The Compass DeRose Guide to Emergency Preparedness: Water
This page was written by Steven J. DeRose, and was last updated on 2003-03-22.
Water is pretty easy. The main points to remember are:
- Stock at least 1 gallon of clean water per person per day. Think hard about how long you want to be able to stay in your shelter location.
- Rotate your water supply. One easy way is to use bottled water regularly, and just have extra bottles; but unless your normal water is poor, this is a lot more expense than dumping and refilling a bunch of water containers every 6 months or so.
- Adding a pinch of bleach or iodine will keep the water clean much longer. Don't just do it by guess, though -- read up on how to do so. A bottle of Chlorine bleach will purify a lot of water.
- Boiling water for a few minutes will kill just about any microorganism in it. It won't do much for chemical poisons.
- Most home water filtration systems will remove a limited range of chemical and biological hazards -- lead being the most important one. Don't assume they'll do more than they do.
- Remember that you probably have a whole lot of clean water in your hot water heater. Turn off the main water inlet to your house if there's a known problem. If you're confident that you did that before anything got into your hot water heater, use the drain valve at the bottom.
- Water makes a pretty good radiation shield. If you plan to hide out in a basement, consider sotcking your water in rectangular containers (2.5 gallon ones are in most supermarkets), and stack those between the ceiling beams to add to your shielding.
- Last but by no means least, don't wait until the government announces a danger before getting your water supply in order. There won't be any left then. Do it now if you're going to do it.
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