Saturday, September 25, 2010

Deliberate Water Storage

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

You Have Three to Five Days Before You Die
After thinking and shelter, water is the most important element of survival.

Don't believe me, try not drinking or eating any liquids for only one day. For me, my tongue starts to swell up, my head hurts, and I get lethargic.

For most people, death follows in 3 to 5 days without water.

Deliberate Water Storage in the Home
As I said in "Expedient Water Storage", a person needs at least one gallon of water a day to survive. This one gallon of water is used for drinking water, only.

So a family of four planning for a three day emergency would need 12 gallons of water. A two-week emergency would require at least 56 gallons of water, just for drinking, and a month's supply of water would be 120 gallons.

Around here, we pay about $1.25 for a litre of bottled water (3.8 liters in one gallon) To make it easy on me, say 4 litres to make a gallon, 12 gallons would cost $60. 56 gallons would cost $280, ouch.

So for the folks getting ready for a short-term emergency (3 to 5 days), bottled water would work, for a price.

But, I'm on a budget; I bet you are too. Plus, I want to store enough water for a 30-day emergency.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
One way of cutting costs is to reuse containers. One container is the plastic soda bottle. They come in various sizes, 20 ounce, 1 litre, and 2 litre are common. I have even seen a 3 litre soda bottle when I was traveling to ...

To reuse, just rinse the inside and outside of the bottle with tap water then fill to the top. Screw the original cap on, after rinsing with tap water, then store the bottle in a cool dark place, like a basement.

You don't need to put any chlorine, as a preservative, in the water because most cities already have chlorine in the water. Folks on private wells may want to add 16 drops of 5 1/2 % chlorine bleach to each gallon of water. So a 1-litre bottle would need 4 drops for bleach added to the water.

Now, don't put more bleach in the water thinking "more the better" because too much chlorine can kill.

What I just wrote will work all the time, but this article is "Deliberate Water Storage," so let's get deliberate.

Really Deliberate
To really clean the 20 ounce, one and/or two litre bottles, first peel the labels off the bottles. You want to remove as much as the glue, too. Next, rinse the inside and outside of the bottle, don't forget the cap, with tap water. Let air dry.

As the bottles are air drying, mix one tablespoon of bleach in one gallon of water, this will make a disinfecting bleach solution for the bottles.

Once the solutions is made put the bottles in the bleach water. You want to make sure that there are no air bubbles inside the bottle. Let the bottles sit for thirty minutes. After the thirty minutes, empty the bottles, you can reuse the disinfecting solution, then let the bottles air dry, again.

The bottles are filled with tap water then treated with chlorine bleach. Remember 16 drops for every gallon or 4 drops of bleach for ever quart/litre of water.

Store the filled bottles in a cool dark place such as a cardboard box or the basement.

North Carolina: Division of Child Development - Cleaning and Sanitizing: What’s the difference and how are they done?

Middlesex-London Health Unit - Mixing of Chlorine (Bleach) Solution for Disinfecting

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Expedient Water Storage

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

My Apologizes
I apologize for not posting these last two months. It has been hectic.

I have been trying to get my family's stuff squared away, pay attention to my partner, organize my office, so there is less time to write and take pictures.

Well, I'm back, for now, so enjoy the next few articles about water storage.

You Have Three to Five Days Before You Die
After thinking and shelter, water is the most important element of survival.

Don't believe me, try not drinking or eating any liquids for only one day. For me, my tongue starts to swell up, my head hurts, and I get lethargic.

For most people, death follows in 3 to 5 days without water.

Expedient Water Storage in the Home
During a sudden emergency, you and your family may have very little time to prepare, so here are a few quick ways to store water in your home.

Sinks and Bathtubs
First, clean and rinse the sink or bathtub then fill with tap water.

Quick and easy wasn't it?

For you folks that worry about germs and other little nasties, you will want to close the shower curtain because the bathtub is usually next to the toilet. ; - (

Now, most water that comes out of the tap is ready to drink, so you don't need to treat it before drinking.

Just in case, you may want to treat the water with chlorine bleach.

But, how much bleach do you use?

First, we are going to use only fresh bleach, bought in the last three months, that only has 5 1/2% Sodium Hypochlorite with No scents or other additives. Clorox bleach is safe to use.

Next, we are going to need to calculate how much water the sink or bathtub holds, when full, because we need to add 16 drops of bleach, for each gallon of water, to treat the water.

To do this measure the length, width, and depth of the container.

Now you don't need a tape measure to do this. You can use the Hawaiian Shaka sign because the distance between the end of the pinkie and the end of the thumb is approximately eight inches for an adult male. You can also use an U.S. dollar, it is just over six inches long.

Once you have measured the container, you need to multiply the three measurements to find the volume of the expedient container. The bathtub in the picture is 2 feet wide, 4 feet long, and 1 1/2 feet deep.

2 feet X 4 feet X 1 1/2 feet equals 12 cubic feet

Next, we multiply by 7.48 (that's the number of gallons in a cubic foot of water)

So, 12 cubic feet times 7.48 gallons equals almost 90 gallons of water.

So, we will need 1440 drops of bleach (about 1/2 cup) to treat this much water (90 gallons X 16 drops equals 1440 drops of chlorine bleach)

Since one person needs one gallon of water a day, a family of four (if they fill their bathtub) will have enough water for about 20 days.

Toilets, Hot Water Heater, and Water Pipes
Since each of these places are filled every time you use them, you may need to turn off the incoming city water during an emergency, to prevent your stored water from being contaminated. You will find the water shutoff valve on the main water line into your home. Because the valve is in a different location, for every home, you need to find it before the disaster.

To use the water in the hot water heater, you will need to turn off the hot water heater. Some heaters use gas; some use electric. Either way turn off the heater and wait for the water in the tank to cool, at least four hours. After the water is cool, open the little valve at the bottom of the tank and allow the water to drain into a clean container, like a bucket or even a drinking glass.

This water does not need to be treated, If the city water was not contaminated. If the city water was contaminated, you will need to treat the water before drinking.

To get the water out of the pipes in your house, you will need to turn off the water to the house. Next you need to open the highest sink or bathtub faucet in the house, then open the lowest faucet in the house. All of the water in the pipes will drain to the lowest open faucet. Have a clean container to catch the water.

Wether to treat the water or not will depend on if the city water supply was contaminated or not.

Lastly, you and your family can drink the water found in the tank on the back of the toilet, not the bowl. Treating the water depends just like the pipes and water heater.

Now, while I was thinking about this article, I opened the tank for our toilet; it was nasty looking. I would use the toilet tank as a very last resort.

Links: - Water Purification Using Clorox Bleach - New Information From Red Cross

Wikipedia - Shaka sign

Dimensions Guide - Dollar Bill Dimensions

Wikipedia - Bathtub

Montecito Water District - How many gallons of water in a cubic foot?

District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority - How to Drain Your Hot Water Heater Home Repair - How to Drain Your Home's Plumbing System