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