. Chlorine Tablets
Commercially prepared chlorine tablets for the purpose of water purification are available at sporting goods stores and other retailers. Keep some on hand so that you can purify your water supply in case of an emergency. In general, one tablet will purify one quart of water, but follow the directions on the package to ensure that you’re using the tablets correctly.
If you have iodine on hand in your medicine cabinet, it can be used to purify water. Use five drops of 2 percent iodine for each quart of water, or 10 drops if the water is particularly cloudy. Let stand for one hour before drinking.
6. Water Purification Systems
Many camping supply stores and other retailers sell complete water purification systems, some of which run on electricity. While these systems are typically effective, they are not one of the primary methods for water purification approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, they may be expensive and may not work in the event of an emergency where power is not available.
What ways do you plan on purifying water?
While these six methods are effective to disinfect water, they do not remove disease causing parasites. If you’re concerned about parasites, purchase a portable water filter and use it to filter your water before disinfecting.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only purified water should be used for drinking, making ice, coffee and other drinks, bathing, washing hands, and brushing teeth. To avoid running out of water in case of an emergency, store at least a three-day supply of bottled water for each person in your family, preferably more.
Replace your stored water supply every six months. If you are storing your own water rather than using commercial bottled water, be sure to use food-grade storage containers that have been completely sanitized before use.
AUTHOR BIO: Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.
YOU FAILED TO MENTION PETS AND OTHER ANIMALS. PET WILL NEED WATER, AS WELL, SO STOCK ENOUGH GOOD, CLEAN WATER FOR EACH PET – AN ADDITIONAL ONE GALLON PER DAY FOR DOGS, A BIT LESS FOR CATS. WHAT ABOUT HORSES, ETC.? HOW MUCH WATER WILL THEY NEED DAILY WHEN YOU CAN’T JUST RUN IT OUT OF A PUMP?
CALCIUM HYPOCHLORITE SOLUTION CAN ALSO BE USED TO MAKE “INSTANT BLEACH”, BUT, KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. A LITTLE GOES A VERY LONG WAY. IT STORES INDEFINITELY, WHILE LIQUID BLEACH DOES NOT.
MOST PEOPLE CAN AFFORD A CERAMIC FILTER AND TWO FOOD-GRADE PLASTIC BUCKETS. GET THEM ONLINE FROM http://www.homespunenvironmental.com ; I buy only the kits as they are made in the USA; they also sell made in China; like everything else, the Chinese-made ones are defective in craftsmanship; you can’t take that risk for something like this.
The same two buckets can be used to build a simple and very effective water filter system, but you’ll need to keep the supplies on hand: two food-grade plastic buckets with lid; plastic spigot (any hardware store or stuff mart); Sweet PDZ (available at any farm store); activated carbon charcoal (buy it online, while you can); pea gravel (washed in advance so it’s “clean”; play sand, and some screening or cheese cloth to lay across the top of the top bucket (where you pour it in) to catch the “big stuff”. Sweet PDZ is said to filter out even radioactive particles, but, I do not know whether that is true.
Also, a Life Straw can be purchased for about $20 each; have one for every member of your family. You’ll still need a plan for the pets and farm animals, however.
Don’t count on running to the local watering hole when water is scarce; everyone else has the same plan, and, it’s going to get ugly out there.
Apologies for caps lock, y’all!
R. Wethington says
I agree with your Water solutions to be able to have as good water. Only there is only one way to purify the water completely. That is to use a distillery. other than steaming, the other forms do not get any man made chemicals out. You can make your own distillery. Though to buy one is very expensive. There are other web pages that show how to make one. I’m in the process of making one using a pressure cooker and tubing, etc. Working on how to put it together. I know in my immediate area we cannot eat the fish in the local creek because of chemicals- pollutants, (herbicides and fertilizers ) coming out of he fields from when we get a lot of rain. The other ways cannot take those out of the water. They work for natural micro junk but not the chemicals. thank you for your time to read this. I’ve been prepping with a garden to can everything we grow. Setting up long term storage of water, plus other things. I hope this was informative. Again thank you. I learn from your web site and it is nice to know others care for me and my family.
Please! Be **very careful** if you store Granular Calcium Hypochlorite. Read the Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) as this chemical is **energetic oxidizer** – it can burn. It can cause other items to rust. It can poison pets and children.
While a useful product, it requires some care and careful measurement to use both correctly and safely.
The US EPA has detailed instructions for using this product. Print out a copy and keep it with the product.
Thanks for bringing up this topic.