I don’t need to tell you why your family needs safe potable water as well as long term food storage, first aid kits, and other survival gear to survive the aftermath of an emergency or disaster.
People can live for days or even weeks without food but no one survives past 4 or 5 days without water. Living on very short rations an “average” person can survive on a minimum of one gallon of water for replacement of normal activities loss, per day. At that drastically minimal rate a family of four will require 120 gallons of potable water to survive for 30 days. Also you will need about 13.2 gallons (50 liters) per person per day. We now use ten times that amount per day on average.
Including drinking, sanitation and hygiene that same family of four would require 1560 gallons of potable water to survive for 30 days. Storing 120 gallons of water to meet subsistence-level needs is easily done, if that’s how you visualize your family surviving. Storing 1560 gallons, while making your family’s survival experience more pleasant, is problematic if you do not have the ability to replenish your water supply while off of the National Electric Power Grid.
Water Availability is not Guaranteed
What if one day after an emergency or disaster you turn on the tap and either nothing comes out, or what comes out is unsafe to drink? Water distribution systems require energy and what comes out of your faucet is there because the fragile and vulnerable Grid energized a pump.
The National Electric Power Grid is obsolescent and vulnerable to blackouts due to equipment failure, unintentional human error or recently and most frighteningly, malicious foreign cyber attack.Water self sufficiency off the grid, and independent of the weather, will ensure that your family has enough water to survive no matter how bad the situation becomes.
Rain Water Harvesting
The basic component of water self sufficiency is rain water harvesting and storage. This component requires storage tanks of sufficient capacity with connections to your home’s rain gutter system. This component is weather dependent but based upon annual rainfall amounts and seasonal rains distribution in your area, rain water harvesting may well satisfy your unpurified water requirements if you plan properly.
In most parts of continental USA, with the exception of the Southwest, rainfall is fairly regular, reliable and predictably sufficient to be the primary source for your family’s survival water self sufficiency. You will have to make a judgment call and decide how much storage capacity you will need to bridge dry spells.
Because we have become so dependent on the grid and the water distribution systems it enables, houses no longer have cisterns to store water for dry spells. Chances are your home doesn’t have a cistern either, so you will need to acquire water storage capacity. Water can be stored in almost anything: one gallon water jugs you buy at the supermarket, hard-side metal or plastic tanks, or the much more convenient and less expensive collapsible “pillow” tanks.
We can safely discard the idea of buying, storing and then refilling 1500+ one gallon jugs as impractical. Hard-side tanks are more practical but are always the same size, full or empty, are difficult to handle, expensive and require permanent installation above ground or below
A much better solution is collapsible “bladder” tanks which are constructed of very tough plastics which meet Food and Drug Administration requirements for potable water storage. Bladder tanks are relatively inexpensive and can be stored folded within their shipping boxes until you decide to deploy them.
Purifying Stored Rainwater
The water stored in your tanks, while it may appear clear, is not safe to drink. The rain which fell on your roof and ran down your gutters became contaminated with bird feces, insect waste, decayed organic matter, chemicals and other pollutants. To make this water safe to drink it must first be treated or preferably purified.
Treatment involves adding proportionately large amounts of chlorine iodine. This method should be reserved for emergency or occasional use only, because ingestion of too much iodine may be harmful.(3)
The optimum solution is the use of a water purifier which removes sediment and chemicals, kills bacteria and other pathogens. An efficient water purifier would utilize both pre and post-filters and a high-intensity ultraviolet germicidal lamp. Such a device must be proven to have a bacterial kill rate up to 99.99+% including cysts (Giardia and Cryptosporidium), and microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa.
This water purifier should be operable off the Electric Power Grid and capable of converting water from any available source into potable water.
Now You Need to Become Water Self Sufficient
You have acquired long term bulk food storage, first aid kits, tools, defensive weapons and other survival gear. Now you need to become water self sufficient or all your other preparations are meaningless and your family will perish. WATER IS LIFE.